What is the best way to decide who gets room at our Inn?

By now we have had a couple of days to let both major political parties' Asylum Seeker policies soak into our consciousness and consciences.  I believe that I can safely say that the new policy as enunciated by PM Julia Gillard in her speech on Tuesday morning to 'The Lowy Institute' showed Labor's still more compassionate attitude with respect to this issue as compared with the Coalition's policy, released on the same day.

 

Now, what is open to discussion is whether you believe, with this new policy, Labor has 'lurched to the Right', as Kevin Rudd said they would, in order to harness the 'Redneck vote', as Julian Burnside termed it, in the outer suburban marginal electorates, or whether a fine line has been successfully walked between the, as I see it, unrealistic, bleeding-heart approach of The Greens, who would accept anyone who turns up on our doorstep claiming to be a refugee, ignoring the People Smuggling industry that has been established in Indonesia to feed people in boats to our shores; and the hard-hearted approach of the Coalition, who do not want anyone turning up to ask for shelter and a room at our Inn, 'Hotel Australia', with ways prescribed to make that happen and to make them go away... Just as well Jesus, Mary and Joseph aren't floating across the water on their donkeys to Australia nowadays, isn't it?


In other words, do you think this new Gillard government policy has found the Rosetta Stone to unlock the secrets to a successful Asylum Seeker process for this country or not?


I have my own opinion, but I am not going to foist that upon you now.  Instead I thought that we should examine the two approaches side by side, compare and contrast them, and see what others directly involved in the process and more expert and relevant in their opinions have to say.  Then we might be able to come to a conclusion.  


Firstly, the essence of the Labor policy is as follows:

  • Set up a regional processing centre in East Timor.
  • Send all unauthorised arrivals to the centre for processing under UNHCR guidelines.
  • Increase penalties for People Smugglers.
  • Fund eight new Patrol Boats.

The Coalition policy is:

  • Restore Temporary Protection Visas and the 'Pacific Solution'
  • Turn back boats “when circumstances permit”.
  • Refuse entry to people who destroy identification papers.
  • Give Minister greater oversight in refugee decisions.
  • Priority to offshore camp applicants.
  • Buy three aerial patrol drones.
  • Introduce pilot scheme for sponsoring refugees.

Let me start out by saying that the East Timor Regional Processing Centre will be no 'Pacific Solution Mark II'.  It may well be, as Abbott snidely put it, “A way-lay for refugees on the way to Australia.”  But even if that's so it will be one which is more humane than the Coalition alternative on Nauru or Manus Island.  This is the fact that Abbott refuses to admit to, that is, that the Pacific Solution simply served as an expensive and draconian 'way-lay' for refugees in the Howard era, on their way, ultimately, to Australia too.


Also, as Lenore Taylor so succinctly put it, in the Sydney Morning Herald:

 

"Abbott rushed out an even 'tougher' policy to gazump Gillard.  Under a Coalition government there would be a 'presumption against' people turning up to claim asylum without identification papers.  


"But he didn't have answers either - he couldn't say how he would distinguish between genuine refugees (who often have to travel without papers because they are fleeing, or because they fear persecution) and those who discard them. Nor could he say how he would 'turn back' a boat that had been deliberately disabled and was sinking, nor where he would return it to.

   

"And the Coalition hasn't yet said to which country it would try to send the asylum seekers, only that it wouldn't happen in Australia. And Abbott was tapping into voters' fears, too. The Coalition, he said, would do 'whatever it takes to keep our borders secure and our country safe'.  He didn't explain how asylum seekers pose a threat to our safety."


Thus we can see that at least Julia Gillard is proposing to do the right thing by the Asylum Seekers, even if she has had to adopt an element of the Coalition policy, offshore processing, in order to assuage the fears that the community has had inculcated into them over many years by the Coalition. However, I think that she has had similar thoughts to the outgoing Secretary-General for Amnesty International, Irene Khan, who said:


“A fair response to refugees is not to punish them for using people-smuggling channels or burning their documents...The emphasis should be on why these people have left their countries,...and do they need protection?” 


"Any arrangement to put people in a transit centre should take into account how to process people quickly, identify genuine refugees, find a solution for them and then arrange for safe return of all those found not to be refugees. It should be seen as a fast, effective process and not just a deterrent or a dumping ground.”


Is that not in essence what we should be aiming for if we in Australia are to maintain our tradition for compassion? Every latter-day evangelical Christian speaks about compassion and emulating the example of Jesus Christ. So isn't it funny how it is our avowedly atheistic Prime Minister who seems to have found the compassionate solution to finding room at the Inn for the itinerant homeless who wash up on our shores, without seeking to feed the exploitative people-smuggling trade; as opposed to the cruel solution of 'Captain Catholic', who wants to put up the 'No Vacancy' sign when he sees them approaching?


What do you think?


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Ad astra reply

8/07/2010Folks I'll be on the road for the next few hours - back late afternoon. I look forward to reading your comments then.

HS

8/07/2010So do I look forward to reading some comments, lol. :) Gee issues move on quickly these days!

