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This “stop the boats” rubbish must stop

This “stop the boats” rubbish must stop. Both major parties, and the people who condone this rhetoric, should be ashamed of themselves. In 1959, during the opening of World Refugee Year, Prime Minister Robert Menzies said
“It has not been easy for organised world opinion in the United Nations or elsewhere to act directly in respect of some of the dreadful events which have driven so many people from their own homes and their own fatherland, but at least we can in the most practical fashion show our sympathy for those less fortunate than ourselves who have been the innocent victims of conflicts and upheavals of which in our own land we have been happy enough to know nothing. It is a good thing that Australia should have earned a reputation for a sensitive understanding of the problems of people in other lands; that we should not come to be regarded as people who are detached from the miseries of the world.”
Tony uses blame game tactics – everything is Labor’s fault. So when the number of asylum seekers began to increase, Tony blamed Labor. The fact that the number of asylum seekers worldwide was increasing greatly seems to escape his attention. That’s not his concern. And in the ultimate act of cowardice, Labor has chosen to join the dog-whistling, victimising and marginalising these vulnerable people. In 2010, Malcolm Fraser was scathing in his criticism of both parties.
“This is a demeaning debate, it’s a miserable one. It also shows that the politicians who participated in this debate have contempt for all of us, for the majority of the Australian people. They believe that despite all the evidence to the contrary, that if they appeal to the fearful and mean sides of our nature, they will win support.”
Sadly, appealing to our fearful and mean sides has become the politics du jour and it is working with a significant section of the community. The Murdoch press has to accept some of the blame for this as well. In waging war against people smugglers, we are punishing their clients, who have turned to us for help – help that we have offered through our membership of the Refugee Convention. The armoury directed at deterring asylum seekers from coming by boat, implemented by Labor and Liberal governments, is astonishing in its extent and ferocity. Most of it achieves nothing other than degrading and in some cases ultimately destroying people’s lives. Deaths at sea have always been a feature of refugee flows. A document prepared for the Australian Cabinet in 1979 estimated that between 50 per cent and 70 per cent of those fleeing in the wake of the Vietnam War drowned. Then, as now, people driven by sheer desperation continued to get on boats. Then, as now, government action stopped the boats. Then, unlike now, people were given an alternative: Australia joined the US, China and Canada to reach an agreement under which each country took substantial numbers of Vietnamese and Vietnam agreed to stop pushing people out of the country. Australian officials, together with those from other countries, processed people in camps in Malaysia and other south-east Asian countries and flew the successful applicants to Australia. Stopping the boats may solve a political problem in Australia but it does so by dumping the issue into other countries’ laps. People smugglers will look for other countries to which to send their clients. Genuine refugees who are deterred from fleeing by Australia’s tough policy run the risk of persecution and worse. Unlike people who arrive by boat in Australia, people who arrive by plane and then seek asylum are not subject to mandatory detention. The number of asylum seekers who arrived by plane in the financial year 2012-13 was 8,308. A recent study commissioned by the Department of Immigration and conducted by the University of Adelaide looked at the economic and social contributions refugees made to Australia. The report found that while refugees face many barriers, they contribute positively to Australian society:
  • Many refugees settle in non-metropolitan areas which creates social and economic benefits for regional communities.
  • Refugees help meet labour shortages, including in low skill and low paid occupations. They display strong entrepreneurial qualities, with many running small and medium-sized businesses.
  • Most refugees and their children show considerable achievement and contribution during their working lifetimes.
  • Refugees make significant contributions through volunteering in both the wider community and their own community groups.
  • Refugees benefit the wider global community through developing and maintaining economic links with their countries of origin.
  • Many of Australia’s successful and respected citizens have been refugees, having fled their home country to escape persecution.
The majority of asylum seekers and refugees live close to their home country, with developing countries hosting the greatest number of asylum seekers and refugees. In 2013, developing countries hosted over 86% of the world’s refugees. With escalating conflicts in Africa and the Middle East, we are now witnessing a desperate tide of people flooding into Europe. And our contribution? Whilst begging to be allowed to bomb another country, our Prime Minister smugly suggests that the rest of the world should adopt our policies of using our Navy to turn refugees away and indefinitely incarcerating in hellholes any who do get through. Good solution, Tony. And then what?

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  1. Carol Taylor

    I admit to absolute disgust at the attitude of Tony Abbott regarding this poor dead little mite. “See what happens”, Abbott sneers, “when you don’t turn the boats back”. How dare he use the death of one small child as an opportunity for political points scoring.

  2. babyjewels10

    Thank you Kaye. Well said.

  3. Kaye Lee


    Because he is incapable of anything else. The man is so morally bankrupt, so detached from reality, that everything is viewed as to how he can use it for political advantage. He cannot say anything without making it about politics and usually Labor. He disgusts me for so many reasons. He is an inadequate man who in no way represents me and I resent him pretending to do so.

  4. Carol Taylor

    Kaye Lee,

    Agree and absolutely. Everything is seen through ego and what is in it for me. Incapable of empathy nor sympathy, this person sees everything even the greatest of life’s tragedies twisted around to be interpreted via the prism of “self”.

  5. Kaye Lee

    Hundreds of thousands are fleeing war zones and persecution in Europe’s worst refugee crisis since the second world war. The situation is not likely to change any time soon, and so it is welcome that someone with clout is taking the high ground, instead of pandering to demagoguery. Mrs Merkel has put it bluntly: “If Europe fails on the question of refugees, its close connection with universal civil rights will be destroyed.”

    Mrs Merkel had already taken a unique initiative in announcing that all Syrian refugees would be eligible to claim asylum in Germany – unilaterally, and rightly, waiving the so-called Dublin procedures, under which displaced people must claim asylum in the first EU state that they arrive in.

