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ScoMo’s cynical Christmas Island stunt is an assault on our democracy and an affront to our humanity

“I will do everything in my power to ensure that these suggested changes … never see the light of day… I will fight them using whatever tool or tactic I have available to me …” Scott Morrison

 

Flanked by a trio of Border Force black-shirts and a lone, grim digger in camouflage, Scott Morrison morphs into Colonel Kurtz of Christmas Island, Wednesday. Consumed by his delusions. In a spectacular mid-week flight of fantasy, he becomes Colonel Kurtz of Apocalypse Now, Francis Ford Coppola’s phantasmagorical 1979 Vietnam war film loosely based on Joseph Conrad’s novella Heart of Darkness. For Kurtz and ScoMo Horror and moral terror are your friend.

Morrison is up for another stunt if only to drown out the erupting chaos and crisis of confidence in its leadership which, yet again, engulfs the Coalition. He’s also working up to a sensational International Women’s Day address Friday “so tone deaf so terrible” – so bad it makes international news. Is it the Kurtz method acting? Or is it just ScoMo’s ear of tin?

Pet black rock-star Morrison tells a flabbergasted audience at the Chamber of Minerals and Energy in Western Australia, a bastion of women’s emancipation, that it is “not in our values” to “push some people down to lift some people up”.

“That is true of gender equality,” he says. “We want to see women rise. But we don’t want to see women rise only on the basis of others doing worse. We want everybody to do better, and we want to see the rise of women in this country be accelerated to ensure that their overall pace is maintained.” Clearly, ScoMo has no idea what equality means. But that doesn’t stop him “telling women not to get ahead of themselves” as Sarah Hanson-Young tweets.

Feminist, Malcolm Turnbull embarks on a finely nuanced new offensive against those who knifed him in the least successful coup in Liberal history by telling the BBC, his MPs dumped him because they knew he could win the election.

“Basically you could argue that their concern was not that I would lose the election, but rather that I would win it.”

It’s absurd. Obligingly, however, Turnbull also lets the world know that the Liberals definitely has a woman problem; a serious gender inequality issue. ScoMo will be thrilled. But Turnbull slaps down Tony Abbott for his “innumerate idiocy” in his carbon emission triple back-flip and snipe. The suppository of all wisdom declares he’s all for following the Paris climate-in-a-canter agreement now. Why? “Because the party’s leader and energy minister have changed.”

Nothing to do with being likely to lose his seat of Warringah where his chief adversary Zali Steggall confirms that Tony is being his “rude, aggressive, self.” He’s also lying, she adds. Who says there’s no consistency in politics?

Bonkers Barnaby Joyce is up for a change; he’s making ready to depose Nationals Leader Michael McCormack. The fracas will be very helpful to ScoMo in diverting us from Josh Frydenberg’s April stunning budget tax-cut bribes.

Joyce is close to a shoo-in. Few even in his own electorate have heard of McCormack. The Nationals are miffed by their lame-duck leader’s train-wreck interview with Waleed Ali on Ten’s The Project which goes viral on social media.

It’s a simple question and one that Barnaby Joyce would struggle with. “Could you name a single, big policy area where the Nats have sided with the interests of farmers over the interest of miners when they come into conflict?”

Macca just can’t name a single way that the Nationals Party stands up for the farmer rather than for mining interests.

Naturally, Macca is also attacked by “Joyced-up” Queensland Nats-rats who demand he underwrite Matthew Canavan’s “about ten” new coal-fired power stations before the Budget. For now, the agrarian socialists simply want state power over power companies; Angus Taylor, bring you big stick back. Or is this Barnaby’s cunning plan to win his old job back?

Macca kicks another own goal by telling the ABC, Sunday, that night-time sport would have to be cancelled given Labor’s emissions targets. McCormack calls Bill Shorten “nuts” and “living in fairyland” for pursuing a 45 per cent reduction in carbon emissions. “I mean sure, go down that path, but forget night footy, forget night cricket.”

Given this surfeit of absurdity, disunity and ever-mindful to lead by inspiring, ScoMo takes his shock-horror show on tour to Christmas Island, pressing a hand-picked media claque aboard an RAAF 747; a virtual, portable Canberra bubble. He says nothing he couldn’t have said in Canberra but he knows exotic settings make the news. And the value of escape.

“Anyone who wants to game the system, understand you won’t be able to game your way to the mainland if I have anything to do with it. This is why we are here,” he blusters. Border Force cutbacks are not mentioned. Yet David Wroe writing for Nine Newspapers quotes a leaked Defence Department classified briefing paper warning,

“The Australian Border Force has been falling short of its sea patrol target by 20 per cent, which has posed an increased risk” to maritime security. Anti-terror work has been cut back just because the ABF hasn’t been out there doing its job. Budget cutbacks and crew shortages are cited as reasons in Wednesday’s Sydney Morning Herald and The Age.