Min

8/07/2010Hillbilly..have linked your article to Cafe Whispers. Speaking of religion, Abbott has provided to the SMH that Gillard should not be judged on the fact that she doesn't believe in God. If so, why then does Abbott keep bringing up the subject?

HS

8/07/2010Min, Thank you for linking me to Cafe W. :) I guess the reason TA keeps mentioning the religion thing is because he is a devious bastard!

molly

8/07/2010why doesnt some one just some ask Captain catholic HOW he would actually turn the boats back and if then doing so where do they go and what if they sink would he send help the alternative sounds to dreadful to contemplate. But abbott i think never thinks past the last sentence, no logistical examination at all. Why does not one joutnalis ask this question. great article.

Rewi

8/07/2010HS, Small correction, it was the Lowy Institute, not Gerard Henderson's Sydney Institute. Rewi

adelaidegirl

8/07/2010I listened to Australia Talks on Radio National yesterday evening and someone remarked that, as it is not illegal to flee persecution, nor to seek asylum in another country, nor to travel as a refugee without travel documents (so hard to get when you're in fear of you life) or with false documents, nor to seek the means of travel when fleeing (i.e. planes, trains and automobiles) it is not, therefore illegal to pay passage on a boat, therefore, there is no such thing as people smugglers in this context. Sounds eminently logical to me. Also, it is not just the Coalition that has inculcated this irrational fear of a few shabby migrants. The media has and continues to pump up the irrational panic and, frankly, I'm sick of the whole boiling! There must be other things going on in the world but all I hear, on every outlet, is asylum seekers, Julia's clothes, Kylie's new song, etc. etc. etc. Thank heavens the MRRT has dropped off the media beat-up radar!!!!!

Min

8/07/2010Molly, haven't you heard about The Power of Lycra. Abbott's plan is to put a great big elastic band around Australia and when they sail into this, then SPROING the boats will go back to where they came from.

Lyn

8/07/2010Hi Molly We may as well foget the "turn the boats back, but how question" we will die waiting for a journalist to ask how. What about all the other questions, like Abbott is "opposing over his last political breath", the Miners tax, but then harping on about the money the Government has lost, why doesn't anyone say to Abbott, but if you were in Government there would be no RSPT, so no tax. The journalist's can't ask Abbott any questions, because it doesn't suit their agenda, that is to promote Abbott at all costs, anything detrimental to Abbott that is uttered,they will change the subject. Sky News is promoting, & all morning & still, Abbott at the fruit markets, holding up 2 pineapples. But the journalists are very busy demeaning Julia Gillard for going on a Navy boat yesterday. There is no logic. Captain Catholic, Captain Maniacal.

Lyn

8/07/2010Hi Hillbilly, Thankyou for your piece today, "[i]What is the best way to decide who gets room at our Inn"[/i]. Congratulations on your excellent work Hillbilly as always. Somebody said and I think it was Min, does the People smuggler pay somebody to check the boat peoples papers, or check if they have torn their papers up. Min said, "so it's all about a piece of paper from the opposition now" The whole contentious issue of boat people, was started by Howard for Political purposes eg. pull a rabbit out of the hat, and continues by Abbott, getting his instructions from Howard every morning. I think Julia Gillard did a brilliant, fantastic speech, so therefore, I am backing Labor's refugee, asylum seeker, boarder control, whatever it's called policy to the bitter end. Julia Gillard and Labor will decide who gets room at our Inn, because they are more understanding and humane, they are REAL. Now I am flying off, to see if I can find some worthwhile reading links for everybody. Cheers

Min

8/07/2010Just as a summary, it is not the people who are 'illegal' it is the boat movement that is illegal hence the reason that the Navy calls the boats SIEVs Suspected Illegal Entry Vessel, just suspected mind you. A person who claims asylum is 'legal' as all people who come to Australia have the right to claim asylum and how they arrived here is irrelevent. However should their claim for asylum be rejected it is only then that they become 'illegal' and as a consequence they are deported. Therefore it is completely wrong and misleading to call people 'illegals' when their claims for asylum are still being assessed.

Lyn

8/07/2010Hi Rewi I have been checking your blog, anxiously for some enjoyable reading. How's about it. Cheers

macca

8/07/2010At least we have seen the debate turn from demonising the asylum seekers as a problem and now the debate seems more about the solution. Small progress, but progress nonetheless.

Gravel

8/07/2010Great article Hillbilly, thanks, I love the way you summarised both party's policy's. I think Julia has done a great job. I just read a great article via Possum's site about this issue and the 2001 election and it wasn't the asylum seeker issue that won the Libs the election, it was the 9/11 twin tower episode that swung voters back to Libs!!! Abbott now says that the commanders (?) on the naval boats will have discretion on which boats to turn back. And saying that we are now being "invaded". Don't we just love our media, huh! BH on previous thread, watching politicians live on APAC is the only way to not get distorted news, then we know how the media will run it, unfortunately. Like the Community Cabinets, they should be made compulsory viewing for everyone then there wouldn't all the distortion and lying going on by the opposition and media.

