Ackland, Richard: White Australia

Ackland, Richard

Welcome back to White Australia‘, Sydney Morning Herald, 28 February 2014

Places 2014 in a historical context and looks at possible policy alternatives for dealing with asylum seeker arrivals. There were more than 800 comments on the article.

When you peel back the layers, the oft repeated Coalition justification for stopping the boats is that ”the Australian people want it”. It hardly needs me to point out that history is littered with tragedies when justification is hitched to popularity. Stopping the boats is an end, and any amount of nastiness to achieve that is justified – popularity confers legitimacy. Maybe, in decades to come, we will look back at this time and regard it as one of the worst stains on our nation. More awful than the White Australia Policy and up there with the stolen generations. A time when our nation had a dark heart.

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