… many people are agonising over how to play a role in ending Australia’s escalating violence against refugees.‘Many people’..? Really? Or just the ones you know?
Apparently, writing to your MP just doesn’t cut it any more:
Letter writing and similar forms of private individual lobbying are predicated on a logic of personal appeal or persuasion. They rest on the idea that if enough people individually express their opinion strongly enough, decision-makers are bound to heed them.
Morrison doesn’t need letters from voters to know that his policies aren’t universally supported. As his declarations make clear, he’s certainly not going to change course on the strength of a few emails, particularly given where overall public opinion on asylum stands at the moment.He quotes an Essential Report poll which shows that, when asked ‘Do you think the Federal Liberal/National Government is too tough or too soft on asylum seekers, or is it taking the right approach?’, the poll shows that only 22% of respondees think it’s ‘too tough’. They don’t agree with Nick one little bit.
This is the government’s fault.
What, you think these people don’t know their own minds? Of course they don’t!
… on asylum issues, governments manifestly lead opinion.*sighs*
After all, most Australians have never met a refugee. All they know about the issue comes from the narratives cynically moulded by leaders from what we persist in calling both “sides” of politics, subsequently uncritically reflected by a complicit corporate media.So, assuming giving each Aussie his or her own personal refugee to house (which would surely usher in a wave of bonhomie towards the waifs of the world, right?), how to force through the Left’s vision of a world of Open Borders, in the teeth of this intransigence on behalf of the general public?
A breakthrough on refugees will not arise from a logic of private appeal or persuasion: governments will only respond to a logic of public pressure. For that reason, public forms of opposition – demonstrations, petitions, phone blockades – are the only conceivable way forward.Take to the barricades, comrades! I'll be over here, sipping a latte in Starbucks.
There is a marked conservative tendency, even among people who consider themselves as progressive, to stigmatise an alleged “protest left” which, supposedly, can do nothing other than kick and scream, and which often disconcerts newcomers through the variety of different causes that it attracts to any one protest event.Or, to translate, even those who may feel that Australia can do a bit more for refugees look askance when a bunch of hangers-on turn up and start trashing the place holding banners stating 'Gay Whales For Palestine!'...
What is obviously needed is a determined campaign of public activism, in which people from all walks of life, representing all kinds of different and incompatible interests, regularly participate in and initiate protest actions, and encourage others to join them.
To change Australian refugee policy, progressive people will have to do more than tell politicians they aren’t happy: they will have to act, and act politically.So get out your Molotov cocktails, and the public will suddenly be on your side!