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Back where you came from

Image by ahmadiyyapost.blogspot.com

Image by ahmadiyyapost.blogspot.com

Someone gave me some good advice when I was a single woman: when you’re out on a date with a man, take note of how he treats the waitress. Because one day that’s how he’ll treat you. I couldn’t help but think of this advice, strangely enough, when I tried to digest the disturbing news that Abbott’s government has almost certainly handed Sri Lankan Tamil asylum seekers back to the government they were fleeing from. Because it occurred to me that Australian voters really should heed this same advice when it comes to the way Abbott treats the most desperate and vulnerable amongst us.

No doubt many Australians would read this and think smugly to themselves, ‘no, I’m Australian. My government would never treat me like they treat an asylum seeker. They’re not from here and I am, so that gives me certain privileges that the asylum seekers don’t have rights to’. But this is clearly naïve.

You think Australians have rights. Sure we do. But asylum seekers have rights too. They’re called human rights and Abbott completely disregards them. Australia has signed up to the UNHCR Refugee Convention, but from the behaviour of the Abbott government over the last 9 months, I wonder why the UNHCR still accepts Australia as a signatory to this international agreement. Yes, we think of ourselves as a first world country. But what first world country would violate human rights and demean the weak and defensive amongst us in order to win political points? How callous does the government have to be before Australian citizens start to show a rational level of concern about the people in charge of this country?

Still not convinced that Australian voters should be worried? Still think vulnerable Australians automatically rank higher in the government’s concern than desperate people fleeing from persecution and violence? What if, just like a first date, a political party is on their best behaviour for a short time? It may last the election campaign. But just like in a new relationship, once the honeymoon period is over and you get to know the real government, their true character can’t be ignored.

The cracks started appearing in Abbott’s best behaviour on the first day of his new government. And there was nothing but red flags in the delivery of his budget. Look, for example, at the way Abbott is treating young Australians. If his welfare policy is accepted by the new Senate, people under 30 who don’t have a job will be denied even the most basic level of Newstart assistance. And it’s not like Abbott’s government haven’t considered the ramifications of this policy change. They know that young people who aren’t getting any Newstart allowance for six out of every 12 months will find themselves broke and homeless. They know that thousands of Australians are going to need emergency relief of the most basic kind – they’ve already increased the emergency relief budget for this very reason. And what about the disabled? Abbott wants people with periodic mental illness to be denied a disability pension because their disability isn’t ‘permanent’. Yet they must know it will be impossible for these people to get a job. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that these Australians will soon be as desperate to survive as Tamil asylum seekers who’ve chosen to risk their life on a leaky boat rather than risk staying where they are.

The handing of Tamil asylum seekers back to the government they were fleeing from should be a lesson for all Australians about a government that wants to put people back in their place. A government that wants to tell us all to go back where we came from. A government who knows that the unemployed young adults from poor families will have the least chance of surviving for six months without Newstart, whilst the rich will be cushioned by their inborn safety net of privilege. But that’s the point of the Abbott government isn’t it? To put us all back in our place. To kick the ladder of social mobility out from under us. To punish the poor and to rub their nose in their misfortune.

I hope Australians are starting to learn this lesson about the Abbott government. I hope they look at the way this government treats asylum seekers and they understand that these poor desperate souls are the canary-in-the-mine-test-of-character that provides all the insight they need into the true values of the Abbott government. And I hope that when they think of the asylum seekers being turned away from Australia, they don’t feel satisfied that Abbott is succeeding in turning back the boats. That they don’t think he’s doing something good for the country and good for them. Even if Australians can’t, on the whole, feel empathy for asylum seekers, I hope they can at least have the emotional intelligence to be worried about themselves. Especially those who know what it is like to be poor and who want to make, or have made, a better life for themselves and their children. I hope they look at the Abbott government and wonder what their futures would be like if they were forced to go back to where they came from. Abbott is trying to exclude whole sections of the community, to define them as less than citizens and to send them back to the misery they came from – just like the asylum seekers. Through his ideological budget, and every decision he has made since becoming Prime Minister of Australia, Abbott is already proving that he will decide who belongs to our community and the manner in which they belong. My question is, are people worried about how he treats the waitress?

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151 comments

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  1. Jennifer Gregory

    Absolutely agree. I feel utterly sickened by what this Government has done and is doing on a daily basis, but if this sea transfer did take place, and it looks like it did, I can’t express the disgust I feel. If this LNP monster isn’t removed and relegated to ugly history, then I will totally lose faith in my fellow Australians.

  2. diongiles

    Handing Tamil refugees over to the Sri Lankan butchers lowers Australia to Switzerland’s level with its practice of handing fleeing Jews over to the German butchers during the war.

  3. Sue-Ellen

    Excellent articulation of the Abbott government’s real agenda. I feel exactly the same. As an employee of the federal government I feel they are doing exactly the same to us, to the point where they want to stop us expressing any criticism of their policies even if totally unrelated to our work area.

  4. M-R

    Yes, you’re quite right, I believe: this guvmint is using the disgraceful poll results on asylum seekers as its canary in a cage.
    As long as weak-minded and selfish people allow themselves to be bludgeoned into agreeing that refugees should be treated more harshly, TROWC is vindicated. They think.

  5. patsy

    so true abbot is a ugly person…….he has no regard for the homeless and the youth of this country…..good article Victoria……..

  6. mikestasse

    Great article Victoria……. thanks.

  7. Gillian

    Absolutely wonderful article Victoria. At the heart of it all is Abbott’s disgraceful personality. He is not fit to be prime minister. Nor is HIS government fit to govern!!!

  8. darrel nay

    Thank you Victoria Rollinson,

    I would like to add my voice to the chorus which knows that our treatment of these people is a stain on our character. If Jesus were to turn up in a boat would Mr Abbott reject him?

  9. Terry2

    I have trouble understanding how an electorate in Australia (Cook in this case) could elect a man like Morrison who seems a deeply troubled individual and takes out his frustrations on asylum seekers and refugees and is cheered on by a weak and populist Prime Minister.

    Is it the demographic that makes up Cook that cheers on every demented twist engineered by Morrison : I don’t know, I live in Queensland. Is this behaviour actually applauded by the electors of Cook ?

  10. Dan Rowden

    Nice article.

    Australia has signed up to the UNHCR Refugee Convention, but from the behaviour of the Abbott government over the last 9 months, I wonder why the UNHCR still accepts Australia as a signatory to this international agreement.

    I think the validity of this question spans a much larger time period than the 9 months of this government. Therefore one might also ask how well Labor treats the waitress. I guess we knew the answer to that question in Rudd’s particular case.

  11. Fab

    Abbott may as well of murdered those refugees with his own hands. Disgraceful act and one that I cant believe Australians tolerate. Its the prejudices we have that destroyed the “fair go” that this country boasts of so much.

  12. red

    So Dan as you already have your answer, why would one bother asking the question…..or is this just something that’s done when the current mobs actions are so indefensible the only answer from some is to again drag up the ALP. Most of us know the ALP position on asylum seekers is a disgrace – maybe you can explain how the constant dragging up of the past governments actions/policy will help us stop morrison now.

  13. DanDark

    Yep, labor haven’t been in gov for 10 months, you need to get over the labor bashing Dan R
    It’s becoming repetitive, libs are doing the damage now….

  14. Kaye Lee

    A great deal of the blame for current asylum seeker policy lies with the electorate. We could argue the culpability of the media in shaping public opinion but that would imply that we are incapable of independent thought and research.

    The Coalition based their policies on what focus groups and polls said – something I find despicable within itself. In such an important area the government should show leadership. Labor was arguably worse for basing THEIR policies on what was working for the Coalition.

    The blanket of secrecy employed by this government is a blatant attempt to stop its citizens from knowing what it is doing. This is completely unacceptable. They have NO right to hide this information as it stops all forms of accountability and oversight – a very dangerous precedent.

