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Let us punish immigration detainees twice

Now the police want to influence immigration policy. I blame it entirely on Peter Dutton, of course. For a retired policeman, he seems not to understand the most basic tenets of our legal system.

How Australian democracy works

Put simply, so that even coalition politicians can understand, the plan is that we, the people, elect parliaments. Once the parliament has been decided, the party with the greatest number of members forms government, and THEY MAKE LAWS.

Those parliamentarians then go through a type of cosplay, defined as the men dressing in suits and ties, and looking important, and serious. The women often wear red coats, as it signifies dressing for power.

If the men are feeling particularly performative, they wear ties which signify the tribe, or team they belong to. Tony Abbott liked to dress in blue ties, when he was not wearing bathers. This showed that he was conservative. Kevin Rudd favoured red ties, to signify that he was a member of the ‘social justice’ party, or the ‘socialists’, for short.

They then vote on whether laws are passed, and what those laws will regulate. This system works reasonably well, if you have people with brains getting elected, but this is not a foregone result.

Sometimes their dad was the last member, and there is something of a tradition of passing it on, down to the offspring, especially if you belong to the established parties.

This tends to dilute the quality of the representatives, but it is the closest they will ever get to an hereditary aristocracy, so we allow it.

Dutton is like a spear carrier for the resentful

He has emboldened Inspector Plods throughout our wide brown land to believe that they are the policy makers. Um, no, you enforce the law, as it is enacted by parliaments. A basic lesson in civics, really. Sadly, most of our citizens need it, because our education system is so appalling.

Re-punishing immigration detainees

This is a particularly stupid and wrong-headed attempt to prove how hairy chested we can be. The detainees Mr Dutton is so concerned about have ALREADY done their time, meaning that their debt to society has been paid. I know, they are foreigners, but still, if you have served your sentence, that is considered enough.

Australia does not (we hope) run parallel legal systems. If you are convicted and you serve your sentence, then you are free to go after you are released. Even if you are a foreigner.

Mr Dutton wants them to be re-detained. He appears to not know that the High Court of Australia has ruled that further detention is unlawful. That means that the government has no choice but to release them, because the High Court said so.

Instead of being locked up again, they should be compensated. Their indefinite detention was unlawful, and the reason they were still in detention is because successive governments ignored the fact that many had nowhere else to go, through statelessness, or because if sent back to their home country, they would have been subjected to draconian punishment, sometimes including death.

What is particularly disappointing is the way the Albanese Government has so abjectly accepted Dutton’s scare mongering and confected moral panic. Rapists and murderers exist within Australia’s population. If they have served their sentences, they are free to re-join society. But not if they are on a visa, or stateless.

That is the ridiculous position Dutton has put us in. Squawk loud enough, and Albanese and his government will break with judicial sense, and cave in to the populists.

And now police department heads are adding their voices to the squawking. Highly inappropriate, and again, led by a crass opportunist, looking to lead the disaffected and those who still cling to Australia’s outdated and embarrassing past mistakes, regarding immigration and race.

In breaking news, apparently even those detainees without criminal convictions will be fitted with ankle bracelets. You can’t be too careful.

The Attorney General appears to have no opinion. He must know the matter will end up in the High Court again, and yet he does not provide sensible counsel. So we will have a re-run of a High Court decision, and Dutton squawking again, and then another round of appeasement.

Do not think voting Morrison and his ilk out of office has saved us. We are still led by donkeys.


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  1. Douglas Pritchard

    Sadly we are seemingly joined at the hip with the crazies that insist on building walls.
    In our case its a blooming great moat.
    Quite different to Angela Merkel who tried to inspire the Germans to accept those is desperate need.
    This was her reading of the “free” western world after having lived behind the iron curtain during her formative years.
    It did not work out well for her.
    There is something in “our” inherited culture which verges on the inhuman.
    Is it just the crazies that extract the nasty side of our nature?

  2. GL

    Plainly and simply: Thugspud still, even after 18 months, can’t stand the idea that his power has been stripped from him (and to a certain extent) and the rest of most corrupt and vile government we have ever seen in power. Instead of accepting defeat he’s just doing what knows best, being a complete and utter bastard and doing everything in his very limited negative repertoire to try destroy Labor at every turn.

    “We are still led by donkeys.” That’s an insult to donkeys, the LNP are the political version of whipworms and whipworms.

  3. New England Cocky

    Sadly I think you are correct; ”We are still led by donkeys”.

    The Albanese LABOR government moves with glacial speed to insure editorial support from Murdoch Media Monopoly to continue in office beyond the next election. However, re-election requires votes from numerous electorates fast becoming disenchanted with unfair and un-egalitarian decisions, like pursuing whistle-blowers to protect corrupt COALition politicians, or negligent, uncaring or reckless military senior officers and Stage 3 tax rorts to further inflate the economy as persons having adequate income to spend and so further push up inflation. Thank you Scummo of the Secret Seven Ministries in the democratically elected dictatorship!!

    The more I see of these betrayals of pre-election promise the more I see my vote going to Independents or ….. greens????

  4. Kerri

    Many Australian police seriously regard themselves as judge and jury and why these public servants with limited legal knowledge are afforded the right to decide, sorry “advise” whether a charge should proceed to court is beyond me.
    Why not put each case to a popular vote?
    It would make as much sense.

  5. Max Gross

    “Squawk loud enough, and Albanese and his government will break with judicial sense, and cave in to the populists.” Yep!

  6. Clakka

    Old imperialist, sectarian politics at its finest: never let the chance to drum-up fear go by. This entire business has taken the form of a medieval farce.

    I haven’t read what the wallopers are having to say about all this, but nothing pernicious would surprise me, as occasional windbags, they can never let a chance go by to just wannabe part of any such action.

