Quizzically Musing

Watching the madness

Archive for the ‘Asylum Seekers’ Category

Tony Abbott – do not do it!

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Good grief, what politicians will do to win power.  One of the benefits of living in Australia, at least I believe it is still a benefit, is the right to criticise our politicians, even if we are of the same persuasion!

While Mr Abbott continued to condemn the Malaysia option, the carrot for him is that the proposed changes would ensure as prime minister he could send people to Nauru.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/abbott-muddies-water-on-boats-20110912-1k63e.html#ixzz1Xn2wbdfj

Furthermore:

A separate change would also ensure the minister could send children offshore without having to establish this was in their best interests.

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/abbott-muddies-water-on-boats-20110912-1k63e.html#ixzz1Xn37Hz84

No.  Definitely not.

May I remind ALL politicians of the requirements of the International Refugee Convention as discussed by Michael Pearce: 

Withdrawal from Refugee Convention may be last resort

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/withdrawal-from-refugee-convention-may-be-last-resort-20110831-1jly1.html#ixzz1WhHoDtzt

At first I thought, “What? We can’t do that!” then I read the article. Michael takes an extremely pragmatic approach to the debate, together with presenting a fresh perspective.

Public policy in Australia seems to have reversed the legal position. The major parties and public opinion seem to say that we should refuse refuge to those who reach our shores and seek asylum because that denies refuge to those in the so-called queue. That is, we should abrogate an obligation which is legally binding on us so that we can comply with an imagined obligation by which we are not, in fact, bound.

Michael goes on to say (emphasis added):

This course will no doubt be very unpopular in some quarters and for good reason. It would signal to all that we, one of the richest countries in the world with enviable space and resources to spare, did not want to share with the bedraggled and desperate few who, by good fortune, wash up on our shores. But this is only to tell the truth about who and what we are as a people.

Would that more people listen to people like Michael.

Why this desire for off-shore processing?  What exactly does it achieve?  Why the desire to send unaccompanied children off-shore?  What does that achieve?

Chris Bowen needs to read some history. 

Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said unaccompanied minors presented ”very emotional and difficult issues”. ”The overriding obligation is to say to parents, ‘Do not risk the lives of your children to get the prospect of a visa in Australia.’ ”

Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/abbott-muddies-water-on-boats-20110912-1k63e.html#ixzz1Xn5AF2xs

Parents don’t send unaccompanied children in order to get a visa – they send them to save their lives.  What of all the unaccompanied children sent here from England many years ago?  Was that OK because they were English?  I actually work with a woman who is friends with a person who was sent by their parents to Australia to save that (then) child’s life in precisely the same way children are being sent now.  Unless Mr Bowen is totally oblivious to the realities of life, he knows in his heart if he were faced with the same decisions some of these parents are faced with he would do EXACTLY the same thing.  So would any parent.  Do not make glib comments in the media to try to paint parents as being in the wrong for trying to save their children.

Australia MUST remove the guardianship of these children from the position of Minister for Immigration.  It is hard to imagine a greater conflict of interest existing.  How this came about is beyond comprehension.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

September 13, 2011 at 11:23 am

Racist cruelty does not belong here

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I was terribly saddened to hear of the death of a young Melbourne girl last week.  She was mauled by a dog. 

I was equally horrified to see this article in The HeraldSun.

Racism

Racism at work

Facebook is an international site so it is perceivable the posts came from outside Australia, but I know in my heart this is a naive thought.  Some may well have, but I know not all did.  While The HeraldSun is a tabloid, this has been reported in other media.

This is a CHILD who was mauled to death by a dog while her father was overseas.  How anyone can make the sort of attacks reported in this story is beyond me. 

Are these mindless teenagers with nothing better to do, who think it is funny?  Where are their parents?

Are they the usual batch of internet trolls?  Are they actual white supremacists?  I don’t care who or what they are, what they did is inexcusable and should be punished – yet the perpetrators will probably never be found and are no doubt too cowardly to come forward.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

August 22, 2011 at 8:02 pm

Not In Our Name

with 4 comments

Getup has launched a campaign to stop Australia sending children to Malaysia as part of the “asylum seeker solution”.

I am proud to put my name to the cause and it is somewhere amongst these 31,654 names.

Not in our name

Not in our name

I quote from the email sent to me by GetUp:

To see it all you need to do is grab a copy of The Age. The ad also appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald on Saturday. You might need a magnifying glass to see your name but that’s a good thing. It means that the response was so overwhelming that we could only fit in everyone’s names by squeezing them in with small font.

