Sunday, December 19, 2010
Contrasting this, was the most terrible crash of a boat-load of asylum-seekers on Christmas Island, on Wednesday. Boat arrivals, and the treatment of asylum-seekers have been the subject of UNHCR criticism. Under former (Liberal) PM, John Howard, the UN was critical of the harsh regimes in detention centres, especially Baxter Detention Centre in central Australia, and of the ‘off-shore’ processing centre at Nauru. (Labor) PM Kevin Rudd, and now Julia Gillard, have been criticised for the length of time it takes to repatriate people whose asylum claims have been denied.
Australia should not have an open-border policy. But there are people in Australia, and elsewhere, who want to take the ‘Christ’ out of Christmas. Our politicians, of all sides, have led the race to the lowest point, in the quest for a vote, as they try to buy the votes of xenophobic and racist voters. That is our shame, and theirs.
Merry Christmas. I just hope you’re not seeking asylum.