Now, I don’t want to denigrate the Australian Defence Force. I’m sure that most of them are fine, upstanding human beings. So, in making the following observations, I’m just trying to provide a little perspective.
Scott Morrison tells us:
‘Let me be very clear.
“The Australian government is not going to put up with people sledging the Australian navy with unsubstantiated claims when they have high levels of motivation for spinning stories in order to undermine this government’s very successful border protection program and policy.
“There is no substantiation to the sorts of allegations that have been made and publicised and put around. I think the mere publication of things that are clearly so unsubstantiated … is very unfortunate.”
The government says it accepts defence assurances that naval personnel acted appropriately and there will be no formal investigation into the claims.’
So how exactly does one substantiate “unsubstantiate claims” without an investigation? Or is our Immigration Minister arguing that only substantiated comments should be checked out?
And we do know that our navy consists of Australians. Australians are lovely people. Always! Australians would never ill-treat people. Australians are believers in a fair go. So we can just presume that it’s a made-up story.
Although the alleged Facebook comment from a member of the navy does make me wonder if there aren’t some naval people who may not be treating the asylum seekers with the sort of gentle firmness that we expect:
Defence has confirmed it is investigating the comments, which the member made on a friend’s post about asylum seekers whose boat had sunk.
“More Asylum boaties sank in a boat trying to get here to jump on Centrelink and get free government housing,” the post said.
The Navy member responded: ‘”I’m about to head out today to deal with these f——s.”
All right, it’s unsubstantiated at this stage.
As for the past accusations that some members of our defence have been guilty of bastardisation and sexual assaults against other members of the defence force, well, that’s not really relevant at the moment, because that doesn’t fit with the idea that ALL our navy are exemplary human beings and all asylum seekers are lying scum who make things up. Which is, of course, the subtext of Scott Morrison’s comments.
Like I said at the beginning, I believe that the vast majority of people in the defence forces are decent people. But I find it disturbing that we can presume that there is no possibility that any of them would ever do anything bad to “invading foreigners”, given that there are cases where some of them gave their own colleagues some pretty shabby treatment.
It’s Australia Day (or Rum Rebellion Day) – it’s just unpatriotic to even consider that any of our navy could ever do anything wrong.
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