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2011 – A letter to Santa

Michael McGirr  |  18 September 2018

Dear Father Christmas,

We are writing to let you know that your application for asylum in Australia has been denied. You will not be permitted to enter Australian airspace on December 24. The relevant matters are dealt with below. We are taking a bi-partisan approach to this matter.

We have had enough trouble with asylum seekers arriving by boat. If we allow people to arrive by sleigh, we are giving people smugglers the green light for a whole new business model. In no time at all, millions of people will be seeking asylum on Australian rooftops and chimneys.

Our enquiries into your character have raised a number of concerns. Our intelligence services have been working on your case for years and have recently unearthed the fact that you have a long beard. Our immigration policy does not favour beards. Furthermore, we believe that, like Saddam Hussein and Colonel Gaddafi and Hosni Mubarak, you use a number of body doubles and that when you appear in public it is not always you.

Security services have discovered many sinister songs about you. 'You better watch out' is a clear threat to our way of life. The words 'He knows if you've been bad or good' indicate that you have a highly developed network of information gathering. We understand that children as young as three have been lining up to tell you what they want.

Any application for refugee status must be based on a well-founded fear of persecution. We do not believe that the demand of your employment contract that you provide a present for every child in the world, and that these presents be delivered on the same night, is by any means a fear of persecution. Furthermore, we do not believe that coping with the emotional expectations of millions of children is a fear of persecution either. Many of our parents do this on 365 days of the year, not just one day.

We believe that your application is based on purely economic reasons. Australia, as you know, is introducing a carbon price on everything that comes out of chimneys. We understand that you intend to garner carbon credits by moving in the other direction and going down chimneys.

Despite what you say, Christmas Island has nothing to do with Christmas. Indeed, with increasing global warming it may soon have nothing to do with being an island either. Legislation is before parliament to have it renamed Good Friday Island.

We note your claim to have much to offer to Australia, particularly our economy. We don't agree. In fact, with increasing poker machine revenue our economy is rapidly reaching the point where it will no longer need Christmas. We have long been concerned that the money people spend on Christmas means that they have less for gambling. We need to address this. We are introducing legislation to require every church to provide access to gaming machines.

You say you have a lot to offer Australia in terms of our well-being, family life and that you bring joy into the lives of children especially. Frankly, we have heard this all before. We have heard asylum seekers tell us that they have taken great risks for their families and that this demonstrates what loving people they are. We have heard them sobbing over the stories of their parents, partners and children. We have heard them say that their ability to love is one of the gifts they can bring a new country. That, in a spirit of service, they want to contribute to building a more stable and open and accepting community than the one they are fleeing. In all honesty, we don't believe a word of it. If these people had hearts they would also have passports. It's as simple as that.

Yours faithfully,
Julia and Tony

First published in Australian Catholics December 2011. Image: Depositphotos.com

 

Topic tags: refugees, politicsandreligion, socialjustice–australia, feastdays, saints

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