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Reward for achievement?

When Peter Dutton, at age 30, was elected to Federal Parliament in 2001, he said “it brought to a climax a lifetime of hard work and a focus on achieving the goal of standing proudly in this place today.”

This “lifetime of hard work” included starting work in the family business when he started high school, joining the Young Liberals at age 18, which was when he bought his first property, working for 9 years in the police force while also being listed, from age 23, as a company director for his father’s business, then quitting the police in 1999 to ‘work fulltime’ with his father for a year or so while he campaigned to enter politics.

Dutton said that the Liberal Party was “a party of natural choice” for him because it was a party founded on “the principles of individualism and reward for achievement.”

Which begs the question of why, after being voted the worst Health Minister in 35 years, Dutton retains his position in Cabinet. One letter published in the Australian Doctor said “Dutton will be remembered as the dullest, least innovative and most gullible.”

Recently, George Brandis launched Australia’s bid for a seat on the United Nations human rights council (UNHRC), stating that “Across the entire panoply of human rights Australia has not only been an activist, but those rights are integral to what we Australians regard as our sense of nationhood”. He further maintained that we pursue a “vigorous, ambitious human rights agenda”, domestically and internationally and that he had “enlarged the scope” of the Australian Human Rights Commission “to be a trustee of all human rights, including importantly, but not exclusively, the right to freedom from discrimination”.

While George is pushing his incredible view from a parallel universe, Peter Dutton is busy denying any human rights abuses in our offshore detention centres and making sure there is no oversight.

He has rejected an Amnesty International investigation of boat turnbacks as an “ideological attack” saying “the government is not going to be bullied into changing our position.”

Dutton refuses to deny that we illegally paid people smugglers, just as he refuses to deny his department were instrumental in gaining a visa for ‘journalist’ (I use the term loosely) Chris Kenny to visit Nauru while refusing to allow head of the AHRC Gillian Triggs access, or to guarantee not to prosecute anyone who spoke to the United Nations special rapporteur on the human rights of migrants who subsequently cancelled his visit.

When Ms Triggs asked “have we thought about what the consequences are of pushing people back to our neighbour Indonesia? Is it any wonder that Indonesia will not engage with us on other issues that we care about, like the death penalty?”, Dutton slammed her saying “For her to be out there making these unfounded comments is a complete disgrace.”

“It’s an international embarrassment and it’s an embarrassment for all Australians that we would have someone in a public office making comments like this that are completely unfounded,” he said.

This from the man who joked publicly about “Cape York time” and Pacific Islands being inundated. This from the man who called Sarah Hansen-Young an attention-seeking embarrassment for thinking she was spied on while on Nauru – which was of course true. This from the man who was the only Liberal frontbencher to boycott the Apology to the Stolen Generation.

If you need any further evidence of the government’s determination to control information about its immigration detention program, aid agencies including Save the Children and the Australian Red Cross were asked to offer “performance security” bonds – in one case, of $2 million – during negotiations over contracts relating to work caring for asylum seekers and refugees. The non-profit organisations were also being asked to agree to clauses that would prevent them speaking to the media without government approval.

Save the Children refused, seeing it as an attempt to gag advocacy, and subsequently lost its contracts to Transfield Services and Connect Settlement Services. When they finish today, there will no longer be an agency whose mission is to uphold the rights of children on Nauru – nor will there be a human rights organisation advocating for asylum seekers and refugees

Dutton was also responsible for the shameful treatment of pregnant asylum seeker Abyan.

The following excerpt from his maiden speech shows what Dutton really thinks about human rights, advocacy, and the legal system.

“I have seen the sickening behaviour displayed by people who, frankly, barely justify their existence in our sometimes overtolerant society.

