An Unbiased Source – The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees

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The United Nations can hardly be accused of partisanship or of “bleeding heart” “commy” politics, just two of the inflammatory, emotive terms I’ve seen levelled at the left in Australia in recent days.

It’s time to consider this issue from an outside perspective that doesn’t involve taking sides, or scoring points politically either left or right.

The following are direct quotes from THE UNITED NATIONS HIGH COMMISSIONER FOR REFUGEES – Detention Guidelines – 2012

“AS SEEKING ASYLUM IS NOT AN UNLAWFUL ACT, any restrictions on liberty imposed on persons exercising this right need to be provided for in law, carefully circumscribed and subject to prompt review…”

“…Regardless of any such effect, DETENTION POLICIES AIMED AT DETERRENCE ARE GENERALLY UNLAWFUL UNDER INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS LAW as they are not based on an individual assessment as to the necessity to detain. Apart from ensuring compliance with human rights standards, governments are encouraged to review their detention policies and practices in light of the latest research in relation to alternatives to detention (some of which is documented in these Guidelines). UNHCR stands ready to assist governments in devising alternative to detention programmes.”

Our government is acting cruelly, and illegally in aid of political point scoring. If the public were educated in the finer points of the economics of treating asylum seekers with dignity, and decency vs cruelty and abuse I wonder if they would reconsider their support of the latter? If welcoming refugees got the Liberals, or the ALP more votes they would make sure the Murdoch media gave these progressive ideas a vast amount of press time with positive spin, but the fact remains that demonisation, and oppositional policies differentiates them from the Greens, who they BOTH now view as a legitimate threat to their political domination.

And so, instead of creating a media sh*t storm opposing cruel practices condemned by the UN, they create one demonising theThe Australian Greens, and levelling hypocritical claims of fiscal ineptitude, and mental deficiency. All for the sake of cheap political ground at the expense of fostering the society of the ‘fair go’ we are rapidly losing in favour of a society where bigotry, and xenophobia are nurtured by our mainstream press.

We want our country back.


Yes Prime Minister…you are a racist.

To the author of this article, calculated to dispute the claims made by Senator Scott Ludlam in his speech to the Australian Parliament ‘welcoming’ Prime Minister Tony Abbott to Western Australia.  With a title run-up like “Mundine comes out fighting…..” one could be forgiven for a first impression that Anthony Mundine might be responsible for the remarks in support of Abbott.  But not so.  It is Warren Mundine, the advisor to Tony Abbott, hand picked by him for his role in national indigenous affairs.  He is not widely touted to represent the views of most indigenous people in this country as you would be well aware from the widely read piece by indigenous activist Gary Foley ”The White Sheep of the Family?”, examining Mundine’s adoption as “the new Aboriginal darling of Australian right-wing politics”.

What is glaringly absent from your article is the Abbott governments proposal for reforms to section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act, effectively rendering it useless against hate speech and verbal intimidation based on a persons’ membership to marginalised groups including the LGBT community, or POTAS (Persons’ Other Than Anglo Saxon).  Yes…I did just make that acronym up.

Section 18C made it unlawful to perform an act that ”is reasonably likely, in all the circumstances, to offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people” on racial or ethnic grounds.”  The proposal to revise the law followed hot on the heels of a judgement against conservative commentator Andrew Bolt on the basis of an article found to be insulting to many indigenous persons with light skin and which, according to the federal court’s ruling, “contained errors of fact, distortions of the truth and inflammatory and provocative language”.  Standard fare for right of centre commentators short on facts, but awash with rhetoric, spin, and personal attacks designed to deflect attention from the damning facts of the issues at hand.

You’ll have a hard time weaving your weasel words around that one to convince the Australian population that Tony Abbott is anything but a racist, and a bigot.  Even his own MP’s are disgusted by it.

Regarding your claim that Mr Abbott’s personal politics include “clear but changing views on the issue of same-sex marriage”, I cannot begin to imagine where the evidence exists that would indicate Mr Abbott’s so far unwavering opposition has managed to obtain a modicum of flexibility.

It would be unfair of me, or of anyone to expect the National Director of Australian Marriage Equality would want to be anything other than diplomatic in his public assessments of the person whose support he most needs in order to change the law, especially given the recent High Court challenge launched by Tony in order to repeal the right for LGBT to marry persons of their choice. The fact that Mr Abbott went out of his way to ensure same sex marriage laws that had already been passed, were rescinded makes a mockery of any claim that your article may make that any such flexibility may be possible.

Whether or not you call it homophobia as Mr Ludlam did, or put it down to ‘religious belief’ the mechanics of thinking are identical.  Fear.  Fear of inclusiveness, and acceptance of LGBT people, POTW, and their families as ‘normal’, acceptable, and with rights and responsibilities equal to those of a heterosexual Anglo Saxon male.