A Christmas (Island) Post: the agenda for 2011

I haven’t been able to fully comprehend the tragedy that happened on Christmas Island this month because I’ve quarantined myself (hah! geddit! Oh dear) from the news and the political vitriol that followed. I just couldn’t do it.

But next year Imma have lots of time on my hands and Imma get them dirty (with Andrew Bolt’s blood if need be…) on this.  There’s been far too much of this BS  going on for far too long.

As Ben Eltham has put it so well in The Drum today, this is the agenda for next year:

What Australia needs most is a new policy to change the attitudes of Australians, not the practices of people smugglers. We need a national effort to stop the fear, not the boats. A sustained campaign by government, the media and informed citizens to demystify the issues around refugees and to allay the fears of ordinary Australians might help change the debate. Rather than mounting a hysterical reaction as boat after boat reaches our shores, we might instead reflect on the opportunities we are offering desperate people to start a new life. Ironically, the increase in asylum seeker inflows might assist this practice, as Australians come to realise that migration inflows are a regular and predictable fact of international affairs, not an unprecedented assault on the integrity of our national borders.

Who’s in with me?