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Day to Day Politics: Shame on my Government.

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?”


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  1. Peter F

    Caan anyone name a policy of this government which they can be proud of?

  2. Darrell

    In the interests of creative marketing I am devising a new game to help people become more involved in political discourse. It’s called “What Warren said”. Any public announcement of new policy will be met with the response ” which dickhead said that?” There’d be no shortage of material suitable for this fun exercise. Players could even keep scores on there favourite political figures and have a tally check at the end of each week. Could even get sportsbet or ladbroke to put odds on favourites if that’s your way of making it even more fun.

  3. Allan Richardson

    Why do MISSPELLED memes ruin a post?

    YOU’RE, not YOUR!

  4. Möbius Ecko

    You left out the unrelenting attacks on unions, especially the CFMEU.

    Turnbull had a blast at Palaszczuk over the construction union there saying she is allowing “extraordinary lawlessness”.

    Of course this is bullshit and about getting his ABCC through. Notice that he also had a go at Shorten and Labor in general for remaining tied to unions.

    Again we see the considerable amount of public resources this government is spending in destroying oppositions, Federal and State, instead of actually using public resources to govern.

  5. Möbius Ecko

    Allan Richardson. For some people every grammar and spelling mistake sticks out like a sore thumb that detracts from or drowns the message. Others see the message and don’t worry about any errors.

  6. Michael Taylor

    That’s my fault, Allan. I didn’t make the meme, but I put it in the article. I feel embarrassed that I didn’t pick it up. If I had a computer and the internet at the moment I’d be able to fix it up.

  7. Michael Taylor

    I’ve had the image changed.

  8. Harquebus

    Mass migration is a symptom of over population.
    As vital resources continue to deplete and populations continue to increase, we can expect this problem to worsen.

  9. Denis Bright in Brisbane

    A great synopsis of Australia’s political dilemmas under Prime Minister Turnbull.

    I do hope the PM’s staffers and his Office of National Assessment (ONA) do read such articles.

    Like Campbell Newman, our Malcolm Turnbull aspires to be a micro-economic reformer. He seeks to eliminate barriers to his conservative agendas from trade unions and traditional regulatory bodies which have evolved over the generations to challenge disadvantage.

    Most people don’t support such corporate agendas so the New Age Conservative Sovereign like Malcolm Turnbull must use populist communication frames.

    Battlers like refugees, welfare recipients and disadvantaged families who need to reply on income support for rents and child care are our Sovereign’s main targets.

    With Labor’s heartland support base so fragmented by the rise of One Nation and even more disciplined allocation of preferences from right-wing parties like Family First, the Opposition still has big communication problems.

    Many disadvantaged constituents are simply not on the electoral roll in those winnable seats in both regional and outer suburban areas.

    Despite a gain of two federal steats in Queensland to eight federal members on 2 July, the LNP still holds 21 seats with Kennedy under the command of Bob Katter.

    This situation is a challenge to our writing and to our political involvement.

    A lot of the communication efforts of the LNP is directed at the potential Labor Heartland. The LNP outreach is embedded in small town agendas with a commitment to common sense and nasty populism.

    As I am typing, Malcolm Turnbull has just made the Al Jazeera News in support of more stringent Border Protection. What an embarrassment!

    Such rhetoric does nothing to assist disadvantaged people who seek accommodation in caravan parks because they cannot afford rental bonds.

    I look at the Polling Booth results for Yandina where some low cost accommodation is located in Fairfax Electorate. I note a 1.91% swing to the LNP after preferences on 2 July, mainly through the allocation of prefernces to a LNP member who did not gain and absolute majority.

  10. helvityni

    Harquebus, are countries like Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan so over populated that people have to leave their beloved homelands…?

    Could it be that that the wars have made their people homeless and they have to move out whilst they still can…they are still alive…?

    Some of these people have made a trip by boat and have not drowned; now our Government is punishing them for NOT DROWNING.