Also:

You may have also heard that on Sunday the High Court put an injunction on the Malaysia deal. This will temporarily halt the transfer of asylum seekers to Malaysia. The final outcome of the case may still be weeks away but this is exciting news and you can read more about the court case by clicking here.

We must stop this happening.  Join the cause!

Related:

http://wonderingpilgrim.wordpress.com/2011/08/17/at-last-a-candle-lit-in-the-darkness/#comment-480

http://tonyserve.wordpress.com/2011/08/07/from-getup-not-in-my-name-refugees-australia-malaysia-children/

Written by Robyn Dunphy

August 16, 2011 at 7:45 pm

HeraldSun screams “thugs”?

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I broke my silence on this already: I will continue.

Thugs?  Could we possibly have some rational reporting instead of headlines designed to feed moral panic?

Do they publish any of the ASRC myth busters: no, they take the line of what they think sells papers!  No thought for the damage it does!

Irresponsible reporting, in my view.  Very irresponsible.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

April 26, 2011 at 11:30 am

I tried – I really did

with 6 comments

When Villawood went up in flames I tried to stay quiet.  I posted a comment to a friend on Facebook and that was the extent of my activism.

Today I read some comments in The Age that just make me despair of any hope for mankind.

Four Detainees still on Villawood roof screams the headline.  I do have to commend The Age for presenting far more balanced reporting than the HeraldSun.  I read articles in both papers earlier in the week.

The bit that forced me to break my silence was this:

Meanwhile, acting Prime Minister Wayne Swan today condemned a rally outside the centre, planned for Monday by the Refugee Rights Action Network.

Mr Swan said the rioters’ actions could not be defended and the rally would be inappropriate.

“I don’t think that’s necessarily appropriate at all. There has been unacceptable behaviour by people inside the facility,” he told reporters in Cairns.

“We cannot, in any way, condone the sorts of acts and behaviour we have seen at that facility in recent days.”

Mr Swan refused to be drawn on the police’s decision to deny food to the four protesters still on the centre’s roof.

No, I do not condone the specific behavior either, but I sure as hell understand it.  Just because we do not condone something does not mean we cannot understand it and fight for change when WE are the ones causing the behaviour in the first place.  The Refugee Rights Action Network has every right to protest to highlight the inhumane treatment of these poor people.  Unacceptable behaviour inside the facility?  Only AFTER unacceptable behaviour on our behalf outside the facility.  Let’s be real about the chicken or the egg here!

These people have an INTERNATIONAL RIGHT to seek asylum, to seek safe refuge.  They get here and, despite what much of the media might like us to believe, we treat them badly.  We have been criticised,  rightly so, for our policies.  But we treat them so well, you say?  Really?  Remember the sanitary products?

What makes US so damn special that we can treat our fellow humans this way?  You, yes, you reading this: you think this can never happen to YOU?  Think again, for what will YOU do if Australia gets invaded (or similar) by a regime you are terrified of?  Will you seek asylum somewhere?  But you are special, aren’t you, so you wouldn’t think of you ever being in the shoes of these poor people in Villawood.  Think again.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

April 23, 2011 at 2:52 pm

Xenophobia

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As many readers may know, I have been out of the country visiting my husband.  This article is therefore several days old, but it was brought to my attention upon my return by themoleblogger.

Ross Gittins raises some very interesting points about the asylum seeker debate, looking specifically at the reactions of people and how those reactions can be manipulated by politicians and the media.

What we need are more members of the media speaking out clearly.  We need to acknowledge the problems and challenge the moral panic that seems to be gripping this country.  We need to find our humanity again.

Ross says, “…in their efforts to gratify and exploit public resentment of ”illegals”, governments of both colours have given the highest priority to preventing individual asylum seekers from telling their stories to the media. They must continue to be seen as monstrous invaders, never as flesh and blood.”

It is time we, the people, took a stand.  We must make it clear we will not be manipulated for political advantage.  Or are you happy to be a tool of unhumanity?  The choice is yours.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

March 3, 2011 at 1:58 pm

Who locked up the children?

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This article today runs with the opening phrase of “Julia Gillard locks up …” 

No, Julia Gillard doesn’t lock up anyone.  WE, the Australian citizens are locking up these children, just as we did under Howard (which the article also refers to).

Prime Ministers do not do these things personally.  Prime Ministers and parliaments (assuming we are indeed a democracy) are simply doing what WE, the citizens, ask them or tell them or let them do.  WE are personally responsible, every single one of us.  For WE give the power.

Time for us to voice our disapproval of what our representatives are doing in OUR name.

Written by Robyn Dunphy

January 30, 2011 at 11:05 am