    Throughout Europe, there is a growing realisation that nations need to act together – not “talk at each other”, as Mrs Merkel puts it – in the face of an ongoing tragedy that has claimed 2,500 lives during 2015.

    Mrs Merkel has sent a timely signal that the lowest instincts must now be confronted. She has reminded Europe that it was built on values, including the imperative of “never again”, which flows directly from 1930s memories of Jewish refugees from Germany and Austria being shunned by other nations.

    Now there’s a leader to admire

  6. Carol Taylor

    One thing that I dislike intensely is the way that Abbott and cronies have been able to twist the narrative around. We have gone from demonising to patronising – from “illegal” potential terrorists who are nothing more than “economic refugees” to an extraordinarily condescending “we’re doing this for your own good”. No wonder Labor has no resources to counter this when Abbott and the Murdoch media have convinced a good portion of this country into thinking that turning back boats is a humanitarian gesture.

  7. Kaye Lee

    No, Tony Abbott, we don’t have the answer on refugees

    The challenge in Europe is for the international community to join with European states to ensure protection obligations are upheld while the persecutors who force families to flee their homes are challenged and hopefully defeated.

    The challenge for Australia is to be at least as constructive and committed in addressing the first element as it is in tackling the second.

  8. Clean livin

    Let’s not blame Abbott for all of this.

    Howard was implicit in generating the hysteria as a political situation and solution to a problem differentiating the Libs from Labor.

    Labor obliged to follow suit, to manage the situation!

    Abbott compounds the situation with his zealous attacks on the “illegals”, and boasts that he has stopped the boats.

    Like other exercises in semantics from dishonest Australian politicians, they have not stopped the boats, but he did get them to change course to Europe.

    In between time, refugees drown in other waters than those of Australia, but drown, nevertheless, due to policies promoted for the political career survival of Australian politicians, with absolutely no regard for humanity.

    Shame on them, shame on us!

  9. Little Devil

    Going back to the late 40 early 50 there were people fleeing Europe after the second world war and we open our arms to them and found work for them building The Snowy Mountians Scheme. A lot of them were enemies during the war but they work together and got things done.

    So why don’t we look back to the future and take in asylum seekers and let them work on things that we need like High Speed Rail, a pipeline from Northern Australia to the capital cities, ever built some like the Snowy Mountain Scheme in northern NSW/ Southern Queenland, have them built a channel from Spencer Gulf to Lake Eyre. There could be a lot of things we could find for them to work on.

    I know it will cost money to do something like that but how much is it costing us to keep them locked up? they would be working paying taxes spending their money so it would cost much at all

  10. Matters Not

    It wasn’t too long ago that Angela Merkel was a strong critic of multiculturalism.

    Angela Merkel, has courted growing anti-immigrant opinion in Germany by claiming the country’s attempts to create a multicultural society have “utterly failed”. … Merkel said the idea of people from different cultural backgrounds living happily “side by side” did not work. … Last week, Horst Seehofer, the premier of Bavaria and a member of the Christian Social Union – part of Merkel’s ruling coalition – called for a halt to Turkish and Arabic immigration.

    One recent poll showed one-third of Germans believed the country was “overrun by foreigners”.

    It also found 55% of Germans believed that Arabs are “unpleasant people”, compared with the 44% who held the opinion seven years ago

    Most of the immigrants are from Turkey and in cities like Frankfurt, Munich, Hamburg and the like, there are ghettoes where the language spoken is Turkish, where the shops do not sell alcohol, where the women wear head scarfs and the like. There’s no doubt cultural tension exists and is often on display on train stations and other gathering points.

    So it’s a very brave decision by Merkel, one that will have significant political consequences in the longer term. Certainly she is to be commended for doing what leaders are supposed to do – provide leadership. Should make Australians feel very ashamed. But won’t!

  11. Kaye Lee

    Matters Not,

    Some suggest that, because of the aging population in Germany, it is a wise economic decision to get an influx of working age people and their children.

    There is an understandable correlation between unemployment and resentment of migrants/refugees. In Germany at the moment I think their unemployment rate is less than 5% so hopefully she will be able to convince them that it is both morally and economically a good idea. Something has to be done – I agree she is brave but she is also smart and people don’t take her lightly, as opposed to our, ahem, leader.

  12. Matters Not

    Yes Kaye Lee, the unemployment rate is low @4.7% with a youth unemployment rate of 7% down from 7.7% a year ago. Economy is strong.

    Nevertheless, like any ‘nation’ ethnocentrism is on display and rises to the surface, particularly when alcohol fuelled.

    I do note however that in many cities, Dresden being one example, that the locals have banded together to form welcoming committees which provide food, clothing and shelter. Doing what normal, rational, ethical people do.

    When the Rohingya people were recently in the news, I noted from afar that we again shirked our responsibilities. We didn’t even attend the summit, called to address the problem. But believe it or not the Rohingya people weren’t interested in coming to Australia. One wonders why? (Actually they wanted to go to a country of Islamic persuasion).

    Australia has much to be ashamed of.

  13. Ella Miller

    The sight of distressed families walking hundreds of miles looking fo a safe place is enough melt the hardest heart…or is it?
    I have been traumatised all over again remembering my family’s terrifying walk to Austria during one night in winter of 1956, dodging the Russian border guards and tanks.
    I also remember the compassion and respect shown to us by the Austrian community, then the Australian community on our arrival to Australia in 1957. The Merrylands Catholic community donated all sorts of household goods because we only had the clothes on our backs and a weekly allowance of five pounds till my parents found work.

    What has happened to humanity?

    Have we forgotten that Astralia and the world at large bellongs to ALL humanbeings.

    God forgive us and help us.

