Travelling home from work last night I heard the Sunday evening programme.
O'Loughlin hosted the programme and I think he tried to be balanced.
First I heard Lynda Stoner talking about how bad zoos are, and how animals should run free. She said that the animals in the zoo (Taronga Park Zoo) were all obviously distressed as they were displaying the signs; elephants moving from foot to foot and swaying, giraffes doing something else, tiger pacing.... I guess she must know animal psychology because, you know, they're so much like humans. Then he spoke with a representative from the zoo. She defended the zoo and captive animals. She also pointed out that the foot to foot/side to side behaviours of the elephants was quite natural in the wild, and that the giraffes are quite happy as nothing they do is abnormal in the wild. She said that she was glad that the tiger was noticed. He is stressed. The tigress is in oestrus and they've kept him away from her so this is why he is stressed; and this would be stress he might experience in the wild, too.
Next up was a chap from some Australian University (I can't remember, and can't find a link to the programme, may have been Adelaide), who is supposed to be a language specialist. They talked about the use of certain language. How derogatory it is to call "boat people" boat people. He spoke of how the language has morphed with assylum seekers and where he believed it came from.
So, now we must be careful what we call these people who arrive in Australia illegally with no paperwork to identify them or where they have originally come from. We don't want to be hurting their feelings.
Interesting that refugees became reffos because people became tired of them and wanted to give them a derogatory name. That last one points the "language specialist" out as a bit of a dope. Aussies always shorten names and give nicknames. I suppose nicknaming someone with the surname Sheridan "Sherro", or someone with the first name John "Johno", etcetera, is derogatory, too?
I'm pretty sure that the words "illegal immigrant" never passed the lips of either. There was no touching on any of the illegal part of the whole thing.
The language specialist voiced his opinion and view that these boat people were very brave to have come from where they have to risk their lives on these boats to get to Australia. What he and many others don't seem to comprehend is that they haven't come from their country of origin to Australia by boat. They left their country of origin, probably with visas to Indonesia or Malaysia and have stayed there for a while (some several years). They've had identifying documents and passports. However, when they come to Australia they destroy their identifying paperwork in the hope that tracking down who they are will be too hard for Australian authorities and they will somehow be able to stay.
Did I read that one of the most recent boat people had already applied for assylum in Australia and had been refused as he was not a refugee?