Min

8/07/2010Macca, yes indeed it's an improvement at least from Labor's side however Abbott is still talking about 'hordes' 'the influx of' to given some credence to his map with the BIG RED arrows. That one did give me a laugh, some of the ending points of those arrows ended up being somewhere east of Karratha and also in the middle of the Simpson Desert. Ever been east of Karratha? Probably what made 'em go inland was the cost of rental accommodation..$2,000pw for a standard 3br. I'd be getting out of town too ;)

Jason

8/07/2010HS, I think it's about time the Labor party stopped this auction with the Liberals. If as I'm told it's a few of the marginal seat holders in Western Sydney and the Southern Queensland corridor that demanded Rudd now Gillard to do something well they deserve the same sort of compassion from their electorates as they wish to impose on others.As we're signatories to various UN things on refugees how dare a few nervous backbenchers dictate what government policy should be.HS first it was the climate deniers labor backed down to then they had to back down to the miners now it's the rednecks. Which small group will scream next the KKK?

BH

8/07/2010Lyn - Abbott has apparently said today that he will leave it to the Navy to decide whether to turn a boat back or not. What kind of policy is that to put it on the Navy's head if a boat ultimately sinks after being turned back. The man is a fool but I've not heard anyone in the media going in hard on him and I guess they won't.

macca

8/07/2010Min, It would appear that the latest Westfield shopping centre, handily located opposite the Rabbit Flat roadhouse, on the Tanami track is going to be overun by reffos.

Min

8/07/2010Gravel, that's impossible that Commanders on patrol boats should have that sort of discretion as (just to my knowledge) the orders have to come from central command. At present we have in the vast majority a very peaceful and orderly thing happening with the boats and crews willing to be taken to Christmas Island. However, if you start to try to forcibly turn the boats around then it is very likely that this could change. I am also not certain whether our small patrol boats have the ability to turn around boats that are unwilling to be turned around but that it will require deployment of frigates of which we haven't many, the grand total of 8 ANZAC Class. Also if people start jumping overboard due to fear that they are going to be shot at, it's going to be one big disaster.

Rx

8/07/2010One for [b]ABC Watch[/b] please, Ad. From poster, The Big Ship, Poll Bludger, July 8, 2010 at 2:34 pm http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/07/05/essential-research-54-46-to-labor/comment-page-41/#comment-515930 Quote: In regard to the usual antics of the ABC, et al, during today’s exercise in mis-reporting the most basic public issue facts, I had the misfortune to listen to what passes for ‘news’ reporting on ABC radio while driving to work this morning. The first matter on the news was the alleged ‘insult’ to Xanana Gusmao, the East Timorese Prime Minister, by Julia Gillard in failing to contact him about the Government’s proposed ‘processing centre.’ Leaving aside the advice of the Dept of Foreign Affairs that the President, Jose Ramos Horta, was the appropriate starting point for this discussion, the ABC failed to mention that President Horta was talking to PM Gusmao today about the entire issue, as briefed by our PM, so I wonder where the ‘insult’ truly resides? Of course, there was no insult, nor a diplomatic ‘gaffe’ as has been subsequently confirmed by Mr Gusmao later on in the morning – Beat up/non issue #1. The second item on the ABC radio news was the ‘growing opposition’ to PM Gillard’s proposal in East Timor, quoting an Opposition Fretilin MP who was not in favour of the scheme. What a surprise? If I spoke to Wilson Tuckey and used him as the voice of the Australian Parliament on any public issue, would I be likely to get a balanced majority view? Not bloody likely – Beat up/non issue #2, at least until the East Timorese Government have a concrete proposal in front of them that they can evaluate, and vote on in their Parliament. The third item began with ‘the Opposition says blah, blah, blah …’ on climate change policy, therefore I am evidently to be alarmed that the sky is falling and we’ll all be rooned, all this before we have heard what the PM has to say in her promised announcement on revised Climate policy – Beat up/non issue #3 It’s the stuff that Murdoch’s dreams are made of, but hardly objective news reporting, I would have thought. Then, as the icing on this cake of dross, the news report was followed by ‘AM’ at 8am with Tony Eastley, which consisted of 10 more minutes of ‘analysis’ of the same negative set of half truths and distortions without one word of the Government’s side of these matters, only the propaganda talking points seemingly supplied by Liberal Party HQ, via News Ltd. I am not asking for the rote regurgitation of Government media handouts either, just some balance if they are going to merely ‘cut and past’ talking points supplied by political media flaks as a substitute for any real current affairs analysis, which I have long given up on from the current debased version of the ABC. And taxpayers dollars pay for this alleged ‘news service’ – I might as well subscribe to Liberal Party handouts directly and dispense with the middle man.

Ad astra reply

8/07/2010HS Thank you for another germane discussion piece, which has attracted a swag of comments over the last couple of hours. I note that Tony Abbott has passed the responsibility of ‘turning the boats around’ to the service personnel who encounter them – a cop-out that ensures that few if any will be turned around, and if any are and things go wrong, Abbott will have nicely done a Pontius Pilate. Yet how many journalists will take him to task? All we hear from the media is what Abbott says, what criticisms he makes, not what stupid decisions he takes. The only positive part of his new policy is the sponsoring of refugees – all the rest is Howard policies with sharp edges. On the other hand, Julia’s more visionary policy offers hope for refugees throughout the region, and the possibility of getting this divisive debate out of the public forum. There is no point in dividing the community with dog-whistling, except of course as a political wedge to advantage one party over another. That is shameful.

