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Re: [xmca] Go Back to Where you Came From

I think just to see that the refugee and asylum question is complex is enough to ask, Denise. Australia is more than well equipped to receive these people. The boat peopple who are scape goated by the conservative side of politics amount to 2.5% of our immigration intake, or 0.8% of additions to population if you include births, so it is not a social problem at all. It is part of what governments all see as a solution. I.e., the famous slogan of the post WW2 period in Australia: "populate or perish."

To me the interesting thing was that Raquel particularly was simply ignorant. She had never been outside the suburb where she lived in Western Sydney and never even had a job. When she was exposed to the refugee story through lived experience, firstly she almost had a nervous breakdown (to use a nice 1950s term) but then she totally transformed. Her whole physiognomy changed. Her eyes literally lit up, when she "saw" it. That's all that is required. One of the 6 (the candidate for the Liberal Parrty) made an understatement when he said "Whoever works out a solution to this issue will get a Nobel Peace Prize" but a little compassion goes a long way. And not just for refugees, but for the whole of political life, I think.


Denise Newnham wrote:
Dear Carol and Andy,

The story of refugees and asylum seekers is complex. One needs to be really
careful not to fall into paternalistic attitudes. Meaning that if there is
not a coherent structure that is economically and socially viable (as in SA)
and if the host country has not ratified the relevant international
conventions, as in many countries, then xenophobia is the outcome. I have
followed many refugee  and asylum seeker families in their cultural
transition and it is really a painful experience to be sure. Sometimes I
just wonder whether there is not another way to deal with this problem. SA
does host the world's biggest number but this is to my mind due to bad
political reasoning. SA has too many problems to cope with this and so the
country becomes submerged and people confuse political, economic refugees
and asylum seekers as well as fortune hunters. Few countries thought that
the problems of refugees and asylum seekers would arrive at the level that
it has in 2011 and we are only at the top of the iceberg. Yet we still lack
coherent laws and structures and at the end of the stick the people being
hosted suffer from a lack of dignity. To my mind being alive is not enough
which is the condition that many of these displaced people are reduced to.

Thanks for the sources Andy very interesting

-----Original Message-----
From: xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu [mailto:xmca-bounces@weber.ucsd.edu] On
Behalf Of Carol Macdonald
Sent: jeudi 30 juin 2011 16:11
To: ablunden@mira.net; eXtended Mind, Culture, Activity
Subject: Re: [xmca] Go Back to Where you Came From

We need something like that here.  South Africa has the highest number of
refugees in the world (about 3-4 million) and there have been outbreaks of
zenophobia again here. I would not want to send my little Zimbabwean pupil
and his Mom back to face the military which is going to guarentee Mugabe
success in the upcoming polls.

On 29 June 2011 03:55, Andy Blunden <ablunden@mira.net> wrote:

This is off topic, but ... in Australia last week we had the most amazing
example from the genre of reality TV. A group of 6 lower middle-class
Australian racists who all hated "boat people" and thought they deserved
drown, etc. (5 of the 6, one was OK), were sent on a "reverse refugee
journey," starting in Austrtalian detention centres, on to a leaky boat to
the various staging points ultimately back to Iraq and an African civil
It was a real perezhivanie! The show is blocked for viewers in the US as I
guess they plan to sell it, I don't know about other countries, but you
watch the follow-up catharsis here:
e you can see if these people changed their mind.

*Andy Blunden*
Joint Editor MCA: http://www.informaworld.com/**smpp/title~db=all~content=

Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
MIA: http://www.marxists.org

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*Andy Blunden*
Joint Editor MCA: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/title~db=all~content=g932564744
Home Page: http://home.mira.net/~andy/
Book: http://www.brill.nl/default.aspx?partid=227&pid=34857
MIA: http://www.marxists.org

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