The fight for a better place in which to live is today made even more difficult for many reasons, not least of which is the fact that the boisterous minority and the politically correct seem to have a disproportionate say in public debate today. The silent majority, the forgotten people—or the aspirational voters of our generation, as some like to term them—are fed up with bodies like the Civil Liberties Council and the Refugee Action Collective, and certainly the dictatorship of the trade union movement. Australians are fed up with the Civil Liberties Council— otherwise known as the criminal lawyers media operative—who appear obsessed with the rights of criminals yet do not utter a word of understanding or compassion for the victims of crime. Their motives are questionable and their hypocrisy breathtaking.

The mood of the silent majority is fast rising to one of anger, because at present there is a basic right that is being impinged upon. It is incumbent upon us to represent the views of the majority and not to be held captive by groups who grab headlines in tabloids on the basis of anything but substance. As leaders and representatives of this country, we must facilitate and inform debate, and not be deterred by those who would seek to drive their own hidden agendas.

At this point in time it is stating the obvious that in my opinion the courts are not representing the views in the large of the broader community. Time after time we see grossly inadequate sentences being delivered to criminals whose civil rights have far exceeded those of the victim and others in our society. This imbalance must be addressed, and for the sake of living standards and reasonable expectations for all Australians must be addressed as a matter of urgency.”

Enter Border Force and a Minister with unilateral decision making power to bypass the judicial system.

Dutton is a hard line conservative who previously held leadership aspirations (truly!). He had run-ins with both Turnbull and Bishop when Malcom was leader the first time.

Apparently it was Scott Morrison who convinced Malcolm Turnbull to keep Peter Dutton in the Ministry. If nothing else, this, to me, confirms that Morrison wants the top job and is rallying his right wing foot soldiers for when his time comes because you sure wouldn’t be keeping Dutton on his performance.

 

57 comments

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  1. Ginny Lowndes

    Dutton is simply regurgitating Joh Bjelke Petersen. If you read the trilogy about the Joh-era by Michael Conlon you will find Dutton’s and many other Western Australian and Queensland parliamentarians basically quoting Joh word for word. Joh didn’t make PM but his acolytes are making sure he will be there one way or the other.

  2. David

    Kaye Lee…I was reading your excellent post intently, finishing the last of the honey on toast after weetbix (late b/fast in the West) as I reached the end of this para…’Recently, George Brandis launched Australia’s bid for a seat on the United Nations human rights council (UNHRC), stating that “Across the entire panoply of human rights Australia has not only been an activist, but those rights are integral to what we Australians regard as our sense of nationhood”. He further maintained that we pursue a “vigorous, ambitious human rights agenda”, domestically and internationally and that he had “enlarged the scope” of the Australian Human Rights Commission “to be a trustee of all human rights, including importantly, but not exclusively, the right to freedom from discrimination”.’…

    it was then the weetbix began looking to combine with the honey and toast in escaping from the journey it had made to my stomach. I managed to restrain the eruption caused by those words of Brandis and finish the article. not without hard swallows and much use of a good range of expletives which the cat, being my only companion at the computer, seemed to respond with a wise accepting look.
    They know a thing or two about expletives and Tory MP’s do cats, particularly the low life variety who were pretend policemen.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Sorry to spoil your breakfast David….I know how you feel. When researching this article I came across this quote….

    “JUST what is it about federal Liberal MP Peter Dutton that has some in his party anointing him the next messiah?

    On this much at least his backers and detractors can agree: he’s smart, articulate, politically astute and can get across a policy brief.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/to-some-hes-the-messiah-to-others-a-duplicitous-polly-20091006-glh1.html#ixzz3q6vXMrVn

    As Scott Ludlum would say….SRSLY?

  4. Matters Not

    a party founded on “the principles of individualism …

    Yes he abides by the principles of individualism. Except of course, he doesn’t at both the theoretical and lived level.

    For a start, dear Peter your are a member of a political ‘party’; which by definition is a collective. It is the same as a ‘political Union’. (Shock, horror).

    If you really believed in ‘individualism’, you would be an independent. You would not attend the ‘party room’ when it plots and plans to engage in collective action in the form of how to vote re particular legislation. You would decide all by yourself. You wouldn’t be a Minister in a Cabinet that demands ‘solidarity’ and ‘collective responsibility’.

