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Kids in detention camps – crazy!

John Hargreaves 20 April 2015 89

john hargreaves hostel

In 1952, when I was three, my parents emigrated from England to Australia and we went to a migrant hostel in Bonegilla in Victoria; later we went to other hostels at Bradfield Park and East Hills in Sydney.

My memories are varied of this time but I’ll share with you some of them.

I remember living in a three roomed Nissen hut. We ate our meals in the canteen and showered and went to the toilet in the ablution blocks. Our “house” had no heating or cooking facilities, so my mum got a kerosene heater and sometimes she cooked some potatoes and peas in a three segment saucepan on the top of the heater.

There was a two teacher school on the second hostel and the teachers were Catholic nuns, Mother Angela and Mother Borgia. They were formidable and very strict. There was also a chapel on the hostel and as a six-year-old, I served Mass as an altar boy for the 7am Mass. In 1953, during our stay at Bradfield Park, my brother was born.

We moved to East Hills hostel in about 1955 and I went to a school in Liverpool by school bus and played on the banks of the Georges River. Whilst we were on this hostel, in 1957 my first sister was born.

We moved out of the hostel in late 1957 and spent Christmas in a beachside suburb in Melbourne’s south. Imagine the mind blowing difference for a young eight-year-old whose only memories are of a migrant camp.

I had lived in a camp for nearly six years, with barely any comforts at all. But at least TV came to Australia and my did gave me 6d to go to the theatre and watch the Mickey Mouse show once a week.

I didn’t know that there was another world out there until we went to Victoria. I still have crystal clear memories of the poverty and barrenness of those hostels. A visit to Bonegilla recently brought back horrible memories.

In all of this though, whilst the camps had barbed wire fences round them, the fences were to keep the bad guys out, not us poms, wogs, and other ethnics, in. The gates were open during the day, so people could go to work or school, to go shopping or just go down to the river and play. We were not regarded as criminals, just “ethnics” and ten-pound poms.

Now fast forward to the detention camps on Christmas Island and Nauru. Think about the detention camps in Western Australia, South Australia, the Northern Territory and NSW. Villawood is not the same as East Hills or Bradfield Park. The detention camps are far worse.

We have treated the asylum seekers and their children like criminals. Whatever, people may think of the adults it is crystal clear to me that the worse victims of all this are the kids.

I believe that the adults must have been so desperate to risk the lives of their wives and kids that they boarded leaky boats and headed for Australia, no matter the role of people smugglers etc. I know many readers will disagree with me on this but I hope they all agree about the kids.

There has been hardly a peep about how many terrorists have been found among the asylum seekers so why can’t they be treated like the migrants similar to my family?

Why can’t the kids go out of the gates to play? Why can’t the kids get a decent education among ordinary Aussie kids? Why can’t their mums and dads go to work and come home again like ordinary families? Why must they be treated like murderers, paedophiles and seriously violent criminals?

How many of you have seen the photos of the kids in the detention camps and have not felt a sorrow for them? How many of you have seen the appalling conditions they live in and haven’t felt some revulsion? How many of you have seen the tent city on Nauru and haven’t thought “I’m glad that’s not me or my kids”?

The current government should back down on all of this and show compassion to the world. The current opposition should back that move. They are as bad as each other and preside in shame.

Both sides of politics are complicit in the theft of the kids’ childhoods, the encouragement for radicalisation in young men and the sense of despair and hopelessness in those incarcerated in those camps and I don’t care where the camps are.

When I tell my story, and I leave a lot out, people say to me ”how come you were in a migrant camp for that long when the usual length of stay was in months not years?” The reasons don’t matter, but I can say that it was not because some heartless bureaucrat decided to sentence my family for an introduction to Australia (the land of our dreams) like the asylum seekers, but economic refugees we were. It was not because of discriminatory government policy.

I was free. Asylum kids are not. Their sad eyes come to me in my sleep.

(Photo: John Hargreaves as a child at a migrant hostel in Sydney.)


