Informit article: The national cruelty

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How to understand our attitude to refugees and detention regimes <br /><br /> I have a good friend whose job involves trying to change the way ordinary people think and talk about refugees and asylum seekers. Her previous job – as a caseworker for people who had recently settled in Australia as refugees and who had applied for refugee visas -had led her to conclude that the best way to help her clients was to help change the policy of Australia’s major political parties. She has a tough job. For fifteen years, Australians’ main sources of news and opinion – senior politicians and commercial news media -have, with very few and brief exceptions, been engaged in a systematic project of what can only be described as demonisation.

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