Now both major parties are racing to the bottom to demonise refugees before the election.
The Federal Opposition has attacked the Government’s decision to suspend asylum seeker claims from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, saying it is politically motivated and will not stop the boats coming to Australia.
Damn right it is, Tony – as politically motivated as your hateful campaign. Rudd will now be responsible for any number of deaths of asylum seekers stuck in peril where we could’ve done our duty as fellow human beings and helped. But so will you: you’re the head of a party whose anti-refugee campaign commenced with outright lies about their numbers. You both make me sick.
Tough call, but I’m going to have to put the party that started this shameful episode below the one that just played along with it.
UPDATE: Today’s Crikey email points out how that approach could ultimately backfire:
There is private acknowledgement among government and strategic decision-makers that Australia has a moral responsibility, as the richest and most underpopulated nation in the Asian region, to be seen to be growing its population and assuming its share of humanitarian migration. This is partly because of the terrible optics of a fortress Australia approach, and partly because such an approach is so out of sync with population trends in our region that it could generate enough resentment among our neighbours to present a serious security risk to Australia.
I expect the Fortress Australia advocates would then blame those sorts of unfortunate eventualities on the left, too. Honestly, they live in a fantasy world.