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The boats have ‘apparently’ stopped, but are any of us actually better off?

Image courtesy of globalvoicesonline.org

Image courtesy of globalvoicesonline.org

What issues are important to Australians?

I don’t speak for all people but I’d suggest that if I said the issues included rising unemployment/job security, education, health, income inequality, aged care, climate change, the cost of living, adequate infrastructure, essential services, 21st century information technology or housing affordability it would be safe to say that I’ve covered one issue that would be important to (collectively) more than 95 per cent of us.

Now I would ask, “What has the government done to address any of these?” The answer to that is all too obvious.

All they’ve harped on about is that they’ve stopped the boats. Whether they have or not . . . is another matter. Oh, and they did mention education reforms, briefly, but stopping boats is their only claim for bragging rights.

And so what if they have stopped? Shane of Café Whispers asked:

How has this effected you personally? How has this effected the Aussie citizen? How has this effected jobs? How has this effected any of our personal lives? It hasn’t!

So true.

Shane has only just scratched the surface. I’ll continue to scratch away with more questions.

Is it going to bring relief to the workers at Qantas, SPC or anybody worried about their job security knowing that some wretched asylum seekers have been forced into a big orange life boat and sent back to Indonesia? Will that make their lives any better? Will it bring back Ford or Toyota? Does saving our borders save our jobs?

Will a better life await struggling pensioners because another boat has been stopped? Is the shopping dollar easier to stretch every time a boat is towed away? Has it done anything for the homeless Australians because a lifeboat has been set adrift?

And when the orange boat slips across the white sands of some Indonesian beach will it give us higher Internet speeds? Will it make housing, health care or education more affordable?

Each time Tony Abbott or Scott Morrison front up to the nearest microphone to proudly bleat that their government has lived up to its core promise of protecting our borders (from starving women and children) do you think it’ll mean more hospitals will be built? Or will it save another school from closing?

The boats have ‘apparently’ stopped, but are any of us actually better off?

Are houses more affordable because billions of dollars are being spent on ‘border security’?

No, no, no and no.

I return to Shane for my closing comment:

Honestly, if the only success this current government can come up with is stopping the boats then they will be a one-term government, because it has done nothing for the voters and their lives at all.




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  1. leighton8

    No, the Abbott government hasn’t done anything “for” the voters …. but they have definitely done a lot already “to” the voters …. and not of it good ……

  2. Kaye Lee

    The question I keep asking is, after spending tens of billions of dollars, how many refugees have been helped?

  3. John Kelly

    The boats may have stopped for now and for a variety of reasons. To boldly claim they have stopped altogether is foolish in the extreme.

  4. Tassietiger1

    This article really does it for me Carol.

    The abbott lieing nasty party may have succeeded in preventing asylum seekers arriving by boat from Indonesia because they intercept the asylum seeker boats, put the asylum seekers in to orange boats and tow the boat towards Indonesia. WHAT A COMPASSIONATE CHRISTIAN ACT!!!

    This action has not helped our country and our people.

    This article should be forwarded to all Australian members of parliament so that they can become aware of the futility of their actions and the gross waste of taxpayers’ taxes.

  5. edward eastwood

    It hasn’t done a damn thing for the economy or more especially, to unemployment Carol.

  6. Don

    The Abbott Government has done a lot for voters, he has liberated Holden and Toyota workers, he’s getting the poor unfortunate kids on DSP to work in the green army as slave labour, he’s making everyone pay for health care, he’s making sure Australians don’t lose pay by stripping penalty rates so they are better off, he’s moving people under 50 on DSP onto Newstart, he has given the go ahead for the coal port to be dredged, he’s trying to strip back heritage laws on Tasmanian forests so he can have custom toilet paper for the lodge, I could go on and on with the things Tony has done.

  7. Roswell

    Don, that’s an impressive list. We should all be grateful. 😉

  8. ThePoliticalVagina

    No but Serco, GS4, Transfield have reaped a lot of cash eh?

  9. Kaye Lee

    The other truly astonishing thing is that they point to this as a success….their only one in fact. So they have been successful in locking up men, women and children who came to us seeking safety. We have made it so bad that many have committed suicide. Now the people we pay to protect them are killing and maiming them. Refugees are bottling up in transit countries. Since Manus and Nauru opened in 2012, ONE person has been processed….ONE!

    On what planet would our treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, and our utter disdain for our neighbours saying it’s your problem, be considered a successful government venture? And did I mention it has cost us tens of billions…oh yes…well let me mention it again.

    Politicians are truly barking mad.

