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Morrison’s powers: nobody will know who he sends back to be killed

Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Scott Morrison, is the only minister who is not answerable to anyone for his decisions, with the exception of the decision to take us into war, which can be made by the Prime Minister alone.

New legislation passed this week gives Morrison unprecedented, unchallengeable and secret powers to determine the futures of those who come to Australia seeking sanctuary from homelands that are no longer hospitable to them. This includes the practice of refoulement, the ability to return asylum seekers to situations that are hostile and in some instances deadly without first determining if they are at risk, a practice that is inconsistent with international refugee law: Section 197 gives the government express permission to engage in refoulement irrespective of whether there has been an assessment of Australian obligations to that person.

Morrison is not required to determine in advance what risks an asylum seeker will face in being returned to the country they’ve fled, therefore, he has the power to send human beings to endure torture and death, and nobody will ever know he’s done it.

Within his area of responsibilities, Morrison is now a dictator. In the midst of a government determined to be as small a government as possible there is a department with a dictator at its head, whose control over some human beings is absolute.

In principle giving any politician, or any human being for that matter absolute power over anything, cannot be good. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Why is it necessary?

Of course, it isn’t necessary in any way other than the political. It serves the government’s purposes to cloak the fates of asylum seekers and refugees in secrecy. It doe not make our borders any more secure, it does not prevent us from being attacked by terrorists. What Morrison’s new dictatorship does do is fly in the face of the tenets of our liberal democracy, specifically its opposition to suspicion of concentrated forms of power, whether by individuals, groups or governments.

There is no reason why the people of this country should be kept in the dark about our government’s decisions as to the fate of asylum seekers and refugees, or any other decision our government takes, unless it is a matter of security. No matter how hard the Abbott government has worked to frame waterborne asylums seekers as a threat to our sovereign borders against which we are waging a war, they are not a threat and this is not a war.

The passing of the latest legislation finalises the relentless campaign conducted by both major parties to “stop the boats.” It has taken the matter of asylum seekers arriving by boat out of the public conversation. While this will come as relief to many politicians, the rest of us should be very afraid that in our treasured liberal democracy we have a minister who answers to nobody, and will conduct his nefarious business in absolute secrecy. This cannot be good for anyone.

First published on Jennifer’s blog: No Place for Sheep

 

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103 comments

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  1. babyjewels10

    We’ll get him for this at the next election. Share, share, share, is all I can say.

  2. Judes

    Goodbye to the Abbott dictatorship, and who would trust the ‘Christian’ hypocrites of the senate who voted this one in !

  3. mars08

    Am I hearing Shorten say that he will repeal this legislation and promise to treat asylum seekers fairly and compassionately?

    Hmmm… apparently not! Quelle surprise!

  4. Kaye Lee

    Oh for a politician with the courage to say hang on a minute, this is just wrong. Whatever happened to welcoming people who are in trouble and saying you are safe now?

    Putting any one man above the law or any form of scrutiny is not acceptable. I cannot believe they passed these laws. TPVs also mean that Morrison can return these people to their homeland any time HE decides it is safe. They can have no expectation of permanent resettlement, just a life of uncertainty and fear. He can kick people out any time he thinks they fail HIS idea of “good character”.

  5. Colin

    “For those who’ve come across the seas
    We’ve boundless plains to share”

    In Nauru, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia …

  6. Lee

    Unfortunately many Australians agree with Morrison. I can’t see this being one of the key issues of the next election. Even some of the people who were born overseas, or their parents were born overseas, don’t give a rat’s posterior about the welfare of asylum seekers and don’t want to see Australia overrun with foreigners.

  7. DanDark

    “This Christmas, Abbott and Morrison are no doubt celebrating their policy “success”. These two men – supposedly devout Christians – have used deliberate cruelty to harm innocent people, including hundreds of children, and have turned their backs on the lessons of the Holocaust. It is no cause for celebration.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/dec/08/the-argument-is-over-morrisons-amendments-show-he-has-no-genuine-concern-for-asylum-seekers

  8. Marie Sillars

    I have a friend whose son has been put into Villawood Maximum Security. He is a New Zealander been here since he was 7 and has no family or friends in NZ. All his family are here including his Partner and child and one on the way. He did a crime and paid for it, came out, got a full time job and a home, did everything he was asked to do the without warning was taken from his family and ragged away. So much for our New Zealand Cousins and Anzacs Mr Morrison you heartless creep. Hope your Christmas is happy because you are destroying this family’s Christmas!

  9. Kaye Lee

    Jana Favero, the director of the “community pillar” of the ASRC, when asked whose hearts and minds are hardest to change about asylum seekers, replied

    “Older males over 50, largely Anglo-Celtic. Then, second- and third-generation migrants, from the families that immigrated to Australia after World War Two.”

  10. JohnB

    From the ABC website;
    “Documents reveal details behind fatal delay to transferring ill asylum seeker off Manus:

    Documents obtained by the ABC reveal that no-one acted for more than 24 hours on a request to move a seriously ill asylum seeker from Manus Island for urgent treatment – and that medical staff at the detention centre did not have the antibiotics needed to save his life.
    When they did transfer Hamid Kehazaei to hospital in Port Moresby and then onto Brisbane, doctors pronounced him brain dead and turned off his life support. Medical records and internal documents written by International Health and Medical Services, the medical provider at the Manus Island detention centre, show the delay in getting the 24-year-old Iranian off the island to better care was because they were waiting for a visa to the PNG mainland.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-12-08/documents-reveal-details-behind-fatal-delay-to/5952906

    The minister is ultimately responsible for this delay – a man has died while in his inept care – he should resign, but I know he won’t.

    Remember when a minister importing a colour TV avoiding paying duty was a sacking offence?
    How times, values and morals have changed.

  11. nettythe1st

    My heart breaks for the refugees and asylum seekers. What happened to the compassionate country we once were? Now we are led by ‘Nazis’ portraying themselves as ‘Christians’. This is not a ‘lucky country’ if being lucky means becoming so selfish that we are unwilling to share our good fortune.

  12. Keitha Granville

    Someone somehow needs to track just one case of one person being returned to a country where they are murdered by the regime they fled and then it needs to be spread all over the world that it was done in the name of Australia. I too, sadly,
    believe that many people are on the side of the government about refugees :flooding ” our country – because they just don’t understand. They have been lied to, and believe it. They need to be re-educated. Can we only hope that the Labor Party will regain some of its heart and be the party that does it ?

  13. mars08

    From the original post…. “There is no reason why the people of this country should be kept in the dark about our government’s decisions as to the fate of asylum seekers and refugees, or any other decision our government takes…

    Rubbish!

    There is at least ONE very good reason for keeping the electorate in the dark!

    Far too many Australians jst DON”T WANT TO KNOW! They are happy for the govt and security firms to do the dirty work on their behalf… but they’d rather not hear the detail. Because… that perhaps, maybe, might possibly mess with their notion that they are good, decent, family-loving, generous people. It might clash with the myth of the Aussie fair go.

    Sort of the same thing as not wanting to dwell on the nasty things some of our military has been accused of.

    Cognitive dissonance is so unpleasant. And our leaders want to spare the voters from such irritating thoughts.