  14. Kaye Lee

    Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand threw a lifeline to the Rohingya. But we can’t blemish our record of “stopping the boats” so people could starve to death, many have, and we wouldn’t let them land. We even sent 47 Tamils back to Sri Lanka rather than letting them stay here. And we imprisoned 157 people at sea for weeks. All so Tony, ScoMo and PDuddy can hold press conferences saying we aren’t going to tell you anything but look, no boats (in sight).

  15. brickbob

    I too was disgusted but not surprised by Abbots comments on the little boy on the beach and the other poor buggers who drowned,the man and his Junta are vile creatures and along with Labor and the gutless MSM have left a stain on all of us that will take a long time if ever to wash off.

    What some people dont realise is that these bastards wont stop at refegees or ””’ boat people”” oh no,they dont like you,they dont like me and they will demonise any group they perceive as a threat to their rotten agenda,be it enviomentalist,young unemployed,indigenous people and the list goes on.

    I believe most Australians are fair and compassionate people and would rush to the ballot box to vote for a progressive Government made up from decent independants,decent Labor,and dare i say decent Liberals,and yes i believe there are a few progressive Liberals out there,although you could probably count them on one hand,who could forge a progressive compassionate Government to take us into the 21st Century.””””””” Alas,although the word Utopia does seem to creep into the equation,but i can only dream and hope it turns into a reality.”” ps”” And dont forget the Greens who i hope will be the major player in any future decent Government.”

  16. mars08

    What infuriates me is that the panic around this “issue”… like the danger of budget deficits and Islamic militants in Australia … in entirely a political fabrication. It is simply a stick that is used by both major parties to score easy points. And the voters continue to fall for it.

  17. Mark Needham

    Yes, it is not unlike the Cyclone that hit the Capricornia region. Poor people were ravaged by the winds of fury.
    Some, unaffected, lined up (greedily) for whatever was being handed out., whether they needed it or not.
    Unfortunately, a few refugees are the same, this is what raises the ire of the locals. This manner is then attributed to all, unfairly, to bring down derision and dislike.
    Then there are those at a ‘refugee camp” awaiting aid and help, ( forming a queue )whilst there are those who refuse camps, move on and “grab a boat”.( jump the queue)
    It all leads to ill feeling, wrong assumptions and the blame game.
    Lets never stop the boats. Whilst there are boats, there are deaths, and the disharmony shall continue. Let’s send them boats, so they can drown on the way back, hey!
    Mark Needham

  18. Kaye Lee


    There is NO queue at refugee camps. The Refugee Council of Australia says that if this mythical global queue did actually exist, people joining the back of the queue might wait more than 180 years for a positive outcome.

  19. Kaye Lee


    “Long ago our policies peeled away from sobriety and international law, and became the steel balls of a perpetual motion machine. Collectively we have pretended that intelligent policy is one that reinforces the previous mob’s brutality. Together we’ve agreed to pretend that immigration has little to do with our economy, or the barbarism of conflicts that we’ve already recognised by dispatching troops. It is hard to reconcile the fact that Australians have died trying to quell tyrannies that have created an exodus we’ve placed in distant and squalid camps.”

    In 2013, Australia received 24,300 applications for asylum. We could easily take them all and more.

  20. Jennifer Meyer-Smith


    I agree 100%. It is turning into reality and is not just an utopian dream.

  21. Kaye Lee

    And in the meantime….

    Australia should be prepared for more terror attacks, including “lone wolf” attacks by people who need nothing more than a knife, a mobile phone and a victim, Attorney-General George Brandis says.

    Addressing the inaugural international counter improvised explosive device leaders forum in Canberra, he said we live in an age more dangerous than ever imagined before.

    “I have the obligation to protect public safety at a time when the threat of terrorist attack has never been greater,” he said.

    “As well as our efforts to stem the exodus of would-be foreign fighters, we should be prepared for more of these types of attacks in Australia,” he said.

    George Brandis, the man who has singlehandedly pissed off the entire Muslim community in Australia, is going to keep us safe? More attacks wouldn’t be hard. And since he keeps saying there are 170 people in Australia that are “actively supporting extremist groups through financing and recruitment”, one wonders why we are talking about them instead of stopping them.

  22. Lee

    Whenever I hear that “come through the front door” bullshit I just want to smack the speaker down. It shows a level of ignorance that is inexcusable at the level of government. Aylan Kurdi’s family are Kurds. Even though they are born in Syria, they are not recognised by the Syrian government as Syrian citizens. They are stateless. Turkey allows all Syrian refugees across its border, but anyone who is stateless must remain in a refugee camp and cannot obtain an exit visa to leave Turkey. Aylan Kurdi’s family was unsuccessful in their attempts to join family in Canada because the Canadian government wouldn’t accept them without an exit visa from Turkey. The only way for them to get out of a refugee camp was to pay people smugglers and leave Turkey illegally.

    I saw red when that dumbarse British Libertarian said they were queue jumping and greedy for a better life. Of course they want a better life! Who wants to live in a refugee camp for the rest of their lives? Who wants to raise children in one? Dickhead Tony Abbott commented on their illegal venture. How are they going to get on a plane to go somewhere else if they cannot obtain an exit visa due to being stateless? Their being stateless is a violation of their basic human rights and that mongrel Abbott used their helpless, desperate situation as an opportunity for political grandstanding.

    If Australia does start bombing Syria (which will be a breach of international law since Syria hasn’t threatened us), I hope someone attaches Tony Abbott to the first bomb.

