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Welcome to the asylum


  1. noun: refuge, sanctuary, shelter, safety, protection, security, immunity;

the protection granted by a nation to someone who has left their native country as a political refugee. “she applied for asylum and was granted refugee status” “we provide asylum for those too ill to care for themselves” “he appealed for political asylum”

  1. dated:

an institution offering shelter and support to people who are mentally ill. After watching last night’s Q&A I got an unexpected text from a friend. “The numbers are only worse under Labor for children in detention because Labor let more refugees in, right? Not that it is defendable” the message read. I had to give this some thought… Yes I suppose there were more ‘irregular entries’ from 2008 onward than there had been during the Howard years. By 2008 we were really just starting to feel the shockwaves of a series of genocides in which Australia had been complicit. The number of boat arrivals increased under Labor, and with it the number of children in detention. And I suppose a veritable tsunami of new boat arrivals from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka also came as a supply-boom for a fledgling private prison industry. Australia has not dealt properly with refugees since the 1970’s. The Fraser government achieved humanitarian outcomes for tens of thousands of refugees from indo-china, in accordance with our obligations under international law. Fraser, now 84, has cut ties with his former political party and now champions the cause of refugee advocacy. He was also the man behind the coup that took down the Australia’s first and only autonomous government. Go figure. I’d take Fraser for PM over any of the current crop (except perhaps Wilkie or Wong.) Stewart West, another octogenarian, served as Minister for Immigration and Ethnic Affairs under Hawke. I heard West address a rally last year. He spoke passionately, recalling anecdotes of his work abroad, particularly in central and south America. What echoes in my minds ear still are these words: “In my day we didn’t have a problem with refugees arriving by boat. We flew them here.” West resigned shortly after Hawke introduced his policy of mandatory detention for unauthorised arrivals. A man of integrity. Hawke brought in mandatory detention. Keating privatised it. Howard offshored it. Rudd and Gillard tried to scale it back, proposing to settle clients in “third countries”. Abbott opposed this because it was Labor’s idea, and once in power imposed his final solution to the refugee problem by turning back the boats. This instantly improved his polling, which was dutifully reported in the Murdoch press and scored him countless cheap points among the brainwashed and brainless masses. One small problem with Abbott’s strategy is that according to every legal entity, everywhere, seeking asylum is a human right, and refoulement is illegal. Australia now stands in breach of countless articles of international law, and we haven’t actually done anything to fix the problem. We’ve done nothing to address the plight of undocumented, homeless, stateless people fleeing tyranny and persecution. What Abbott has done instead is given billions of taxpayer dollars to corporate thugs and enlisted the armed forces by executive order to make this someone else’s problem. Meanwhile we have a ‘budget emergency’. I’m only crying because it hurts to laugh. The boats have stopped coming now, or so we’re told, so I guess what we do with the rest of the irregulars in detention now is a matter for the Liberal party and their business interests to decide. (Tony Shepherd, President of the Business Council of Australia, is the former chairman of Transfield which operates the facility at Manus Island, a U.S. styled private prison. Serco and G4S have also held lucrative government tenders at various times to operate detention facilities, along with Greg Sheppard, who runs the private security firm Wilson Protective Services PNG Ltd. All Liberal Party donors.) The reaction to the human rights commission’s report into the forgotten children comes as no surprise. Investment by successive governments has boosted supply in a market which now has weakeneing demand. I imagine Abbott at this moment finds himself in quite a quandary. Clearly he hasn’t thought the game through; else he would have announced something by now. My guess is he probably never thought he’d get this far. I suppose a government so committed to old world ideas about what a ‘family unit’ looks like would find the problem even more perplexing. There are whole families in detention, we are told. In the example reluctantly proffered by Mr Turnbull the father is a suspected security risk, but his wife and 3 kids refuse to leave detention without him. I shudder to think what a pallid chord the thought of broken families must strike on Cory Bernardi and Eric Abetz’ god-fearing heart strings. One conservative maggot troll tweeted something along the lines of “shame on these conniving grifters for using their children as bargaining chips.” Meanwhile the same government which refused to spend $500m to guarantee the future of car manufacturing in Australia and save 100 000 jobs (sorry to labour the point), are happy to hand over $2bn to the private prison industry, which benefits the rest of us how, exactly? And where does Labor stand on this? Or is this another matter of ‘national security’ which has bi-partisan support? I cringe at the thought.


  1. Kaye Lee

    Tony Shepherd was the chairman of Transfield until he quit in October 2013 to do the Commission of Audit. (He’s now working on Westconnex)

    Mr Shepherd left with more than 200,000 Transfield shares, allocated to his family superannuation fund, on top of his final salary of $380,000.

    Move on to March 2014…..

    “The awarding of a A$1.22 billion contract to Transfield Services to run the Manus Island and Nauru detention centres is yet another example of a government handing over responsibility to other parties for what have long been core activities of the state.

    A decreasing number of very large, for-profit firms, sometimes housed in tax havens, are picking up more and more complex, politically sensitive services on behalf of government, including everything from courthouse security, prisons and para-military services to the more recent detention centre services.”

  2. Ricardo29

    Watched Q and A, shouted at the TV and particularly Turnbull who did, however, rule himself out of contention as new PM. Same old blame Labor, same old lies about the budget, no vision just empty words about need for bipartisanship, productivity,innovation, blah blah while his mob cut the ground from under all innovation. He stopped short of lower waged, but only just. Labor’s Catherine someone did what she could but had to work hard to get a word in, and spent too much time on work she’s doing in her area, health. Labor needs to give. It’s pe,pole talking points to counter the continual, ongoing bullshit of the Libs. And don’t get me started on Sheridan, though he did cut Abbott loose.

  3. Mike

    Brilliantly put together Sean, the LNP are masters of cruelty, deceit, greed, deception & ultimately destruction and if I were Shorten once elected I would go to war with exposing these LNPartyer’s & their masters by every means available. Can one imagine if Murdochs empire was handed over to Australians.

  4. Pingback: WELCOME TO THE POLITICAL ASYLUM by SEAN STINSON » Political Reality in Australia

  5. stephentardrew

    Can only agree Sean.

  6. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    The point made about more in detention because of more arrivals is one which Labor has not highlighted. Excellent article. And we need a corruption watchdog!

  7. Kerri

    Good article Sean Stinson, but I keep asking when is Australia going to be prosecuted for all of the crimes they have committed under the guise of “border protection” ??? I really want these crimes prosecuted before the incumbents have the chance to slink off! I would love to see them convicted whilst in Government? It would be almost worth voting them back in if we could guarantee they would be convicted quickly?

  8. donwreford

    The Australian government has cut down the entries of boat people but we do not have the stats on the misery of the people we will never know in their plight and possibility of being outcast’s in their land?

  9. CMMC

    The Transfield links to the camps prove they consider it a civil engineering problem.

  10. Arthur Baker

    One of the main reasons so many boats arrived under Labor is that the LNP, then in opposition, relentlessly megaphoned to the world their intention to prevent boats arriving when they came to power. And to reintroduce TPVs, thereby preventing family reunion. The cynical message was clear – if you’re planning to get on a boat, do it while Labor is in power, and bring your entire family because if you leave it until after Sept 2013 you’ll have buckley’s under our government. And now they tell us it was all Labor’s fault that so many died at sea. Disingenuous hypocrites.

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