*This is likely to be upsetting to people suffering from the effects of violence.*
An Immodest Proposal
For Preventing Poor Individuals in Non-Australian Lands From Being A Burden to the International Community, and For Making Them Beneficial to The Australian People and to Other Nations Struggling to Cope with their Comparatively Low Levels of War, Disease, and Oppression.
Dear Immigration Minister,
I have chosen not to address you by your Christian name for two reasons. Firstly, because in your policies and speeches you are indistinguishable from a long line of Immigration Ministers before you, and Secondly because the use of the word “Christian” in connection with your office might give this letter the appearance of Satire.
We certainly wouldn’t want that.
I find myself struggling with the task of addressing you at all. The words “Immigration” and “Minister” are as ludicrous as the word “Christian” in connection with your official duties, since the word “Immigration” is defined by the Oxford Dictionary as “the action of coming to live permanently in a foreign country” and the word “Minister” is defined as the verb “to attend to the needs of (someone)”. This falsely implies that your career involves attending to the needs of those who must live permanently in a new country.
It is clear from your actions and from the actions of your predecessors that your primary task is to prevent the needy (specifically those who have “come across the sea”) from gaining entrance to Australia’s “boundless plains” – or indeed to any grain of the “Golden Soil” of this nation “Young and Free”.
I applaud your ongoing effort to avoid the dangerous precedent of allowing foreign invaders to come into contact with our Golden and/or Red and/or Brown Soil. Although increasing numbers of asylum seekers(1) are departing from warring, starving, or dangerous countries due to humanity’s pathological addiction to the twin evils of hope and survival, you have successfully stopped the majority of asylum seeker boats from touching our invaluable dirt.
It is very efficient of you to also keep most of these desperate individuals from touching our sea borders, so that their deaths on the ocean are legally nothing to do with us. Better yet, Australia has made a brave stand against People Smugglers by actually reducing the number of refugees accepted into Australia(2), including those using the infinitely more popular(3) route of airplane flight. This in turn increases the number of boats, which means that some people smugglers have probably lost Several lower-level staff in drowning accidents just out of sight of our Sovereign Lands. I’m sure they’re terribly put out.
Well done. You may not have stopped the boats from existing, or stopped people smugglers from exploiting the desperate, or stopped the wars and torment that are creating the current record-breaking numbers of refugees(1) all around Our World, but it must be said that a boat filled with dead refugees on the bottom of the ocean has most definitely been Stopped.
Once again, Well Done. You have protected our innocent Australian citizens, who are Most Terribly Vulnerable to feeling Briefly Disturbed by the sight of drowned children. If asylum seekers made it onto our golden dirt, that could potentially lead to a state in which the slogan “Stop the boats” might be understood by its truest meaning – to wit, “Sink the boats” (5).
Of course, some boats do not sink, even after their dangerously long journey is doubled in length due to their being turned back by our Heroic Navy. Those boats are not wasted! Not on your watch, Minister! Sea-going vessels returned intact and under guard to their country of origin build friendly trade relations between Australia and those military-based dictatorships that prefer to personally kill their citizens rather than letting them drown out of sight (5).
Well done on your compromise solution of stopping some boats by sending them to Davy Jones’ Lock-Up, and stopping others by sending their human-like contents back to be tortured and killed in a place where any remaining relatives can also be tortured by proxy, or perhaps drawn out and killed in person thanks to our most timely intervention (5).
Since I am congratulating you, I shall also congratulate you on effectively eliminating queue jumpers by ensuring there is often no legal path through which asylum seekers can safely and legally arrive in Australia (12). No one can jump a queue that doesn’t exist, can they?
The large number of asylum seeker drownings and deaths(5) reveal the drowned individuals’ innate lack of planning and survival ability. If they had predicted Total Economic and Social Collapse of their home nations, or had arranged to be born into a different ethnic group, sea level, gender, or orientation, they would not have felt the need for a perilous voyage at all.
It is a testament to the hardiness of Australian government ministers such as yourself that we have lost only one Australian Prime Minister to the sea (13), while refugees such as the three-year old Alan (known as Aylan) Kurdi are among some hundreds of drowned asylum seekers (14). People are perfectly capable of swimming the English Channel, so it is obviously just laziness and/or poor parenting that allows three-year olds like Alan to falter when crossing the various oceans they must face in their path to safety.
Speaking of drowning, our Prime Minister Holt contrived to drown within sight of shore, while the vast majority of drowned asylum seekers are foolish enough to drown on the open ocean while attempting to reach a nation that they believe values human rights. Not only are their swimming skills lacking, but their beliefs in the notion of Universal Human Rights is simply wrong. Only people with the Good Sense to be born in safe location are Worthy of full Human Rights such as the right to work, to be free of torture, to be locked up only if found guilty, or to survive at all.
