September 22nd 2001


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Articles from this issue:

STOP PRESS: Who has declared war on the United States?

COVER STORY: Canberra to blame for Ansett's demise

CANBERRA: Asylum seekers bring ill tidings for Beazley and the ALP

COMMENT: Boat people reaction - echoes of the 1970s

NEW ZEALAND: Army caught in political imbroglio

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Send in the counsellors / Good morning, Vietnam

MEDIA: Out of touch with majority sentiment

LETTERS: Tristar: another view

Letter: Poor reception

Letter: Let them stay

REGIONAL AFFAIRS: Why East Timor chose Portuguese

TRADE: Lamb exports: where to now?

BUSINESS: Selling wholesome food to Australia's homes

FAMILY: Well-being of families and nation intertwined

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Letter: Poor reception


by Paul Connelly

News Weekly, September 22, 2001

Sir,

Peter Westmore's editorial (NW, September 8) is very disappointing.

When the Holy Family fled Palestine 2000 years ago, I am very glad that they did not encounter something like the Australian Government applying a "fair but firm policy which protects the country's longstanding ... reputation", because if they had, their chances of getting into Egypt would have been nil.

After all, Joseph was a poor, low-skilled wood-worker and his wife uneducated with an infant. How could they hope to compete with the highly-educated healthy 12,000 handpicked from 45 million by the Government as "genuine legal refugees" each year?

After five years of being trapped in a hellish refugee border camp, the family might even have been tempted to escape by seeking out a people smuggler, and head to their destination as "boat people", "queue jumpers", "economic refugees" or "illegals".

Of course, in more recent times, Australia was settled by criminals and later "economic refugees" and displaced people from all over the world - many having arrived in unseaworthy wooden boats "full of exotic diseases".

Given the circumstances of the First Coming of Christ, it is perhaps more likely that the Second Coming may occur on a refugee boat among "illegals" than the comfortable offices of North Melbourne.

Paul Connelly,
East Perth, WA




























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