  23. David

    Excellent points you have made Kaye Lee. Sadly Both major political party leaders, Abbott and Shorten, prioritise votes and winning the trappings of office before lives of Asylum Seekers. As long as the polls show a large majority support their ‘criminal’ policy’ of stopping boats by towing or turning around plus the continual imprisonment on hell holes like Manus and Nauru, lives lost such as the shocking drowning of a 3 year old will not change the rhetoric.
    i will continue to vote for Labor, certainly not because of Shorten, despite him. My every fiber is directed at seeing Abbott and his goons trashed come the election. I still hold onto the hope, Labor will severely moderate their AS attitude once back in Government. Anything will be better than what we are witnessing.

  24. Matters Not

    Mark Needham wrote:

    Whilst there are boats, there are deaths

    Indeed, but when there are no boats there are many, many more deaths. The difference is that you don’t see them or perhaps in your case you don’t read about them. Are you aware, that

    In a civil war that has left more than 200,000 people dead, President Bashar Assad’s regime remains the most dangerous threat to Syrian civilians. … regime-inflicted civilian deaths dwarfed the number of civilians killed by ISIS.

    At least in a boat you have some chance. The ‘gas’ used gives little or no chance. What would you pick?

  25. Pingback: This “stop the boats” rubbish must stop. – Written by KAYE LEE | winstonclose

  26. nobeljnet

    Indeed, why not treat refugees as desirables?
    I’ve put a petition up on, please support it!

  27. Julianne

    It strikes me how SIMPLISTIC Abbott’s statements are.
    It’s fine to say “We stopped the boats – we stop them dying on the seas”. Sounds good doesn’t it…. doesn’t it?
    But have we stopped them dying? Have we improved their plight? Or have we just shoved it into the too hard basket – someone else’s problem – washed our hands of it because WE were so smart as to prevent them getting here.
    And of course we, the Australians who sit back relieved because T Abbott has “stopped the boats” self righteously vote him in as he is “protecting our shores”…..
    Ours is the proud tradition, from convict European origins, from the huge migration of WWII origins – all “boat” people origins ourselves…. Aren’t WE lucky that someone else earlier didn’t come up with his mantra to “stop the boats – by hook or by crook…” and stopped OUR “boat”.
    Where is our compassion, and generosity of spirit? The LEAST we can do at the moment is to free those we have in Off Shore Concentration Camps, and rehouse them immediately in our society where there ARE people who would welcome them with open arms.

  28. Johnboy Halyucinations

    Just what does it take for us to surrender our justifications for war and being a nation that chooses to be the terrorists who are bombing Syria and then locking the survivors out?

  29. jim

    At the Labor conference Bill Shorten said; Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten kicked off the day with a speech outlining his position on asylum seekers. Amongst other things, he spoke about doubling Australia’s annual humanitarian refugee intake to 27,000 by 2025. And Abbott wants to drop bombs why are they running ? Nope, nope, nope, we will not help those “illegals”.

  30. RosemaryJ36

    I personally reckon that Abbott, Morrison, Shorten et al all fail my Australian character test and should be deported forthwith!

  31. mars08


    I still hold onto the hope, Labor will severely moderate their AS attitude once back in Government. Anything will be better than what we are witnessing.

    I understand what you’re saying. But… ah… do you honestly believe it?

    The ALP has adopted it’s “tough” position precisely to try and win and/or hold the votes of the easily-distracted bigot, bogans and bed-wetters. THEY are the one’s who mindlessly fall for the “stop the boats” bullshit. THEY are the people who really, really WANT TO believe the politically motivated hysteria..

    At what point do you imagine that the ALP will feel secure enough to turn their backs on these voters?

    There’s a Chinese proverb… “He who rides a tiger is afraid to dismount.”

    Far from attempting to dismount… both major parties are determined to keep feeding it!!!

  32. David

    @mars..I believe Labor will moderate their policy, not change it drastically. They certainly wont dismount, I don’t have any confidence in Richard Marles dismounting a stuffed tiger, he is a gutless wonder but hopefully there will be a change in the Immigration portfolio. No not change, tweek particularly with children in detention, in fact a little birdie suggested as much ~_^

  33. Kaye Lee

    Someone needs to go pat the tiger while they help Labor dismount. Whisper reassuring phrases like “there is another way – we will show you”.

    If only they would listen

  34. mars08

    @Kaye Lee…. Since John Howard created the tiger with the Tampa incident and the “children overboard’ lies, neither party has shown any inclination to confront it. The ignorant bogans, bigots and bed-wetters are a key group in the marginal seats. It’s just easier to feed them the bullshit they WANT TO hear.

  35. Kaye Lee

    Those sort of people are easily manipulated/taught mars08. Change the rhetoric and you can make them change their minds. They believe what they hear so we have to make the truth drown out the lies. Make people face their selfishness rather than have it pandered to by people like Fiona Scott who, though apparently having sex appeal, offers little in the way of sensible debate with her assertion that asylum seekers are clogging up our highways. Is the Liberals idea of promoting women based on how cutesy they are?

  36. mars08

    @Kaye Lee… you see my point, right?

    Your suggestion is worth a shot, assuming we have politicians with the courage, morals, support and security to try it.


    But there is no reaching that clump of deluded haters who really WANT TO be angry and outraged at brown skinned foreigners.

  37. Mark Needham

    Matters Not.

    Boats from Indonesia, who is doing the killing of refugees in Indonesia.??

    Now, what would I do, if was born Syrian.
    I would pick my side, make my bed and then lie in the bloody thing.
    I would stay and fight for what I believed to be True.
    I will not flee, if we become invaded.

    So, Matters Not, what would you do?, seeing as you have asked.
    Mark Needham
    PS. My wife would stay with me also, as is her wish, should it hit the fan.

  38. Lee

    Mark Needham, you really need to get informed. You’ve just proven that you’re a complete and utter heartless prick.

