Saturday, March 1, 2014

An Immodest Proposal (or two)

Richard Flanagan's article in the Grand Opening Edition of The Saturday Paper makes an extreme suggestion for a solution to Australia's asylum-seeker problem. To wit: "bomb the boats and kill all the illegals."

He is careful to drop in a reference to Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal to indicate that this suggestion is satire. But why should it be?

Look, the underlying problem is that there are too many people in the world. And this was as as true in Adam & Eve's time as it is today. (Or Mr and Mrs Homo erectus's time, for all you evolution-believing smartypants.)

It's time to start culling the herd. For a start, I modestly propose a program of voluntary euthanasia for people who are feeling crowded-out by all those dayum furriners coming here with their incomprehensible babble and stinky food.

All it needs to get people interested is a snappy slogan. I modestly propose an adaptation of Samuel Johnson's famous phrase: "when you are tired of Australia, you are tired of life". This will resonate with a lot of people. I know that I, for one, am tired of listening to people whinge about "Fuck off, we're full".

How the actual procedure is carried out is for future debate. Kurt Vonnegut's story Welcome To The Monkey House could be a starting point, though the details may need some updating. These days there might be some market resistance to being put to sleep by a six-foot female virgin wearing some sort of Go-Go-Dancer-from-Hell uniform. From women, especially.

While that might persuade a lot of people to exit this world, it might not be enough. So, we need to extend Flanagan's modestly proposed bombing campaign to the Australian mainland. All that is needed is to pass legislation that would make all immigration after World War II retrospectively illegal. Then, using Census data, we could identify the suburbs and towns with the highest concentrations of these people and their descendants and send in the RAAF.

Yes, it's brutal and indiscriminate - but so is life. And it would have the desirable side-effect of ridding us of our current Prime Minister, who was born in the United Kingdom.

Disclaimer: if you are wondering about my 'ethnic-sounding' surname I should point out that while my father was an 'illegal boat departure', so to type, he had the sense to be one before World War II. Also, I was raised by my maternal grandparents - this is my grandfather - and my mother's ancestors arrived in Australia in the sixty-year period between the First Fleet and the Irish potato famine. So, I'm all right Jack - though I could be tempted by one of those women in the purple body stockings and black leather boots...

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