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Tony Abbott’s only claim to fame: persecuting the utterly helpless.

Image courtesy of smh.com.au

Image courtesy of smh.com.au

 

 

 

 

 

As far as I can tell, the Abbott government’s proudest achievement in its first one hundred days has been its ongoing persecution of asylum seekers arriving by boat. It has also been its most costly, and I refer you to this excellent ABC fact-checked site titled Operation Sovereign Borders: the first six months for a breakdown of the billions the government has committed to spending to maintain its “stop the boats” policy, and the mandatory detention of asylum seekers already apprehended.

What the government never admits is that “stopping the boats” is not something it can conceivably cease – as long as there are asylum seekers there will be attempts to access this country by boat. Surveillance, interception and transfer of asylum seekers to lifeboats (which we must keep on purchasing anew as we never get them back) has no foreseeable end. Stopping the boats arriving on Australian shores is an immensely costly business, and open-ended.

Some weeks ago, the Guardian revealed that the Department of Immigration and Border Protection had inadvertently released the personal details of one-third of asylum seekers currently in Australia, possibly putting them at great risk if they return or are returned to their countries of origin. The result of this data breach is that asylum seekers may now legally claim refugee status in Australia solely on the grounds of sur place.

Eighty-three asylum seekers detained at Villawood Detention Centre have launched this action, and the directions hearing challenging the government over the data breach is due to be heard on Friday.

The DIBP have advised the Villawood asylum seekers that they are to be transferred to the remote Curtin Detention Centre in Western Australia on Thursday, the day before their directional hearing.

Last week, Scott Morrison announced that all taxpayer-funded legal aid to asylum seekers who arrive by boat would be terminated. One of the consequences of this decision is that there are no longer any free telephone interpreter services available to boat arrivals. Plaintiffs transferred from Villawood to Curtin the day before the directional hearing of their claims, will be unable to freely access interpreters to communicate with their lawyers.

According to the UNHCR, asylum seekers are entitled to legal services and to deprive them of access is a denial of justice.

This is just one of the recent examples of the Abbott government’s unrelenting persecution of boat arrivals.

There is something monstrously pitiful about a government that has as its greatest achievement the persecution of a small group of utterly helpless people. Such persecution is the hallmark of the bully: attacking those who have no possible avenue of escape, or of fighting back, and then boasting of your achievement.

Abbott and Morrison continue to bring the full weight of their contemptible authority to bear on asylum seekers who arrive by boat, and no expense is spared in the scapegoating and persecution of this group of human beings.

You may not particularly care about asylum seekers and their fate. But every one of us should care a great deal about the characters of the men who govern us when their greatest satisfaction comes from persecuting and ultimately defeating, even to the death, a human group who are amongst the most vulnerable on earth. Such men are dangerous. Such men do not deserve to govern us. Such men will not stop at one group of human beings. When this group ceases to serve their purpose, they will seek out another, equally helpless, equally unable to fight back, because bullies can only feel good when they make others feel terribly bad.

Bullies and bigots. Australia, 2014.

This article was first posted on Jennifer’s blog “No Place For Sheep” and reproduced with permission.

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59 comments

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  1. Wayne Turner

    The boneheads of bigots.Hiding behind the navy,give out information that they think most of the people will ONLY like,damage relations with Indonesia doing it,waste $$$$$$$…. doing it,and run around with empty slogans to match thier empty policies.

  2. nickthiwerspoon

    From Weatherby George Dupree’s maiden speech.

    “From my faith I derive the values of loving kindness, justice and righteousness, to act with compassion and kindness, acknowledging our common humanity and to consider the welfare of others; to fight for a fair go for everyone to fulfil their human potential and to remove whatever unjust obstacles stand in their way … Desmond Tutu put it this way: ‘We expect Christians … to stand up for the truth, to stand up for justice, to stand on the side of the poor and the hungry, the homeless and the naked, and when that happens, then Christians will be trustworthy believable witnesses.’ These are my principles”.

  3. Greg O

    Can anyone tell me how many boat arrivals were in detention before Rudd implemented Gillard’s laws in 2008 (she was the shadow immigration Minister who wrote the policy)? Given the complaint seems to be that it costs a lot, and that the detention is inhumane, surely it would be a better situation if there were no-one or very few people in detention at all?

