Tuesday, 21 December 2010

An interesting collection

An interesting collection of letters in the paper today about the refugee issue.
Consensus is brewing in a few areas. I would suggest that from both ends of the spectrum the view is forming that the refugee 'policy' is failing.
On the far right people would say we should send everyone back, and on the other extreme we should let everyone in.
Neither of these options is satisfactory in these troubled times.
But, I am inclined to think that offshore processing is a political game that in the end suits no one's interests. It is a ploy invented by the Howard Government and pursued by the Rudd & Gillard governments to give the impression that we are in control. The problem is that any offshore facilities are always going to be too small, too soon. This was the problem with Nauru and is the problem with Christmas Island.
It strikes me it would be better by far to transfer processing to the mainland where at least this problem would be manageable.
The letters in the paper inevitably contain the idiocies of those who believe it is possible to live in an Australia that is isolated from the world. I have noted elsewhere (here) that most Australians are accepting with varying degrees of enthusiasm of those who find themselves on our shores There is a very vocal, and often quite nasty group of people who trot out the usual charity begins at home and what about the kids who don't get no presents or what about the homeless I would rather help them.
There is no doubt that there are others in need, but my suspicion is that the most vocal of the "charity begins at home" lobby probably don't do much to help those at home either.
One thing I do know is that those who want to help refugees are also likely to be generous supporters of other charities too. It is, after all, not a competition!

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