    “Unfortunately, a few refugees are the same, this is what raises the ire of the locals. This manner is then attributed to all, unfairly, to bring down derision and dislike.”

    As of the end of 2014, there were an estimated 59.5 million refugees worldwide, slightly more than “a few”

    “Unfortunately, a few refugees are the same, this is what raises the ire of the locals. This manner is then attributed to all, unfairly, to bring down derision and dislike.
    Then there are those at a ‘refugee camp” awaiting aid and help, ( forming a queue )whilst there are those who refuse camps, move on and “grab a boat”.( jump the queue)”

    Only 900,000 refugees have been permanently settled worldwide within the last 10 years. Is it any wonder they do anything to escape to a better life? No one can be blamed for not wanting to spend the rest of their life in a refugee camp where they get bashed and raped, and have no access to decent health care, in some cases no access to enough food either!

    “Lets never stop the boats. Whilst there are boats, there are deaths, and the disharmony shall continue. Let’s send them boats, so they can drown on the way back, hey!”

    When the boats are stopped, more people die. Let’s not forget that although they know the water is dangerous, it is safer than staying where they are. Before the civil war, Syria had a population of about 22-23 million, about the same size of Australia’s. Now about half of their population have been displaced due to the war. An estimated 7.5 million refugees remain trapped inside Syria.

    I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like here with half of our population displaced. Neither can all the selfish ignoramuses like yourself.

  39. Lee

    Mark Needham, do us all a bloody favour and go to Syria. At least we wouldn’t have to read your farking ignorant drivel.

  40. corvus boreus

    I would agree that Mark Needham’s parroting of simplistic slogans about ‘queue-jumpers’, combined with his chest-beating espousal of ‘stauchness’ regarding atrocious conditions well beyond his range of experience or comprehension, do not reflect well upon his intellect or character.

    Mark, in the choice between, as Abbott puts it, ‘baddies, baddies and evil death-cultists’, which ‘side’ would you pick, and would you expect your children to share the bloody death-bed you had chosen to lie in?

  41. jimhaz

    [Yes Kaye Lee, the unemployment rate is low @4.7% with a youth unemployment rate of 7% down from 7.7% a year ago. Economy is strong.]

    The other side of this figure.

    “Foreign nationals are consistently overrepresented in unemployment figures. Turkish nationals are in the worst situation; they have an unemployment rate of 23 per cent and comprise up to one third of all unemployed foreigners.[32]

    Talina (11), Svenja (11) and Jason (9) do not understand a word spoken on the playground. Their classmates speak only Turkish or Arabic. In class, the three of them explain German words to their classmates.

    They are the last German children at their school, The Jens Nydahl elementary school on Kohlfurter street (Kreuzberg). 99% of the 313 students are from an immigration background. The parents of 285 of them are financially supported by the state. One of the many school problems Bild reported on.[33]”

    or this

  42. Matters Not

    jimhaz, your first link is to WikiIslam. I stopped at that point.

    But I now have a better understanding as to why you think as you do. Thanks for that.

  43. mars08

    I suspect that Mark Needham won’t “take the time to read same”. Too busy practicing close quarters combat, bomb disposal and first-aid training donchaknow…

  44. Christine Farmer

    Do any of those who congratulate themselves on stopping the boats, and so the drownings(?) imagine how appalling your situation must be before you leave your homeland and all that means to set off into the unknown, without language, a job to go to, friends and family as support? “Stopping the boats” isn’t solving part of a worldwide problem. What makes Australians believe we are so special that we will only accept those who “join the queue” (something which doesn’t exist in many places)? We’re happy to go and bomb countries, but someone else should pick up the pieces – those traumatised, and dispossessed, having experienced horrors we know nothing of. How have so many of us become so incredibly smug, self-centred and uncaring as a people?
    Where is our Angela Merkel? Because we are desperately in need of a leader of her calibre.

  45. diannaart

    Mark Needham claims he would stay and fight if he was Syrian.

    A whole new level of ignorant has just been dumped onto the shit-pile of stupid.

  46. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Yes diannaart,

    Mark Needham temporarily gained some of our respect for his honesty.

    However, despite having held out all afternoon by not replying to his adamant evaluation of how he would react to being a desperate Syrian citizen, I feel the need to speak now.

    I remember my lack-lustre ex also saying how he would respond to an invasion and it was not pretty. It was the language of a self-deluded wannabe hero.

    My point is that if someone wants to pass judgement on the actions of others, they better have credible reasons that at least 50% of the population agree with you, for doing so.

  47. SirJohn Ward

    Starting with Pauline Hansen bigot, through to Tony Abbott the false flag wizard, from Red Neck to Fascists. We let it happen because we did not stand up or stand our ground and, now to ‘stop the boats’ we hold 2,000 innocent once hopeful refugees to ransom in concentration camps rotting in the tropics as a deterrent to others.
    Problem is the moment we bring any of these poor buggers to Australia the farce is no longer a deterrent.
    The High court holds that the Government has powers to make these sorts of laws. SO CHANGE THE BLOODY LAWS.
    Our children should not grow up to the shame of our inaction in the face of this evil fascism. Not in my name not in your name.

  48. Kaye Lee

    Excuse my guffaw at “I would pick my side, make my bed and then lie in the bloody thing. I would stay and fight for what I believed to be True.”

    As cb asked, which side would you choose Mark?

    More than four years after it began, the full-blown civil war has killed over 220,000 people, half of whom are believed to be civilians. Bombings are destroying crowded cities and horrific human rights violations are widespread. Basic necessities like food and medical care are sparse.

    The U.N. estimates that 7.6 million people are internally displaced. When you also consider refugees, more than half of the country’s pre-war population of 23 million is in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, whether they still remain in the country or have escaped across the borders.

