Peter Sanfilippo

I take Robert Manne’s word for the proposition that the predominant mood among Australian people in our times is against “boat people” (‘Comment: Asylum Seekers’, September 2010); but I question the underlying stance of the essay, which is simply to surrender to the supposed prevailing wind. Manne writes that “Neither ‘education’ nor ‘leadership’ seem likely in the near future to make Australians open their hearts to asylum seekers”. But I have not heard a pollie from one of the major parties in the last ten years advance a case in the mass media against the hysteria surrounding boat people, slowly and deliberately. In view of the numerous complaints about lack of political leadership that have received public airing recently and the 2010 election result, I wonder whether it is unwise to advocate a throwing up of one’s hands in despair on this issue.

Peter Sanfilippo

Leichhardt, NSW


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