Thanks Kevin- the choice of where I stand is now clear.

greens_election_v1B_largeNow that there are just two major political parties in Australia (Labor/Liberal/Nationals and The Greens), it’s time to choose. Do you believe in xenophobic, racist, hateful, cruel policies towards lawful asylum seekers, or do you believe in compassionate, rational policies that treat lawful asylum seekers the way we would like to be treated?
Do you believe in a political party that promotes blind allegiance to outdated principles, authoritarian leadership, policy with a use-by date of the next election, and naked ambition to win government (not to mention party leadership) at ANY cost, or do you believe in a party that has its fair share of robust discussion but works collaboratively and openly towards policies that are morally and ethically sound with a vision far beyond our lifetimes?
I choose the latter, and I’ll be voting Greens. For the first time ever, I’m also joining the party, and I’ll be pamphletting for them.
Ironically, they have Kevin Rudd to thank for that.

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Asking Labor MPs about asylum seeker policy.

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.
Thank you.

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.