It’s a far cry from the halcyon days of Tony Abbott’s boat-stopping, a feat he didn’t achieve, which he has never ceased to take credit for. The depersonalisation stuck, as well. Stopping boats or “illegal maritime arrivals” is so much easier than owning sadistic cruelty to vulnerable people. As for Abbott and Morrison’s boat-stopping fiction, asylum-seekers, in fact, stopped attempting to reach Australia when Kevin Rudd made it clear, in July 2013, that they would never be settled here. By the time Morrison was in charge, the flow of boats slowed to a trickle. Yet one or two still try.

What Morrison can take credit for is a culture of secrecy and lies. As Immigration Minister, he showed contempt for the press – and with it – for normal measures of accountability in a democratic society. ScoMo would simply walk out of formal press-conferences when he didn’t like the questions – or scrutiny of openness and accountability.

At times, he would resort to the fiction that we were at war with asylum seekers and people-smugglers, a fantasy in which he was indulged by Abbott, a ruse to claim that “on water” or “operational matters” were top secret as a matter of national security. Yet, as his government’s exit, stage right, draws ever closer, his legacy will be his inhumanity.

Under Scott Morrison, Australia’s Migration Act was effectively entirely eroded: all affirmations of the rights of asylum seekers that applied in international law under the United Nations Refugee Convention were stripped from the Act.

Today, 1015 innocent men and women are deliberately being driven mad by the misery of indefinite offshore detention. Some are pushed to suicide and self-harm by our government’s policy of punitive incarceration; or sadistic cruelty.

Yet human beings with needs and rights do not feature in Morrison’s message to the press, midweek. There’s a lot about himself, of course. And pointing. Feeling of steel mesh. He points to where a refugee boat sank in rough seas in December 2010. Forty-eight died. But it’s only to reiterate the lie that Coalition policy is based on preventing drowning.

Does this humbug deceive anyone? Coalition policies are founded in crass, political advantage. Deny refugees’ rights. As John Menadue puts it, the Coalition’s political objective in opposition was to stop Labor stopping the boats. In co-operation with the populist Greens, it voted against the Malaysian Solution. A surge of boat arrivals followed.

Nowhere does ScoMo admit we must render others urgent medical help; our non-delegable duty of care. Instead, all he can talk about are those who will “game the system”. Fake illness. Like Dutton, he must dwell on duplicity; deception.

If not some type of disorder, the obsession with deception or lack of good faith destroys the Coalition’s promises to keep us safe. As do its laws preventing whistle-blowers. We’re safe until we blow the whistle. We’re not safe if we can’t trust government. As for deception, we have no idea how many boats have been turned around, give the level of secrecy surrounding Operation Sovereign Borders. Secrecy hardly encourages us to trust the Coalition’s official statistics

What is clear, is that punitive detention has no effect and the “successes” – if we can talk of abrogating our humanity and our responsibility to others in such a way – have come from boat turnbacks. No-one at the press briefing challenges Scott Morrison’s basic assumption – just how mainland medical aid to men on Manus or men and women on Nauru, which his government will deny by sending the suffering to Christmas Island, can attract more boats.

Talk of “illegals” crops up frequently in Coalition spin on “securing our borders”, a nonsense useful for wedging Labor. It’s repeated so frequently it’s become part of accepted truthiness. The word dehumanises but it is not illegal to seek asylum. Secondly, our borders are naturally insecure given our 25,760 km coastline. And more porous than they’ve ever been. In 2018, 9.2 million overseas residents flew in for a short-term stay say the ABS’ official statistics.

It’s high time we gave up the fiction of border control. Helping us, the formation of the Home Affairs (HA) super-ministry is already imploding. Size imperils co-ordination and communication. Home Affairs is so huge it took a senate committee two and a half days just to scrutinise Peter Dutton’s empire May last year, reports ABC’s Laura Tingle.

Home Affairs swallowed The Department of Immigration and Border Protection – itself a shotgun wedding of customs and immigration created by the Abbott government’s 2014, which Scott Morrison failed to manage well. One change was simply a captain’s call; desk-bound bureaucrats were suddenly kitted out in paramilitary uniforms.

Our refugees do not deserve our compassion, is Morrison’s subtext. They do not merit being treated at “Bondi” he explains to Ben Fordham on 2GB’s bubble. The sick will be sent to suffer further on Christmas Island with its six bed hospital and its inadequate facilities. All that remains, is to demonise those whose only mistake is to seek our mercy.

The Coalition continues its warped fear-mongering all week. Morrison has long accused asylum-seekers of carrying all manner of diseases from Hep B and TB to Chlamydia and syphilis. Now his government claims that those identified as eligible for treatment under Medevac include “paedophiles, terrorist sympathisers and an alleged murderer”.

ScoMo’s speech could be made in Canberra but, instead, the Coalition flies its PM and an embedded media team by RNZAF 747, 5000 km to Christmas Island. It’s a bizarre and expensive stunt – even for the architect of Abbott’s 2014 “Cambodian Solution”, an abortive deal with one of the world’s poorest and most corrupt nations, which led to two refugees being resettled with no human rights guarantees at a cost of $55 million.

But Apocalypse Morrison sees only the horror. Horror? “Labor will start the boats again. Every arrival is on Bill Shorten’s head.” Last time it was in office, Labor brought 50,000 asylum-seekers in boats. Even if this inflated figure were accurate, his own government has seen 64,000 people claim asylum in the last three years. They flew here.

