Monday 30 October 2016
1 Governments the world over wrestle with the morality of accepting asylum seekers, often struggling against the forces of separatist pride, trying to rationalise the principle of internationalism against that of nationalism.
While these governments see a simple virtue in helping others our government sees the problem through the prism of political advantage. And so it was on Sunday that they, in the face of appalling day-to-day governance, wheeled out the old conservative, back to the wall, fear mongering or demonising asylum seekers.
Yes, a Prime Minister who promised decency in government has in fact brought shame on our nation. Australians need not have breathed their collective sigh of relief at the demise of Tony Abbott. Nothing has changed.
Asylum Seekers To Be Banned From Australia For Life read the headline.
It makes a mockery of international law to outlaw genuine refugees from forever entering Australia. That is the most draconian thing I have ever heard of. It applies to any adult despatched to Manus Island or Nauru since July 2013.
It confirms the fact that our government, if they cannot find third country placement will condemn those on Nauru and Manus to a life of incarceration, a death sentence despite the fact that in their entire lives they have never committed a crime. Shame on my country.
It may also mean that more than 1550 proven refugees on Nauru and Manus will never receive medical treatment in Australia. Shame on my country.
Peter Dutton the minister for all things immoral said:
“Today, through this legislation, we send a very clear message to all the parties concerned that Australia will never be an option for people to seek to come here illegally by boat.”
“We’ll never give up our border controls to the people smugglers again. We’re cleaning up this mess.”
Of course it is a diversionary tactic,( particularly as there haven’t been any boat arrivals in over two years) to take people’s minds from the government’s long list of failures and its leader’s incapacity to present a narrative of what the government is trying to do. Nobody seems to know.
And of course it comes on top of intense scrutiny on Australia’s immigration policy after a report by Amnesty International Island of Despair, highly critical of current border protection policy.
Its report came after another UN report highly critical of Nauru’s treatment of asylum seeker children that found that children on Nauru were subject to abuse, physical development risks as a result of living in cramped, humid and life-threatening conditions in the Regional Processing Centres.
2 At the moment the government seems to be fighting itself. It is caught up in an entitlements debate and is doing a bit or poor bashing.
Turnbull has refused to say whether welfare spending needs to be reined in.
3 In a hangover from Tony Abbott’s pet policy women are not happy with its proposals on Paid Parental Leave.
4 Its ABCC might wiggle through without a joint sitting of the two houses but Bob Day’s vote is looking a little tarnished.
5 Housing affordability is an issue they have put in the public domain without having anything positive to say about it.
6 They want to set up yet another enquiry into Aboriginal incarceration. Warren Mundine, the chairman of the Prime Minister’s Indigenous Advisory Council said questioned which “dickhead” said that:
“I just find this a joke, and I’m getting sick and tired of the crap that is coming out of this government in regard to Indigenous affairs, concerning incarceration rates, in regard to the juvenile detention area.”
7 They are split over changes to 18c yet continue to debate it in public. With the PM softening his attitude it seems he is falling into line with the far right.
8 George Brandis continues to be a thorn in the side of the government as do many other ministers who show a complete disregard for what used to be called public service.
9 Barnaby Joyce manages to make himself and the government look foolish at the same time.
10 It’s an embarrassment when Pauline Hansen indicates she’s on the conservative side. And she is, but you don’t want her saying so.
11 Scott Morrison seems to confuse rather than explain and the MYEFO report should be interesting. Yes there is growth but that’s because the government is spending. How will he explain the increase in the deficit?
12 And last but not least we have the spectacle of Tony Abbott waiting in the wings, dagger in had waiting for the curtain call.
My thought for the day.
“There of those who like to have political opinions yet conveniently leave out the political consequences when forming them?”