Rather cleverly, you have worked hard to ensure that these drowned individuals are almost entirely kept away from Australian TV screens and therefore from Australian living rooms (15), where true Citizens of our Nation might accidentally confuse them with the Humans for whom Human Rights might someday apply. Best to keep them hidden! Congratulations on the wise investment in offshore detention, where asylum seekers, like naughty children, are neither seen nor heard. This helps maintain that important distinction between Human and Non-Human that keeps our country from developing into a more multicultural society. It is well worth increasing our budget deficit to pour endless money into an awkward and never-ending debacle, so long as Australians don’t suffer from our peculiar malady of guilt over Those Individuals we spend billions to avoid helping (9). A budget must be full of sacrifice, and we sacrifice a great deal of money in order to sacrifice the freedoms of asylum seekers.
There hasn’t been an invasion of our precious dirt so determined since the year 1788, when boats brimming with Diseased Criminals changed Australia forever. In order to follow in that tradition, we would have to do away with our flood of asylum seekers in favour of those who are more inclined to carry small pox and/or murder weapons.
Small pox is difficult to acquire in this day and age, but there are plenty of criminals that should perhaps be imported to Australia in order to reinvigorate the traditional system of Australian Immigration. Unfortunately Muammar Qaddafi, Slobodan Milošević, Saddam Hussein, and Augusto Pinochet are all unavailable due to their deaths at the hands of individuals who Disagreed with their Methods of Government. A truly courageous, innovative government must bravely face the risk of such censure! Your own courageous stand against Human Rights has drawn global recognition, as it should (11).
This heroic array of world leaders would surely add to Australia’s cultural landscape, but instead we are subjected to an influx of less famous individuals fleeing their homes, families, and livelihoods in order to avoid the above characters and those like them. Worse, those whose homes, families or livelihoods have been destroyed tend not to invest heavily in their new Nation of Residence – at least until such time as they are Released into Society (6), which is of course Unthinkable. Giving these individuals the ability to move about freely and perhaps Earn a Living would blur that important line between Asylum Seekers and Humans.
This is where my Immodest proposal shines in its efficient simplicity. I flatter myself that you understand already that such an Elegant Solution to a Global Issue cannot possibly inspire modesty.
The Australian People are repeatedly shocked and saddened at the live export of cattle and sheep to distant and/or unsavoury locations around the world. At the same time, we have an overabundance of human cattle, many of them young and therefore ideal for the premier export market.
It might appear a little cruel to simply kill all of them, but it’s the most efficient way to solve the Asylum Seeker problem. Naturally we are Wise Enough to keep the best breeding stock alive.
Weaker governments might set up a raffle system, whereby applicants to safety and freedom have some small chance of reaching a new home. Weaker governments might even give in to the Repeated Pleas of their own Citizens (16) to process Asylum Seekers Swiftly, Transparently, and In Australia. Weaker Governments might make fast, easy budget savings by accepting the hundreds of offers of free accommodation for Asylum Seekers from the Australian People (17). However, this kind of practice might encourage the persistent mould of hope, which must be bleached and scoured until none remains. Otherwise individuals who have lost their savings, homes, jobs, freedoms, and assorted loved ones will never learn to accept their lot in life and/or death. We mustn’t encourage them to think or feel like Normal People.
Instead of a “Life Lottery” there should be more wide-reaching education about the God-given Lottery of Geography. If a person is born in a place that fails to grant them status as a Citizen – a Rohingya in Myanmar, or a person whose nation is vanishing outright due to the side effects of global warming – they must not be accepted as a citizen anywhere else in the world. Such behaviour disturbs the Natural Order and could results in yet more individuals Falsely Categorised as human.
Similarly, if a girl is sold into sexual slavery, she should be taught to appreciate her unique perspective in that ancient industry, and perhaps to anticipate the experience of having her first period and then her first pregnancies, assuming she should live that long. Otherwise she might get ideas above her station and become unhappy – much as my own daughter becomes upset when she discovers my chocolate stash and I don’t let her eat it all. The main lesson here is not to allow children to believe in a different life.
Obviously a sex slave’s captors are unlikely to take the time to train him or her in more than one skill, and the pleasure of their customers must always take precedence over their own desensitisation. That is where our government bravely steps forward, erecting billboards abroad to proclaim Australia’s increasingly famous racism, and stopping hundreds of genuine refugees (5) from ever reaching shore anywhere on Earth. All of these initiatives are specifically designed to extinguish any small, inconvenient hope the Geographically Challenged might mistakenly possess.
