Shameful, and Humiliating
It is beyond shameful that Australia has held Priya and Nades Murugappan and their children Kopika and Tharnicaa on Christmas Island since August 2019 and that thy have been held in continuing detention for more than 1000 days.
Added to this insult this morning has been news that a proposed visit, to be led by Senator Keneally on a specially chartered plane, approved by Border Force, has been stopped by Defence Minister Dutton. What is it with this man? What ideology drives him, what political ambition possesses him, that he continues to heap cruelty upon cruelty on law abiding asylum seekers? Even more, on a family that clearly have the respect of a whole Queensland rural community behind them. In these circumstances it is utterly humiliating to be known as Australian, for we are all implicated by association with these unnecessary, cruel, and calculated acts that are somehow associated with misguided political advantage.
Following more than a month of terrible headlines involving politicians (primarily but not exclusively) of the hard right, one must ask, is there something inherently and incurably sick with a political ideology that appears to result in behaviour devoid of human decency and respect.
If this is the case, then a little course on empathy training is not going to make the slightest difference.
Is the politically hard right so convinced of truth imbedded in their certainties that they are absolved from normal accountability? It appears so. There was a time when ministers of the crown would stand down when serious errors were made either by them or by members of their department. In the Morrison government this era has long gone. It is now always someone else’s fault, or no fault is acknowledged at all.
I found myself in fierce disagreement with many of the policies and determinations of Prime Minister Howard, but never did I doubt an underlying integrity and decency.
With at least half the current cabinet, it is impossible to place trust and respect, either because of utter incompetence, or because of misleading and untruthful presentation of policy, or because political ambition has completely overtaken service of common good, or because ethical behaviour has become victim to party loyalty and supremacy.
Real leaders will always ‘hold the hose’ and accept accountability for outcomes. No real leader will allow cruelty under any circumstance, let alone in the name of political expediency.