All rights are not always right

george Brandis

It’s been 100 days since the last refugee boat was encountered in Australian waters, so the Liberal leaders claim, unstoppable from patting their backs. The real stories of boats’ fates remain shrouded in mystery – if these were pushed back in Indonesian waters or sunk, dependent on Minister’s courtesy if he would choose to inform the Australian public exclusively on Ray Hadley’s slot at 2GB or if it would be termed as an operational secret. The indifference towards fellow human beings who are in dire straits, who do not have options other than to risk their lives and of their young children, is indeed alarming.

Alongside there are pretensions how humane is Scott Morrison, how he was in tears when boats sunk with women and children aboard – “never again, he had vowed”.

Even the Indian community is polarised, many among us of the opinion that immigration should have stopped with us, our religion, our culture, our colour, our attitude being the best. We are not only being devoid of empathy but also of the basic truth that new people energise a system, bring fresh ideas and stop a society from stagnating.

But in Australia the time warp continues: it’s not the future that matters but the past glory of the Knights and Dames. The titles will satiate many egos and favours returned. Can’t get any better than that!

How different is this Australia from the one that once prided itself with a spirit of mateship and fair go. Now what matters is only unabashed self interest, the thousands of Tamil lives lost in Sri Lanka a forgotten cause in the minds of Julie Bishop and Co.

As the Attorney General George Brandis prepares to repeal Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act and publically accepts bigotry as a right, the fabric of the Australian culture is knotted further into the past, undoing the reforms instituted by the likes of Whitlam, Fraser and Keating from the times of White Australia policy. Attorney General’s high-handed attitude was also apparent when he authorised ASIO raids on the office of Bernard Collaery, the lawyer representing East Timor in the spying case against Australia at The Hague.

It’s a change of course for the Government, a shift away from protecting the weak from the might of the powerful, purely businesslike than being morally right.

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