Fair trade

I caught the tail end of Triple J’s Hack, a current affair program and was disappointed to hear Australia’s latest refugee stunt. Apparently, we are considering exchanging refugees with America. Refugees will be ‘processed’ in each country’s off-shore facility, and then potentially traded. I can imagine it now. The phone rings.


“Good morning George! What will it be today? ”

“I’ve got thirty Cubans on offer. What can you give me?”

“How about a handful of Sri Lankans, and er, lets see – I’ve got a dozen Chinese.”


Since when do we play “swaps” with people? Ok, I understand the student exchange idea – one of mutual benefit. House exchanges – I visit your country and you visit mine and we stay in each other’s houses. One vital difference here. Choice. Refugees suffer enough, fleeing living situations that are incomprehensible to us here in Australia. They finally make it to safer waters, end up in our cozy detention centres, and then get traded like some kind of commodity. I like fair trade. As in coffee. Not people. Not happy John.


6 thoughts on “Fair trade

  1. what strikes me most about this is: Its going to further fragment families. If part of a Cuban family has to flee from persecution (as the trading will only be done amongst true refugees not those mearly applying for the status) then they may end up half the world away in Australia, so very far away from the rest of their family.

  2. Isnโ€™t it a crazy upside down world? It all comes down to buddying-up with the big boys. Idiotic, senseless, greed-driven, rich (read: powerful) kids playing with the lives of the refuse of society. I hate this. Australia prides itself on a lie of democracy.

  3. I feel your pain, anna.

    It feels like every democracy is a lie. Someone today spoke with me about the role our government has in our freedom and I realized that our government doesn’t want us free, just controllable and malleable. Blame the non-conformist in me, but it just seems like all government is a lie to control the masses of mindless people. The truly sad part in all of this is that, as Christina said, people are caught in the middle, people who are still hurting from the overt abuse their former government doled out to them.

    I agree with you, Christina: people are not trading cards, and they should not be treated like them.

  4. We’re just living in a world where we elect our own dictators. You have America and Australia trading people as commodities, we have some idiotic fanatics who feel every Indian should convert himself to hinduism. Modern Medievalism. ๐Ÿ™‚

    Which is why I keep telling folks that they should make me Emperor.. hey you gave them a chance, how bout me! ๐Ÿ˜›

    Another stale joke I read on a friend’s blog, Be nice to America or we’ll bring Democracy to your country. ๐Ÿ˜†

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