I realise that the appropriate response to the news that the Australian Government plans to turn asylum seekers living in the community out onto the streets with no income is not exasperation, but rather horror, fury, or grief, but I have to say, exasperation was what I went with on reading the news yesterday.
I mean, is it too much to ask for the government to only be appalling on one front at a time?
Seriously, guys. *Either* you get to destroy the Great Barrier Reef, *or* you can find new ways to pick on poor people, *or* you can waste $122 million on a divisive, non-binding postal survey about marriage equality which will do absolutely no good to anyone, *or* you can continue to pursue counterproductive policies that worsen the situation for indigenous Australians, *or* you can do horrible things to asylum seekers while calling the people who help them unAustralian. But you have to choose. You don’t get to do all of them. It’s not fair, and it’s just being greedy. What are the other politicians going to do when they want to be terrible, if you’ve already done everything?
You need to learn to share. Pick one horrible cause, and leave the others for someone else to play with.
Actually, no, don’t pick one horrible cause. Pick none of them. All of those things are disgusting, and I can’t honestly believe that everyone in the Coalition is as awful as those policies make them sound. There must be someone in there with a heart, surely…
Anyway, for me, the five stages of dealing with politics are exasperation, anger, depression, writing letters to politicians, and blog posts. I’ve done the first four, so here we are with number five.
Here are a couple of quotes from the letter that was apparently sent to asylum seekers:
“You will be expected to support yourself in the community until departing Australia… If you cannot find work to support yourself in Australia you will need to return to a regional processing country or any country where you have a right of residence.
“From Monday 28 August you will need to find money each week for your own accommodation costs. From this date, you will also be responsible for all your other living costs like food, clothing and transport. You are expected to sign the Code of Behaviour when you are released into the Australian community. The Code of Behaviour outlines how you are to behave in the community.”