  14. stephentardrew

    I don’t care how long it takes put him on trial at the International Court for child abuse and torture, both physical, and psychological. This poor excuse for a human is a criminal. Now let’s see how many cruel thoughtless Australians would like to join him.

    Those who support this criminal are complicit in criminality.

    Evidence?

    It is there for all to see.

    This legislation is undemocratic and dictatorial.

    I am past being sad I want to get even.

  15. mars08

    Quite frankly… I’d want to see Chris Bowen and Morrison facing the same charges….

  16. stephentardrew

    Agreed Mars8.

  17. mars08

    stephentardrew:

    ….I am past being sad I want to get even.

    Yeh. After enduring the Howard years, Abbott’s relentless dummy-spit in opposition, and over a year of his loathsome government… my tolerance for LNP politicians, their feeble-minded supporters and the clueless media is precisely none.

  18. Salstarat

    Scott Morrison is a megalomaniacal psychopath! It is under his watch that TWO LEGAL asylum seekers have died: one murdered and the other dying from a treatable infection that deteriorated into critical septicaemia due to the callous indifference of the unconscionable attack dogs in his employ! Morrison is a pure sociopath whose savagery and staggering inhumanity has brought worldwide scorn and condemnation to our shores! Morrison is a soulless, heartless and hollow tyrant who wears his frothing-at-the-mouth hatred and xenophobic racism like a banner. He is, beyond doubt, the most internationally hated and despised individual in a morally bankrupt LNP cabinet that is overflowing with misanthropic sociopaths who rule by division, ramped up terror campaigns that foster hatred and instil fear. Morrison is a slithering, uneducated red neck who is the Poster Boy for racist BOGANS who revel in xenophobic hatred and shameless bigotry. Morrison is Australia’s answer to the KKK’s Grand Wizard – overflowing with irrational loathing for anyone or anything that doesn’t fit his very narrow view of the world!

    Watching Morrison’s toxic rants and barely controlled rage, there are justifiable fears as to Morrison’s sanity (even among his own peers) as we watch Morrison sinking into a vortex of hysterical paranoia and indefensible justification of his shocking depravity and barbaric inhumanity. Worldwide attention is being drawn to what can only be described as Morrison’s off-shore fascist concentration camps where an “out of sight, out of mind” callous indifference, torture and brutal lack of care is shown to vulnerable, defenceless asylum seekers and their innocent children! It is unspeakable! What is even WORSE, is that Morrison desperately tries to justify his malignant, soul destroying inhumanity under a thin veil of bible bashing, sanctimonious hypocrisy that is absolutely nauseating to watch!

    The disgraceful LYING mantra “”STOP THE BOATS”” is despicable especially as it is completely untrue. The fact is this, you will NEVER stop desperate people trying to flee the terror and persecution of their own lands to seek a better life in Australia. We are DUTY BOUND to assist these people by offering them safe sanctuary whilst their claims are being processed. Sending back Hindu Tamils to be tortured and killed back in Sri Lanka is CRIMINAL and if there is any justice, Abbott and Morrison should BOTH face charges against humanity at The International Court of Justice in The Hague! Now we hear that Morrison is now sending the continuing numbers of asylum seekers to Cambodia to be placed under the brutal care of Hun Sen who was a senior military leader in the genocidal murderous regime of Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge! Just IMAGINE what inhumane terror awaits vulnerable asylum seekers under Hun Sen’s dictatorship! Scott Morrison’s delegated brutality is costing Australian taxpayers ongoing BILLIONS …. enough funds to feed and clothe a small African nation or provide our children with FREE UNIVERSITY tuition for decades! The money this dumbed down government are giving to Hun Sen for his dubious care of asylum seekers will remain firmly in the corrupt Hun Sen’s pocket!

    Hatred, terror and brutality is what motivates Morrison and pervades the ranks of the LNP! Scott Morrison is a LUNATIC and the LNP are the most internationally reviled and condemned government in Australia’s history … for good reason! Playing GOD suits Morrison’s megalomaniacal ego down to the ground. Now that Morrison has TOTAL CONTROL over the lives of these vulnerable asylum seekers, one shudders at the chilling possibilities this unspeakable sadist will wrought on their lives and the lives of their children.

    We MUST, absolutely MUST remove them at the next election. The LNP have achieved NOTHING except the destruction of our environment, the ruination of our international reputation as a once kind, welcoming and progressive country. They are dismantling our democracy, muzzling our free speech and are determined to bring in the neoliberal Oligarchical agenda of Murdoch’s IPA … selling off all our assets, penny pinching from the poor to feed the endless rapacity of the super rich, tearing apart our world renowned health system and turning our education system into the FAILED elitist US model that ensures only the children of the rich are educated and the children of the poor are NOT! Abbott is a British born elitist who, like the repugnant Menzies, despises everything about Australia especially our sense of fair play and egalitarianism!

  19. Garth

    I’ve been wondering if it’s constitutionally valid for the parliament to pass laws that remove judicial oversight from their actions (??) I would assume there are some constitutional lawyers looking closely at this. At least, I certainly hope so (and I hope there is something they can do about it).

  20. Lee

    “Yeh. After enduring the Howard years, Abbott’s relentless dummy-spit in opposition, and over a year of his loathsome government… my tolerance for LNP politicians, their feeble-minded supporters and the clueless media is precisely none.”

    It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who feels this way. I can’t recall ever feeling so angry at a government for its incompetence and blatant inhumanity as I do at this one.

  21. Kaye Lee

    Keitha,

    There have been many refugees killed after we have returned them.

    “Refugee advocates say at least nine asylum seekers returned to Sri Lanka by the Howard government were killed and those sent back in past year have been held in police custody and some assaulted.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2010-05-19/returned-asylum-seekers-killed-jailed-advocate/832342

    THE Immigration Minister, Chris Evans, has demanded answers to allegations up to 20 Afghan asylum seekers rejected by Australia under the Howard government’s so-called Pacific solution were killed after returning to Afghanistan, and others remain in hiding from the Taliban.

    Of the other Afghans who returned home, many are hiding in Pakistan, or are forced to move between Pakistan and Afghanistan to evade the Taliban. They include a man whose two daughters were killed in a Taliban attack on his family’s home near Kabul, after his asylum claim was rejected by Australia in 2002.

    http://www.safecom.org.au/well-founded-fear.htm

  22. Kaye Lee

    My question is why anybody would WANT the sole responsibility for making these decisions which could cost people their lives. Morrison is effectively saying that he is omniscient and omnipotent. He knows better than the courts, better than the UNHCR and Amnesty International and the Red Cross, and he, on his own, will now override all the experts because he could never be wrong. The arrogance is unbelievable. Morrison and Brandis are working very hard to make us into a totalitarian state.

  23. mars08

    Of course the real tragedy is that a young cricketer died doing something he loved. Quite a heart-rending tale. And we, as a nation, should never forget it.

  24. Kaye Lee

    The Migration and Maritime Powers Bill is a truly appalling piece of legislation. Its repugnance is surpassed only by the tactics used to secure its passage. The fact they worked reveals that we’ve lost all sense of principle and perspective in the asylum seeker policy debate.

