NOTE: I originally wrote this for the Daily Telegraph, but understandably, Bush Fire reporting took priority and it didn’t go to print.
Asylum Seekers giving Refugees a bad name.
Thinking back to WWII, there’s plenty for much of the world to be ashamed of in the way non-combatants were treated, especially Jewish people subject to confinement, torture and death, merely for being Jewish.
Since then, the treatment of people running for their lives has developed substantially. The intention being to make sure innocent defenceless people are not left to be killed, or denied movement across borders in search of safety.
These days, one seeks Asylum, but like most well meaning plans, the system has become so broad, some people are just picking a country that looks good and heading there with the intention of being assessed as a refugee.
Abuse of good intentions has become so rampant that, ‘Asylum Seekers’, are giving Refugees, a bad name. The abuse is assisted to a great degree by a high level of misinformation and with that, misplaced sympathy and guilt.
One issue is the mistaken belief asylum seeker and refugee means the same thing, so questioning of asylum seekers is taken as a, ‘dirty assault on people who’ve faced dreadful hardship in the course of fleeing for their lives’.
Asylum seekers aren’t refugees. They may ultimately be assessed and given refugee status, but in the first instance, they are merely seeking protection. The question is, protection from what?
Increasingly we’re seeing more and more who by all appearances are seeking protection from having to live in the third world, or any place not as good as Australia.
The vast majority of those arriving by boat start their journey on international flights that land in Indonesia. When they touchdown in Indonesia, they have various documents including passports, but these are disposed of prior to the boat ride to Australia.
For those of you familiar with, ‘The Sound of Music’, these international jetsetters bear no resemblance to the Family Von Trapp climbing the Swiss Alps to escape the Nazis.
No one is chasing them and if they were ever under any threat, they left the danger thousands of kilometres behind as they skipped over many countries were they would’ve been safe – such is not the pursuit of safety, but lifestyle.
A system intended to never allow again the suffering of the WWII era, is being completely abused by opportunistic country shoppers facilitated by the equivalent of black market travel agencies.
Where once there were people fleeing for their lives aided by an underground of volunteers who risked execution, we now have lifestyle seekers starting their journey on international flights with trips organized by professional highly paid people smugglers.
Most outstanding though is a lot of Australians don’t seem to relate to the honey pot that is our own nation. Its capacity to draw opportunists even if they’re aware there may be some problems getting here.
These people come from places where their lives are certainly difficult compared to ours. It’s generally not life-threatening as they pretend, but the life-style advantages in Australia draw them.
When used to a very basic standard of living in a third world country or similar, even what Australians consider poverty, is by comparison, luxurious.
When one’s lifestyle is subsistence with poor housing, minimal sanitation, little or no healthcare, or electricity and little to no government assistance, ie various forms of welfare, Australia is Paradise. Work out how to play the system and one may enjoy this forever.
Many Aussies don’t see this – perhaps they judge matters from their own circumstances. Most Australians don’t aspire to be members of a low socio-economic group funded by welfare for life, so they don’t relate to its worth.
In the last few weeks there have been two stand-out events in terms of the propaganda attached to so called ‘asylum seekers’. The first is the recent tragic drownings from a boat where the passengers were reported to be predominately Lebanese.
Lebanese people claiming refugee status? Aussies go to Lebanon on holidays – I’ve been there myself – I’ve got Friends with businesses there. These were arguably illegals looking for a lifestyle improvement for which you and I would pay.
A couple of weeks ago hundreds of Africans drowned when their boat went down while headed for Europe. No mention of Refugees, or even asylum seekers. The report told it how it was – describing the boat’s occupants as “hoped for a better life” migrants. They were further described as people escaping poverty for what they believed would be a better life in Europe.
No country blamed for their deaths and no attempt to make this unfortunate group out to be anything other than what they were – illegal immigrants taking a chance for a better life.
If there was a difference between the Africans and the recent boat tragedy en-route to Australia, it’s that those on the boat to Australia had thousands of dollars for international airfares and came from a safer, more advanced place.
Everyday we’re taken for a ride by country shoppers, so called, ’refugee advocates’, and a plethora of fellow travellers intent on open borders and access to our services and taxes for whoever can get here.
It’s time to re-evaluate the true circumstances of those who skip over many countries to get specifically to Australia. They’ve gone past safety many times on the way, so clearly it’s not safety they’re seeking.