    No doubt we can’t take them in because this country is OVER POPULATED.

  11. townsvilleblog

    This mob are absolutely hopeless managers of public money, brilliant at times with their own private money, but absolutely hopeless at managing public money, basically because they believe that all services should be and will be privatized under their tory govt.

  12. townsvilleblog

    helvityniOctober 31, 2016 at 9:01 am Yes mate, Australia is approximately 2 million people over the sustainable population of this country currently, however if the tory government would build infrastructure, for example a couple of large dams in Northern Australia, the sustainable population number could rise to accommodate more people. Townsville, the largest city in Northern Australia, where I live is currently on Level 3 water restrictions, we can’t wash our cars or water our yards, yet all this L&NP think about is cutting benefits to “people” and selling government services both State and Federal cheaply to the corporation who most want to buy the service and charge us much more to receive it.

  13. Harquebus

    Yes and Australia is also overpopulated as most will soon discover when trucks and farm machinery lay idle.
    There are a lot of symptoms and most are caused by the stresses of overpopulation.

    “Heavy-duty diesel-engine trucks (agricultural, cargo, mining, logging, construction, garbage, cement, 18-wheelers) are the main engines of civilization. Without them, no goods would be delivered, no food planted or harvested, no garbage picked up, no minerals mined, no concrete made, or oil and gas drilled to keep them all rolling.”

    “As long as population growth in African countries outstrips their ability to educate, house and employ their citizens, large numbers of people will continue to brave the deserts and seas to escape.”

    “No amount of planning can be successful in coping with an endlessly growing population.”

    Population Myths

  14. Zathras

    It’s not correct to say we’re overpopulated when you consider that our economy and matters such as the funding of aged pensions are just a huge Ponzi scheme.

    In a decade or so, every few working people will have to support an individual pensioner of some sort and with also relatively fewer people to fund ongoing infrastructure.

    Either that or just pay a lot more in taxes.

    Of course those decision makers of today will have long since retired with the Future Fund guaranteeing their own lifelong entitlements – the rest of us will have to make do.

    Whatever happened to the report that suggested couples should have “one for mum, one for dad plus one for the country”?

  15. Kaye Lee

    Harquebus, why don’t you write an article on overpopulation and your suggested solutions rather than making the same comment on every single article written here.

  16. Jack Straw

    I am hardliner on boats coming here.Especially the way they came under Rudd, Gillard and legal immigration levels are way too high.We must stop Residential housing becoming a pathetic like Mining Boom and bust Cycle lets work on cheap sustainable housing for the masses and pour money into public transport.And it would be nice if we started making a few quality products here also? Then we can start helping other countries with their issues.

  17. Michael

    My two laments of Labor

    (a) in an environment of not understanding or imagining the full implications of “off shore, boat arrival, asylum seeker processing and denial” and where this has now inhumanely and – deep down – unintentionally (we have better things to do) led us, it is time for Labor to take a new deep breath of bold fresh air and freely admit, with the benefit of hindsight and a refreshed strong stance (draw the line), that they were collectively wrong in being inadvertently sucked into Abbott’s, now Turnbull’s gutter, (= discarding a weighty legacy at the same time reverse wedging the LNP) and

    (b) the missed opportunities by unions to evolve, to become a transparent process for grassroots worker level democracy, a process which could have been replicatable in the general community, to rectify the imbalance of the “density of power” brought about by the divide and rule strategies employed by capital rather than an alternative process for certain aspiring opportunists for limited foresighted, self-power aggrandisement employing gutter tactics to achieve individual aims.

