Today I wrote to Kevin Rudd. I’ve been stewing about the new asylum seeker policy for days now and I decided I needed to do something about it.
I was getting particularly worked up about it one morning as my son played at my feet and I thought, how would I explain this situation to him if he was older (he’s currently 22 months old and would probably understand ‘boat’ out of the whole conversation)?
And I know that I need to teach him to stand up for what he believes in. So that’s when I decided I needed to write the letter.
[I also wrote to my local MP]
Dear Prime Minister
I am writing to you regarding Labor’s new policy on the processing and resettlement of asylum seekers into Papua New Guinea.
I feel it is my duty as a citizen to speak up when the my government – the very government I voted in four years ago – is not performing in my interests.
I am concerned that we are sending people to a place that people are already fleeing from as refugees. I know that the issue of people smuggling is a complicated and costly issue. Like you, I do not believe the answer is a clear one. However sending these desperate people back to an environment that has its own dangers – dangers that we know about such as ethnic violence and disease – is definitely not the answer.
Perhaps this policy has been developed to gain attention. To appeal to the voters. Or to get people thinking about the issue. I truly hope it is the latter.
I know that you are an intelligent man, Mr Rudd. I also know that you are a loving husband, father and grandfather.
I have been lucky enough to be born into such good conditions. Many people have not. I am thankful that my husband and I are not starving, or facing persecution and that our little boy does not have to face the daily fear of guns or mortar attacks. I love living in Australia. But should that change; should my family’s survival or safety come under threat I would do anything I could to fix that.
Under the UN Refugee Convention I know that Australia has agreed not to turn away those seeking genuine asylum. Why then are we sending these people, who want to come to Australia, to a place that could well be just as bad as their origin?
Mr Rudd I ask you to think about the people, the families you are affecting as you implement this policy. They are not just numbers. They are simply desperate.
So you know what you should do now? Write to your MP and Kevin Rudd too. GetUp! makes it really easy. They have pre-addressed email forms for you, and if you are stuck for words they provide you with five key points as food for thought [on the MP form].
PS. If you want to know the correct way to address your ministers