    We need truthful information from government, the media, and refugee groups and we have a right to demand it.

  15. Dan Rowden

    If you think noting Labor’s role in this constitutes “dragging up the past” you have a rather different take than me on temporal reality. How do you imagine Morrison can be stopped if Labor cannot and does not become involved in that? Victoria’s nicely conceived analogy breaks down somewhat given its application to Labor. It is also simply wrong, from a justice point of view, to paint this problem as a product of this government.

    We can’t even begin to resolve the issues if we turn it into a partisan bun fight and fail to keep keep a clear eye on the total picture.

  16. DanDark

    It’s all relevant Dan R, maybe it’s the way you put it across, but seems like labor bashing, we all know labor failed in asylum seeker policies, and I agree we should not forget labours failings in this area, so I apologise if I said something to upset you, we are all on the same page on AIMN 🙂

    Corvus was on here at 3 this morning, with useful info for everyone, now that’s dedication to a cause, so thanks Corvus, he is a walking encyclopaedia, saves me a lot of time looking up things 🙂

  17. Dan Rowden

    DanDark,

    It’s all good.

  18. DanDark

    Great Dan,
    because you are another person that spends a lot of time, getting and putting info up here for people like me who works in other mysterious ways, but academics not my forfeit, so thanks Dan R for your dedication and passion to end this madness that has overtaken our political leaders…

  19. Mario Napolitano

    Remember when we thought of ourselves as a nation of laid-back, insubordinate, anti-authoritarian, irreverent larrikins? We had convinced ourselves that the skeptical, rebellious attitude came from our convict past… Well I strongly suspect that was just a myth.

    Now we are all “good Germans”. Now, the vast majority of our police, military and bureaucrats are “just following orders” without hesitation. We are being conditioned to ignore the exploitation, demonisation and mistreatment of the weak and vulnerable.

    We are incessantly warned about threats -without and within. We are constantly facing some new crisis… and our focus is diverted from what is actually being done to our society.

    “What happened here was the gradual habituation of the people, little by little, to being governed by surprise; to receiving decisions deliberated in secret; to believing that the situation was so complicated that the government had to act on information which the people could not understand…

  20. corvus boreus

    DanDark,
    Thanks for the backslap and sorry to puncture a bubble,
    but I was only displaying distracted divergence from the other important computer task I was supposed to be focused on, showing scattered sleep and rest patterns, and reacting aggressively to an irritation by mounting a hobby-horse and charging at a flailing windmill.
    Cheerz, but. 😉 🙂

  21. Mike Wilkinson

    Well said Victoria… the signs are there, have been for years. We ignore this at our peril.

  22. DanDark

    Lol Corvus well I got to do something, I haven’t slept since tones got in, so it’s going to be a long sleepless 2 more years for me, I have booked tickets for first civilian trip to mars, it’s a hostile environment, but so is Earth now 😉

  23. corvus boreus

    Myself, DanDark, I have a plan to individually devolve back to simple invertebrate function, it’s seems that’s where the future lies. And I might get to auto-inseminate!

  24. DanDark

    Corvus
    Oh goodie, can you package that, marketing it will be a piece of piss, you are onto a winner
    I will be your first, guinea pig, oops customer 😉 you will be a rich if you can auto inseminate, bloody brilliant yep

  25. DanDark

    Although I still think Mars will be safer, no rusted on libs there as yet lol

  26. Dave

    Unfortunately our Government is still in opposition

  27. DanDark

    A great interview with Graham Innes on One plus one with Jane, a remarkable man we could all learn from 🙂

  28. Tommy

    Wow dan you’re the typical racist liberal gay hating scum just line Abbott an his pigs I hope if pols dole and dsp get cut off you get robbed and I’ll be laughing of your liberal faces if drug use rise and violence an anarchy an ppl start dealing drugs to feed themself

  29. DanDark

    Thanks Dan I will watch it again at my own leisure, when time permits me 😉

  30. corvus boreus

    Deaf dumb and blind boy lives in a quiet vibration land.

  31. Dan Rowden

    Tommy,

    To whom were you directing that curious little spray? Inquiring minds wish to know.

  32. James Cook

    The frightening thing is that the latest refugee-boat scandal is getting no traction in the MSM. The Libs know that they can stonewall for a while and any hint of scandal/corruption/cover-up will fade….These reptiles are cunning, and like sewer rats, they have a very good chance of survival. Why is Labor so SILENT!!.??

  33. corvus boreus

    Close, Amazing Journey

  34. Dan Rowden

    James,

    The frightening thing is that the latest refugee-boat scandal is getting no traction in the MSM.

    I don’t think that’s entirely fair. The SMH basically broke the story and has been reporting on it consistently since, but it’s hard to report information that is being withheld by pertinent government officials.

    Tamil asylum seekers: Ghosts on the high seas

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/tamil-asylum-seekers-ghosts-on-the-high-seas-20140704-zsw0g.html#ixzz36YYFcgUW

    Why is Labor so SILENT!!.??

    And there’s the $64 question. One can understand it from the creepy Libs, but they are no longer on their Pat Malone in the creepy stakes …

  35. stephengb2014

    Didn’t the Howard administration insert the processing of asylum seekers overseas. Didn’t they introduce Manus island
    Yes Labor followed suit – much to their shame – and their continued support of the coalition policy is obhorent to me and many Labor supporters
    But this mob take the buiscuit for cruelty toward our fellow man.
    I do believe we are being conditioned to accept an intollerant attitude to the unemployed, the sick the aged and the poor.
    this government is the first, first world country to have an extremist Right wing view of the world since Germany in 1933.
    yes I know this is easy to say and I do not know this as a matter of fact but my guess is that it is actually true
    S

  36. James Cook

    Dan, I agree that the SMH has featured the story but today, Saturday, it is in the bottom right-hand corner on P 13, hardly pushing the envelope here! And I stand by my assertion that, for the most part, the MSM have ignored the story….Why are the journalists not totally pissed-off that Morrison and Abbott are treating them like children????

  37. Dan Rowden

    James,

    Oh, I think that journos are quite pissed off at Morrison. You can hear it is the increasingly frustrated tone of their questions. The question is: what are they supposed to do about it – shine a light in his face and make him talk? There’s hardly a story about the issue wherein it’s not mentioned that the government refuses information.

  38. Dan Rowden

    You think Australians have rights. Sure we do.

    This was an important part of the article. Yes, we do have rights, sort of. But most of the rights we possess are merely enshrined in law are laws can be changed on a political whim to suit an ideological agenda. Few rights we have – or falsely assume we have – are protected Constitutionally. It might not hurt Labor to make some noises about that if they’re up to doing it skillfully, politically speaking.

  39. Mario Napolitano

    darrel nay:

    If Jesus were to turn up in a boat would Mr Abbott reject him?

    Well of course not! Abbott’s “Jesus” is male, tall, fair skinned, and blue-eyed. That’s EXACTLY the sort of person we want in this country!

    BTW… if memory serves, all the images of Jesus at my local Catholic church seem to confirm Abbott’s view!

  40. Michael R

    Pfft. I am thrilled that the government returned a boat load of economic would-be migrant queue jumpers back to Sri Lanka. You can hope all you like, but this is the government voted in by Australia and they’re doing what they promised.

  41. Matter Not

    Another troll demonstrates profound ignorance. Hilarious how they get their ‘thrills’.

    And this from a nation that once promoted The Colombo Plan.

  42. Michael R

    Actually, I’m not a troll and I’m not getting thrills. This is my opinion. Just because you don’t share it doesn’t make me a troll.

  43. Matters Not

    Michael you demonstrate profound ignorance, but I am reluctant to engage with infantile opinion.

