Waleed Aly: Australia's refugee policy is "poisonous"
GOLD-Logie winning television host Waleed Aly has taken his popular "Something to Talk About" global, using an op-ed in the New York Times to attack Australia's "poisonous" policy on refugees.
The Project co-host took aim at how the nation treats asylum seekers arriving by sea, in the aftermath of an Amnesty International report that found their treatment amounted to torture.
He targeted successive governments using the slogan "stop the boats", which he described as a sedative designed to help Australians ignore of the horror of its decisions.
"Whatever the scandal, whatever the latest account of refugee childrem attempting suicide or detainees setting themselves on fire, it's all anyone need say," he writes.
"This is the great sedative of Australian politics: dulling our attention, rendering all else some indecipherable white noise we only vaguely register before we fall asleep.
"Then we can snooze through any bombshell."
Aly said the policies of the Australian Government were not just toxic for Australia, but were contagious too.
He points to how far right parties throughout Europe -- in part as Australia's own leaders spruik how successfully we have stopped our boats -- hold us up as the gold standard.
"The most direct example is Indonesia, which, partly at Australia's urging, has sharply increased its own use of detention centres, criminalised the act of providing accommodations for anyone without a visa, and attempted to return boats headed for Indonesia back to the countries they had left."
Aly, who is also a politics lecturer at Monash University, has repeatedly had his broadcast views make a worldwide impact in his Something to Talk About segment on the project, which attempts to distil complicated concepts into a simpler form, which is then coloured by Aly's own opinions.
His most well-known are those where he described and explained the battle against ISIS and called for Australians to stand up for dairy farmers.