I confess I felt a little sick mentioning my funny, friendly, Frozen-obsessed four year old in the same paragraph as child sex slaves, but that just shows that I have my own geography-based cross to bear. I’m sure the mothers who lose their daughters to international child prostitution rings soon adjust to that Unusual Career, even if it wasn’t what they originally planned for their babies. If it were not so, ignoring their plight would be too cruel even for a First World Country such as ourselves.
Hopefully the parents of boys likely to be drafted into military service before they reach puberty will be similarly responsible, advising their toddlers to design a realistic five-year plan that includes their own abduction and various gunshot or stabbing wounds inflicted by their playmates. It is very much the same kind of experience as the resignation I myself feel when I tell my own child than he really must wear pants despite our mutual dislike of that article of clothing. I stick to my guns, and I expect child soldiers to do the same.
I felt a little sick mentioning my chatty, charming, chubby-cheeked one-year old in the same paragraph as child soldiers, but that just shows that I have my own geography-based cross to bear. I’m sure the mothers who lose their sons to roving militias soon adjust to that Unusual Career, even if it wasn’t what they originally planned for their babies. If it were not so, ignoring their plight would be too cruel even for a First World Country such as ourselves.
Children should never make their own choices. Their minds and bodies belong to their governments, and if they should manage to avoid death in their own land or at sea, they have ipso facto surrendered their bodies and minds to our wiser Australian government. The UN has been kind enough to describe our treatment of refugees as “torture” (11) which just goes to show how accurately our detention camps mirror the conditions our most Asylum Seekers have experienced in their own countries of origin.
Having said all of that, there will always be a small number of individuals who are unable to completely vanquish the growth of hope and/or their instinct to survive, and a small number of those determined and hardy individuals will get perilously close to Australia and an Actual Liveable Existence.
This is not a disaster, but an opportunity!
In this age of cooking shows and political correctness, Australians are longing to do something that is both creative and overtly xenophobic. The one thing all Australians love about non-Australians is their food. Taking that love to its natural conclusion will feed Australia’s hunger for novel cuisine, not to mention alleviating our “white guilt” as well as our accidental hint of appreciation for other nations. Best of all, it will save thousands of cows and sheep from a deeply unpleasant and dangerous sea journey! No one wants our animals to suffer that way, and far too many sweet innocent creatures have drowned and been lost forever.
All we have to do is treat our Asylum Seekers as nature’s own GM-free farm. We don’t need to hunt them or even feed them, since so many are already weak from malnutrition and grateful for the least scraps of humanity they’re given – why, our Asylum Seekers stay in detention for well over a year on average, and they’re so unused to human kindness that even Basic Medical Care is a privilege they’re no longer accustomed to. Many are denied sufficient drinking water and/or time enough to shower (4). Since asylum seekers are already treated like animals, the transition to meat product will be a smooth one.
This will be a great economic boon to Australia. Not only will our own local meat prices plummet, saving households a great deal of money in their grocery bill each week, but our live meat exports could be expanded overnight – and all without any upsetting cruelty to animals! The innate profitability of living asylum seekers (6) has not been enough to bring them home to Australia, but the profitability of their flesh is sure to motivate all Australians to lobby until we finally welcome our fair share (7) of the world’s refugees.
Asylum Seekers, on the whole, are an excellent lean white meat – although since refugees come from literally every walk of life, there are plenty of fattier, juicier meats on offer as well as the usual “heart smart” stock. Anyone can become a Refugee!
My own children are naturally slender, and as a result would be best suited to become the chief ingredient of a hearty stew. They could also be boiled down into an excellent natural meat stock.
I confess the idea of eating my own children makes me feel a little ill. Given that natural reluctance, we must take care in our Immigration Detention camps that any low-cost meat gleaned from asylum seeker children should be shipped to a different shore. I recommend shipping all food-grade Asylum Seekers to the mainland for consumption, since Australian Citizens no longer fear asylum seeker children once they have ceased to draw breath. I freely admit that this will add to the production costs of the meat, however since the “meat” has already been flown or shipped back and forth across oceans and from Offshore Detention Centre to Offshore Detention Centre while alive, the relatively minor shipping cost of the dead children will be quickly balanced by the sale of that meat. Since the meat is likely to quickly become a luxury item, I recommend adding GST to the product before it hits shops. Adding GST to the product later will create the appearance of a cynical price hike, and might enrage Australian citizens.
