2016 – Glimmers of Hope?


John Key, PM of New Zealand – offering a better way

It’s been a while since I last posted on this page. The ongoing enforcement of brutal policies by the Australian government, the silence of the opposition party and new depths of compassionless positioning left me without a lot of hope to hold out. But in May 2016 I wonder if we are seeing the turning of the tide. My hope is growing that the Australian government is becoming increasingly isolated in its cruel treatment of refugees.

Around Australia State Premiers have joined with church & denominational leaders in offering sanctuary to aslyum seekers. When the states and territories do that, in whose name is the federal goverrnment prosecuting these policies. Not in the name of the States and Territories. Not in the name of the Human Rights Commission. Not in the name of the United Nations or of International Law Not in the name of our medical professsion. Not in the name of our Senate. Not in my name. And certainly not in the name of our region.

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Peter O Neill – PM of Papua New Guinea

The government of Papua New Guinea has now declared our torture camp on Manus Island (the goverment’s name for physical and psychological torture is “deterrence”) to be illegal. John Key, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, has appealed to an agreement signed during Julia Gillard’s PM-ship to relieve Australia of 150 asylum seekers per year to avoid Australia having to return detainees to offshore detention on Manus Island.

Malcolm Turnbull – currently Prime Minister of Australia

At this point where can the government of Malcolm Turnbull turn for any moral authority? It returns us to the uncomfortable question of how many Australian votes our major parties believe they are banking on by feeding the public with fear and disinformation on the topic of refugees and then offering policies to trade on that fear. Surely there is nowhere else for this government to turn.

As we pall at the US election trail, most Australians can see the Mussolini-style demagoguery of pugilist Donald Trump for what it is. Will we recognize it in our own back yard? This month I’m feeling more hopeful that more of us will.