  4. Ricardo29

    If Morrison’s God was just, s/he would strike him down with a lightning bolt for the lying religiously bigoted hypocrite he is. Of course his religious principles only apply to those who are targeted by, and are susceptible to, the anti-asylum seeker policies of this pathetic government.

  5. Vicki

    Slightly off focus but this piece of news seems to have flown under the radar. Anybody on a pension or about to apply for one might like to read this. Current pension rules governing deeming accounts rules change in January 2015. There seems to be a granfather clause that protects current pension holders but new retirees will be hit with this.

    http://www.yourlifechoices.com.au/news/changes-to-age-pension-rules

  6. Vicki

    Sorry it was really off focus but still very imporatant- I hadn’t read the above article , just the headline. Have now read Jennifer’s piece. I was uncomfortable when the previous government brought their refugee policy in but felt they were making the best of a bad position whilst lifting the numbers for formal refugee intake.
    I would love to see the day when asylum seekers are afforded the respect and dignity of being processed in Australia. Fakers and potential terrorists? can be returned to country of origin and others assisted to resettle here. There aren’t that many. What justification did Abbot give for reducing our refugee intake where the previous government had raised it.

  7. Murphy

    LNP administry for nah nah nah nah nah, remind me of the failed prefect bullies from school yard era. Despot Inc, only had imagination for making life miserable, targeting the most timid as their utmost speciality.

  8. dafid1

    Correct in saying “they will never stop the boats” they may temporarily stop them reaching our shores but they will keep coming. As we are too stupid to be told (maybe that should read too intelligent) what is actually happening to these wretched souls once the Govts goons get their hands on them, it horrific to contemplate. We now know murder is not out of equation.
    I weep at the indifference of the majority of Australians who support Abbott and Morrisons persecution of these legitimate Asylum Seekers. The abyss the Govt drags the country into appears larger and deeper.
    I pray Saturday gives the Senate the power to continue to block the inhumane disgusting actions of evil personified, masquerading as a Government in a so called democracy.
    Democracy died on the night of September 7th 2013

  9. john921fraser

    <

    The Prime Moron of Australia has to stone the victims to put his own chicanery beyond doubt.

  10. mars08

    I really don’t understand why Australia shred to UN Refugee Convention. In practical terms, we walked away from it many years ago. So why don’t we just reject the UN Refugee Convention entirely? I don’t think there would be a significant backlash from the electorate (at least not from the voters that matter to the LNP).

    If they want to be utter tools about it… why not OWN it?

  11. David Stephens

    great post

  12. Kevin Arnold

    Conservatives have always been favourable to Facist style of government. During the 1930’s there was huge support for Hitler, Mussolini and Franco amongst the ruling classes in Brittain and Europe. The same is happening here. The worrying bit is how they find it so easy to convince enough of the general voting public to support their twisted outlook on what a decent society should look like. Germany, Spain and Italy started on their collective roads to disaster in the same way that we are now. First comes the sowing of hatred. Gillard,the ALP, refugees, dole bludgers, blacks. You get the picture. It is all so easy for them. Once vwe have hatred in our hearts, the object of that hatred can be directed wherever and whenever it fits their purpose. Abbott thinks the same as the Nazis of old and will drag us into the same sort of moral abyss if we let him. I hope we wake up before he does.

  13. Anja Radie

    I just can not comprehend how they keep getting away with this. Is there really NO ONE who will stand up ( and has the power to do something) and do something. ANything .

  14. mars08

    I weep at the indifference of the
    majority of Australians who support
    Abbott and Morrisons persecution of
    these legitimate Asylum Seekers…

    ALL Australians should be hearing alarm bells.

    This government is showing quite clearly how it willing to mistreat and violate the rights of isolated and helpless people… just to gain electoral advantage. And the voters are encouraging those actions.

    But why do they imagine that the abuse will only ever be directed at foreigners?

  15. Stephen Tardrew

    The door is open, the cracks are showing the economic fascists are coming. Do not mistake them with the fascists of old this is a new breed. They are much more devious and willing to hide behind words like, democracy, free speech; personal responsibility; free markets; self-regulation; the right to accumulate as much wealth as possible regardless and what do you know, low and behold, upstanding Christians can now imprison and illegally mistreat refugees in the name of God.

    nickthiwerspoon: Should be compulsory reading for all so called Christians. Stand the Christian pollies on a podium in Parliament and get them to answer to these principles point by point. If they are proud Christians they will attend. If not they are fakers and fools. Don’t think you will get many takers.