Today they are part of an oppressed, exploited, invisible underclass of worker on farms, in factories, restaurants, building sites, franchises and other businesses, as The Saturday Paper’s Mike Seccombe details.

ScoMo’s promo draws all the attention he can to Christmas Island’s ignoble re-opening. Does the PM hope that a boat might chance indefinite offshore detention or turnbacks, on the off chance that some asylum-seekers may be sick enough to be treated on the mainland – despite the new legislation clearly applying only to refugees from Manus and Nauru? It’s highly unlikely but he does makes much of the people-smugglers’ lack of nuanced understanding.

Why else, apart from pure political bastardry, re-open another island prison in Australia’s gulag archipelago of cruelty?

On Bill Shorten’s head? It’s a desperate projection. As former Immigration Minister and distinguished public servant, John Menadue notes, by defeating the means to implement the Malaysian Arrangement, Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison triggered the surge in boat arrivals from September 2011 onwards. The more boats the better for him.

In November 2009, the issue of asylum seekers was “fantastic” for the Coalition and “the more boats that come the better” a key Liberal Party strategist” told a US diplomat in Canberra. Scott Morrison was the ‘strategy director’ for the 2007 NSW election campaign. The comment was published 10 December 2010 by the SMH reporting from Wikileaks.

Our onshore detention centres (gulags) are full, he lies. Shorten’s new law means ScoMo must reopen Christmas Island Detention Centre, (a prison), because 57 “adverse characters,” require a “hardened centre”, (a fresh bit of jargon to help with the message that refugees are rapists, terrorists and worse. Some are Armani-wearing con-artists – just ask Dutts.)

“Somebody once said to me that we’ve got the world’s biggest collection of Armani jeans and handbags up on Nauru waiting for people to collect it when they depart,” Dutton told 2GB’s Ray Hadley two years ago, using the dodgy “somebody once told me…” propaganda strategy in the government’s squalid bid to smear our refugees as dishonest and undeserving – when it’s not demonising them as carriers of STDs or terrorist sympathisers.

Horror of horrors. There is room on the mainland. In a government of secrets and lies, truth, like science, is a dirty word. Home Affairs own monthly newsletter shows three mainland “hardened centres”. One alone has 200 spare beds. If every one of ScoMo’s 57 “adverse characters” were sick, we’d fit them all in. So far, not one has sought assistance.

And why ignore local residents of the Australian territory? They have a democratic right to be consulted,

Museum attendant, Roxanne Wilson, complains that ScoMo’s detention centre media blitz is certainly no advertisement for Christmas island. “I’m just concerned that any tourists on the island or [who] would like to come to the island, are thinking it’s a detention island. I would just like them to see the beauty of the island: we get bird watchers coming here quite regularly, the island has endemic bird life that is not found anywhere else in the world.”

Yet ScoMo flies 5000 kilometres to an Australia external territory, acquired in 1958, which his mentor, John Howard, rat-cunningly excised from our migration zone in September 2001. An exhausted phosphate mine, Christmas Island is 1400 km north-west of Australia but only 360 km south of Java; alluringly close for Indonesian people-smugglers.

Is ScoMo hoping to reboot its allure? Another asylum-seeker boat or two could turn the May election into Tampa 2.0.

Or could it? How likely are demon people-smugglers to forget history? Tampa’s 438 passengers were taken to Nauru and Manus. Not to be outdone by the lying rodent, Howard, moreover, the Gillard government, excised the mainland of Australia from our migration zone in May 2013. Even if you do make it to Australia, you’ll end up being “processed” or in indefinite detention on Manus or Nauru. Only ScoMo could pretend the Medevac bill opens any “loopholes”.

Yet, blast the trump, Christmas Island is open for business again. What better spot for ScoMo to declare war on the Medevac Bill and humanity; protect us all from those who may “game the system”? Dog-whistle people-smugglers?

Morrison does boost Australia’s reputation for gratuitous cruelty and abuse of human rights via off-shore detention. Our democracy cops a hiding, too. Cap’n ScoMo’s determined to subvert the will of the Australian people as represented by parliament’s passing of a bill to allow asylum-seekers held on Manus Island and on Nauru to be treated on the mainland, a bill which received royal assent last Friday. No-one puts up a fuss. He’ll send them to an island where medical facilities are inadequate but thanks to Howard, the law doesn’t reach. It’s an act of pure political bastardry. And it’s not cheap.

All up, Monty Morrison’s flying circus costs taxpayers $2000 per minute, reckons Nine Newspapers’, David Crowe. But that doesn’t begin to count the cost to our humanity nor to our capacity as sentient beings to find our way in the world.

The result of a consistent and total substitution of lies for factual truth is not that the lie will now be accepted as truth and truth be defamed as a lie, but that the sense by which we take our bearings in the real world – and the category of truth versus falsehood is among the mental means to this end – is being destroyed. (Hannah Arendt).

