During a discussion on twitter about refugees, I mentioned that when wars or famines or uprisings happen in parts of the world, such as Africa or Middle East, a million refugees can cross borders into countries that are among some of the poorest in the world.
And yet, there are everyday Australians that suggest using refugee boats as target practise, or say without embarrassment “shoot them all” or join facebook groups called “torpedo the boats”. Whether right or wrong, this is how ordinary Australians feel.
I tweeted: “when there are wars or famines in parts of Africa, a million ppl can cross the border, Aust complains about 4000”
Yes, Australians get angry, get upset, get annoyed.
And yet, when ALP politicians say that Australians don’t complain, (“No we don’t. Humanitarian program more than 13,000. I’d like to see more.But can’t turn our backs on refugee camps” Dr Craig Emmerson), they either need to visit Western Sydney which has a reputation for xenophobia or read the Murdoch media or listen to talk back radio.
To anyone who says “no we don’t” just needs to take one look at the image above, because “yes, we do”. To say that Australians don’t complain, shows how out of touch they are.
Average people are believing the lies that Australia is being invaded and “swamped”. Reality doesn’t come into it, not when Abbott and his Drama Queens are more effective with getting people to believe the 3-word slogans such as “stop the boats”.
It doesn’t matter how humane any possible solution is, if the ALP fails to understand or ignores community feeling they will lose the PR war. Just as they did with the “carbon tax” by never correcting the LNP lies that it was a tax, the Liberal party won that PR battle. The Government ministers wrongly assumed because it was a good policy which would have a positive outcome on the environment everyone would just love it. They didn’t think what it was called mattered. It did, and it does.
No matter how good any refugee solution is, if Australians complain about 3000 boat arrivals, they won’t be happy with a government that wants to increase that number.
This failure to understand ordinary working Australians real fears or real misunderstanding (the fears are real, whether the things they fear are real or not) goes a long way to explain why they have a reputation of being “elites”.