A possie in Aussie

May 12, 2009

People smugglers are heroes, Boat people are Australians of the Year

History lessons about boatpeople and people smugglers:

Hoa Pham at the Age reminds us that

“Boat people” in the 1970s and 1980s are now the well established Vietnamese-Australian communities. “Boat people” include such high achievers such as Khoa Do and Tan Le, both Young Australians of the Year, and Nam Le, the short-story author. History forgotten in hysteria over asylum seekers

Bob Ellis, at the ABC’s Unleashed, reminds us of Moses, the people smuggler, and Schindler the people smuggler, and the Scarlet Pimpernel, and Sydney Carton in A Tale of Two Cities, and Rick in Casablanca.

“How can this be ‘just doing it for the money’? Ellis asks.

“It sounds pretty heroic to me, pretty selfless, pretty self-sacrificing. Like the border guards who helped the Holy Family flee to Egypt during Herod’s massacre of Israel’s first born. Or the Kentish fisher-folk who came in little boats to save the British army at Dunkirk, people smugglers whose memory still brings tears to Britons over 50”. (See Is your people smuggler my hero?)

I guess that we just have to vilify somebody!


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