Tag Archives: Australia

Manus Island and Nauru

Asylum Seekers to Australia — and acting morally

Asylum seeker boat

Mr Malcolm Turnbull,
Prime Minister of Australia,
Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Mr William Shorten
Leader of the Opposition,
Parliament House, Canberra ACT 2600

Dear Malcolm and Bill

Manus Island and Nauru

There is some talk of cooperation so, living in hope, I am emboldened to write to both of you. Only by you both working together can this criminal behaviour cease. There are far better ways to stop people smuggling than imprisoning people in third world jails without charge or trial.

I am particularly ashamed to point out that in jailing people who ask for help we violate three international treaties — The United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, The United Nations Convention on Refugees, and the United Nations Convention against Torture. In simple terms, we are what we erroneously accuse the boat people of being – lawbreakers.  We have become the people who do not keep our deals, who break laws when it suits us, whose word is not our bond. The harm to our reputation internationally which results by these crimes – trashing every law and convention from Magna Carta to Habeas Corpus and “innocent until proven guilty” is immense. Have you any idea the harm you have done, the precedent you have set? (By you, I mean the governments of both persuasions up to now).

I am particularly alarmed to tell you that Eva Orner’s film “Chasing Asylum”, is about to be screened to 10,000,000 cinema-goers in Europe. This will ensure, following the articles in the New York Times, and reports by the BBC, that Australia’s reputation for fairness, decency and respect for the law will be well and truly trashed.

I am particularly embarrassed to remind you that when war criminals were tried at Nuremberg and elsewhere, their pleas that they were only obeying orders from their government was not accepted. Obeying unjust laws was no excuse. They were tried and sentenced. And when Mr Abbott, Mr Morrison, Mr Dutton and others (including public servants and government contractors) are placed on trial in a few years time, in the same way that we catch up with paedophile priests, the defence that everyone thought it was OK at the time, will have no currency.

I am particularly sickened, Malcolm and Bill, to cause you to face the fact that these crimes are all the more hideous because they are enacted by people, like you, who claim to be doing the right thing. Like all criminals committing criminal acts,  there is always the attempt to justify. But all the spin doctors in the world cannot make this one wash.

I am particularly galled to note that the worst perpetrators of this crime are practising catholics and practising christians. How am I supposed to get my brain around that? “Do unto others”, the most basic of all Christian tenets, has become a sick joke. The Good Samaritan has become a fairy tale for gullible “bleeding hearts”. Pope John XXIII’s encyclical “Pacem in Terris” bears no weight with these churchgoers whatsoever. The Pope says:

When there are just reasons in favor of it, (a citizen) must be permitted to emigrate to other countries and take up residence there.(22) The fact that he is a citizen of a particular State does not deprive him of membership in the human family, nor of citizenship in that universal society, the common, world-wide fellowship of men.

I am particularly shocked to point out this whole scene, as both of you well know, is filled with stupidities. I know people who have come here by plane on tourist or student visas who have successfully gained asylum with very little trouble. Many many more than those who, misinformed, came by boat. How dumb are we that we do not lock up people who come by plane, but lock up those who come by boat? Why do boat people and not plane people deserve to be sent slowly insane on remote tropical islands because no one told them it was far better to come by plane? What about some full-page Kevin-Rudd-style ads in all the asian newspapers telling people to come by plane? (“It’s cheaper and safer and you won’t get jailed in the swamp infested tropics.”) Do I have to point out that those who came by boat, that minuscule number compared to plane people, are the bravest and gutsiest of them all. Historically boat people have made some of the finest citizens we have.

I am particularly distressed to point out that double demonising of “people smugglers” does not wash with intelligent people. They are criminals but they are not that bad really compared to the crimes of our big corporations who pay no taxes, and the ever ready rabble of “entrepreneurs” who exploit the government such as they did with the insulation scheme, or they now do in the educational sector. These exploiters who are all around us are far worse criminals. But it suited your predecessors to portray people smugglers as the worst kind because it attracted the vote of uninformed and uneducated people. How base is that – you simply did not attempt, or you did not have the skill, to “sell” decency to basically decent people. (Have a chat to Angela Merkel.) And the argument that these crimes we are committing are very effective  in controlling our borders! Mal and Bill, there are lots of crimes that are effective. In all areas of human life crime pays. Where is society heading if you act like that?

And when all this comes out from under the radar and the court proceedings begin, how will we explain how we turned boats around (with the help of people smugglers) and sent people back to certain wars (to which we contributed), or back to almost certain jail, punishment, persecution and/or torture. All this to get a few extra votes?

It’s like this, Malcolm and Bill, the first thing you have to do is to stop this horror, then you must apologise, then you must compensate and assist those you have wronged. It should be pretty cheap given that we are paying $500,000 per year person as we send people crazy by depriving them of hope, depriving them of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.

I do understand your job is difficult but this is not a “policy”, it has crossed the line and become a crime. Please get together and fix it.

Yours sincerely

Dally Messenger III

Australian Citizen

Alex Hutchinson-Road to Gundagai

Dally Messenger (left) and my mate Alex.

30,000 Youtube Hits!!

My friend Alex Hutchinson has been earning living as a Musician since he was fifteen years of age. A summary of Alex’s life and achievements can be found at  – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Hutchinson –
His own website is – http://www.jazzlegend.com

For many years, on Saturday afternoons, when I was an active marriage celebrant, if ever I had a time-space between marriages and I could manage it, I would go wherever he was playing (mostly clarinet) and listen to a master musician at work.

We share political ideals. We both believe in justice and fairness. How many of us are left?

They were the days, my fiend, before poker machines, when the hotels and many other venues valued Melbourne’s top class musicians. When I look at the scene now, I cannot help but think of the Buena Vista Social Club. Just like in Cuba, short sighted government money-chasing killed off much of the musical scene of Melbourne.

Alex turned 80 the other day. I was one of the few who had the privilege of attending his 80the Birthday celebration.

We are going to have another party to celebrate his 30,000 hits from all over the world. Music is the common language.

Have a listen – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Nrg6ytwDF0

TIME magazine: Australia’s Shame


It’s harsh policy toward asylum seekers betrays the human rights values it should stand for. 

(By Ian lloyd Neubauer – Page 33,  March 31, 2014)

Slightly edited extracts from the article. (found at http://time.com/author/ian-lloyd-neubauer/ )

Over the past six months I have watched in muffled horror as my country, Australia, voted in, and then loudly applauded, a government that has put into play a policy to stop asylum seekers from landing uninvited on our shores …

Australia sends asylum seekers to outsourced tent prisons run by private security companies in Papua New Guinea and Nauru.

Their inmates stand a chance of being raped, catching malaria, and  growing so desperate that some have sown their lips together to hunger strike, or have asked their keepers for gasoline to self-immolate.

In February a 23 year old Iranian, Reza Barati, was killed during a riot at the detention centre on Manus Island.

Inmates are denied access to lawyers and journalists, and pressured to return to the hellholes they spent their life savings running away from.

The UNHCR has criticised the camps as unsafe and inhumane.

Behind the government’s smug righteousness lies a powerful but unspoken undercurrent of Islamaphobia rooted in the White Australia policy.

We hope that the government will close the camps, and find a humane solution worthy of a wealthy, multicultural nation, lest the world begin to look upon us as the monsters we have become.

And from Phllip Freier (Who happens to be the Anglican Archbishop of Melbourne) on the Children.