Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution
— Article 14, UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
They put lives at risk.
They twist the law.
The have the head of the military decide the fate of boatpeople.
They muzzle the press.
They detain children for long periods.
They misuse intelligence services, defy the United Nations and international covenants, antagonise Indonesia, bribe poverty stricken Pacific states.
They close Australia to refugees and turn back the boats.
Of whom do we speak?
- John’s Liberal National party government in 2001 during the Tampa election?
- Julia Gillard’s Labor Government in 2012 re-introducing the Nauru solution?
- ‘People Smugglers’ criminalised because they bring people on boats who are exercising their rights under Article 14?
- International Arms dealers who supply drones, aircraft and munitions to de-stabilise countries from whence boatpeople come?
What is the role of the parliament in achieving a humanitarian solution to people fleeing from war?
We address these issues here.
In late August 2001, John Howard and the Australian government refused 438 refugees, who had been rescued by freighter ship Tampa, access to Australia. Instead the asylum seekers were sent to Nauru, a tiny island, where they languished for months and years afterwards. Howard used this incident to whip up racism and to further strip refugees of their rights.
Playing on Australians’ fear of boatpeople Howard won the 2001 Australian federal election for the Liberal National party.
Today we see Labor and the Liberals competing to deny the rights of refugees, and attempt to dump them in other countries. Labor wanted Malaysia, the Liberals Nauru. Now that the so-called “panel of experts” has recommended re-opening the hell-holes of Nauru and Manus Island, this has become the immediate prospect for hundreds, maybe thousands, of unfortunate traumatized and vulnerable human beings.
On this night like any other night
Maybe raining maybe clear
In a world exploding is any heart open?
Can you hear us? Can you hear?
— from ‘Article 14′ by tony mockeridge.
[This was broadcast on Paradigm Shift, 4ZZZ fm 102.1 Noon on Fridays, Brisbane on 24 Aug 2012. Many thanks to Steve and Jess for their input and comments , doing the interviews and helping broadcast the show. A special thanks to Brisbane’s Woody Guthrie, tony mockeridge for his song ‘Article 14’ and to robbie stewart for a great guitar riff in the song.]
Answers 1, 2 and 4. Why? Because both main parties have criminalised the ‘people smugglers’ who are following Article 14.
The LNP and Labor are cynical and delusional. They base their policy on market research which does not reflect what juries are doing when confronted with a people smuggler in court. They acquit. Of the so called people smuggler is a child (see comment from Mark P below). They have manufactured crime where there is none. Neither deserve to govern. The media is culpable also because they have not outed the myth of people smuggling.
The arms dealers have profiteered off the willingness of the US government to play out the geopolitical game escalating conflict in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya.
24 Aug 2012