There must be some things that are above politics. Massive amounts of money are being spent on playing politics with refugees and that is not acceptable. That money, if spent effectively could make a real difference. Australia has cut foreign aid not to aid refugees but to finance the race to the bottom between Abbott and Gillard.
Money is not the problem. It is how that money is spent that matters. What is the cost of off shore processing? What is the cost of indefinite detention? How could that money be better spent?
I do not have any simple answer. This is a case where Einstein’s quote is appropriate. Every problem has a simple solution, and it is nearly always wrong.
The simplistic ‘Stop the boats’ ‘protect our borders’ rhetoric is disgusting. It appeals only to the most base herd instincts of a section of society targeted by Abbott and allies like Alan Jones. Instead of just letting Abbott have the gutter to himself, Gillard seems intent in following him into it without the understanding that not all Australians live in the gutter. There are many Australians who being drowned out by the insane wailing’s of hate and prejudice that has become the dominant feature of Australian politics.
This can only act to reinforce the power of the very worst Australia has to offer and ignores the voice of moderate/thinking Australians who are able to go past party politics and act with compassion.
There are no simple answers, but I suggest a place to start is to look at what the problem is and what resources we have to help. If we can get to grips with what is needed and what we have we could do much more with the resources available.
The problem is not boat people. The problem is complex but basically it usually results from the need for people to flee their country to escape death, destruction and oppression. After surviving and escaping horrific conditions getting to Indonesia getting on a leaky boat to take the short trip from Indonesia to Christmas Island is nothing.
Stop the boats, boarder protection are only empty words used to justify policies corrupted by the most base of party politics with nothing to offer except an insatiable lust for power.
I would like to see both major parties call a truce and work together to get the best possible outcome for refugees. That will not happen until sufficient numbers of people are willing to tell both parties ‘Enough is enough.’