IN AN OXYMORON,
Communist Party Greens Senator Sarah Hanson-Young has embarked on a “fact-finding mission” to Cambodia to investigate conditions “refugees might encounter” if resettled there; given the Senator’s odd version of the facts on asylum seeker issues to date and her jaundiced view of reality at the best of times, the prospect she will report any “facts” is less than that of the sun rising in the west tomorrow morning.
It’s very difficult to take Sarah Hanson-Young all that seriously, when she professes “compassion” for just about anyone who is not Australian, when it is remembered that her response to the deaths of more than 1,000 asylum seekers at sea was as brutal and as cavalier as it was succinct: “accidents happen.”
And it is ridiculous (and bordering on an obscenity) that so vituperative is her outrage over the Abbott government policies that stopped countless hundreds of drowning deaths that she would prefer the restoration of the previous suite of failed policies to the government being able to claim a skerrick of credit for a job well done in this area.
It’s been some time since the nasty piece of work from South Australia has attracted the attention of this column, although it’s a dubious achievement of sorts that after almost 900 articles published here to date, this one — particularising her attempt to dispute the realities over asylum seeker deaths under the policies the Greens were jointly responsible for enacting, and her inability to withstand questioning on radio about it by a reasonable journalist — remains the fourth-most read of the lot, and continues to attract readership every week since being published over a year ago.
It seems another attempt at fiction could be in the offing, with Hanson-Young now in Cambodia — presumably at the expense of the taxpayer — to investigate conditions that might be experienced by refugees resettled there under the Abbott government’s contentious arrangements with that country; and irrespective of the merits or otherwise of those arrangements, the portents for any balance in the good Senator’s findings appear grim.
Apparently keeping some kind of log of her travels on Twitter (using the hashtag #FactFindCambodia), it seems Hanson-Young’s disgraceful sense of perspective knows no bounds, with the disgusting imputation that the federal government is intent on abandoning young girls resettled under the policy to sexual servitude and exploitation (and remember, this is from the Senator’s own record of the “facts” she has found).
I’ve read about this in The Australian tonight and had a look through the (brief) weblog on Twitter, and it’s difficult to see what the Senator is doing in any other light than deliberately causing trouble if the tenor of her jottings to date are anything to go by.
As the minister, Scott Morrison, pointed out on 2GB this afternoon, the arrangements for resettlement of refugees are not even finalised, let alone any preparations made; and even then, resettlement will be voluntary, and consist of very small numbers of people.
But this doesn’t bother Hanson-Young, who appears hellbent on finding the very worst aspects of life in Cambodia, as they stand now, and in the absence of any of the infrastructure and support the government will put in place under its resettlement scheme: a selective appraisal indeed of a policy she purports to seek the “facts” about.
I would suggest the Senator is motivated more from a desire to inflict damage on a conservative government for the sake of it than she is by any real concern for asylum seekers; her cavalier and flippant remark that “accidents happen” in response to more than a thousand drownings justify this stance, as does the fact she is out hunting for ammunition before the policy she opposes has even been implemented.
As Immigration minister Morrison notes in the article I have linked, facts and Sarah Hanson-Young aren’t two things that readily come to mind at the same time; and as trite as his words might be, his assertion that Hanson-Young’s trip will simply give her something to “whinge and complain (about) like she always does” is on the mark.
Pigs might fly, and charcoal might sprout, and — tomorrow morning — the sun could very well rise in the west.
But will Sarah Hanson-Young uncover any “facts” about refugee policy on her current jaunt to Cambodia?
Don’t hold your breath.