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Kids in detention camps – crazy!
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JC 1:29 pm 26 Apr 15

dungfungus said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

John Hargreaves said “If I was the PM, I would properly fund aid programs and processing centres for asylum seekers in the country of origin.”
How do you know what country half the current boat loads are coming from, if they have no documentation to prove it? Then, if you do know, how are you going to set up these centers when the countries they are fleeing from are the oppressors? Do you think they would give Australia permission to set up and run a detention center housing thousands, all funded by taxpayers? How much will that cost when it becomes so easy for everyone in that nation to just rock up and say “Let me in.”? That is the equivalent of just giving everyone a free plane ticket to Oz as long as they just claim oppression.
Going on from that, these “processing” centers would become prime targets for the oppressing forces, pretty much rounding up all of their problems in one spot, easy to eliminate the whole lot with one missile. That wouldn’t be very smart at all.

John Hargreaves also said “They are not terrorists in thinly veiled disguise.” Again I say, how do you know when they ditched all their paperwork before coming onto our soil?
If they come here with proof of identity, then you have something to process, otherwise they are possible threats to our nation and it’s people until proven otherwise.

The guy who murdered two Aussies in the Martin Place siege was an Iranian asylum seeker who came by boat.

He was an asylum seeker but not one that came by boat. He arrived (presumably on a plane) with a valid visa and then sought asylum when he got here. But don’t let the truth get in the way.

“He arrived (presumably on a plane)…..”
You are half-right as he definitely arrived.
I am surprised that you have not actually confirmed his flight number and day of arrival.
I don’t mind be brought to account if I have made an error but your presumption that he arrived by air without proof is just as erroneous.

He didn’t arrive on a boat, unless it was a cruise ship. That is for sure and it is a fact that he arrived with a visa and then claim asylum. SO no comparison what so ever.

Oh remind me when did he arrive? Yes 1996 and was granted asylum by a Liebral immigration minister. Oh dear.

dungfungus 11:16 am 26 Apr 15

JC said :

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

John Hargreaves said “If I was the PM, I would properly fund aid programs and processing centres for asylum seekers in the country of origin.”
How do you know what country half the current boat loads are coming from, if they have no documentation to prove it? Then, if you do know, how are you going to set up these centers when the countries they are fleeing from are the oppressors? Do you think they would give Australia permission to set up and run a detention center housing thousands, all funded by taxpayers? How much will that cost when it becomes so easy for everyone in that nation to just rock up and say “Let me in.”? That is the equivalent of just giving everyone a free plane ticket to Oz as long as they just claim oppression.
Going on from that, these “processing” centers would become prime targets for the oppressing forces, pretty much rounding up all of their problems in one spot, easy to eliminate the whole lot with one missile. That wouldn’t be very smart at all.

John Hargreaves also said “They are not terrorists in thinly veiled disguise.” Again I say, how do you know when they ditched all their paperwork before coming onto our soil?
If they come here with proof of identity, then you have something to process, otherwise they are possible threats to our nation and it’s people until proven otherwise.

The guy who murdered two Aussies in the Martin Place siege was an Iranian asylum seeker who came by boat.

He was an asylum seeker but not one that came by boat. He arrived (presumably on a plane) with a valid visa and then sought asylum when he got here. But don’t let the truth get in the way.

“He arrived (presumably on a plane)…..”
You are half-right as he definitely arrived.
I am surprised that you have not actually confirmed his flight number and day of arrival.
I don’t mind be brought to account if I have made an error but your presumption that he arrived by air without proof is just as erroneous.

Masquara 11:05 am 26 Apr 15

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

The left is having a lot of difficulty dealing with this link, especially as it has been related to boy journalists from the NY Times.

The great thing is that Abbott has banned all information on boat arrivals so he can say anything he wants and it’s “true”. Also who can object to invisible asylum seekers? Can’t see them, they’re not there!

We did the same to the Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis, so have a proud tradition to uphold.

Of course if we become the refugees we will just force our way into New Zealand, so that won’t be a problem.

A boat was sent back to Vietnam only the other day, and it was quite openly discussed by the govt.

dungfungus 11:24 am 25 Apr 15

rubaiyat said :

dungfungus said :

The left is having a lot of difficulty dealing with this link, especially as it has been related to boy journalists from the NY Times.

