Thursday, August 15, 2013

Getting all empassioned with The Lounge.

Hi all!
Today I am hosting The Lounge linkup and we are talking about our PASSIONS. What gets us all ENTHUSED. Or what gets us HOT UNDER THE COLLAR. If you know what I mean.

Feel free to link up a post telling us what you feel passionately about. Your husband? Your kids? Writing erotic fiction? Chaining yourself to Ancient Trees in an act of Selfless Environmental Warriorism? We're all unique snowflakes with our own wants and needs and loves and lusts and...ahem.

Or link up something unrelated, I'm cool with that too. Easygoing is my middle name. No really, it is!

Anyway, I guess I should write something.

What am I passionate about?

Look, to quote Lisa Simpson, I'm a member of the MTV generation. I feel neither highs nor lows.

I kid, I kid! As if!

I am a veritable hotbed of passions. I am bloody passionate about having a good strong cup of tea every morning (not too much milk), and am positively evangelical about jeggings, as we all know.  I rage against the patriarchy like there's no tomorrow and challenge the dominant paradigm like a motherfucker whenever I get the opportunity. As you do.

But what I really want to talk about, just briefly, is my passion for the issue of asylum seekers, aka refugees.

I'm not going to rant on about it. I am careful what I say on the blog, politically speaking, so I am not going to single out any political party's particular policy.  I am just going to dot point a few things here that articulate how I feel about the subject. I am not an expert. I am just a human being.

-  Nobody chooses to be an asylum seeker. To paraphrase Dr Karl Kruszelnicki, refugees aren't coming here because we have better TV, they are coming because people are shooting at them
-  Seeking asylum is a human right under the UN Refugees Convention
- Mandatory detention for long periods of time is wrong and an inhumane way to deal with people waiting for refugee applications
- The idea that there is an "orderly" process that people should follow, but don't,  seems quite laughable to me. I mean if you were in a massive refugee camp in Jordan, with your young family, cheek by jowl with thousands of people, little security, violence and rape going on, and you had some money, wouldn't you do ANYTHING to get them out of there? I am amazed people can't put themselves in other people's shoes and imagine what it might be like! They are just people like you and I! They had professions, jobs, houses, cars.... I mean, who says it would never happen in Australia? We'd all be boat people then.


Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. Cosy, right? [Source]

- There are actually other possible ways of approaching the issue of processing asylum seekers that are quite different to the dominant paradigm of "stop the boats" or "refuse all boat arrivals" and detention for prolonged periods of time.  There are other voices out there with other ideas. We just need to listen to them.

If anyone is interested in learning more about some of the OTHER possible ways to deal with asylum seekers in Australia, you can start here;

- Julian Burnside - "You've been misled on boat people"
- Julian Burnside - "Four steps to more humane refugee processing"
- Information on the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre FB page/website
- Waleed Aly "There's a paradox at the heart of the PNG plan" 
- Malcolm Fraser "Open our hearts, and our doors, to refugees"

I just wish the major parties wouldn't feel like they had to outdo each other in harsh, broad brush, draconian and inhuman policies. I wish there could be a bipartisan approach. There is a trend towards taking a bipartisan and humanitarian approach towards indigenous issues in Australia, and I wish the same would happen for our refugee policies too.

The end.


34 comments:

  1. Good for you Sarah. This is a highly complex issue that's been reduced to a few pithy slogans for the sake of votes. Julian Burnside is inspiring to listen to on this topic isn't he? Your image from Jordan is great. Form an orderly queue now people!

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    1. Julian Burnside is really very rational unlike some other people on the subject!

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  2. Here here. I think some people and the media still equate refugees as General Pinochet being exiled and then living in leafy Surrey being guarded by local British police...Sad thing is that most refugees in the UK don't even break the laws by getting jobs ( they arent allowed to work if claiming refugee status ) because they are so mentally scarred they are afraid. Complex issue.

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    1. Very complex issue! Which is why it isn't solved by catchphrases and broad brush approaches. Thanks for commenting!

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  3. Superb post.

    Read 'Home and Away' by John Marsden and Matt Ottley. It's a picture book but I wouldn't show it to young kids. It's phenomenal.

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  4. Totally agree, dude. Life is such a lottery, it's just pure luck that some of us were born here. It surprises me when even people like my own father, who came over from Malta on a boat back in the 1950's are totally closed minded and racist. Great post.

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    1. I know, it's actually quite a shock to hear some people's opinion on the subject :-(

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  5. Not even touching on the humanity (lack of) issue, can I just talk fiscal idiocy? There is a Lib ad saying labour has let in 45,000 boat people in the last 3 years (possible 6 years, the wording the ad is ambiguous). But lets say 15, 000 a year. We are working ourselves into a frenzy, making this election about .19 percent of the population. Note that's not 2%, it's POINT 19.
    I don't know the percentage of the population that requires education, but lets say 20%? What about hospitals and healthcare? 50%? Housing, welfare? What are we not making this election about what ACTUALLY matters? Lets stop wasting all this money.
    OR if you really want to get serious about it, what about the 200,000 that overstay their visas each year? Surely we could spend the money catching them, rather than paying off other govts so we can win a stupid election, on a non policy.