    The Bill was roundly condemned as an attack on human rights and the rule of law – an unprecedented power grab. The Labor Party, the Greens and the Independent cross-bench Senators all opposed the Bill. The United Nations Committee Against Torture condemned it.

    A Senate inquiry into its implications received over 5000 submissions. Only one was supportive – from Morrison’s own department.

    http://hrlc.org.au/decency-to-one-group-of-refugees-shouldnt-be-contigent-on-licensing-scott-morrison-to-brutalise-others/

    What kind of democracy ignores 4999 submissions to implement their own political point-scoring at the expense of people’s lives. What kind of man uses children as a hostage to get his own way. This is despicable.

  25. mars08

    Kaye Lee:

    My question is why anybody would WANT the sole responsibility for making these decisions which could cost people their lives…

    Wouldn’t be anything to worry about if:

    a. You thought you were doing a crucial job to ensure the survival of the nation.
    b. You believed there would be no repercussions (to you).
    c. You were convinced that the public wanted it done.
    d. You are a sociopath.

  26. Loz

    I too hope that some lawyers are looking into this despicable act As one of the commentators noted why would one person want to have complete control. This would be too much for any person with a conscience. Morrison is a dangerous man.

  27. Judes

    Salstarat … You have my 1000+ up votes !
    And the crying shame is that your very well written post won’t be read by the wider public, other ‘news media’ would moderate it out… as it is too close to the ABSOLUTE TRUTH !

  28. linda

    Salstarat…Your comment moved me to tears, I have this rage building internally over Morrisons treatment of these poor souls, how anyone could be granted so much power over these so called “illegal” refugees is utterly frightening and bordering on criminal insanity. Please never ever forget these so called Christians, we must get rid of them as quickly possible.

  29. mars08

    “”You see,” my colleague went on, “one doesn’t see exactly where or how to move. Believe me, this is true. Each act, each occasion, is worse than the last, but only a little worse. You wait for the next and the next. You wait for one great shocking occasion, thinking that others, when such a shock comes, will join with you in resisting somehow…”

  30. Salstarat

    Thank you Judes and linda … It really is a comfort knowing that there are caring, compassionate people out there like you. Actually, there are a LOT of caring people out there and that is why I remain optimistic. I am absolutely hoping that this malignant pack of hyenas in the LNP will be tossed out at the next election. There is a growing rage out there against this government … it is tangible! The technical dinosaurs in this regressive coal-driven sociopathic government don’t realise it, but SOCIAL NETWORK and SOCIAL MEDIA are justifiably CRUCIFYING them. There is now a TSUNAMI of hatred out there for Abbott, Hockey, Brandis, Cormann and Morrison that is getting stronger as each day passes. I’ve never seen such rage against a sitting government (well, not since poor Julia Gillard was made the subject of the biggest hate campaign in our history and subjected to an ongoing campaign of despicable vilification and brutal, never ending misogynistic attacks and innuendo by this nauseating government). However, the anti-government feeling for this current LNP (Losers, Narcissists and Psychopaths) is unsurpassed! This mob have gone down as low as they can possibly go in the unconscionable game of political Limbo … their inexorable demise will bring ecstatic joy throughout Australia and around the world!

  31. Kaye Lee

    Morrison is in breach of the Declaration of Human Rights which states

    • Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law.
    • Everyone has the right to an effective remedy by the competent national tribunals for acts violating the fundamental rights granted him by the constitution or by law.
    • Everyone is entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing by an independent and impartial tribunal, in the determination of his rights and obligations and of any criminal charge against him.
    • Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.
    • No one shall be subjected to arbitrary arrest, detention or exile.

    Morrison’s tactics quite literally made 100 children the hostages of his political agenda, even though he could have released them any time he wanted to (or more likely, have been directed to do so by the High Court). Their rights and liberty in no way hinged on a principled assessment of the necessity for their detention. Their freedom didn’t depend on any assessment of their wellbeing or of the harm being caused by their incarceration. Their futures had absolutely nothing to do with any consideration of their human rights.

    Their fate hinged entirely on the Senate paying Morrison’s asking price – the passage of his Migration Bill which expanded his personal powers, marginalised international law and sidelined the courts.

  32. helvityni

    Morrison’s inner ugliness is distorting his perfectly ordinary features to resemble a monster; these days I can hardly look at his pictures…

  33. mars08

    Salstarat:
    There is a growing rage out there against this government … it is tangible!

    Is doubt that will have any impact when it comes to asylum seeker policy.

    I don’t think the government is totally blind. They are well aware that… overall … the polls are running against them. But they also know that the “stop the boats” slogan was a hit. They are relying on the xenophobe, bigot and bogan vote to help them over the line in the swinging seats. The progressive vote isn’t an issue.

  34. helvityni

    mars08, sadly there are too many of those xenophobic bogans in Oz, and that’s why I am afraid that Labor will not treat the asylum seekers much better either…sigh.

  35. stephentardrew

    I tend to agree Mars8 and helvitni however we must not give in for there will come a time when this whole debacle is exposed for what it is and there are going to be some very ashamed Australians.

  36. Salstarat

    I think the ABC and/or SBS need to repeat the television documentaries they had shown about the resettlement of Afghani refugees and the heart warming friendship these refugees developed with some older country women. The asylum seekers must be HUMANISED and their plight shown on television and their stories told! At the moment, the heartless vilification and dehumanisation of these poor people at the hands of Murderson and the hysterically racist Abbott regime is sickening and panders to the worst, most debased BOGANS (many of them from Queensland and WA)! Australia is in a VERY BAD PLACE right now and is a country that, thanks to Abbortt, is despised and reviled internationally. We cannot hope to regain what remains of the vestiges of our self respect and national morale until we get RID of this hateful government and undo their criminal, pathological inhumanity!

  37. Lee

    Interesting. I can find this article in a Google search and there is no date on it. If I go directly to the website and look under News and Media it isn’t there.

    http://unhcr.org.au/unhcr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=299:new-qexcisionq-law-does-not-relieve-australia-of-its-responsibilities-towards-asylum-seekers-unhcr&catid=35:news-a-media&Itemid=63

    “The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) on Wednesday reiterated its concerns about the treatment of asylum-seekers arriving by sea to Australia.

    According to new legislation, all asylum-seekers arriving by boat anywhere in Australia are now subject to transfer to Nauru or Papua New Guinea for processing and will only have their claims for refugee status assessed in Australia if the Minister for Immigration and Citizenship makes a personal decision to allow them to, on the basis of it being in the public interest to do so.

    UNHCR’s longstanding view is that under international law any excision of territory does not relieve Australia of its responsibilities to asylum-seekers.”

    What happens now? How long does it take before someone comes to drag Abbott and Morrison off to The Hague in chains?

  38. Lee

    Ah thanks Mars. That’s very useful. 🙂

    Well we have:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-12/un-report-on-manus-island/4816900

    Manus Island: United Nations still critical of processing centre
    Updated 12 Jul 2013, 8:14pmFri 12 Jul 2013, 8:14pm

    “The United Nations refugee agency has again criticised Australia’s asylum seeker processing centre on Manus Island.

