I posted this on Radio National’s Facebook site this morning after hearing Fran Kelly interviewing this Dr.
She kept on saying to him ‘Do you accept that politicians have a right to have some say in who comes to this country?’
I paraphrase but that’s about it. She was confronting him, effectively, with a choice. She juxtaposed an obvious right with an obvious wrong with the implication that the one supposed you must have the other.
So I said:
Don’t like the way Fran Kelly put the questions to Dr David Isaacs this morning regarding Nauru.
She makes it a question between politicians having no say over who comes to this country on the one hand and Nauru on the other.
That’s very false. Very improper.
It is a question of whether politicians or anyone else has any right to torture and torment people on any pretext at all. On whether anyone has any right to contravene International Human Rights and so on.
That’s what it is a question about.
It is not ‘this situation: Nauru – or nothing’.
Putting the question in this improper way is actually seeking permission to continue torment and torture.
Perhaps not in context with Fran Kelly but the question is widely put in just that way in other places. I’d actually expect Fran Kelly to acknowledge that, point it out and argue against it.
At bottom it is clearly illegal, improper, inhuman and unnecessary.
They are arguing that it is necessary. In fact. That’s their secret argument. Not that illegal immigrants or refugees should be imprisoned but that they SHOULD be imprisoned without trial or sentence, indefinitely and be subject to lack of medical facilities etc., etc.
And they argue this because they are contending that an awful and horrifying situation must be SEEN to exist or the deterrent to people smuggling will not exist.
That’s their argument which of course they’ll never boldly, plainly, clearly put. But that’s it. And that’s what is the hidden implication of Fran putting the question that way.
And it is phony and false. There’s other ways.