    But, dear Peter you like other members of your party espouse individualism until, of course, you want to ‘achieve’ particular ends. Then you throw your principles overboard and engage in collectivism.

    But collectivism and individualism are but words. Like, you can give any meaning you like.

    “When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.”
    “The question is,” said Alice, “whether you can make words mean so many different things.”
    “The question is,” said Humpty Dumpty, “which is to be master – – that’s all.”
    (Through the Looking Glass, Chapter 6)

  5. Kaye Lee

    The one that really got me was when he said “As leaders and representatives of this country, we must facilitate and inform debate”

    Yeah….right!

  6. abbienoiraude

    I was unaware of Dutton’s background apart from him being a Queensland police officer in a previous existence.
    This does not look like ‘hard work’ to me.
    His background looks like privilege, help from daddy and his money and his position.

    He obviously did not ‘leave home’ until he was quite old enough to use his father’s backing to pursue his dream on the back of his fortune.

    “Hard work” is a carer caring for their loved one 24/7 for years. THAT is ‘hard work’.

    What Dutton has become is a reflection on his attitude to ‘privilege’ and that is ( like most in his position) the belief that it had something to do with how ‘special’ he was in being in his situation.
    ( Like Hockey telling people to ‘get a better job’ if they wanted to buy a house).

    I became angry all over again to think this piece of political pompous arse is in charge of desperate, vulnerable and vilified people’s lives.

    He has no life experience to speak of and is one of those painful politicians who make decisions based on ideology and myopic ideas and not on the reality of people’s lives.

    (Brandis espousing Australia’s human rights record just makes me sick. The UN should be sanctioning us for what we are doing not just to our asylum seekers but to our Nation’s First Peoples. I am ashamed and hope Australia never gets rewarded with a place within the UN again till all this is rectified.)

  7. Kaye Lee

    And today we hear that Dutton wants to send 1,500 asylum seekers to Kyrgyzstan. It’s like they looked up a list of the poorest countries in the world and are working their way up from the bottom.

    “Kyrgyzstan has been criticised by a number of NGOs over its human rights record, including Reporters Without Borders, which ranks Kyrgyzstan 111th out of 173 countries on its Press Freedom Index.

    Human Rights Watch says violence and discrimination against women and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people remain serious problems in Kyrgyzstan. Freedom of expression and assembly suffered setbacks since 2014 as attacks on defendants and lawyers in courts continued, it also claims.

    The country is also ranked in the bottom 30 countries for levels of perceived corruption by Transparency International in its annual survey.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2015/oct/31/kyrgyzstan-reported-as-option-to-resettle-refugees-from-nauru-and-manus

  8. Matters Not

    So the ‘refugees’ will be offered places in Kyrgyzstan. I suppose their induction will include the skills involved in ‘Ulak Tartysh’, so that they can participate fully in their new utopia.

    Or maybe one or two will be chosen to take the place of the ‘goat’?

  9. diannaart

    Dutton has lived a lifetime at age 30?!? – then there’s no place left except down…. These neo-cons, sooooo consistent & predictable, one could be forgiven for thinking they were all cloned in a lab.

  10. kerri

    And let’s not forget Morrison is well aware that while Dutton is making such a cock up at best his efforts will be forgotten, at worst Morrison will look more capable!

  11. Terry2

    We have been told in recent weeks that Nauru is not a detention centre, everybody is free to come and go, the kids are playing on the beach, the adults are going fishing and everybody is getting on with their new lives as residents of Nauru…….it’s all so good that Nauru may imminently be receiving boat loads of asylum seekers, bypassing Australia.

    Then we hear that Transfield have been given a further five years to run the detention centre that no longer exists and that Save the Children have lost their contract to provide care and education services.

    And, with Cambodia having failed as a dumping ground at enormous expense and the Phlippines deal falling over, the hapless Dutton is now talking to Kyrgyzstan : I wonder what that’s going to cost us.

