“THE MANDATORY DETENTION AND ABUSE OF REFUGEES IS TANTAMOUNT TO WRITING CHEQUES WITH OUR COUNTRY’S REPUTATION THAT FUTURE GENERATIONS WILL HAVE TO CASH”                                   – ADAM RICHARDS

 

AUSSIE HEART PARTY

We are standing for the real spirit of Australia –the famed Aussie “fair go” – for all.

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Aussie Heart stands for an Australia that we and more importantly our children can be proud of. As a society ‘we’ are the guardians and trustees of Australia’s national reputation, the national identity our children will inherit – each generation holds this in trust for the next – and yet our politicians, in our name and for personal political gain, have badly let our children down in the performance of this national trust. We have formed in the belief that in recent years Australia has moved away from its roots, from the spirit of “a fair go”, to a darker, more divisive and meaner place. We were, in the 70s, the 80s and early 90s the envy of the world for the multicultural success story we had become. We embraced and welcomed our migrant communities and they have in turn enriched us, socially,economically and by the vibrancy and diversity they brought to our shores – we are the stronger for it and that strength is now the birthright of every Australian child. If we want social integration it is not complex – you welcome people and give them and their children a fair go. Simple.

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Since when did you get on with the neighbours that openly distrust you, that judge you, that dictate to you how you should live, how you should think and what you should wear? At the risk of sounding corny – a fair go, inclusion gets love, loyalty, acceptance and integration. Fear gets only more fear, withdrawal and resistance.  It’s really not that complex. While it may be shocking to the Pauline Hanson’s of this community,  it’s so simple even a child could understand it. The mistreatment of refugees offshore and hidden away is a metaphor for the coarsening and hardening of our society and our values.Racist views are increasingly being trumpeted in the streets and on social media. Much of it is vile and yet ever increasing. None of it acceptable in 21st century Australia. There is fear spreading among migrant communities. We say this process has gone far enough. The abuse of refugees is a harbinger of a dark path being followed by some in our community, a process which left unchallenged will grow.

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We stand firmly on that path barring the way. We maintain our politicians have lost their moral compass – that the political debate in Australia has been hijacked by parties promoting that path of fear, division, bigotry and racism. We are proud Aussies and we want our Australia, the real Australia back. Adopting increasingly harsh, unconscionable and illegal refugee policies year by year, successive Labor and Coalition governments  have deliberately traded cruelty for votes – at massive expense to the taxpayer – whilst simultaneously gagging information getting out about what they’re really up to. We are being cynically misled. WE have been conned. We need to get our country back on track and we at Aussie Heart have begun our campaign with this defining issue – the abuse of refugees.

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This issue is not about money, national security or jobs – What it is about is literally what type of nation  we want to leave to our children.We are either a nation that supports child abuse, rape, bashing, suicides, mental cruelty, medical neglect and indefinite detention without trial – or we are not. That which we do unto others today, we set as  precedent and thereby sanction for use on our own children tomorrow. The community are being treated like idiots and the Aussie Heart party has had enough of it– the proverbial gut-full. For the sake of our children, for the world they get to inherit, we at Aussie Heart will not stand silent any longer. 

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In 1992 Paul Keating introduced mandatory detention of refugees. Not one of Labors better moments – but in response to perceived community concerns at the level of population movement that followed the Vietnam war- and taken in a toughening of a policy position that in Malcolm Fraser’s day had seen up to 20,000 refugees taken into Australia annually , a time when we led the world in the generosity and legal probity of our policies. Mandatory detention was brought in for one purpose – to deter future arrivals.

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Up until that point we were world leaders. The use of mandatory detention, was bad enough – back in 1992 Keating was following the UKs lead in its deterrent treatment of Vietnamese asylum seekers in Hong Kong – but in 2001 John Howard took it right “overboard”. Howard discovered an actual electoral advantage in bashing refugees for votes. Both the Tampa “crisis” (remember the lie about children overboard ?) and 9/11 proved to be electoral “gold” for Howard – and riding on the coat tails of community fears following 9/11, John Howard converted a likely losing position into an electoral win – in a matter of only weeks.

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Fear gets votes – and the dark genie of the “politics of fear” had well and truly been let out of the bottle. In this, both major parties lack the courage to do what is right and are equally to blame. The government back then and still now tries to pretend this is about “national security” – purleeeeze ! What a vast, despicable, putrid, tacky, odious mound of  slimy doublespeak. What  nation has as the price of its “national security” the indefinite detention and physical and mental abuse of children?

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As elections are won by swings of only a few percent – one needs only a gullible few to “turn” an election – and so the trade in cruelty for votes has gone on ever since. Now has been added mandatory detention and mistreatment offshore (thanks Julia Gillard)– in camps controlled by Australia but with the fictional veneer of Nauru-an and PNG control. It is well documented that the camps have been deliberately structured and set up in such a way as to make living there as bad as possible, as humiliating as possible and as harsh as possible. This is done in our name remember that these concentration camps – for, as Julian Burnside QC aptly noted, this is what they are – these concentration camps are used by both major parties for the same thing – attracting votes.