    A Phoenix rising? – what a refreshing idea

  18. nurses1968

    Harquebus. I have read some of your links with interest and I have some major concerns stemming from that in what our population should be.
    The fact that “Apart from Antarctica, Australia is the driest continent.” gives me concern for future water and food security and i was blown away when I read the massive amounts of our most precious commodity water used in food production.My question is how long can it last?
    Of interest to me was A single avocado uses 60 gallons of water to grow
    One cell phone takes 240 gallons to manufacture
    It takes 713 gallons to produce one cotton t-shirt
    A hamburger uses 660 gallons of water to make
    Orange juice costs 1020 litres of water per litre of orange juice.
    The global average water footprint of pig meat is 5990 litre/kg
    The global average water footprint of sheep meat is 10400 litre/kg.and if you check out this link you can see where our precious resource is going in food production alone

    How do we sustain the current population let alone bring hordes more here to the driest continent

  19. Carol Taylor

    Zathras, we are overpopulated for a number of basic reasons, but mostly arable land and water. What should the population density be in the world’s second driest continent? How much more of our fragile remnant farmland should be put under bitumen and high density housing? Or should a country who once fed others be reliant on importing food basics?

  20. Harquebus

    Kaye Lee

    If I wrote an article for theAIMN, how many would read it before it disappears into the background? Not enough I think.

    There are thousands of articles already devoted to this subject. Any that I feel are good enough, I will forward on my mailing list which, is quite large. I would really like to add you to my list. Michael Taylor is on it and should be able to provide you with some examples. No abuse nor spam I promise.

    Others sometimes reproduce my emails on their websites and theAIMN is welcome to as it has done once before. The only thing that I would ask is, to include the many links that I also provide.

    Avoiding data retention

    Here is an article that I am currently reading and which I will be forwarding.
    “Europeans may not be as food secure as they perceive themselves to be.”
    “In the face of already observed changing climate, deteriorating natural resources, growing population largely driven by migration as well as many other emerging challenges and uncertainties, there are growing concerns that the European food system is vulnerable and thus unable to withstand disturbances without undesirable outcomes”

    I think that my time here is better spent trying to convince authors and commenters with constant reminders as to our problems root causes.

    Thanks for that link. I will check it out later today.


  21. Michael Taylor

    “There are thousands of articles already devoted to this subject”.

    That’s why we write about other things.

  22. Michael

    nurses1968, may I suggest we also pay more attention to:

    the waste side, such as personal everyday use, corporate bottled water (especially extracted from 3rd world corruptible countries and disposal of the plastic associated) look-at-lazy-me “I’m hydrated-ised!!”, decaying water delivery infrastructure, waste water treatment/recycling, planting appropriate natural vegetation, examining more closely personally induced climate change, and other human constructs which can be de/re/constructed such as investing in more research (in a non-LNP Australia) AND

    NOT make exaggerated leaps of logic – “let alone bring hordes more here to the driest continent”

  23. Jack Straw

    Harquebus Why do you have a mail list for ?Just write fully fleshed out article covering all facets of a topic which communicates to people from all walks of life. Maybe you can’t do it. Maybe you are scared of this exposure.

  24. Steve Laing -

    Harq – have you considered whether enough desalination plants might be a feasible option to deal with water shortage? It is highly energy intensive, so would need to be coupled with renewables, but is that even an option?

    Unfortunately the boat people issue is now entirely a political problem. The Coalition have completely wedged themselves, and the people in Nauru and Manus will now just have to die to avoid the Coalition having to admit their policy is utterly inhumane. Dehumanising the refugees is the first step, and we are well on the way to step 2 and 3. How much is this policy costing us when we are in such diabolical economic straits? This government truly is penny wise, pound foolish.

  25. nurses1968

    Michael this is something I had never given much thought to and took a brief look at the subject as it was mentioned in anothers Harquebus comments.I will look into the issues you raise but that information you provided only reinforces my comment “let alone bring hordes more here to the driest continent”

  26. Harquebus

    Michael Taylor.
    Nero fiddled.

    Stever Laing
    Renewables are energy sinks and will never power anything without subsidies or mandates.
    The only viable option is population reduction. Depopulate or perish. There are no other alternatives.


  27. Flogga

    Allan Richardson … I don’t consider an internet meme to be genuine unless it has a spelling mistake or grammatical error.

