Saturday, 24 November 2012

Refugee principles

I am sure I am not the only one who is deeply troubled by the likelihood of backflips on every side of politics about care and maintenance of refugees.
What it seems to a lot of people like me is that what was yesterday's policy is disposed of because it is no longer politically opportune...or perhaps one should say opportunistic.

There would seem little doubt that one side of politics is deliberately referring to refugees as "illegal arrivals".
This no longer seems like careless use of inaccurate terminology...though it is often the case that people talk carelessly
It is not illegal to be a refugee
Principle One: Stop muddying the waters with this deliberate attempt to characterise refugees as criminals

There was rightly an outcry last week about the reintroduction of Uncertainty Visas (I use this term because uncertainty is what seems to be the correct focus of medical critique about process)
We can call them 'temporary protection'...'bridging' or what ever...if people are to be suspended in limbo...with little or no possibility of influencing or dialoguing with the process...then it is obviously going to produce mass angst. If we compound this by forcing people to submit to a given period of inevitable poverty because we deny them the right to work
What's more it doesn't seem terribly "Australian" I do not like to use this sort of terminology because it has about it crassness...but locking people into a social problem, denying them the means of escape....and even pretending that this might some how make the problem go away...does not seem to me to have anything that faintly smacks of fair go

Principle 2: Let's not discourage and systemically prevent the process of self-betterment

What other principles ?

....more coming

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