Underdogs, hurdles & boat people

As I watched the dog jump at the Huon Show (what a great rural show) today I was reminded of the term ‘underdog’.

Australian concern for the ‘underdog’ clearly comes from the Australian passion to give those with lesser possibilities a better chance at getting over life’s hurdles. Back to the dog jump! The greatest cheering from the crowd arose as the smaller dogs made valiant attempts to leap across the increasingly higher hurdle. We cheered wildly as the ‘underdogs’ made it and groaned in sympathy as they one by one failed to make it; but we sent them off with a great round of applause. There was and is a genuine concern in Australian culture (well at least at the Huon Show in Tasmania) for the ‘underdog’. And may it be ever thus! 🙂

In this frame of mind, cheering on the ‘underdogs’, I reread this week’s Australian High Court decision eliminating the extra hurdle that asylum seekers arriving by boat had to vault if they landed on Australia’s so called ‘excluded territories’ (always a lot of gobbledygook in my humble opinion) and in this way they were excluded from Australian legal processes under the Migration Act.

I applaud the decision to eliminate this hurdle to boat people and trust that the Government and Opposition will take the opportunity to enact a more humane approach to asylum seekers who arrive in Australia by boat.

See, Ruling a blow to asylum strategy.  Also, When it comes to boat people: whatever happened to ‘concern for the underdog’?  and  Roman Catholic Bishops welcome High Court Ruling on Offshore Detention  and  Govt ponders new laws on asylum seekers  and Refugee mythbusting animation – GetUp!.

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