Tasmanian Times

Bob Hawkins

Shame on us all

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Hang your head Australia. So many of us thought our Dark Age was past with the demise of the warmongering, child abusing, human-rights violating John Winston Howard clique. Not so. Ghosts of that ghastly man’s destructive rule still haunt the corridors of power. Sorry, not ghosts but real flesh and blood vultures ready to feast even before the hapless Gillard Labor ditherers breathe their last.

The cowardly plan of the “expert panel” on boat people enables Australia to slyly evade its moral duty. It is a plan that enables us, a la Howard, to once again sweep our responsibility to defenceless human flotsam under the welcoming carpets of economic basket cases, desperate-for-money-from-anywhere, Papua New Guinea and Nauru. “Just hand over the dosh, chaps!” the leaders of these two ex-Australian colonial responsibilities must be joyfully chanting below their breath.

Yes, it’s welcome to a re-run of Howard’s neo-colonial trickery.

On ABC RN radio, at the same time on Tuesday morning (August 15) — and getting about the same billing as the boat-people issue — was news that our Olympic gold medallists had been given a “special upgrading” on their charter flight home. I thought our Olympians had gone to Britain as a team! Everyone tried their best — and the team’s performance as a whole was very impressive — yet they were coming home with an “Elite Class” apart!

Yet again, the myth was being exposed of the “egalitarianism” Australians have been, quite self-deludingly, raving about since federation.

And, in Canberra, I’m told Tony Abbott’s hideous tribe of Liberals are practically filibustering in an orgy of ugly triumphalism. They were ready, they were saying, to go along with Julia Gillard’s backflip legislation. But, in doing so, they were first going to make Labor MPs — who for years have dared to strive for a bit of humanitarian decency in the boat-people debate — squirm in their plush seats.

“We told you so,” is ringing around what we now jokingly look to as “our parliament” and “heart of democracy” (a concept that is a joke at the best of times).

What Tony Abbott and his gang were doing in parliament on Monday and Tuesday was reaching out for every last racist vote the country has to offer; every last vote of the greedy, the narrow, the covetous, the brutal, the selfish — as well as all the frightened and cowardly who want all the luxury and benefits that flow from the capitalist globalisation of our planet but none of the pain and agony that globalisation has brought with it.

Meekly, and on a plate, Gillard has handed Abbott the opportunity to do so. Labor, over the years, has allowed the debate to stray from “refugees”, to “boat people”, to “illegals”, to “wicked people smugglers”, to “rich people trying to come in by the back door”, to “we don’t want people to put their lives at risk” . . .

And so it has gone on until the public, conveniently, has lost sight of the fact that these vulnerable people, in large part, are coming here because they are victims of societies rendered dysfunctional because of the oil greed and shock-and-awe weaponry of faraway nations — the US, Australia, Britain, France . . . Shame on our governments — Keating’s, Howard’s and now Gillard’s — for not resisting this spin-woven distortion and re-direction of the argument.

The moment parliament confirms this piece of heartless not-in-our-backyard-send-’em-offshore legislation will be a pitch-dark day in the history of a nation that once promised so much yet now is little more than a society of craven cowards. — Bob Hawkins

First published: 2012-08-15 03:48 PM

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42 Comments

42 Comments

  1. A.K.

    August 20, 2012 at 11:34 pm

    #45 If you’re looking for conspiracy theories, it could be about profit growth. Without instigating wars, the weapons, supply, rebuilding and resource control industries, couldn’t increase their profit growth. It’s the same with refugee’s, it increases the profits of many major corporations, especially when they are moved to countries with high standards of living. Once there they increase consumerism and profits for multinationals, including providing services at the people expense for refugee’s. It’s overseas multinationals who run security and supplies for refugee camps, not Aussies.

  2. TV Resident

    August 20, 2012 at 9:53 pm

    A.K. obviously knows it ALL!!! No point in being a normal humanitarian where they are concerned. I will continue to welcome refugees as one day I may be one, especially with Australia jumping when the USA or the UK say so. They lead the gullible here into stupid wars by ‘invading’ other peoples land for the sake of GREED and OIL. The Iraqi and the Afghanistan wars have really had nothing to do with Australia, so why in hell are we there at all??? Because the USA said so and no other reason. It is like Vietnam all over again. A loss of innocent lives because of the lies from the USA.