    As for not getting ‘thrills’, I suggest you re read your original post where you state: “… am thrilled that the government .. ‘

  44. Kaye Lee

    There are many names for what you are Michael…ignorant racist bigot springs to mind. Can you tell me how you know the circumstances of these people? You seem certain about something that no-one else can get any information on. Please share how you got that information. Is every refugee, all 50 million of them, tarred with that same brush since they have all fled their country without immigration paperwork?

  45. corvus boreus

    Michael R,
    I applaud your gentlemanly sentiments regarding orderly queue forming, I would imagine you to be, for example, a road-sharer of exemplary courtesy and law-abiding restraint.
    I look forward to personally benefiting from your individual adherence to the ethos of polite deference during my selfish snatching of resources in, for example, a hypothetical upcoming societal collapse /economic disaster/environmental apocalypse type scenario.

  46. Matters Not

    Mario Napolitano, Jesus was in all probability, a Palestinian. No blue eyes, blonde hair and the like.

  47. Kaye Lee

    For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in,

  48. corvus boreus

    Matters not
    Based on the broad racial profiling types of the district at the time, centurions would have been searching for a suspect of semitic/middle eastern appearance. Swarthy skin, hair and eyes.

  49. Matters Not

    corvus boreus, at the height of the ‘war on terror’ we would have arrested anyone with a beard who wore a red coat and black boots and had a habit of chanting the name of that Vietnamese communist Ho Ho Ho! Particularly when he had a penchant for entering residences down chimneys rather than through the front door. A queue jumper of some note..

  50. mars08

    Oh people, people, people… I’ve seen the Hollywood movies AND the Christmas cards at the paper shop!!!!

    I’ve no doubt that Jesus looked like a composite of a tanned Brad Pitt and Orlando Bloom with a beard. Even primary school kids know THAT!

  51. mars08

    It might be edifying to see what light Michael R could shed on people with disabilities, the unemployed, single parents and uni

    students.

  52. Michael R

    Note the personal attacks on me right off the bat, by the so-called tolerant and compassionate folk here.

    Note that your so-called refugees feeling government persecution could have gone to the much-closer HCR countries of Maldives, Indonesia and Vietnam, but instead chose to go to Christmas Island.

    Note the reports that they had phone numbers of left-wing media organisations. Also the report that the wife of one of them saying that he was looking for a way to pay off his debts.

    Note that the war ended 5 years ago. From the UNHCR website: “Five years after the end of the conflict in Sri Lanka, the majority of those who were IDPs in the country have returned to their place of origin. However, an undetermined number of individuals remain in protracted displacement, unable to return home owing to housing, land and property issues. Although there has been significant progress in re-establishing infrastructure in the north, some returnees continue to face difficulties in earning a livelihood and meeting their basic needs”.

    Now, I await your evidence that these people are indeed fleeing persecution. Please try and keep it civil.

  53. Kaye Lee

    Sri Lanka: At Least 3 Muslims Killed And More Than 80 Seriously Injured In Buddhist-Muslim Clashes

    http://www.ibtimes.com/sri-lanka-least-3-muslims-killed-more-80-seriously-injured-buddhist-muslim-clashes-1601996

    Sri Lanka lawyers troubled by State plan to curb social media

    He said the government has had a history of “manipulating data” to serve its ends.

    “The government all this time has covered up all negative information about it, but now they are being exposed,” he said.

    He was referring to recent reports about the government bloating its statistics to paint a picture of a rosy economy to attract investors.

    For his part, bar president Upul Jayasuriya warned about the impact of government censorship on social media.

    “The entire media is already blocked by way of threatening journalists and media institutions, or by buying them off,” Jayasuirya said.

    http://www.ecumenicalnews.com/article/sri-lanka-lawyers-troubled-by-state-plan-to-curb-social-media-25378

    Sri Lanka is facing heavy pressure from rights groups and the West for alleged human rights violations during the final phase of the war against Tamil separatists which ended in 2009.

    It says many asylum seekers are economic migrants, but rights groups say Tamils seek asylum to prevent torture, rape and other violence at the hands of the military.

    http://in.reuters.com/article/2014/07/04/uk-sri-lanka-australia-idINKBN0F904N20140704

  54. mars08

    Good Grief, Michael R? Do you seriously expect compassion? This isn’t the Catholic church mate!

  55. Matters Not

    evidence that these people are indeed fleeing persecution

    While I could provide any number of links, I will provide just 2, given all sorts of ‘spam’ difficulties on sites such as this.

    Note that, I’ve tried to provide recent ones. Remember that the well known leftie, PM David Cameron refused to attend a recent Commonwealth conference in Sri Lanka.

    I’ll try a third link.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/david-cameron-upstages-commonwealth-summit-with-jaffna-trip/story-e6frg6n6-1226761329761

    BTW, I was there last year, but only as a tourist. And if you think the Tamils are getting a fair go, you are completely mistaken. High officials in the Army have had a field day in appropriating land and the like.

    At ‘peace’ my ar#e.

  56. Kaye Lee

    India’s prime minister won’t attend a summit of Commonwealth leaders in Sri Lanka later this week, amid international criticism of the island nation’s human-rights record.

    Mr. Singh is the second Commonwealth head of government to say he will miss the meeting. Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said he would boycott the event to protest Sri Lankan human-rights abuses.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702304868404579189652388527812

    I know you are not interested in what I think Michael but is that sufficient evidence from around the world yet to cause you to at least have some doubts?

  57. Matters Not

    I amend my recent post because Cameron did attend but proceeded to be heavily critical of the current government while he was there.

  58. Kaye Lee

    Matters not,

    Cameron did go to Sri Lanka. (oops just noticed your above comment) Mauritius were the other country to boycott. Tony chose to give them gunships of course (after a $2 million refit). Scott is heading over to crack the champagne bottles.

    British Prime Minister David Cameron has said that by attending the summit he can do more to focus attention on human rights in Sri Lanka than by boycotting it.

    International human-rights groups say abuses of Tamils, including rape of male and female Tamil prisoners, have continued in the years since the war. Opposition politicians and journalists also complain of state harassment.

    In northern Sri Lanka Friday, Mr. Cameron visited the office of a Tamil newspaper and said he saw “pictures of journalists, shot and killed” and heard stories of “journalists who have disappeared,” the Press Association said.

    http://online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001424052702303559504579199630425342554

  59. mars08

    The editorial board of New York Times published an article today…

    QUOTE: (Australia) is failing in its obligation under international accords to protect refugees fleeing persecution.

    QUOTE: The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres, said recently that “something strange happens” in the minds of Australians when it comes to asylum seekers who arrive by boat without a visa.


    http://truth2power-media.blogspot.com.au/2014/07/australias-refugee-problem.html

  60. corvus boreus

    Michael R,
    Understand that you are pleading for polite, factual discourse in response to having opened with a typographical Tourettes ejaculation of “Pfft”, in-filled with hackneyed sloganeering absorbed by osmosis, and ended with the false cliche of the universal national mandate and the lie of claiming full and honest election policy implementation by a government headed by an obvious proven liar.
    Do not arse trumpet the first three notes of ‘three blind mice’ and expect a symphonic opus as a response.

  61. Kaye Lee

    Several European countries have since suspended deportations of Tamils with connections to the LTTE, finding them to be at risk of torture on return. UNHCR revised its guidelines on assessing asylum claims in December 2012, and recommended that persons with certain links to the LTTE be regarded as being at risk on return.

    http://www.hrw.org/world-report/2014/country-chapters/sri-lanka

  62. mars08

    Abbott’s new BFF… Canadian PM Stephen Harper, declined the invitation to Commonwealth summit in Sri Lanka.

    His stated reason:

    “the absence of accountability for the serious violations of human rights and international humanitarian standards during and after the civil war is unacceptable.”

    and the…

    “intimidation and incarceration of political leaders and journalists, harassment of minorities, reported disappearances, and allegations of extra-judicial killings.”

