Not in my name

By | 2013/07/19

Broken heartThere are many things about being Australian I can be proud of.

Our treatment of asylum seekers arriving by boat is not one of them.

We have a prime minister who has made no secret of his affiliation with religion. Yet, despite that affiliation he has managed to change his attitude towards marriage equality.

We have an opposition leader who is so entrenched with his religion he once briefly studied for priesthood, and has often worn his religion on his sleeve, to the point of insisting it shapes his attitudes and behaviour.

One flexible, the other inflexible, and both morally reprehensible when it comes to asylum seekers.

I look at both of them as a proud atheist and find myself staggered that their religion morality are so misaligned from compassionate human behaviour.

No matter who is in power within Australia, the tone and the rhetoric continues to destroy Australia’s moral compass. John Winston Howard really kicked it into high gear, with his proto-fascist declaration:

But we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come.

It was that statement which set the scene for now over a decade of abhorrent, reprehensible attitudes and behaviour towards asylum seekers within Australia, and it’s just getting worse.

Politicians are meant to lead – they’re meant to help a country evolve its moral standards. They’re meant to listen to the people but also be prepared to stand up and fight for what is right, rather than what is wrong, but populist.

What we’re seeing is nothing other than a complete travesty and mockery of that ideal.

The cost, effort and vitriol expended by mainstream politicians in Australia trying to assuage and pacify xenophobes and bogans needlessly panicking about a tiny number of asylum seekers is staggeringly repellent.

They do not make these decisions in my name. They say they represent all Australians, but they do not. I stand proudly and say no, no more racism in my name.