  3. A.K.

    August 20, 2012 at 10:26 am

    #43 “Population growth at this level is not sustainable.

    So it’s time for our political leaders to tell us how it’s possible for Australia to build & supply & maintain an extra Canberra every year. A million every 3 years!

    They can’t tells us how as it’s clearly not sustainable. Disaster is looming unless we are prepared firstly to admit there is a problem, and then institute some practical policies to stabilise our population.”

    Very simple, stop the intake of all refugee’s and immigration and concentrate on our own countries fragile ability to systain life

    Very simple, stop the intake of all refugee’s and immigration and concentrate on our own countries fragile ability to sustain life

    Forget humanitarian and concentrate on survival, let the rest of the human world fight it out amongst themselves. Ideologists conveniently forget it is other ecological life which is the most essential aspect for human survival and not more humans, which only have an increasingly negative effect on everything.

  4. Trevor Keane

    August 20, 2012 at 12:35 am

    The unfortunate truth is that refugees are on the move all around the globe. The issue won’t go away & can only get worse as the pressure on resources continues to grow. That’s what happens with 7 billion and growing.

    Australia has responsibility as a global citizen to do what it can in a fair and humanitarian way for refugees. Currently we accept more refugees on a per capita basis that any other nation (or close to it) and we should continue to take those we can.

    But it’s time to end the reprehensible politics on refugees that we (and our neighbours) are playing. It’s a deliberate distraction from the real disaster that our unfettered population growth is incubating.

    Currently Australia is growing at the rate of about 300,000 annually (that’s an extra Canberra every year) and refugees account for only a small proportion of this.

    Population growth at this level is not sustainable.

    So it’s time for our political leaders to tell us how it’s possible for Australia to build & supply & maintain an extra Canberra every year. A million every 3 years!

    They can’t tells us how as it’s clearly not sustainable. Disaster is looming unless we are prepared firstly to admit there is a problem, and then institute some practical policies to stabilise our population.

    How about re-jigging the baby bonus just for a start? Maybe just for the first two? But then it’s easier to vilify boat people isn’t it?

  5. A.K.

    August 19, 2012 at 8:35 pm

    “A.K. I hope you are never in a position where you would do anything to save your family from a war torn country. Racist bigotry makes me sick. I wouldn’t be surprised if your own ancestors came here in much the same way looking for safety and a better life. The only genuine Australians are the aboriginals, so if our ancestors came here, even through migrant schemes in the 50s and 60s or any other time of mass migration, they weren’t really made welcome either mainly because they came here and were given housing and jobs above everyone else. A lot of the same migrants came here, stayed a short time and became Australian citizens and have now gone back ‘home’ and they can collect the Australian pension.”

    Please, get it right, religion is not a race, but an ideological cult consisting of many races and cultures. Bigotry is the realm of religion and in particular the god cult, their entire history is filled with hate and genocidal endeavours of cult members, there is little else and it continues today unabated worldwide.

    I hate no one, but despise the delusional ideologies followed by the primitive minded, because they are suppressive, warmongering and destroy everything they come in contact with in the end.

    I’ve voluntarily served on active service for my country as many with indigenous heritage have. So am fully aware of the consequences of war and it’s effect. However these people come through many countries all controlled by their own ideological ilk, which aren’t at war. So there’s no need for them to come here and contaminate the place even more with their deranged beliefs and very primitive cultural demands, which don’t fit in a fragile country like this.

    In this day and age, genuine Aussies are those who care for the land and live their lives in that way. They understand and respect indigenous culture and how it survived so long caring for the land and do their best.

    Urban clones are a waste of space in the reality of things, all they do is waste resources, pollute, destroy the ecology and environment with their disgusting gluttonous wasteful lifestyles.