  16. Paul Raymond Scahill

    Me thinks Abbott is a straight out Nazi. Along with his “yes men” Morrison, Hunt. Lebanese Hockey, Bishop (both), Andrews, Turdbull (not mispelt), must not forget Chrissy Pine, and all the rest pf the so-called front bench including Cormann, Abetz, and lets not forget good old George (Mr. Bigot) himself. There is not much left, only right lefties. Although I must admit that a number of them could be persuaded to change their minds. Abbott seems to have the bully ability to do just that, so I see no reason why the ALP/Greens/Pup et al could not do the same.

  17. Stephen Tardrew

    Greg o:

    Nazi right or left is a false hood. See: at your link for a thorough account of the history of Nazism and Socialism. It pays to read the post plus comments before stating an opinion.

    John Boyd • 20 days ago

    A response to the notions of Daniel Hannan MEP on the
    roots of socialism

  18. Jen Mirris

    I’m glad they have stopped the boats, those people are just criminals & sex fiends that have been allowed to enter and roam our society freely by Rudd & Gillard, One only has to read about molestations that have happened to young girls, boys and toddlers. One just recently let off by a judge because of cultural differences. The real refugees can’t afford the boats so they are in camps waiting the legal way to enter. You people who believe conspiracy etc are listening too much to leftist morons who wouldn’t know the truth if they fell over it. When are you minority going to accept the fact that you lost by a majority. Give me a break if the only thing you can do to try and convince others to believe your hype is by denigrating the person and not the facts. Help begins at home.

  19. VoterBentleigh

    According to the Coalition boat arrivals prevented refugees in the various refugee camps from entering Australia. In the period since the Coalition came to power, how many refugees from these camps have been admitted into Australia, compared with the number admitted under the previous government? There were no figures on the ABC analysis. Has the government provided any?

  20. aaron

    they only needed to stop one boat and that was the one tony came over on

  21. Lance

    The boats were already stopping under Labor where they had decreased by 40% after Rudd introduced the draconian measures that Abbott has effectively copied. That and we are now in the monsoon season where historically the boats have stopped anyway (makes a difference when the smugglers kives are at risk) demonstrate how silly this claim by the government is. Yes, if we haven’t had anymore boats in a years time then I would say they have stopped the boats.

    It is just a very expensive lie to keep appeasing the insular (and potentially racist) views of the electorate.

  22. mars08

    Okay… let’s cool it for a minute. Enough moaning an trash-talk. Clearly it’s time for Howard-style common sense… something which will pass his famous “pub test”

    It seems to me that the ONLY meaningful measure of Abbott’s asylum seeker policy it to be found in western Sydney. So…. is the M4 in peak hour still something to be avoided? Is the emergency department at Nepean hospital still overcrowded? We need the facts people…

  23. contriteshadow

    “monstrously pitiful” indeed, and not in the least pitiable, no matter what consequences they suffer. This government didn’t initiate the policy of turning asylum seekers away (which I believe has its roots in the soft but pervasive murmur of nationwide xenophobia that greeted the second wave of Vietnamese refugees), but they have deliberately taken it to a new level of barbarism that has directly resulted in murder, as opposed to indirectly by simply refusing to let them make landfall. And, as you say, it has no hope of stopping the flow of desperate humans in a world where we permit bullying to continue. Every time Tony Abbott crows about this “achievement” I take comfort (small though it is) in the fact that it’s another nail in his political coffin.

    Thank you, for putting so many of the deeply distressing facts in one place.

  24. dafid1

    A point if I may. These inhumane Torys who are not only covering up a murder but now sending Asylum Seekers hundreds of kilometres away from their legal representatives and confiscating their phones, all to avoid court scrutiny of their foul actions, will not deter the will of those determined to expose the crimes of Morrison and his Dept.
    The boats may have stopped reaching our shores, but they have no way stopped coming. Part of the cover up is to deny us knowledge of how many are being intercepted and their desperate passengers loaded into those orange capsules and shunted back.
    No they will never stop, desperation to flee tyranny and persecution will always drive the hearts and souls to try and escape.to a safer welcoming home.
    It should be here, should be, should be…………..

  25. Adrian

    I support the Abbott government’s action on this issue along with the majority of Australians. It has been costly but has achieved its aim – the saving of hundreds of innocent lives; the saving of desperate victims of merciless people smugglers motivated by greed and who care not at all for those whose lives they put at risk. Well done. And congratulations also for raising Australia’s refugee intake immediately upon coming to office.