The great thing is that Abbott has banned all information on boat arrivals so he can say anything he wants and it’s “true”. Also who can object to invisible asylum seekers? Can’t see them, they’re not there!

We did the same to the Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis, so have a proud tradition to uphold.

Of course if we become the refugees we will just force our way into New Zealand, so that won’t be a problem.

Do you have “other” information that there have been boat arrivals recently? No, you don’t.
So why bag Abbott?

rubaiyat 2:21 am 25 Apr 15

dungfungus said :

The left is having a lot of difficulty dealing with this link, especially as it has been related to boy journalists from the NY Times.

The great thing is that Abbott has banned all information on boat arrivals so he can say anything he wants and it’s “true”. Also who can object to invisible asylum seekers? Can’t see them, they’re not there!

We did the same to the Jewish refugees fleeing the Nazis, so have a proud tradition to uphold.

Of course if we become the refugees we will just force our way into New Zealand, so that won’t be a problem.

JC 12:05 am 25 Apr 15

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

John Hargreaves said “If I was the PM, I would properly fund aid programs and processing centres for asylum seekers in the country of origin.”
How do you know what country half the current boat loads are coming from, if they have no documentation to prove it? Then, if you do know, how are you going to set up these centers when the countries they are fleeing from are the oppressors? Do you think they would give Australia permission to set up and run a detention center housing thousands, all funded by taxpayers? How much will that cost when it becomes so easy for everyone in that nation to just rock up and say “Let me in.”? That is the equivalent of just giving everyone a free plane ticket to Oz as long as they just claim oppression.
Going on from that, these “processing” centers would become prime targets for the oppressing forces, pretty much rounding up all of their problems in one spot, easy to eliminate the whole lot with one missile. That wouldn’t be very smart at all.

John Hargreaves also said “They are not terrorists in thinly veiled disguise.” Again I say, how do you know when they ditched all their paperwork before coming onto our soil?
If they come here with proof of identity, then you have something to process, otherwise they are possible threats to our nation and it’s people until proven otherwise.

The guy who murdered two Aussies in the Martin Place siege was an Iranian asylum seeker who came by boat.

He was an asylum seeker but not one that came by boat. He arrived (presumably on a plane) with a valid visa and then sought asylum when he got here. But don’t let the truth get in the way.

JC 12:01 am 25 Apr 15

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

If a boatload of Christians fleeing massacres by ISIS turns up I would expect that they would be escorted to the place they departed from. This is the current policy.

To be murdered hey. But guess not happening here, so not your problem.

They wouldn’t be murdered in Indonsia, because that’s where the boat would have come from.

I think it’s incredibly sad that children are getting caught up in all this. It’s also sad that people leave their homeland because they have completely lost hope.

The question is, though, how best to help.

Actually no. One can but assume if there is no boat to Australia then there is no need to go to Indonesia, so the point remains they will remain where they will possibly be persecuted and murdered.

Masquara 9:39 pm 24 Apr 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

John Hargreaves also said “They are not terrorists in thinly veiled disguise.” Again I say, how do you know when they ditched all their paperwork before coming onto our soil?
If they come here with proof of identity, then you have something to process, otherwise they are possible threats to our nation and it’s people until proven otherwise.

Too many of our young jihadists are from refugee families. And the news that “refugees” threw 15 Christians overboard in the Mediterranean last week is extremely worrying. How do we know that’s an isolated mentality?

dungfungus 4:26 pm 24 Apr 15

wildturkeycanoe said :

John Hargreaves said “If I was the PM, I would properly fund aid programs and processing centres for asylum seekers in the country of origin.”
How do you know what country half the current boat loads are coming from, if they have no documentation to prove it? Then, if you do know, how are you going to set up these centers when the countries they are fleeing from are the oppressors? Do you think they would give Australia permission to set up and run a detention center housing thousands, all funded by taxpayers? How much will that cost when it becomes so easy for everyone in that nation to just rock up and say “Let me in.”? That is the equivalent of just giving everyone a free plane ticket to Oz as long as they just claim oppression.
Going on from that, these “processing” centers would become prime targets for the oppressing forces, pretty much rounding up all of their problems in one spot, easy to eliminate the whole lot with one missile. That wouldn’t be very smart at all.