  63. Gail

    Most Tamils are Hindu, although Tamils can be Christian or Muslim. They aren’t a tiny minority in Sri Lanka – 15%. They are an ancient ethnic group, not a religious group, with unique traditions and languages and an ancient heritage. The Sri Lankan government appear to be attempting genocide which should concern all of us. The history of the 20th century provides many examples of political genocide. The western world has rarely made any effort to stop this.

    All asylum seekers are not Muslim. All people fleeing dreadful situations are not muslim. What they have in common is a need to escape.

    See the history of the trip of the Saint Louis in 1939 as an example of something very similar to the actions of the despicable Morrison-Abbott.
    http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005267 More comment in this article http://overland.org.au/2014/07/a-new-low/

    Good article here, including some information about the trip of the Saint Louis in 1939

    A new low

    Lots more information about asylum seekers here. I don’t think I’ve seen this referenced on AIMN before but I could have missed it.

    The facts about ‘boat people’ – The government & media are lying

    Even wikipedia gives enough information about the Tamils for most people to work out that things are not as they are presented.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamil_people

    Perhaps in Australia we should learn a little more about the people seeking asylum rather than assume. No, I didn’t know either until I started looking. I get very angry about the malice directed at innocent people looking for a way out of situations that most white, christian Australians can’t even imagine. We will wait a very long time before our MSM cover the issue of the Tamils with any objectivity and compassion.

    Bloodlands: Europe Between Hitler and Stalin by Timothy Snyder is a horrifying read.

  64. Matters Not

    When a ‘civil war’ ends, physical, social, legal, economic and other forms of violence continue for many a long year. Take Vietnam as an example. When the ‘war’ was over in Vietnam (referred locally as the American War), the refugee flow began and soon surged. Needless to say, many who remained suffered persecution of various types. ‘Scores’ or ‘payback’were still been settled years later.

    In particular, ‘Children of the Dust’, the local descriptor applied to offspring of local and invading forces, were heavily discriminated against.

    But give the politicians of the day due credit, (including Malcolm Fraser), who had some compassion, understanding and the like re refugee’s circumstances. How times have changed. And not for the better. (Value judgement writ large).

    BTW, if anyone chooses to go to Vietnam (and I would recommend it), make sure you visit some of the war museums to appreciate their view of the reality. It’s in stark contrast to the one peddled in Australia (and elsewhere) for so many years.

  65. Bacchus

    Oh dear -poor Michael R. All you meanies presenting him with facts to blow his severely limited perspective out of the water… I can picture him curled up in foetal position, fingers in ears, humming LA, LA, LA, LA, LA, LA…

    Have you no shame? 😉

  66. Dan Rowden

    Actually the immediate response to “Michael” was bullshit. You should all be embarrassed by it. But sadly, you won’t be.

  67. Matters Not

    Michael R said at 5:09 pm:

    This is my opinion. Just because you don’t share it

    The notion that people have ‘opinions’ and are entitled to same is perfectly valid in any ‘free’ or ‘democratic’ society. In fact, it’s a cornerstone of same. But the entitlement to have an ‘opinion’ does not extend to having that ‘opinion’, or indeed any other ‘opinion’, being equally valued.

    For example, I have a number of grandchildren, most of whom are of the ‘opinion’ that Santa Claus is ‘real’, delivers presents, comes down chimneys (even though they live in houses without same) and the like. But it matters not. Other offspring have different ‘opinions’.

    To suggest that all ‘opinion’ in a democratic, scientifically literate society has equal value is a complete nonsense. It’s like saying that the Bolta’s or Pell’s view of ‘climate change’ should be considered in the same way as those who are qualified and work in the field.

    And Michael R, you are entitled to your ‘opinions’, but please test them against ‘informed’ opinion.

    Yes I know such pleas usually ‘go through to the keeper’. But one lives in hope.

  68. Matters Not

    Dan Rowden said at 10:42 pm:

    Actually the immediate response to “Michael” was bullshit. You should all be embarrassed by it. But sadly, you won’t be

    Dan as I was the original responder, perhaps I should be the original responder to your all too frequent late night bullshit.

    But then again, perhaps the cold light of day, might be a better, if not the best, time to respond.

    A philosopher, my arse. Just sayin ..

  69. Dan Rowden

    You are wrong. Your response was presumptuous. Live with it.

  70. Matter Not

    Dan, you really are stressing the ‘friendship’.

    As for:

    Your response was presumptuous

    Interesting word ‘presumptuous’. It can be given a variety of meanings, including I suspect, your behaviour here of (very) recent times. And other times as well.

    But of course you will be the final judge of that. At least in your own ‘mind’.

    Just live with it. Take responsibility and all that. Is that too much to ask?

  71. Dan Rowden

    Matters Not,

    Go back and look at the response to “Michael” and tell me you are morally and intellectually satisfied.

  72. mars08

    You are not entitled to your opinion. You are entitled to your informed opinion. No one is entitled to be ignorant.

    Michael R arrogantly tagged all the Sri Lankans on the boat as “economic refugees” and refused to show them any compassion. He also declined to provide any proof for his claim. In the process he convinced me (and others) that he was an utter tosser. Then he has the audacity to plead for compassion from people on this forum???? Outstanding!!!!

  73. Dan Rowden

    Facts matter. Opinions are like arseholes, everyone’d got one.

  74. Chris

    Dan – why is this website void of fact and only made up of opinions? I trust you’ve read the disclaimer at this site? It ensures they are not responsible for irresponsible reporting. No author is game to show their credentials on this site which says a lot. How are you sure you aren’t being taken for a ride here? You do remember the article about Dave Evans here – and the ridicule from around the world when the apology came in which showed 99% of the opinion piece on him was in fact all lies sourced off a hard left blog? Food for thought. Open yourself to other ideas, dont close yourself to sites like this.

  75. Chris

    I will add. There isn’t a credible news source in the world with a disclaimer or half assed privacy policy like this one. Just saying. You are being fed lies – but its your problem if you eat it. Not the sites problem – they’ve already stated they aren’t likely to tell the truth.

  76. Michael Taylor

    Chris, feel free to leave if you don’t like the place.

  77. rick facer

    ah yes the economic refugees tag, hear it quite often. Micheal R, do you know how much impact it makes as to how much money you have in relation to your refugee status? NONE. That’s right you can be a frikkin millionaire and still be a refugee. It’s risk of persecution if being sent back to country of origin. And seeing you’re dumb enough to buy the whole economic refugee BS i will assume you are dumb enough to believe that they are entering the country illegally (they aren’t) and that we have the legal right to return a person to a country that is ‘at risk’ (we don’t). Presuming that Abbott has a mandate (he doesn’t) to carry out illegal acts that violate the basic human rights as set out by the UN is also wrong, the libs scraped it in for the most part, they may have gained a lot of seats but not by a convincing margin. The continuing rise in independant parties point more to a complete disillusionment from voters in both parties, and in labors case particularly from an abandonment of the party by the young hipsters. Which left the weight of the vote in the greys who will believe whatever you tell them on TV, or the bogans who don’t really care as long as them ‘mooslems’ are kept out of the country and don’t ‘steal thar jerbs’, or the farmers who still cling to the hope that the liberals through their nationals buddies might throw them a bone.
    I have travelled the length of this country and met hundreds of people and I can tell you any Australian with a shred of decency wants to help these people. Labor probably lost more support by going hard right on refugees than if they had stuck to their guns and socialist principlses, they held open, honest and accountable press conferences at least. Anyone who wanted to know what was happening could access the information. Now with Abbots madness we are treating these people as sub human, people who don’t matter and we are keeping it a secret so no-one can make an ‘informed’ decision. The boats have not stopped, nor have they even slowed, they have been dealt with secretly and innocent people have died because of it, they will never stop until we have helped these countries become decent places to live, until war is a memory and first world countries stop exploiting third world ones for resources.

