Suffer the little children  

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The Australian Government has condemned Justice Prafullachandra Bhagwati for using "emotive descriptions" in his condemnation of the detention centre at Woomera.  Adele Horin in the Sydney Morning Herald of August 3 said "This is a crime for which the icy Philip Ruddock could never be accused." She spoke of our government treating children as "collateral damage" in its border protection policy. 

There is no doubt Bhagwati was emotional about the children  in Woomera.  He spoke of "young boys and girls, who instead of breathing the fresh air of freedom were confined behind spiked iron bars with gates barred and locked". In another place he said most of these children "appeared seriously traumatised and severely affected by a culture of self-harm (e.g., slicing of wrists and suicidal threats)".

Adele Horin also says Bhagwati was right to use "emotive descriptions". He felt he "was in front of a great human tragedy" and it was his duty to say so. Cartoon by Nicholson

I've heard several reports from Government sources decrying this emotiveness of the judge.  Do they not think he has not seen hard things before?!  This is a judge, for  crying out loud!!!  Might it not be that if he is using language like this then there is really something wrong at Woomera?

I think that to disparage a report because it is emotional displays an emotional crippledness on the part of the government.  It shows they know nothing of compassion and mercy.  Australians should worry.  When we are in need, there will be no charity from our government.  They show clearly they have no understanding of the word... or of the word justice. It is as Howard Dick says: "Every night the Great Anaesthetist, Philip Ruddock, appears on our television screens to defend the indefensible."

Jesus is reported to have told his disciples, "Suffer the little children to come unto me."  He would need to say it again here today.  The government will not suffer them... it will only make them suffer!

Adel Horin's article is Live at August 3 2002
Howard Dick at is worth reading too



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