2030 Thu 30 Aug 2001
I got annoyed today. The dogs got out and I spent about an
hour searching until we found them. I was late and so drove to
Mitcham station, but by the time I found a place to park it would
have been faster to ride. In the city the tram was crowded and
I was late for class.
A major issue in the news at present is the Australian governments
refusing entry to 430 boat people on Norwegian freighter near
Christmas Island. Yesterday "The Australian" presented
two views on page 11, which I have been reading tonight:
Professor Helen Hughes:
... The selection of the boat people is straightforward. Those
who can afford $100,000 or more per family can come. The groups
pressing for a much more welcoming attitude to boat people are
in fact suggesting a new approach to refugee and immigration
flows into Australia. Ignore the fact that these are queue jumpers
who steal places from poorer refugees and other immigrants in
the pipeline. ...
... I would prefer to see the present immigration selection
system continue rather than that it be replaced by a cash criterion
that is implied by boat people lobbies. ... If this means saying
clearly, by tough measures, that there is no back door to Australia,
so be it.
James Murray (Religious Affairs Editor, with photo in clerical
Today I am ashamed to be an Australian. With 22 million refugees
in the world, we are ready to be hard-hearted towards a few thousand
asylum-seekers whose trust in our humanity is betrayed by political
I am even more troubled about being a Christian, if our publicly
avowed Christian political leaders can so ignore the implicit
teachings of the rabbi from Nazareth: "I was hungry, and
you gave me food. I was thirsty and you never gave me drink.
.... Insofar as you neglected to do this to one of the least
of these, you neglected to do it to me." This moral seems
lost on our political elites of one of the most fortunate and
wealthy countries. ...
I find Helen Hughes reasonable and rational. I find James
Murray emotive. I feel particularly uneasy with the way he uses
the Christianity of the political leaders to admonish them.
Sad to read about Shirley Strachan, of Skyhooks, dying in
a helicopter crash.
2226 Thu 30 Aug 2001
I have decided to add a link to a report by www.cathtelecom.com
on what Bishop Patrick Dougherty has said. I think it is
a reasonable and balanced approach.
Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 30 August 2001.