It is profoundly farcical that the Australian government, which has shrunk international aid and criminalised asylum seekers, is jumping on the band wagon of pretending to care about the plight of refugees (in Europe). With so much international attention on the crisis overseas and with a failed campaign of scaremongering locally badly hurting the Liberal party, it’s safer to play the armchair humanitarian.
Cabinet Minister Barnaby Joyce evokes the imagery of a fellow accountant when asked about Syrian refugees crossing (non-Australian) boarders. Prime Minister Tony Abbott, however, has compassion only if it means he can continue to turn refugees away from Australian soil.
“Abbott’s argument is that if Australia stops boats from arriving in Australia, the lives of refugees will be saved. But let’s put it in numerical terms: If Australia helps settle virtually zero Syrian refugees, through any resettlement process, there will still be almost 4.6 million Syrian refugees whose lives are in peril. Tony Abbott, as we know, is not an accountant.”