Scott Morrison- Liberal Party shadow Immigration minister, family man, churchgoer- and increasingly it seems, Australia’s answer to Joseph McCarthy. In his role, Morrison has been at the forefront of the Coalition’s relentless pursuit, and manipulation of the issue of asylum seekers, particularly those arriving by boat. This week’s proposal, that communities be informed of asylum seekers moving in, and that asylum seekers be subject to so-called ‘behaviour protocols’ whilst residing in the community is yet another step in the continuing vilification of asylum seekers by the Coalition for political purposes.
One of the fundamental misconceptions about asylum seekers is that what they are doing is illegal, hence the popular term ‘illegal immigrant’. Yet under international law they are completely within their rights to seek asylum. However, Morrison and the Coalition actively seek to exploit this misconception. This week’s proposal is a particularly heinous example. What Morrison effectively proposes is lumping asylum seekers, primarily Tamils fleeing persecution in Sri Lanka or Afghani Hazara fleeing the Taliban, who have committed no crime, with murderers and sex offenders. And don’t think that Morrison et al don’t know that people will draw this link. Ever since the ‘Children Overboard’ affair in 2001, the Coalition has repeatedly and cynically exploited asylum seekers for votes. But this is a new low.
What then, specifically of Scott Morrison? He has been very effective on the asylum seeker issue. His methods have however been, to be generous, morally questionable. Firstly, he questioned the cost of flying asylum seekers to the funerals of loved ones who died in the Christmas Island boat tragedy. On a broader level, he has spoken of exploiting the issue of Muslim immigration for political gain. And now this. Clearly, the Honorable Member for Cook is either a politician with few qualms about how he wins votes. Or he has some sort of personal hang up with asylum seekers, whether that be their skin colour or beliefs. Or both. Regardless, he is clearly unfit as a potential future Minister for Immigration and Citizenship.