    To those commenting on this thread…. stop trying to “sound good” and start supporting those who are actually “doing good”. Like the rest of us.

  26. Bacchus

    Adrian old chap, perhaps your time would be better spent seeking facts, rather than mindlessly parroting Lieberal proper goose 😉

  27. VoterBentleigh

    Kevin Arnold was not saying that Nazi equals right wing. He said that conservatives tended to support fascism. Nevertheless, “Fascism” or “fascism” is, by definition, right-wing ideology, although an extreme one. It is certainly not defined as left-wing ideology. Mussolini and Hitler and Action Francaise were fascist. Mussolini’s socialist background and Germany’s socialist traditions do not mean that socialism necessarily and inevitably leads to fascism as Hayek claimed in ‘The rRoad to Serfdom’. Hitler and Mussolini both had Catholic schooling, but that hardly means Catholicism necessarily leads to fascism.

    In Germany in the thirties, it was the conservatives who supported Hitler:

    “Still more important was the fact that the Nazis received the support – at first tacit and later more active – of large segments of the more ‘respectable’ elements of the population. …. No degree of ex post facto rationalizing and apologetics can wash away the fact that the moral and political character of both the National Socialist program and of its leaders stood clearly revealed to the German voters all through the period of its activity. ‘We shall be hard, ruthless, and brutal,’ promised Gregor Strasser in December, 1931, ‘ in cleaning up the trash of the past twelve years.’ Yet they found allies to help them achieve their goal among leaders in industry, in other political parties, among nationalist orgainzations, among intellectuals, and in the churches.” [Pinson: Modern Germany]

    Hitler and the Nazis hated the Communists – the deaths of millions in Communist Russia are proof of that fact. Hitler was an admirer of Mussolini, but, as the historian, Ernst Nolte wrote: “He revered the Italian as the first destroyer of Marxism..” and Nolte also noted that when Mussolini was captured: “Someone called out to him from the crowd of partisans: ‘Why did you betray socialism?’ All the elements which had determined his life returned to confront him, and he failed every one of them.”

    Nolte’s definition was:

    “Fascism is anti-Marxism which seeks to destroy the enemy by the evolvement of a radically opposed and yet related idology and by the use of almost identical and yet typically modified methods, always, however, within the unyielding framework of national self-assertion and autonomy.”
    [Ernst Nolte: The Three Faces of Fascism]

  28. nukegheboats

    Stop the damn boats

  29. Möbius Ecko

    So let’s see Adrian’s outrage at this.

    Following up on Bishop the Younger’s visit to Cambodia to canvas them taking our refugees, we now have Morrison secretly in Cambodia with the proposal of setting up a gulag type camp there.

    When Gillard proposed the Malaysian solution the outcry from the Abbott opposition, the MSM and right wingers was acute, citing Malaysia’s human rights abuses as the reason.

    Cambodia has far greater ongoing human rights abuse issues than Malaysia.

    Where is the protest from the right wingers over this move by the government, who are also engaging in human rights abuses of their own?

    Nowhere of course, for it’s the Liberals doing it.

  30. Möbius Ecko

    Greg O and in response re Nazis as Socialists.

    Sorry, the Nazis were not socialist just because they called themselves Nationalist Socialists. That has been debunked.

    As to the number of asylum seekers. Gillard came up with a solution that the Abbott opposition, the MSM and others like you knocked because of Malaysia’s human rights abuses.

    So are you now going to criticise this government as they attempt to dump asylum seekers into countries around the region with far worse human rights abuse records?

  31. dafid1

    Adrian outrage = selective Morrison type morsels, like ordering ones favourite food from the menu. Beware Adrian of the things you hide that tend to surface when least expected. Observe Sinodinis in action yesterday, there’s a grand example.
    Chickens coming home to roost for Hockey and Cormann over their budget lies, remember Karma is a mean woman when aroused.

  32. mars08

    Nazi Germans must have been a socialist state!!! It’s obvious. Oh, um hmmm…. this is interesting… GDR… Deutsche Demokratische Republik… German Democratic Republic… also known as East Germany. Seems they were democratic all along!!! Did anyone tell the Russians??? But too late. They’re gone now, so why worry?

    Wait!!!! What??? North Korea, officially called the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is also democratic? It’s right there in their name!!!

