Saturday, March 09, 2013

POLITICS: Refugee rhetoric that makes no sense

I really would hate to be John Nguyen. This young professional is the Liberal candidate for the Victorian seat of Chisholm. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Heck, it's a badge of honour to put your hand up for public office. And Nguyen isn't new to federal elections or to the area, having been candidate in the 2010 election.

But imagine what it is like to be candidate in a party whose major slogan would, if implemented during the late 1970's, would have seen you, your siblings and your grandparents locked up indefinitely in a detention centre and made to feel like "illegals". Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison keep screaming "stop the boats". Well guess what. The Liberal Candidate for Chisholm arrived in Australia in 1979. He fled Vietnam on a boat. He escaped communist persecution on a boat. One wonders whether Mr Abbott would have wanted to stop John Nguyen's boat from arriving. Fairfax Media reports Abbott visiting Nguyen at the Mulgrave Country Club. Abbott is quoted as follows:

''This is what modern Australia is all about,'' a beaming Abbott told the morning tea in Wheelers Hill. 
''This is today's Australia: a country that makes people from the four corners of the earth welcome because they have come here, not to change our way of life, but to join our way of life. They have come here not to detract from our country, but to add to it.''

Putting aside the issue of Abbott's policy on stopping persons fleeing persecution from arriving on boats (even if this is the only feasible method for them to get here), his logic sounds rather warped. On the one hand, he says that migrants do not wish to change our way of life. On the other hand, he says migrants have come to add to our way of life. How on earth does that work? How does adding to our way of life not involve a necessary change? Yet again we see how all this divisive bullsh*t rhetoric makes no sense.

Somehow I get the feeling that the Leader of the Opposition, a Rhodes scholar, doesn't believe alot of this crap.