Asylum seekers, boat people, irregular arrivals or ‘illegals’, call them whatever you will, they, and the over-riding social issue of displaced persons and persons seeking to escape repression in their home countries is not going away any time soon.
Our political collective seem to think this game of cat-and-mouse with desperate persons who arrive ONLY by boat, is something note-worthy or even a matter of national security. Far from it in my view. Take the main-stream media frothy-mouthed approach to last weekend’s swamping of a rickety, over-loaded boat in Indonesian waters. Yes, that’s INDONESIAN waters, let me highlight that fact. For some weird and unexplained reason, that single event, which has nothing whatever to do with Australian national security or even Australian immigration policy, has become yet another card in this ongoing game of high-stakes poker between the executive government and HM’s opposition. The stakes being lives of genuine refugees.
I see today government has released the correspondence between itself and HM’s opposition since the canning of the so-called ‘Malaysian Solution’. Big deal! We all know what said letters say without needing to read them. Government points out the facts, opposition says ‘NO!’. Nothing more to see there. Malaysia is not a long term solution. Nauru – that misbegotten flea-shit speck of rock in the middle of the Pacific Ocean – is equally unacceptable. The only genuine solution, as it were, is international acceptance of the realities and combined efforts to address it, by whatever means. If this involves détente at high levels between Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Papua-New Guinea, Burma, Thailand, India & Sri Lanka, then so be it. That is what we elect representatives to do. Certainly not to bicker & drivel endlessly to a mindless media cohort intent only on exacerbating one side of the issue or the other dependant upon the editorial ideological slant of the day.
Time to end this business. It’s a dead issue with the Australian populace. One which is only used by ideological opponents of government as an undefined point of logical fallacy in anything approaching cogent debate. In the majority, there is no cogent debate on the issue, and there needs to be. Without the continual white noise from main stream media.