    Our culture survived more than 50000 years in relative peace and ecological harmony, it has only been since the genocidal invasion of the god cult that our culture and country has gone down hill rapidly. You think we want more of these misfits coming here making matters even worse, sorry to disappoint you, but we are not self destructive as primitive ideologists are, we understand the land and the ramifications of over populating and denuding it for economic greed. It appears rational logic isn’t one of your strong points.

  6. TV Resident

    August 19, 2012 at 3:58 pm

    A.K. I hope you are never in a position where you would do anything to save your family from a war torn country. Racist bigotry makes me sick. I wouldn’t be surprised if your own anscestors came here in much the same way looking for safety and a better life. The only genuine Australians are the aboriginals, so if our anscestors came here, even through migrant schemes in the 50s and 60s or any other time of mass migration, they weren’t really made welcome either mainly because they came here and were given housing and jobs above everyone else. A lot of the same migrants came here, stayed a short time and became Australian citizens and have now gone back ‘home’ and they can collect the Australian pension.

  7. Simon D

    August 19, 2012 at 1:26 am

    #39, well done. you win a cuckoo clock.

  8. A.K.

    August 18, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    #37
    “Woo-Hooooo! Comment 35: “Nothing positive at all in any way” from the Yahweh cult/s. A three-fold absolute, as absolute a claim as any, no room for any exceptions.
    Guess that consigns to the socio-cultural rubbish bin Yahweh-derived “nothings” such as Chartres cathedral and York Minster, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, illuminated manuscripts and Islamic calligraphy, Gregorian chant, stained-glass windows, and ceramic tile arts from one end of the Mediterranean at Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace to the other in the Church of Nossa Senhora da Nazaré in Portugal.
    Oh, I get it (silly me)  -  these must all be negatives.”

    Material things don’t change the verifiable facts of the history of the yahweh cult, nor do they overcome the lack of veracity in all claims by god cult followers in any way. Big shiny buildings represent elitism and do nothing for the impoverished people who are bled economically and psychologically to support the lies of their controlling ideology.

    In reality there is no truth in the belief in a god/gods, nor any verifiable supporting evidence to any religious claims. All that exists is the recorded despotic genocidal history of all ideologies worldwide, backed up by facts from their own records.

  9. A.K.

    August 18, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    #36
    A.K . What makes them so ‘right’ and another so ‘wrong’? I can’t see the acronim here that could possibly be Howard or Morrison, but the underlying ‘mass destruction’ of the boat people seems to differ none.

    Actual verfiable outcomes are the only guide to right and wrong,any other claims are illusions.

    Boat people are invaders, as are all who come here uninvited across a number of countries of their own belief systems, demand to stay and impliment theri primitve agenda’s. We see the negative results unfolding in every country invaded by these ideoligical misfits.

  10. Leonard Colquhoun

    August 17, 2012 at 5:23 pm

    Woo-Hooooo! Comment 35: “Nothing positive at all in any way” from the Yahweh cult/s. A three-fold absolute, as absolute a claim as any, no room for any exceptions.

    Guess that consigns to the socio-cultural rubbish bin Yahweh-derived “nothings” such as Chartres cathedral and York Minster, Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, illuminated manuscripts and Islamic calligraphy, Gregorian chant, stained-glass windows, and ceramic tile arts from one end of the Mediterranean at Istanbul’s Topkapi Palace to the other in the Church of Nossa Senhora da Nazaré in Portugal.

    Oh, I get it (silly me) – these must all be negatives.

  11. TV Resident

    August 17, 2012 at 4:38 pm

    A.K . What makes them so ‘right’ and another so ‘wrong’? I can’t see the acronim here that could possibly be Howard or Morrison, but the underlying ‘mass destruction’ of the boat people seems to differ none.

  12. A.K.

    August 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    #16
    “Send them all back, including everyone who has come by boat since 2000” says A.K.
    Well, why stop at the year 2000?
    A.K., my friend, why not go back to 1788?
    Is there a cutoff point or a sunset clause on ‘acceptable immigration’?
    Was it OK for your family to come here by boat, but not be OK for ‘other’ people since then?
    Or is it so that you just don’t like chockos and darkies?
    Let’s hear you speak with authority on my 1788 proposal.
    I await your considered thoughts.

