Thursday, February 01, 2007

In 1998 he told the Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils: "I genuinely believe there are some who seek to prey upon community fears to encourage a sense of hostility towards people of particular racial backgrounds."

Yet three years later, just before the 2001 (Tampa) election, that is exactly what he did when he fuelled racist beliefs by condemning queue-jumping asylum seekers whom he wrongly claimed had thrown their children overboard.

Tapping into racism delivers votes. When the stench of racist sentiment is evident in government policy (mutual obligation), asylum-seeker regulations, political rhetoric, community attitudes and individual values, there is something rotten going on.

The entire article from The Age

7 comments:

neha said...

Must say this (because there are always decent people and perhaps the earlier govt (Keating, was it?)in Australia did a great job), that I have never come across anyone in Melbourne who has really noticed my skin or accent. And I can honestly say, that people have been great to me, but sometimes they have been better because I come from India.

mallu said...

i guess every society has its fears in one form or another, and people who exploit it. the US has similar problems (though I have never witnessed it personally, only heard reports), and in india they use caste/region as a factor.

neha said...

Oh I think common people are quite similar all over the place. It the ones at the top, the ones who define the ideal - an achievable and universal ideal - that really makes the difference.

We have put the nexus of politians and media at the top these days; and their lack of ideals is creating a stench in the society.

Now either the people in the nexus need to change or we need to put other people on the top.

mallu said...

i think we have only ourselves to blame. more than anything else, most people dont care enough to go and vote in the first place, and then they complain abt bad politicians ! the last civic elections in bombay saw only a 40 odd % turnout. i wouldve thought after the 2005 floods, they would be just waiting to go and vote.!! in any case, even the politicians will only reflect the society from which they are elected.

neha said...

voting a compulsary in australia. and that is a very good law, if you ask me. but i dont think you get a 'none of the above' option. i would have liked the none of the above option.

do you think non resident indians should have the opportunity to vote by post?

mallu said...

only with a clause like the one for US permanent residency. which means you get to vote only as a long as you visit india once a year or once in 18 months. otherwise, in my opinion, youre not involved enough with things back home to really know/care.

Neha said...

yes, that sounds good and reasonable.