    Are they doing their job? who would know, no one is telling us the truth.

  78. Chris

    Is it a crime to point out blatant bias? Just think people would be better off researching things rather than relying on information on a site that purposefully states they cannot be held accountable for accuracy. Says a lot really. Dont you think michael? Not all journalists get things right, but most put their balls on the line. I dont think ridiculous disclaimers grant an automatic right for propaganda – when clearly some commentors are wrongly influenced by it. Would be nice to see some facts to back up some of these articles -not sourced from sites with zero credibility.

  79. Chris

    Rick your argument is decent – but I think rather than saying “anyone can be a refugee” you should try and argue why “anyone can claim to be a refugee”. That’s where the argument lies. We can’t just believe everyone and open our borders – research the impact immigration has had on other countries. Its far worse than a couple of thousand 457s will ever have.

  80. DanDark

    Chris,
    You are wasting your time here, your propaganda is shite
    Go and check with Goebells/Textor he has an errand for you to run,
    Off you go now, Goebells is awaiting your appearance in the halls of HELL…

  81. Chris

    Are you attacking me dandark? You know that’s against the sites policy. You will probably be banned. Please moderator ban this person. I feel attacked. His/her comment adds nothing to the discussion and is merely attacking me.

  82. DanDark

    When I “attack” you with a brick, then you can go winge to the moderator Chris
    I did not attack you, I suggested you run along that’s all, geee there are some idiots around 🙂

  83. Chris

    I feel threatened. Disgusting dandark. Are you representative of commentors here? Please moderator ban this unstable person.

  84. Chris

    If you are good for your disclaimer – dandark must be banned. Or are you not theaimn?

  85. DanDark

    you are tooooo funny, what a sook, here is a tissue, now go run and tell someone who cares Chris 😉
    MY voice will represent those who cannot speak, especially the ones in their graves..
    Does the name Reza Barati ring a bell?
    You are the “unstable” one, and your propaganda to kill other humans and make it alright, has some real flaws in it, now run along matey

  86. Chris

    Dandark, why you have made this personal I dont know – you should be banned. Stop personally attacking me. Dont call me a sook. Your voice represents you – perhaps you are dirty about the government because your benefits are being reduced? If you want to be personal – state your position. You seem to represent nothing but those who attack people with a different opinion. That is what people here argue against – so I fully expect you to be banned and your disjointed comments to be deleted and forgotten. Just going by site policy.

  87. Chris

    Or does this site protect vile humans such as dandark?

  88. Chris

    Hope you enjoyed your last comment dandark ;). You have violated the policies and I have heard this place doesn’t show bias to who it bans. So good luck to you.

    I have read you are moving. I trust the kiwis will accept such vile. They won’t, heads up.

  89. DanDark

    Who gave you the badge Chris to be the “cyber police” on this forum?
    Michael told you, you were free to leave anytime
    geee banned pffftttt I doubt it, now as for you,
    you have nothing of value to add to this forum, your arguments are flawed

    If you want to deal in death, by condoning this rancid lib gov, that’s your issue, not mine, a life is a life and its more valuable than any job, or money or any house, but you seem to think material stuff is more worthy, well be my guest, but no shops in Heaven, cannot take it with you, only your soul, or what’s left of yours anyways 🙂

  90. DanDark

    yeah I am moving next door to you, watch out for flying bricks in the wind, now piss off jerk 🙂

  91. Chris

    Dandark you dont quit. But good riddance. No one will miss you, or remember you.

  92. DanDark

    I said piss off jerk 🙂 your Nazi propaganda is like a broken record,
    same old track playing over and over, I just smashed your record, now PISS OFF JERK

  93. Chris

    wheres my nazi propoganda? Go on aimn – prove your worth. Ban this nutter. You do others under the pretense of “attacking” – this person adds nothing but name calling and giving the left a bad name (though you have to admit, fits the stereotype beautifully). Im here to comment on the article and misconceptions from readers – not to attack anyone. This person is just here to attack.

  94. corvus boreus

    “MUMMEEEE!!!!! The mean girl called me a name!”
    There seem to be a new cunning strategm employed by the bots, to front up with incendiary derogatories and hackneyed slogans, then cringe and cower pathetically, crying victimisation at the excoriating responses.
    Learned dangling at the knees of Tim Blair of the ‘telecrap’, no doubt.
    I recommend a personal policy of rational refutation with new facts. Do not just react, expand on information to inform the wider, legitimate participants.
    You could just transcend and not waste the time or space on discourse with mischievous muppets.
    Or, in controlled tones of amused condescension, have fun with the little darlings.

  95. Kaye Lee

    Dan,

    I am at a loss to understand your comments.

    Michael R said “Now, I await your evidence that these people are indeed fleeing persecution”.

    We then provided many recent links showing the violence that continues in Sri Lanka and the concerns around the world about ongoing human rights abuses. Of course we can’t comment on the individuals on this boat any more than Michael can because they don’t exist apparently.

  96. corvus boreus

    My own 5:14 response to Michael would have been better without the gleefully malicious second sentence.
    Bad me, I do get cranky sometimes, especially when thrill at the misfortune of blameless unknown others is expressed with a “Pfft”.

  97. Kaye Lee

    Chris,

    Are you only interested in asylum seekers that died when Labor was in power?

    Between 2000 and 2007 (the period which includes the introduction of the “Pacific Solution” for asylum seekers travelling by boat under the Coalition government), the database documents 746 reported deaths of asylum seekers. Of those, 713 asylum seekers died at sea while on their way to Australia; 22 died in detention (the majority of those cases were suicide, but there were some deaths of natural causes); and 11 people were returned to Afghanistan and reportedly murdered for being “Australian spies”.

    Between 2008 and July 2013 (under Labor), 877 asylum seekers have reportedly died. Of those, 15 committed suicide or died of natural causes in detention centres. So during this period, approximately 862 individuals died trying to reach Australia’s mainland to seek asylum.

    http://theconversation.com/factcheck-have-more-than-1000-asylum-seekers-died-at-sea-under-labor-16221

  98. Matters Not

    The current plans are saving lives, that’s fact

    Really? Sounds more like speculation to me. It assumes that those who were deterred from coming to seek refuge are now still alive. Given the level of violence in many of these countries, that’s a somewhat courageous assumption. What if one, or more, of those deterred was from the central highland region of Hazarajat in Afghanistan whose people are killed on a regular basis, both in Afghanistan and Pakistan?

    If I was one of the Hazara people, I’d be on a boat as well. I’d take my chance. What about you?

    Fact is we will never know whether lives were saved or whether lives were lost because of our policies.

    Chris, try to look at ‘problems’ from all sides and just don’t accept ‘slogans’.

  99. Bacchus

    “Chris” is not very widely read is he? 🙄 Try this disclaimer from Ltd News:

    News does not warrant the accuracy of the content which you access through this Site. The content is provided to you “as is” and on an “as available” basis and on the condition that you undertake all responsibility for assessing the accuracy of the content and rely on it at your own risk. All content which you access through this Site may be changed at News’ sole discretion and without notice.

    News will have no responsibility or liability in relation to any loss or damage that you incur, including damage to your software or hardware, arising from your use of or access to this Site.

    News does not warrant that functions of this Site or which you access through this Site, such as hyperlinks, will be uninterrupted or error free, that defects will be corrected or that News or the server that makes it available, are free of viruses or bugs.

    You indemnify News and its affiliated companies, and each of their directors, officers, employees and agents against any action, claim, loss or expense which it incurs which arises from your use of this Site.

    http://www.news.com.au/more-information/terms-conditions

    Or perhaps the Fairfax disclaimer?