  33. VoterBentleigh

    Instead of basing historical knowledge on reading an American conservative journalist’s propaganda, it would be better if Coalition supporters read some of the works of reputable historians.

    If there was no difference between the ALP and LNP on the detention of asylum seekers, then there was no point voting for the LNP on that aspect.

    On other aspects of the policies of the ALP and LNP on asylum seekers, the ALP did not keep information secret from the electorate, engage in illegal activity on the high seas to prevent arrivals, deny people basic access to legal advice or allow a detainee to be killed within a detention centre. Rudd and Gillard were criticized by the Greens and LNP over their policies, but at no time did they insinuate that the asylum seekers were criminals, insinuate that asylum seekers brought about their own deaths in detention, nor act against international law to achieve their ends. I do not see how anyone can claim that doing such things is doing good, either.

    Under the LNP policy the only way to stop any refugees coming by boat. It is hardly humane to stop refugees from fleeing persecution and Australia has a duty as an international citizen to take its fair share of refugees. It was Gillard who proposed an increase in the intake of refugees from the camps. How many have been processed from the camps under the LNP? Do any of the LNP supporters even know?

  34. Wayne Turner

    Indeed Voter Bentleigh,well said.

    With the Liberal party reason for keeping some information quiet on this issue being: “It would aid the people smugglers”.

    Then by this Liberal parties reasoning,on this issue: In opposition,because they wouldn’t shut up about the issue,including details,claiming “we have soft borders under Labor” among others things.Then in opposition this Liberal party aided party smugglers.

  35. Greg O

    How many boat arrivals were in detention when Rudd changed the laws in 2008?

  36. Wayne Turner

    I mean aided people smugglers.

    NOT party smugglers lol!

  37. Möbius Ecko

    There were no boat arrivals in detention Greg O, but there were asylum seekers.

    Now you tell us how many arrivals under Rudd in his last couple of months and what the trend was? A trend that continued after the Coalition won power even though they hadn’t initially changed Rudd’s policy in anyway.

    Do you agree, as many commentators and cartoonist averred at the time, that the Abbott opposition actively encouraged people smugglers and were indirectly involved in the number of arrivals?

    Why did Abbott as LOTO insist that the Labor government make public every single detail of asylum seeker arrivals as a matter of open government, something the Labor government did without reservation? Yet now Abbott is in power he shrouds the entire thing in secrecy and refuses to release details he previously demanded be made public?

    Why the hypocrisy?

  38. Greg O

    There were 6 asylum seekers in detention when Rudd changed the laws. So given we are all in agreement that we don’t want anyone kept in detention, and we should take in more asylum seekers, and we don’t want people drowning trying to get here, we were actually at that point before the laws were changed in 2008. There was effectively no-one in detention, if we wanted to increase the intake of refugees we should have simply done so and taken more people from the multitude of camps around the world. Instead, the mistake was made of changing the laws so that we would be seen to adhere to UNHCR requirements, and the boats started coming. There is a graph on page 5 of this document which gives a very clear picture of the trends.

    http://www.immi.gov.au/managing-australias-borders/detention/_pdf/immigration-detention-statistics-feb2014.pdf

  39. Möbius Ecko

    I asked what were the numbers and trend at the end of the Rudd government, not at the start.

    The boats would have increased even if Howard had remained in power, as indicated by Howard spending large amounts on new detention centers. Another indication that Howard’s policy was going to fail is this Abbott government not adopting it, and indeed spending billions more than either Howard or Rudd on a far more draconian policy in many ways dissimilar to Howard’s.

    Do you admit that Abbott in opposition had a role in encouraging people smugglers to increase their trade to Australia? If not then why did Abbott insist the previous government be open and transparent on asylum seeker boats and arrivals, yet now in government has stated that you must be secretive to stop people smugglers?

    Isn’t that an admission that he encouraged people smugglers when in opposition?

  40. Greg O

    Sorry, but if you actually look at the graph the trend you asked for is there.

  41. Möbius Ecko

    Yes Greg O that graph on Page 5 clearly does show the trend, that in the last months of the Rudd government the numbers were going down and the weekly boat arrivals had significantly declined.

    But I believe Rudd’s policy was wrong and inhumane. It was a terrible policy pandering to the lowest denominator and was always going to be trumped by a heartless, mean and abhorrent right wing government who use human lives, whether foreign or Australian, for political gain.