Min

8/07/2010Ad astra, I didn't get around to answering your question on the other thread. The first rule is preservation of life at sea and it would be highly unlikely that any commander nor any service personnel would open fire on unarmed civilians. Abbott might try to call it 'a war' but this has even less credibility that Bush's War on Terrorism, in fact far far less so.

jimbo

8/07/2010lynn ,on the previous piece i wrote two comments concerning the abysmal reporting about boat people by today tonight and should be worthy of being sent to media watch because of the unadulterated bullshit they came out with for anyone who knows how to do that sort of thing.also i asked if you would be able to locate it on today tonight and get links so that people can hear it,as well it would be good to get the original from a few weeks before,not sure where,and match them to show all that had been left out to suit a narrative.i explained it all on the other opinion piece about contemplating abbott as pm.

NormanK

8/07/2010HS Thanks for your article. What a hornet’s nest. Firstly may I join Jason in saying that I am disappointed that the government has caved in on this issue. It may not have been a lurch to the right (thank goodness) but it is a capitulation. Ironically, Kevin Rudd is the one who took the true hard line on this issue - at least up until the moratorium on visa applications. What the Rudd govt. was doing was “right” in terms of our international obligations and our collective sense of christian goodwill - whether we are christian or not and I’m not. One of the reasons I was devastated by his removal is that he was pretty much sticking to his guns on AS and saying to hell with votes - this is this the right thing to do - you marginal seatholders need to get out and educate your constituents. If he had succeeded in being re-elected in 2010 he would have had a mandate (or a reverse mandate if you like) to say doing this much and no more is quite all right. This should never ever have been a political issue and the only way to remove it from the agenda is to shut the Opposition up from dragging it into public view with nauseating monotony. If Gillard had held to this fair and just approach perhaps they would have lost a few seats but they would have gone some way towards getting it off the agenda. Now we are stuck with it for at least another election cycle and probably a lot longer. That said, what she has proposed seems reasonable enough given that she has now got the support of quite a few lobby groups etc. I wish her well but it was gutless.

Ad astra reply

8/07/2010Rx I have added your commentary to ABC WATCH. Like you, I continue to be appalled by the ABC’s treatment of this issue. I thought Tony Jones was at his school-masterly worst last night interviewing Julia Gillard. There he was interrogating her about why she had not consulted first with East Timor PM Xanana Gusmão, instead talking with President José Ramos-Horta. It was not just the words he used but the condemnatory tone of his voice that annoyed me. He started with: “[i]How is it good diplomacy to announce your intentions to an East Timor, into an off-shore processing centre for asylum seekers without first raising this at all with their government?”[/i] Not great English Tony, but you were annoyed with her weren’t you, and it showed. Not satisfied with her reply you asked: “[i]But to relentlessly pursue something you'd have to pursue it with the actual government and you haven't even spoken, as I understand it, to the prime minister. Why didn't you at least speak to both of them, the president and the prime minister, your counterpart in East Timor, Xanana Gusmao?”[/i] Answer me girl! There was another exchange, but not satisfied with her reply you continued: “[i]I just can't understand why you didn't pick up the phone and speak to Xanana Gusmao, who after all is the prime minister of the government of East Timor who would be responsible, his government at least, for approving this, not the president.”[/i] to which Julia aptly replied: “[i] Well, Tony, you seem to have taken some umbrage at this....”[/i] He certainly had, and he was giving schoolgirl Julia a good schoolmaster’s reprimand. What arrogant audacity – who the hell does Jones think he is that he can talk to this nation’s PM in that overbearing condescending way, as if he knows best? Personally I was incensed. What did you think? If you didn’t see it and can bear to read the transcript it’s here. http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2010/s2947634.htm I’ve put that on ABC WATCH too/ jimbo I see you're annoyed at Today Tonight. By the sound of it, the ABC is no better. I note that today after the East Timorese President and PM discussed the matter, that despite the ABC’s Sarah Everingham’s attempt to paint the picture as poorly for Julia Gillard as possible, she headed her article on ABC News “[i]Gusmao gives Ramos-Horta lead on asylum negotiations”[/i] which give the lie to the conventional wisdom that Ramos-Horta has only a ceremonial role, like our GG. But to reinforce the point she’s been making since she arrived in East Timor yesterday, she begins her article: “[i] East Timor's prime minister Xanana Gusmao says he is still waiting for more details of Prime Minister Julia Gillard's proposal to send asylum seekers to his country.”[/i] Of course he is Sarah and will receive them when Julia speaks to him later this week. So why make it such a big deal of this – the concept is embryonic. The ABC was intent on a beat-up – it rather likes its new post-Rudd sacking mantra: ‘where the politicians get their news’, and continues as if it leads the breaking news on matters political, and here it was again building up its ‘Gillard didn’t consult properly and now her East Timor plan is getting lots of opposition’ story, and must have been disappointed when Ramos-Horta was given the lead to further discussions. Of course it may still come to nothing, but I expect the East Timorese will at least give it consideration. The ABC would have preferred instant rejection and canvassed opinion from politicians who might be expected to oppose, like the Fretilin leader who, like Tony Abbott, specializes in opposition. Our ABC has performed poorly on this matter, and only at the 5 pm news did it finally concede that the East Timorese were happy to talk with Julia Gillard, which the ABC finally said was a ‘boost’ to her. Pathetic!

