I’ll say it plain: we are aiding and abetting murderers. We are actively helping a regime that continues to kill and torture its citizens. People are pleading for help while we chat to those in power and pretend not to hear. We are doing all this so the current government can win the pointless merit badge of saying that they stopped the fucking boats, whatever the cost to other people’s lives and our own decency.
The words and ideas we use are being twisted. We say we send people into danger “to prevent deaths at sea”. We discuss visas in terms of “rewarding” people, not helping them. Government lawyers argue that the High Court can’t stop them transferring detainees whose existence has not been officially announced.
And in the midst of this fuckery, our leader stands up to give a speech to a bunch of businessmen. He says that “We are not a mean or petty people. We will remain a beacon of hope and optimism, freedom and prosperity in a troubled world.” He is a man willing to trade political advantage for the lives of strangers. And here is a country that is letting him do it, that gave him the chance, and whose name and benefit is invoked as the cause with each step along his way. The stain is on all of us. We are not a beacon. We’re a lighthouse. Our signal warns mariners to stay the fuck away or we will smash you on these rocks. You’re damn right I’m ashamed.