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    1. SO TRUE! I am so angry that this is the issue that I am forced to consider when I want to vote - there are SO many other more pressing issues for Australia. Just shouldn't be a political question at all.

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  6. I hate that this election is nothing more than catch phrases, about everything. No one has actually said how they plan on carrying through with anything that has been promised. I find it ludicrous when people say that they should just get a plane and then claim refugee status the 'right' way. You know because I am sure in the middle of a war torn country they can just pop down to the local airport and head to Australia.

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    1. I know. It is so depressing I can hardly bear it.

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  7. Yesterday I was discussing the issue of asylum seekers and refugees with my Year 7 students. It's very hard to talk about the issue, recognising the impact of war and poverty on real human beings, when both sides of politics, as you say, demonstrate such draconian attitudes to accepting refugees. The media fuelling the fire doesn't do much for public opinion in helping us become informed about the issue. Glad you're passionate about it, Sarah. I watched a documentary a while back of a family in a refugee camp. The image of the father crying, showing the conditions in which his family live, has stuck with me. It's awful. So sad. I wish we could take them all!

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    1. It's so fucked. I actually thought when I heard on the radio that Kevin Rudd had made a big announcement about Australia's refugee policy, that they were going to, I don't know, send a huge ship out to pick up a whole tonne of them. Such was my naivety.

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  8. Oh, also, I haven't linked up with The Lounge today, even though I really wanted to, because I haven't for a while, and I miss it, but my latest post isn't really focused on my "passions" per se, and if I was to write one, it would just be a long ranty rave about stuff that no one really wants to read about, so I'm just enjoying everyone else's posts. What a bunch of super-passionate peeps!

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    1. Never mind Lisa any time you feel like it just drop on by! I haven't been "feeling it" blogging wise at the moment anyway so I understand!

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  9. Here here, I couldn't have said it better myself. That photo of that camp in Jordon is horrific, imagine what it's like to live there - so sad :(
    I have nothing sorry Sass, just passionate about doing fug all right now and saying yes to really boring writing work because I am broke and can't be picky :( xx

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    1. God I wish I had some extra boring writing work to do, such is my lust for a bit of extra cash...xxx

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  10. Not much has inspired me to comment anywhere lately- no reflection on what I'm reading, just my lack of time and energy. But this is a great post and I'm so glad I clicked over today. Thanks

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  11. I don't like the current refugee policies either. It just doesn't sit right with me at all. My only small sense of conflict, is that I don't like people dying at sea, but I really don't know what is the best way to stop that happening. This feeling has nothing at all to do with not wanting refugees in our country.
    I was in the Navy when Tampa happened and then SIEV X. It was awful. I just knew in my heart that what was happening was wrong. SMH had a journalist Margo Kingston who blogged about it. It must have been the very early days of blogging. I would print out her pieces and various other opinion writings and made a little corner of protest in my office. Not a big deal really, but it meant a lot to me when I was surrounded by people who didn't care about the wrong and right of it all.

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  12. I tried to comment twice today but both times I was kicked off...

    What I wanted to say was that I think Australia is plenty big to help these people out. Surely, surely something can be worked out? The out of sight, out of mind mentality is disgraceful.

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  13. I am exactly the kind of person would put my family on a leaky boat in the hopes of securing them a better life. Well said Slapdash. x

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  14. I am exactly the kind of person who would put my family on a leaky boat in hope of a better life. Well said Slapdash. x

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  15. You really are a true kindred spirit NS - in the real world (outside of the fluff that is mostly Fudge) - there is little I feel more passionate about than the right people have to be safe and unafraid and the responsibilities that lies with all of us to support and champion that view - great post lovely xx

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  17. Im furious that other matters are not discussed due to fear mongering whipped up by both major parties with their eyes on a few key seats.

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  18. Back again I heard Dame Carol Kidu on radio discussing the effects of that could result when refugees are settled in PNG. In PNG there is no land avaialble for new settlers as land ownership is part of long time tribal laws. Also once settled the effect of new people receiving Australian benefits in a country with no welfare system.

    There are also other issues in PNG that this poor country ,though rich in resources ,has to contend with and we "dump"asylum seekers on them


    BTW Dame Carol Kidu is a Queenslander who served in the PNG parliament for many years

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  19. Abso-freaking-lutely! I am MAD as mustard about the latest asylum seeker mud slinging match and the 'PNG solution'. I blogged about it recently too - http://www.freezecheese.com/wheres-the-compassion/

    I can't believ it is even an issue in this country and I am so embarassed that when we have so much to offer these poor people that we turn away. It's awful. I hope the whole world doesn't think we are all a bunch of racist assholes.

    ARRRRRGGGGGGHHHHH!!!

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Vent your spleen! You know you want to.

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