Safety First . . . Or Second . . . Or Third?

5 January 2010

Today I met a lovely woman from Sierra Leone.  She came to Australia as a refugee a year ago.  She hasn’t seen her husband or children for 8 years.  She has no idea where they are or whether they’re alive.

I also read today a speech that the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott, made about refugees and asylum seekers.  He’s berating the Government for not sending out stronger signals that there is no place for these people in Australia.  In an attempt to appear caring and considerate, he expressed concern that the Government is actively encouraging people to put their lives at risk by undertaking this journey in unsafe and ‘leaky’ boats (his word).

And how should the Government discourage asylum seekers from committing such dangerous acts of folly?  Well,  apparently it should force them to turn around and return them whence they came. 

In unsafe and leaky boats, Mr Abbott?  Surely not. 

But he didn’t mention anything about giving them safer craft for their return journey. 



  1. Bastardry.

    I’d really like the people who spout this rubbish to have a chat with someone like the woman you met today. Or the Timorese man I heard of who placed his two teenage sons in a hollowed out log with an outboard hoping they would make it to Australia, knowing they might die, but taking the risk because he KNEW the Indonesian military would kill them if they stayed.

    Having a child now, it fair breaks my heart to think of the choices these people are faced with, and how awful must be the other alternatives if getting on a leaky boat seems like a good decision.


  2. Arse.

    Him, not you.

  3. He’s a fuckwit. And nasty with it. Dare I say it? Worse than Howard the coward. Last night he started taking about what the govt should do to fix the health porfolio – he’s the one who left the bloody mess they’ve got to clean up!

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