John Hargreaves also said “They are not terrorists in thinly veiled disguise.” Again I say, how do you know when they ditched all their paperwork before coming onto our soil?
If they come here with proof of identity, then you have something to process, otherwise they are possible threats to our nation and it’s people until proven otherwise.

The guy who murdered two Aussies in the Martin Place siege was an Iranian asylum seeker who came by boat.

wildturkeycanoe 4:15 pm 24 Apr 15

John Hargreaves said “If I was the PM, I would properly fund aid programs and processing centres for asylum seekers in the country of origin.”
How do you know what country half the current boat loads are coming from, if they have no documentation to prove it? Then, if you do know, how are you going to set up these centers when the countries they are fleeing from are the oppressors? Do you think they would give Australia permission to set up and run a detention center housing thousands, all funded by taxpayers? How much will that cost when it becomes so easy for everyone in that nation to just rock up and say “Let me in.”? That is the equivalent of just giving everyone a free plane ticket to Oz as long as they just claim oppression.
Going on from that, these “processing” centers would become prime targets for the oppressing forces, pretty much rounding up all of their problems in one spot, easy to eliminate the whole lot with one missile. That wouldn’t be very smart at all.

John Hargreaves also said “They are not terrorists in thinly veiled disguise.” Again I say, how do you know when they ditched all their paperwork before coming onto our soil?
If they come here with proof of identity, then you have something to process, otherwise they are possible threats to our nation and it’s people until proven otherwise.

dungfungus 3:36 pm 24 Apr 15

VYBerlinaV8_is_back said :

JC said :

dungfungus said :

If a boatload of Christians fleeing massacres by ISIS turns up I would expect that they would be escorted to the place they departed from. This is the current policy.

To be murdered hey. But guess not happening here, so not your problem.

They wouldn’t be murdered in Indonsia, because that’s where the boat would have come from.

I think it’s incredibly sad that children are getting caught up in all this. It’s also sad that people leave their homeland because they have completely lost hope.

The question is, though, how best to help.

I doubt if Christian asylum seekers would be allowed to transit through Indonesia. They murder enough Christians in Indonesia as it is.
The Muslim asylum seekers that were coming to Australia from the middle east usually flew (with passport) to Malaysia or Indonesia first, those countries being Muslim and allowing other Muslims in, no questions.
After facilitation payments are made to certain operators they catch a boat in a south westerly direction.
You know the rest.
If they were coming from the middle east they would take their chances and go by boat to Italy and onto Europe; Australia wouldn’t be possible.

dungfungus 3:29 pm 24 Apr 15

dungfungus said :

Mysteryman said :

John Hargreaves said :

You are half right. I hate the idea of kids being detained anywhere. And… look at the number of seekers who have had their cases sustained. the vast majority. These are desperate people not inanimate objects, numbers. The deaths at sea were a crash onto rocks not in the open ocean. Remember the lies about the kids overboard?

Where do people think that the seekers will abscond to if allowed to go out of a camp? It should take no longer than 6 weeks to give people health checks and no longer than a couple of months to check bona fides.

It should. And it would, if the unlawful non-citizens stopped intentionally destroying their documentation and passports before arriving here.

Read this, John:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/magazine/the-impossible-refugee-boat-lift-to-christmas-island.html?pagewanted=all

It’s written by a journalist who did the boat journey to Australia with a load of “refugees” in 2013. It wasn’t widely reported by the media in Australia because it simply doesn’t line up with the narrative that you and others like you are pushing. What you’ll see is that most of the “refugees” traveled through numerous countries to get here, and chose not to resettle in any of them because by their own admission they were not fleeing persecution or in fear of their lives, but rather seeking economic improvement and a more comfortable life. They also paid the equivalent of multiple airfares to do so. They could have spend the same money taking their whole family on an actual flight to Australia, which would have been safer and faster. They didn’t though, because they’re would be no chance of making falsified claims for asylum.