    I agree with AI, we need a Royal Commission but not Dyson Heydon, this time, how about Michael Kirby

  12. Steve Laing

    Turnbull is leaving Dutton in as his patsy, for when the merde hits the fan. Turnbull will claim he didn’t know the details, and ScoMo will get caught in the same bear trap. Turnbull is keeping ScoMo close to keep his eye on him; ScoMo thinks it’s promotion on his way to the big chair, but he’s just the appeasement to the rabid right. Turnbull is playing the political game beautifully, unfortunately that won’t save the countries future from his sellout on the NBN and climate change. His sole legacy will be to get rid off Abbott, win an election, and that I think will be his lot. Dutton should be still serving time when Tunbull loses in 2019.

  13. babyjewels10

    Oh someone please, please, post this on Peter Dutton’s Fb wall. I’ve been banned.

  14. Kaye Lee

    The thing that continually strikes me is that the Liberal Party’s idea of ‘achievement’ is always about advancing your own financial standing. They don’t seem to recognise any form of altruism as ‘achievement’. Volunteers should be out earning a crust and carers are looked at as leaners rather than the people who hold the fabric of our society together. Advocates for the environment or people who have no voice are looked on as criminal activists. What a horrible way to view life – only out for what you can get rather than what you can give.

  15. Wally

    The Liberal Party may have been founded on “the principles of individualism and reward for achievement” but neither of these principles could be considered to be important to the current Liberal parliamentarians.

    Being an individual is only acceptable if you are not a union member, your ideals lay somewhere to the right of centre, you are pro US, you are a Christian in particular not Muslim and you don’t mind telly the odd lie to achieve your objective.

    As far as reward for achievement is concerned it only applies if you’re a member of the upper echelon, donate to the Liberal Party’s coffers and your concept of fair is to screw some poor bastard on minimum wage so you can put a few more (million) dollars in your pocket.

  16. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    babyjewels10,

    I looked at Dutton’s Twitter account and I’m proud to say I have been blocked too…but not on his Facebook page.

    The photo of his smiling, comfortable and self-entitled family makes me wonder if Dutton has admitted to his children that he has continued to keep hostage young kids like themselves in detention.

    It also made me wonder if his smiling, hard-faced wife thinks Dutton was right to exploit Abyan’s distress in her multitudinous hours of need.

    These uncomfortable questions have a way of coming back to haunt people who ignore their moral compasses.

    It is our duty to remind, remind, remind again Dutton of his abuses of human rights.

  17. mars08

    …he has continued to keep hostage young kids like themselves in detention. …

    The children our government had kept locked in the camps have only a slight resemblance to Dutton’s. I’m sure you have guessed that by now. For a start, most of their parents worship the wrong God… apparently.

    And besides… (Deuteronomy 5:9)–“You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, and on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me,”

  18. Kaye Lee

    “The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt. I am the Lord your God” (Leviticus 19:34).

    “He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigners residing among you, giving them food and clothing. And you are to love those who are foreigners, for you yourselves were foreigners in Egypt” (Deuteronomy 10:18-19).

  19. mars08

    Hahaha… yeh… it’s a flippin puzzle, isn’t it? Something in that book for everyone.

  20. Kaye Lee

    You may be surprised (or not) to know that I find bible study very interesting. I chose a religious upbringing – I went to church but my parents didn’t. I came to the conclusion that worship is a pointless costly con but I still think the bible worthy of study as a very early attempt at a moral and ethical code as society grew and interaction between tribes was more frequent.

    It’s also an excellent source when debating because you can find quotes to back up anything you please from infanticide to polygamy – and even some actual good stuff.

  21. mars08

    (Ezekiel 18:20) “The person who sins will die. The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son’s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself.”

    It must be so convenient to be able to pick and choose whatever suits the prevailing agenda…

  22. Kaye Lee

    The bible and its various translations and exclusions also makes for a very interesting insight into patriarchal society.

