There are people in this world who float through life. They work in jobs without purpose, slaving away for their small patch of land with a box containing an eggplant feature wall. They go to work, and then spend their weekends sitting around, either painting said eggplant wall or cooking up different kinds of meat on a barbecue, talking about the weather, whingeing about their mortgage payments, their job, their kids… and never actively doing anything to change their lives.
For these people, everything is someone else’s fault. The reason they didn’t get promoted is because of the [insert bigoted label here] getting “preferential treatment”. The reason their mortgage payments are high is because [insert any reason other than being overcommitted here]. The reason their kid is emotionally troubled is the ex’s, or the in-laws, or the teacher’s fault. The reason they can’t hold a meaningful friendship or relationship for more than a few months? Totally their fault.
They learn only as much as they need to to get that promotion: not for learning’s sake, or to try and make sense of their lives — but to afford maybe a slightly different coloured feature wall — or maybe a deck. They don’t read the papers — hell these people don’t even know that Australia even has a Constitution let alone what is in it. Their main source of news is The 7PM Project, or if they are particularly retarded, Today Tonight.
There are people in this world where the reason for everything is always someone else. If all government policy were dictated by these people, well… we’d live in a very different country. They are merely existing, doing nothing of note, for a stretch of approximately 80 years, they know deep down that their life is meaningless. But rather than actually admit it, they blame others. For everything.
These are the people that Kevin Rudd’s current stance on Immigration aims to please. And it is disgusting.
I once thought that Kevin Rudd was a good guy. He is an educated man. He knows right from wrong. He knows the difference between state and federal government (unlike the majority of Australian voters). He knows that what he is doing is inhumane, illogical and racist.
And he does it anyway, for fear of retribution in an election year, because the bogan belt might not vote for him.
Kevin Rudd could have made a stand. He could have turned around and called this exactly what it is: scapegoating and racist. he could have been a visionary Prime Minister that said “We declared war on Afghanistan, it is our responsibility to give refuge to its displaced citizens”. He could have stopped referring to them as “Asylum Seekers” and started calling it what it is: “locking up families in prison for an indefinite amount of time, who flee violence, in search of a better life”. He could have told people to be more empathetic, and whenever they see the word “boat people” or “asylum seeker”, insert “my friend”, “my father”, “my mother”, “my child”.
He could have actually called it what it is.
The Howard government’s behaviour in previous election years has left Kevin Rudd gunshy. I get it. But where is that Prime Minister that prioritised “Sorry”? Where is the Prime Minister that handled the Global Financial Crisis? Where is that Prime Minister that has made some pretty courageous policy decisions since being elected?
George Orwell said: “In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act.”
Calling this what it is, an attempt by the Opposition to use old tricks — trying to appeal to the ugliest, ugliest side of the Australian electorate — would be an act of bravery on Rudd’s part. And yes, he may even be penalised for it. But you know, I would rather go down fighting for what’s right, than be known as the guy who locked up the most vulnerable people, for an indeterminate amount of time, in order to get myself re-elected by people who frankly, will turn over the next interest-rate-rise-they-don’t-understand anyway.
Our leaders should be not judged by how they treat the privileged, unthinking, people who exist. They should be judged on on how our most vulnerable, most needy, most desperate people are treated. And most of all, they should be judged on how they behaved, even when they knew better.
I am constantly disappointed by the people I meet, who blame others for their own problems. But I understand that it’s not their fault. They honestly don’t know any better. But I am doubly disappointed by Rudd, because I know he has the capacity to make hard, ethical, decisions. And instead, he chose the easy road. That’s unforgivable.