But the true Market Strength of asylum seekers is that a disproportionate number are women and children. The children are perfect for all your favourite veal dishes from Warm Winter Roasts to Summer Salads. For Australia Day, a little boy or girl’s leg can be sliced horizontally to make delicious Miniature Butterfly Roasts at a tenth of the price of similar-quality lamb shanks.
Asylum seekers already make excellent Breeding Stock. They often come equipped with several children, and only the strongest survive long enough to be put into Immigration Detention in the first place. Women who aren’t actively breeding may still end up participating in the program, since the Transfield Company running our camps reports the current rate of sexual assault to be One Attack Every Four Months under their Care (10). Many of those assaults are wasted, since they are Perpetrated on Children, but it is likely that several will still result in pregnancy – and a mother who is tormented daily by the sight of her attacker/guard is less likely to protest when her child is taken on the inevitable one-way Abattoir Excursion.
This renewable meat supply is thus far being wasted, particularly considering that the Transfield Contract to run our detention centres is worth $1.2 billion over twenty months (9). The asylum seekers themselves are making every effort to reduce the Financial Burden of their own existence by engaging in attempts at self-harm, on average, every four days (10), as reported by Transfield. This proves that Asylum Seekers are fundamentally Considerate Individuals who will perfectly understand the good sense of my proposal.
The constant adrenalin and pummelling from beatings and self-harm tenderises the meat, making it ideal for your Australian/International stir fry fusion dishes. The roasted meat of a young asylum seeker child is so tasty as a sandwich filler the following day that you’ll wish you could eat nothing but Abusive Guards’ Leftovers!
But of course this era of Thrilling New Cooking Opportunities can’t stop there. Asylum seekers make excellent casseroles, stroganoffs, risottos, pasta dishes, and savoury pies. Imagine the popularity of a reality cooking show focused entirely on the innovative methods of preparing a Hitherto Largely Untasted source of Lean White Meat!
Once again, the best recipe ideas come straight from the Immigration Detention Centres themselves. Every so often an individual who manages to find the endurance to get to Australia – nearly – loses their last spark of hope behind Australia-funded barbed wire, at which point they recognise their true place in this world. It isn’t under the table, like a dog begging for scraps. No! They deserve pride of place on the table, Cooked and Plated to Perfection.
And so it is that, every so often, a refugee turns their very Last Feeble Spark of Hope into a literal fire, and sets themself on fire. Helping those in need is an Australian trait, and nowhere is it expressed more fully than when someone who once dreamed of becoming An Australian Citizen chooses instead to pre-cook their own body. In this manner he or she saves time for housewives and househusbands who are already Overworked and Pushed for Time; often exhausted from spending all their time looking after and feeding their own non-drowned, non-slaughtered children.
The genius part of this cooking method is that the charred individual generally stays alive for some days before dying of their wounds. This keeps their meat fresh as it slow-cooks over several days.
Rather appropriately, this innovative self-cooking method tends to bring the Burned Individual to Mainland Australia just in time to be given medical treatment that isn’t quite timely enough to keep them from expiring soon afterwards.
In this manner, they get to touch Australia’s Golden Soil in the most thorough method possible – by burial.
Personally, I recommend the one possible action that’s even more Australian than burying yet another dead Asylum Seeker. I confess I’m inspired by their own final act in this world.
Could there be anything more Australian than throwing a few Asylum Seekers on the Barbie?
A Human Being
- 2015 likely to break records for forced displacement – studyhttp://www.unhcr.org/5672c2576.html “The global refugee total, which a year ago was 19.5 million, had as of mid-2015 passed the 20 million threshold (20.2 million) for the first time since 1992. Asylum applications meanwhile were up 78 per cent (993,600) over the same period in 2014. And the numbers of internally displaced people jumped by around 2 million to an estimated 34 million.”
- 2015 UNHCR subregional operations profile – East Asia and the Pacific http://www.unhcr.org/cgi-bin/texis/vtx/page?page=49e487af6&submit=GO
“In Australia, restrictive policy changes introduced previously were further reinforced by the coalition Government elected in September 2013. The introduction of (regional) offshore processing in Papua New Guinea and Nauru in 2012, with no prospect of durable settlement in Australia, was combined with ‘Operation Sovereign Borders’ to implement the Government’s policy of intercepting and returning boats to Indonesia.
The new Government reduced the humanitarian programme from 20,000 resettlement places in the fiscal year 2012-2013 to 13,750 places in 2014-2015.”
“The number of people arriving by boat in Australia is very small. In 2010-11, Australia received 11,491 asylum applications. Less than half of these (5,175) were from asylum seekers who arrived by boat. Over the same period, 2,696 Protection Visas were granted to refugees who arrived by boat. This is just 1.3 per cent of the 213,409 people who migrated to Australia during the year.”
