I asked Malcolm, “Can the 267 asylum seekers stay?”
“We must not do anything to encourage people smugglers,” he replied.
“But Malcolm we don’t need people smugglers – the people are already here,” I noted.
“They are watching everything we do,” was his firm rebuke.
I asked if he had previously experienced paranoid delusions.
“Peter Dutton is individually assessing everyone,” he murmured.
“Is there any other way to assess individuals?” I asked.
“We are the most compassionate country on earth,” he exclaimed.
“Your own public servants have found the overwhelming majority of the asylum seekers to be refugees. Several women and children have been raped or sexually assaulted by the guards. At least one man was murdered by guards in camps we finance,” I said.
“They will not be allowed to stay in Australia. They will not be allowed to come to Australia. We’ll find them asylum in Cambodia, Papua, Malaysia: anywhere but here. And they can rot in detention centres until we do,” he exploded.
If this is your sense of compassion, decency and humanity I want no part of it. You do not speak for me. You don’t speak for the churchmen and women who would offer sanctuary. You don’t speak for the doctors and nurses who protect these endangered people. You don’t speak for ordinary decent Australians.
You may well speak for racist, ignorant, xenophobes. You may speak for the indifferent, uncaring people who believe that people who arrive in this country after them are lesser individuals than themselves. Speak for them by all means because by representing them you are revealing your true self – the essence of your essential being.
Written in 2016.
Copyright © 2020 John Tomlinson