The panellists were Egyptian author, Mona Eltahawy, Kenneth Roth, International Director of Human Rights Watch; Tim Wilson, Human Rights Commissioner; Ilwad Elman, Somalian peace and human rights activist; and Lucy Siegle, Ethics columnist The Observer.
A large part of the discussion concerned refugees and took in a pond of misinformation and ignorance . The worst misinformation was the impression given that 20,000 refugees = total immigration to Australia.
Actually, in addition to the refugee quota, Australia takes in about 200,000 non-refugee, economic immigrants per annum.
This was left unsaid, as ignorant panelists from somewhere else called our country racist on national Television and no one objected. The more the asylum seeker issue is conflated with immigration over all, the more confused the Australian public will become. Australians need to understand that refugees hardly contribute to Australia's population growth, but that there is a whole other stream of 200,000 plus economic migrants who do, enormously.
On the whole a middle class public take the ABC as the Oracle and many form their views according to what they are exposed to on the ABC. If the text messages shown mainly flogging Australia for its supposed immigration inadequacies were truly representative of the ABC audience for Q & A on 31 March, then there is a marked unearned guilt inferiority complex amongst them based on the ABC's continuous misinformation.
One of the panellists on Q and A drew our attention, as though it were an original thought, to the possible need for havens in Australia for overseas climate change refugees. The reality of this situation is that Australia, itself , the driest and least fertile inhabited continent on the planet may well itself have serious environmental problems. In addition, most of Australia's population and infrastructure lie on coastal land, much of which is projected to be lost to rising sea-levels due to climate change. The rest of Australia has very few inhabitants because it consists of deserts and rangeland.
Why would anyone think that Australia will stay the same while much of most other countries is inundated or in other ways environmentally destroyed?
Why do I have to pay for the ABC to let uninformed people from other countries lecture on immigration to Australia. The ABC compounds the general ignorance.
The real problems facing us are environmental decline, overpopulation, and the very real prospect of serious deficits of energy availability which will necessitate enormous changes to our total way of life. Q and A largely misses the point as far I’m concerned in all the episodes I have watched.
It would be helpful if Q and A would consider getting in some real experts one night to discuss the real challenges we face as a nation and as Earthlings.