=====

Note

From the Attorney-General’s Department, Laura Tingle reports, Home Affairs has taken carriage of national security, emergency management and criminal justice functions. The Office of Transport Security has been plucked from the Infrastructure Department. Multicultural affairs has been absorbed from the Department of Social Services. And from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Home Affairs has taken control of counter-terrorism coordination and cybersecurity. The super-ministry also assumes responsibility for key agencies including ASIO, the Australian Federal Police, Australian Border Force, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission and AUSTRAC.

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38 comments

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  1. Keitha Granville

    I am dying to know what all the staff are doing at the moment – there isn’t anyone there. It’s like the episode of Yes Minister and the empty hospital, with hundreds of staff members working on nothing at all. Why are we paying for someQthing that isn’t being used? They could simply have appointed a resident of the island as care taker of the facility and IF anyone was taken there, arrange some other staff to mind them. It is absurdity at its height.

  2. Phil.

    The men in ‘ Black ‘ The one carrying the bag has I presume, the nuclear codes? The dude in black at the front is about to do a Pirouette. The soldier is scanning the horizon for boats. Are we supposed to take all this crap serious or is Morrison taking the piss? What a laugh it all is.

  3. Alcibiades

    This evenings 50th Newspoll loss for the LNP in a row:

    ALP 54 (+1) vs L/NP 46 (-1) 2PP

    Ya know, given the ‘Claytons’ election campaign is already in full swing, it’s supposed to gradually narrow as the polls approach, not widen.

    A margin of more than 4% is very difficult to overcome indeed.

    As posted before, the true margin may well be even greater, given false/denial responses by former rusted on Libs & Nats. Is the 8% margin in reality 10% or more ? Will this be a rerun of Campbell Newmans QLD massacre ?.

    8% or more, and there’s only 9 or 10 weeks left. Thinks that make you go … hmmm ?

    Bookies figures are :

    Labor 76 to 80 seats 4.25
    Labor 81 to 85 seats 2.75
    Labor 86 to 90 seats 4.50

    Labor is currently 69 seats, so that’s lowball between ~7 to ~21 seats gain to Labor. If its a Newman style massacre, at 8%+ margin, we’re looking at ~10 to ~30+ seats gain.

    Given the Fed AEC redistrubution & current minority, LNP needs to lose zero seats & win 4 seats to maintain a dead-heat hung parliament. Lose no seats & win 5 to have a 1 seat majority.

    Betcha Scott is doing a lot o’ clappin’ & prayin’ …

  4. Alcibiades

    Phil

    Scott wants us to believe its serious, he is taking the piss, and its a laugh a minute black comedy.

  5. Jack Russell

    Not sure this horrible creep meant to reveal the depths of his true nature in such stark and intimate detail … and to the entire country no less … but his current exulted position has certainly unravelled this shameless, deeply unethical shape shifter.

    He really doesn’t do not getting his own way very well at all. Will he implode, on camera, for posterity?

  6. Phil.

    Alcibiades.

    That 46% of the hoi polloi give or take a few points will still kill each other in the rush to vote for this coterie of shrieking baboons masquerading as a government, defies all known logic. But they do and among that 46 % are people on the dole, single mothers, people on disability support pensions and other assorted waifs and strays.

    .Added to this are the captains of industry, the entrepreneur’s and the upwardly mobile. No not CEO’s or other high rollers in huge mega dollar company’s, I mean, the people that have a parcel delivery service or a concreter or bricklayer with their NBN and a ute load of tax deductable shovels.

    But hey, if Shorten gets a huge majority will he change much? I don’t think so. The true believers in my party expired a long time ago. He is captured by the same forces Morrison is, it’s just about getting your picture as PM in the parliament, the gravy train moves on for them all. People hoping for an investigation into this government will be sorely disappointed.

  7. Paul Davis

    I understand that a cabinet minister resigning prior to this election will be significantly financially advantaged re pension entitlements.

    Questions: Do these generous entitlements also apply to cabinet ministers
    – who lose their seats in the election
    – resign after the election, rather than endure the ignominy of opposition

    Thinking of those poor souls who have no talent and are unemployable like Christopher Pyne who recognised his shortcomings and bolted while Fifield, Hunt, Dutton, Morrison, Porter, Frydenburg, Payne, Reynolds, Price to name some, look like they will tough it out at the moment.

  8. Alcibiades

    Correction, apologies was distracted (bad dog), that should be lowball (LNP best case) @6% margin ~7 to ~11 seats, worst case @ 6% margin ~17 to ~21 seats, with a mean of ~14 seats. @8%margin lowball (LNP best case) ~32+ seats to Labor.

    Also of note was a -1% drop in LNP primary vote down to 36% and Labor steady at primary of 39%.

    Phil

    Hear ya.

    However this is 2PP with adjusted preferance flows, as per the last election. With said preference flows obviously progressively less relevant the greater the swing.