    Disclaimer
    You use the Fairfax Network at your sole risk.

    Except where expressly stated otherwise, Material on the Fairfax Network is provided as general information only. It is not intended as advice and must not be relied upon as such. You should make your own inquiries and take independent advice tailored to your specific circumstances prior to making any decisions.

    We do not make any representation or warranty that any Material on the Fairfax Network will be reliable, accurate or complete, nor do we accept any responsibility arising in any way from errors or omissions.

    We will not be liable for loss resulting from any action or decision by you in reliance on the Material on the Fairfax Network, nor any interruption, delay in operation or transmission, virus, communications failure, Internet access difficulties, or malfunction in equipment or software.

    You acknowledge that we are not responsible for, and accept no liability in relation to, any other users’ use of, access to or conduct in connection with the Fairfax Network in any circumstance.

    http://www.fairfax.com.au/conditions.html

    The AIMN’s disclaimer stacks up pretty well compared to the commercial “news” sites, doesn’t it… 😉

  100. Carol Taylor

    To follow on from Kay Lee’s comment regarding:

    Michael R said “Now, I await your evidence that these people are indeed fleeing persecution”.

    We do not need opinion to provide this, the factual evidence is that the vast majority of asylum seekers who arrive by boat are found to be genuine refugees. Therefore this is you proof. People are NOT granted asylum under either Labor nor under Liberal governments – past and present – if they are not deemed to warrant their applications for asylum being granted.

    Here’s the rub with it all, Morrison and Abbott KNOW that these people are genuine, and their tactic is all about denying people’s rights under the Refugee Convention – the right to have their claim heard and judged. What are Morrison and Abbott actually afraid of? Surely if these people are not genuine refugees it will be the same as it’s always been – they will be deported. So why not allow them to come to Australia, forming an orderly queue in Indonesia. I’m certain that J. Bishop can pull that diplomatic coup off quite easily.. Following that we keep the genuine ones and deport the ones who are not..and at minimal expense to the taxpayer compared with the millions spent on maintaining off-shore concentration camps. However, and sadly logic will never prevail while Abbott is able to gain brownie points via scare campaigns.

  101. corvus boreus

    I like the fact that their processing is outsourced offshore under secrecy. Their invisibility and anonymity spares me any qualms of conscience or moral uncertainty as I casually endorse the further sufferings inflicted upon these strangers.

  102. Kaye Lee

    The other interesting aspect is that this whole bastard of a policy has been sold to “stop the deaths at sea”. One would wonder why then we are persecuting those people who have safely made it to our shores. This has NOTHING to do with stopping deaths at sea. As others have pointed out, how many have died in their homelands because they no longer had anywhere to flee to? If we were genuine about our desire to help these people and to destroy the “people smuggling business” we would up our humanitarian intake, open processing centres in transit countries, and fly the refugees here. I would adopt the same approach to the drug problem here. Provide drugs on prescription to registered addicts with the proviso that they must undergo health checks and counselling where we assist them to beat their addiction. Take the money out of the game and the illegal trade dies.

  103. Matters Not

    Yes it’s a clear case of out of sight out of mind. Or perhaps see no evil, speak no evil, hear no evil. The sad fact is that it works.

    Which sector of this ‘free’ society is not playing its part? It seems that the ‘freedom of the press’ includes the freedom to remain silent.

  104. Kaye Lee

    From the Real Solutions pamphlet

    “The Coalition will do the right thing for Australia and deliver a strong, stable, accountable government that puts the national interest first and delivers a better future for all Australians. We will restore accountability and improve transparency measures to be more accountable to you.”

    From Tony Abbott’s campaign launch speech

    “The worst deficit is not the budget deficit but the trust deficit. This election is all about trust.”

  105. Matters Not

    This morning on ABC:

    Mr Abetz said it was government policy not to comment on operational matters

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/we-dont-disappear-asylum-seekers-employment-minister-eric-abetz-defends-government-20140706-zsxt5.html#ixzz36e2Og34f

    Well at least he’s consistent but it’s a disgrace that any government can get away with so much by simply declaring virtually any matter is an ‘operational’ one.

    If only Labor had clean hands. And someone with the communication skills (and the will) to launch a defence of this democratic cornerstone. The right to know. To be informed. So that choices can be made.

    And where is the Information Commissioner in all this?

  106. mars08

    By engaging with tools like Chris, we seem to have gotten away from an important point of Victoria’s article…

    Still not convinced that Australian voters should be worried? Still think vulnerable Australians automatically rank higher in the government’s concern than desperate people fleeing from persecution and violence? What if, just like a first date, a political party is on their best behaviour for a short time? It may last the election campaign. But just like in a new relationship, once the honeymoon period is over and you get to know the real government, their true character can’t be ignored.

    It’s not just about asylum seekers. This government has deployed spin-doctors and media boosters against vulnerable and marginalised Australian citizens as well.

  107. DanDark

    For the ones who missed my advice to Miss Karen from Dobell last night on facebook I saved a copy, before she deleted and banned me, was up there for quite awhile, got some likes too LOL

    You are telling porkie pies miss Karen, PEFO and MYEFO, Smokin Joe can not count, we call him Eleventy Lol, Corman is a con man, and you are a fake, Tone’s is a joke, Canadia here I am LOL. There is no budget emergency, never was it’s a fabrication to make stuff up, like we cannot afford the carbon tax, and we can not afford education for our young anymore and you will let our elderly die in streets because you have to charge you a co payment now, that will not repair the budget though,it’s going into an invisible slush fund, it does not make sense does it, because we are one of wealthiest countries in the world you silly woman, you are all fluff and no substance Miss, Gloria from Melbourne she knows, how slimy Tone’s is, how much the liberals lie, your numbers are up, March Australia coming your way very soon, there will be about a million people out on streets to protest/get rid of this rancid, heinous fed gov, your retirement will be sooner than you thought Missy LOL, I hope the ghost of Reza Barati haunts you and your killing gov for the rest of your miserable lives….sweet dreams Miss 🙂 PS you do not have a mandate to kill and injure asylum seekers Miss….oh and starving our young is not a smart idea, that will come back and bite you for sure, just saying…

    Miss I would also deal with them parking fines, it is not a good look when you are breaking the law, do the crime do the time Miss, or pay your bloody fines, Australia is going broke remember, geeeez some people are learners hey Miss?

    Oh dear it was leaner’s not learners, because there will be no learning in this country anymore, according to Garp/Tone’s, what a pathetic piece of bat shit he is.. The country deserves better, and our youth, elderly, asylum seekers, first peoples, uni students, we are the masses you are the few, remember that Miss

  108. DanDark

    Oh and Chris I am still here, “banned” yeah right your crystal ball is cracked matey 😉

  109. randalstella

    I don’t pretend to speak for Dan Rowden; but I think a major concern for him is the ready declaration of ‘troll’ simply for anyone having what is a dissenting view here.
    If it is the reaction to deplorable and contemptible opinions that defy the facts, it might become an automatic habit to include those with inconvenient truths or insights. I have seen such mentality take over elsewhere, disabling discussion forever. It is not a firm declaration of a morally political standpoint, but its complete compromise. It means a site dominated by those with the readiest lines of simplistic abuse.
    I don’t need extra chatty company; and I will not accept any implied conditions that I have to be agreeable on an indefinite range of topics to be granted it. This site aspires well beyond that.
    The characters who have turned up here to support the LCP’s ‘policy’ on refugees – because secretly returning them for deliberate torture and murder is better than the chance of pictures of them accidentally drowning? – are not trolls; they are just the Ozzie public.Their views are horrible and dismayingly counter-factual; and they are our political reality.

  110. Dan Rowden

    Chris,

    Dan – why is this website void of fact and only made up of opinions? […] There isn’t a credible news source in the world with a disclaimer or half assed privacy policy like this one.