Lyn

8/07/2010Hi Jimbo I'm sorry I must have missed your comment, on the previous post you mentioned. I have a link for you about refugees on today tonight 7th July. Not quite sure what you mean, by the original story. [i]TODAY TONIGHT, What the Government doesn't want you to know, video, 7th July.[/i] http://au.todaytonight.yahoo.com/latest cheers

Ad astra reply

8/07/2010Min My guess is that not one boat will be turned around if we should be so unfortunate as to have an Abbott Government. As Julia Gillard said, it is just a hollow gesture that will appeal only to the hard-nosed. Now that Abbott has opted-out and passed responsibility to the Armed Services they will, quite properly, be ultra-cautious, having been handed the poison chalice of deciding which boat shall be turned around. This debate gets more and more pathetic.

Lyn

8/07/2010Hi Ad [quote]This debate gets more and more pathetic[/quote][i] I agree with you Ad, it's stupid isn't it. I have put up this link for you, but not sure that it tells us much really, maybe someone is going to ask Abbott questions soon, perhaps. Abbott must admit he won't turn boats back , Australia. TO[/i]] “His simplistic and shallow slogan is becoming more qualified by the day and this is an admission that he can not deliver on his empty promise. http://australia.to/2010/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3878:abbott-must-admit-he-wont-turn-boats-back-&catid=101:australian-news&Itemid=167

Lyn

8/07/2010Hi Ad This is interesting by John Hewson: Fourth Estate corrupting the political system,John Hewson, Unleashed. I most vividly remember an early meeting with Paul Kelly, then editor of The Australian. Kelly stated quite emphatically that The Oz had a specific policy agenda, and if I said the right things, consistent with that agenda, I would "get a run". If I erred, I could expect to get a drubbing. http://www.abc.net.au:80/unleashed/stories/s2948055.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail

Jason

8/07/2010HS, I would suggest that just like the last election the labor party will have to rely upon groups like get up and the unions in marginal seats to do the heavy lifting as it seems some have Stockholm syndrome and have no idea on how to explain to their people that if we didn't do stimulus etc you might be unemployed and boat people would be the least of your problems as the Sheriff has the locks on your house changed,and you become homeless. just a thought you mightn't say it like that! on second thoughts I would

Miglo

8/07/2010Great post HS. Thanks for another enjoyable read. People seem to be enjoying my post at the Cafe called Citizen Journalists. Drop on over for a drink and a ctach up. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/citizen-journalists/#comment-2479

Miglo

8/07/2010Oops. Try this link: http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/07/07/citizen-journalists/

Ad astra reply

8/07/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

HS

8/07/2010Hi All! Back on deck again after having to attend the Orthodentists with Son #2! Will now go and read all your lovely comments. :)

HS

8/07/2010Rewi, Thank you for the corrective. I wonder if AA might edit the text?

HS

8/07/2010Molly, Tony Abbott's pledge to 'turn the boats back' should have one of those little asterisks beside it similar to the ones you get in Mobile Phone deals. In other words, turning the boats back, 'where conditions permit' would end up being not ever, as there would never be any conditions that I could think of that would permit it to happen. It's just more hairy-chested rhetoric meant to provide more heat than light.

Lyn

8/07/2010Hi Hillbilly Welcome back, you are a wonder. Hope the othodentist's visit went ok for your son, I wonder how you fit everything into your day and still find time to write for us. Thankyou Hillbilly

HS

8/07/2010BH, 'What kind of policy is that to put it on the Navy's head if a boat ultimately sinks after being turned back.' To use a word that the Coalition used relentlessly against Rudd, it's a 'gutless' policy. I wonder if an enterprising journalist has thought to ask the CDF, Angus Huston, what he thinks about Abbott devising an evil policy and then leaving it up to the Navy to implement for him? It beggars belief that the media are letting him weasel out of taking responsibility for this abhorrent policy. Oh, that's right, they'd rather broadcast Abbott receiving adulation from besotted Fruit Market workers instead. According to them he's a 'Champion". 'Champion' liar. 'Champion' weasel. 'Champion' gutless wonder. No, instead, the media are intent on dismembering and leaving dead in the water, Julia Gillard's superior policy, because in 2 weeks as Prime Minister she is supposed to have fully formulated and perfectly implemented her own policy to their satisfaction.

