16 March 2018


Peter Dutton, as ever, doesn't know what he is talking about, and his racism does a great disservice to the government he is supposedly part of. I thought, in my innocence, that Julie Bishop was the foreign minister and Malcolm Turnbull was the prime minister, and it was therefore their portfolios which dictated foreign policy.

Dutton, of course, knows nothing about South Africa and its history, and why should he anyway when he is a minister in a racist apartheid state anyway.

What is pathetic is that he is offering white South African farmers a haven in Australia - many white South African and Zimbabwean (Rhodesian) farmers came to live in Australia to escape their black countries and to live in apartheid Australia anyway.

It is rather pathetic at a time in world history where there is so much upheaval and we have so much room to give people sanctuary from murderous regimes that when some of these people fleeing manage to get to Australia, this government sends them back to the countries they escaped from where they are more than likely to lose their lives, because - and wait for it - they are black, or brown, or some other colour which is not white.

Apartheid is odious, and as a South African who grew up in apartheid South Africa, lived there for 51 years, and then came to live in apartheid Australia for the last 40 years, thinking I had escaped apartheid in South Africa, only to discover it was very much alive and well and living in Australia, and now at 91 I am too old to go anywhere.

Australia being an apartheid state supports other apartheid states such as Israel, the USA, the UK and others because they have to support white regimes.

Dutton wishes to control Australia and become a petty dictator, and it is time Malcolm Turnbull shut him up. He is divisive and cruel and does harm at every turn. He needs to be removed from his position in the cabinet instead of having his portfolio going from strength to strength.

Enough is enough!

The following letters were in The Age newspaper on 16 March 2018:

Refugees: Tamils, living here as second-class citizens

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton has offered to "fast track" applications from white farmers in South Africa to resettle in Australia. This seems a generous act which recognises that they are being murdered at the rate of one a week and are in danger of having their land confiscated. But how do we explain Mr Dutton's feelings for these white South Africans compared with his feelings for the darker skinned, Sri Lankan Tamils who also face deprivation of their land, torture and murder? Members of this group live as second-class citizens in Australia, in daily fear of the "KGB-style", 5am knock on their doors, and forced repatriation at the hands of our government to whatever fate awaits them.
Geraldine Moore, Bayside Refugee Advocacy & Support Association, Hampton

Illustration: Jim Pavlidis

Varying degrees of who deserves our protection

We keep asylum seekers languishing in offshore detention, turn a blind eye to Syrian refugees who are trapped in protracted unrest and fear, yet offer to fast track white, South African farmers. This is a new low for Peter Dutton and our standing as a society.
Lisa Blanch, North Balwyn

Illustration: Matt Golding

The Rohingya aren't white like the South Africans

Peter Dutton is keen to offer visas to white South African farmers who are facing violence and land seizures. What about the Rohingya farmers who also facing violence and land seizures? But they are not white, are they?
Tony Harris, Ocean Grove

Our double standard on who is an 'over stayer'

Let me get this right. A Tamil, asylum-seeking couple with two Australian-born children, residents for five years in a Queensland country town, are arrested in the dead of night and locked up to await forcible deportation, despite having received an assurance of renewed visas (Comment, 14/3). Meanwhile, tens of thousands of people on student and tourist visas "over stay" but are left in peace. It is gob-smacking. Bill Shorten, where are you?
Jill Sanguinetti, East Brunswick

Please, Minister, show us your human side for once

Dear Peter Dutton. With all respect, I must tell you that I am very worried about you. You must be extremely unhappy. Whenever you are plotting yet another drastic intervention, such as the one with the Tamil family this week, it must be so hard to sleep at night. Your actions, attitudes, and – here is that word again – values are disturbing and un-Australian. They are also inhumane. How these things must trouble you, as you reflect on the despair that you create in the lives of those who are already deeply traumatised.

I have an idea that might help you, sir. Did you know that a single act of compassion can put you in touch with your own humanity? No? Well, it really can. Many Australians yearn, indeed, pray for the day when you will try that simple thing. Just for once, show us the compassionate Peter Dutton.
Jacob de Ridder, Rosanna

Many of us will not look away from this cruelty

How did it come to this ("Family's treatment is our shame")? And who carries out these instructions from the government? Peter Dutton, how can you ask Australian citizens to behave in such cruel and insensitive ways? Thank you, Clementine Ford. We will not look away.
Geoff and Gillian Senior, Camperdown

Dutton's warped set of priorities

Peter Dutton offers white South Africans, who might lose their farms, safe haven, but blocks legitimate refugees who might lose their lives. It is good to see that he has his priorities sorted.
Jack Morris, Kennington

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90 years old, political gay activist, hosting two web sites, one personal: http://www.red-jos.net one shared with my partner, 94-year-old Ken Lovett: http://www.josken.net and also this blog. The blog now has an alphabetical index: http://www.red-jos.net/alpha3.htm