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Byron Shire
May 24, 2022

Refugees and the politics of selfishness

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An open letter to Bill Shorten on the eve of National ALP Conference.

Dear Bill: I have seen first hand what a humane and progressive person you can be over disability and workplace issues. I know who you really are and I want that person to run this country.

I accept that playing ‘small target’ is necessary given the dynamics of Australian real-politik.

Very pleased to see that climate is still high on your agenda. It is right to take that stand and improves the ALP’s status internationally.

Have been reading a lot about ALP reform and acknowledge the dilemmas. Obviously I remain pro-democratisation, but would not want to be making those factional decisions.

Maybe the Right and unions could ease back a little and let the rank and file have more say.

Of asylum seekers: my years of exposure to strategic studies and international relations at Sydney Uni tell me that boat turnbacks won’t stem the global tide.

I have articulate, capable and caring friends on Manus who are authentic refugees. They would be an asset to any nation.

Please improve and reframe the debate to be more compassionate. The politics of selfishness is destroying Australia morally.

Very good luck with the National Conference. Will be watching every minute of it while juggling the lads’ needs.

Their disabilities are greatly mitigated by the therapy your federal Labor governments have provided and their future is protected by the NDIS legislation you put forward.

Warmest regards,

Jane Salmon, Killara NSW

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  1. Bill Shorten is caught between a rock and a hard place when it comes to “Refugees and the politics of selfishness”.
    The majority of the electorate feel that the best thing to do is to ‘turn the boats around’ and if Labor has any inkling of winning the next federal election, it must take the view of what the majority want and that is to ensure ‘no boat people’!
    The whole reason I became a professional soldier was to ensure the security of our great nation, which meant ‘to me’, that our population was always considered as secure of threat and harm.
    Since this government in particular, has engineered itself to be totally selfish and oblivious to the needs of people in the world, we are now hell bent on destroying any relationship with people who are either war-torn, sufferers of violence and intimidation and for them, to find some form of self-esteem by leaving their lands for a land of opportunity.
    Our country has unbelievable space to populate and to create new energy from future employment opportunities.
    Take the idea of building the largest water canal from the Top End of Australia through the centre and trickling down in the south of Australia with irrigation branches flowing for thousands of kilometres from either side of the canal for the purpose of prosperity and agriculture to be the largest food bowl in the world with solar powered de-Sal plants transforming salt to fresh at the source and along the way.
    All we think of is ourselves and how lucky we are to either have been born here or to be a citizen… but to hell with people who are trying to find a home within.
    Again, Bill Shorten has no way of changing our demography with the present government claiming from experience that boat-people are a blight in that they seem to be able to pay their way through the use of people smuggler’s and are willing to accept incredible risks to find freedom, yet any form of freedom comes with the reality of risk and or death, thus all of the drownings that have occurred over many years from all continents of the world.
    We no longer have an understanding of what people suffer from when they have to flee to survive and as an Australian, I feel remorse.
    Do we want the incumbent government to succeed in the next election… this is what politics is all about, and it has nothing to do with selfishness, but everything to do with numbers!


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