We imprison people seeking asylum (most of whom will later be found to be genuine refugees). While we detain them on a remote island and they can’t do anything else, we have a system where we enable them to earn “credits” up to a maximum of $50 a week. If they saved these credits, they could eventually save up for something like an iPod.
This was beaten up and turned into a “the government is buying boat people iPods when I don’t have the self-control to save up for one myself!” story, enraging the locals.
So to stop this, we’re simply resetting their credits each week. We’re telling them they can’t save a little at a time, they can’t try to take control of the meagre resources we give them – they will use them straight away, or we’ll take them back. Saving your pennies up, week after week, to eventually buy something worthwhile, instead of just pissing them away on disposable garbage? THAT’S NOT THE WAY WE DO THINGS HERE, BUDDY.
It doesn’t matter that they’d be sacrificing something in order to obtain such an item, and it wouldn’t be costing us an extra cent – that’s entirely besides the point. The point is the galling notion of refugees enjoying any sort of comfort. Nothing appalls us more.
ELSEWHERE: And what’s happening to the refugees we’ve sent to Indonesia is even worse. Is that the kind of further suffering you were hoping the refugees would be made to endure, enraged Christmas Island locals?