    It must be very cathartic to believe that saying Hail Mary full of grace lots of times excuses your wrongdoing.

  23. Wally

    Until recently I was unsure if there was a god but this picture has swayed my opinion somewhat.

    http://axuz.com/god.jpg

  24. mars08

    A great way to ‘rationalise’ inhumane policies. Yes, I do see the irony in that sentence…

  25. Kaye Lee

    During my various iterations at tertiary education, I have been required to study philosophy and psychology – only for a term, never as a major. I found the best way to do well was to go to the pub with the lecturer, find out their views, and then reproduce them eloquently in all essays. Some may call this prostitution…I call it initiative. Perhaps I should have considered politics before I grew a set of ethics.

  26. Kaye Lee

    Wally,

    I am sure you have heard of the dyslexic agnostic insomniac who would lie awake at night wondering if there was a dog.

  27. Wally

    I think your ethical approach to life in general would have provided enough rope for your opponents to hang you with Kaye and it is bloody tragic for our country that our leaders have no morals at all.

  28. Kaye Lee

    Wally,

    I wish I cared enough to enter the fray. I wish I thought I could make a difference. I am old enough to realise that you can achieve a great deal more bypassing the people who hold endless meetings followed by plenary sessions followed by inquiries as to how you should go about formulating a plan to take action. I am too old to wait for them.

  29. Wally

    Kaye I agree

    A friend of mine has just retired from state politics, he was the Liberal member (I won’t hold that against him but never voted for him) for my electorate, in fact the by election was this weekend. As a former small business operator he was shattered at how hard it was to make an impact or to change anything, this was at state level and it is probably worse in federal politics. Unfortunately over time he found that you have to canvas and win the support of your colleagues before even considering putting forward a proposal.

    I am very shitty with him and several other Victorian Liberal members who are retiring, I am certain that they would have completed their term if the LNP had retained power. Unless there is a family issue or a serious health problem I believe they should serve their full term. I didn’t even put pen to paper today for the second time in my life, there was no one on the ballot paper that I would trust to baby sit my dog so I couldn’t come at giving them my vote.

  30. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    mars08

    NO. The kids in detention are just like Dutton’s. They’re the children of the world, sweet, cherished, young, the future.

    Your sarcastic dismissal of the point I was making just elaborates the cynicism of Dutton and his kind. The shame is that his offspring might follow in his ugly steps unless they can find their own consciences.

  31. Kaye Lee

    I was chairperson of the management board for a homeless youth refuge (in a voluntary capacity) that had several politicians “on the books” as committee members. I often had trouble getting a quorum for meetings so wrote to the politicians advising them to cross us off their CV as they were not fulfilling their obligations. There is way too much of that stuff goes on….people who are trying to achieve stuff being held back by people who want their names seen but are unwilling to devote the time necessary or to make decisions.

  32. mars08

    @Jennifer Meyer-Smith… Yes, my comment was sarcastic… But, sadly it probably reflects the attitudes of over 50% of the electorate.

  33. Kaye Lee

    I have been given the grave responsibility of waking my husband up for the rugby. Much as I may have thought myself up to the task, I am now in need of a nanna nap with a set alarm. Thanks for the very interesting convo and GO THE WALLABIES !!!!

  34. Wally

    Enjoy your nap Kaye, don’t oversleep you might get the sack!

  35. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    If I thought over 50% of the electorate thought like Dutton, I’d think we might as well give up now except that’s what losers do. So I don’t accept a defeatist approach to combating ethical and moral atrocities, such as are dished out by Dutton and his like.

    I’m going to sleep now and will resume the discussion tomorrow. Goodnight.

  36. Jexpat

    Members of the cabinet serve at the pleasure of the prime minister.

    So the answer to the “question of why, after being voted the worst Health Minister in 35 years, Dutton retains his position in Cabinet,” is, in the end, a very simple one.

