Chasing the racist vote

The degrading refugee debate on the merits of Malaysia versus Nauru sickens me to the very core. It is quite clearly based on the importance of the racist vote to both the Government and Opposition.

Both have decided, quite insultingly, that the majority of Australian voters are racists who must be kept onside no matter what the social and economic cost might be, otherwise they won’t win elections. So, they argue all day long for the right to be recognised as the political party that can be trusted by racist voters to reliably represent them.

The facts are that, throughout the entire history of humankind, thousands of people every year have crossed borders on every continent seeking refuge from persecution, and they will continue to do it for thousands of years to come.

If we think that sending them to Malaysia or Nauru oranywhere else will solve the problem permanently, then we are being naïve in the extreme. Right now, there are at least 100 nations in the world who have refugees crossing their borders. Why we think that we are a special case is beyond me.

I know that, throughout my life, I have met many fine Australians who originally came here as refugees, worked hard and made a great contribution to the life of our nation.

I have also met some who became bad citizens, but they are a minority, and I compare them equally with some natural born white Australians who are as bad, or worse. When we have hundreds of young Australians who gouge one another with broken beer glasses in our pubs on a regular basis, we are in no position to declare that refugees are lesser beings.

Can I say to all MPs of whatever party: ”Please stop chasing the racist vote and endeavouring to make it look respectable. Stop trying to find a short term solution for a long term problem, and start acting in a way that mature human beings should. Please process all refugees on Australian soil and send the bad ones back home quickly.

Then organise international co-operation to find and arrest as many people smugglers as we can, and keep arresting them for years to come, as refugees will always be a fact of life in our nation and most others. They will go to desperate lengths to find a new homeland and there will always be gangsters who exploit them. Nevertheless, we should practice the ethics of human decency.”