20 June 2013

world refugee day

20 June is World Refugee Day.

But in Australia the issue is clouded by ignorance, alarm and bigotry, in a smog of muck running up to September elections, (clearer information here and here) a state of mind growing like a cancer, generated in the days when Lynton Crosby taught the suburban solicitor John Howard (not this one, but this one, this one) to be a global strutsman praising greed and selfishness and pulling apart the infrastructures of social decency, not least in relation to refugees.

Let us note that yes, 40000 people have arrived in Australia by boat seeking refugee status, since the current government took office, but we need also to note that that is less than 0.1% of the total number of refugees in the world today. We are at the low end of refugees per person. And while yes, certainly, we need to have control entry to Australia, we have to do it with decency and sensible national discussion, currently politically denied.