    In reality the combined Liberal, Nationals, CLP & QLD LNP primary vote is the 36% as the Fed Coalition. It’s the indirect preference flows from the minor and micro-parties that boost LNP to ~46% 2PP. (Cori’s Conservatives, One Nation %, etc)

    So there’s actually ~25% not voting primary to LNP or Labor, therefore ultimately collectively pans out at ~+10% preference flow to LNP & ~+15% preference flow to Labor. (~7-8% to Labor from the Greens, One Nation %)

    Sadly largely concur with your latter comments, only the lesser of two evils really, IMV. Same/similar donors/lobbyists, predominantly same government policy capture, different day.

  9. Alcibiades

    Paul Davis

    And promptly resign after the election. Yes.

    If they first entered Parliament prior to 2004 then their annual pension is averaged at ~70% of the prior three years, for life, unassessed against any other additional income(IIRC). No minimum starting age. See Joe Hockey, Bronwyn Bishop, George Brandis, etc.

    Hence at least a significant contributor to the recent mass Minister resignations prior to polling day. Maximized to the last $.

    🙁

  10. whatever

    Colonel Kurtz had charisma, salaryman Scotty is only at the Colonel Klink level.

  11. David Tyler

    Taxpayers will pay up to $1 billion to fund the retirements of politicians under an axed parliamentary pension scheme, and the cost of the scheme will blow out by another 10 per cent by 2020 to $50 million a year reports Eryk Bagshaw in The Age this morning. It will peak at $59 million in 2033. Perhaps the Fair Work Commission could make a retrospective reduction?
    Sorry. Almost forgot. Stacked with Liberals. Employer representatives.
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/taxpayers-face-bill-of-up-to-1b-to-fund-mps-retirements-20190308-p512nk.html

  12. Andy56

    Those pictures from christmas island were chilling. It looked like a PRISON. Up to now, reporters were not encouraged to get near because, you know, see no evil hear no evil. But now that everyone can see its an actual prison, i think the tenuos arguments are unravelling.
    Besides all the hoo ha of the pre election campaign that we are funding ( they should get the bill in the mail after the election), the more absurd the claims the more chicken little’s lies are being ignored.
    No amount of budget bribes can save this mob, it too will be obviously over the top rubbish that economists will cry ” its crazy”. They have form, lol.

  13. Andy56

    David tyler, the one thing that will actually hit then between the legs would be NO SUPER till pensioner age. Let them eat the same shit they want us to eat.

  14. David1

    I note comments from a couple of Bill Shorten knockers even before the man and his party have won a single seat. How about giving him and his new Government a chance to unpack the briefcases and at least show their intent, before swinging the bat.

  15. Terence Mills

    The announcement on Christmas Island by Scott Morrison that the 1300 bed detention facility (the hospital has six beds) would be reopened has surely been welcomed by people smugglers in Indonesia.

    The high level of publicity about Christmas Island was broadcast into Indonesia on last Wednesday. When the Australian media asked a bemused Indonesian people smuggler what he thought of the reopening of the Christmas Island centre, he seemed to regard it as encouragement to restart his business :

    “In my opinion if it is reopened I agree and am ready to ferry,” he said.

    From a very cynical view of what is happening, we know that Australian Border Force have in the past paid people smugglers to turn their boats around. Now it seems we may be paying them to put to sea at opportune intervals prior to the May election.

  16. David Tyler

    Yes Terence. Not sure about the demand side of things these days – thanks in no small part to our efforts – a lot of asylum-seekers are reduced to begging but we could pay refugees to try to get to Christmas Island. We have evidence of least one people-smuggler who turns out to be an Australian double agent – although it’s some years ago now. Will look up details later.

  17. David Tyler

    Illegal labour appears to be a fact of life to Victoria’s federated farmers. Emma Germano, vice-president of the Victorian Farmers Federation, says, the Border Force raids in north-west Victoria “essentially shut down” much of the Sunraysia district’s horticulture industry for a week because the workforce went into hiding until they were sure the authorities were gone.
    As Mike Seccombe reports in The Saturday Paper, it’s nice that Emma can be so open about our illegal workforce.

  18. Jon Chesterson

    THE RELIGION OF SCOMOCORIANIBUS & THE CHRISTMAS ISLAND LIE

    ‘Morrison does boost Australia’s reputation for gratuitous cruelty and abuse of human rights via off-shore detention. Our democracy cops a hiding, too. Cap’n ScoMo’s determined to subvert the will of the Australian people as represented by parliament’s passing of a bill to allow asylum-seekers held on Manus Island and on Nauru to be treated on the mainland, a bill which received royal assent last Friday. No-one puts up a fuss. He’ll send them to an island where medical facilities are inadequate but thanks to Howard, the law doesn’t reach. It’s an act of pure political bastardry. And it’s not cheap’.

    ‘All up, Monty Morrison’s flying circus costs taxpayers $2000 per minute, reckons Nine Newspapers’, David Crowe. But that doesn’t begin to count the cost to our humanity nor to our capacity as sentient beings to find our way in the world’.

    That means, Scomocorianiabus is spending more than a billion dollars of our Australian dollar and effort every year just to fly this circus of lies and cruelty around, against little more than a thousand innocent refugees. Meanwhile an estimated 64,000+ who come by plane and out stay their visa each year fly under the Border Force radar. That includes hundreds of thousands of temporary migrant visas issued by Border Force (we can hardly call it department of immigration) for the corporate sector to exploit the workforce and maximise profits, wealthy opportunists and no doubt a few genuine asylum seekers among them; but this divergent group has not been painted with one brush and victimised like those who had no other choice and came by boat to escape the torture and genocide – the genuine refugee.

