Hazara and Gillard

How depressing it is to watch Julia Gillard defend the Rudd Government’s recent position on refugees from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan.

Gillard is normally erudite, unflappable, even reasonably honest, but there she was this morning, live from Brisbane, peddling outright lies about the UNHCR position on refugees from these two countries. Apparently, Gillard tells us, the situation is improving and that’s why we’re not going to process their refugees for the next six months.

I don’t know about Sri Lanka, but you’d have to be living in a sensory deprivation room not to know that Afghanistan is a disaster right now. Very little is improving. Gillard has the gall to mention the Hazara people in particular and how things are getting better for them. Last I heard the Taliban were using Hazara men to walk through minefields in front of their vehicles. They used to use sheep or goats but Hazara are worth less.

Labor’s position is disgraceful policy, introduced to head off the back-lash against asylum seekers whipped up by Tony Abbott over the last few weeks for no other reason than political expediency.

Arrivals by boat people represents only one percent (1%) of the legitimate migration each year. (That’s 180 000 people per anum, not the 300 000 that’s been touted recently. The latter figure includes people on student visas, temporary work permits etc.) Now, you can argue 180k is too many for sustainable population and I’ll listen sympathetically, but you can’t say that Australia has a problem with asylum seekers. Something like 90% of all boat people prove to be genuine refugees. A fact that makes sense when you think about it. These people are desperate.

We need to demand more ethical behaviour from our government. This is why many of us voted them in. If we don’t do it, who will?

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