The Ruddocks

Written in 2002,  when Phillip Ruddock was Minister for Immigration.
Tony Abbott was Health Minister at the time and Peter Costello was Treasurer.


The “Ruddocks” is a highly contagious social virus recently identified by medical researchers. This virulent virus is most contagious if incubated in a climate of fear. It causes a mental condition typified by the attitude of “refusing to do anything that could assist asylum seekers and refugees”. The Medical Alliance is working around the clock to develop a vaccine in an effort to prevent the next generation of Australians (especially politicians), from being struck down by the “Ruddocks” symptoms:

Primary symptoms include apathy, indifference, a lack of concern for people who have suffered persecution in their home countries and a gullibility to government propaganda. More serious cases can involve raging fevers, paranoia, and hallucinations about asylum seekers being terrorists.

In chronic cases, psychopathic behaviors can develop like detaining and causing psychological and physical harm to anyone different from oneself.

How does the “Ruddocks” affect the nation’s health?

Although many Australian citizens are carriers of the “Ruddocks” virus, they seem to survive the infection, without serious damage to their sense of well being. However, further symptoms such as irritability, minor forgetfulness leading to historical amnesia, and even moral irresponsibility can develop.

Medical tests have also recorded atrophying of the nerve pathways linking the heart to the brain and a hardening of the conscience artery in some long-term carriers of the virus.

Unfortunately the fact that so many Australians have progressed to the chronic stage of the illness is proving life threatening to asylum seekers. Most asylum seekers have not had the opportunity to develop immunity to this particular strain of persecution virus and many contract a secondary, more serious form of the “Ruddocks.”

Secondary Symptoms: 

Secondary symptoms can include depression, anxiety, chronic sense of hopelessness and feelings of impotent rage. The most vulnerable appear to be children, pregnant women and adults who have suffered trauma prior to their arrival in Australia. The psychological coping mechanisms of many asylum seekers are unable to withstand the harsh treatments prescribed under the auspices of Australian Migration Law – ie: isolation and indefinite, punitive detention.

Unfortunately many Australians carrying the disease are in denial of its dangers to asylum seekers and are refusing to practice harm-minimisation techniques when symptoms do appear. Indeed, some Australian politicians seem to have the deliberate intention of infecting all those around them.

For example, despite the excision of much of Northern Australia from our migration zone, the disease has continued to spread into the Pacific Area. Manus Island and Nauru are now reporting an epidemic of the secondary form of the disease. The human costs of such high infection rates are causing concern amongst medical and human rights experts globally. The World Health Organisation and the United Nations are working on a comprehensive educational strategy to combat the effects of the “Ruddocks”. They consider that Australia is failing in its duty of care to asylum seekers and especially, it is failing in its role of guardian to unaccompanied children.

Medical research has proved both children and adults are being exposed to harmful levels of physical and psychological abuse in Immigration Prisons. It is now understood that Australian Migration law was developed by people who were chronic “Ruddocks” sufferers and it is believed their moral judgment had been affected by the illness. Legal experts are now examining whether the Mandatory Detention laws still have legal jurisdiction.

Also, State Governments hosting the Immigration Prison camps are examining whether they are still legally bound to uphold the Mandatory Detention laws. Unfortunately even when asylum seekers are released or when they relinquish their legal rights of appeal and are sent back to their countries of origin, they are unlikely to make a full recovery. Longitudinal follow-up studies indicate that those who are not arrested, persecuted or executed upon their return home, continue to suffer long-term damage from the “Ruddocks.”


The PHA is suggesting two major prevention strategies:

Firstly, all uninfected Australians need to contact advocacy groups immediately and inoculate themselves through making personal contact with asylum seekers both in detention and in the community.

Secondly, the Association suggests everyone acquaint themselves with the vast body of medical evidence now available. Australians are asked to work together to combat this modern day plague – by sharing facts and information gained by personal experience with asylum seekers with their fellow Australians.

The “Ruddocks” has done tremendous damage to the body politic of the Australian nation. Political analysts assert that if the nation continues to succumb to the viral assault of the “Ruddocks”, our national resistance will plummet to such a level that we will be more susceptible to other politically constructed diseases. Researchers have just discovered serious cases of the “Abbotts” amongst some industrial workers and since May 2002, people with disabilities have begun to exhibit a previously undocumented form of anxiety called the “Costello Condition.”


For further information – contact your local Human Rights Centre.

Or ring your local doctor for tests and treatment.

Preliminary health advice recommends applying compassion and human solidarity.