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Coalition Treachery Cannot Stand

Opinion:

As reported recently in various news outlets, including The Age and recounted here at The AIMN by Rossleigh, it is the Coalition’s intention to hand over decisions regarding the provision of information about Asylum Seeker boat arrivals to the military.

”That will be an operational decision, as part of Operation Sovereign Borders, for the three-star military officer,” Mr Morrison said. ”I don’t think those decisions should be put in the hands of politicians … I think those decisions should be made by implementation officers and I’m quite happy to trust a three-star military officer of our armed forces.”

I don’t especially care who you are prepared to trust, Mr Morrison. What matters is who the Australian people are prepared to trust. More to the point, why the hell is “trust” being mentioned at all?

The more you toss the word around, the more concerned I become. Whenever someone says, “trust me” you have to automatically wonder why. Usually, it means something is being withheld.

As things stand, under Labor, we are privy to all pertinent information regarding boat arrivals. That is how it should be. How can the population possibly make any informed decisions regarding public policy without information?

You are deliberately taking this whole matter, an explicitly humanitarian matter out of the public’s hands. That is utterly unacceptable. Your agenda is clear enough. You want to “solve” the issue by neatly removing it from public view. Out of sight, out of mind.

But it is nothing less than scandalous to attempt to remove the public’s ability to have an informed opinion about anything a Government is doing. You are seeking to exclude the Australian public from the political process.

I can already hear the words “We cannot release details of operational matters” resounding in my head. I assure you, lots of Australians aren’t naïve enough to think that a conversation about this hasn’t already taken place between the Coalition and General Three Stars.

Lots of Australians are not naïve enough to be unaware that every moment of the development of Coalition refugee policy has been an orchestrated affair aimed at making the problem magically disappear.

It was bad enough when you started characterising this human tragedy as an issue of “border security”. It got worse when you militarised our entire response to it. But to now go further and hide the thing under the cloak of a pseudo-military campaign is idiotic and gratuitous.

Make no mistake, that is what you’re doing and we know it. You have effectively declared war on persons seeking asylum. You have effectively put us on a war footing.

What is it about Conservatives that makes them unable to function unless they’re waging war against someone? The procedures and approach you are proposing, and what you have already set down as policy, is taking us down the path of turning Papua New Guinea into our own version of Guantanamo Bay.

Now, you may complain that the analogy is hyperbolic, but the parallels are there. You have consistently sought to dilute the legal rights of Asylum Seekers in direct contravention of established International laws and conventions. You now seek to cloud this whole matter in secrecy. You have expressed a preparedness to not only ignore International law and convention but to go so far as to remove this Nation from its status as a signatory to them. No, my analogy is perfectly reasonable.

In my view, this is nothing less than treachery. It cannot stand. This alone is reason enough not to vote for the Coalition. But more than that it speaks to a philosophy that will inform everything the Coalition would do in Government.

That philosophy is one that will send shivers down the spines of any Queenslander old enough to remember. It is the philosophy of, “Don’t you worry about that.”

Well, as it turned out under Joh Bjelke Peterson we had a great deal to be worried about and the same applies here. It’s a breathtakingly patronising, contemptuous and condescending attitude. You use the language of fear and emergency in an attempt to manipulate the minds of the electorate.

You know if you speak and act in such a way as to make people feel insecure, they will turn to those who offer them security. In such a situation you know you’ll get away with almost anything and that people will set aside natural humanitarian impulses, not to mention reason itself. There is, it must be said, no word in the English language that comes close to properly describing how deeply disgusting that behaviour is.

But perhaps I’m being unfair. Perhaps you really believe in what you’re doing and saying. Perhaps rather than disingenuous, you are just plain imbecilic. Either way, Australians suffer for it.

 

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14 comments

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  1. Bill Morris

    Disingenuous AND Imbecilic should just about cover it!

  2. Calypso Cool

    Not only is it relevant to those of us who survived the Bjielke-Petersen era, it is relevant to those of us who have been students of history. Morrison’s attitude is reminiscent of the “Despised Little Corporal” as Franz von Papen described the man of insignificant stature who led Germany to war and authorised the genocide of six million Jews.

  3. kate ahearne

    Hi, Dan. Thanks for this. Yes, this ‘Trust Me’ election is really scary. I have written a piece for Fair Media Alliance that might interest you and your readers – a weird personal perspective on the asylum-seeker issue.

  4. Michael LaFave

    Spot on, Mr. Rowden.

    A tragedy awaits us with Mr. Abbott’s policies if the bosses of our two largest media organisations decide who wins this election based on their narrow self-interest of corporate profit and power.

  5. jagman48

    Michael you are so correct. Rupert (who lives away from here) is calling the shots. Do
    we need this? A big resounding no. Be afraid, be very afraid

  6. Terry2

    Michael La Fave: Appalling as it is for the Murdoch empire to try (and probably succeed) in regime change in Australia, we now have the Chairman of Fairfax and a member of the Board of the Reserve Bank of Australia going on national TV to barrack for the coalition.
    It seems that the convention whereby politicians avoided politicising the RBA and the RBA reciprocated by not meddling in politics has been aborted; the only honourable thing that Corbett can now do is resign from the RBA and apologise for politicising them.

  7. John Lord

    Enjoying your stuff Dan.

  8. Bacchus

    Enjoying many great writers here lately John, including you, Dan, rossleighbrisbane, OzFenric, and Barry Tucker amongst others. Oh and Michael does OK too 😉

    (Just joshin’ Migs – you do an amazing job 😀 )

  9. cartoonmick

    What really gets my goat (“goat”, not “vote”) is that most of these front line pollies think most Australians are gullible enough to believe everything they say. WE DON’T !!

    “NO” you damn politician, NO, we are not that stupid, we do have brains, we are educated and we can see right through your smoke and mirrors.

    So stop wasting our time with lies, and earn your votes honestly for a change.

    I’m still 50:50 whether to NOT vote for Abbott, or NOT vote for Rudd.

    The election will solve very little, but it will sharpen our enthusiasm for a nice cold beer.

    Now is the time to buy shares in a Brewery.

    Editorial / Political

    Cheers

    Mick

  10. Libri

    Thank you Dan. Well said! I am losing or have lost respect for so many people during this election. Not least of all the media but also individuals who spout Abbotts negative, scare mongering rhetoric instead of examining the facts. The naievte of their world ??? view astounds me and the lack of humanity and respect for human rights across the board breaks my heart!

  11. helenmarg

    I agree with everything you say Libri. How could it have got to this.It will be a tragedy for this country with this appalling lot running it .We will be the laughing stock of the world,
    Thank you Dan.

    .

  12. salt

    This may not be pertinent to this thread , BUT , to avoid any charges of class warfare and discrimination…..why doesn’t the incoming Coalition government just pay EVERY WOMAN who has a baby ….$75000 PPL. Surely that would stop the bitching and carry-on .They would romp over the line , and viagra sales would treble , and childcare would be a growth industry . Budget deficit -over and done with . ‘Hey honey …come over here !’

  13. richo

    It is amusing to me that The Age has added Always Independent to their masthead recently yet there big head honch is a freaking LNP member. Go Figure…

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