  28. Michael

    nurses1968, I am very ashamed I did not include reference to deeper and sustained research into white man’s forcible intrusion into 40,000 years of aboriginal bare foot heritage and customs – start by finding out how Australia, the continent, really works – what a legacy!!

  29. silkworm

    What Harq is doing is called thread derailment.

  30. John Lord

    Harquebus. Commenting as you do is disrespectful to the author in so much as it appears you want to change the subject to suit yourself. I don’t think any writer on this blog, or indeed those who comment are unaware of the problems associated with over population. If you want to write something I’m sure the editor would post it and you would get a lively response. However, when authors write on a certain topic then,within reason, comments should stick to its contents. Otherwise people go off on many different roads and the original topic gets lost.

  31. silkworm

    Zathras –

    Pensions are not paid for out of taxpayer’s money. MMT tells us that taxes are colleted after the govt puts money into circulation. Besides, the money given to poor people like pensioners is quickly spent back into the community and supports business.

  32. Steve Laing -

    Re. Harq’s comments – absolutely John. I’d be very interested in an article not only on the problems of overpopulation (particularly because it is, and will increasingly become, a major push factor in future refugee problems of a size we aren’t yet really able to comprehend), but also on how you’d suggest how we actually deal with the problem. Without a solution, you are doing no more than Pauline – sitting on the fence and chucking rocks, which anyone can do.

    What I like about AIMN is that the general public (like myself), can pen an article and put it up here for discussion, knowing that good ideas can become great ideas when given the right bit of feedback.

    Silkworm – totally correct. As far as I can work out, pensioners keep most shopping centre cafes in business. Taking money from them will continue to destroy small businesses. The shopping centres, of course, won’t drop their rental charges, so perhaps that is another part of the Coalition strategy of further concentrating power and money amongst the top percentiles.

  33. nurses1968

    Michael what happened 40,000 years ago has little to do with 21st century overpopulation and food shortages combined with climate change as I don’t see too many of the current population or those flooding in as hunter gatherers

  34. Harquebus

    John Lord

    Not so. My intention is to bring attention to underlying causes. Something that you never do.

    Why are people migrating? What is causing conflict? Why is the climate changing? Why are people angry? These and many more can be attributed to an unsustainable global population and diminishing resources. Unless population is addressed, unplanned migration, inequality, hunger and poverty will never go away.

    BTW: I am pretty sure that you did not see the video that I posted for you. If so, that is a pity because you would have learned something.


  35. Kaye Lee


    You cannot derail the comments thread of every single article to your particular hobby horse. It is worthwhile discussing, but not every single freakin’ comment. Life is mulifaceted. Fixation on only one thing is stultifying. Please write an article rather than making us read the same thing on every article. There are other things to discuss. If that is all you are interested in then go to a site devoted to that topic.

  36. helvityni


    Why are we not cutting down, or cutting out all ordinary immigration. If we do that, then we can take more refugees, and will not add to ‘your’ over population either.

    Let the trained and educated people stay in their own countries that actually paid for their education and training. They can then help to build up their own countries.

  37. nurses1968

    helvityni I would agree with that

  38. Jack Straw

    Helvityni Why are we not cutting down, or cutting out all ordinary immigration. Why do you think this is so ?

  39. johnlord2013

    Harquebus I agree with Kaye.

    Do you really want it to get to the point where writers wont write because you will change the subject every time.

    You cannot derail the comments thread of every single article to your particular hobby horse. It is worthwhile discussing, but not every single freakin’ comment. Life is mulifaceted. Fixation on only one thing is stultifying. Please write an article rather than making us read the same thing on every article. There are other things to discuss. If that is all you are interested in then go to a site devoted to that topic.

  40. Michael Taylor

    And I agree with Kaye and John. And I could say without any doubt that so does everybody else here.

  41. diannaart

    Until we consider sustainable population on a global scale…. not much point in more isolationist thinking, unless Australia leaves this planet of course – then we can discuss population in the usual narrow terms.