    In its second report on Manus Island, the UN High Commission for Refugees says even though conditions have improved, the facility still does not meet the required international protection standards.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-09-08/australia-rejects-un-bosss-asylum-seeker-criticisms/5728918

    New UN human rights chief criticises Australia’s asylum seeker policy, Scott Morrison rejects allegations
    Updated 9 Sep 2014, 6:57amTue 9 Sep 2014, 6:57am

    “A senior United Nations official has criticised Australia’s asylum seeker policy, saying it has lead to a “chain of human rights violations”.

    The incoming UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Jordan’s Zeid Ra’ad al Hussein, singled out human rights violations in Syria, Iraq and Gaza in his first speech to the UN Human Rights Council in Switzerland.

    But he also went out of his way to criticise Australian policies of offshore processing and turning back the boats.

    “Australia’s policy of offshore processing for asylum seekers arriving by sea, and its interception and turning back of vessels, is leading to a chain of human rights violations, including arbitrary detention and possible torture following return to home countries,” he said.”

    http://www.skynews.com.au/news/top-stories/2014/11/29/un-slams-australia-s-asylum-seeker-treatment.html

    UN slams Australia’s asylum seeker treatment
    Published: 5:41 am, Saturday, 29 November 2014

    “A United Nations committee has slammed Australia’s treatment of asylum seekers, warning harsh conditions in its offshore detention centres are causing serious physical and mental suffering.

    The UN Committee on Torture also believes the policy of turning back asylum seeker boats raises the risk that some people could be returned to a place of persecution.

    In a report released in Geneva early Saturday Australian time, the committee’s recommendations included that Australia to end mandatory detention and to adopt policies ensuring all asylum seekers had their claims properly and promptly assessed.

    The UN committee earlier this month reviewed Australia’s record as a signatory to the Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment.”

    Talk is cheap. It’s time for action.

  39. Lee

    “Of course the real tragedy is that a young cricketer died doing something he loved. Quite a heart-rending tale. And we, as a nation, should never forget it.”

    Let’s acknowledge too the outpouring of anger on social media because someone left an old cricket bat of great sentimental value outside their front fence as a tribute to the recently deceased cricketer and some heartless bastard nicked it.

  40. mars08

    @Lee… it’s unstraaayn i tells ya!

  41. Kerri

    From day one I have compared Morriscum to Hitler. A comparison used too often you may say but the similarities are frightwning. He grows more cruel by the day. If I lived in Morrissum’s electorate I would attend his church every Sunday and sit as close as possible to his family and stare at them. Then follow them outside and keep staring until they leave. His paranoia needs to be exploited!

  42. Lee

    “If I lived in Morrissum’s electorate I would attend his church every Sunday and sit as close as possible to his family and stare at them. Then follow them outside and keep staring until they leave. His paranoia needs to be exploited!”

    No…. sit next to them and pray in a loud voice that God would give them compassion for asylum seekers and others less fortunate than themselves.

  43. DanDark

    They have cancelled the State memorial for Phil Hughes, I think that was a good move, it was just going to draw the whole terrible accident and grief out, it was in consultation with the family and I think it is best for the country,
    learn from it and move on Australia, but he is sort of being used as the martyr of the game now,
    63 seconds of applause fair enuff but the rest is overkill now, but the news outlets need something to pump out 24/7
    And the real issues are ignored by them as we know…

  44. mars08

    Kerri:

    From day one I have compared Morriscum to Hitler. A comparison used too often you may say but the similarities are frightwning…

    The “banality of evil” is a term coined by Hannah Arendt in describing SS Obersturmbahnführer Adolf Eichmann.

    People who commit evil acts are rarely the cartoonish, cackling, wild-eyed, moustache twirling, bloodthirsty villains of Hollywood movies… mostly they are uninteresting, ordinary people who have accepted (and promote) the principles of a harmful and inhumane ideology without question… and have convinced themselves that they are the chosen agent of something great and entirely essential.

    Sometimes they are church-going, well-groomed, well-educated, middle-aged men in suits.

  45. stephentardrew

    Posted Elsewhere but reflects my feelings on the issue:

    A democracy of one is a dictatorship.

    Brandis and Morrison’s propensity for rewriting the law for their political interests rather that the public good is verging on fascist.

    I would hope to see Morrison face the International Court in years to come as his criminality is exposed for what it is.

    It is irrelevant if a majority of people are complicit or not child abuse and torture are illegal internationally. Sending refugees back to their death is immoral and numbers of supporters is irrelevant when the ethics and international law are precise and clear on these issues.

    My fellow Australians are not showing their democratic choice they are showing complicit ignorance in criminality and there can be no justification for such cruelty, barbarity and brutality.

    For those in this government and the general public who claim to be Christians it’s time to get out of your church.

    My ethically challenged fellow citizens abuse and torture is abuse and torture and deflecting from your moral responsibility is cowardice.

  46. Erotic Moustache

    There is only one more step left for Morrison, and that is to stand up in Parliament and start speaking in tongues. Gotta wonder just how many people would notice or care.

    Plus, if the bloke isn’t scary enough already, if there is a ministerial reshuffle next year, can you imagine him in any “domestic” portfolio? It’s too terrifying to contemplate.

  47. Tomsson

    Cry, the beloved country.

  48. John Kelly

    One day, in the distant future, Scott Morrison will be called to account for his actions. It won’t be pretty.

  49. Salstarat

    John, in the name of JUSTICE that day cannot come soon enough!

  50. mars08

    Do you all accept that Chris Bowen should get the same treatment?

  51. Annie B

    To Jennifer Wilson …….. a well written article. ….. but one that sent shivers down my spine, and no doubt of all commenters on here.

    Like others here, I sincerely hope that constitutional lawyers are digging deep on this one. …. there must be someone in the legal profession who knows the implications of these heinous acts, and the exact procedures to bring this latest indescribable offense, to justice.

    There is already a petition ( maybe several now ) being started up on the Internet about the thing that calls itself ” Minister for Immigration” and it’s vile methods regarding asylum seekers. …….. One them invites the signee, to address an email to the scumbag himself ( doubt he’d ever see them – BUT someone would in the LNP ) … and I took advantage of that. ….

    No harm in starting another on-line petition.

    They DO get the message out.

    Can’t think of anything further to add at this time ….. except that as an Australian I feel violated on behalf of all regufees, and I feel positively sick to my stomach about it all. ……. Don’t we all.

  52. Erotic Moustache

    Mars08,

    I don’t think I accept “the same” treatment, exactly, but certainly something approaching it. Morrison’s moral crimes now outstrip those of Bowen in my estimation, but I utterly concur with the overall sentiment.

  53. Lee

    “Do you all accept that Chris Bowen should get the same treatment?”

    I agree with EM – similar treatment but he hasn’t been quite as bad as Morrison.

  54. mars08

    Brandis, Pyne, Bishop, Morrison, Andrews, Abbott… and Bowen… are all grade-A scumbags.

    They are also the product of our society, our culture and our form of government. They rose through the power structure and were elected by the people. They didn’t just drop to Earth, fully formed, like gods from Olympus.

    How is dragging any of them to the Hague going to change that unpleasant truth?

    BTW… if Bush and Blair have managed to avoid prosecution, I don’t think Morrison has much to worry about.

  55. John Kelly

    I would expect that when in government, Labor will discontinue TPV’s and those currently holding them will be granted residency.

