Australia gets slammed: Have we got our view on asylum seekers right? 730



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Not in our backyard is the stance on asylum seekers in our country and it is made clear to the world in posters, advertisements and statements by our government.  Asylum seekers are unwelcome here, that’s obvious by the size of the fences we put around detention centres and the turn back the boats regime.  And while it is working to stem the deaths in the oceans it seems, we have to ask, as furore after furore hits the press this week… Do you think we have got ur view on asylum seeker policy right?

Normally in Australia we seem to ignore the painful plight of international refugees unless they are trying to “invade” our shores, but it has all become very heavily discussed in the media this week after disturbing images of drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi, whose body was found washed ashore on a Turkish beach this week.  Carry Bickmore, from the Project, cried on TV and received national news coverage for her tears.

An article in The New York Times this week has slammed Tony Abbott’s stance on migrants, with Mr Abbott professing that Australia’s hardline stance should be imitated by European nations who are being flooded with people in terrible need of escape.  Entitled “Australia’s Brutal Treatment of Migrants,” it leaves a bad taste.  They describe the policies of our government with rancour.

“Prime Minister Tony Abbott has overseen a ruthlessly effective effort to stop boats packed with migrants, many of them refugees, from reaching Australia’s shores. His policies have been inhumane, of dubious legality and strikingly at odds with the country’s tradition of welcoming people fleeing persecution and war.”

“European officials have traveled to Australia on fact-finding missions recently. Mr. Abbott, who argues that aggressively intercepting the boats saves lives, has urged European governments to follow his model, and some European leaders seem so inclined,” the article read.

Meanwhile NSW Prime Minister Mike Baird has been active on social media saying the Federal Government should be doing more to help asylum seekers and “Do it now”.

His long and empathetic Facebook post is enough to make us wonder which side of the debate everyone here sits on and whether we are failing those much worse off than ourselves by not doing much to help.

Syrian Refugee Camp

According to news reports, more than 600,000 refugees have registered for asylum in Europe this year, double that of 2014.

People are streaming into the poorer European nations of Italy and Greece, fleeing countries like Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. Most are headed for Turkey as a main gateway and both Turkey and Hungary have admitted they cannot cope with the influx of thousands of people hitting its shores each day.  This weekend, Austria and Germany have thrown open their borders to thousands of exhausted migrants who were bussed to their borders by a right-wing Hungarian government that tried to stop them but was overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of people.

And so we have to ask: Have you been touched by the global outpouring on little Aylan Kurdi this week?  Is it enough to make you want to do something to help?

Let’s talk about this today.

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. Our gov’ts and some of the media, specially the “shock jocks”, have used FEAR as a weapon to make us accept demonisation and terrible treatment of refugees reaching our shores.
    In recent years we have seen an upsurge of anti-Muslim feeling, again brought on by ungrounded FEAR.
    We must have a more compassionate approach to those fleeing terror and persecution in their own lands.
    We must return to being accepting and welcoming of diversity in our community.

    13 REPLY
    • The more they bomb the more refugees they are going to create , people are fleeing in fear, not only Isis but of the allied bombings

    • Robert, if you think the fear of mass moslem immigration is “unfounded”, you probably need to do some research about what is happening in most European countries, particularly Sweden. Diversity might be wonderful, but with moslems it brings significant social challenges.

      1 REPLY
      • Totally agree with what you said! I find the willful ideological blindness of the bleeding hearts just so depressing. They simply don’t look at facts on the ground and are willing to sell their own country, and society, down the river for the sake of their precious “tolerance mania”. In the final analysis, one can only be tolerant of the intolerant at the risk of ending up the victim.

    • This thread was so depressing – thank god someone has a shred of compassion, sense and empathy. Abbott has obviously been successful in his fear mongering. How can people think like this – they mustn’t be able to put themselves in the position in which these people – though no fault if their own – find themselves in.

    • Yes every government starting with Howard and Tampa has done a good job at brainwashing Australia against asylum seekers and refugees while at the same time helping to create the problem in the Middle East. Sad how some of us think. Happy to live in our own ghettos but criticise migrants for being drawn to their own kind.