    Four million Syrians have registered or are awaiting registration with the United Nations High Commission of Refugees, who is leading the regional emergency response. According to the U.N., more than half of all Syrian refugees are under the age of 18. Most have been out of school for months, if not years.

    Would you arm your children and tell them to stand firm as Assad’s government sends bombs and chemical weapons and ISIS cuts off heads and sets people on fire?

  49. Terry2

    In the next couple of days Abbott will announce the rather pointless decision to start bombing Syria but he has a far more challenging decision to make concerning the increase in refugee number that we will take from Syria : calls are being made for an immediate evacuation of some twenty thousand to our shores .

    Linked to this humanitarian decision is a greater ideological challenge for the Abbott government and that is to finally accept that we must resettle the people held on Nauru and Manus Islands. I understand that there are around 1200 men on Manus and around a thousand people including chidren on Nauru and combined they are costing us around $1.2 billion a year. Surely the common sense and humanity of resettling these people in Australia and closing down these offshore detention centres is obvious – never to be reopened.

    Our parliament sits tomorrow so here’s a plea for the reasonable voices of at least some of our politicians to be heard and finally force a reluctant Prime Minister to do something that we can all be proud of.

  50. Rocky

    I believe this will be Abbott’s swan song. He is now a rat trapped in a steel box. No way out for him now or others that would like to treat these poor people the same way.

  51. Lee

    The Libs will be struggling to come up with a winner at the next election if they are backed into a corner re: refugees. Gee that would be poetic justice.

  52. Mark Needham

    Really stirred the possum.

    Comments like this really add to the conversation. Surely you have something better to say than this!

    Mattersnot. doesn’t want to answer my Q.

    JM-S and Dianart “Mark Needham claims he would stay and fight if he was Syrian.”.. I just think it a better option, to letting someone else takeover, is all. Would you Flee? or Fight? I mean to stay and fight is wrong?

    Matters Not, as the lady said, “To die is to die” may as well do it fighting, instead of lying down and await death.

    Kaye Lee, so what would you do,as a Syrian native, if you were in Syria, right now? ( I don’t expect an answer, Kaye Lee, as the question has no logical answer)
    Neither side has the moral ground. We would by birth, environment, religion or fear, support one or ‘tother.
    A hiding to nothing, whichever way you go.
    But, it sure as hell makes you appreciate that, which others have died for and fought, for us to have here in Australia. The fight has to be had and although the right outcome is not likely in this instance, it must happen. Yes, I know it is not right or easy, but the silly buggers are at it hammer and tong and it will not stop because we wish it so. (or drop more bloody bombs)

    My Mum ‘n Dad, would fight tooth and claw, Mum often won the argument, but Dad always won the fight. Both were wrong, but could never see it.

    To those of you, who leave the odd little acerbic, nasty little jibe, I will ignore. School yard bully time is over.
    Comments like these rarely add to the conversation. Surely you have something better to say than this!
    Mark Needham

  53. mars08

    @Kaye Lee: “Would you arm your children and tell them to stand firm as Assad’s government sends bombs and chemical weapons…”

    Sadly that’s the sort of stuff that was used to escalate this tragedy. Who used the chemical weapons and where they got it is still very unclear. But the mere mention of “chemical weapons” was enough to prompt many people to demand that WE have to do something. And that “something”, inevitably, involved even more killing and destabilisation.

  54. Winston

    Tony Abbott Is a Puppet on String
    Imagined musings and reply’s to this Songs Lyrics

    Puppet on a String

    I wonder if one day that, you’ll say that, you care
    If you say you love me madly, I’ll gladly, be there
    Like a puppet on a string

    Love is just like a merry-go-round ( I’ve tried the priest hood but there’s no money there.)
    With all the fun of a fair ( Rhodes Scholar How the hell did I get that?)
    One day I’m feeling down on the ground ( Interview with Mark Riley and streams of others)
    Then I’m up in the air (Cups of Tea with my mentor John Howard)
    Are you leading me on? (‘The only thing I wouldn’t do is sell my arse
    Tomorrow will you be gone? – but I’d have to give serious thought to it”)

    I wonder if one day that, you’ll say that, you care
    If you say you love me madly, I’ll gladly, be there
    Like a puppet on a string ( I’d join any wealthy club that would have me as a member)

    I may win on the roundabout ( We Stopped the boats’)
    Then I’ll lose on the swings (Climate Change is Crapp)
    In or out, there is never a doubt ( Agree to anything to stay in power)
    Just who’s pulling the strings ( Big Business, Powerful lobbyist’s’, Multinationals, Self Interest )
    I’m all tied up in you (As above plus Murdoch media Allan Jones Andrew Bolt, IPA etc)
    But where’s it leading me to? (Hell in hand basket)

    I wonder if one day that, you’ll say that, you care
    If you say you love me madly, I’ll gladly, be there
    Like a puppet on a string

    Like a puppet on a….. String” ( Yes I i’m Puppet on a String bom bom )

  55. Kaye Lee


    Assad is opposed by many in the region and in his own country. I do not know who fired the chemical weapons but I do know that I would get the hell out of there with my family until the people who realise that fighting solves nothing were in control. Oh wait….I have just made myself stateless.

  56. mark delmege

    Abbott is opposed by many in the region and in his own country

  57. Lee

    Kaye, if you were a Syrian citizen you would not be stateless. The Kurds are stateless because Syria won’t recognise their citizenship.

    Mark Delmege, I suspect we don’t have a civil war here thanks only to the apathy of most Australians, not because most of them realise that war doesn’t solve anything. I wonder just how worse Abbott and co have to get before the violence commences?

  58. mars08

    @Lee… following on from your comments… it’s worth remembering that Abbott would not be doing this shit unless the Coalition thought there were votes in it. Depressing, yes?