  37. Wally

    Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    “If I thought over 50% of the electorate thought like Dutton”

    It is irrelevant if they do, even if 75% of Australians agree with something that is wrong it shouldn’t change the opinion and/or actions of the other 25%. I don’t believe in justifying my own actions because of the way others behave that would just make me as bad as them.

    Sleep well and keep in mind that assuming Mars figures are correct half of us disagree with Dutton.

  38. paul walter

    Another thoughtful, incisive article from Kaye Lee. Unlike Mr. Dutton, your place in the community seems to be something you have earned.

    I agree that it is interesting the sort of thinking that someone like Kaye Lee would regard as significant in the Bible, against the hellfire and brimstone guilt trip rubbish that the Morrison types use to scare people into line… it was interesting that
    articles concerning Abyan referred back to one of the fundamental pieces of writing in the NT,
    Matthew 25-31-44, the “Stranger in a Strange Land” explication, if you like, some thing that has a very similar sense to it to the Good Samaritan story.

    Julia Baird and Bob Ellis both employed that tract as the basis for expressing anger at Dutton’s oafish brutality. Tie that piece with the Beautitudes and a few other NT pieces and you get the underlying bedrock of the religion before it got turned into a status quo defence of state power, but where is the joy of life for a politician?

    For the rest, I’m a bit like Jennifer Meyer Smith, worldly wise tired of politics as a natural home for inflated attention seeker braggarts and their juvenile destructiveness.

    Where is the joy in kicking someone when they’re down? Yet that ‘s what this sort of politis seems to be about: incredibly shallow “clever” stuff that actually makes its practitioners look like clumsy fools, a bit like Caiaphas,

  39. Kaye Lee

    DFAT’s warning on Kyrgyzstan,,,,,

    “Women travelling alone and after dark should take extra care for their own security as kidnapping local women for marriage is an ongoing occurrence in the Kyrgyz Republic, and foreigners could mistakenly fall victim to such kidnappings,” it says.

    It also warns about the threat of violent crime, gangs, robbery, terrorism, militants, civil unrest, treacherous roads, endemic diseases, bad hospitals, strict laws, police harassment, earthquakes and avalanches.

    And if that’s not enough, Human Rights Watch also warns of torture, widespread judicial corruption, attacks on minorities such as gay and lesbian people, entrenched racism and the terrible treatment of refugees. The country’s capital, Bishkek​, lies along heroin smuggling routes from Afghanistan into Russia and Europe.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/destination-kyrgyzstan-the-latest-troubled-country-australia-wants-to-send-refugees-20151031-gknkl7.html#ixzz3qBXCigWm

    What a great place to send traumatised women and children

  40. Terry2

    So the question is, should we send asylum seekers there or make Tony Abbott our ambassador to Kyrgyzstan : whose need is greater ?

    Well, Tony does need a job, doesn’t he !

  41. mars08

    @Terry2…. oh dear, you are wicked. It’s (almost) tempting to let this govt ship the asylum seekers to Kyrgyzstan… IF… they are willing to send Abbott as our ambassador.

  42. David

    Terry according to the snake oil salesman Turnbull 15%, his victim Abbott is already like gold on the International Speaking Tour, in big demand. Naturally he didn’t provide any substance to that naval gazing, but it would have gone over nicely with those whose noses he severely put out of joint when he knifed Abbott.

  43. Kyran

    And in today’s news, this miserable excuse says a trip to a refugee camp was confronting.

    Jordan, with a population of some 6mil is currently housing (as best it can) some 600,000 refugees.
    Australia, with a population of 24mil, has sent this thing over there so he can understand how we will ‘select’ 12,000 refugees.

    No comment on Abyan or Nazanin. No comment on the refugees already returned to Syria and other countries. No comment on proposals to find further third world countries we can repatriate refugees to. No comment on how he runs detention camps without allowing any transparency, oversight or third party scrutiny. No comment on anything of substance or genuine value.

    He “vows to uphold Australia’s tough stance on border protection”. And it was confronting.