I have no problem with people wanting to come to Australia for a better life and more stable economy. But when they arrive illegally on boats, destroying their documentation so the government can’t verify their claims and jumping ahead of those who chose to come through the correct channels, I become resistant. Especially when people who are genuinely in need of help are being ignored.

Read the article, John. It would do you good to have some more insight on this issue.

The left is having a lot of difficulty dealing with this link, especially as it has been related to boy journalists from the NY Times.

should read “related by journalists at the NY Times”

VYBerlinaV8_is_back 2:35 pm 24 Apr 15

JC said :

dungfungus said :

If a boatload of Christians fleeing massacres by ISIS turns up I would expect that they would be escorted to the place they departed from. This is the current policy.

To be murdered hey. But guess not happening here, so not your problem.

They wouldn’t be murdered in Indonsia, because that’s where the boat would have come from.

I think it’s incredibly sad that children are getting caught up in all this. It’s also sad that people leave their homeland because they have completely lost hope.

The question is, though, how best to help.

dungfungus 2:07 pm 24 Apr 15

Mysteryman said :

John Hargreaves said :

You are half right. I hate the idea of kids being detained anywhere. And… look at the number of seekers who have had their cases sustained. the vast majority. These are desperate people not inanimate objects, numbers. The deaths at sea were a crash onto rocks not in the open ocean. Remember the lies about the kids overboard?

Where do people think that the seekers will abscond to if allowed to go out of a camp? It should take no longer than 6 weeks to give people health checks and no longer than a couple of months to check bona fides.

It should. And it would, if the unlawful non-citizens stopped intentionally destroying their documentation and passports before arriving here.

Read this, John:

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/17/magazine/the-impossible-refugee-boat-lift-to-christmas-island.html?pagewanted=all

It’s written by a journalist who did the boat journey to Australia with a load of “refugees” in 2013. It wasn’t widely reported by the media in Australia because it simply doesn’t line up with the narrative that you and others like you are pushing. What you’ll see is that most of the “refugees” traveled through numerous countries to get here, and chose not to resettle in any of them because by their own admission they were not fleeing persecution or in fear of their lives, but rather seeking economic improvement and a more comfortable life. They also paid the equivalent of multiple airfares to do so. They could have spend the same money taking their whole family on an actual flight to Australia, which would have been safer and faster. They didn’t though, because they’re would be no chance of making falsified claims for asylum.

I have no problem with people wanting to come to Australia for a better life and more stable economy. But when they arrive illegally on boats, destroying their documentation so the government can’t verify their claims and jumping ahead of those who chose to come through the correct channels, I become resistant. Especially when people who are genuinely in need of help are being ignored.

Read the article, John. It would do you good to have some more insight on this issue.

The left is having a lot of difficulty dealing with this link, especially as it has been related to boy journalists from the NY Times.

dungfungus 1:49 pm 24 Apr 15

JC said :

dungfungus said :

If a boatload of Christians fleeing massacres by ISIS turns up I would expect that they would be escorted to the place they departed from. This is the current policy.

To be murdered hey. But guess not happening here, so not your problem.

That’s right – it’s not our problem.

JC 11:44 am 24 Apr 15

dungfungus said :

If a boatload of Christians fleeing massacres by ISIS turns up I would expect that they would be escorted to the place they departed from. This is the current policy.

To be murdered hey. But guess not happening here, so not your problem.

dungfungus 11:14 am 24 Apr 15

vintage123 said :

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

“How many of you have seen the photos of the kids in the detention camps and have not felt a sorrow for them? How many of you have seen the appalling conditions they live in and haven’t felt some revulsion? How many of you have seen the tent city on Nauru and haven’t thought “I’m glad that’s not me or my kids”?”
I feel better knowing these children are alive and not being turned into sex slaves or future suicide bombers. Unfortunately they also brought with them the people who think the way that their oppressors do. Sorting the good from the bad is made so much more difficult when they haven’t anything to prove who they are or where their allegiances lie. Thus is the problem with what to do with asylum seekers, knowing if they are genuine or not.