    As for John Lord’s excellent writing, I might be wrong, because I did not listen to the entire comment (wishing to save radio from extinction) I thought I heard Turnbucks quoting Howard on the “we choose who gets to stay in Australia … blah, blah, blah” this morning.

  42. Divergent Aussie

    @helvityni Exactly. The point of the ban is to deflect attention away from not only the current week’s politics but also the bipartisan migration policy. It’s the Lynton Crosby dead cat principle which Boris Johnson used in both of his London mayoral campaigns. Make a fuss about illegal immigrants and people won’t take notice of those coming in legally. @Kaye Lee pointed out that our natural population growth is declining yet our population is still growing and this is feeding housing demand and the housing “crisis”. The COALition never says it’s a demand problem they always say it’s a supply problem. However, economics is about demand and supply. Reduce demand and there’s no need to increase supply. Where is the demand coming from. Immigration. Not letting a few refugees in from Manus IS cruel and harsh but deflects the public’s attention perfectly. The demand for housing is not coming from a few illegal refugees. Many post world war II refugees from war torn europe had many skills that Australia made good use of. The problem is that refugees are often displaced. They have nowhere to go. If they go back home they may face a perilous future because war has changed the landscape forever. Look at what happened to East European countries after the second world war. Those that had been prisoners of war of the Germans couldn’t go home because their fellow soldiers had been executed by the Russians during the war and the same regime was now occupying their homelands (Katyn Massacre). It’s too simple to class all refugees as economic migrants. There needs to be a much better balance than there is currently. My understanding is that the majority of Manus refugees have been classified as real refugees and not economic migrants.

  43. Harquebus

    Please refer to my first comment.
    Harquebus October 31, 2016 at 8:24 am

    I made my point and would have left it at that. Don’t want me to harp on? Don’t respond.

    Discussing symptoms only as is done here at theAIMN doesn’t really accomplish anything.

    The bad news, I ain’t goin’ away ‘n’ I ain’t gonna stop.


  44. Jack Straw

    Spoken like a true fundamentalist Harquebus:

    re I ain’t gonna stop.

  45. Harquebus

    Jack Straw
    Spoken like a true ignoramus.
    Our lives are in serious jeopardy. All’s fair in the quest to save mankind.

  46. Michael

    Humankind has not woven the web of life.
    We are but one thread within it.
    Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.
    All things are bound together.
    All things connect.

    Chief Seattle, 1854

    (from today’s Popular Resistance Newsletter)

  47. John Brame

    Don’t worry, Malcolm has his innovation card up his sleeve. Lot’s of auzzie innovations could save the day.

  48. Jack Straw

    Yes you are right All’s fair in the quest to save mankind. Though people here are not your enemy for the most part. Write an article about it

    Or anything that really opens up discussion on any topic.

    Signed the ignoramus.

  49. diannaart

    Good timing, Michael.

    Gotta love serendipity.

  50. Jack Straw

    Hi Mich I had no idea they had the web back then.

  51. helvityni

    Jack Straw, I think we keep up the ‘ordinary’ immigration so that we can have skilled educated people to fill the positions still available.

    Why don’t we skill our own? Are the TAFE colleges still functioning or are we relying on those Private Colleges, which take the money but do not worry about the educational side.

  52. Zathras


    Sorry to disappoint you but The Age Pension is ENTIRELY funded by Australian taxpayers and accounts for the largest single item of social security spending. (The Future Fund looks after Public Servants and politicians entitlements only).

    That’s much of what what all the budget cut fuss is all about as well as moving the entitlement age up a few years ago.

    If it was just a matter of “putting money into circulation” then I wish they’d send some my way. I’ll do my bit to spend it too.

    Australia’s population is ageing – 13 per cent of Australians are over 65 years now, growing to 25 per cent by 2047.

    That means that one in four of us will be of pension age in thirty years.