    My comments are based on logic, yours maybe on ideological delusion. As a part indigenous Aussie, it would make us all very happy if god cult invaders of all factions were removed from this once beautiful country. The results of the approach of all factions of the Yahweh cult to life are clearly evident worldwide, in destroyed indigenous lands and impoverished peoples across the globe. Much better to get their house in order than import them to continue the ongoing destruction their christian/muslim and other ilk are fervently indulging in here.

    You take on a bizarre delusional moral high ground, to inflate your illogical agenda, sadly you get it wrong. My stance is about belief, approach to life and the results of that reality. The only evidence available throughout history regarding the Yahweh cult purely consists of violent invasion, genocidal slaughter, forced conversion, environmental and social destruction. Nothing positive at all in any way.

    You have no idea how indigenous and true Aussies feel towards more of these invaders being brought here by those of your ilk. A true Aussie, is someone who cares for the land and what lives upon it, that discounts urbanites and ideologists whose only aim is destructive greed and power at any cost.

    It is not about colour or heritage, but about how you care for reality and apply that to your life. You should try being realistically responsible for your life and the future some time.

  13. A.K.

    August 16, 2012 at 5:44 am

    “It’s funny that he never says such things to me even though I’m an immigrant too. But then I’ve got white skin.”

    Sadly those incapable of understanding the reality of life in the 21st century will always claim racism as the problem, when in reality colour and race has nothing to do with it.

    It’s all about their culture, belief and life approach, These invaders have a culture and belief system which is totally alien to Aus, it’s fracturing societies around the planet and only those trapped in the ideological past would consider turning Aus into the same situation you see in every religiously controlled culture, suppression, violence discrimination and disaster. Only those in denial would dismiss the historical and current facts regarding the effects these economic and religious invaders have on sane societies.

  14. Peter Dufferin

    August 16, 2012 at 1:05 am

    To those who so readily criticise people who have experienced and are fleeing unimaginable horrors, I suggest that if we were in their shoes we would be scrambling over each other to save ourselves and our loved ones.I doubt I would hear too many “After you old chap”s.

  15. Steve

    August 15, 2012 at 10:16 pm

    #28; Thank you for your courteous critique of my comment.
    I’m slightly puzzled as what has raised your ire. Unfortunately the rest of your comment doesn’t help me much. “This mass-dissing of human ingenuity is typical of the Greens’ mentality..”
    Umm; what’s mass-dissing and who said I’m a Green?
    I thought my point was quite simple. There’s some debates that just go on and on because both sides have valid arguments. When both sides have valid arguments there will be no final answer. Although one side may gain temporary ascendancy, the argument will re-surface until such time as circumstances alter to render one side’s arguments invalid.
    If you reckon that people are not “so stupid, wilful, ignorant, et cetera” then why are we still shooting at each other?

  16. Leonard Colquhoun

    August 15, 2012 at 5:09 pm

    ABSOLUTE NONSENSE in Comment 10: this “appears to be an endless debate for exactly the same reason that most debates are endless; there’s no answer”, an absolute reaction for an absolute claim which would have us believe that We the People are so stupid, wilful, ignorant, et cetera, that we cannot solve our problems.

    Catastrophisers R Us.

    This mass-dissing of human ingenuity is typical of the Greens’ mentality, where we are urged to surrender ourselves to dumb animals, dumber plants and braindead rocks. Outside the priesthood of Gaia, the rest of us get on with rational efforts to solve our problems, however temporarily, imperfectly or incompletely.

    It also ignores that most – perhaps even all – of our solutions to our problems are imperfect^, particularly in the original sense of that word, as ‘unfinished’ or ‘incomplete’. It is a reverse “never say never”. It is also a ‘perfect’ motive to do nothing – as in “there’s no answer”.
    __________________________________________________

    ^ This older meaning is used in the Preamble to the US Constitution:

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union . . . do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”.

