The true measure of a society is how it treats the most vulnerable people


What a pleasure it was to see your newspaper, with its generous not-for-profit page, featuring Grow, among many other excellent groups.
But I write really to alert Central Coast readers to the horror of what we are doing, or allowing our Government to do, on Manus and Nauru, where 2,000 innocent people are held hostage.
Like my father, who had to flee Austria in 1938, they are innocent people, refugees, whose rights Australia is systematically violating.
Hamed Shamshiripour is just the latest casualty of this policy of cruelty.
As Noam Chomsky said in 2014:“The true measure of the moral level of a society is how it treats the most vulnerable people.”
Few are as vulnerable as those who have fled to Australia in terror and are locked away without charge, their terrible fate veiled in secrecy.
We may not be able to do much beyond lamenting about North Korean prisons.
But we can do a great deal about severe human rights violations right within reach.
As citizens, we must have our unions, professional organisations, churches or other religious institutions, take a stand on what we know is wrong.
And if the politicians start talking about people smugglers and drownings, with their crocodile tears, the answer is what it has always been: give people who are refugees safe passage from Indonesia, then we might start to have a country we can be proud to be part of.

Email, Aug 25
Stephen Langton, Paddington