  42. Greg O

    Good, so we are all in agreement that we don’t want people in detention, that we want to take more refugees, and we don’t want people drowning on the way here. Would you concede that we were at that point in 2007, regardless of whether it was the law change by Rudd that caused that graph to shoot up again or it would have shot up anyway? You seem to also be saying that the downward trend is occurring again, regardless of which government it started under, so we are actually heading back to that point again?

    So the chief complaint is the method of achieving the reduction in asylum seekers arriving by boat. I haven’t read or heard of a plausible alternative that gets people out of detention AND prevents drowning. The best effort any of my left leaning friends has come up with was to annex part of Indonesia so they didn’t have to get on boats to reach Australian territory. Not really practical though.

    If you are saying that these “heartless” policies are not the cause of the reduction in arrivals, and that they weren’t back in Howard’s day either, then you want them dismantled again and you must be predicting that arrivals of asylum seekers by boat will not increase again? I respectfully suggest the evidence shows otherwise. I also suggest that the evidence shows that we would not have had so many people in detention right now if the laws had not been changed, but I understand the counter-arguments to that. Either way, we are all actually aiming for the same outcomes, we differ on the methods. I prefer a method that works.

    Re the plans for future refugee intakes, you only have to look here http://www.immi.gov.au/media/publications/refugee/ref-hum-issues/pdf/humanitarian-program-information-paper-14-15.pdf

    This a quote from that publication, which contains yet another excellent graph on page 12:

    “The programme for 2013–14 is 13 750 places which includes:
    • a minimum of 11 000 offshore, shared between the Refugee and SHP categories,
    and including up to 1000 places from within the Refugee category allocated to
    Woman at Risk visas, and
    • the balance of places, since September 2013, for permanent Protection visas granted
    onshore for people who have arrived in Australia legally.”

    Cheers.

  43. Möbius Ecko

    If you haven’t heard of an alternate plan then you haven’t been reading widely. Gillard had a plan that was knocked back by the Abbott opposition on humanitarian grounds but here is Abbott now pursuing a form of that plan that is far more inhumane.

    Do you condone that?

    I note you are avoiding the duplicity of Abbott demanding transparency and details on asylum seekers under the previous government, then using that transparency to encourage people smugglers, to now shrouding the whole in secrecy on the grounds transparency encourages the smugglers.

    Abbott has reduced places, so much for you attempting to make out this government has a humanitarian heart. Do you also know about the increased numbers of undesirables that come through the humanitarian process, who you call legal, as compared to boat people?

    Also can you answer this other duplicity. When Rudd began his cruel process and increased spending on it the opposition, MSM and right wing supporters were up in arms about the cost. Front and centre was Morrison in this criticism. This current government has gone way beyond that and is spending an order of magnitude more on what is really a small problem.

    Why was the previous government’s spending on this problem reprehensible and this government’s vastly increased spending laudable?

    Why was the Malaysia solution dismissed on humanitarian grounds but Cambodia and other far worse human rights violating countries OK?

    And I gather from you last post you believe the end justifies the means. No matter how much open democracy is usurped, human compassion is bypassed, human rights are violated, cruelty is inflicted and suffering is endured, including the deaths of those under our care. I gather as long as the problem is out of your sight out of the wa and shoved off shore and to other countries, no matter how unsuitable they are, then you believe it’s been solved.

  44. Greg O

    Re the Malaysian swap solution, the theory was pretty good really, I had also supported transporting boat arrivals to an overseas refugee camp and bringing two refugees from the camp back here for every one sent. The problem with Gillard’s plan was 5 for 1 was unnecessary to achieve the ends, and it was limited to a ridiculously small number, which straight away destined it to failure. A really poor piece of negotiation I suggest, but perhaps that was because they did it in a hurry.

    Mobius, I don’t really care about proving who was and wasn’t duplicitous, but if it makes you happy I will agree that Abbott and the then opposition was. Now can we get back to the topic at hand, which is how best to get back to the point where we don’t have people in detention AND don’t have people drowning on the way here.

    Could address the not insignificant problem of asylum seekers drowning on the way here?

    Re reducing places, they have reduced it back to the same number that the ALP had for the 3 years prior to 2012/13.
    Humanitarian Programme grants by category 2008–09 to 2012–13
    Category 2008–09 2009–10 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13
    Refugee 64992 6003 5998 6004 12 012
    Special Humanitarian (offshore) 4511 3233 2973 714 503
    Onshore1 2492 4534 4828 7041 7504
    Temporary Humanitarian Concern 5 – – – –
    Total3 13 507 13 770 13 799 13 759 20 019

  45. Möbius Ecko

    Labor was going to increase places, not take them back. That still doesn’t address the problem that there will be a far higher number of undesirables amongst that 13,750 places than there would be in an equivalent number of boat arrivals.

