Friday, 29 June 2012

Take a Breath of Fresh Air

I'm posting this piece from today's Toowoomba Chronicle, as it is a breath of fresh air given the polemic that the MSM spreads on this issue.

It's also written by someone who puts his money where his mouth is. Mark works daily with refugees in Toowoomba, and he has a much better idea of what he's on about than the excuses for columnists who use the issue to sell papers and inprove ratings.

And what is most remarkable, it was published in the Toowoomba Chronicle.

The current editor must have been asleep at his desk.

An extract -

Reducing the number of lives lost, risks taken by border protection personnel and trauma suffered by those taking these dangerous journeys is a goal most Australians would agree with.
A return to the harsh regime of temporary protection visas and years of detention in offshore locations costs millions of dollars and damages lives in the process.
The moral problem with such measures is that we are using one group of vulnerable people to send a message to another group of vulnerable people.
A cartoon created by the advocacy group chil-out (Children Out of Detention) depicted a child behind the razor wire.
The child wore a t-shirt with the message, "I want to be a deterrent when I grow up".

He sums up - 

It's time to collectively take a breath.
Boat people are not a huge threat to our way of life.
The debate around asylum seekers is crying out for some real leadership.
A compassionate response is not beyond us.
It will not be simple.
It will not be easy.
But let's not lose our humanity along the way.

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