    The dwindling few who have seriously studied classical and European languages will recognise its use in grammatical terms for verbs such as ‘perfect tense’, ‘imperfect tense’ and ‘pluperfect tense’; an even smaller remnant may have been fortunate to have teachers who knew what these terms meant.

    You get the same kind of meaning shift with “conscience” from these two “Hamlet” quotes – “The play’s the thing / Wherein I’ll catch the conscience of the king” and “Thus conscience doth make cowards of us all” – to today’s meaning.

  17. TGC

    August 15, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Contrary to the views of some TT’ers Australia is a strongly humanitarian country:we can demonstrate that even more than we have in the past- and do presently- by offering citizenship to all those Sri Lankans currently desperate to flee rampant terrorism and economic depravations and making the same offer to all refugees from any other country where there lives are either threatened or their living conditions are unacceptable.
    If Australia could aim for a refugee intake of at least 100.000 annually we would be well on the way to proving just what a selfless nation we are.

  18. James Williamson

    August 15, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I am opposed to mandatory detention… but a fact that has eluded the media at this point is that the refugee quota has been lifted from 13000 per year to 20000 . this difference in the figures is almost precisely the same as the amount of refugees who arrived by boat last year. I think that is good, and its its been the low quota that has prompted people to take the dangerous route to Australia. Also the fact that those boat arrivals have been included in the refugee quota.

  19. Michael O'brien

    August 15, 2012 at 3:02 pm

    Davies @#20, you took the words right out my mouth. These people who arrive by boat are taking places from people that have done the correct thing in UNHCR camps all over the world.

    Lock them up off shore and only accept them when genuinely UNHCR aplicitions have been exuasted.

    Just because they have access to money does not meen that they should be given a greater chance to settle here in Australia over some poor soul sitting in a camp on the Thai/Burmese border.

    I am pleased that this vote has finaly been taken in Fed parliment. It is now a level playing field again for ALL those who wish to come to our country.

  20. Jennifer

    August 15, 2012 at 2:39 pm

    I think we sometimes forget that refugees no more want to come to Australia than did my convict ancestors. The only real attraction here is that we – at present – change government with words and not bullets. In my lifetime I have seen the global village become a reality. In other words we are all in the same boat and there is no point sitting up one end of the boat saying ‘I’m all right Jack’, while the other end sinks. I think we are capable of thinking bigger than that.

  21. Doug Nichols

    August 15, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    #16, “Send them back, […] they use up our welfare, housing, increase crime rates, disrupt communities…”

    A couple of blocks from where I live there is a bloke who lives on his own in a little unit. He’s always sat on his front step drinking from a bottle of something. That is when he isn’t being cared for by an ambulance crew after falling over in the gutter, or being brought home by the police after staggering halfway into town, which I see him doing sometimes. Anyway, a few months ago I was walking past his place and a smartly dressed guy who happened to be ethnically Indian or Pakistani was walking the other way. The drunk started abusing him, shouting that he should go back to where he came from, that he was sponging off society here and we didn’t want him (the language, mind you, was not repeatable). It’s funny that he never says such things to me even though I’m an immigrant too. But then I’ve got white skin.

  22. Joan Emberg

    August 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Yes…shame indeed on our government! My grandfather was a boat person and an illegal immigrant. In 1890 he was conscripted into Kaiser Bill’s army. Being a pacifist he did not take orders well and knocked down his superior officer. The punishment for this was the firing squad so he stowed away on a ship out of Teufels Bruk, Hamburg. He jumped ship on the west coast of Tasmania and made his way to Queenstown where he spent the rest of his life. He became a respected citizen, manager of F O Henry’s department store and was fundamental in the Mt Lyall mining disaster rescues. He became an Australian citizen in 1900. I am proud of being a decendant of a boat person and appalled by my government’s heartless and illegal intentions.

  23. Simon D

    August 15, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    #17 I am not quite sure what you are saying, but since you appear to be missing my point I will try to clarify.