    The way to stop the drownings was the Malaysia solution, but even better, onshore processing though a regional framework of expedited initial vetting at the camps. The Malaysia solution was but the first step in a regional plan that was scuttled before it had a chance. Morrison has also stated that a regional solution is needed, but of course because of Abbott’s disastrous foreign relations stuff ups all he can muster are the poorest regional countries with the worst human rights records.

    So if Morrison is successful in getting asylum seekers transferred to Cambodia how will you know if any die there? And does this end also justify the means?

    And you don’t care who was duplicitous? Your posts continually exhibit that anything justifies the means, no matter the lie, deceit, what human decency is undermined or part of democracy is abrogated in achieving that.

    I find it abhorrent that so many are hanging turning back the boats as a success for this government, some openly boasting about it. And I also find it incongruous that those who didn’t give a stuff about the fate of asylum seekers prior to the Labor government all of a sudden found a heart and became deeply concerned about their welfare, and that includes some in the current government. Strange that these same people all of a sudden lost their concern for the welfare of these people when Reza Barati was murdered. They also seemed to have lost their concern that the current asylum seekers are being denied all rights and maybe shipped to a country with an appalling human rights record.

  46. Stephen Tardrew

    Modius Ecko: Thank you for your tenacity.

  47. Greg O

    The ALP had already increased places to 20K on the recommendation of the Houston report, there was no commitment beyond that.

    I am not sure of your evidence for more undesirables among the offshore places than for boat arrivals?

    The Malaysia solution as proposed by Gillard would not have stopped asylum seekers arriving by boat, it would have been overwhelmed very quickly. Perhaps if the limit was lifted it might have had a chance, but that is not what was proposed.

    Can I ask if onshore processing through a regional framework of expedited initial vetting at the camps would work, why didn’t we do that instead of ripping up the Pacific solution and then sitting back and watching thousands of people drown? As it was, we ended up with thousands of people in detention who wouldn’t have otherwise been there if it weren’t for the policies of the previous government. The problem was created by the ALP’s policies. We wouldn’t need the Malaysia solution nor any other solution if they hadn’t created the problem in the first place. In order to be seen to be humane, we facilitated the ultimate inhumanity of having over a thousand people die trying to get here, when it was all unnecessary.

    If it comes to a choice between the inhumanity of people drowning and continuing to drown versus the inhumanity of detention camps, which will be empty in a few years, you apparently want the former. Your call, I disagree.

  48. mars08

    Tony and his mates say: “Over 100 days without asylum seeker boats reaching Australian soil. It’s a success!”

    Many, many Australians say: “Yay! Good work! Problem solved!”

    So… Problem solved then. No annoying foreigners pleading for asylum. Everyone can stop worrying.

    Mission accomplished.

  49. VoterBentleigh

    “As it was, we ended up with thousands of people in detention who wouldn’t have otherwise been there if it weren’t for the policies of the previous government. ”
    They would have been in detention under the LNP policy if they had come by boat, too.
    There is only circumstantial evidence that adopting the UNHCR requirements caused boat arrivals to resume.
    During June, 2009 there were protests against elections held in Iran and then there were attempts by the regime to suppress the protests. The Iranian Opposition accused the Revolutionary Guards of human rights abuses. It was after this time that there was an large increase in Iranians seeking asylum in Australia. So they would have sought asylum under the LNP, too.
    Proposed intakes of regugees from the camps does not answer the question; how many actually have been taken since Abbott came to power and began OBS. There are no figures.
    On the drownings, there was a lot of discussion at the time that the maritime authorities could have done more to prevent so many people drowning.
    [http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/backgroundbriefing/asylum-seekers-drowning-on-our-watch/4916110]

    The claim that the Malaysian solution would not have worked is hypothetical and there is no evidence to support it, since it was never implemented. Regional solutions and frameworks take time and were opposed by the LNP, who simply called for the retention of the previous LNP Government policy, which involved no regional solution. But I agree that regional solutions could have been instituted by Rudd. However, regional solutions do not necessarily mean having offshore detention centres. A regional solution does not mean making others countires take all those currently in detention. Australia has to take some responsibility, too.

