A possie in Aussie

October 19, 2009

How to win the war of words about asylum seekers

Filed under: asylum,asylum seeker,boat people — Nayano @ 7:49 am
Tags: ,

We who hate the dehumanizing rhetoric of ‘floods’ and hoards’ and ‘human cargo’ are on course to lose the struggle for ‘hearts and minds’, unless we change how we publically address the issue. Most of the arguments I see are ineffective. Here’s a few reasons:

We  need to stop playing  the intellectually superior:  ‘the numbers of asylum seekers as a percentage of total refugees in the world April 2002 to November 5 2009 allowing for coefficients of confusion shows that …’

Stop appealing to international law such as the Refugee Convention, when the people who are most worried about asylum seekers are concerned with law in Australia:

“A reason we love being in Australia is we feel a sense of security because we have rules and regulations in place,” said Mrs Davidson, who lives at Coolum with her husband and children, Joshua, 7, Max, 5, and Carrie,2. (Ex Zimbabwe)

“There’s a real sense of security – you’re protected by those rules.” Message is clear: don’t do it illegally, Sunshine Coast News

We are not addressing real concerns: “ It’s important not to be seen as weak.”

Have you ever heard anyone saying that the Rudd government’s decision to rescind some of the Howard government asylum seeker legislation was a strong move? Please reply in the Comments if you have.

Saying things are worse in other countries (see Andrew Bartlett’s post of today – excellent, but preaching to the converted). If you believe you are drowning, it doesn’t help if someone tells you that other people are likely to drown sooner.



  1. But what do you suggest replacing this language with?

    Comment by Stephen — October 19, 2009 @ 8:29 am | Reply

    • Perhaps I should have called it ‘How not to win the war…?
      But it did catch your attention.
      I’m working on how to…. Wait for the next installment (tomorrow, I hope!)
      Thanks for taking the time to comment

      Comment by nayano — October 19, 2009 @ 8:51 am | Reply

  2. […] What’s a ‘possie’? How to win the war of words about asylum seekers […]

    Pingback by Winning the asylum-seeker war of words, part 1 « A possie in Aussie — October 20, 2009 @ 7:19 am | Reply

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