    Anyone who can’t see that should not be allowed to vote and Scomocorianiabus and his mates should certainly not be allowed to rule, let alone govern. It is a crime against the refugee, a crime against humanity, and a crime against the Australian people – All three – Father, son and holy ghost!

  19. andy56

    I tell you what, It shows Pentecostals arent true christians either. Its time to tax religions. They are surely taking a piss on us.
    Barnaby/ McCormack , the battle is on. Mac is trying a Barnaby claiming 45% renewables means no night sport. Barney is saying he was the elected deputy PM.
    Newspoll isnt going their way so its either more extreme rhetoric or its gonna be a wild budget.
    My tip, it will smell more and more as the election approaches and i have run out of popcorn. Who would have thought the show would last this long.

  20. Alcibiades

    Andy56

    The Notionals are desperate ’cause they are facing losing three seats, possibly more. They only gained ~2.4% of the Federal vote last election. They have not achieved the required minimum of 4% to receive the benefits of Party status at the 2013 & 2016 elections. The very significant financial & other staff/resource benefits of Party status were simply granted ex gratia by Abbott & then Turnbull. It won’t happen again post the May polls.

    The Notionals have been in serial decline for generations …

    Whilst the Libs are re-arranging the deck chairs on a sinking ship … the Notionals are fighting over seating in a holed, adrift lifeboat, with no oars.

  21. Max Gross

    The boy stood on the burning deck…

  22. Max Gross

    Gaming the system, pulling the wool and blowing smoke up your arse is what LNP does best. Pastor Promo is playing voters for suckers. Again. Still. Always. Pure LNP!

  23. Alcibiades

    I note comments from a couple of Bill Shorten knockers even before the man and his party have won a single seat. How about giving him and his new Government a chance to unpack the briefcases and at least show their intent, before swinging the bat.

    Essentially we face a binary choice in a rigid two party system of factional machine politics.

    The current mob of venal amoral scum are worse than the days of Joh in QLD on steroids, so, the choice is for many starkly clear.

    However, my concerns are as follows :

    Will there be Royal Commissions into the blatant outrageous endemic & systemic corruption of the last two terms, without fear nor favour ?

    Will there be lustration of the IPA appointees throughout the ABC and Federal government departments, agencies & authorities ?

    Will the politicised & corrupted AFP be disbanded and reconstituted from the ground up ?

    Will the inhuman regime of the long gutted & contracted out Centrelink & Dept of Human Services be rebuilt root & branch from the ground up ?

    Will the politicians pensions be re-aligned to access at age 70, and the exorbitant super and double & treble income dipping cease, let alone casual impune abuse of entitlements & allowances on all sides ?

    Will the new government abandon from top to bottom the inhumane & corrupt system of offshore concentration camps, cease torturing confirmed refugees, cease an egregious policy of refoulement, and bloody well abide by treaties and international law, let alone basic human decency ?

    Will the new government rescind the obscene bi-partisan ‘in-lockstep’ over-reach policies & laws on so called ‘national security’, anti-terrorism & citizen rights wholesale, that have incrementally led us over the last 18 years to an all pervasive permissiveness by the State of authoritarianism, that the Gestapo could only envy ?

    Will a Royal Commission be called in the abuse within the Australian Defence Force, it’s permissive leadership that has led to repeated breaches of the Geneva Conventions and numerous War Crimes, as well as the Dept of Veterans Affairs which does not even note veteran suicides ?

    Will the 100’s of billions in tax avoidance & evasion, systemic corrupt misuse of Trusts & false charities, gross theft of our nations resources for pennies (LNG,etc), by predominantly overseas foreign corporations be stopped ?

    Will the recent ‘Living wage’ posturing actually change the fundamental status quo for 3 decades now, or just tinker around the edges with new guidance and redrafted ‘principles’ for the predominantly Coalition appointed Fair Work Commission ?

    Will political donation/lobbyist laws be rewritten and enacted to be totally fully transparent, in real-time, no loopholes a semi could drive thru and result in mandatory prison terms for the slightest infraction ?

    Will individual Bankers & Co be prosecuted, convicted & sent to prison en masse, will individual employers who systemically routinely steal wages go to prison for years long past literally conspiracies to steal Billions, whilst a destitute single mother who has her below poverty level social welfare payments arbitrarily suspended by an unaccountable for profit contracting agency, earns a criminal record for life for stealing a pack of nappies & a can of baby powder worth less than $20 ?

    Somewhat doubt it.

    This election may well provide a rare opportunity for generational change … that will in all probability be lost to yet further policy capture by lobbyists, vested-interests, foreign corporations & rent-seekers …

    However, some will be temporarily elated that their football team won one, regardless of the fact, WTF of national consequence, let alone society and individual lives actually changed ?

    Change the Rules. Change the parameters. Change the ‘by design’ flawed & corrupted systems & laws.