    Finally, the whole process is unjust. It is unjust to impose laws which one would not wish imposed upon oneself if fleeing oppresssion. It is also punishing those who have committed no crime.

  50. David Linehan

    I travelled to Cambodia few years ago to try and understand something of the Pol Pot terrorisation and one of the incomprehensible (to me) crimes of the century as 3 million of a blameless innocent population were systematically tortured and murdered over a 4 year period.

    The venues are kept as they were found by the Vietnamese when they defeated the Khmer Rouge in 1979. In Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum a former college, .or S21 as it was named when used as the major torture and murder venue for tens of thousands of innocent babies, children, men and women even now the birds do not sing, the absolute silence is something I have never experienced before or since. The tears were also unforgiving as I walked quietly through this chamber of horror

    Thankfully the people now are relaxed, smiling, friendly but the great great majority are exceedingly poor. Infrastructure is a disaster, the police and army are everywhere. Crime is rife.
    Added to that the heat is extreme. Such a place is a big step down from what exists on Manus and Nauru.

    That Abbott, Bishop and the head purveyor of evil Abbott see fit to want another group of innocents to languish in such trying physical conditions is a crime. Not of Pol Pot proportions but a crime against humanity all the same.

    To convince the Cambodian Govt of acceptance,t there will be a huge monetary price, the degree of which probably will be hidden from us the people, who are entitled to know.
    Those who would ignore their International obligations to Asylum Seekers couldn’t care less.

  51. Pingback: Abbott’s only claim to fame: persecuting ...

  52. mars08

    Those who would ignore their International obligations to Asylum Seekers couldn’t care less.

    EXACTLY!

    Considering Australia’s wealth and population, a relative handful of helpless asylum seekers reaching our shores should have been a minor “issue”. But BOTH major parties couldn’t resist the grab for a few more votes by playing up the hysteria and offering tough solutions. It quickly became an auction of cruelty to win the all-important, western Sydney bogan vote.

    This was a self-serving, FABRICATED political “issue”…. which needed a FABRICATED solution. Neither major party has the welfare of the asylum seekers in mind. Both parties did their best to exploit these vulnerable people. Labor (maybe) was restrained by the fading ghost of their social justice legacy. The LNP had no such restrictions.

    For over 3 years the LNP relentlessly screeched their “stop the boats” mantra. The ALP soon joined in with a half-hearted “me too”. But the LNP had the answer the bigots wanted to hear. It was nice and simple. No mention of a humane solution for the vulnerable people on those boats, no attempts to explain how we would help them. Just “stop the boats”. That was the ONLY objective.

    So far, all indications are that the LNP has achieved their cynical objective. Bravo!!

  53. Jeannette Oliver

    I support the Abbott Government in stopping deaths of families at sea. I don’t support people smugglers profiting off the misery of the vulnerable. I believe in off shore processing. It gives governments time to build accommodation for the genuine Asylum Seekers, not Illegal Boat Immigrants, to have a smooth transition into a home & New environment.

  54. David Linehan

    ” It gives governments time to build accommodation for the genuine Asylum Seekers, not Illegal Boat Immigrants, to have a smooth transition into a home & New environment.”…with respect Ms Oliver what gobedly gook is this? i fear you listen to the nonsense from Morrson without the brain being in gear.
    Loyalty to the Torys is one thing, but being unable to understand what is reality is another.

  55. Greg O

    If the evidence that the LNP’s cruel and inhumane policies stopped the boats is only circumstantial, even though it appears to have happened twice now, and even though people smugglers in interviews have said exactly that, and even though everyone seems to credit Rudd with beginning the trend downwards by adopting some of the LNP’s cruel and inhumane policies, well I guess there is no convincing you. In the end, we are going to get back to the situation again where we have no asylum seekers who arrived by boat in detention, we will have no-one drowning trying to get here, and we will be taking in the same number of asylum seekers through other channels that were being taken in under Labor. I would suggest we should be taking more in. So everyone will be happy. This situation will have twice been reached under LNP policies. Under ALP policies we had thousands drowning, and thousands in detention. Those facts are not circumstantial. Möbius keeps telling me that I believe the end justifies the means. I suggest to Möbius that a perfect example of the end justifies the means is taking in many more asylum seekers via the means which allows, in fact encourages, thousands of people to drown. It seems rather contradictory to attempt to argue from the moral high ground when you approve of people drowning?

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