Augustus

8/07/2010HS, well posted, similar topic over at the cafe, so I will post the same here. Malcolm Fraser had the right idea with the Vietnamese refugees, go to the transit point process them and fly them to Australia, John Howard at the time is quoted as saying this will only temporary for which he was slapped down by Fraser for saying. Howard is a racist and has infected the Liberal party with his views, Howard politicised everything in order to retain power and Abbott was his boy, his head kicker, and Abbott is still only a head kicker and a weak bastard who can only pray on our fears much like his mentor. Fraser supports Julia Gillards proposal, as much as I disliked his politics his humanitarian efforts cannot questioned as far as I am concerned. Australia has a duty of care towards the Afghans in particular, our troops are there defending them, and for the fortunate few who can escape the violence we should be receiveing them with welcoming arms, it is our duty. I have been watching the "boat people" reporting with disgust, and genuine attempts to resolve the issues being quoted as some cheap fix to either sell more newspapers, get elected, or to improve ratings without any fore thought for the suffering of humans beings caught in the middle and in trauma from their experiences, of which we have no idea of. I noticed Bob Brown refering to the return of Pauline Hanson tonight, who or what was he refering to, was he refering to Julia Gillard, Tony Abbott or Australia in general, the only consellation I can take was a quote from David Suzuki at a talk of his I attended, which was "you have to appreciate people like Pauline Hanson because she shows you just how many people really think like that, and it is only 25% of the population". So lets have an election and get the answers. Meanwhile back at the ranch, Dick Tracy disguised as a door, was rehinged, and I'm going to have a nice single malt.

jimbo

8/07/2010lynn the today tonight story was a repeat of a story done three or so weeks before by another outlet ,ten i think,where they tried to blame labor for refugees living in four star motels until they found out that this was not unique and that the cane toad howard used the same solution for his overcrowding in detention centres.my two comments are on the article before this one where i explain about the original story that came out two or three weeks before today tonights yesterday.

Lyn

8/07/2010Hi Jimbo I have found some information, on that motel accomodation story. But I think you mean for me to find the original story, and then the last story so as to compare the 2 different stories. The Channel 10 show is too far back, without the actual name of the show, hard for me to find. I have 2 other stories: Surge in boats tipped to follow visa freeze channel 10 video http://7pmproject.com.au/2687.htm Happy Refugee Week,Andrew Bartlett, The Stump asylum seeker families were kept in motels and the like at various times under the Howard government http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/2010/06/18/happy-refugee-week/

HS

8/07/2010Lyn, Thank you, you are so kind. I don't deserve such praise. There was so much more that I wanted to put into my piece, particularly an examination of what type of make-up we might want our refugee and asylum seeker intake to be. It just seems to me, and here is where I may sound like a bit of a 'Redneck' myself, but why is it that we have to take whoever comes here by boat, when they are merely the most opportunistic and organised? As some have made the valid point, it's a bit hard for an oppressed family in some of the war-torn African countries, or merely even those places where a despotic leader rides roughshod over the population, as in Zimbabwe until recently, to have the wherewithall to make it to Australia to ask for refuge. This in contrast to the now well-documented organised people-smuggling trade in the Asian countries. For example, I heard recently that some people-smugglers have been in Indonesia for so long that they have married local women and started a family! That hardly gives one the impression of desperate souls adrift upon the sea looking for refuge in our country. More like an established business enterprise that is indeed funnelling people to an overly-generous country. Don't get me wrong, I believe we should give shelter to the world's oppressed and tortured, it's just that I know that some 'refugees' have been living in another country for over 2 decades before they finally set off to make the journey to Australia for 'asylum'. Sure, persecution may have originally caused them to flee their home country, but to come here and ask for asylum now? I don't know, it just doesn't sit right with me. I thought asylum was supposed to be for the purpose of removing people to a safe place and out of harm's way. If they've been in another country for a long time, they are hardly in harm's way anymore. I also know that these countries are where a lot of the massive refugee camps are, full of hopeless individuals looking for a way out. So many questions, so few clear answers.

HS

8/07/2010Gravel, That man Abbott is one sick puppy. To use the word 'invaded', as you say, is just the lowest of low acts. He should be pulled up short every time he says it by a media that should be doing their job. That is, if you believe that their job is to be forensic in their analysis of the issues, in a fair and balanced way. As opposed to headline hunting, or carrying out the boss' agenda.

Jason

8/07/2010HS, I take your points on board and even with some of the points you made maybe it's time for our parliment and indeed the UN to have another look at what classifies a refugee as I don't think it has changed since WW2.Maybe thats half the problem!

HS

8/07/2010Rx, Thank you for that pertinent summary of this morning's ABC News. Fair dinkum, I'm sure that it has become the sport du jour within the ABC to everyday see how they can beat up on the government. Now I have just turned to Lateline, where they have that John Howard lackey, Hugh White, from the Australian Strategic Policy Institute, attempting to dump on PM Gillard's plan. I can still remember him going on the ABC regularly to make the case for the presence of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq. Weasel words are his speciality. Now we have the concern trolls of the media worrying about those asylum seekers still in Indonesia waiting to come here. They are just looking for things to criticise them over. 'Whatever it takes' to get rid of the Labor government. * "If he harbours resentment about Australia's proposal he wasn't showing it" An ABC reporter just said that about Xanana Gusmao. What tha? I think that meant he was happy with the proposal, which is what should have been said you'd think.

