Australia’s obsession with boats proves its racist core: @e2mq173 comments

Errol Brandt

Errol Brandt

Citizen journalist at No Fibs
Errol writes No Fibs political column - From Left Field. He works as an Accountant within the manufacturing sector. He has a strong interest in sustainability and is a member of the ALP. His blog posts are an unusual mix of economic reality with social idealism.
Errol Brandt

Australia has a long history of racist legislation

After days of media speculation, it is has been revealed that the asylum seeker boat towed to the Australian mainland was given special clearance by Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.

Mr Morrison refused to comment on the vessel, or the reasons why the vessel was not diverted to Christmas Island in line with government policy.

“It is the policy of the Australian Government not to comment on operational matters,” he said.

When asked to explain this policy in light of the unusual circumstances surrounding the vessel, Mr Morrison said it was “the policy of the Australian Government not to comment on government policy”.

A staff member at Sydney’s Villawood Immigration Detention Centre confirmed that the centre had received 116 asylum seekers – 44 men, 38 women and 34 children – and that all the asylum seekers were white, English-speaking Christians.

Mr Morrison rejected claims the decision to allow the asylum seekers to reach the mainland was based on race.

A departmental spokesperson later confirmed that these asylum seekers were not sent to Manus Island for processing because it was “not appropriate in this situation”.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott described the public outrage to process the refugees onshore as “completely hysterical”, adding that he did not understand why the ABC and Fairfax were now supporting offshore detention.

This hypothetical situation poses an interesting question.

If the thousands of people who commonly seek asylum in Australia through the mythical ‘front door’ had no alternative but to come by boat, would the Australian Government apply the same rules to them?

Would we allow ‘white Christians’ to be locked up in detention indefinitely on a remote island, and never ever ever be admitted to Australia?

The answer most certainly is ‘no’.

Australians would never allow a British mother to be detained in squalid conditions on a remote island. There would be outrage if an American was murdered in our care and nobody was brought to justice. Our country would be condemned if it denied media access to a Canadian who was being held in an overseas Australian prison camp.

We allow these atrocities because the people we hold in our detention centres are not British, American or Canadian. Because they are not white. Because they are Sri Lankan, Vietnamese, Afghani, Iraqi, Pakistani and Bangladeshi.

Somehow we’ve convinced ourselves ‘these people’ deserve less than what we would expect for our white, English-speaking friends.

The government argues that its tough response is required to stop drownings at sea. If that were true, Royal Australian Navy boats would be towing boats towards Australia – not dumping them back in Indonesian waters and hoping for the best.

The Australian Navy will come to the rescue of any European yachtsmen who is stranded off Australian waters. Surely rescuing hapless sailors only encourages risk-taking behaviour!

Tough love, it seems, doesn’t apply to white faces.

It’s time that Australians called out this policy for what it is – racism. There’s one set of rules that apply to those who look like us and another for those who don’t.

So let’s just be honest – we don’t want ‘these people‘ coming here.

And let’s stop kidding ourselves.

Our bi-partisan asylum seeker policies are not about ‘saving lives from being lost at sea’. Rather, they are about ensuring people go and risk their lives elsewhere.

Anywhere but here.

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  1. Couldn’t agree with you more.
    It’s all about , Race, Colour, Religion and FEAR. Then you have control!!

  2. Gregory T says:

    The term Riffraff comes to mind.

  3. Chris Beechey says:

    Two wongs do not make a white – we have no progressed far since Calwell.
    Now we have the Liar and his henchmen the Looters Nasty Party.

  4. Spot on!

  5. Moar Politics says:

    Maybe you should stop kidding yourself Errol and think bigger. Australians are very generous when it comes to immigrants – when they come through the front door. There’s reasons why both Labor and Liberal are holding the line on this issue. If you aren’t strong enough the ask the hard questions about why there are so many displaced persons on this planet and why we say no to illegal asylum seekers then maybe it’s a good thing others are in charge.

    • Errol Brandt says:

      You’re confusing immigrants with asylum seekers. Nonetheless, I take your point about examining the underlying causes. Perhaps when Australia takes 50,000 or 100,000 refugees per year, we’ll have the moral authority to lecture other countries about their obligations, but for now, the bigger problem is with attitudes here at home. Racism and xenophobia are hallmarks of neoconservative politics – Howard used it (successfully) with the Tampa, and now Abbott is doing the same.

      • Moar Politics says:

        I’m not confusing the issue. I mean what I say. The concept of an “asylum seeker” has been twisted by the advocacy industry so that it loosely translates to “meal ticket”. Australians are very generous with immigrants and historically have been to asylum seekers as well. An asylum seeker is someone who was strung up by their thumbs for saying that their country could use a little more democracy, not some architect from Iran who wanted to make a bit more cash or a Sri Lankan copper who decided he might be able to cash in on what all the cool kids were doing.

        So I will completely hold the line against people getting the full support of the left because they have been able to buy off the right amount off people clambering over those around them probably in just as much need without the resources to pay. Nothing tramples on the Australian sense of a ‘fair go’ more than that; although it’s the perverse defence always trotted out by advocates in support of asylum seekers.

        The left hysteria has been ratcheted up to such a level because the cash flow has been stopped for over six months and the toys have completely been thrown out of the cot. All of those immigration journalists, human rights lawyers, advocates, lobbyists, academics, The Greens etc. have sniffed the wind and they don’t like it. The major parties effectively have the same policy on the issue, the boats have stopped and they have concluded that unless they go the full YOLO the donation party may be over.

        And that has nothing to do with racism and xenophobia. Granted, many play that angle, but all I see is tired braying to try to shut down any opposing view. The race card is getting a bit frayed around the edges. If I disagreed with you on schools policy could I win the argument by calling you a pedophile? Sound ridiculous? Well so does calling “Xenophobia” to me.

        OK, so you agree there is a deeper issue to this and we must pay a “asylum seeker” tax to ante up in the debate? Talk about ducking the issue. A good number of countries are turning potentially troublesome middle classes into major export industries and the left is silent on the causes of working on solutions because that job is hard. Throwing rocks at the last sorry Government in the chain is so much easier.

        Even if we accepted your 50k to 100k (I assume yearly) that’s a drop in the ocean as well. Under that plan we get the right to lecture and bear the cost on our society (If you don’t want to acknowledge there are issues with asylum seeker integration then you really aren’t paying attention).

        Worst of all though there’s still going to be tens of millions stuck in some wasteland somewhere. Becoming disenfranchised, maybe thinking a little warfare may be a good thing and absolutely no other way out because they couldn’t buy one and everyone else were fighting about the few that could.

  6. ro.watson says:

    Scott Morrison blames asylum seeker advocates for asylum seekers’ seeking asylum? Is his head screwed on the right way ?

  7. what, we want one of the five inhabitable continents for only twenty million, how illogical, better to populate on our terms then to wait for the tipping point (at leased the next WW) I would prefer the brittish never came here but I live in reality, I think we should trade a racist for 100 or even 1000 refugees, would definatly make us a better nation, people who understand how lucky they are and not the people who take their position of privilege for granted, problem is when you have a past PM (coward) straight out lie and claim no genocide was commited (last month) and an attorney general give bigotry a green light (incidents increasing in frequency) will do nothing but harm our national interests and security, especially at street level, thanks to scared little weaklings who think we are still isolated in obscurity

  8. There must be regional sharing of those who prove to be refugees and offer them assistance to go home if safe to do so later.