    • They could live in my garage free of charge Elaine. Unlike you, I have compassion for those less fortunate than me. You sit in your warm comfortable house and try to imagine losing it and everything you own to a bomb thrown at you by some country far away, your family dead or lying injured screaming. You are not a very nice person

      1 REPLY
      • Have you actually looked at statistics that show how many so-called “refugees” are actually economic migrants and not fleeing war zones? Just be a little bit more discriminatory otherwise the really deserving refugees from war torn countries lose out on the help they desperately need. They are swamped by the huge numbers of economic opportunists who have adopted the disguise of being a refugee. Having said that, there is nothing wrong with people seeking to gain entry to a country that offers better living conditions than their home country. However, the current avalanche of “asylum demanders” are manipulating and distorting international refugee conventions to the detriment of worthy recipients of our help.

    • Robert pull your head out of the sand. People like you said Hitler won’t invade. He did. The japs won’t attack. They did. Wake up!!!

    • Graeme Armiger – Head not in sand. Born 1943 in England. Family died fighting Hitler’s forces.

    • If we all helped our fellow man and showed kindness and compassion can you imagine how nice the world would be. Narelle I have to laugh at your knee-jerk, cliche reaction. “Ok u rent out your gargage in compassion”. Just a defensive back-lash because you have no solid argument.

    • Glenda! Go tell that to Isis while they are raping and killing.I’m sure you head will look good on a stick!

    • I don’t want bloody ISIS in our country, they need to be wiped off the face of the earth. I just mean compassion for the poor innocent people who ARE FLEEING ISIS. Grow up Miriam You are just plain ignorant and cannot comprehend what people are writing. Pull your bloody head in.

  2. I agree with Abbott, and David Cameron, that if they come through the camps, we should accept them. If they dodge the system and try to enter illegally, we should detain them and make them wait as long as they would have waited coming through the camps. No shortcuts

    25 REPLY
    • We are only able to sustain so many people with water here in this country for a start, we may seem a big big place but most of it is desert in comparison to other countries who can be filled to the brim….. we should make this known. The Treasurer always says we have to pull our belts in, well they are tight enough… We cannot help the whole world, we are helping and have already you only have to look around… at our population at present. Countries suffered in WWI and WWII and they stayed and fought for their country… I see so many young men who dont do that and we send our young men to do the job… Just sayin….

    • I totally agree with you Jennifer, our government is cutting pensions and the dole and so many other things and telling us to tighten our belts while letting in people from other countries and giving them benifits straight away , our young people can’t get jobs because so many go for the one job.

    • The so-called Immigration Crisis in Europe is a beat-up by the media. If there is in fact 340,000 refugees arriving in Europe this year, that is only 100,000 more than previous years, and, with the European population being in the order of 500 million, will mean an increase of .06%. Meanwhile, the USA does actually have a crisis with 11% of their current population being illegal immigrants. .06 doesn’t sound like much of a burden does it?

    • Lyn Matherson the interviews with refugees that I have seen in fringe media reports clearly demonstrates that more than half of the ‘refugees’ are country-shopping, They want to go to Germany, Australia, Austria & the UK because we are socialist and have a generous welfare system. If they stay in the country they land in first, they will get minimal public funds and be expected to find a job asap. These people are stating their intentions quite clearly – a better life means a council flat and the dole

      1 REPLY
      • That is exactly my opinion after following the situation in Europe with great interest for many years. I have been observing the destruction of German society for years, not only on the net but also in visits on the ground. IMHO the Germans are in the most difficult situation of all the EU countries because…their “HISTORY”, you know! They are terrified of being called Nazis if they say even one word of criticism against “refugee” problems. The Greens and Left (Die Linken) parties are quick at calling their own countrymen “Nazis” the moment they do not agree with the parties’ self-genocidal policies on immigration and asylum. I personally believe that Germany, for one, is lost, and if Germany is lost , then all of Europe is lost because Germany is the economic powerhouse of Europe. It puzzles me that Sweden (and Scandinavia generally) have chosen to be as acquiescent in their own cultural destruction as Germany has – after all, they are not suffering under the “Nazikeule” i.e. the Nazi cudgel that is employed so effectively against the Germans.