  56. Christine Farmer

    Morrison has perpetrated an outrageous piece of emotional blackmail; after all, who is going to say “no, you mustn’t let those children out of detention.” He has given himself the capacity to do far worse to whomever he pleases. The breathtaking hypocrisy of “look, we’ve stopped people drowning because we’ve stopped the boats” while condemning asylum seekers to appalling fates doesn’t seem to be commented on. And as for the temerity of calling ourselves a Christian country – how can we?

    We are like the frog in the saucepan of cold water which is slowly being heated – so many appalling things are being done all around us that we have to strive continually to reassure ourselves that this is not how things should be, this is not normal, this is not acceptable. This is not what we expect of and for our country.

  57. Annie B

    Glad Nick Xenophon came out and said what he did. Makes a tad more sense ( even though it is STILL a vile concept …. ) …. and it was most probably necessary – or .. the LESSER of two evils. ….. At least something is being done to relieve the suffering of these people, even though it was done by a gun held to the head of independents in the Senate.

    Which still leaves the question ………. what kind of a creep or creature would dream up these heinous methods of detention in the first place – and then pursue his evil measures, by ‘threat’ or if you like, – a ” trade agreement” , using human beings as the offer of sale..

    Abbot himself called it a ‘trade-up’ agreement ???? whatever the hell THAT might mean ?

    Xenophon and Muir will be haunted for years over this lot, but it is not really their fault. As Rick Muir said – and well he should have said it :

    ” he wouldn’t wish ( the decision he had to make ) on his worst enemies “. ” the choice between a bad option and a worse option “.

    A despicable Government, with despicable ministers – that MUST be dealt with, sooner than later.

  58. Kaye Lee

    Xenephon’s excuse for making Scott Morrison omnipotent

    “Tony Abbott could very well be leading a one-term government.

    If he is, Labor and the Greens will be able to put their plan into effect after the next election. I will be happy to work with them if I am still in Parliament.

    But for now, this was the best we could get out of this Government. I wish it went a lot further and said so in the Senate.

    I knew I would get blowback for voting for this Bill.

    I don’t care, because the one thing worse than voting for the Bill was letting thousands continue to suffer, and hundreds drown, so that I could claim some false moral superiority.”

    Could I suggest that making Morrison omnipotent will cause enormous suffering, heartache, grief and uncertainty for many more people than the few hundred you just “helped”. You were wrong Xenephon. You didn’t fight hard enough for refugees. Morrison could have been forced to release these people if we still had a right to take it to the high court. You took that right away from refugees and us. Your excuses are just that – excuses.

  59. Annie B

    No one can ‘make’ Scott Morrison omnipotent !!

    He has made HIMSELF that by his actions ( or non-actions ) ably supported by the PM and the rest of that rabble Cabinet.

    I guess that by the mere fact that ‘ we ‘ ( Australian voters – not me – not anyone here ) voted this monstrous Government into power – then we have to take some ( or most ) of the blame.

    But we cannot make one man what he is. ……… He IS what he is. ….. A monster. …… Another Hitler ( only worse if that is possible ).

    Xenophon ( and Muir ) – right or wrong ? ……

    I have tried to place myself in their shoes, and cannot come up with an answer. … That doesn’t make me or them or any of us ‘weak’ or lame with excuses…… Just human …… for the sake of humanity.

    ……..

    Kaye said ….. ” Morrison could have been forced to release these people if we still had a right to take it to the high court.” ….

    IF … we still had a right to take it to the high court. ,,,,,,Why was that not done, if the ‘right’ to do it, was available. ??

    Perhaps it was not done, because of threat – which this reprehensible Government, is MORE than capable of doing. …..

    It has proved that unequivocally over the past 15 months.

  60. corvus boreus

    It seems power negotiations conducted in order for politicians to sidestep common conventions of human decency, using the liberty and well-being of innocent juveniles as currency, is our new benchmark for political skullduggery.

    I do not personally think there is much chance of Scotty Morrison taking on any different cabinet position, other than that of defense minister. I believe the only only way he has insulated himself from more widespread public pillory and sanction for the methods he has employed is that he has been operating in a haze of quasi-military secrecy, offshore, against non-citizens.

    There seems to be a prevalent/existing public attitude of apathy(and often antipathy) towards the treatment of people arriving by unscheduled boat without legal documentation, as would have been witnessed by most here with broad social interaction(“they orta just gun em down at sea” is one gem I have heard).
    Maritime asylum seekers are mostly of differing ethnicity(and religion), from the ‘average’ strayan, and they do not yet share our nationality (neutralizing any possibility of default loyalty based upon shared citizen-ship).
    Current restrictions mean they do not normally even receive any media coverage, so there is no personalisation of these humans in the eyes of those who view them as derogatory abstracts(‘illegal queue jumpers’).
    The brutalities enacted upon these people are initially conducted by our military, who are sidelined from society and sworn to secrecy, then passed to private contractors who bound by clauses of confidentiality. To the strayan punter, it is all just “off-shore matters”.

    The same criteria do not apply to most ministerial portfolios, and Mr Morrison would not be able to utilise the spooky, creepy methods he has employed ‘offshore’ in a domestic(on-shore) context. Decisions affecting citizenry, outside of operational secrecy, require a greater level of explanation/justification, of which the current minister for immigration has shown no sign.

  61. Kaye Lee

    Annie…

    They made Morrison omnipotent by passing this legislation. that is the whole point. he now can make decisions off his own bat with no right of appeal and no court action can be taken against him. Even people who are already citizens can have their citizenship revoked if Morrison decides they don’t pass the good character test, just like Andrews tried to do when he was Immigration Minister to Dr Haneef until the court overruled him.

    And you may be unaware that there have been many cases in the high court – Morrison just ignored them and changed the law.

    June 2014: High Court rules against Scott Morrison’s refugee protection visa cap

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/high-court-rules-against-scott-morrisons-refugee-protection-visa-cap-20140620-3ajpx.html

    July 2014: High Court challenge possible as Scott Morrison flags test for permanent protection applications

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-07-03/high-court-challenge-possible-over-protection-visas/5570696

    September 2014: High court overrules Morrison on bid to stop permanent residency

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/immigration/high-court-overrules-morrison-on-bid-to-stop-permanent-residency/story-fn9hm1gu-1227055084685?nk=e647885b34f36c365009e5cd365803e2

    October 2014: Scott Morrison ignored departmental advice on visas for boat arrivals. Immigration minister took no notice when told refusing permanent visas for refugees was illegal

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2014/oct/27/scott-morrison-ignored-department-advice-on-visas-for-boat-arrivals

  62. Lee

    “Could I suggest that making Morrison omnipotent will cause enormous suffering, heartache, grief and uncertainty for many more people than the few hundred you just “helped”. You were wrong Xenephon. You didn’t fight hard enough for refugees. Morrison could have been forced to release these people if we still had a right to take it to the high court. You took that right away from refugees and us. Your excuses are just that – excuses.”

    Agreed Kaye. I also wonder why on earth the independents believed the promises of the government when they’ve proven that they’re nothing but compulsive liars?

  63. Annie B

    To Corvus Boreus — .

    Well said …. and hear, hear.