    You are strawmanning the place rather badly. It is not a “news” site and has made no claim to such that I’m aware of. It is a left-wing political blog. It is not populated nor presented by “journalists”. It’s populated and presented by a group of deeply concerned citizens sufficiently politically engaged to give a crap. Yes, their passions occasionally get the better of them, as do mine, but they are a group of genuinely caring and authentic folk who worry about where the country is and where it’s heading. That concern is real and abiding and it would help you if you were to acknowledge it to yourself.

    As for facts and opinions. Of course almost everything said here is opinion, but it is opinion laced heavily with facts – facts that are irrefutable. Of course facts can have different implications when placed in different contexts. The same fact can mean more than one thing from varying political viewpoints, but the facts themselves remain that in any context.

    If you think the facts are wrong, by all means make your case. No-one here wants to have their facts wrong. But complaining about “opinion” doesn’t help or add anything to the debate.

  111. Kaye Lee

    I understand what you are saying randalstella and agree to an extent. But what annoys me is that many of those people are not here to discuss, purely to derail. I try to answer as factually as I can, providing links to my sources, but to no avail. It would have been good to hear back from Michael R about whether he still considers Sri Lanka a safe place. I have no problem with people disagreeing – I read and consider what they say including links they provide – but I rarely see the same consideration. How someone can make sweeping statements about all asylum seekers is beyond me. I guess it stems from our complacency – we do not live in fear and deprivation and have no perception of what such an existence would be like, though with this government we are getting closer to finding out.

  112. Michael Taylor

    Dan, your response to Chris was brilliant.

  113. Dan Rowden

    randalstella,

    I don’t pretend to speak for Dan Rowden; but I think a major concern for him is the ready declaration of ‘troll’ simply for anyone having what is a dissenting view here.

    That is precisely my concern. I have developed something of a knee-jerk reaction to people being labeled “troll” just for offering a view that doesn’t meet with agreement. It’s absurd. My response to it is based on my own experience at various other discussion sites of being thusly dismissed. It a way to immediately dismiss a person and circumvent debate.

    My dislike for it is pretty strong so if I was unfair to Matters Not, I apologise.

  114. Dan Rowden

    Whilst the point has been made already, it has to be made again and again – stopping asylum seeker drownings does not stop deaths. It merely stops drownings. That is a desirable thing, to be sure, but the manner in which it is being achieved is not. It means creating new circumstances in which people suffer needlessly, or returning them to the circumstances of their original suffering. Characterising that as a good thing or some kind of “success” is just callous and grotesquely self-indulgent. How about we stop and consider what sort of psychological pressures are befalling a group of people such that they will happily risk death on the high seas – and then act on the basis of that consideration.

  115. Kaye Lee

    I agree Michael and thank you Dan. I never know what to say when people say “who is Kaye Lee” or when they ask for my credentials. When a story of mine was republished on Mamamia recently they asked for a headshot and a bio. As I said to Michael at the time, I don’t know what to say. It’s either “middle-aged woman sitting at comp in jammies” or “In 1957….”. Am I to give my entire academic and professional career? Does it make a difference what I look like? All I am doing is trying to inform people and start discussions. No-one is under compulsion to read what I say and as they are doing so for free, asking for my CV is kind of irrelevant.

  116. randalstella

    Kaye,
    Their opinions are so obtuse I am sure their intentions are no sharper. They do not know what they are doing. For what it is worth they may be ‘sincerely’ advocating their position; but they lack moral competence to know what this means, and the menace this is to this country. They are a far bigger threat to Australia than refugees, as you well know. They are illogical and counter-factual on issues of any complexity; and you cannot expect any more than that from them. They do not know;and there is next to no chance they will ever learn.
    Beyond this reservation, I implied no criticism of your own considerable conscientiousness.

  117. Kaye Lee

    randalstella,

    I did not read your comments as critical. I always appreciate your view as I do that of Dan, another person that keeps me honest.

  118. Gail

    What is this going to be used for I wonder?
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/thats-a-bit-rich-pms-growing-army-of-spin-doctors-20140705-3bf50.html

    I really do want to know what it’s going to be used for. Can sites like this expect lots of counter opinions to be posted.

    For example, from the above article:
    Last month it was revealed Scott Morrison’s departments employ more than 95 communications staff and spin doctors, costing at least $8 million a year.

    According to my maths that’s more than 140 people fully engaged in propaganda in that one article. Enough for an entire Ministry. A Ministry of Truth maybe?

  119. Kaye Lee

    Yes Gail,

    It seems astonishing to me that we can find the money for hundreds of advertising bs artists but we can’t find the money to pay our disability commissioner. This government’s priorities are f*cked. Sorry for the language but nothing else adequately describes my disgust.

    Money for nothing and the clicks are free

  120. patriciawa

    Tony Abbott knows he has authority
    To give commands, to turn the tide of history.
    He can ignore advice, now he has the votes.
    Of course he can turn back those boats!

    He’s made a sacred pledge or covenant
    With Oz now that government
    Is rightly his. As he always knew it must….
    His blood oath on that just needs our trust.

    Knowing himself to be pure of soul,
    With LNP’s mandate from Newspoll
    Confirmed so recently by election,
    All others will accept with appropriate genuflection.

    Now enacted his law should be enough
    To show the world how stern’s the stuff
    Of Aussie sailors. All will obey!
    Who cares what commentators have to say?

    Now in power he’ll take no opposition,
    Least of all from within the Coalition.
    High Court? International Law of the Sea?
    He laughs. “There’s just one law around here! That’s me!”

  121. Kaye Lee

    Well done patriciawa,

    The poets and musicians in our society are making a wonderful contribution to remind us all of Tony’s agenda. I do believe that Tony has done as much to engender community spirit as wars do. We are in a war to protect the society that our parents built for us and Tony and his corporate mates can go jump.

  122. warriorwomyn2

    As a third gen Australian from British heritage I am disappointed and saddened by our treatment of those less fortunate. We are a vast country with plenty of room to share. Why can’t we be more empathetic?

  123. Terry2

    The new slogan from the coalition :

    BRING BACK THE HULKS

    Not this time tethered in the Thames Estuary but off the coast of West Australia.

  124. Bacchus

    It’s great to see a pome flow from the ‘pen’ of patriciawa again! I hope this is the start of many more Patricia 😉

  125. Lee

    Mmmm… It seems I should avoid dating members of the Liberal & National parties, members of the Labor party and over half of the Australian population because of the way they treat the waitress.

  126. Chris

    Thanks Dan for clarifying its a left wing political blog. I just read the disclaiminer on its facebook site – it says AIMN is “To provide a balanced news outlet independent of the mainstream Australian media.”

    So perhaps you can tell me what the difference is between a news outlet and a news site? Hmmm. I guess when the owner of the site claims your comment is “brilliant”, i perhaps can say that he had no intention of making it balanced? You cant favor one side and say its balanced can you? I digress.

    In the spirit of one of the more recent articles – something like – “the comment the liberal party didnt want to see”, i wait with baited breath until this is deleted. Would be slightly hypocritical right? Perhaps I should move it to the AIMN facebook page?

    My spat with DanDark is she was telling me to go to hell etc. and thats attacking. Your readers then told me to toughen up. Dont worry, it doesnt affect me one ioata – it was just because of the recently published article on the web “TheAIMN – where the truth goes to die” or something like that. I saw a link to it on the Labor site of all places. It highlights all of the gagging going on here, whilst the “believers” do worse and are left to feel fantastic (whilst like DanDark, offer nothing even slightly intelectual to any discussion).