    • Rubbish Jennifer. We have a bore here that pumps out 13 thousand litres an hour of beautiful clean drinking water. That’s one bore out of millions all over the country. We have plenty of water, unless CSG mining is allowed and all our underground water becomes tainted

    • This child did not deserve to die, he needed a place of safety, we could have offered him that

      1 REPLY
      • Leana this poor little boy was living in turkey for 3 years….his dad had a job….he put them on a boat and their was no life Jacket in the photo and he took them back to syria to bury, why would he return to a country whIch he escaped from….i would welcome italians, greeks, and many other nations because they adopt our way of life and our values, for such a small minority in our country, middle eastern migrants seem to have a lot more influence than other ethnic groups, i do not think its fair my sons and their wives have to work extra hours to help support more unemployable people ….we do not have the money, the jobs, the housing to sustain thousands of people….good on mike baird, i presume he wants to fund more refugees out of the commonwealth pocket and not his state budget of which he cries poor and wants the GST increased to make up the shortfall

    • With a shovel. I wonder who John thinks will pay for the bores, Idiot boy has pulled international aid.

    • While your heart is bleeding for those who somehow managed to find $50,000 to pay for a leaky boat trip, bear in mind that for every illegal immigrant we accept, a legal one following the process misses out and spends another year in a camp waiting. I do wonder where someone who claims destitution & homelessness manages to find $50,000 to pay a smuggler

      1 REPLY
    • Leanna StephensonHe should have got a safe haven in Turkey but they are busy bombing them. Kurds in Northern Turkey are in danger

    • If you look at the videos and photos in Greece etc you will notice they are mostly men, aiming for Germany where they get great benefits. And arab and slim countries should be taking them in and dont

    • News media; a lot of propaganda. Showing a darling little deceased child on a beach; what about the hundreds and hundreds of bodies that have been floating around, and then coming onto beaches. Where are those photos? Oh and the worry is all these young males arguing/protesting because they cannot get their own way to get to a country of “their choice”. What are they going to be like once they have reached their destination? Their beliefs do not change. Their religion does not change. Their anger will not change. And where are all the women/children/elderly while these young males are protesting?

    • you people sound woefully misinformed to me – our Govt is paying corrupt Govts like Cambodia and spending millions to keep these desperate refugees out – money that could well be spent settling them here and allowing them to contribute to our economy – the majority are fleeing for their lives from war torn countries and conditions we cannot even imagine and just seeking shelter and safety and a better life for their families – do not believe the lies peddled by our Government please!

    • That is the problem most of these illegals do not contribute do not want assimilate they want to live in their country in our country and this problem is not new.

    • That’s called multiculturalism Sandra Gamble. In all of this mess, that is the one thing I will agree with, they do not assimilate and that is a problem.

    • Agree with you Jeanette Heaton. Some of the comments here are from ill-informed people who have been brainwashed by Abbott.

    • Julia Dallaston, I’m quite old enough to have formed my opinions about refugees while Abbott was still a wanna-be. I don’t allow myself to be brainwashed. I gather all the information and make up my own mind. It’s one of the freedoms that Islamic extremists would like to deny me

    • Jeanette Heaton Absolutely,Im agree with you…..this government,abbot,has hidden the real truth from so,so many people….Abbot is such a dangerous man,and so sad to see his followers on this page being completely misinformed and as narcissistic and inhumane as dictator abbot…..The world is watching now,and Abbot will continue to shoot himself in the foot…good will always overcome evil….xxxxx

    • Paula Potaznik not just in Germany – Sweden & Norway have been deporting immigrants found to be carrying fake passports and claiming to be from war-torn countries in order to gain refugee status. Most of those have actually been from peaceful muslim countries – economic refugees, not asylum seekers

  3. Abbott’s answer to this crisis and it is a crisis, is to bomb Syria, that will not solve the situation for these refugees, I just heard on the news that the Premier of Tasmania has said Tasmania will take more refugees to help them. Why can’t Abbott see that these people desperately need help? The answer I suspect is that he thinks he will get more votes by scaring people and bombing

    7 REPLY
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  5. This is a global humanitarian crisis. Let Tony be a man to his words and bring in some of these refugees

    5 REPLY
    • You must be talking about another Abbott, the one who is Australia’s PM has done but lie , why would he honour any promise? He has already broken a truck load of them

    • I’ve never seen the words ‘Tony’ and ‘a man of his word’ in the same sentence together before.

