Thursday, November 22, 2012


I am so over it. I am so tired of hearing about, and yet it never fails to make me angry.

Our nation, Australia is still talking about boat people. An issue, that is barely worthy of anybodies attention, let alone the nation. The average Australian should be outraged that our political leadership are devoting time to the issue. The issue is there, but in scope and impact it borders on a complete non-issue.

Unless of course, you are arriving in Australia as a refugee on a boat. Then it is an issue.

But otherwise in proportion to problems boat people cause for the average Australian, boat people is not worthy of our time and attention. Certainly not the time and attention it recieves. And the costs of paying it so much attention are far more consequential than addressing the problem at hand.

Firstly, the time spent debating boat people is time not spent debating far more pressing and important issues - like the economy, environment, civil rights ... the ordinary shit that has the most impact on peoples' quality of life.

Secondly, the solutions proposed such as offshore processing - simply increase the economic costs of the problem.

Also, since we are defiance of UN conventions that we are signatory too on the rights of asylum seekers, we lower our standing and diplomatic 'soft power' in the eyes of the world.

Furthermore, these people are refugees, they are fleeing HORRIBLE FUCKED UP SHIT, the capacity of a nation like Australia to create sufficient disincentive to travel here in the face of the HORRIBLE FUCKED UP SHIT is laughable. The best (and by that I mean worst) we can do is create the horrible psychological reality of isolating refugees from their families and leaving them in limbo. I find this unnacceptable action to take on the most vulnerable people on earth, but nevertheless most refugees will suffer through such psychological torture on the sniff of a hope that they will secure a better future for their children and grand children.

So why then, is such disastrous policy so popular, why do people who will for the most part never meet or even be effected by the intake of refugees, and particularly those that arrive by boat so passionate about stopping it?

Racism. Xenophobia.

Nothing more, it will never be anything more, because the facts or reality support no other excuses to care about the prevention of boat arrivals.

It is not illegal to seek assylum, the vast majority of assylum seekers arrive by plane, and hold visas that they simply overstay, of those that arrive by boat some 98% or something are found to be legitimate refugees (which shouldn't be surprising, because it costs some $15,000 ~ $30,000 to take the boat, the boats are overcrowded and dangerous, it would take probably a decade or more for an employable refugee with Australia's living expenses to replenish those savings, repay those loans.) Australia takes in proportionately far less refugees than most other contries, there is no real or effective queue in place that boat people can be said to be 'jumping', we are signatories to the UN convention on the rights of refugees.

We as a nation, a predominately white nation, with predominantly United Kingdom based ethnic roots and highest levels of migration coming from the UK, simply unwilling to share the great unearned bounties of Australia most of which we are simply born into. Furthermore we fear some decay in moral standards, or that people fleeing war, torture and rape will bring war torture and rape with them.

War is up to the discretion of our very white leadership, as for torture and rape, well my beloved melbourne has over the past few months become somewhat famous for abducting, raping and murdering women. I say that referring to two cases, with two victims in a city with a population greater than 3 million. In both cases there was evidently little our society could do to prevent the perps from committing their heinous crimes. But our law enforcement was effecient at identifying and capturing both perpetrators (although the guilt of both is as yet to be determined by the courts).

But in both cases the accussed, the accused both look like me. Young white males. They look like me because they look like most of the community of Australia. Their physical appearance and backgrounds are far more similar to the average australian's than they are to those seeking asylum who were born on foreign shores.

And yet, while there were calls for more security cameras in public places, there were far more calls for women not to go out at night or walk themselves home along busy public streets. But nobody suggested that ASIO start monitoring the facebook activities of caucasian men between 15-50. Nobody was suggesting that officers show up at my door (or any other caucasian male) whenever their Facebook relationship status changes from 'Married' or 'In a relationship' to 'single'.

Because the Australian community knows that most dissaffected young men don't cope with their troubles by abducting and murdering women, but instead by getting drunk with their mates, looking at porno on the internet, going to the races, hooking up with other women in bars, going to stripclubs and masturbating. Those are generally the worst things most men do. And many of them seek councilling, join a gym, join a club, go travelling and other quite positive responses to their problems.

And yet we fear somebody with brown skin, bad teeth (which is entirely due to a lack of access to healthcare), beards, whom have young children of their own and who wear trousers all the time and regularly attend religious services and other community based activities of somehow harming our way of life. And we treat them like enemies as if eager that they should become them.

Yet, the person who is most likely to kill you and/or your children actually is the person you agreed to marry in a ceromony that you both these days outlayed large wads of cash to undertake. Followed by them is your father or another close relative, or relative of your spouses. And even though we know most women killed by the actions of another human being are killed by their partners, most abductors of children are known to the family, and that swimming pools kill more children than guns, and if a child is killed by a gun or other weapon the most likely weilder of that weapon will again be their parent... the thought of somebody who looks different is what causes us outrage.

The same, by the way works in reverse, the most likely person to be the victim of a crime by a refugee is a member of the refugee's immediate family, followed by members of the refugee community. In fact, the track record of mandatory detention in Australia, shows the most likely person to be harmed by a refugee is himself, protesting the inhumane treatment of Australia's detention centers.

But even when refugees come from communities where practices like forced marriage, honour killings, domestic violence, marital rape are socially accepted and perhaps even legal, and as reprehensible as we should find these practices the least likely way to discontinue them is to encourage perpatrators to return to places where the practices are legal and advised by the community.

It is far more likely that the intake of refugees into Australian society would see them adopt our societal standards and norms than the reverse.

So I'm over it, I'm fucking sick of it. We worry about the wrong things, we shouldn't be divesting any of our mental energy worrying about the impacts of boat people upon our lifestyle. It costs you more economically to buy a wedding present for your friends that will divorce within a year of the ceremony than it costs you in tax to process and resettle a refugee family.

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