  59. mark delmege

    Last I heard Lee, the Syrian army was helping the Kurds and though you prolly won’t hear about it in the MSM the Syrian army has had many victories liberating former IS/rebel held towns and villages – with the help of Lebanese (Hezbollah ) and Iranian forces and now even apparently with Russian assistance.

  60. Mark Needham

    “A whole new level of ignorant has just been dumped onto the shit-pile of stupid.”
    ” this is why your chest-beating bravado is so incredibly ignorant.”
    Lovely conversation.
    Mark Needham

  61. Lee

    @mars08, yes it’s depressing but how much of this hatred has been stirred up by the LNP? Obviously they play to the racists but I really do think racism has become worse in this country since they came to power.

  62. diannaart


    War does not make for charming banter.

    You are the one making all the noises of how tough you are:

    Easy to do from Australia, would like to see how well you’d cope if you were parachuted into this situation and actually had to deal with it.

  63. mars08

    @diannaart… my thought was that Mark being an total tosser, didn’t make for charming banter…

  64. diannaart

    Indeed mars08

    One must always plan for the tosser factor.


  65. mark delmege

    Kaye LeeSeptember 6, 2015 at 1:01 pm you could do worst that google ‘sister agnes syria chemical weapon’ she was one of the first to point out the contradictions in the ‘western’ narrative.

  66. diannaart


    A book I have been meaning to check out is: “A Short History of Stupid” by Helen Razer & Bernard Keane, synopsis as follows:

    An unlikely friendship between columnist Helen Razer and political commentator Bernard Keane resulted in a mutual conclusion about the state of the world and the way people govern it, write about it, and entertain it: never have things been so bad! To remedy the current ubiquity of “Stupid,” they decided that a book describing its nature and inexorable rise must be written. What is Stupid? The rejection of the discomfort of intellectual rigor in favor of the mentally comfortable and convenient. Stupid takes many forms, and they change over time, but always reflect an inability or unwillingness to grasp basic reasoning and use of evidence. Also willful ignorance, conspiracy theories, denialism, lack of perspective, mistaking actions for consequences, and substitution of emotion for reason. Sound familiar? This book is angry, funny, savage, smart, provocative, infuriating, and incendiary. It is as rude and inflammatory as O’Rourke and as penetrating and unforgiving as Hitchens. It is funny, but is also both a provocation and a comfort for those of like minds. Above all, it inspires debate, reassure the terminally frustrated and outrage the righteously Stupid.

    Observing members of my own family (recently, who really have no excuse to be stupid!) I have reached the conclusion that many Australians have switched off ‘reason’ in order to live with less problems.

    Mark Needham doesn’t have to think, research, analyse and think again – he ‘knows’ all the answers.

  67. Kaye Lee

    “many Australians have switched off ‘reason’ in order to live with less problems.”

    This is so true. People are tired, busy, stressed. After a hard day at work and hours commuting they then have to fit in the shopping, cooking and cleaning. Checking if what our politicians and newspapers are telling us the truth is a chore they have no time or interest in doing. Their own struggle blinds them to the struggle of others. Their own successes are to be jealously guarded.

    Those who feel empathy will never understand those who don’t and vice versa. Some people’s world only includes themselves, others feel the pain of every child who suffers through our neglect.

  68. mars08

    @Kaye Lee… that’s a generalisation and a cop out!!! Many are just too self absorbed or lazy to think things through. I’m sure there are tons of compassionate, thoughtful, caring Australians who are are tired, busy, stressed.and have hard days at work and hours commuting and have to fit in the shopping, cooking and cleaning… yet still have the time for curiosity, kindness and empathy.

  69. mark delmege

    Kaye I think most people just aren’t interested in politics… deeply. It is understandable – there are so many things to do in life. It’s why political leadership is so important – to raise standards and to help make sense of the world especially for those who want a neat packaged item. And its why people like the Greens leader in his Bolt interview lost me. His comments on Syria were either ignorant, stupid or plain opportunist. And reminded me of Browns support for the bombing of Libya. It was imo a total sell out of the principles on which the Greens movement were built. ie peace social justice and the environment – at least that was what we were working on in Perth in the late 1980’s.

  70. Terry2


    I was listening to am talk back radio this morning – something I rarely do but wasn’t my car – and it’s amazing how Abbott’s spin has people convinced that we are ‘stepping up’ and increasing our refugee intake when he has categorically said that we are not increasing, just shifting from from Iraqis and Afghans to Syrians (I think) !

  71. Kaye Lee

    Yes Terry. “However, Mr Abbott said the government would accept migrants from Syria and Iraq without increasing the overall annual intake of humanitarian visas.”


    As at 31 July 2015, there were 2,015 people in immigration detention facilities. The average period of time for people held in detention facilities is 415 days as at 31 July 2015. 394 of them have been there for over 730 days.

    Of the 878 people in Community Detention, as at 31 July 2015, 380 of them have been there for over 730 days.

  72. Lee

    “I have reached the conclusion that many Australians have switched off ‘reason’ in order to live with less problems.”

    That may be true for some, but certainly not all. I have taken an interest in health fraud for many years now. Social media is full of stupid people who don’t science and they are making their lives more difficult and expensive than they need to be because they are incapable of or unwilling to engage in reasoning and critical thinking. But that’s just how the Liberal Party likes them! Stay uninformed, stay well away from science and we’ll manipulate you as we see fit.

    Thanks for the reference though. I’m very interested in reading the book.

  73. jimhaz

    [jimhaz, your first link is to WikiIslam]

    Well I couldn’t find any official stats, because Germany does not categorise unemployment by religion.

    I found other sites.