    • TONY ABBOTT KEEP OUR BORDERS CLOSED….The $155 million you are offering to pay for more refugee help should be spent on our own less fortunate, the homeless, returned vet’s and the such like. We all need to be doing more to fix the problems in the middle east, parasite ISIS needs to be obliterated off the face of the earth..tell me do-gooders, if syria was ever sorted out, how many refugees would make their way back to their home land..the answer is NONE, because they wouldn’t get welfare payments and live by the laws of the land!

  6. Of course Australia only takes prisoners ,so if IS wants to come to Aussie Abbott will welcome them with open arms cause they will certainly keep you Aussies under control

  7. Abbot is an immoral mongrel

    4 REPLY
    • and you are an idiot…. I may not like Abbott either but the way he is treating the refugee problem is spot on… we take many refugees … 3rd in overall numbers …1st in per population ..,. but is correct to only take them from refugee camps …; the ones in Europe now are more economic refugees… than genuine ones … and as there is no checks on them… i wonder how many are terrorists?? … im sure that we wont have to wait long to find out

      1 REPLY
    • I am an idiot? wll listen you brain dead mongrel Dave Wainwright, when people are in desperate situation because of and I quote from Abbott..they are fleeing the death cult !! ridiculous over dramatic name.. and the allies bombing them then they should be helped, the more they bomb, the more refugess they will have looking for new homes in other countries.. now bugga off and don’t bother telling me your crap again

    • Dave Wainwright we take hardly any refugees and the number has greatly decreased since this government hot in.

  8. I don’t see the U.S. taking in all these refugees so how dare they criticise anyone? I admit I am very suspicious of a lot of boat people trying to come here but I do feel we need to do more to help those in refugee camps. Turkey is inundated with people trying to escape and this is where we need to help. This is where most of our foreign aid should be going instead of to places that really don’t need it.

    10 REPLY
    • Take from aid to indonesia, send it to refugee camps, but so saying that I have videos of refugee men throwing food on to train tracks and one throws his wife and child onto train tracks and then he himself jumps down to join his wife????

    • We no longer pay out any foreign aid to any body. The governments stopped it so they could continue to pay billions to the big international companies raping our country’s raw materials for free,

    • I haven’t seen muslim countries take in the refugees? NONE We should take in the Christians,Aramaic, Assyrian, Coptic etc and maybe any Circassians. People who will accept our way of life. Those who only accept Sharia law which means we are shimmies in our own country should go to Malaysia, Saudi Arabia and othe rich muslim countries

    • Sue Walshaw, the 340,000 refugees in the last 12 months increases the population of Europe by a mere .06%. The USA?? Currently 11% of their population are illegal migrants. I’d say 11% is a crises, .06% sounds like a mere ripple in the pond.

    • watch this. Those who visit Britain, France, Netherlands, Italy, Scandanavia etc should go to these no tourist places like Tower hamlets East Algate not the tourist side, Luton, parts of Manchester Marseille, one of the 771 Les Zone sensitive in France and see what is happening and why we should be very careful v

    • Paula what utter garbage you sprout. I was recently in Turkey and they have nearly two million refugees from Syria and they are not alone among Muslim countries in taking some refugees.

    • Barbara Easthope what about Kurds. I am not sprouting utter rubbish but follow the middle East problems and have done for years. The Turks hate the Kurds

    • Paula yes they do and the little boy who died was Kurdish. Everybody seems to hate everybody else in the Middle East which is precisely why it is such a tinderbox for conflict and terror, and yes many of the Arab states have done little but to say no Muslim country had taken in any refugees was simply false.

  9. When the government was elected, the banner read we will stop the boats and that is one reason Abbott raised to power. I have not seen an all out complaint by Australians on the way he is doing it. Most complaints come from the greens. If it wasn’t for this group of radicals most of the legislation would get through. I worked in community housing for years and settled many immigrants. My issue even then and funding was from a liberal government was that these people were left to there own devises when they arrived here. Many suffered from post trumatic stress syndrome and were being counselled. There needs to be appropriate decisions made, it’s not just the arrivals, it’s what do we do with them after they get into the community. In America ghettos have erupted from mis management do we want that. Is there an answer??

