From the ‘bright ideas file’ of a government gone mad:
Don’t these asylum-seekers get it yet? The rule is “form an orderly queue and wait your turn to be processed by the refugee sausage-machine. Due process. Rules.” It’s not that hard, people.
We’ve done just about everything to stop them coming here. There was that awesome graphic novel that appeared on the Immigration department website (but is no longer there). The Guardian wrote about it though:
We’ve spent a fortune on glossy communications campaigns:
We’ve locked up the cowardly queue-jumpers (and their children) who would prefer to throw away everything they have on people-smugglers’ promises because they think that’s a better bet than taking their chances with the Taliban or Islamic State while they wait for the refugee sausage-machine to come up with their number.
We’ve made their lives unspeakably ugly in detention – so ugly that they self-harm. Some die. Still they don’t get it – what’s wrong with them? How can we get through to these people?
I know! Let’s make a telemovie! That’s SURE to work – everyone watches TV, right? – even people living in terror over there in those war-torn countries…
Imagine the excitement at the departmental morning tea when THAT idea was touted! I bet they almost choked on their sausage rolls.
A spokesperson for the Immigration Department told the ABC’s Lateline program that "television soap operas and telemovies are proven media to reach the target audience when seeking to deliver complex messages."
And they’ve picked Trudi-Ann Tierney, from Put it Out There Pictures, to produce it, by golly they have:
Ms Tierney is an experienced TV producer who worked in Afghanistan for four years making TV soap operas as well as an anti-terrorist police show called Eagle Four which was largely funded by the US embassy in Kabul and which she described as "propaganda".She also worked on Afghan programs backed by other embassies as well as UN bodies and aid agencies.In her 2014 memoir Making Soapies in Kabul, Ms Tierney wrote that: "Ostensibly I was head of drama (for a local TV company); but in truth I was nothing more than a propaganda merchant".
Here’s the whole story:
The bargain basement price tag of only $4.1m is another incentive for our government.
I eagerly await the next bright idea from a government that is allegedly desperate to cut costs, and is willing to defund aboriginal communities and women’s refuges, cut pensions, make the dole an impossibility for young unemployed, deregulate higher education fees while still allowing the uber-capitalists at the high end of town - the Gina Rineharts and Rupert Murdochs – to rake in the dough by avoiding their share of the ‘heavy lifting’ that our treasurer insists upon the rest of us doing.
So… I’ve been thinking about bright ideas, Aussie government, and I’ve come up with a few more to go on with in the wake of your fab telemovie:
- Asylum seekers - the board game. A game with all the randomness and rationality of Snakes and Ladders.
- Asylum seekers – the phone app – race against the clock to turn back as many boats as you can. Extra points for at-sea detention or boat-scuttling.
- Build your own Manus Island detention centre’ – a construction kit made of canvas and razor wire. Extra guard-posts available at a small cost. Comes without bathroom doors. Build your own Nauru also available.
- Children-in-detention plush toys. Standard models come in male or female. Deluxe model cries real tears.
- Leering guard action figures. Pose-able action figures complete with guns and erections.
That’ll work, for sure. And if that doesn't disgust you the way it disgusts me, then nothing will.