    “Muslim men residing in Germany routinely take advantage of the social welfare system by bringing two, three or four women from across the Muslim world to Germany, and then marrying them in the presence of an imam. Once in Germany the women request social welfare benefits, including the cost of a separate home for themselves and for their children, on the claim of being a “single parent with children.” — From an exposé broadcast by RTL television.”

    Re WikiIslam

    Shouldn’t teach you anything. Not as if I had the site bookmarked. But I’ve always stated I’m anti-islam, I’m anti all religion and islam is easily the worst.

  74. Paddy Forsayeth

    I handed out my first Labor How to Vote card around 1964. I am now 70 and I have witnessed much political activity in that time. As others have noted the division in political groups has widened and become entrenched in this country and in the West. There is no debate on ideas. There is no consideration of opposing opinions, no weighing of evidence, distortion of statistics, no courage and honesty to change an opinion in the face of contrary facts…the list goes on. Our politicians have abandoned our ideals to support the oppressed, the fair go, the tolerance of difference.and honesty and candidness in political debate. People will only change their behavior when compelled,usually by threats to their safety and comfort. However, the increasing revelation in the media of the global disasters (which are coalescing into global proportions) to the population I hope will force people to to confront the pollies and demand humanitarian action. I am reminded of the anti Vietnamese War rallies, the people who walked and the leaders who accepted that protest. When will marches start to demand the closure of the concentration camps?
    PS: Shorten is a flaccid stop gap and Abbott in a steaming pile of shit! Where is that statesman or woman who will lead us out of this maggoty cesspit of political spite and vindictiveness?

  75. diannaart


    Thanks Lee – please note I did not say ‘all’ Australians – I try to avoid generalisations – although sometimes I am not so successful.

    I do believe some people switch off to avoid information overload. I wound up doing this at work – every day my email would have pages of policy updates, which I did require to do my job – however, I wound up simply checking policy when the situation created the need – not something I am proud of, but it was the only way to cope with doing what used to be 3 jobs all multi-skilled. What broke me was that I started to make mistakes. Another hurdle people must cross is the ‘blame-game’ – anyone who dares to stick their head above the parapets risks being shot down.

    Now, I am not burdened by an over-demanding job and can take the time to research, analyse, think – how we can achieve this with people for whom putting food on the table is a 24/7 battle – I have no answers, apart from a complete move away from profit driven economies.

  76. Lee

    “how we can achieve this with people for whom putting food on the table is a 24/7 battle – I have no answers, apart from a complete move away from profit driven economies.”

    I think it needs to start with education, long before people get to needing a job. My teacher friends are telling me of teenagers with reading difficulties and reading skill levels of a child much younger. Either they’re not being detected several years earlier or they’re being pushed on because it’s too difficult to deal with the problem. Either way, it shows a lack of resources in schools. If schools are under-resourced, how can they cultivate a love of learning and the ability to think critically in our young people? A family friend is an accountant who emigrated from South Africa. She is stunned that kids here are not taught how to budget in schools. We see more violence where education is limited. Women have more children when they are less educated. We need to be investing heavily in education.

  77. Kaye Lee

    Christopher Pyne does not want critical thinkers. He wants direct instruction – the teacher out the front telling the students exactly what they are to do to achieve strictly defined assessable goals. This does not allow for individual difference let alone creativity or critical analysis.

    I know many absolutely wonderful teachers, and some real duds. Because, as Lee says, education is crucial for so many reasons beyond just getting a job, we need to invest in it. Teacher mentoring has been shown to work well. Having two people in the room, even if the class is larger, can bring a lot of benefits. We also need specialist maths/science teachers in primary schools and literacy programs that are not designed around tests.

  78. Matters Not

    The good curriculum is underpinned by the teaching of fish-grabbing, horse-clubbing, and tiger-scaring.

    This reasonably short article summarises so much re the education debate. A must read.

  79. Terry2

    Thanks to Richard Di Natale for pointing out clearly and categorically that Abbott’s announcement about refugee intake did not create a single additional refugee place in Australia.

    Note that Abbott has been saying repeatedly today that a humanitarian response AND a military response to the ‘death cult’ is required to keep Australia safe. So it seems that we are going to war in Syria.

  80. mark delmege

    Quite so mars08 the cia has admitted (‘admitted’ which really mean there is more) to a billion dollar a year feeding of the beast in Syria – it’s biggest covert action these past few years – add to that the billions more from its proxies and its a calamity of massive proportions. These bastards should be paying for every refugee.

  81. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Where there is a cause and effect and identified responsibility, as in what you have identified about the malevolent CIA, then an Allegiance of Countries must force that funding for every refugees’ resettlement and rebuilding of their original birthplace.

    Name the culprits and the rest will follow.

  82. mars08

    Until the root cause of this tragedy is widely known and the instigators prosecuted… the cycle will repeat.

  83. mars08

    And certain governments around the world have to stop claiming that they are just the innocent victims of Islamic militancy…

    Who finances ISIS?
    19 June, 2014

  84. Lee

    From marso0’s link “”ISIS has made an effort to establish networks in society that generate a continuing flow of money.”

    Perhaps Joe Hockey could learn something from them.

  85. Mark Needham

    Just found this . “Mark Needham doesn’t have to think, research, analyse and think again – he ‘knows’ all the answers.”
    Written by the sweet songstress, diannaart

    not for me, hey.
    Mark Needham

  86. Lee

    Apparently Hockey’s wife is the money manager in that union. Perhaps she should be Treasurer. Joe doesn’t seem to be able to come up with anything that generates income for the nation. It’s all going the other way.

  87. diannaart


    Hockey is such a traditionalist…. behind every ‘great’ man is a great woman – that’s pure right wing behaviour – something that can only be appreciated by other RightWingNuts.

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