    Regardless of where you stand on this complex issue, it is not a political football. Tony Abbott disgraced himself in Parliament (Julie Bishop went even further) in his diatribe about ‘blood on hands’ etc. Scott Morrison, full of self righteous aggression had no place talking to anyone in such a tone about this sensitive issue. It was a deliberate tactic and I for one would like to see it backfire. As a member of the public, without a constituency to serve, I believe it is in no way a double-standard to refer to him as a ‘mongrel’. Watch the clip; make up your own mind.

  24. davies

    August 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    The important point here is that men, women and children, hundreds of them, have drowned trying to get to Australia since Labor got in and dismantled Howard’s policy.

    Labor policy is killing people. It is not a humanitarian policy.

    Now you can argue about how many refugees we can and should take. My personal view is 50,000 per annum BUT only from the refugee camps. Accept refugees that have done and are doing the right thing. That keep all their papers and passports and not deliberately destroy them like 85% of the boat refugees are doing.

    You can argue about where to ‘house’ these refugees.

    But surely you need to put in place, immediately, a policy that stops the refugees from attempting the perilous journey to Australia by boat.

    Anything else is secondary.

  25. William Boeder

    August 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm

    Bob Hawkins, I remember well the small boatload of West Papuans that arrived upon our shores seeking asylum, (back during the Howard years,) after fleeing West Papua from the severe military oppressions that were being cast upon all the West Papuan people during those times.
    (Yet still happening throughout West Papua and including its many populated islands, to this very day.)

    Indonesia demanded these Asylum Seekers be returned to them and of course “Fibber” Howard caved-in to the demands of those stand-over Indonesian military generals, he sent these unfortunates back to face the Indonesian authorities for their actions, they were to soon meet their uncertain but easily predictable fate.

    The Lombok Treaty called for by Howard and signed during 2006-2007 (still now in effect,) favours the Indonesian government and ignores the hostile suppression’s tortures and often violent deaths among the indigenous West Papua’s native citizens, who are, or were the traditional owners of West Papua.
    Today ‘no external to Indonesia’ journalists are permitted entry into West Papua, obviously so that Susilo Bambang Yudyhono can continue the savage oppression upon these people, as his officials carve up this former homeland territory of the West Papuans and sell it to the highest bidder among the mineral resource hungry International mining conglomerates and or corporates.

    Any objections by the West Papuan people are ignored or dismissed by the Indonesian military.
    For nowadays they have installed their own administration control centres and of course have them staffed by Indonesian military and police group forces.
    Should there be any resistance when these people are told to relocate themselves after being forced off their traditional homelands, they are soon dispersed by hostile military force and as so often seen nowadays, military gunfire is soon directed into the groups of the West Papuan landholders.

    Effectively John Howard had meekly agreed to the demands of the Indonesia government and thus Australia is now told not to interfere or even to recognise the rapidly escalating human rights abuses and extremely violent suppression of the native people in this land of our nearest neighbours.
    As time rolls by we will be able to see how John Howard will be remembered as the worst ever Prime Minister in Australia’s history.
    Remember it was Howard that toadied up to George W Bush and without consultation sent our soldiers off to Iraq?

  26. Buck and Joan Emberg

    August 15, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    Who the Hell are you TGC? No courage to show your face let alone your name…! Buck and Joan Emberg

  27. TGC

    August 15, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    314 First time I have heard the Prime Minister referred to in this “aggressive” way.
    Now, if Simon D. had been on the expert panel in place of Houston (et al?)….?

  28. A. K.

    August 15, 2012 at 12:40 pm

    Amazing the primitive short term viewpoint of those supporting the influx of ideologists into this country, when historically, environmentally and ecologically it is already very over populated.

    The bizarre claims of it being the humanitarian thing to do flies in the face of the sustainable facts. Every country that has allowed these (people) to enter is now facing sociological, economic confusion and disharmony. Send them all back.

    Whilst certainly no supporter of any political party as they are all corrupt, prehistoric and not representative of any form of logical sanity, this approach is at least a start to stop our country being turned into another ideological basket case and further destroying the land that gives us life.