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The “gullible few” stand by applauding the cruelty  they have been conned  into supporting and yet they , conned and ignorant, now set the political agenda. Since the vast majority of   voters are divided into Liberal/Labor camps and our vote is set  (because we always faithfully support “our”side) then even if we disapprove of what is going on offshore, the only ones heard and counted are those “gullible few” baying for blood or fearfully supporting the lie that refugees are somehow a threat to our very way of life. 

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BECAUSE OF THE SWINGING VALUE OF THEIR VOTE, THE RIGHT WING AND THE FEARFUL ARE NOW THE VOTERS LEADING THE POLITICAL DEBATE IN THIS COUNTRY. LIKE GERMANY IN THE 1930S, WE HAVE BEEN HIJACKED BY THE RIGHT AND THIS GREAT MULTICULTURAL NATION IS SLIDING EVERMORE FROM THE POLITICS OF INCLUSION INTO THE POLITICS OF FEAR AND DIVISION.

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Refugee policy is now a game of our politicians competing over how mean they can be to these unfortunate souls whilst lying to the wider community that they are “illegal” (they are not) threats to our national security.(not one refugee has ever been convicted of domestic terrorism – while hundreds of women are bashed to death in domestic violence incidents annually –  get real !) We have been corralled by the political right who’s power is increasing. Hanson got four senators up at the last election with less than 5% of the vote and they grow ever louder and more confident. Child refugees are getting abused offshore, women raped and men bashed. Not once or twice – but constantly. The “Nauru files” published by The Guardian newspaper in mid 2016 are a catalogue of abuse – over 2000 incidents in 12 months. The UN has declared the conditions in the camps to be tantamount to torture.

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Worse still our government has gagged workers in the camps from talking about what they see when working there by making it a jail-able offence under  legislation (s42 Border Force Act 2015 )carrying up to 2 years imprisonment. People in these concentration camps are setting themselves alight in protest.  People who came here to stay alive and yet choose an agonising death as preferable to what the government, in our name, is doing to them. People – who came here wanting our protection. People. Human beings.  We are either for or against this. There is no half way house. this is done in our name. Is this really the Australia we want for our children? Our reputation, yours and your children’s, is being disgraced – And we at Aussie heart will oppose this for the simple reason that we are proud Aussies – and Aussies don’t treat other people this way.

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OUR POLITICIANS HAVE BECOME ADDICTED TO ABUSING HUMAN BEINGS – REFUGEES – AND – GOD FORGIVE US, CHILDREN AMONG THEM – FOR ELECTORAL ADVANTAGE. IT IS NOT ABOUT PROTECTING OUR BORDERS. IT IS NOT ABOUT COMMUNITY SAFETY – WHEN THE REAL FACTS ARE KNOWN IT IS SOLELY AND CYNICALLY ABOUT PROTECTING THEIR PRECIOUS JOBS. Now, our Polly’s have derailed our nations reputation to the point we are criticised worldwide –We are copping it in the United Nations, in international media, and in country after country worldwide,  even recently by North Korea! We are copping it for the international disgrace that our refugee policy has become. We have been turned – by our politicians –  into the new apartheid South Africa. Australia is increasingly being seen as a racist nation  and a “world leader” in the harsh and punitive treatment of refugees. Whatever happened to the multicultural dream?  Whatever happened to the multicultural icon we once were? Whatever happened to that funny old notion of “love thy neighbour”?

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It’s not even “our” fault. We have been lied to. We have been misled and we have been conned. How? By the “politics of fear” exploited so well by Hitler and now replayed especially just for us and our children. Tell a lie often enough… It is time for us to demand a standard of political leadership that actually leads us and not lies to us. It is sad to note that our children will actually grow up expecting to be lied to by their politicians – Worse though, they will actually be expected by the selfsame politicians to put up with it. If we wouldn’t take that from a used car salesman why should our pollys be any different??   They of the long lunch, the massive pension, the expenses rorts and the taxpayer funded jaunts overseas ?

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Our politicians once stood at the pinnacle of public service – now it seems they stand only for “public serve us”. The final insult is that we are expected to blindly swallow it all. Aussie Heart aims to restore real integrity into the political debate. Integrity that even criminals understand, integrity like “you don’t abuse kids” “beatings and rape are not OK” and “politicians shouldn’t  tell lies to us”. Not too hard is it?  Aussie Heart stands for an Australia we can be proud of, a big hearted Australia, caring, straight and actually practising the famed Aussie”fair go” for all. 

Aussie Heart – putting back the pride.