Monday, May 09, 2011

Open letter to Julia Gillard: Going Howard’s path will not save your government

Dear Hon Julia Gillard, our PM (unfortunately)
I decided to write this open letter to you after your government violated many of your Labor party declared policies (are you still Labor member?) and election promises.

Few weeks ago, your minster for immigration vowed to send genuine refugees back to their death (or at least to be tortured or imprisoned) if they commit offence, even if they were committing these offences out of desperation and under deep depression and mental instability. Even notorious Howard-Ruddock did not even dared to announce such regressive draconian measures.

And now we heard that your government is finalising very dodgy deal with Malaysian government to exchange refugees and asylum seekers. And we are also hearing that your government is negotiating with Papua New Guinea to reopen offshore detentions on Manus Island.

We are also hearing that your government is about to take another attack on our indigenous population.

Then, in this week’s budget you decided to target one of the high marginalised sections of the society. You have declared war on unemployed people, in a bid to improve the image about your government failure to deal with economic management. Again, in doing this you are imitating the highly regressive Howard government. Unfortunately, you even went very worse and more regressive than Howard regressive government.

During the last few months, our experience with your government was disastrously disappointing and depressing.

Let us talk about the asylum seeker issue. You have failed to keep any of your election promises, where you:
1- Are trying to send asylum seekers to country that did not sign the Geneva Convention to protect refugees’ rights.
2- You have failed to win support for any regional solution to this very minor issue, because you insisted on East Timor solution.
3- Your announcement on boat asylum seekers is in clear violation to international conventions.

We do not understand the reasons behind your government’s panic announcements. We acknowledge that there is crisis in detention system. But this crisis was made by your government’s mishandling of this issue. You thought for the last few months that slowing down the process of application to the point of total halt will stop the boat people arrival. You should remember that unauthorised boat arrivals to Australia did not stop for the last 2 centuries. But instead of rising up to the challenge, you decided to go Howard’s path. And you will fail miserably.
Before we tell you why you will fail miserably, let us ask few questions about your government “Malaysian solution”:
1- After you will deport 800 boat arrivals to Malaysia, what is your plan for the new arrivals beyond the 800?
2- Instead of taking 4000 UNHCR recognised refugees in Malaysia, why not taking 4000 UNHCR refugees from Indonesia?
3- Why you will accept UNHCR approved refugees from Malaysia, when your government failed to accept UNHCR recognised refugees currently inside detention centres in Australia?

Then the biggest question here is: Why Malaysia?
We proposed to your predecessor a suggestion to solve the issue for ever by introducing the “Indonesian solution”. Why your government is not considering taking these 4000 UNHCR recognised refugees from Indonesia, and not Malaysia?

We understand that your government, and after the steep slump in opinion polls since July last year, is trying to come back in these polls Howard’s style. We acknowledge that John Howard was successful in this mission, but you will not. The reason is so simple. This style was his invention, while you are trying to imitate him. The voters will decide to go with genuine version, rather than fake brand.

Let me explain it to you in more simple way. If a shop owner decided to sell original Adidas shoes and Adidas fake brand at the same price, which shoes customers will buy? They will definitely buy the original Adidas brand. That is why voters will side with Liberals, if you do not present them with alternative plan.

The same can be said about your government’s stance on other issues.

You are trying to follow the Howard’s footstep of deceiving voters on fighting unemployment by tightening legislations and make Centrelink a law and order agency, instead of welfare agency. At the end, the degrading treatment of unemployed people will prompt them to cheat the government one way or other. Or it will cause hundreds of thousands to lose their benefits and then depend on begging money from welfare agencies. Such policies that will have deep negative consequencies. I will write to you detailed study soon about this.

In this letter let us express to you our outrage about the conduct of your government. You have let us down deeply.

At the moment we cannot differentiate your government (and we know that it is a minority government with the support of the Greens and independents) from the Howard’s deeply regressive government.

Not only this. Your government is going even lower on human rights and the rights of marginalised to live in dignity and respect in this society, than Howard’s government.

We believe that your government job is to try to find solutions to problems we are facing, and not creating more. We note here that your government did not find any solution to the critical rental and accommodation crisis. We also note that the situation in the health system did not get better, if not worsened. We also note that the deterioration of life-styles is getting worse. We also note that the situation in our schools is not getting better. And we also definitely know very well that the situation of Multiculturalism is very bad, where racism is on alarming rise and Islamophobia at record high levels.

If you are trying to win some votes by resorting to Howard’s tactics, we can tell you safely that you have failed and will fail.

I can tell you an interesting story we have learnt from grandparents. When a crow liked the way rooster is walking, he tried to walk like him. After few weeks he failed in imitating the rooster. But when he tried to fly again, he failed. He forgot how to fly as a crow. So he continued his life jumping in very ugly way, neither like a rooster nor like a crow.

Do not try to be another Liberals. You will fail to get Liberals voters. And you will definitely lose traditional Labor voters.