Well, News Ltd and other conservative organisations wanted refugee-bashing to be part of our national politics again, and they’ve succeeded. We on the left didn’t counter their utter lies hard enough, or strongly enough, and both major parties (I’m going to ignore the Cruel Samaritan as the irrelevancy he’ll hopefully soon be) are now essentially as repulsive as each other on the issue. Voters who know the facts (please, print that out and put a copy in the Herald Suns in the local cafe) now only have one party to represent them – the Greens. Those progressive, humane ALP members still in that party, trying futilely to change it from the inside (give up guys, it belongs to the Right now) should probably consider this the final straw and jump ship. Looks like we’re going to have to unite against the Liblab bastards together.
Labor’s shameless attack on asylum seekers is in part because they’ve been bombarded with correspondence from Australians who’ve been whipped up into a frenzy at the idea of the country being “swamped” with diabolical “illegals” who are to blame for everything that’s wrong with the country. The fact sheet summarises very clearly just why that’s so stupidly wrong – and for all but the most hardened, racist Bolt-readers, a discussion in which they learn the facts is usually enough to withdraw their support for treating these people so cruelly – but it’ll take some real legwork now to get it out there.
One thing you can do is send a message to the Minister through GetUp’s handy portal for doing just that – the critical points are to the right (for example, that even DFAT acknowledges that Sri Lanka and Afghanistan are dangerous at the moment) while you’re adding your message, so it’s not a big ask. The more hateful screeds from racist morons that get sent, the more rational messages we need to send in response. Labor responds to public pressure – we need to let it know that we’re members of the public too. And we vote.
We can see what’s being done to these innocent people in our name. And it must stop.
ELSEWHERE: Andrew Bartlett, writing at Crikey, explores the issue of whether this new policy breaches international human rights law.