When the British government transported criminals and political enemies to this far-off land their plan was kinder than ours. Convicts who had done their time were given land and support to prosper and build families and livelihoods. Rehabilitation was a serious goal of that era and many championed this cause.
William Wilberforce, for example, fought for the rights of convict men and women. He and others believed the original owners of the land were to be respected and even fought to protect aboriginal place names and rights in recognition of this.
Privileged white men with greedy, ambitious agendas were the enemies of such sanity then as well as today.
Our current governments transported innocent men and women to remote places and refused to even hear their cases or discover their need to be rescued for years.
They decided a few must be deemed guilty regardless of the weight of proof declaring their innocence.
They decided a few must be abused to scare away others fleeing danger.
They decided to deny safety, fair processing and humane settlement for this randomly selected group even if it meant funding corrupt leaders in other nations to do so.
They decided the damage done to foreign cultures, governments and peoples was acceptable fallout.
They decided a select group of human beings were disposable to the extent that mental and physical health and strength were negligible losses.
Extreme suffering and violence have characterised their response to genuine requests for rescue for way too long.
Leading parties have tarnished their brands and brand Australia by denying healing, safety, resettlement and futures to their victims. Truly the people smugglers showed more mercy and humanity in securing passage to a nation that just a few years ago was considered compassionate.
Nobody could have guessed that our body of ambitious, privileged, white men and women would restrict media voices, hide operations, pay off corrupt politicians and float private prison makers whilst disregarding a multitude of laws, to enact their policies.
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