Now is the time for leadership, not focus groups. However it seems that leadership on the matter of asylum seeker policy is strikingly absent on both sides of the political spectrum. We have a government unable to communicate or develop good policy ideas and an opposition bent on promoting misinformation and fear. Given these circumstances can refugees really expect fair and humane policy implementations (like onshore, in-community processing) anytime soon?
CPD founder John Menadue and Arja Keski-Nummi believe that despite the toxicity of the current debate progress can still be made, and within a decent time-frame too. They write, “In more difficult circumstances after the fall of Saigon, Malcolm Fraser, with the co-operation of Gough Whitlam, appealed to our better angels. We responded decently and generously.” If both sides of politics appealed to the angels of their better natures then, why not again now?
Read John and Arja’s piece in The Sydney Morning Herald here