Twitter takes a new turn
I wrote recently that Twitter is at the heart of our democratic process. Hyperbole? Perhaps, but today’s postings indicate a furtherance of that proposition.
Something new evolved – a struggling narrative emerging out of the bog of our current political discourse.
As with all narrative that proposes to articulate something new, the struggle was evident, but very encouraging.
It was evident that the intention of those who participated, was to put forward their fledgling views on something significant to all Australians.
As with all fledgling attempts, whether it be learning to fly, or to make good scones, or to write song lyrics, there was both understatement and over-statement, apologetic and hubristic responses – as is expected when ever we encounter opinion that is contrary to our held views, and we struggle to step up to the new idea. While there were defensive responses, it is true that even in defensive posture, at least those contributors were engaging in the conversation
At the heart of this exchange, was a true and genuinely felt expression that there is something awfully wrong (and I do mean “awfully”) with our political discourse in regard to asylum seekers, and also, by implication, and significantly, in regard to all immigrants who have come to this country.
There was an emerging discussion to postulate the alternative view – that immigrants have served this country well and continue to do so; that there are many tasks that need to be completed; that immigrants can assist in our completing those tasks, for the benefit of all; that there is a willful denial of those possibilities by government.
The Department of Immigration, for years, from the day of Arthur Calwell, has addressed ethnic groups to propound the benefit of immigrants to Australia. I know this for a fact because I heard many of those speeches when working for an ethnic arts organisation, and I also eventually, came to write those speeches for the department.
It all begs the question: Whenever, and why, did the department of Immigration ever change its mind on this? While each of us may have our own response to this particular question, I will leave that discussion for another day.
In today’s Twitter conversation there was an attempt to re-articulate that view, and to affirm that immigrants have been, and continue to be, good for our country. It was a brave point of view to put forward in our current climate.
May the conversation continue and may many more join us, for it is a conversation that would do us good to have – a conversation in which the Twitterati have had the courage to engage.
Thus, we “bed-wetters” who write “electronic graffiti”, continue to be the heart-beat of our democratic processes.
Twitter has evolved to take a new turn.