HS

8/07/2010Jason, The way I see it, Get Up are just as anti-Labor government as everyone else these days. Even though Lachlan harris came from GetUp to Kevin Rudd's team, ever since the ETS was shelved they have turned on the government and directed ire their way as vociferously as anyone else. That is, going on the contributions that Simon Sheikh makes when he is on Q&A. It just seems as if it is open season on the Labor government and they are attacked from all sides, instead of some who you would think might find ways of essentially supporting them, like the Greens and GetUp, making the effort to do so.

Bilko

8/07/2010Lyn "Fourth Estate corrupting the political system" in the Drum, this is an article we should all read if you can do your magic and link it. However it is the comments that provide most of the real meat, whilst supporting the gist of the article but really hammer the press and ABC confirming most of our latent feelings. Let us get the election under way and sink the libs for a decade or more. The latest offerings on this blog have been superb and whilst I have refrained from commenting mainly because others do it so much better, keep up the good work and down with the dark side.

HS

8/07/2010Jason, Exactly! The caricature of a refugee has n't changed much since WW2. In fact, some mawkish sentimentalists were trotting out that tired jewish 'Ship of Fools' imagery in the media yesterday. There couldn't be a starker difference between those Jews fleeing from Hitler's atrocities and the world's intolerance, and those who seek to come to our country via a busman's holiday through a number of countries, only to hop on a boat at their last port of call so as to seem like a bedraggled 'Ship of Fools' simulacrum.

HS

8/07/2010Bilko, You are always welcome here to comment, no matter how meagre you think it might be. If only to see your wonderful avatar!

Rx

9/07/2010Another for [b]ABC Watch[/b] please, Ad. By poster, Andrew, Poll Bludger, Thursday, July 8, 2010 at 9:52 pm http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/07/05/essential-research-54-46-to-labor/comment-page-50/#comment-516387 Quote: Such blatant misrepresentation by the MSM today. There is no backflip. Both the PM and president of East Timor will consider the centre. ABC news ran a negative article that Gillard “backed away” from East Timor without actually playing what she said. Complete with Morrison commentary of course.

HS

9/07/2010Thanks again, Rx! I just saw Laurie Oakes on Channel 9 giving it the PM with both barrels, as if she was shifty for not having every i dotted and t crossed before she made her announcement about the Regional Processing Centre this week, and for mentioning Papua New Guinea as another country which might be used. Also that she shouldn't have taken David Bradbury with her to Darwin(which I sort of agree with-it was dumb). He and Lisa Wilkinson were ganging up on her, pure and simple, and it wasn't pretty to watch.

Lyn

9/07/2010Hi Bilko I did put the link up at 6.03pm, but it takes you to the ABC page, and you need to scroll to the bottom. Here it is: [i]Fourth Estate corrupting the political system,John Hewson, Unleashed[/i]. I most vividly remember an early meeting with Paul Kelly, then editor of The Australian. Kelly stated quite emphatically that The Oz had a specific policy agenda, and if I said the right things, consistent with that agenda, I would "get a run". If I erred, I could expect to get a drubbing. http://www.abc.net.au:80/unleashed/stories/s2948055.htm?WT.mc_id=newsmail Bilko you have to keep commenting on "The Political Sword'' we need you, this is your home. You are part of our identity, you have been here since forever. We all love your gravatar, and thoroughly enjoy your opinion. cheers

Lyn

9/07/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Unemployment goes down! Oh Misery....Grog, Grogs Gamut[/i] all media types are grumble bums who just can’t cope giving an ALP Government any credit at all… http://grogsgamut.blogspot.com/ [i]Tabloid TV, Like Politics, Not Always the Gospel Truth. Leon Delaney[/i] we never just have a leadership challenge, we have a “political showdown”. Instead of a change of leadership, we have a “political execution”. And instead of displaced persons seeking refuge, we have “illegal asylum seekers”. http://leondelaney.blogspot.com/ [i]Mind the (gender) gap, Bernard Keane, Crikey[/i] if Abbott does have a problem with women voters, his preferred PM and net approval ratings suggest it’s part of a bigger problem that voters just don’t like the guy. http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/07/08/mind-the-gender-gap-abbotts-problem-is-bigger-than-the-ladies/ [i]Lazy Media and the BER Scheme, Guest Poster, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] media coverage of rorting claims by “whistleblower” Craig Mayne, former P&C president of Queensland’s Holland Park State School, is an example of the lazy, hazy days of journalism. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/07/08/lazy-media-and-the-ber-scheme/#more-13589 [i]The pendulum & the pit Faulkner, the election & the exhaustion of the mainstream politics, part deux. Guy Rundle, The Stump [/i] The clever-clever approach to the boats issue – Christmas Island processing and the Indonesian solution – has given way to the baroquely bizarre East Timorese hop-scotch. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/thestump/ [i]UK Campaign to Stop Murdoch, Stop Murdoch[/i] It would give Murdoch even more political influence and it could open the door to biased, right-wing news like Fox News in the US. http://stopmurdoch.blogspot.com/