    Have heard myself, a couple of atrocious opinions about ‘boat people’ ……. ( your example the worst ) …. and I do not argue, or dignify their remarks with reply . …. Just turn my back on the speaker and walk away. ….. that has more effect, than my screeching invective at the perpetrator of such views. ( or so I have found ).

    Please God ( or whoever is in charge up there – wherever ) …….. FORBID, Morrison EVER getting any other portfolio.

    Defence Minister ? …… my flesh crawls at the thought.

    ……….

    Of particular note …… ” so there is no personalisation of these humans in the eyes of those who view them as derogatory abstracts”

    You are right – – – – there isn’t. ….. the refugess don’t yet ‘bleed’ enough for the MSM to take much notice.

    As for the military and anyone who has to sign the ” Official Secrecy Acknowledgement ” – as it is known – after signing ……. can say nothing, do nothing, and are hog-tied and mouth-bound – at the Governments pleasure ( any Government in power that is ). …. So any whistle blower from those areas, would be shot to ribbons in courts of law.

    Not too many options left – but there MUST be something that can be done. ….. and if there is, it’s for sure it will be found.

  64. Kaye Lee

    Andrew Wilkie tried

    Federal independent MP Andrew Wilkie wants the International Criminal Court (ICC) to investigate whether the Abbott Government has committed crimes against asylum seekers.

    Mr Wilkie has formally asked the ICC prosecuting authority to investigate whether the treatment of asylum seekers contravenes international conventions.

    He has named Prime Minister Tony Abbott and each member of the federal Cabinet.

    Mr Wilkie said the Government’s actions were criminal and the ICC had jurisdiction to investigate.

  65. Kaye Lee

    Navy angry Scott Morrison is acting like their Defence Minister.

    THE blurred lines between civilian and military authority during border protection operations will become even more fuzzy next week when Immigration Minister Scott Morrison tours northern military bases.

    In an unprecedented move Scott Morrison is due to visit the navy’s patrol boat base at HMAS Coonawarra in Darwin and the RAAF base at Tindal near Katherine with junior defence minister Stuart Robert.

    News Corp Australia understands that some senior military officers are unhappy that the Immigration Minister will use defence facilities, personnel and equipment for photo opportunities.

    No Immigration Minister has made such a visit to military bases before.

    “We are beginning to wonder who the defence minister really is?” a source said.

    Leading strategic thinker and head of the ANU’s Strategic and Defence Studies Centre, Professor Hugh White, said the government’s use of the military for Operation Sovereign Borders was the greatest blurring of the lines between military and civil functions that he had ever seen.

    “Having it run by the military but in the Immigration portfolio is unprecedented and it is worth thinking about what that could mean for the Defence Force in the future,” Professor White said.

    “There must be clear and unambiguous separation between civil and military functions but they are badly blurred here.”

    http://www.news.com.au/national/navy-angry-scott-morrison-is-acting-like-their-defence-minister/story-fncynjr2-1226827599415

  66. Annie B

    OMNIPOTENT =

    ” (of a deity) having unlimited power.

    “God is described as omnipotent and benevolent”

    synonyms: all-powerful, almighty, supreme, most high, pre-eminent; dictatorial, despotic, totalitarian, autocratic, autarchic; invincible, unconquerable. ”

    I do not believe ( with all due respect ) that this ‘ thing ‘ masquerading as a Minister for Immigration & Border Protection, in this country ……

    is UNCONQUERABLE. ………. He is self-appointed supreme, dictatorial, & despotic …… but is NOT invincible.

    No BLOODY way.

    We must NOT think to acknowledge him in any such way.

    From this explanation of the word — in the case of Morrison ….. the words ‘ omnipotent and benevolent ‘ is the worst of oxymorons.

  67. Kaye Lee

    Scott Morrison is a very determined ambitious man.

    A REPORT in the Australian Financial Review suggests Mr Morrison is trying to absorb biosecurity into his portfolio, creating tensions with Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, who currently oversees the area.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/latest-news/shorten-wary-of-morrison-land-grab/story-fn3dxiwe-1227098172095

    TENSIONS in cabinet have spilt over, sparking the queen of foreign policy to slap down the pushy baron of border protection.

    Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has killed off speculation that a homeland security super ministry would be created, a move that is aimed directly at ambitious Immigration Minister Scott Morrison.

    The proposal would have seen customs, Federal Police and intelligence services and other agencies brought under a single command.

    http://www.news.com.au/national/julie-bishop-kills-off-speculation-of-a-homeland-security-super-ministry-in-slap-down-to-scott-morrison/story-fncynjr2-1227076021790

  68. Kaye Lee

    Annie…I am not sure what you don’t understand. He HAS just been given unlimited power with the legislation that was just passed. I know what omnipotent means and now you do too. Do you understand the legislation that was just passed? He changed the law to make himself OMNIPOTENT in these decisions.

    The Bill removed any obligation on the Government to comply with international law when conducting boat turn-backs. It retrospectively classified babies born in Australian hospitals as boat arrivals. It abolished appeal rights in asylum seekers cases, removed all references to the Refugee Convention from Australian law and licensed the Government to deport asylum seekers from Australia without needing to first assess their refugee claims.

  69. Kaye Lee

    ◾Boatloads of asylum seekers can now be turned around and left in the middle of the ocean. We don’t even have to make sure they are within sailing distance of land. The Bill simply says that we can drag the boats to a “geographic location” and leave them there. Considering that most of these boats are barely seaworthy, some will sink and people will drown. You and I will never know about it unless someone from within the Navy turns whistleblower. Innocent human beings will sink silently to the ocean floor.

    ◾ We can now return people to the countries they have fled, even if that means they will be tortured, raped or killed. This is because the legislation allows for a ‘Fast Track’ process. This means there is no longer a meaningful assessment of an asylum seeker’s claim. Instead, there will be a cursory decision based on as little information as possible. The asylum seeker will have no right to challenge the decision and no right to provide further evidence that they are in real danger.

    ◾Even if the asylum seeker did manage to pass such a ridiculous and unfair process, Morrison can deny their claim and keep his reasoning for doing so secret. Morrison now has complete authority to return people to face their deaths and the Australian courts can’t stop him. If you think Morrison wouldn’t do something so callous, think again. This is a man who oversaw conditions in a detention camp that led to a man dying from a cut in his foot.

    ◾The legislation now makes it possible for twenty-five babies born on Australian soil to be sent to Nauru. While the senators are claiming they’ve “saved” children, they have sentenced 25 babies to hell and there are still another 167 children in detention who will not be released under the deal.

    http://thehoopla.com.au/xenophon-x-forever/

  70. Annie B

    Kaye …..

    I have read all your links. …… and your comments. …. Thank you for them. …. Our comments become out of sync. … it happens as people post.

    How long does ‘ it ‘ ( I refuse to speak of him in human terms ) think it can get away with thumbing its nose at court sanctions ?

    A horrid thought comes to mind that the judicial system is 100% +++ now dystunctional, IF they don’t follow up his ignoring of their rulings.

    Now THAT is terrifying. ……. but as we know, the wheels of court procedures and proceedings grind exceedingly slow.

    The ‘photo-ops’ …….. ” No Immigration Minister has made such a visit to military bases before. ” …. are designed to wield further ( he thinks ) supreme power and almighty command. …. and the Navy are rightly disgusted, angry and alarmed at such intrusion.