    7 REPLY
    • Justify all you like but when babies laying dead on a beach and families in desperate situations, then if we don’t act , we are a country with no moral base

      1 REPLY
      • It is always a tragedy when a young child dies no matter what the circumstances, but the outpouring of emotion over the drowning incident is out of whack with that shown by the media and various celebrities when young children are being killed via domestic violence on a regular basis.

    • I agree that the situation for these refugees is bad, very bad but we are doing it tough as it is. Who supports them when they’re here. In an Utopian world things would be wonderful, everything would be there for the taking, no financial problems, no health problems, no education problems etc etc. Alas, this is not Utopia, nor will it ever be. Nice thought to care for your fellow man and lend a hand. Our country has always adopted the ‘Mateship’ motto. We are a generous people by nature, it’s what defines us but there has to come a time when we must harden up. My parents, along with countless others arrived in in the 1950’s and let me tell you, there were no handouts for them. They worked hard every day and made this country theirs. I am fiercely proud to be an Aussie and while my heart bleeds for these people’s plight, I have to be realistic. We can barely support ourselves. If people are so adamant about helping these refugees (and I agree that they do need help), then why don’t they open up their homes to them? If you can afford to support them, then by all means, do the humanitarian thing and take them into your bossom. Words are cheap!

    • If we can find money for Bishop to take helicopter rides Carol Arena and Hockey toget $260 per day to pay rent on his own property and for these Liberals to rort us, then we can find the money to help these people

    • Rozzy Battles As you mention 2 Liberal Politicians ,you forgot the Labor & Greens. They were doing the same, & SH Young, . Every Labor Minister was going to Canberra in RAAF Jet every week, for years, as Joel Fitzgibbons said . ALSO you seem to forget 66 Politicians get the same allowance as J Hockey, & have homes in ACT or Queanbeyan , about half are Labor . & 4 of Labor have 2 houses in ACT. . These are facts.

    • The danger of letting these people in is do we want more the manis incidents. These occur as people slip through the cracks. Australia is relatively safe for now but what about the future. It’s all to good to get emotional over these issues but what about our children and grand children.

    • Exactly, Paul! It really doesn’t help when people show more empathy rather than facing reality! Even my Muslim friends are frightened by the prospect of not knowing how many so-called refugees belong to the “extreme sects”!

  10. sure bring them in , we up the retirement to 80 by 2020 and get more political correctness shoved down our throats and treated like second class(been to Bankstown and surrounding suburbs lately?)wake up folks

    17 REPLY
    • So many saying this now. people who live there have to put up with racism against them in their own country. . Muslims always have something to say AND get listened to, Its us who have to change. I see enough of what is happening i Europe to know it is a disaster.

    • Can you tell me what it is Muslims or anyone else is telling us we have to change? Or do you believe those hoax emails and Facebook posts? How many Muslims do you actually know personally? They are 2% of our population, and 99.9% just want to live peacefully and make a good life for their family like the rest of us.
      What about the radical Christians who want to take us back to the dark ages, or the white supremacists who just want trouble? To me they are more of a worry.
      So it’s ok for white Australians to live in ghettos but not ok for migrants to be drawn to their own kind? People are people no matter what colour or creed and we should treat them as we would hope to be treated in the same situation.

    • Halal, We have to pay for RADICALISATION, of teenage Muslims, last week school said couldn’t have JERSEY day , everyone wore a football jersey to school or work, to advertise organ donation, Headmistresses said not a good idea , might upset other religions, No carols, no easter bunny, no Santa, Not everyone , and segregated pools, Woman in full black Burqas getting away with murder against our police force. I know people who live in Bankstown, have done for 50 years, would get out if they could get a decent price for their house NOW

    • How about not jumping to conclusions? It’s Christian religions like Jehovah’s Witness that have a problem with organ transplants not Islam.
      No Muslim I know of has ever suggested we do away with Christian celebrations (most of which have no religious meaning to most of our population anyway). It’s those wanting to stir up anti Muslim feeling who do this, not Muslims.
      As for Halal, almost everything we eat or drink is halal. I wonder do you have the same opinion about Kosher products given the atrocities zionists perpetrate in Palestine? The sooner the government take over certification of both the better, as it will be one less myth to perpetuate.
      Can you give me one example of a woman in a burqa who murdered anyone in Australia?? Very few Muslim women actually wear burqas.

