Paul P. Mealing

Check out my book, ELVENE. Available as e-book and as paperback (print on demand, POD). 2 Reviews: here. Also this promotional Q&A on-line.

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Ashamed to be Australian

This is an eye-opening documentary that the Australian government is doing it’s best to keep out-of-sight, out-of-mind. It’s criminal in anyone’s language: the detention of refugees off-shore with little or no recourse to legal representation.

The story reveals hidden-camera footage as well as interviews with people who spent time there and were distressed at what they observed. As one young Salvation Army volunteer observes, the government has spent millions of dollars to punish and hide these people from public view – the detainees know this themselves.

The proclaimed objective, according to the government, is that the detention is a deterrent to other people seeking asylum, yet, as the programme reveals, there is no evidence to support this. The more likely objective is purely political, as the major parties are in a psychological-power struggle to prove who is the most ruthless and hard-minded (i.e. immoral) in dealing with asylum seekers. It’s all about winning the xenophobic vote in the next election.

These detention centres are mental illness factories, as 2010 Australian of the year,  Professor Patrick Mcgorry, so aptly described them. That was under a Liberal government but the Labor government has proven that its policies are just as criminal and arguably less humane.

Addendum: Getup have a petition to close Manus Island detention centre. Thanks to Kay Hart for sending it to me.

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