    Of the other three, how many will actually be working and paying taxes to fund the pensions?
    Maybe two (generously assuming only one in four is not in the workforce or under age)?

    So by then every taxpayer will need to support the cost of half a pensioner each – as well as everything else taxes are used for.

    Even with the maturing of the superannuation system the proportion of retired Australians who receive the Age Pension will only decline slightly although many more will receive a part-pension in addition to their private income rather than relying upon the pension alone.

    Then there will be the cost of ongoing medical care for an ageing population that is growing in numbers more quickly than the number of taxpayers.

    This means that taxpayers will need to pay much more to support the massive proportional increase in Aged Pensioners or that the elderly should agree to die much younger, and given the increase in poverty levels that’s becoming more likely.

    The other alternative is to increase the number of taxpayers and the only way is to increase the overall population.

    Then again, we could just eliminate the Age Pension entirely.

  53. Kaye Lee

    Thinking about Peter Dutton’s latest edict….

    How can you stop people from ever coming to the country if they have done nothing wrong? They say that they want to stop people from drowning and to stop people smugglers. That is complete crap. We have a large portion of our navy patrolling up there. They could arrest and prosecute any people smugglers they come across, take the asylum seekers to processing centres in Indonesia and Malaysia and increase our humanitarian intake if they really wanted a solution. I can’t see how Dutton can make this call but then again I don’t see how indefinite offshore detention can be legal either.

    Four Corners have been absolutely grilled by Dutton’s department after their story on Nauru – really put through the wringer. At the same time they have been asked to provide everything about Don Dale to the RC.

    I find it astonishing that the government needs Four Corners to tell them what is going on but spends the entire time trashing the ABC as do Murdoch’s rubbish rags.

  54. diannaart

    I guess it is more difficult for the LNP to trash Four Corners, than an easier target like Gillian Triggs.

    … but don’t tell them that…

  55. Kaye Lee

    Barrister Greg Barnes, a spokesman for the Australian Lawyers Alliance, said the proposed law is “extraordinary”, and warned it could lose a High Court challenge because it is “completely antithetical” to Australia’s obligations under the UN Refugee Convention.

    “The idea that you can ban people from even making a claim under the Convention simply on the mode of transport is, I think, something the High Court would have some real difficulty with,” Mr Barnes told The New Daily.

    “The High Court may take a dim view of this particular provision because it’s so extreme.”

    “I’m not aware of any other country in the world that discriminates against people or refuses to allow them to make a claim for asylum simply on the basis of their mode of transport,” he said.

    “It’s no more than a political stunt. The government likes to proudly proclaim on the one hand that it’s stopped the boats, and yet on the other hand it feels the need to pass a law of such an extreme and unprecedented nature to prevent boats coming to Australia. You can’t have it both ways.”

    The Labor Party has not yet clarified its position on the proposed law.

    PLEASE Labor, stop this madness. Rethink your torture of innocent people.

  56. Keitha Granville

    There is enough water and food and land on the planet for all the peoples of the world.

    The waste in the First World of all of those things coupled with the inability of the First World to help the Third World survive in their own lands because of war, drought and famine are 2 things that could be easily changed with the will of the First World.
    Instead we bicker amongst ourselves over pointless arguments that can never be won because neither side is prepared to see a different point of view.

    There is no excuse for poor treatment of refugees anywhere in the world, how dare we. We have profited from the destruction of their countries over the past few thousand years – and we never seem to be able to work out that much of it is our fault.

    How about we actually have a United Nations that works to repair the Third World instead of trying to patch up the damage ?

  57. diannaart

    How about we actually have a United Nations that works to repair the Third World instead of trying to patch up the damage ?

    How about the USA led “Coalition of the Willing” repair the damage they have caused in the ME?

  58. cartoonmick

    To expand on your “thought for the day”, John; ‘There are those who present their political opinions as a facts, when they are not’. This is how so many pollies con the people into believing things which are total BS.

