PHAGE thinker Julie Szego saw smoke over Villawood and almost became angry “at some level” about new and uninvited arrivals burning public property, endangering staff and insisting that a country which did not know they were coming must now open its doors, and welfare system, without further delay or inquiry.
At some level, the attempt to hold the authorities of an enlightened country to ransom smacked of opportunism and bad faith. And I couldn't help questioning the wisdom of letting in people who are so contemptuous of the rule of law and so willing to risk the safety of others.
But the madness soon passed and Szego’s thoughts returned once again to that special Fairfax place where the blatant and obvious is never more than an opportunity to embrace the obtuse.
The minister [Doug Cameron] has the balance between rights and responsibilities all wrong in this instance. Obviously, asylum seekers who break the law must be brought to justice, but the government wants the punishment to go way beyond the crime, and it seeks to do so by retrospective measures that change the rules in mid-play.
That’s the shot, Julie. No need to feel uneasy at any level now that you have exonerated the arsonists and switched all blame for the detention-centre riots to the government, which should have warned the new arrivals that setting fires might annoy and disconcert the people who paid for the things they are torching.
“…statelessness occasioned by upheaval and trauma unhinges the mind,” writes Julie.
Funny thing, that.
Opining for Fairfax seems to have the same effect.