In 2009/2010, 80% of boat arrivals were deemed to be genuine refugees, and only 3% of asylum seekers arrived by boat (ie “boat people” are an incredibly minor part of the issue, and are usually genuine refugees).
- Open Letter: Living in the hell called Nauru
“Drinking water is hardly found here. Sometimes we can find no water even for taking pills. You need to wait until a meal time. Toilets are very dirty because they are cleaned only once a week. Sometimes, recycle bins are full and remain for several days. Unlike what is claimed, here we have no health standard. A traffic of mice and poisonous millipedes has become normal in our camp. It is full of flies.”
- Immigration policy in 2014: Reza Barati’s death was a low point, and just the beginning
A summary of 2014 for asylum seekers in Australia: “Under Australia’s watchful eye, asylum seekers face an environment of intimidation, violence, self-harm and procedural uncertainty.”
- Malcolm Fraser savages Scott Morrison’s new asylum seeker laws and senators who passed them
Former PM Malcolm Fraser is appalled at the recent Migration Bill and the powers it bestows upon the Immigration Minister (including secrecy and the ability to knowingly return people to a place where they are likely to be tortured).
Scott Morrison may gloat but asylum seekers’ boats haven’t really stopped
The “stop the boats” policy is putting more people in danger (the most vulnerable are ignored because they are forced to go and risk death elsewhere).
- ‘Stopping the boats’ a fiction as Australia grows ever more isolationist on asylum
According to the UN, the reason there are less people arriving in Australia by boat is because the “stop the boats” policy is causing more to die at sea. A more effective method of reducing people smuggling and needless death would be to create better legal channels where possible (but for many of the most desperate asylum seekers, there IS no legal path to safety because their own government wants them dead).
- Australia hands over 37 intercepted asylum seekers to Sri Lankan navy
Sri Lankan asylum seekers returned to Sri Lanka were immediately (and predictably) arrested.
“Less than two years ago, the Australian government’s own statistics showed that about 90% of boat arrivals, including those from Sri Lanka, were judged to be in need of protection. Yet suddenly, under a secret process on a boat on the high seas, with no legal oversight, only one of 38 is judged to need protection.”
- Asylum seekers return to living hell
Tamil asylum seekers deported from Australia allege torture (sometimes to death) and imprisonment without trial. Their allegations fit into human rights abuses already documented against Tamil people in Sri Lanka.
- Economical advantage:
Although studies vary considerably in their estimates, all agree that in the long term refugees settled within Australia benefit the national economy.
- Amnesty Annual Report 2015/16: Australia can do better
“Australia must lift its refugee quota to at least 30,000 people in 2016 and end the regime of offshore detention.”
Australia vs the World
“Our World Ranking (2014)
- By total number of refugees 50th (prev 48th)
- Compared to our population size (per 1000 inhabitants) 67th (prev 62nd)
- Compared to our national wealth per billion GDP 84th (prev 85th)”
- Australia’s Position on Refugees is Despicable.
Australia is a safe, wealthy country that is not pulling its weight in terms of international responsibility to the poor, desperate, and endangered.
- Transfield wins 1.2b contract for Manus, Nauru detention centre security
Transfield Services will be paid $1.2 billion over 20 months to continue overseeing security at Manus Island and Nauru.
- Comment: Don’t attack Transfield over detention centres, attack the contract
Detention Centres are host to an attempt at self-harm every four days, and an incident of sexual assault every four months.
- Australian asylum seeker policy may contravene torture convention – UN
“The UN refugee agency had, the committee said, found that overseas centres did not provide humane detention conditions.”
- There’s no such thing as a “queue”
A number of countries in our region refuse to allow UNHCR to even register refugees.
- Harold Holt – Fact sheet 144
“Harold Holt disappeared while swimming at Cheviot Beach near Portsea, Victoria on 17 December, 1967. His body was never recovered.”
- Alan Kurdi’s Story: Behind the Most Heartbreaking Photo of 2015
“Alan Kurdi was one of a million. In the summer of 2015, the three-year-old Syrian boy of Kurdish origins and his family fled the war engulfing their country, hoping to join relatives in the safety of Canada. They were part of a historic flow of refugees from the Middle East to Europe this year, and they followed the dangerous route taken by so many others.”
- Concern over media restrictions on Australia’s asylum seeker policy
“The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) joins its affiliate, the Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance (MEAA) in raising strong concerns about the media restrictions that surround Australia’s asylum seeker policy and its offshore immigration detention centres. The IFJ and MEAA call on the Australian government to end the restrictions on media access and access to information.”
- Some examples:
- Some examples: