Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Doing the decent thing

New Zealand is accepting the last 21 of the Tampa boatpeople still languishing on Nauru. It's the decent thing to do, but there's still a nagging feeling that our humanitarianism is bailing out Howard. Have we inadvertantly allowed ourselves to become part of the "Pacific solution", a final destination for refugees out of sight and mind of the Australian electorate?

Not that this should deter us in any way from doing what is right, but we should make damn sure the Australians know our views. We shouldn't be complicit in allowing Howard to treat people as a political problem whose suffering must be covered up and kept out of sight and out of mind.