Like many I was left utterly dismayed at the decision taken at the Labor National Conference to endorse the “Turn back the boats” slogan and adopt it as policy. To see our leader Bill Shorten endorse the policy shift by backing it prior to conference was enough to make me want to rip out my hair and use it to set fire to my own head.
The good news in this announcement was the part where the humanitarian intake under Labor would increase to about 20 percent of where it realistically should be, albeit at some point this century, or whenever it comes into eventual effect. However news of that distant promise was drowned out by the outrage that was the decision to back Abbott and Morrison’s inhumane approach to those the world treats as somehow sub-human.
Those from Labor’s right don’t want to see any more deaths at sea they have made that clear. Whilst that may sound noble to some, what is not so noble is the willingness to let these people die somewhere invisible to the Australian press. Out of sight out of mind is now the official policy of all the major parties, advance Australia fair…
However what is even more infuriating to me is those who choose to criticise this policy shift whilst supporting The Greens.
The audacity of some former members of the Labor Party who were from the left to criticise the party for being under the influence of the right is just mind-blowing. Perhaps if you’d had the courage of conviction and guts to stay around you could have made a difference. Instead you found it easier to run to a fringe party and point the finger rather than fight. If you had really given half a toss you would have stayed and fought with us, and maybe together we could have made a real difference. Alas…
When watered down lefties like those from Labor’s right get to dictate policy then watered down policy is the obvious result. When enough water is added bad policy will float to the surface like a turd in a swimming pool. This is an epic example of a turd rolled in cheap glitter and touted as good policy.
The irony that many of those criticising have missed is that Labor’s disgraceful policy shift was debated on National TV while the Greens policy continues to be debated in shadows and darkness, as they refuse to allow media access to their conferences. Conferences that would appear to be more about a lack of transparency and secret handshakes than any form of progressive policy debate.
The arrogance of a party claiming to be on the side of humanity by taking a stance of non-negotiation is breathtaking. It is not their lives at risk, it is not their families suffering, yet they refuse to back down an inch from their ideology and by doing so take an approach that makes it harder for improvements that could see thousands of those suffering better off. Instead they are left to suffer due to an all or nothing stand that basically means if it isn’t open arms for all then countless families can suffer and die while we wait for those open arms to miraculously appear, and while those families are dying one party will be there to use that suffering as political capital.
I know many will disagree and tell me that I’m just Green-Bashing despite the fact that I’m quite happy to tear into my own party when they make a bad decision. I will say this for Labor, at least they are willing to attempt to negotiate solutions that may help. Any small step forward is progress that may help some of the worlds most desperate people survive another day. The hard-line approach and refusal to bend only serves to help a parties membership drive and does nothing at all to help those they claim to be acting on behalf of.
Like it or not if you are serious about helping asylum seekers then you need to join the Labor Party and push to change the policy position.
With both major parties now embracing an immoral policy position, for all of their posturing and rhetoric the Greens with their refusal to negotiate have rendered themselves utterly inconsequential.
It’s too easy to point the finger at Labor, what takes more guts is to jump in, get involved and make a real difference.
Or maybe some of you think pissing and moaning will solve everything?