  10. mars08

    The boats have not stopped. In fact, some of the asylum seekers are being forced to make a return boat trip in hot, vomitous lifeboats… So much for the pretense of caring about their safety.

  11. Kaye Lee

    I expect to see a flotilla of refuelled orange life rafts arriving on our shores some time in the future. Wouldn’t that be the perfect ending to this ridiculous exercise…to find 12 of them washed up on our beaches with a note left behind…”better than a leaky boat but could do with more windows. thanks”

  12. Keitha Granville

    we are TOLD the boats have stopped. How many have been set adrift in the ocean ? How would we know ? They have stopped them getting to Austrlaia, isn’t the same as they have stopped them. I pray that the people smugglers have stopped putting people in boats to be cast adrift by our navy, the thought is chilling.

  13. passum2013

    Well you know the truth is they are now coming as visitors and tourists. Then simply disappearing never to be found again.
    Then the smugglers have got smart and bought a Submarine and is doing the graveyard shift every night to Australia direct. At greatly discounted prices due to the numbers that they can cram into the sub.

  14. mars08

    …it would be safe to say that I’ve covered one issue that would be important to (collectively) more than 95 per cent of us.

    Unfortunately it only takes a few percent to decide an election. Both major parties are well aware of this… and they know exactly who to target and how to win their votes. Needless to say, neither major party gives a damn about MY vote….

  15. Sandra Searle (@SandraSearle)

    Have just finished watching SBS’s Dateline report on both Manus & Nauru. The treatment of those refugees is totally disgraceful & I for one am just so ANGRY.
    How dare these stupid politicians (both parties are culpable) treat very vulnerable people in this way. It is inhumane.
    Morrison states that they are being well looked after – B******t. We are being lied to and we should not tolerate it.
    That March in March is a place where anyone who cares can make a statement to all politicians who think that they can continue with this treatment of people who just want to start a new life in a so called safe country like Australia used to be.
    There is just so much that is wrong with this new government!

  16. Bec Brown

    Exactly Kaye. we are taking the wrong tack appealing to people’s sense of empathy and compassion for asylum seekers. Tell them how much it costs in comparison to community processing and they shut up very fast.

  17. glenys lane

    oh sandra searle i have just watched the same program, if fact it brought tears to my eyes that this goverment can be so cruel those poor people and there children, there has to be a way of helping them. i will march in march and hope many others do as well, because if we dont get rid of this goverment none of us will be free,

  18. Stephen Tardrew

    I just don’t understand what causing pain and suffering to others achieves other than to diminish ourselves. If we were the victims we would rightly feel dehumanized and vilified. I can’t believe that it is even necessary to point this out.

    Saw Dateline: “Disgusting”

    Great article Kaye.

  19. CMMC

    “Lord of the Flies” is where we are.

  20. Carol Taylor

    Perhaps it has not occured to many right whingers that via the *success* of stopping the boats that is, if Tony really has, and the fact that the Cone of Silence was so quickly placed on the whole issue suggests a reason, it means that genuine refugees are through threats and punitive action are being denied the right to have their claims heard. Australia, a once proud and generous nation has become small, petty and cruel. I guess you elect the leader you deserve…

  21. Carol Taylor

    Edward, which of course is the reason behind Abbott’s green army… as I wrote over at Michael’s other blog Café Whispers..

    Having clearly given up on the pretext that Abbott’s Green Army has anything whatsoever to do with Climate Change action, the real crux of the matter has now finally been admitted – it’s all about tidying up those messy unemployment and Disability Support Pension figures.

  22. mars08

    …this goverment can be so cruel those poor people and there children, there has to be a way of helping them. i will march in march and hope many others do as well, because if we dont get rid of this goverment none of us will be free…

    Sadly this is a BIPARTISAN approach. A long-standing BIPARTISAN approach. Sadly this is no longer driven by the politicians. Over the years, the electorate has been conditioned to demand harsh, inhumane and cruel treatment of asylum seekers. It is now ingrained into our society.

    Forget about politicians leading any real change in Australia’s approach. Any change will have to be driven by a more compassionate attitude from ALL of electorate… and that’s unlikely to happen.

    No doubt the politicians created and nurtured this vile scheme in the quest for votes, but their odious creation has now taken on a life of it’s own.

    “He who rides the tiger can never dismount”

  23. linda

    Hopefully the ignorant may realise that the so called ‘stopping of the boats “has made not a lick of difference to their everyday needs,but even if they do, out poops another diversion ,the phoney green army sick up.Another policy that will not improve the average joe blow Lib supporters lives,but it will keep them loyal enough when the next fudged unemployment figures come out that tone’s is doing a bang up job,getting those welfare dependents working in a false economy and avoiding any real environmental issues .There will be another catchy slogan no doubt and just enough sound bites to keep them feeling like winners.I live in hope that more people will wake up and start questioning the delinquency of this current government.