I haven’t seen any photos of any kids in any Australian detention camp.
I think you are being too emotive on this issue.
The people who may have come with these kids you refer to would be their parents, right?

I have seen the children first hand, and some of them do not have their parents in Australia with them. This makes it very difficult to find timely solutions.

Why do the parents send the children to Australia in the first place? I could be cynical and suggest that it is a ruse to have Australia “adopt” the children so they can then apply to have their family (not just parents) come here under the family reunion scheme.
The plan doesn’t seem to work so somehow it becomes Australia’s fault? Give me a break.

dungfungus 10:56 am 24 Apr 15

John Hargreaves said :

chewy14 said :

John Hargreaves said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

“How many of you have seen the photos of the kids in the detention camps and have not felt a sorrow for them? How many of you have seen the appalling conditions they live in and haven’t felt some revulsion? How many of you have seen the tent city on Nauru and haven’t thought “I’m glad that’s not me or my kids”?”
I feel better knowing these children are alive and not being turned into sex slaves or future suicide bombers. Unfortunately they also brought with them the people who think the way that their oppressors do. Sorting the good from the bad is made so much more difficult when they haven’t anything to prove who they are or where their allegiances lie. Thus is the problem with what to do with asylum seekers, knowing if they are genuine or not.

It is this sort of thinking and bigotry that stops compassionate people fro reaching out the hand of friendship. There are some ugly things happening in the world and some happen here in the desert. But we can’t and don’t have the right to judge a whole people by the actions of a (large) number of zealots bent on destruction those who oppose their views. They are not religious – they are control freaks and mad men and women.

Those who come to our shores are running away form those mad people and we should take them in. FULL STOP.

Interesting that you chose to respond to this post but not my far more reasonable question in the post before it.

Can I take from your last sentence then that you would place no limit on Australia’s refugee intake and that you believe we should accept any and all refugees that arrive on our shores?

If I was the PM, I would properly fund aid programs and processing centres for asylum seekers in the country of origin. I would also turn no boats back because this is not the compassionate thing to do. These people are desperate. They are not terrorists in thinly veiled disguise.

I would ensure that the children of these asylum seekers are given succour and education and good health and a childhood.

I wouldn’t send our troops into those theatres of war which generate the need for these asylum seekers to flee.

This is indeed a complicated question and one on which I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I have my views and hope that they contribute to someone out there who can come up with a solution, but I reject the positions of both sides of parliament at the moment.

In relation to posts banging on about the “Muslim invasion”, can I remind folks that previously it was the Vietnamese, some of whom were Buddhists and some Catholics, and more recently, asylum seekers came from North Africa and there is a smattering of all religions in that group.

What if there was a boat load of Christians fleeing massacres by ISIS? would you turn them back or send them to Nauru? Methinks not.

John, it is not too late for you to have another go in politics and if you become PM you can try an implement your policies. Good luck with the Senate.
If a boatload of Christians fleeing massacres by ISIS turns up I would expect that they would be escorted to the place they departed from. This is the current policy.

chewy14 10:45 am 24 Apr 15

John Hargreaves said :

chewy14 said :

John Hargreaves said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

“How many of you have seen the photos of the kids in the detention camps and have not felt a sorrow for them? How many of you have seen the appalling conditions they live in and haven’t felt some revulsion? How many of you have seen the tent city on Nauru and haven’t thought “I’m glad that’s not me or my kids”?”
I feel better knowing these children are alive and not being turned into sex slaves or future suicide bombers. Unfortunately they also brought with them the people who think the way that their oppressors do. Sorting the good from the bad is made so much more difficult when they haven’t anything to prove who they are or where their allegiances lie. Thus is the problem with what to do with asylum seekers, knowing if they are genuine or not.

It is this sort of thinking and bigotry that stops compassionate people fro reaching out the hand of friendship. There are some ugly things happening in the world and some happen here in the desert. But we can’t and don’t have the right to judge a whole people by the actions of a (large) number of zealots bent on destruction those who oppose their views. They are not religious – they are control freaks and mad men and women.

Those who come to our shores are running away form those mad people and we should take them in. FULL STOP.

