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Thursday, 4 February 2016

My relatives, my neighbours, my friends

Offshore detention for indefinite periods of asylum seekers is the policy of both major political parties in Australia because the majority of the Australian people support a policy that results in stopping the arrival of asylum seekers by boat.

There's no point blaming the politicians for the terrible outcomes that we have seen, including sexual assault of adults and children, due to the continued operation of the detention camps. Your neighbour, your friend, your relative are responsible for this impasse.

And if there are 37 babies being returned to detention in the camps, the question you have to ask is "Why?" Where did these babies come from? Well, we know where babies come from and how they are conceived. But how wise is it to make children at a time when you have no home over your head, even no safe place to go to at night, let alone a passport. How can these beleaguered women bring such trouble on themselves that they make children under these circumstances? Unless it is a deliberate manouevre designed to generate a sense of sympathy in their audience. Their audience: you, the Australian people.

Desperate times, as they say ... But not wise. And not responsible. Such highly irresponsible conduct on the part of asylum seekers - let alone how deserving their case is - cannot be indulged with considerate behaviour.

I find the whole debate terribly depressing. On the one hand I believe that we should be welcoming more asylum seekers in Australia. In fact, I have repeatedly called for an asylum seeker-processing office to be established in Jakarta to facilitate immigration to Australia for those who want to come. On the other hand, I'm clearly in the minority here. Most people do not want to see more immigration. The state of the roads in metropolitan Australia and the cost of housing there are such that sympathy for asylum seekers would have to be relatively low.

So although I would like to see more people coming to Australia - it doesn't matter to me if they come by boat from Indonesia or by Qantas jet from somewhere in Africa - the majority of my countrymen and -women hold different ideas. I have to accept that I am in the minority, and as a result of that decision I do not blame politicians for the plight of asylum seekers in detention in offshore camps. It is the will of the people. My relatives, my neighbours, my friends.

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