I believe it is time our politicians, especially Abbott, Morrison, Rudd, Bowen and a few others, took an honest look at themselves. Whether you personally like these particular men or not, they have reached the most senior positions in Australian politics. Let me share a little secret – they didn’t get there by being gifted those positions. They fought, sometimes figuratively sticking a knife in a political opponent’s back. These guys have balls. They don’t sit around waiting in some imaginary political queue.
If these men were honest with the electorate, if they were honest with themselves, they know damn well they’d get on a boat. If they wouldn’t, I’m not that sure they really have to balls to run the country – do you?
I am not saying getting on a boat, paying people smugglers and risking the high seas is a sensible option. I am looking at WHY people do it. Because unless we understand why, it will never stop. There are myriads of articles on the internet discussing the why, but those “why” reasons are always attributed to “the others”. While no-one ever says it, the implication is WE would never get on a boat, we would all wait in an orderly fashion in the imaginary asylum seeker queues.
BULLSHIT! I don’t believe a word of it. I can categorically tell you if I was sitting in a refugee camp somewhere and there was an chance, an opportunity, however slim, of getting to a new life, I WOULD TAKE IT! I know damn well I would. I would get on that boat.
There is a personal caveat to that statement – at my age now I would probably make the choice to let a younger person with a longer future ahead of them take my place. If I were in my thirties or forties? No hesitation.
I would probably steal a boat, in fact, if that were the only option I saw before me.
I challenge any one of Abbott, Morrison, Rudd, Bowen and I will add Burke, the current Minister of Immigration simply because of his portfolio, to stand before the electorate and swear on the Bible or take an affirmation that they would not get on a boat if the opportunity presented itself. If they do, I won’t believe them. Because as tough as I have been, they are tougher (or so they would have us believe). If I know in my heart I would get on a boat, so do they if they are honest with themselves. Can they be honest with us?
Once we accept that in the same situation any one of us would do the very same thing, we then may reach a place of better understanding and therefore have a better chance of actually coming up with a workable solution.
Where is the root cause analysis of why people get on boats? I don’t mean the persecution from which they fled, I mean why they choose boats over sitting around in a refugee camp. All I hear is punitive “solutions”: in other words trying to shut the gate after the horse has bolted. We don’t hear solving the root cause, yet in our own professional lives in business that is exactly what we would do. We would do that to save money, reduce manufacturing defects and address other business problems. Yet it seems we don’t do it with the most valuable of the world’s assets: people. I know – it is a global problem we do not have control over and the world, bless its heart, refuses to work together to actually solve persecution. We are too busy fighting over oil, religion, land, power and politics to name a few items the seven billion on this planet love to scrap over.