Tony Windsor, the Independent member for New England, NSW, has accused both sides of playing politics with the lives of boatpeople.
“People seeking asylum are dying because pragmatism is overriding a compromise that would reduce the number of people getting on boats in the first place” Mr Windsor said.
The Liberal-National slogan of “Stop The Boats” is endangering people’s lives. The LNP do not want to compromise, either on the Malaysian Solution or the Rob Oakeshott “Bali Process Bill” – because for the LNP, the reality is “More Boats = More Votes”.
It would be difficult for the Tony Abbott to bang the xenophobic drum if there wasn’t a regular media fear campaign of “we’re being invaded!”.
“I would hope that all decision makers in the Government, Greens and Opposition can focus on the real issue about boats carrying asylum seekers,” Mr Windsor.
“Surely the real issue is about saving people’s lives and the best way of doing this is to discourage people from getting on a boat in the first place.
“The boats are not safe – they are not cruise liners with life rafts and they are overcrowded,” he said.
“It’s a recipe for tragedy and unless Australia makes it unattractive for people to take the huge risk of getting onto one of these death traps, more people will die.” Mr Windsor said.
Tony Windsor is right, people don’t come here to annoy Tony Abbott, they come because the conditions in their home countries, whether the Middle East, Afghanistan or elsewhere are so intolerable, that they think the risk is worth it. Conditions that were exacerbate or created by two illegal wars that the Howard Government got Australia into, a government that Tony Abbott was a part of.
Tony Abbott cynically exploits these refugees and their deaths for his political future.
Boat people the focus of so much attention from the Liberal senior members, but people who arrive by their thousands by plane barely rate a mention, they are merely “over-stayers”.
Tony Abbott does not care about the lives of these human beings that arrive by boat, they are just a way to score cheap political points. We all remember his comment when the Italian cruise liner hit rocks, resulting in people dying “that was one boat that did get stopped”.
Meanwhile, Liberal backbencher Mal Washer broke ranks with his party’s leadership to urge both sides of politics to sit down and re-negotiate. Dr Washer said that all options should be on the table.
“My party, the Coalition, and the Labor Party, after this tragedy, have really got to sit down again and think seriously through these issues as to how we could reduce this people smuggling business,” Dr Washer told ABC Online.
However, Tony Windsor was cynical about anything that Tony Abbott says regarding refugees, saying, “I hear the Opposition Leader Tony Abbott say that now is not the time for political games but give it a couple of days and the political blame game will crank up to fever pitch.”