I’m going to email/FB this simple question to Labor MPs both State and Federal and ask for their response. I’ll post the names of those I’ve sent it to and any responses I get.
Your page keeps popping up on my newsfeed as a couple of my friends are your friends, so I thought I’d ask you a question. How do you reconcile being a Labor MP with the fact that the Federal Labor Government has now far surpassed the Howard Government in its immense cruelty towards and irrational restrictions on lawful asylum seekers? I won’t bore you with a list (and it would be a long list), but just to put it a few important points out there: despite the govt declaring in 2012 that children would not be held in detention, there are now more children in detention than at any time in Australia’s history; the govt recently excised the whole of Australia from the migration zone, something even the Howard govt decided was too extreme; the cost of detaining asylum seekers for the next 4 years will be $8 billion (little more than the huge Gonski education reforms), despite the fact that currently 95% are eventually granted protection; Australia is demonstrably ‘receiving’ a tiny fraction of the world’s asylum seekers- in fact the world’s poorest countries by far receive the most- yet Labor and Liberal do nothing to dispel the myth that we are being overrun; an unknown number of asylum seekers in detention have committed or attempted suicide, including children as young as 7; acknowledged mental health experts, including some who have directly worked with those in detention, have stated ”In the months and years to come, an epidemic of child self-harm is likely to occur”; any lawful asylum seeker who arrived by boat after August 2012 will not have the right to work for an undefined period of time, forcing them into a life of poverty and destitution, and denying them the right to support and better themselves and pay taxes.
That’s a start.
So, to reiterate my question- how do you reconcile being a Labor Party MP with all that you know about the treatment asylum seekers receive from your Federal counterparts? I would be grateful if you could leave out the political babble and give me an honest response.
19/06/13 Posted on FB page of Jane Garrett, Victorian State MP and National Vice-President of the ALP.
19/06/13 Posted on FB page of Kelvin Thomson, Federal MP.