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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 collar):

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 considerations ....

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.

 

Links to www.theaustralian.com.au

Article by Helen Hughes

Article by James Murray