    It’s time someone shoved Rudyard Kiplings poem ” Gunga Din” down his filthy throat.

    ( not that it would do much good – – – – at this stage ).

    …………

    In trying to be a bit positive ……… This creature WILL get what’s coming to him – in shovels full.

  71. stephentardrew

    Kaye I agree wholeheartedly.

  72. Annie B

    Kaye …… answering your question ( on December 9, 2014 at 10:12 pm )

    …………

    Actually I understand a lot more than some give me credit for. …… But that is entirely beside the point.

    Going back quite aways in these comments, I made the observation that …. ” no one can ‘ make ‘ Scott Morrison omnipotent. ….He has made HIMSELF that by his actions ( or non-actions ) ably supported by the PM and the rest of that rabble Cabinet. ”

    So – WE IN FACT AGREE ( don’t faint ) . ,,,, Because you went on to say in a later post ” He changed the law to make himself OMNIPOTENT in these decisions. ” …. which is pretty much what I had said.

    ( and I have ALWAYS known what the word meant – just wanted a few more synonyms to make the point. 🙂

    ………..

    And yes, I most certainly DO understand the legislation – ……..

    I TOTALLY understand that he has been given ‘unlimited power’ to do a great many things that no one person – anywhere – should have the power to do, by the passing of that legislation two days ago.

    Wondering now what the UNHCR will do, if anything at all. …… They have been reviewing the Bill as it has passed through it’s various stages, amendments etc. ……. http://unhcr.org.au/unhcr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=515:unhcr-statement-migration-and-maritime-powers-legislation&catid=37:submissions&Itemid=61 ….. but there is no update about the passed legislation, on this link.

    They also have stats. on boats ( which are continuing to leave to travel south ) ….. http://unhcr.org.au/unhcr/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=539&catid=35&Itemid=63

  73. Annie B

    Kaye …. and anyone else who might be interested.

    This research was prompted by Kaye’s comment to me which was : …. ” The Bill removed any obligation on the Government to comply with international law when conducting boat turn-backs. ” …….

    Here is a link to the International Committee of the Red Cross.

    https://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/customary-law-q-and-a-150805.htm#a6

    It has a list of questions, with answers below. Admittedly, it is some years old now – but I imagine there would be some other form of reference available that is more up to date, about the binding nature of International Law, and why it is so.

    There were many sites available on-line on this subject…. I could not go through them all at this hour of the morning.

    ………

    Have a look, if you so choose. ….. but it would appear, that International Law is binding. Just one of the many points on this site is :

    ……….. 5. Why is customary international law binding?

    States recognize that treaties and customary international law
    are sources of international law and, as such, are binding. This is
    set forth, for example, in the Statute of the International Court of Justice.

    One illustration of the binding nature of customary international law
    is its application by national and international courts and tribunals.

    ……..

    Interesting. ………..

  74. Carlo Materatz

    Kevin is a miscreant that requires everyone to carry garlic and holly water that may come in contact with him

  75. mars08

    But that’s the marvellous thing about being a democracy, right?

    If we object to the government’s policy or actions we can change those policies at the next election.

    All it takes is a brave, credible, principled, strong opposition party which promises to reverse the policy to reflect your values.

    Simples!

    Oh… er… wait a sec…

  76. Kaye Lee

    The legislation that was just passed (not by Morrison alone Annie but by a majority in both houses) can be reversed with a change of government. Labor, the Greens, and Senators Lambie and Madigan voted against it. But as mars08 points out, Labor’s current policies are only slightly less bad. Until we can get the public demanding humane treatment for asylum seekers they will continue to be used by politicians. I don’t hold a great deal of hope for Wilkie’s referral to the ICJ. In an international system where there is no overarching authoritative enforcer, punishment for non-compliance functions differently. States are more likely to fear tactics used by other states, such as reciprocity, collective action, and shaming. They are unlikely to impose sanctions on us and the shaming is like water off a duck’s back to Morrison. Far from being ashamed he is proud of what he is doing.

  77. mars08

    Kaye Lee:

    Until we can get the public demanding humane treatment for asylum seekers they will continue to be used by politicians.

    Precisely!!! The ONLY party with the numbers to undo the legislation shows little or no inclination to do anything about it!

    The major parties, by perpetuating the lies, fear and disinformation (and secrecy) about asylum seekers… are ensuring that WE WILL NOT see “the public demanding humane treatment” for those innocent, vulnerable, traumatised, isolated human beings

    I fear that, sooner or later, our valiant leaders will… literally… get away with murder.

  78. Kaye Lee

    They ARE getting away with murder. How many suicides have there been in detention? We know of countless beatings and two deaths that have occurred and Morrison just says not my worry, happened in a different country, ignoring the fact we are paying for these innocent people to be involuntarily incarcerated in that country and our lack of medical attention is killing them. A man died while he was waiting for a visa to go to hospital FFS.

    And there are countless numbers of refugees that we have returned to countries declared by our politicians to be “safe” who have been then murdered. People understand the risk of getting on those boats and they are prepared to take it – does that not tell you how desperate they are to flee?

  79. mars08

    @Kaye Lee… I’m talking about literally… murder

    So far the suicides, bureaucratic bungles, deaths due to refoulement can all be dismissed as incidental to the govt policy.

    As someone mentioned earlier… the hard-core” “they ought ta just gun em down at sea” mentality is not that rare. I’ve heard or read the same thing many times.

    Sooner or later that’s EXACTLY what will happen. No doubt our leaders will find a very good reason not to investigate it… probably “national security”… and the voters in the swinging seats (who might notice such things) will not be too distressed about it.

    As awful as things are… I fear that this tragedy is beginning…

  80. Kaye Lee

    Scott Morrison thinks refugees come to Australia because of the “sugar on the table”. If that’s the case then places like Turkey and Pakistan must be hyperglaecemic.

    “The U.N. refugee agency said on Tuesday that Western governments had heeded a call to take in more Syrian refugees from neighboring countries and estimated that, in all, more than 100,000 places would be offered in the coming months.

    UNHCR, which wants to resettle 130,000 Syrians outside the region by the end of 2016, said the figure includes 62,000 places that have already been pledged by countries such as Germany and Sweden.

    The outcome was criticized by aid agency Oxfam, which said Western states could have done more.

    More than 3.2 million Syrians have registered as refugees in the region, with neighbors such as Lebanon, Jordan and Turkey bearing the brunt of the emergency.

    Faced with overwhelming numbers, Syria’s neighbors have started restricting access to people fleeing the conflict.”

    At least we were mentioned in dispatches

    “THE government will implement emergency refugee provisions to take in Iraqis and Syrians caught in savage fighting, but could limit places to Christians.

    Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says the Federal Government is “deeply concerned” by the ongoing crisis in Iraq and has now listed Iraqi Christians and Yazidis as eligible for Special Humanitarian Visas.”

    These Christians, if any of them choose to come, will of course come off our humanitarian intake – we are just saving spots for Christians who haven’t asked for our help instead of Muslims and Tamils that have.

