Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Out, Out, Damned Spot!

The Australian government's response to boat refugees is racism and xenophobia couched in terms of national security and it's being used as political propaganda in the run-up to the federal election. Undocumented refugees arriving by boat are now being shipped to camps in Papau New Guinea.

Back in Australia, the government spends a $37 million dollar ad campaign to discourage asylum seekers including full page spreads in the Sydney Morning Herald. Some say the ads are meant for voters.
Most Aussies I know are disgusted by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's archaic, hardline stance against asylum-seekers, which looks even more aggressive than the conservative party (who are called the Liberals if you can wrap your head around that).

The refugees in PNG have rioted against their appalling conditions, and there are reports that security forces paid for by the Australian government are brutal in their violence, especially against women. Not to mention that gay refugees are subject to PNG's law punishing homosexuality with 14 years in prison.

It's not only that Australia could benefit from a bigger population, and more affordable labor. A leader doesn't spend millions shipping away a problem and call it a solution. Little wonder the Prime Minister is losing at the polls. He's divided his own base. There has to be a humane, 21st Century response to immigration.

1 comment:

Virtus en Belgique said...

Yes Jesse, the Commonwealth Government's policy is terrible. I am also concerned that these poor folk will have a terrible time assimilating into PNG society. The policy's a real dud! Dominic