Interesting that you chose to respond to this post but not my far more reasonable question in the post before it.

Can I take from your last sentence then that you would place no limit on Australia’s refugee intake and that you believe we should accept any and all refugees that arrive on our shores?

If I was the PM, I would properly fund aid programs and processing centres for asylum seekers in the country of origin. I would also turn no boats back because this is not the compassionate thing to do. These people are desperate. They are not terrorists in thinly veiled disguise.

I would ensure that the children of these asylum seekers are given succour and education and good health and a childhood.

I wouldn’t send our troops into those theatres of war which generate the need for these asylum seekers to flee.

This is indeed a complicated question and one on which I don’t pretend to have all the answers. I have my views and hope that they contribute to someone out there who can come up with a solution, but I reject the positions of both sides of parliament at the moment.

In relation to posts banging on about the “Muslim invasion”, can I remind folks that previously it was the Vietnamese, some of whom were Buddhists and some Catholics, and more recently, asylum seekers came from North Africa and there is a smattering of all religions in that group.

What if there was a boat load of Christians fleeing massacres by ISIS? would you turn them back or send them to Nauru? Methinks not.

I agree with you on regional processing centres but that’s about as far as it goes.

As soon as you allow boat arrivals, you create a massive pull factor that will overwhelm any legitimate program you try to institute.

You would be committing Australia to ever increasing numbers of arrivals, no possible way of processing them effectively and no end to the costs that such a policy would entail. You would also be ensuring that many hundreds would die whilst making the dangerous boat journey across whilst creating large amounts of social tension in the community as a whole.

No, most of the boat arrivals aren’t terrorists in disguise and a majority may be travelling from areas of the world that aren’t very nice places to live. A majority of them may have indeed been fleeing persecution in their country of origin. All of them are seeking a better life for themselves and their families.

But none of this makes them Australia’s responsibility. We simply cannot open our borders to all comers and it’s ridiculous to even suggest it as a legitimate policy, without being fully aware of the social and economic cost that it would have to our country.

The refugee convention is completely outdated and needs rewriting for a world where international air travel is available to almost all. No longer are most/all refugees crossing borders on foot to escape being killed. Those who can afford it are hopping on planes and travelling through multiple “safe” countries until they can hop on a boat to their country of choice where they hope and expect to be resettled. It’s not what the convention was meant for and degrades people’s faith in its execution and fairness.

We need a new global agreement, where those who are most in need of help and most in danger of persecution are processed in an orderly fashion and resettled across the globe if needed. Obviously the large amount of global refugees will make this difficult and the first option should always be resettlement in their home country once safe. There should be absolutely zero possibility of those with the money and means being able to bypass this global agreement by simply forcing themselves on countries. There should be no “better life” clause, equity should be paramount.

And if a boatload of Christians arrived fleeing massacres by ISIS, then they would be treated exactly the same and subject to the same processes as everyone else. Why would you think any differently?

John Hargreaves 9:43 am 24 Apr 15

dungfungus said :

wildturkeycanoe said :

“How many of you have seen the photos of the kids in the detention camps and have not felt a sorrow for them? How many of you have seen the appalling conditions they live in and haven’t felt some revulsion? How many of you have seen the tent city on Nauru and haven’t thought “I’m glad that’s not me or my kids”?”
I feel better knowing these children are alive and not being turned into sex slaves or future suicide bombers. Unfortunately they also brought with them the people who think the way that their oppressors do. Sorting the good from the bad is made so much more difficult when they haven’t anything to prove who they are or where their allegiances lie. Thus is the problem with what to do with asylum seekers, knowing if they are genuine or not.

I haven’t seen any photos of any kids in any Australian detention camp.
I think you are being too emotive on this issue.
The people who may have come with these kids you refer to would be their parents, right?

How about the 5 year old in detention in Darwin. She developed all sorts of hideous psychological problems on Nauru resulting in over sexualisation (for a 5 year old!) and self harm. This was not some political statement by an adult, it is a child of five years old, Who is going to save her? Who is going to protect her? who is going to give her back her childhood? Who is going to love her?

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