The Opposition’s policy on asylum seekers continues to disgust. There he was on tonight’s television news, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott, declaring that the Coalition “will do whatever it takes – whatever it takes – to stop the boats from coming”.
I don’t doubt it. The Opposition Leader’s single-cell vision for this wonderful country is to make it such an horrendous place in which to seek asylum that no-one would dare to come here.
This supremely unimportant issue – a trickle of desperate people arriving on our shores at a rate we can easily absorb – has been beaten up into the litmus test of whether a government deserves to be in office.
It is a litmus test for me. People who would exploit this issue for their own political advantage, who put politics before humanity, say a great deal about themselves that we would do well to heed. And if their judgement is so distorted that they see this issue as the big issue of our time, what does that say about their capacity to prioritise?
I am not much given to quoting the Bible at people, but I am happy to quote it at people like Tony Abbott who wear their Christianity on their sleeve. Isaiah Chapter 59: 3-4, 7 seems apposite:
3. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness.
4. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth; they trust in vanity and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity.
7. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood; their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths.