24 September, 2011

The Message We Are Sending

The interception of two more boats of asylum seekers off Christmas Island this week had Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott blaming each other for the arrivals.  Predictably enough, each of them claimed the other had sent a message to people-smugglers that Australia is open to them.  I honestly can’t be bothered delving into the logic of either position except to say that it beggars belief that the utterances of either leader has a direct influence on people’s willingness to risk everything to flee their country of origin, or those who would take advantage of such desperation.

What I will say is that if we’re really concerned about the message we send overseas, we need to look a bit higher than the daily partisan bickering for domestic consumption.

For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share;
With courage let us all combine
To Advance Australia Fair.

I guess there’s a reason we never sing the second verse.

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