Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Refugee Freedom From Fear Week – yeah, right

Posted by Dave Bath on 2010-06-12

Those paragons of love and kind treatment of the unfortunate have declared a week to celebrate our stand on international covenants regarding, the benefits from, and indeed our tolerance of… refugees.

Yes folks, it’s national "Freedom From Fear" week, so a dose of Tom Lehrer’s "National Brotherhood Week" is in order.

"It’s fun to eulogise
the people you despise

Be nice to people who
Are inferior to you:
It’s only for a week so have no fear,
Be grateful that it doesn’t last all year."

Yes… thank goodness we don’t have a day of not being hit by falling grand pianos.

So… Perhaps we might expect a lack of dog-whistling and demonizing of the unfortunate by the leader of the liberal party, Mr Rabbit (calicivirus too good for him – he deserves myxo – and Mr Rabid is a better Mondegreen anyway)…  excuse me while I choke.

Can we even expect anything more than a well-buried press release, or even silence on the matter, from the KRuddster?

Well… how about we take a couple of lines from the DIAC press release… making sure none of us are halfway through swallowing food or drink while we do so…

Australians will come together during Refugee Week (June 20-26) to celebrate our humanitarian commitment and the enormous contribution refugees make to the nation.
This year’s theme – Freedom from fear – recognises the strength and courage of refugees who overcome incredible hardships to start new lives free from fear and persecution.
Australia provides comprehensive support systems for refugees and others in humanitarian need …

Excuse me, but anybody with any knowledge of current affairs, with any appreciation of the direction of majority attitudes over the last decade or so, with any scrap of compassion, will see this is a total lie.

The majority, without brains or hearts, will merely feel offended… if they hear about it at all.

… Which leaves how many people approving the content of this press release?

… Any advance on zero?


Having just posted, then hitting my newsfeeds, it seems the Mayor of Dalby is getting his bit of refugee-bashing ("Dalby ‘not ready’ to house asylum seekers" ABC News, 2010-06-12) in now before "Freedom from Fear" week (20th to 26th June) swings into action.  Of course, he is probably only reflecting the attitudes of his constituents.

The Mayor of Dalby on Queensland’s Darling Downs says his town is not ready to house asylum seekers after the Immigration Department confirmed it has been in discussions with a company that owns a workers’ accommodation village on the outskirts of the town.

Excuse me, as <a href="Dalby is pretty much a rural town, it must be "National Week For Rural Towns Wanting People Not To Stay Away".

Have you ever heard of a community in an agricultural region rejecting a few extra hands to work and pockets to keep local businesses open?…  No… didn’t think so.

Update:And later that day…

The Federal Government re-opens Curtin detention centre for Afghan refugees: "Controversial Curtin detention centre re-opened".  Guess it isn’t just banana-bending mayors. 

From the relevant DIAC media release:

The Australian Government believes that asylum seekers should only be granted the right to live in Australia if they are genuinely in need of protection.

Yeah, this in the week that it becomes obvious that even soldiers need better protection… or perhaps our soldiers need to get the lowdown on protection from all those civilians who, according to our compassion-laden government, are able to protect themselves so easily.


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