I’ve been a bit sad this week thinking about how the shit fight over asylum seekers has dominated political discussion for what seems like years. Oh wait, because it is years. As we mark the 10th anniversary of September 11th, it’s around the same length of time since refugees became political footballs.
How did this happen? 99.9% of Australians will never meet a refugee in their lifetime. Their lives will be completely unaffected by this most traumatised, desperate and disadvantaged group of people. Unlike, say, healthcare. Or the education system. Transport. The economy. Because those issues? They will all affect 100% of Australians.
And yet they are not on the front pages of newspapers every day. Those issues do not lead news bulletins nor are they the subject of daily soundbites from our political leaders. WTF.
How did this subject that should be purely be a bipartisan and humanitarian issue, become a total shitfight with the major players (apart from the Greens) REALLY concerned about the fate of the asylum seekers but purely about scoring political points and winning votes from an electorate who have been whipped into a frenzy of hate, distrust and fear of refugees.
How did we get here? And how do we go back to a point of compassion and morality?
On the show this week is Sam de Brito, Angela Bishop, Rabbi Jacki Ninio and our very own news editor Rick Morton.
Welcome to a new MM team member
We’re so excited to be welcoming Lucy Ormonde to our editorial team as a writer.
Lucy Ormonde is a 24 year old journalist from Melbourne who I first met after a speech I gave a couple of years ago when she was still a journalism student. She’s written a bit for Mamamia as a contributor and is busting with ideas and energy which is good because we gobble up those things in large quantities.
After finishing her journalism degree last year, she grabbed some gumboots and moved to the country to work for a regional newspaper. She has since learnt how to bake scones and is now looking forward to making the move interstate. We’re looking forward to trying those scones as of next week when she arrives to start work.