  81. mars08

    There is nothing about our culture or our political system which makes immune to insanity. EVERY CHILD in EVERY SCHOOL should be made to read this…

    “And one day, too late, your principles, if you were ever sensible of them, all rush in upon you. The burden of self-deception has grown too heavy, and some minor incident, in my case my little boy, hardly more than a baby, saying ‘Jewish swine,’ collapses it all at once, and you see that everything, everything, has changed and changed completely under your nose. The world you live in—your nation, your people—is not the world you were born in at all. The forms are all there, all untouched, all reassuring, the houses, the shops, the jobs, the mealtimes, the visits, the concerts, the cinema, the holidays. But the spirit, which you never noticed because you made the lifelong mistake of identifying it with the forms, is changed. Now you live in a world of hate and fear, and the people who hate and fear do not even know it themselves; when everyone is transformed, no one is transformed. Now you live in a system which rules without responsibility even to God. The system itself could not have intended this in the beginning, but in order to sustain itself it was compelled to go all the way.

    “You have gone almost all the way yourself. Life is a continuing process, a flow, not a succession of acts and events at all. It has flowed to a new level, carrying you with it, without any effort on your part. On this new level you live, you have been living more comfortably every day, with new morals, new principles. You have accepted things you would not have accepted five years ago, a year ago, things that your father, even in Germany, could not have imagined.

  82. Lee

    The reality of boat people and a solution to the asylum seeker “problem”

    It’s from last April but it bears repeating. The government is crying over the debt to be left to our children but it’s costing them a fortune (quite unnecessarily) to treat asylum seekers so badly.

    BTW, just learned that Julian Burnside represented Rose Porteous in several actions against Gina Rinehart. That makes him even more awesome.

  83. Lee

    “Scott Morrison thinks refugees come to Australia because of the “sugar on the table”. If that’s the case then places like Turkey and Pakistan must be hyperglaecemic.”

    What sugar on the table? His government is screwing everyone who isn’t wealthy and powerful.

  84. mars08

    @Lee…

    That particular line of thinking is absurd at so many levels. Yet the masses believe it.

  85. Lee

    Mars, which line of thinking? Leaving debt to our children? If so, I agree. Too bad the masses are incapable of critical thinking and recognising the glaring inconsistencies between what the government says and does.

  86. Kaye Lee

    “We have to take the sugar off the table” means we have to make this such a terrible place that no-one wants to come here. We have to treat people so badly that they would rather face death at home than ask for our help. We have to hold children hostage demanding that unless you do as I say they will never be released.

    Can people not see this is just wrong?

    And I have an uneasy feeling. If Andrews quits that leaves Social Services open.

  87. mars08

    @Lee

    The feeble-minded “line of thinking” that people are being drawn to Australia because WE have it so good… Can’t elaborate right now. Having a very busy morning…

  88. Lee

    http://www.kaldorcentre.unsw.edu.au/node/386

    Are we paying too much to stop the boats?

    “By the Audit Commission’s reckoning, Australia now spends the same as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) spends on its entire global refugee and displaced persons operations.

    The UNHCR is responsible for helping and protecting some 50 million displaced persons around the world, including 11.6 million refugees. It expects to spend about $3.5 billion (US$3.3bn) in 2014. To cover 10,000 staff and all relief for the emergencies in Syria and Iraq, and Africa, as well as the protracted situations worldwide.

    Compare that with the $3.3 billion Australia spent in 2013-14 on the detention and processing of boat arrivals. It has been the fastest growing Government programme over recent years, increasing from $118 million in 2010 at the average annual growth rate of a staggering 129 per cent. “

  89. Annie B

    To Kaye ( your post at December 10, 2014 at 7:08 am ) ……………

    —– ” The legislation that was just passed (not by Morrison alone Annie
    but by a majority in both houses) can be reversed with a change of government. ” ………….

    You addressed that comment to my name – so am replying : ….

    I am well aware of how Bills, Amendments, the journeys they go through in both H of R and the Senate, and the forms of ‘ lobbying ‘ that goes with them ……. along with ( in this new wicked legislation ) threats and blackmail. Bills sometimes go back and forth between the two houses, umpteen times before agreement is reached.

    It was however, Morrison who first introduced the Bill to the lower house ……. and I have no doubt that HE sees it as HIS Bill entirely, and is luridly proud of it. ……… delusional and psychotic.

    …………..

    Your comments : ………

    —— “THE government will implement emergency refugee provisions
    to take in Iraqis and Syrians caught in savage fighting, but could
    limit places to Christians.

    —— ” These Christians, if any of them choose to come, will of course
    come off our humanitarian intake – we are just saving spots for Christians
    who haven’t asked for our help instead of Muslims and Tamils that have. ”

    This is a truly evil concept by this Government. …. discrimination – bigotry ……….. DAMN this Government to hell.

    ……….

    Have enjoyed our exchanges on this topic.

    Many other great posts on here as well.

  90. mars08

    About 50 Christian leaders are doing sit-in protests at govt buildings and politician’s offices around Australia today… I’ve heard the Julie Bishop’s office is one of them…

  91. Annie B

    DanDark –

    the post from the SMH above, said plenty – from a highly respected man, Malcolm Fraser.

    There are many petitions now being set up against ‘children in detention’ ….. and other similar petition wording.

    I have signed them. ….. Hope you all have too.

    At least it’s one way of getting the message out to those who really do NOT know, what is going on.

    This link is still active, but was begun before the legislation was passed : https://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/refugees/morrisons-power-grab/morrisons-power-grab ………. this is one that allows the signee to ‘write’ to the scumbag Min. for Immigration. ( which I did in no uncertain terms ).

    He may never see ( he wouldn’t WANT to see ) the hundreds of email type communications, but sure as hell someone in the LNP will.

  92. Victoria Martin

    this government has contempt for the concepts of freedom and justice..they are just practicing on asylum seekers

  93. mars08

    @Victoria Martin … so true. It’s a symptom of our self-absorbed, trivial, easily distracted, “I’m alright Jack” culture … that makes us think that our leaders will only be nasty to the OTHER guy…

    “As nightfall does not come all at once, neither does oppression. In both instances, there is a twilight. And it is in such twilight that we all must be aware of change in the air — however slight — lest we become unwitting victims of the darkness.”

    ~US Supreme Court Judge, William O Douglas (1898 – 1980)

  94. Annie B

    mars08 ………….. A wonderful observation you found from Judge William O Douglas.

    Something we could all learn and recite to ourselves daily, for our country, our neighbourhoods, our family and ourselves. And especially for the oppressed who are now under the control of the new Hitler – who resides in this country, and sits as a Minister in the lower house of our Parliament.

    .

  95. Matthew Oborne

    291 people drowned in Australia from the 1st of July,2012 to the 30th of June 2013.

    291 Australians

    If we put Morrison in charge of preventing drownings in Australian swimming pools, lakes, rivers and our ocean would he…..

    dismantle medicare as a deterrent?

    Lock up every person who swims boats or goes near water?

    Grant himself absolute power over the lives of those who enjoy our waters?

    Tow recreation boats into the middle of the ocean to teach them a lesson?

    If you think this is to save lives think of him doing it to you.

  96. mars08

    Given the “on water” secrecy surrounding Operation Pandering Bogan, we don’t know how many have died at sea in the past year.

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