    The criminal thing about this is that in most cases, the pollies knows it is BS but is prepared to put his/her BS opinion out and apologise later if caught out.

    And, on entitlements, I think my cartoon says it all . . . .


  59. Max Gross

    We are in the grip of thugs, grubs and moral degenerates

  60. guest

    Just a few thoughts.

    Population. Malthus, Ehrlich and others warned us about population in times past. Some people ridiculed them especially during the Green Revolution. Now the fertiliser is diminished (witness Nauru), we are finding new ways of farming. As well, we worry about declining populations, such as Japan’s and our own. But even in a wealthy country there are people who are poor, homeless and disenfranchised. It is something about the way the politics and the economics works. We have more unemployed people here in Oz than there are jobs. Will reducing population solve that problem? Does Harquebus have an answer to that question? Does Harquebus think that all we have to do is reduce population and we can carry on with business as usual?

    Border Security. Why is it that Oz spends some $2bn per year on Border Security, which is as much as the UN has to deal with some 60m migrants per year. Why is that? And why is it that the navy is not sufficient to stop people smugglers and the people of Oz have decided that innocent people have to be imprisoned and traumatised on small islands (one detention centre declared illegal by its government) in order to back up the navy like a human shield? What kind of monsters have we become?

    And Welfare reduction. The big idea is to reduce Welfare and treat people as if they are a burden. This is like C19th Utilitarian Self Help which tried to bully people, even the poor, the aged, the disabled, the disaffected etc into suddenly being self-sufficient ….you know, nice jobs, houses and no reliance on public hand-outs (of the kind paid to fossil fuel merchants, right wing think tanks and those people getting tax deductions or no tax at all). I find it passing strange that the PM of the country is quite happy to pay less to the poor etc and has his money safely stowed in a tax haven. Is this something we cannot talk about? Is it all something to be admired? Am I wrong to even mention it? Should I be afraid?

  61. helvityni

    Excellent thoughts , guest. You ask what kind of monsters have we become. I don’t know about the rest of the population, but I fear we have monsters governing us right now.

    If Labor goes along with their latest monstrosity, I’ll lose all faith in Australia…

  62. Harquebus

    “Does Harquebus think that all we have to do is reduce population and we can carry on with business as usual?” No. Business as usual requires compound growth and is what is killing us. Population reduction is necessary to avoid war and famine.

    “Imagine, with an international community unable to cope with a few thousand Syrian refugees, what will happen when millions of people are on the move,”

  63. Jack Straw

    Harquebus .Your starting to sound like Kevin Rudd by answering your own questions. LOL

  64. Alan Baird

    Every time I hear somebody complaining (in the context of over-population) about a certain age-population cohort being larger than others (and therefore increasing fiscal stress on others following) I find this is usually followed by sneers about Malthus et al etc. Following that a specious argument for an increase of immigration is made to theoretically increase the “pension-payers” of the future. See the problem? There will therefore be ANOTHER DEMOGRAPHIC BULGE created so we’ll have to repeat the process ALL OVER AGAIN and so on ad infinitum ad nauseam. Each time we’ll have an overshoot and anyway, the population has been going up (quickly!) over this entire post-WW2 period so there SURE MUST have been some of the other cohorts coming through that MUST HAVE BEEN PRETTY SIZEABLE! Demographers love using this pathetic pension argument on a regular basis because they’re enthusiastic populate-or-perishers. When I was a kid there were 10 million in Oz. A bit more than that now. A bit. ‘Course it’s all sustainable. ‘Course.

  65. guest

    Alan Baird

    you are right to wonder about demographics and rising populations. I too remember Oz’s population to be 10m. I am astonished at the development of suburbia in the major cities and the decline in rural areas. I am disappointed at the way Murray areas, for example, were so promising but the importation of cheap juice concentrate left some Oz fruit on the ground.The Hunter Valley has become an open cut mine. The Galilee Basin could go the same way. The GBR is suffering. Globalisation has played a partacross the world; so have wars.

