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.