    The Attorney General is seeking to open up democracy with whistleblower protections, and by reviewing / repealing the panoply of 900-odd ad-hoc secrecy provisions and associated unnecessary criminalization, pumped mainly by the fear-mongering LNP. Most would be well aware of Dutton’s track record of migration and refugee brutality and divisiveness against minorities and non-white groups, and his penchant for detention or expulsion come what may.

    To see this government fall foul, and accede to Dutton and the msm’s alarmist claptrap is like watching a dark curtain being drawn across democracy. Just as the HIgh Court repeals its own prior incorrect decision on indefinite detention, we hear the squawk of Dutton and James Patterson – no surprise. Many, with hope, might see the end in sight for Oz’s cruel lawless and deliberately brutal panopticons. But to hear the bullhorn remarks of Home Affairs Minister, Clare O’Neil, mooting circumvention of the High Court, and in this matter an obliteration of the separation of powers in preference for brutal punitive powers resting in the hands of ministers of the Crown and influence by other politicians and the pumping, sensation driven media.

    The new legislation appears open to challenge. It seems to bring about re-crimanilzing those who have already done their time, it contains a minimum mandatory sentence, it seems to sweep all such former detainees into one basket where regardless their liberties are severely curtailed, and tosses out any notion of adherence to international law.

    As identified (in the Guardian) by Greg Barns (Australian Lawyers Alliance and for 9 years pro-bono lawyer for the free Assange campaign)

    “What’s being forgotten by politicians and much of the media is that these individuals have served their sentences, and in some cases, and in cases I’m aware of, they’ve been assessed by prison authorities and courts as being relatively low risk of re-offending,” he told Guardian Australia.

    “To equate them with persons convicted of terrorism offences and back in the community is absolutely absurd.”

    Barns acknowledged the serious nature of crimes committed by some of the cohort, including murder and child sex offences, but said Australians released from prison after such convictions rarely were subject to indefinite monitoring provisions.

    “That’s quite unremarkable. It’s how our system works,” he said. “There’s no suggestion or evidence [the released detainees] are high risk … there might be some who are, but there are ways of doing that for prisoners every day.” …. via case management.

  7. Keitha Granville

    From Dutton’s pov it’s working, he has risen in the polls. Let’s face it, that’s all they care about, how people PERCEIVE them to be. No thoughts about human rights, no thoughts about other asylum seekers who have been detained for years and years, no thoughts about anything that doesn’t feature in the 3 second memory news cycle. We get what we are paying for, paying A LOT for.

  8. Ian Joyner

    Dutton keeps up the entitled pretence of making out that Albanese is answerable to Dutton. Liberals lost the election and Albanese is PM, not Dutton.

  9. Andrew Smith

    Agree, but unfortunately Dutton et al are catering to a generation’s worth of anti-immigrant conditioning since the ascendancy of Howard, fossil fueled Koch ‘libertarian’ (or authoritarian?) think tanks, Tanton nativism and Murdoch led media (ditto US, UK and some parts EU).

    One can hardly be bothered anymore when in public domain of ‘white’ media and politics, we are surrounded by wall to wall post white Oz sentiments and imported white nativist agitprop of Tanton Network (too many ageing proponents inc. Labor links), that have been taken on board and are implicit in social narratives and developing migration, ‘border’ and social policies; nativist authoritarianism or eugenics.

    After the UN Rapporteur Albanese’s treatment at the NPC by our monocultural national or political media and her reaction afterwards, whether you agree or not, highlights general issue of Australians i.e. uninformed, ignorant, unable to ask ‘open’ questions or ‘unloaded’ and simply aggressive, applying local political media tactic of looking for a ‘gotcha’ moment which is now de rigeur?

    Maybe our obsessive competitive sporting culture trumps more meaningful and informed discourse via political activists masquerading as the media?

    The good news is that Dutton (media & Koch think tanks’ Voice No campaigns) in saving his leadership and QLD LNP, now has to be promoted to electorates in e.g. Melbourne and Sydney, good luck with that…

  10. Phil Pryor

    The trouble with polls is that they usually reflect reaction, response, ignorance, insolence, base drives, outbursts, intemperate defiance, utter contrived stupidity, deliberate propagandistic manipulation and any low motive well beneath the earth’s crust. Dutton, that wonder of worm caricature knows this, as reminded by a hidden cast of filth known as liberal party advisors. This world we here suspect as rotten is actually worse, because the money, push, controls, supremacist attitude and triumphal egorodpolishing selfsatisfaction is over us all, huge planet crushing weight, finality in a greed and onanistic CRUSH.

  11. andyfiftysix

    my guess is that labor have set the stage for another court challenge. This time, its all lib additions to the legislation…..so labor can say its lib policy that didnt work.

    Fuck me, if the people have done their time, surely we dont live in communist russia?

    Keitha Granville, i agree entirely.

    Oh how easily Dutton has turned to vilifying people when he senses a political point. Mark my words, he will be after us next….

    Watched the Insiders today (replay) and how its been described by the crew just made me want to turn off. A side show is the hit for the week. Oh how neutrality seems so much like walking bye without giving a fuck.

  12. Terence Mills

    We are now seeing a challenge in the High Court to the legislation rushed through our parliament to quell the noise coming from Dutton. This at a time when the ‘reasons’ for the initial High Court decision have yet to be published.

    This is crazy !

  13. wam

    good one Mark!
    “That is the ridiculous position Dutton has put us in”
    Dutton dribbles and Albo cops the saliva?
    NEC don’t react before reading the loonies blurb and then make your decision.

  14. leefe

    If the colour code is applied across the board – or, rather, all over the body – what are we to make of the Mad Monk’s red budgie smugglers?

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