    So, many people came to Oz to escape the destruction wrought in Europe in WW2 and in Asia since then. So we have immigrants coming to us seeking a new life. Those who stay in Asia can be employed as cheap labour, while others reap big rewards by being involved in international trade. China, meanwhile, had a one child per family which has decreased population but created problems of its own because boys are favoured over girls.

    So we have the situation in which 1% of the population of the world owns 50% of the world’s wealth. No wonder we have mass migration towards the west. Somehow the world is out of balance. Countries which once were colonies of the west were used as a source of wealth for the west. With the decline of colonialism, so many colonies fell into decline, were taken over by tyrants and affected by wars and climate change – with little interest or help from the west engrossed in its industrialisation. Even the UN is struggling to cope. Rich countries – including Oz – reduce foreign aid in hard times. The inhabitants of the poor countries rely on large families for survival and as a kind of pension in the future. So populations grow. But when people become more affluent the need for large families declines. Why can that not happen? What part has the western exploitation of the poor contributed to the poverty of Africa, for example?

    In the west we are obsessed by profit. We waste so much food, water and resources We obsess with sovereign borders. We look badly on some refugees in boats, yet thousands come in by plane. We fear and disparage Muslims coming from countries we have invaded. We claim we are a Christian country, but do not really live by Christ’s precepts. In our own country we have people we treat badly, calling them ‘leaners’; yet the ‘lifters’ are too often sucking at the public teat. Somehow things in Oz have gone terribly wrong.

  66. Zathras

    Alan Baird,
    I don’t see where those assumptions are incorrect and the recent Intergenerational Reports support them.

    The company I used to work for had an average age profile of 54 and had long since stopped taking on trainees. The time came when almost the entire experienced workforce was due to retire within a few years and there was a significant degree of panic.

    If our aging population increases faster than they can be replaced at the other end and is also living longer then it’s only logical that there will be budgetary consequences.

    It was around 1960 when our population was 10 million and that includes the post WW2 immigration programme of the 1950’s.

    According to the ABS –
    “For the first part of the 20th century natural increase was the main contributor to population growth, as better living conditions saw births outnumber deaths. Following the end of World War II in 1945, the total fertility rate grew and Australia actively embarked on an immigration program to boost the population. The rate of population growth has increased since the mid 2000s. Overseas migration is now the main driver of this, making up about 60% of population growth. In 2011, Australia’s population increased to over 22 million people.”

    The economy (and the world) has changed in the 50-odd years since and the “she’ll be right Jack” attitude no longer applies.
    We can’t all quit our jobs and survive by selling Insurance to each other.
    So far the solution has been to try to cut payments and also make people work much longer.

    Of course it’s the ultimate Ponzi scheme and always has been.

    We’re stuck on a fiscal merry-go-round and can’t afford to get off and anti-population growth sentiments don’t offer any practical alternative solution.
    If there is one, I’m yet to hear about it.

  67. Michael

    Two pieces of information surfaced today – answers we have been searching for:

    (a) employment is not a problem – email from Linkedin revising
    “Explore job openings in Sydney Area, Australia
    More than 18,000 new jobs are available now.”
    up from 16,000

    (b) solving a couple of problems with one stone – from The Team
    “The F-35 is a weapon of offensive war, serving no defensive purpose.
    It is planned to cost the U.S. $1.4 trillion over 50 years.
    Because starvation on earth could be ended for $30 billion and the lack of clean drinking water for $11 billion per year, it is first and foremost through the wasting of resources that this airplane will kill.
    …The F-35 causes negative health impacts and cognitive impairment in children living near its bases. It renders housing near airports unsuitable for residential use. It has a high crash rate and horrible consequences to those living in the area of its crashes. Its emissions are a major environmental polluter.”

    Choices and consequences.

  68. Pingback: Australian Government Plans Lifetime Visa Ban for Asylum Seekers Arriving by Boat | RefugeCanada

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