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Published in The Australian Financial Review Monday June 6 2011

It is absolutely right that there should have been public outrage and anger at the gross mistreatment of cattle in Indonesian abattoirs. If the Australian government allowed reporters with cameras into their detention centres for asylum seekers I have no doubt that there would be similar outrage.

The Germans did not allow reporters with cameras and the Red Cross into their concentration camps either, it was only after the liberation that we learnt of the horrors. Let us hope that the committee that is to investigate the mandatory detention of asylum seekers, and the cruel and inhumane camps that they are held in, can tell the rest of Australia what has been going on and liberate these poor human beings from the hell that they are consigned to by a frightened government and opposition.

The fear of the major parties has made them as callous and indifferent to the fate of asylum seekers as the slaughtermen of Indonesia are to the cattle in their care.

Bruce Haigh