ABC TV News 24 on refugees and government failures

I was invited back on ABC TV News24’s The Drum tonight with host Waleed Aly and guests Jo Stella and ABC journalist Gillian Bradford (video here).

We talked mostly about domestic politics especially asylum seekers and the parlous state of refugee policy on both major sides of parliament. I argued that Labor has spent the last years jumping at the shadow of the Liberal Party, petrified of doing anything humane that could be classed as compassionate.

With roughly 1000 children now in immigration detention, the government is seemingly incapable of managing the issue. Last week’s tragedy off Christmas Island should be a catalyst for a more sensible policy that understands why people are coming in the first place – Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran are all in turmoil, in case you were wondering – and families want to be reunited. There aren’t that many people coming here so let’s welcome them and stop the hysteria.

If only it was that simple.

There was also discussion about the impending NSW election. Rather than simply discussing who will probably win, I urged a public debate about what would likely be privatised. Did the public agree? What did the major parties think? Bring on the discussion.

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