Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

No Place for Politics

Newspaper article Daily Examiner (Grafton, Australia)

No Place for Politics

Article excerpt

Byline: comment peter chapman

IT was reassuring to hear Federal Home Affairs Minister Bob Debus on the airwaves yesterday morning tyring to prevent the arrival of asylum seekers into Australian waters becoming a political issue.

It's a noble but naive aim.

Already the federal opposition is doing all it can to ensure the incident becomes the centre of a political pointscoring exercise.

All we know of this incident is that there were 47 people injured, some of them seriously, after there was an explosion on the boat in which they were travelling. We should assume nothing.

But in 2001 when members of the Howard Government lied and accused asylum seekers of throwing their children overboard, it was a different story.

Then the government saw political advantage in demonising asylum seekers and set out to make as much political capital as it could out of refugee misery. They released incomplete and distorted information to incorrectly paint the asylum seekers as evil terrorists prepared to kill their children. …

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