OK, then. I’ve been sick for weeks and weeks, and haven’t had the brains or the energy to write about politics, not even the enduring delight that is the ongoing citizenship drama surrounding our elected leaders. Also, being sick for so long is making me depressed, so apologies if this post is rather more cynical than usual.
But this stuff on Manus Island is awful. Even for us, it’s awful. As far as I can tell, the goal is to starve asylum seekers into agreeing to go back to their countries of origin so that they can be killed out of sight.
And yes, that sounds melodramatic and awful, but when you actually have people saying that they are choosing to stay because they would rather die here than elsewhere… well, that’s pretty horrific. I’d say it was calling the Government’s bluff, only I don’t think they are bluffing. I have a terrible, terrible feeling that if we woke up tomorrow to learn that the 606 men left on Nauru had died, either of untreated illnesses, or infection, or by violence, or of thirst, our Government would make noises about country-shoppers being misled by evil refugee advocates and be quietly satisfied that *now* the boats would surely stop coming.
Only I’m not sure that the boats would stop coming, because when the house is on fire, people tend to jump out the window, even if it’s a long drop to the ground. Boarding up the windows doesn’t fix the problem, it just means you don’t see the people burning to death inside.
Anyway. There really isn’t much I can say here that I haven’t said many, many times before, so I’ll keep this brief, and then hand over to others who can speak to this better.
I will say, though, that this time? I’m not saying #BringThemHere. I don’t think we can be trusted with them. I think we should take New Zealand up on its offer and support sending these poor men to a country that will actually look after them, and not change its mind and send them back to prison or to their countries of origin when the political wind changes again. Though that still leaves 450 people un-housed…