    Send them all back, including everyone who has come by boat since 2000, they use up our welfare, housing, increase crime rates, disrupt communities and do everything they can to create their own debauched regimes here. Send all their supporters back with them as well …

    (Edited for anonymous abuse)

  29. Andrew

    August 15, 2012 at 12:31 pm

    STOP THE BOATS!!

  30. Simon D

    August 15, 2012 at 11:41 am

    I think this clip is all too indicative of coalition policy in this area. ‘Above politics’- give me a break. The Houston report stinks. But what is worse is this mongrel’s aggressive, cheap, point scoring over innocent peoples lives. Made me feel physically sick –

    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2012/s3567884.htm

  31. phill Parsons

    August 15, 2012 at 10:09 am

    Whilst the medja focus on camps in Nauru and on Manus the íntake expands until it reaches 27,000pa, an expansion I predicted would be in the report and a little more than the Greens have called for.

    Moving to 20,000 first this expansion of intake may rise to the recommended expansion is programmed for a number of years.

    This may see arrivals by boat decrese but choosing between an Aussie camp and staying in Indonesia we cannot be sure that peole smagglers will mislead or thet people will prefer a half-way house to waiting.

    Still, a doubling of intake may reduce pressure overtime but at what cost returning to this policy based on the percieved selfishness of certain electorates and voters and with the medja scrum adding fuel by sensationilizing the issue in the hope of more ‘news’.

    Perhaps order will take hold and the boats stop but it appears from Abbott and Morrisons statements more ‘border protections’ will follow if they are elected

  32. john Hayward

    August 15, 2012 at 1:58 am

    The curious thing about the political Right is that their greatest animosity is usually directed toward the most powerless, something their “battler ” followers seem to forget when they are being sooled onto groups yet more foreign and threatening to the Howards and Paulines of the world than themselves.

    John Hayward

  33. Steve

    August 15, 2012 at 12:58 am

    This appears to be an endless debate for exactly the same reason that most debates are endless; there’s no answer.
    On the one hand you have the people who say we should be more humanitarian and simply extend a warm welcome to those who’ve imperilled their lives on the open seas to get here.
    This would be a very reasonable suggestion except that the other side then points out that people are catching planes to Indonesia, then launching themselves in the general direction of Australia in a ploy to circumvent our immigration laws and simply accepting them is hardly fair on those who’ve applied through proper channels.
    To me the answer is to remove the whole issue of physically getting here and address the issue of staying here.
    For example, if it’s determined that Australia will always accept people flying from life threatening situations, don’t worry about establishing whether their situation was life threatening, simply place an appropriate bar in the way.
    If I was trying to extricate my family from a nasty situation and a country said “we’re happy to take you but you’ve got to work for two years exterminating weeds in our world heritage areas before you can stay. We’ll provide accommodation and basic living requirements but we won’t pay you”, I’d leap at the chance, I’m saving my family. Might be different if I was actually just trying to move to a more prosperous country!
    The above is a very crude example but should suffice to illustrate my point.

  34. lmxly

    August 15, 2012 at 12:38 am

    The Expert Panel has not unleashed Pacific Solution #2 even though Abbott may like to think so. But he – and possibly Bob Hawkins? – should actually read what they have proposed which is much more sophisticated. For a start it ‘red-lights’ TPVs and turning back the boats; and focuses on increasing the humanitarian intake, and funding for UNHCR, so that more asylum seekers can be processed more rapidly in Indonesia and Malaysia, which should reduce the incentives for them to risk their lives on dangerous boats. And the faster this more rapid regional processing happens the less time boat people will have to spend on Nauru and Manus Island, under the ‘no advantage’ principle.

    So why not put our efforts into lobbying the government to implement all 22 of the Panel’s recommendations; instead of reviling its initial legislation of only two of them. There is a real possibility that this whole package could make a real difference; but only if political parties – and indeed the rest of us – refrain from ‘cherry-picking’, which the Panel explicitly warns against.

  35. Theresa Daley

    August 15, 2012 at 12:16 am

    This is taken from the Australian Department of Immigration page of the Federal Government website… Um, clearly our current government needs to play catch up as they seem to unaware of this. ‘The ‘White Australia’ policy describes Australia’s approach to immigration from federation until the latter part of the 20th century, which favoured applicants from certain countries.