  24. FryaDuck

    @Kaye, Isn’t he still living at the Police Academy (sic)? One may wonder whether living there and purchasing armoured BMWs might be a hint that there is a credible threat against him from the very first day.

    Of course what they have done since that day in September would only have broadened the scope of people whose ire has been inspired. Mayhap the reason for all the secrecy is to reduce that threat.

    Whilst this may be a loony conspiracy theory, one does wonder.

    Names and dates redacted to prevent NSA parsing.

  25. mars08

    Hopefully the ignorant may realise that the so called ‘stopping of the boats “has made not a lick of difference to their everyday needs…

    I carry some dried orange peel in my wallet to ward off attacks by Japanese badgers (Meles anakuma). Up to now, I have survived unscathed. So, I figure the dried orange peel is working and I will keep using it. Besides it is not doing ME any harm.

  26. patsy

    good article again…please help me understand about the workings of the orange boats…..I feel quite stupid ….why are they leaving them after they cost so much…..and can they be used again???????

  27. DanDark

    I think March in March
    Will be Phony Tony’s day of reckoning
    He knows it,we all know it,the countdown is on
    The polls show it,no one likes Tony
    and his lies, and no policies
    He can only produce job losses by the masses

    Noticed he used the word “marching” the crusade for this country
    or some Bull S hit,he just rambles on
    uming and uhging usually in question time

    But he made a point of using the word marching
    couple of days ago,he has even pinched the March in March
    slogan,and turned it around for his own gain I think

    He pays a heap of spin doctors alot of money
    and has to pinch the word marching
    off March in March campaign,
    god he is so original,not very
    So stupid really,no brains all brute is Tone’s….

  28. cassilva48

    If the boats have stopped then there is no reason why the Abbott government could not repatriate all asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru to Australia, as they would be the last arrivals?

  29. Stephen Tardrew

    Apologies Carol for calling you Kaye.

  30. Jan Dobson

    “How has this effected you personally? How has this effected the Aussie citizen? How has this effected jobs? How has this effected any of our personal lives? It hasn’t!”

    Well in one way it has & it has some effect when countering the pro Abbott argument . The financial cost of the current policy is astronomical. I want my tax dollars to be spent much more effectively. The misinformed, bigoted, disinterested do tend to take notice if the financial costs of this (insert adjective of your choice as I can’t think of one that comes close to the level of my fury and disgust) policy are mentioned.

  31. Anomander

    Abbott’s plan to stop der boats makes a HUGE difference on all our lives because it unnecessarily diverts billions of dollars to private security firms in building and maintaining all these offshore processing centres at vastly inflated prices.

    This is money that could be better invested in infrastructure, education, health, social services and an array of worthwhile endeavours that support our society. Instead it is mindlessly squandered because of some ludicrous xenophobic belief that brown skinned people are bad.

  32. Bill Morris

    The boats have ‘apparently’ stopped, but are any of us actually better off?

    A little self centred, if you know what I mean!

  33. John

    Face it you losers Abbott has been successful at these terriosts reaching our shores great man well done

  34. John

    So sick of you left wing Morons complaining , they are not refugees and Tony Abbott is legend for stopping them something the snivelling greens and labour couldn’t do

  35. Fed up

    Can someone explain to me why PM Abbott is expressing his gratitude to the Egyptian President for taking the time to speak to him?

    It appears that the PM told the President that the Australian reporter was only doing his job.

  36. Fed up

    PM Abbott does not seem to understand, that many people are also interested in the how, and the cost.

    Yes the “means” still matter to many,

    Many fo agree with the shadow minister that they slowed down dramatically with the PNG scheme, which they initiated. Abbott does not seem to have taken this process much further, in spite of having over six months to do so.

    Many still have the feeling that the Malaysian Solution, and the proposition put forward by the Houston Expert Committee could have bought this result much earlier.

    One wonders if the extreme actions of this government are really needed. Maybe time should have been taken, to see where the PNG scheme took us.

    Many cannot understand how this government can support what they have put in place, when oin Opposition, one after another stood up with tears in their eyes, for asylum seekers, being sent back to Malaysia. It would take some explaining how that option was unacceptable, but what is happening to day is OK.

    Many believe that a bipartisan approach, working with others in the region could have got us to this stage, more than a couple of years ago.


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