    2c is up

  24. helvityni

    Most depressing stories, but oh so entertainingly told, a spoonful of sugar makes the medicine go down….

  25. Alcibiades

    I understand what it takes to have a successful marriage’: Nationals leader slaps down Barnaby Joyce

    Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has rebuked his predecessor Barnaby Joyce over his ability to make the “marriage” work between the Nationals and the Liberal Party, in a growing dispute over leadership and energy.

    Mr McCormack made a telling swipe against Mr Joyce, known for his separation from his wife following an affair with staffer Vikki Campion, by emphasising the need to make the Coalition between the two parties work like a marriage…

  26. MöbiusEcko

    But Kronomex, he’s not the elected DPM. He was the chosen leader of the National Party and as part of the mostly secret conditions of the Coalition agreement, the NP leader is automatically given the DPM role no matter how suited or not they are for that role. Indeed the whole NP are given portfolios and power above the percentage of votes they garner and suitability for the job. On top of this, to keep them voting with the Liberals they are gifted billions in pork barrelling whilst indigent schemes and people go wanting.

    Bit by bit this Coalition is unravelling however as umbrageous Liberal politicians are peeved at not being able to get portfolios, nor the DPM, they believe they deserve. Along with that, to keep the portfolios and pork the NP has to vote with the Liberals more often than not against their rural constituents, and those constituents are not happy about it.

  27. New England Cocky

    Uhm … did anyone else see the media report that there have been about 64,000 refugee applications from persons who has FLOWN INTO Australia during the present tenure of the RAbbott Turdball Morriscum Lazy Nasty People misgovernment? If so, then so much for “border protection”!!!

    Now what about the MSM press release this morning 110319 noting that Pacific Island agricultural workers will have their visas extended and be given the opportunity to convert them to Australian citizenship provided they remain as regional residents?

    So much for “border protection”!!

  28. Phil.

    Alcibiades.

    ‘Essentially we face a binary choice in a rigid two party system of factional machine politics.’

    Struth you saved my arthritic fingers.

    I concur totally, unequivocally and too fk right.

  29. New England Cocky

    @MobiusEcko: The “secret conditions of the COALition agreement” date back to the mid 70s when the Liarbrals shut up the New England Nw State Movement by successfully offering the current National$ Party leader the DPM job on condition that the NENSM was shut down.

    @ Alcibiades: The ABC RN programme this weekend identified the US billionaires the Hunt Brothers as major financial sponsors of the IPA because the Hunt Brothers are working in concert with other multimillionaires and billionaires to reverse the Western democratic model of society and re-introduce a Russian style peasantry with an all owning Upper Class.

  30. Alcibiades

    Phil

    Pleased to have been able to prevent some further unnecessary suffering. 😉

    Blood Oath.

    One is limited to typing with only one hand, fortunately haven’t been afflicted with arthritis, as yet.

    NWE

    The IPA is Murdoch & the foreign & local corporate rent-seekers & Co. The politicians and appointees we colloquially refer to as IPA, are in reality, little more than bought & paid for, Dog Soldiers, IMV.

    Why is there never an investigative expose on the IPA … ever … only ever referred to obliquely, in passing, when at all … curious minds wish to know …

  31. George Villiers.

    This Xmas Island publicity stunt, Insiders put a figure on it yesterday and I was left wondering about how many folk missed out hospital treatment etc for the money wasted,

  32. David Tyler

    The figure was a $2000 per minute which is based on Nine Newspapers’ (formerly Fairfax’s) David Crowe’s estimate, George. https://www.theage.com.au/politics/federal/christmas-island-tropical-tour-a-waste-of-taxpayer-cash-20190306-p5127q.html

    What mainstream media rarely pursues is the nonsense spouted by Scott Morrison over his “people smugglers’ business model”. Morrison’s scare campaign is based on a series of fallacies but one which I didn’t know until I read Peter Mares’ excellent article in Inside Story was the method of payment only by results. Mares’ information means it is unlikely that any people smuggler would risk sending a boat to Christmas Island. Adds to the implausibility of the wave of boats which Morrison insists will follow the Medevac Bill. Peter Mares writes,

    “Passengers generally don’t pay the smuggler in full for the passage to Australia; instead, they deposit funds with a trusted third party. Researcher Khalid Koser has followed the money trail of the smuggling networks and found that the cost of passage is usually paid to a hawala or money changer and held in trust. “The money is only released by that third party to the smuggler, once the migrant has arrived safely in his or her destination,” he says. Koser calls this a money-back guarantee on smuggling: “If you don’t make it to your destination safely, I as a smuggler get nothing at all — nothing.” ”

    Australia’s own border wall

  33. paul walter

    Insiders and much else about that once fortress of democracy in Australia, public broadcasting, can be pretty risible, as yesterday’s episode demonstrated.

    The most dishonest example of all was the pack set upon Labor for suggesting modest initiatives could be taken to ease the stagnant wages issue, which most of MSM has been discussing somewhat over the last month or so in particular, in the context of an induced recession, backed up by Corman and Reynolds astonishing confession that low wages kept low deliberately was a conservative “design feature”, regardless of the impact on the economy.

