It’s time to get back our pride in being Australian and to demand common honesty and decency from our political leaders. All too often the Australian people have been betrayed by political parties claiming to support a range of policy initiatives. We are accustomed to hearing fruitless slogans aimed at promoting economic growth, employment opportunities or increase funding for education etc. Delivery is different – our politicians, once elected seem to change their minds– surprise, surprise, they fail to deliver. Sadly, our children will arguably be the first generation of Australians raised not only actually expecting their politicians to lie to them but also expected – by the politicians – to tolerate it.
Not good enough. So what makes Aussie Heart different? Aussie Heart has very specific policies that are neither difficult to understand nor apply. We will not bite off more than we can chew. We are about restoring respect and pride. We are about opposing the rise of the politics of fear. The Australian political landscape currently has moved into a dark phase. Fear does not bring jobs security or happiness. Fear just brings more fear. The Aussie Heart community is first committed to fighting for the fundamental humanitarian rights of refugees and in doing so, to restoring our national pride. We believe our country has been disgraced by the handling of this issue. We have been made ashamed.
We are proud Aussies and we’ve had enough of it. We are not a nation of thugs and will not tolerate what has been declared by the United Nations to be the slow torture of men woman and children in offshore detention. Not just our country’s reputation but that of our children and grandchildren is being trashed by our politicians. Why? Because it gets votes – nothing to do with national security. Enough lies, enough cruelty, and enough of treating us like idiots. None bar the Greens – on this issue – have had the courage to stand up for what is right. They don’t want to risk upsetting the 5% of swing voters who either-
- think rape, child abuse and violence is OK just as long as it’s done to non Australians.
- are ignorant of the true facts – aided by a compliant media which parrots the “illegal”lie now put out by the government or worse,
- have swallowed the ludicrous story that somehow these 1500 hapless souls, outnumbered by us 16,000 to one – are a threat to all 23,000,000 of us.
Recently the abuse of children in the Don Dale juvenile detention facility in the NT resulted in the Prime Minister calling for a Royal commission within 24 hours of that news coming to light. We like to think of ourselves as a nation that protects children. Score one for the PM. Despite this, the trauma and abuse of children in detention on Nauru continues unabated – sponsored by the same PM! The abuse of these children has now been documented beyond all denial. The abuse is clear despite governments attempts to gag the information from getting out and yet, because of the lies (yeah lies!) and misinformation put out by the government, the average Aussie still knows and hears next to nothing about it. It isn’t our fault…We are being treated with contempt. Conned. Misled. It is a national disgrace.
We are either firmly against mistreating children or we are not. If this nation really believes child abuse is unacceptable – it needs to end and now. Rather than competing with apartheid era South Africa for the international community’s moral basement award since WW2, this great nation should be (and once was) leading the world in the area of human rights: O how would he have fallen! In November 2015 Australia was criticised in the United Nations by a large number of countries over our human rights record in offshore detention. That criticism was deserved – but when one realises that one of the critics was North Korea – a country in the class of Nazi Germany in its human rights record –one must ask just how low we really have sunk. The price? We are losing our ability to comment on the abuses of others because of the cesspit in our own backyard.
The government has tried hard to cover up what it’s doing offshore. It has sold the lie that these people are somehow illegal immigrants. In the mind of the community it has tried to tie refugees into international terrorism by repeatedly invoking “border protection” and” national security” whenever refugees are mentioned. Garbage! What we are really talking about is people seeking our help and fleeing terrorism not people causing it. Here is the ugly truth – The government is pursuing its brutal policies for one simple reason – ever since John Howard and the lie about “children overboard” our politicians have discovered that brutalising refugees brings in votes and wins elections.
We say that when you dance with the devil you may well have to pay his price. We say that the average Australian – once the facts are known – are invariably shocked and disturbed by what is being done offshore and we say the average Australian is smart enough to know how to do something about it – If only there were an option. That’s where we come in– and that’s what we are offering – we are not trying to form government – but we’ve had it with our politicians behaviour and we are committed to causing change in government. How? By giving people an easy way to protest without costing them their support of the party of their choice.
AUSSIE HEART – WHAT ARE OUR CORE POLICIES?
First – We stand for having all children out of offshore detention camps and brought to Australia with their families immediately, regardless of refugee status – kids don’t belong in detention centres. Here for processing. Safe. Now.
Second – We stand for closing offshore detention camps and treating all arrivals humanely and compassionately. We abhor being branded as torturers by the UN and proudly believe our Australia can do far better than this.
Third – All persons arriving in Australia and seeking refugee status should be processed in accordance with the United Nations Convention in Relation to the Status of Refugees 1951 and the protocol relating to the Status of Refugees 1967. Processing of persons seeking asylum should occur onshore they should not be held in detention apart from an initial period where security and health checks are completed
Fourth– We stand for ending the system of granting temporary protection visas and are against refoulment – the return of people to places where there is a risk of further harm.
Fifth –We stand for establishing a Royal commission to investigate the systemic human rights abuses in immigration detention and to make appropriate recommendations for compensation where necessary.
Sixth – We stand for simple honesty in politics and to establish legislation making deliberate lies by politicians that causes significant personal harm or financial loss or persecution because of race, religion, nationality, social group or political opinion an impeachable offense.
Seventh – We stand for establishing a Bill of Rights so that this shameful abuse can never happen again and that the rights, privileges and freedoms of all Australians and those we deal with are protected.
Eighth – We aim to promote a Government that honestly protects the community first and corporate profits second – to protect our children’s health, education and welfare first.
Ninth – We aim to support and promote a fair go – equality of treatment for all people, all women, children, men, indigenous and migrant communities – as key to a thriving Australia.
Tenth – We stand for transparent, accountable and honest government – For public service not “public serve us”.
Our 10 core policies aim to do a number of things –
1 – To restore our treatment of refugees back it was in the 70s and 80s when we were at the forefront internationally on this issue. That doesn’t mean letting in floods of people but it does mean we process people here, quickly, humanely and in accordance with International law. (and thus, save a fortune – cruelty is massively expensive – see “The big con”)
2 – To release all children in refugee detention immediately.
3 – To then set up a Royal commission to investigate into and redress the abuse of the last 10 or so years
4 – To then set up a bill of rights to ensure that the abuses of this period are never visited on our children – because what has been done has set incredibly dangerous precedents including mandatory indefinite detention, gag laws on doctors and nurses and teachers reporting on the abuse they witness et cetera. Bad law, Bad precedent. Bad idea. If our politicians think child abuse – for other people’s children – is acceptable, if the abuses on Manus and Nauru are acceptable, our kids need protection from them.
5 – To stand for, to promote and to require honest politics with politicians restrained from stirring up racism, minority bashing and trouble – we stand for inclusion, a vibrant multicultural Australia.
6 – To stand for and support both law and policy that acts to promote a fair go for all members of our community. To promote equality of treatment before the law – Why? Because it’s 2016 that’s why.
These key issues are central to getting back our pride in being Australian. They are worth pursuing. We aren’t monsters nor are we thugs and we ought not have to accept our politicians behaving as such, doing harm in our name and tarnishing our children with the moral consequences of their base political opportunism. We are a great people and a great country.
We owe it to our kids to demand nothing less of our politicians.