While we still wait to find out who will be forming government after the federal election at the weekend, I'd like to take a moment to express some "ponderings" on the subject of "Boat People" as this was included as a major policy by both parties and a bit of a catch cry for the Liberals.
The term "boat people" refers to illegal refugees that come to Australia via Asia. They pay exorbitant fees to smugglers for a very precarious, dangerous and squalid sea crossing. Some families cannot afford to send everyone so some children are separated from siblings and or parents. They flee their counties for a better life and usually for political persecutions not because they want a bigger house or better car. They want an education for their children that is often denied them on racial or political grounds because of the "sins of the father".
We have a wonderful social security system in this country and these refugees are entitled to and in fact do get, medical treatment, education, housing and a modest payment.
This seems to be the scariest thing for most Australians. I reserve the right to say "most" here otherwise why was it such an election issue? It is a valid concern and of course people have the right to ask where and how their taxes are spent. How do we constantly pay thousands of dollars for people coming to our shore who are not even our own?
I put it to you that it is more scarier to have people who are our "own" who are now third and fourth generation welfare recipients who now know nothing but breeding future generations of welfare recipients. These are the people costing us a spiraling out of control fortune. They have no pride and no aspirations further than bigger TVs and tailor made ciggies.
When I was young I worked in a Japanese restaurant with quite a few "boat people". They were from Vietnam and were working 70hr plus weeks trying to save to be able to sponsor the rest of their families who were caught for years in camps.
Which brings me to the next Australian catch cry "keep jobs for the Australian workers". Most people think that refugees will mean less jobs for Australians. News flash - Australians don't want these jobs. Most Australian children coming out of school with job aspirations believe that they will be walking into the management positions! They think a certificate guarantees them the right to start at the top, not the bottom. They want to be in hospitality but not on Friday and Saturday nights because they want to party with their friends.
The next concern that Australians raise is about border security. Also a valid concern. This is the real world and there are real baddies and we want to keep them out. Political asylum seekers are not necessarily trouble makers but it is fair to say that we would rather keep our society tempered and tolerant. I put it to you that there are a lot more breaching our borders that we have allowed in than we know.
I have also worked with people who have flown into Australia and then just stayed....for years....and they work...and they even get tax refunds from the government! I also know someone who received tax refunds but was invisible to the child support agency. Definitely a bit of left hand/right hand blindness in our government; but that's not unusual for any government, they are huge accounting firms but you would like to think simple cross checking works.
The Mercury newspaper on Saturday had a wonderful article in it's magazine about Mr Hung Nguyen, a valuable and well respected local surgeon without whom our community would be the poorer. I thought what a shame it was that they had not published this story sooner instead on voting day. While I don't think immigration policy was the be all and end all of party picking this election, I do think it sheds light on the "character" of a party.
Mr Abbott, while I do want a responsible government with sound policies and solutions to illegal immigration, I felt your slogan "I will stop the boats" was simplistic, knee jerk and another opportunity to "Dumb Australians Down". It was embarrassing.
I sincerely hope that whoever forms government they can put strategies in place to restrain illegal immigration, expedite valid immigration and start inspiring Australians back into the workforce and paying taxes instead of taking taxes. We need it for our elderly, infirmed and unfortunate.
If you have read this through I'm sure you have a comment.