    Thank you for the article, Ms Lee. I’ve learnt two things of significance. I no longer have words that can describe this miserable piece of excrement. And there is a new verb, provided by David (31/10, @ 1.33). I am now off to ‘do a David’. Take care

  44. Terry2

    Kyran,

    Dutton did say that Syrians were voluntarily returning to Syria but it’s part of this man’s nature to be misleading and deceptive.

  45. mars08

    Surely recent the controversy proves that we should only ‘select’ refugees who can… and will sing our national anthem. That MUST be the priority.

  46. Kyran

    Terry2, perhaps in the context of the current crisis, some may return. Another article on the ABC site cites recent figures from the UN relating to the Mediterranean exodus.

    “In October, 218,394 people made the perilous crossing — all but 8,000 of them landing in Greece — compared to 216,054 arrivals during all of last year, UN figures showed.
    The October figures show that despite the increasingly harrowing conditions at sea at the onset of winter, asylum seekers from Syria and other trouble spots continue to pile into boats heading west, fearing that Europe is about to close its borders.
    Among the more than 600,000 asylum seekers who have crossed to Greece since the beginning of the year, 94 per cent come from the world’s top 10 refugee-producing countries.”

    As to the pathetic claim that the “tough stance” prevents deaths at sea (which is yet to be substantiated), and bizarrely justifies indefinite incarceration (with an almost certain risk of physical, emotional or psychological harm) another sentence states
    “Some 3,440 people have died or gone missing trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe so far this year, according to UNHCR numbers last week.”

    Putting all of those numbers into some sort of perspective, some 744,000 people have made the ‘trip’ this year. Presumably, the risk of dying on the journey (which appears to be about 0.462%) could be considered less than the risks associated with staying where they were.

    I can only imagine that some may arrive in an overcrowded, under-resourced camp and realise the road ahead is lined by politicians wishing to demonise them and demean their existence. The road back to their ‘homeland’ may be more inviting (which is total speculation on my part).
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-11-02/record-migrants-crossed-mediterranean-in-october-un/6906826

    I am still at a loss to find words for this miserable piece of excrement without defaming another life form. “Man” is certainly not one that comes to mind. Take care

  47. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Like you Kyran, no words can express my anger and frustration at Dutton’s blatant and offensive hypocrisy in his role to select 12,000 Syrian refugees which is great for those 12,000 but just a drop in the ocean compared with what other comparable and smaller countries are doing.

    My consolation however is that Dutton mistakenly lives in a fantasy world of aloof self-righteousness, which is fine for when he is under the umbrella of the ruling power, but he seems oblivious to the fact that this protection won’t always be there.

    He is lucky he lives in a country where assassination isn’t our preferred course of regime change. However, he won’t be lucky when The Hague comes knocking at the door.

  48. Matthew Oborne

    During the last purge during the Howard era three australians at least were also held in detention, we had many more systems in place to help detect issues like that, now the government openly send Australians to these camps under certain conditions. What would see the situation become if it lasts another 20 years?

    Detention of refugees has morphed from health checks to torture, abuse and rape with murder being considered made legal.

    Duttons performance is in my opinion what they are after. A moderate Liberal would be expected to soften the approach.

    A moderate Liberal would lose votes possibly and lose credibility in the eyes of the public.

    He is many things, most mentioned above but the is also a deaf ear and perfectly OK with monstrous behavior or he would intervene because he has a duty of care.

  49. mars08

    Might I point out that this government’s actions and policies are only possible because of public support?

  50. Kyran

    mars08, we could even give them extra points if they can sing “Waltzing Matilda” and confirm their Christianity with “Ave Maria”.

    Ms Meyer-Smith, I accept that cretin’s are a fact of life. I understand some get undue recognition, promotion and amplified exposure. Which is the only tenable explanation I have for what we call our media. When the promotion of a cretin is to a position where there every action directly impacts on the most vulnerable, I have no interest in the cretins likely demise. Whether it be ‘Rule 303’ or just prosecution, it is of little consequence as the damage is immediate and ongoing.

