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“An Orwellian Parallel Reality” **

25 March 2014

As you’ve probably gathered I’m not that keen on “offshore processing” of refugees and asylum seekers (I don’t even like the word “processing” denoting as it does slabs of meat). 

PNG Justice David Cannings instigated an enquiry into the human rights of the people being held in the detention centre there, including taking journalists last week to have a look around the place (and strangely it resembles in no way the paradise that Julie Bishop was raving about to John Humphreys on the BBC a couple of weeks ago). 

The Australian Government and the PNG Government have now decided to close this enquiry, believing that it serves no purpose.  No, it probably doesn’t.  If their human rights are found to have been breached, I don’t suppose anyone was going to do anything about it.

We are a huge country, with a high per capita income and a small population.   The number of people who have applied for asylum or refugee status here in the last few years wouldn’t fill a football stadium.  One third of the residents of Papua New Guinea on the other hand live on less than US$1.25 a day.  And we expect this country to take more people – for which I assume we’re paying them handsomely (or why would they even consider it?). 

My husband mentioned last week that everything about this Government is Orwellian.  And now the Guardian agrees with him. 

** Thank you Michelle Grattan of the Guardian for the lovely phrase.

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