We have read your new policy on asylum seeker boat arrivals. It is an audacious policy which no doubt took your colleagues and the rest of the ALP by surprise.
Without necessarily supporting what you did we understand why you made the arrangements you did with PNG Prime Minister Peter O’ Neill. In that one gesture you apparently shored up your racist and bigoted constituency in marginal seats, wedged Tony Abbott and his three-word bogan slogans and attempted to appease those ethical and compassionate people with genuine concerns about unsafe boats full of asylum seekers attempting hazardous voyages.
We will not go into the details of the policy. It has been thoroughly reported by the media somewhat starved of controversy in the last week or so, along with the usual commentary from the usual media suspects such as conservative commentator Paul Sheehan, who has spent the last three years telling people what a dreadful government we have but has suddenly discovered that asylum seekers sometimes drown, so desperate are they to find a safe place to live.
We are somewhat surprised that a country your government’s own DFAT travel advice website has warned Australian travellers is a security risk should be deemed acceptable for asylum seekers as a place of settlement. There seems to be a bit of careless racism implicit in that.
So while you tick those boxes off may we remind you that the ongoing hysteria about asylum seekers is not going to go away. That same constituency which you think you have placated will continue to hate and vilify new arrivals, no matter how they arrived in this country.
- They will continue to defame the small population of Muslims in Australia, those who were born here as well as those amongst the new arrivals.
- They will continue to abuse women and men in religious garments in the street because they “dress differently”.
- They will target the 13% of the population who either emigrated from Asia or who are the descendants of those of Asian descent who have lived in Australia for many years, along with the many Asian students here for an education.
- They will continue to racially abuse people, including children, on buses and trains because they “look different” or “speak different”.
- These individuals will continue to gather in vile hate groups on social media, and to infest the comments columns of newspapers.
So Kevin we need an undertaking from you that you are going to address this xenophobia, because you and the government are the only ones who can do so.
We want an undertaking that you and your MPs will explicitly address and overturn the unfounded fears and festering hatred of this misguided sector of the electorate, because you are supposed to govern on behalf of normal Australians, not just expediently at election time for the passing whims of the haters.
Then we may again be a fit country to receive and welcome newcomers to a safe and secure life, because at the moment we are not.
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