    Matthew Osborne, I read on another site a simple proposition that Australia can solve its angst by simply withdrawing from the UN Convention for Refugees. We only need be troubled if we are being hypocritical. Our politicians can sleep well.
    Take care

  51. Kyran

    mars08 @ 10.08, I often wonder about that claim. Over the years, I have heard reference to a few seats that are won or lost on ‘redneck’ xenophobic policy. Most other seats are reliant on a mix of policies. That is anecdotal recollection on my part and must, therefore, be taken with a grain of salt.
    Another aspect of that claim that troubles me is the hyper secrecy about our government’s activities and the lack of any critical analysis or comment by MSM. Sites such as this often highlight blatant abuses of the most basic of human rights. Its readers are probably more informed about what is going on than most. Whether it be ignorance or acquiescence, I don’t accept the majority’s silence necessarily equates to support of the policy.
    The issue only seems to get any traction when a ‘story’ is humanised or personalised. Whether it be Reza Barati or ‘Abyan’ or any other story de jour. These ‘stories’ seemingly last for only one media cycle. If we had any leaders, as opposed to politicians, I wonder how they could change the narrative. Perhaps they could explain the situation in the context of “Imagine this happened to your father, your mother, your sister, your brother, your son or your daughter. What would you do?” Take care

  52. mars08

    @Kyran… maybe I’m feeling more dismayed than usual. Yesterday i was silly enough to follow a discussion on social media about the national anthem fuss at Cranbourne school. The comments about the children… school kids… were utterly heartbreaking. The hatred and ignorance. If any more than 20% of the electorate have the same attitude… the country is beyond help.

  53. Kyran

    mars08, I didn’t see that discussion, so can’t comment. It may well lend context to your comment about the anthem though!
    I recall hitch hiking in Northern Ireland in the mid 80’s. My accent, at that time, was part Irish and part Australian, as I’d lived here since I was 6. Getting a lift in rural areas was no problem, but always on the proviso that I would be dropped off outside a town. Those good enough to give me a lift explained they could not take ‘the risk’ of being seen with me, in case I was up to no good. By way of explaining context, the Belfast CBD at that time was a military zone, with few access points, all of which were heavily guarded by British troopers. The IRA were in full flight with their terrorism. It didn’t take me too long to work out I was judged by my bastardised accent. The judgements were based on an historic hatred, bred on ignorance. Hatred is always self consuming.
    The only antidote I know of is information and education. Whilst I understand (and share) your despair, there is cause for hope. I can only define hope by two words, Malala Yousafzai. Apologies for the digression. Take care

  54. mars08

    It’s hard to image things getting better before something truly horrible happens.

  55. Kyran

    For what this is worth, mars08, I think the truly horrible has already happened. Our politicians think they are leaders. Take care

  56. Chris the Greatly Dismayed

    Kyran and mars08 …I couldn’t more strongly agree with both of you “the truly horrible has already happened” multiple times now. Our society has become one that throws perfectly good people away (both migrant and resident).
    Besides the Abyan story is the equally horrible Najma story http://www.abc.net.au/news/2015-10-16/woman-could-face-charges-for-making-false-rape-claim-in-nauru/6858944
    Daniel Webb on RN https://radio.abc.net.au/programitem/pgoMGrKR26?play=true
    It sounds very much like this woman was tortured and driven mad for making a complaint of being attacked and raped. Then there are the killings and assaults.
    Has anyone read Robert Manne’s pragmatist solution essay ? He makes it sound as if we have a choice in the matter….
    https://www.themonthly.com.au/issue/2015/november/1446296400/robert-manne/slow-death (It is so confusing that there are both Robert and David Mannes)
    And the US State Depts 2014 Human Rights Reports: Kyrgyz Republic http://www.state.gov/j/drl/rls/hrrpt/2014/sca/236642.htm

    Look after all yourselves… : )

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