Help! The Boat People are coming.

GUEST POST BY DOMINIC LOVATT – Brand Manager at Lovatts Media Group.

These are the incessant cries of an ignorant, hypocritical and brainwashed section of society.
For some reason, boat arrivals have always been an issue of concern to the Australian public.

This intrigues me, as that’s exactly the mode of transport the Europeans used to settle here right the way from the First Fleet in 1788, through to the gold rushes of the late 19th century, the large-scale migration from war-torn countries post-WWII all the way up the up to the ‘Ten Pound Poms’ in the assisted passage scheme which wound up in the early 1980s. So if it was fine for them to arrive that way, why not refugees from Sri Lanka? Why not those fleeing murderous regimes in Afghanistan?

First of all, if we’re worried about overpopulation (which we shouldn’t be, and I’ll get to later), then why don’t we look at the real picture;

– Boat arrivals make up a mere 4% of those who attempt to migrate here, with some 50,000 people overstaying their visas every year. And why isn’t this a bigger issue? Because generally, they’re white, speak English and remind us of ourselves. This colonial, ‘White Australia’ attitude is still prevalent in ‘2012 Australia’, and will unfortunately always be amongst some.

Also, the media have simultaneously decided that ‘plane people’ doesn’t have the same scary ring to it.

– As for the misconception that we host more refugees than other countries, well it’s exactly that. A misconception. We rank 32nd out of 71 countries in terms of resettling refugees.

– Anyone who comes to Australia seeking protection – regardless of whether they come on a boat or on a plane – has a right under international and Australian law to apply for that protection. As an asylum seeker, they have legal status.

As for those who bleat about overpopulation in this vast nation of ours, I can tell you it’s all a pack of lies. We can more than handle growth. It’s more about what we need to do in order to manage this sustainable living.

During Kevin Rudd’s short stint as PM, he stated “it’s good news that our population is growing… I think it’s good for us, it’s good for national security in the long-term, it’s good in terms of what we can sustain as a nation”.

This statement, however was widely condemned, as the major political parties are all in favour of reducing the growth rate of immigration. These arguments are fundamentally anti-humanist, are rocket fuel for racists, and have no basis in reality – while the facts have been lost in the maelstrom.

So the next time you are complaining about boat people, ask yourself, “How did my ancestors arrive in this country?” I’ve got a feeling the answer will be by boat. The only difference is, their boat came in earlier.

N.B. My parents came here by boat, so don’t you be slagging off boat people, y’hear?


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