Eleven years on nothing’s changed: @FranklyFeisty letter to Ruddock

Survivors of Unthrown Children - 2001

Survivors of Unthrown Children – 2001

By Michele Borghesi  (@FranklyFeisty)

19 July 2013

I can’t believe that almost 12 years after I wrote this to Ruddock and Howard, the same shit is still happening…

May, 2002

I am writing to register my family and myself as being completely opposed to our country’s handling of the refugees/asylum seekers/*illegal immigrants/boat people/queue jumpers*, fellow HUMAN BEINGS

I wish to convey my concern and disgust at our abhorrent, arrogant, small minded, gutless, pathetic, disgraceful, selfish, inhumane treatment of these fellow HUMAN BEINGS. I know I am not alone in my opinions, but am continually frustrated at not being heard.

We have watched for months, in basically a state of shock, our leaders embarrass and shame us and I cannot understand WHY we are treating fellow (desperate) HUMAN BEINGS in this barbaric and dismissive manner.

These fellow HUMAN BEINGS should be detained for the briefest of periods, only to be identified and health screened. They should then be released into the community to be monitored whilst they await assessment on their applications. You should know that my family is willing to make our home available, as a refuge at the risk of a $10,000 fine or whatever pathetic, controlling threat you wish to throw at us.

You are WRONG Mr Ruddock. Your policies are WRONG and you need to admit it, accept responsibility and change them. I expect you and your Government will have to answer some serious questions and explain yourselves to the world in the near future. Are you prepared?

I believe my fellow Australians would be as outraged as I am, if our leaders provided them with the truth instead of politically motivated propaganda. You are playing on and manipulating the (unfounded) fears of many Australians. This is an abuse of power and clearly displays the incredible arrogance of this government.

I continue to become more and more upset and ashamed with the passing of every day. The Sunday program of 4th May 2002 left me feeling ANGRY, FRUSTRATED and FURIOUS with you, Minister Ruddock. I can barely maintain my rage. To describe these tortured and tormented fellow human beings as misbehaving, attention seekers, who can only be bad parents for allowing their children to witness others self harm, is INSANE.

What sort of future adults are we creating out of this nightmare? Who is going to take responsibility for their future care and treatment, in recovering from the lack of attention and meaningful education, the destruction of their families and the removal of all independence? To the point where children refer to fellow children as numbers?!

Please know that in most of the countries that these people are trying to flee, THERE IS NO QUEUE.

What do you think would happen to them if they approached their Government and said, “I want to leave?”

Would you not do whatever it takes to protect your family if your life/home/country was under threat from war, dictators, political unrest and uncertainty, violence, flood, famine etc?

Why punish innocent people who have never been charged with, nor found guilty of, ANY offence? In fact, under international law these fellow HUMAN BEINGS are legally entitled to seek asylum anywhere. They have broken no laws, yet are being treated and housed as criminals.

There is no logic in your decisions to separate families into different detention centres, or to allow some out and leave others in. How is that not harmful to the families and HUMAN BEINGS concerned?

Why are you not as obsessed with finding the tens of thousands of temporary visa holders who overstay, many never to be found?

Your racism is transparent, Mr Ruddock. Along with Prime Minister Howard’s.

Do we not have free press in this country? Why are they not allowed access to the detention centres to report back to the Australian public? What are you hiding? You are not protecting the people inside, you are denying them their human rights and eroding their identities.

It matters NOT ONE IOTA, what financial resources or social class these fellow HUMAN BEINGS have or belong to. After weighing up all their options they have made the incredibly difficult decision to flee, believing the risks to themselves and their families far out-way the risks of staying. They chose Australia because they believed what they had heard about Australia – that it is a free, democratic, prosperous country with open arms.

Even writing this now is making my insides boil.

Please do not bother to reply, if all you can offer is condescending, avoid the issue, buck passing, accept no responsibility, blame the victims rhetoric.

Yours in frustration and shame,

Michele Borghesi

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  1. Just watching the Greens say over and over that Kevin Rudd should “do the right thing”, but still nothing on how to stop the boats.

    • Oh for god’s sake, why do you want to stop the boats? It is not illegal to be on the sea and we don’t own the damn sea.

      The boats are not the issue, the human rights of the people on them are the issue. Why do you cowards babble idiotic slogans as if they are rational thoughts.

      • Marilyn, your “holier than thou” attitude is unwarranted. You don’t have a monopoly on compassion. (However, you do seem to have cornered the market on arrogance). Many people who want to stop the boats in order to stop drownings, are very compassionate people, I’m sure. I myself have stated on many other forums that I’d like to welcome as many refugees as possible to Australia, because history shows they make wonderful citizens. I’d especially like to welcome them into my street, because statistics show that they commit far fewer crimes than “incumbent” Australians. What you, the Greens, David Mann and others continue to overlook, is that dead people don’t make good citizens. I’d also be interested in why you think my beliefs are cowardly. I personally don’t see what courage has to do with expressing opinions. And when you reply, think about whether your response constitutes cyber bullying. Try not to be abusive.

      • Marilyn, I’ve just had two chardonnays and reviewed what I said.I withdraw what I said on arrogance.I respect that you have strong views. But feel free to babble some ideas on how to provide their human rights without being dead!

  2. Andrew Mc Cormack says

    I despise the language. Asylum seekers are not “processed”!! They are people. Their applications for asylum are processed. Just a small point but added to all the other little dehumanising things adds up to where we are today I believe. And that’s what grinds my gears.

  3. I’m tired of waiting for rational discussion and what not. I want revolution! It’s time!

  4. Is it even legal under the UN convention to effectively deport a person even if they are proven to be a genuine refugee?

  5. It’s like the rich lord of the manor being distressed about the poor people begging at his gate. Australia is a rich country. The asylum seekers who arrive here are 90%+ genuinely fleeing persecution. We have to stop demonising them, understand why they come and then try to come up with a compassionate solution.

  6. People hanging it on Fudd from the left MUST realize that he is offering 20,000 humanitarian places here to people who have been properly assessed as refugees. Abbott is offering 13,000 places. Think about that befornyouadd to the noise that distracts the public into thinking that Abbott has the better policy.

    Finally why do Greens politicians and the boosters ignore the role of people smugglers and the death toll they have created.

    If I hear another Greens type blithely diissong the death rate of 3^ as bring an acceptable sacrifice I will throw up

    We cannot bring in everyone that wants to claim asylum so a deterrence to irregular arrivals is justified on equity and safety grounds

    • The new policy offers no places in Australia, to those who arrive by boat without visas.
      My letter is about how we treat those who arrive here.
      Yet, I THINK long and hard about all the issues. If expressing my disgust at how our politicians are treating suffering and desperate fellow humans is making noise, long may I make it, until more of “the public” hear it.

      I understand, clearly, the differences between the the majors and utterly detest their race-to-the-top-job politics, by appealing to the unfounded fears of many and using innocent, humans as the pawns in their dirty games.
      Thanks for listening to my “noise”.

    • But we don’t have torture people who arrive here and ask for protection so we can pay to import people who didn’t?

      Resettlement is not a legally valid program, it is a voluntary scam set in place 20 years ago as a pretence that we live up to our obligations.

      If we torture 3,000 people by selling them to Manus Island and then import 3,000 others we will still only be helping the same amount of people but wasting billions to not help people.

      Meanwhile every day 20,000 kids a day will starve to death and our media will still endlessly whinge about boat people, most of whom only see one boat in their entire lives.

    • Why, John, do we think 20,000 places is generous and praiseworthy, when other countries, much less able than we are, take thousands and even hundreds of thousands? e.g. Pakistan, Iran, Jordan, Malaysia, Indonesia? What gives us the right to such a privileged existence? What gives us the right to feel proud and smug about our pitifully inadequate performance?
      And yes, deterrence sounds respectable, but by what new standard of human behaviour is Australia of all places, justified in adopting cruel, inhumane, uncivilised methods of deterrence? Civilised people in the 21st century do not do such things to other human beings, whatever the provocation. God knows, by world standards, we have fabulous wealth and unlimited space. What’s the problem?