    The one link on this website was hilarious – about an article this site published which the owner had to apologise for because it was 100% factually incorrect. Thats what you get with unqualified writers who copy/paste from similar left wing blogs, so no worries. I guess when you spam this crap on facebook as fact when there are sooo many errors, then just claim its not a news site…..thats troubling. Far more troubling than any MSM practices.

    Wouldnt you say Michael? Totally expect this to be deleted as apparently thats how this site operates when alternate views come in, will just add it to the growing number of instances this has happened on the other blog. Anyway this is off topic, but its well and truly part of the discussion. So no point deleting it Michael.

  127. Chris

    and ok dan, as for facts – Michael deletes facts. Thats a fact. As for this site having real facts, see above. Can provide link if needed.

    Kaye Lee – the number is far bigger for Labor. Whats your point? Arent we talking about saving lives here?

    I think the disclaimer should be changed to – “you can attack someone if you are on the left, otherwise you are banned”. I see Dandark bragging about being immune to being banned on other threads. Paints a pretty picture.

    No problems with this site at all – it just claims to be something its not which is wrong. Perhaps stating every author uses google as their main source, is unqualified in journalism and is hard left. Why is that an issue to do? Cant see it hurting visitors?

  128. corvus boreus

    If Mr Morrison ignores the High Court injunction against any more summary processing and repatriation at sea and continues the process, will he be held in contempt of court? Will his boss?

  129. Kaye Lee

    Chris,

    None of your comments have been deleted and no-one is banned from this site to my knowledge. How about you deal with facts rather than rot.

    If you are genuine about wanting to save the lives of asylum seekers then you must be horrified with what is happening. Giving the persecuted back to the persecutors? Closing off avenues of escape for those who are fleeing? Cutting foreign aid? Arming the persecutors? Saying Sri Lanka is a “peaceful place”?

    Those 41 people we sent back are all now in jail facing a maximum penalty of 2 years incarceration purely for leaving the country. There are 24 women and 9 children amongst them. How scared do you think those kids are right now?

  130. Möbius Ecko

    Arent we talking about saving lives here?

    No we’re not Chris and what this government is doing, started by the previous Labor government much to it’s shame, is not about saving lives at all.

    If you mean saving political lives, then that’s closer to the truth, but to think for one minute this government is concerned about the lives of asylum seekers outside of using them as political footballs is to believe in tooth fairies.

    If the Liberals are concerned about the lives of asylums seekers then why did Abbott and Morrison encourage them to come here by boat under the previous government?

    It shits me no end that the right wingers all of a sudden found a bleeding heart for asylum seekers when up until they were treated badly, self harmed, were injured and died previous to Labor, they not only didn’t give a stuff about them, but many openly maligned them for the harm that befell them.

  131. Lee

    “Perhaps stating every author uses google as their main source, is unqualified in journalism and is hard left. Why is that an issue to do?”

    Because it isn’t completely factual.

  132. mars08

    M.E.

    It shits me no end that the right wingers all of a sudden found a bleeding heart for asylum seekers when up until they were treated badly, self harmed, were injured and died previous to Labor, they not only didn’t give a stuff about them, but many openly maligned them for the harm that befell them.

    Crocodile tears. Their hypocrisy is simply nauseating.

    Nine asylum-seeker mothers have been placed on suicide watch after reported self-harm attempts in detention on Christmas Island.

    Christmas Island shire president Gordon Thomson told Guardian Australia that over the past two days a number of mothers with babies born in detention in Australia had self harmed and as a result were being placed under “constant watch” by individual security officers in the family camp.

    “The women believe that if they sacrifice themselves the children will grow up to learn they did the best thing for them, to give them the chance to live in Australia,” Thomson said.

    “The conditions women are having to survive are so grotesque that they obviously can’t bear it any more,” he added.

    A Perth-based refugee advocate, Victoria Martin-Iverson, told Guardian Australia another woman was being treated in hospital on Christmas Island after a suicide attempt on Sunday evening.

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jul/08/asylum-seeker-mothers-on-suicide-watch-on-christmas-island

  133. Möbius Ecko

    Yes mars08, whilst they go on and on about the deaths they also go to great lengths to avoid the horror stories from the centres, such as the young woman potentially loosing an eye because they wouldn’t give her the ophthalmic treatment she required. They also avoid the stories of the deaths and persecutions of those returned by this government. Didn’t happen anywhere near Australia so it doesn’t matter and then tears only flow when it happens under Labor.

    Then there’s the complete secrecy, so how do they or anyone else for that matter know who has died, been harmed, injured or taken seriously ill anywhere, whether at sea or in the centres? What you get when perfectly relevant and politely asked questions are asked is Pythonesque responses from our most senior Minister on the matter.

    By the way in another demonstration of their complete hypocrisy on the matter is when in opposition Morrison demanded and got from the government every detail on every boat and asylum seeker. He then used that open information to constantly bash not only the government, but to dog whistle to the people smugglers to send them over. How quickly the perceptive cartoons of Abbott standing on a beach in his red budgie smugglers waving for the boats to come and Morrison’s apparent joy at every tragedy is forgotten.

  134. Michael Taylor

    Chris, instead of coming here to repeatedly make accusations against me and the other authors, why don’t you try sticking to the topics instead? Although I really am tiring of your persistent complaints about the site, unfortunately, for you, I consider them pointless.

  135. Dan Dark

    Chris, geeez no probs, you can have this forum all to yourself
    I will go and find another one, where you aren’t going to be, no probs
    There are plenty of left wing forums, it’s all your mate 😉

  136. Dan Rowden

    Chris,

    I am not “claiming” this is not a “news” site in the conventional sense. I am saying it outright. If Michael had made that claim anywhere I’d much prefer that he changed it.

    AIMN is not “balanced”. How could it be? However it helps create balance in the deeply unbalanced world of contemporary Australian political media discourse. It plays a role in off-setting the inordinate influence of the Murdoch press and should be judged on the basis of the role it plays in that sense. Beyond that, it has every right to be what it is, regardless.

    “Hard left”? What is that, exactly? Something Tony Abbott never got his head around and therefore largely failed as a boxer?

    As for DanDark, using a dynamic one has with a singer poster at a political blog to insinuate things about the blog, per se, which is what you did, constitutes a logical fallacy. You might want to “Google” a logical fallacy site and, well, you know, learn something about principles of composition in argument.

    Accusing Michael of deleting material is interesting. I imagine you understand that it’s not possible for anyone to know if that accusation has any substance. If a post does not contravene a site’s rules of etiquette it should never be deleted, of course. However, I am inclined to think you’re playing “tendies” on that count. You seem to suggest it’s happened to you elsewhere – can you say where?

    I agree with Michael that it would be best for you to simply engage the issues. The more you attack the site for not being what you think it ought be, the hostility you’re going to attract. Got facts and an argument to offer? Let’s see them. Please. You’d be a rare commodity for the “right” if that were to be the case.

  137. Dan Dark

    I am not sure if you are having ago too Dan R, but if you are, that’s fine, it’s become a dog fight now on here now, cheers 🙂

  138. Dan Rowden

    Dan Dark,

    A go at what? Chris tried to use his disagreement with you to make a point that was illegitimate. The only “go” I was having was at his lack of logic. Carry on.

  139. Dan Dark

    Yep cool, it’s hard with no voice tone and stuff on here to understand what folks are saying, it’s cryptic mostly, but Chris can take my spot over, he thinks he is smarter than me and well yea I don’t contribute facts and stuff, I just comment and leave music videos, so yea it’s all good, I will leave it to the ones smarter than myself 🙂

  140. Möbius Ecko

    @10:19

    Well put.

    But never let it be said we on this site all agree on everything 😉

  141. Danny

    This is my first look at this site, recommended by a facebook friend. All I can say is Pfhht. This is just a spleen-venting site for lowlifes. AIMN should be ashamed.

  142. Lee

    @ Danny

    Don’t let the door hit your arse on the way out.

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