    The abolition of the policy took place over a period of 25 years.

    Following the election of a coalition of the Liberal and Country parties in 1949, Immigration Minister Harold Holt allowed 800 non-European refugees to remain in Australia and Japanese war brides to enter Australia.

    Over subsequent years Australian governments gradually dismantled the policy with the final vestiges being removed in 1973 by the new Labor government.’

  36. max

    August 15, 2012 at 12:10 am

    Just how long can we except the desperate, because that is what the boat people are. They just don’t jump on a boat and risk their lives for fun. This is not only a problem for Australia, it is a world wide problem. Sooner rather than later we must except the fact that there is a limit to how many refugees Australia can support. The world desperately needs to accept that the present situation if it continues will destroy us all and the answer is not to accept more and more refugees, but to fix the cause.

  37. Pete Godfrey

    August 14, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    My father ‘jumped ship” at the end of the second world war. After joining the British Merchant Navy at 14 years of age and seeing many of his new friends killed in action, he landed in Sydney. Seeing a chance to live in a beautiful peaceful land he stayed. I can remember him taking out citizenship in the 1960″s under an illegal immigrants amnesty.
    Now we have gone to war again against the Iraqi people and the Afghani people but somehow it is not OK for them to flee their war torn countries and seek refuge in a peaceful land.
    Pity that John Howard ( a curse on him) did not listen to the people of Australia and stay out of those wars. Remember his comment when asked what he thought of the 70% of Australian’s who did not want us to join the coalition of the idiots with George Bush, his response was “they are wrong”.
    We are being manipulated by the media and by politicians who are trying to buy their jobs by diverting our attention away from the real issues.
    Lets hope that we come to our senses and boot them all out.

  38. TGC

    August 14, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    #4 Generally “Abbott” does agree with the findings of the “expert panel” and Julia had no choice but to agree. Bob Hawkins not onloy doesn’t vagree with that panel’s findings- apparently- he doesn’t agree with Australia!

  39. Shane Johnson

    August 14, 2012 at 7:00 pm

    Another meaningless non-contribution from TGC at #1.

    However, we should ignore the odius Libs and their desperate desire to attribute blood to hands and the base motives of the Labor government, for something must be done to stop people getting on the boats. More than 4% of people starting on the journey are dying. If the trip from Hobart to Burnie was a 4 in a 100 certain risk of death we would do something about it. Paris Aristotle is not a reactionary conservative responding to the dog whistle yet he supports this plan at this time.

    Whilst I do not believe that there is any guarantee that the new ‘solution’ will work, in fact it is unlikely in the long term, it may put a brake on numbers.

    The challenge now is to develop the process that sets a more appropriate humanitarian intake and develops a regional approach that we can trust.

    We know Abbott won’t do this, the Greens position is too idealistic to be accepted broadly and Labor will be gone for at least 2 electoral terms.

  40. Richard Barton

    August 14, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Let’s not forget that the cause is a total lack of access to effective means of escape by the refugees.

    Peasants fleeing war, including those in which are participants (e.g. Afghanistan) don’t understand the niceties of federal policy.

    If our politicians had an ounce of humanity they’d offer a way out for refugees, and treat those who arrived at our shores with dignity and respect.

  41. john hawkins

    August 14, 2012 at 4:18 pm

    The snarling, salivating, Liberal pit dogs in the bear pit of politics were on full view in the Federal Parliament last night.

    Abbott and the Bishop cannot wait to be let off that electoral leash.

    A pox on both their parties.

  42. TGC

    August 14, 2012 at 3:27 pm

    Clearly for Bob Hawkins this latest refugee saga will all be too much to bear and his only possible response-in all conscience- will be to emigrate to a country with a much greater humanitarian heart- a country in which there are no greedy, cowardly, racist, narrow, covetous self-deluding people, a country in which parliament is not a “joke” a parliament where democracy is at its heart.
    Bob shouldn’t have too much difficulty finding such a new home- throw a dart!

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