Nothing will put one into a state of temporary frenzy than a good rally or demo. On Saturday, I marched with a couple of hundred people from the Mint Oval to Parliament House in support of a walk from Adelaide to Canberra by Adam Richards and his son Ned.
Adam is an Adelaide lawyer and Ned is his 13-year-old son. They were supported along the way by Adam’s wife and daughter and a bunch of people as a support team.
Regular Rioter Chris Mordd has written on Adam and Ned’s journey and is doing all sorts of stuff online to highlight the issues dear to those guys’ hearts. And that issue is the plight of the refugees languishing in camps on Manus Island and Nauru. Look for Chris’s articles – a good read.
Now normally, I would respect journalistic precedence and give way to Chris for coverage of this event but there is an aspect of this which has really got my goat!
When I got home from the walk from Deakin to Parly House, I saw the paper edition of the Crimes, which was not on my front lawn as expected this glorious morning but was delivered by a nice gentleman later in the morning. I had not had the time to look at the paper before going on the walk. I looked at it when I got home.
So, after reading the article about my good friend Omar on the Muslims for Progressive Values, an article I commend to Rioters, I skipped through the usual gumph until I saw an article about a Deputy High Commissioner for the UK. The innocuous article had the effect of throwing me into a white-hot rage.
I had walked from the Mint Oval with people who were so concerned about the plight of the asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru, that they were prepared to give up their time to support the walk from Adelaide of Adam and Ned, who chanted “Let’s have love and no fear … close the camps, bring them here!” or words to that effect and more chants like “Hey Mr Trumble, we’re talking to you, close Manus Island and Nauru”. We heard speeches outlining the plight of those souls incarcerated for seeking succour from the fear of extermination, who had such fear of remaining in their homeland that they risked their lives and the lives of their kids on the open sea.
We heard stories of deprivation, abuse, chemical jailing; we heard stories of people at risk of suicide being given a weeks’ supply of sleeping pills because they had trouble sleeping for fear of nightmares.
We heard tales of rape, of violence, of mental abuse inside and outside the barbed wire of the camps. We heard tales of family separation, of kids being born in jail and growing up not knowing a member of the opposite sex except online.
We heard that the crime that these people had committed was that they had tried to jump the queue in refugee processing, notwithstanding that the queue is inordinately long for processing and their fear of death and persecution could not wait that long. But did they know that they would be found to be genuine refugees but still have to be incarcerated for over three or four years on an island of fourth world status?
So off I went and supported the cause. I believe that the Federal Government and my own party, the ALP, have got it wrong. They could grandfather these souls and pass prospective legislation dealing with people smugglers and any future boat arrivals.
So also, I came away feeling slightly enraged that both sides of Parliament were hard-hearted and that the pollies who supported the same position I hold, are too gutless to come out publicly.
Imagine my rage then, when I spotted the article about how the Deputy High Commissioner for the UK had decided to stay in Oz after his stint here in Canberra was over. And further into the article was the example of how the former deputy chief of mission for the US Embassy did the same thing! The article went on to quote the New Zealand High Commissioner who noted several people who stayed in Canberra or returned several times, including himself!
Now I have not truck with people wanting to return here several times but I do have a problem with people who can stay forever because they liked it when they stayed here. I’ll bet they didn’t apply for permanent residency as soon as they got here! They received special treatment and we all know it.
This has the stench of a rotten fish! Some people can’t stay here because they haven’t been through offshore processing, even if their refugee bona fides have been proven, but if you are a diplomat, you can stay! Hello! Hypocrisy at its worst!
Finally, this smacks of Trumpism … but at least, and for the first and probably last time, I agree with Trump. This swap deal is a bad deal. If it were to feature on Deal or No Deal, I’d cross my arms and say … No Deal!
Just stop for a moment and consider this little extra thing that not many people have tweaked to. The asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru have been processed under Australian law and have been found to be genuine refugees. But no cigar!
But the people in Costa Rican camps can come to Australia under the deal done by our Prime Hamster, Mr Trumble and yet they haven’t been processed under Australian Law and not only that, no one has indicated that they will be. Contrast that to Trump saying that the Manus Island and Nauru detainees have to go through “extreme vetting”. Which is code for … I don’t reckon they can come to the US because they come from one of the seven naughty countries.
The rank hypocrisy of the gumment enraged me so much that I had an apoplectic fit! And I’m not over it yet!