    • The Headmistress said that , AT Kellyville Public The persons son died and gave 10 donations to others . It was PC in schools gone wrong . I have heard of a few instances of councils , schools, etc making sure they don’t upset people, I know all about Jehovahs .

    • That’s why I moved from Bankstown to Queensland. Such a shame, used to be a nice place when bringing my children up in the area

    • The statement I read from the principal at Kellyville did not mention a particular religion and that area has a lot of fundamentalist Christian religions.
      The point I’m making is these things are not coming from Muslim people, and yes I agree IF it happens it’s pc gone wrong. Most Muslims I know actually have Christmas too, just not as a religious celebration.

    • O.K. People. Take our fair share. 2000 people for our population size is fair. Poland and all European countries should take more.

    • Make that 2000 Australia gets too pick, Christians, Yazidis and other persecuted faiths. NOT Muslims.

    • take in the Druze, Christians (Arameans, Assyrian Christians, Copts etc) , and those who have no safe non dhimmie place in muslim countries, and let the muslim countries take in their brothers (and sisters if you see them). Just how many muslim countries are offering a safe haven for their fellow muslims

    • I hate seeing these poor people, it breaks my heart but I cannot accept Islam, it is sexist, chauvinistic & misogynistic and until I can see a woman with her hair uncovered, praying BESIDE their men instead of behind them I will not change my views. (Wonder why no-one wants to go to Russia?? ) Lots of space there??

    • The muslims buddhists and hindus I work with are quite happy to help put up Christmas decorations, Australian flags (for Australia day) etc.

      Not all muslim women cover their hair. I know LOTS who don’t – and who have quite magnificent hair!

    • Look at Europe and Britain and Scandanavia. I would love to say most are welcome and those who accept a democratic Judeo/Christian way of life are very welcome. Thos e who come to live on our wonderful welfare, and change us to the mysogonistic anti all others but their own with dhimmitude and infidels (us) are not acceptable

    • I live in Muslim land. In haldon street there r burnt out shops.. guess they didn’t pay their insurance to t mob. If u think it’s great for Muslims to live here. Live amongst them.. t men in their own country r allowed to have more than one wife. Here they have gfriends n kids to them along with t dozen they have with their wife.. . These single mums live in housing n claim welfare cheques. Reading these stories reminds me of captain cook 1870 sailing up botany bay to kurnel cook noticing a fresh water creek so they hopped off t boat armed with buckets. Couple of aborigines came up to them enquired what they were doing. Guess it had to be sign language cos t English language was a bit different then. The locals told these dudes well get yur water n move on don’t come back.. now those aborigines had t right idea. Betcha some one in the tribe agreed let them in. Guess what happened 200 yrs later poor aborigines scratching their heads thinking who did let those poms in. Soon all of us will be sitting in t middle of t hay plains with out abo mates. Them teaching us how to fire up our billies rubbing two sticks together. It only took a couple of English boats to lead t invasion of Australia. Remember Australia previous name was new Holland..

    • Narelle u have Yur head so far in t sand.. take a walk down haldon st bankstown. Theyl invite u to dinner. Yur (in a sense) on t menu.. u must live in lad la land. Look at history. They’ve been Waring for centuries.

  11. And he calls himself a Christian! Where’s the compassion?

    4 REPLY
    • I could fit 20 in my house and feed them Barry. You’re less likely to be attacked by someone if you show them kindness that if you throw bombs at them

    • you could ask any muslim or middle eastern’s the same thing, where is their compassion? when they rape, murder, enslave women and children, torture and maim…compassion ! that’s not a word in their vocabulary….

    • Sue Todd good luck, buy a bigger a house and take 40…kindness, you make me laugh, you’ll be out of your home within weeks, when they turn on you take over and kick you out…because it will be their right,,possesion is 9 tenths of the law…soon they will be in possession of your house, tell me Sue would these people make a monetary contribution to the cost of accommodation and food…I think not. what an idiot!

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