    Low and behold, if the panel did not then introduce the bogy of wages improvements as a trigger for, you guessed it, recession.

    I will now read the links and suggest George will be most pleased when he reads your reply.

    This despite economists discussing over the last few weeks the impact of low and stagnant wages on consumption and business!

    I know I digress a little, but if conservatives lie about wages and recession it certainly raises a suspicion that they might also lie about asylum seekers and Christmas Island and vice versa.

  34. George Villiers.

    I thought Mares’ article was a fair effort, although I did think his advocacy of Big Pop unconvincing.

    Quiggin, at the same journal, proposes the need for the long overdue roll back of monopoly and oligarchy. My feeling is that neoliberalism, aided by cleverly massaged manipulation of the electoral fear of increased immigration at a time of erosion of social infrastructure and increasing under and unemployment, along with manipulation of the commercial and financial system by an increasingly rampant Big End, to the extent of deep environmental deterioration also, suggests that counterbalancing influences like a healthy trade union and informed public are necessary for the political impetus for an economy that accommodates both human need and rational employ of resources, that can allow for big pop. I can’t see how this can be achieved when we already live in a deunionised and dumbed down society and find the continued of advocacy of big pop from the soft left curious given the situation.

    Immigration is of course not much to do with the needs of a few asylum seekers, although it is clear that at the same time as West Asian asylum seekers have been demonised, a big movement of migrants has been facilitated anyway. A now developed Ignored) pool of two to three million under and unemployed labour has developed which encourages the destruction of worker solidarity as desperate people sell out for sustenance, entrenching capitalist control through divide and conquer.

    Yes, it is baffling that some commentators go into denialism over factors mentioned above and also claim that we have a “good” rather than punitive social security system in place in defence of big pop, against current trends.
    As I said, Mares left his anti low pop (till things are finally sorted rationally) remarks till the end of his otherwise sharp article, but I will remain wary of attempts to conflate the evil treatment of refugees with anti low pop, because I think we COULD accommodate a higher population, including tens of thousands of refugees in Malaysia and Indonesia, plus immigration, IF ONLY THE FUNDAMENTALS WERE IN PLACE FIRST.

    I dread a society so weakened that the likes of Corman and Reynolds get their vision of a feudalistic “designed” society and divisions over refugees fanned by the right have ensured that big pop in whatever form or wedge it takes remains a source of anxiety for the common herd. Until we get politicians able and willing to stand up to neoliberal globalisation (pious hope), nothing good will come of the most successful Tory wedge of this century, leading to the smashing of a society once able to look after itself, any/whichever way the chips fall as to refugees and the upcoming election.

  35. David Tyler

    Point taken about Peter Mares, George. Yet I’ve re-read the article carefully and I don’t see him as simply advocating increasing our population or Big Pop as you put it. His insights into the securitisation of immigration are valuable as is hs data on and Home Affairs’ gross inefficiencies are valuable – the gap between the rhetoric and the reality- especially given we are now in a regime where whistle-blowing is outlawed. Even reporting on our gulag archipelago is strongly discouraged.

    Share your concerns about the growth of a vast – and rapidly expanding underclass of under and unemployed workers augmented by guest workers, often from the Pacific but also from Asia who are our modern kanakas – little better than slave labour.

    The Victorian Farmers Federation is in the news complaining about a token bust undertaken by the paramilitary ABF. According to the ABC, “The Victorian Farmers Federation table grapes in Sunraysia were being left on the vine because workers were too scared to show up, fearing more raids.”

    “VFF vice president Emma Germano says the presence of Border Force has shut the industry down during its peak picking time.”

    In The Saturday Paper, Mike Seccombe quotes a Sunraysia local who estimates that half of the harvest labour is now undocumented. And there are still calls, this week, for a new agricultural visa to be implemented. As it is, on Monday Immigration Minister David Coleman adds eighteen occupations to the regional occupation list. Bosses can sponsor overseas workers to live and work in Australia for up to four years in designated regions.

    Agree with your misgivings about how neoliberalism’s infected our political class. Yet the neoliberal era, itself, has been an ignominious failure. Now we may be seeing an election campaign where neoliberalism’s failure to deliver a fair share of prosperity can no longer be disguised, explained away. How many years can you tell workers to expect a wage rise to be just around the corner? However, often our inept treasurer wishes to invoke the “invisible hand” – voters are keenly aware of stagnant wages; the decline in their standard of living since the Coalition took office. Frydenberg is left quibbling about how you measure standard of living but workers and households are not bluffed. Even those few who are still listening.

  36. George Villiers.

    With Frydenberg, the “invisible hand” seems to be working overtime.

    In order to avoid an energy-sapping blowout staining his reputation, he needs to drop the fantasising and focus on becoming aware that the nation is watching and unlikely to be pleased with an outcome he would be later ashamed to discuss, leaving even more of a mess for the public to have to clean up in upcoming times.

    Firing blanks is not going to bring home the bacon and the LNP should have learned by now that the public is not finding lipsticked pigs attractive.

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