Rx

9/07/2010I tuned into their 'AM' this morning and, surprise, surprise, the first speaker I heard was their "Mr Abbott", with his highly-strung voice and sounding like he'd just drunk a cupful of vinegar. He was accompanied by an unctuous-sounding Sabra Lane, who treaded delicately around the hard questions, reluctant to put anything that might put "Mr Abbott" under pressure. God knows they don't want the Liberals accusing them of "BIAS!". Following the Liberal propaganda session they went to a pub in Balmain, and spoke to (supposedly random) "voters" pissed off with Labor. Two sides to every story? Yes, on their ABC there's the Liberal side, and there's the anti-Labor side. AM - Always Moaning

Rx

9/07/2010Another one for [b]ABC Watch[/b] please, Ad. By poster, Toorak Toff, Poll Bludger, Friday, July 9, 2010 at 7:35 am http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/07/05/essential-research-54-46-to-labor/comment-page-53/#comment-516529 Quote: "... Horta talks positively – and the ABC leads with opposition party Fretilin’s negative views. Toxic media indeed!"

Bilko

9/07/2010Lyn and HS thankyou for your kind comments I am a little distracteday the moment, the OH fell and broke both ankles so I am back to the Hosp to keep her company and hope the operations happen today and no more delays keep up the good work

Lyn

9/07/2010Hi Bilko We are so very sorry, to hear about your OH, breaking her ankles. We all send our sympathy Bilko, and pray the ankles will mend ok. Please let us know how the healing goes Bilko.

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9/07/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

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9/07/2010ABC WATCH updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/ABC-Watch.aspx

Lyn

9/07/2010Hi Ad Weekend TV Compliments of Tobias Ziegler, Pure Poison Here’s what we can look forward to on our TV screens (via Leigh Sales and Mike Bowers): Tonight’s Lateline (ABC1 at 10:35) has Jonathan Alter, the author of “The Promise: President Obama, Year One”. Sunday’s Insiders has Barrie interviewing Stephen Smith, the panel is Misha Schubert, Karen Middleton and Gerard Henderson, and Talking Pictures has Fiona Katauskas. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/purepoison/

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9/07/2010Bilko Sorry to hear of your OH's ankle fractures. Wish her well from us all at [i]TPS{/i]

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9/07/2010Folks Some good news for Labor supporters: [i]Morgan ALP 55% (up 6%) set to win Federal Election over L-NP 45% (down 6%). But Men & Women Split on New PM Gillard[/i] http://www.roymorgan.com/news/polls/2010/4532/

HS

9/07/2010I certainly hope that we go to an election soon. It distresses me what I have seen and heard over the last 2 days from out of the mouths of Australian citizens about our new PM. Exhibit #1: Yesterday in the Orthodentist's surgery I overheard a middle-aged man talking to the O/Dentist. He was 'discussing' our new PM. They went on to each other for a solid 5 minutes, saying everything from, "She used to be in the Communist Party, you know." (Not true I'm pretty sure), to, "She's just a mouthpiece for the Unions." Also demonstrably not true. Plus plenty of equally objectionable statements interspersed with fawning praise of John Howard in comparison, "At least you knew where you stood with him, he always told the truth." Yeah right! Exhibit #2 This is almost a case for ABC Watch due to the way the ABC seems to have trawled for negative opinions about the PM...On PM today, the ABC journo in Perth with the PM interviewed some Miners boarding a plane to fly in to the Mining site. She asked them their opinion of the new MRRT and the new PM. They were all men, so no balance there from the start, but they said about the MRRT that it was a secret project of the ALP to rip off the Mining Industry(predictable, I suppose), and that she had no legitimacy to be our Prime Minister because, "She's a Pommy. She shouldn't be ruling us. We should only have an Aussie as Prime Minister." (!!!) Could've fooled me, I thought she was as Australian as the next man/woman citizen of Australia. This positively shocking set of attitudes, in this day and age in Australia, was topped off today in Perth by: Exhibit#3: Today someone in the crowd at the PM's walkabout threw an egg at her. Luckily it missed, but that is just scurrilous behaviour. Anyhow, it all adds up to a mean mood out there in the electorate against the ALP, and our new Prime Minister, which is only being stoked relentlessly by the Coalition, with no obvious regard for her safety, or what might eventuate.

HS

9/07/2010Bilko, Your OH has my deepest sympathy and empathy. I had a leg fractured in 3 places last year as a result of falling over as I ran to get in the car on a rainy day. The grass was as slippery as ice and I just lost it! The best advice I can give you is to make her do her Physio. It helped me get back on my feet :) sooner. Also it prevents any ligamentous contractures setting in permanently. My fractures were in the lower Tibia and Fibula, near my ankle.

Bilko

9/07/2010AA lyn & HS thankyou for your kind wishes, the OH has done exactly what HS did on the grass and right fib & tib done for, she is very determined and the phsio will be top of our agenda. HS ref your dentist visit Abbott was born in the uk I believe so those MEN mentioned have no legs to stand on perhaps Bob Brown but he is from the south island I think, almost overseas.

Lyn

9/07/2010Hi Ad and Hillbilly [i]Morgan: 56.5-43.5 to Labor, William Bowe, The Poll Bludger[/i] Interestingly, the poll reports the opening of a huge gender gap, with Labor leading 60.5-39.5 among women and trailing 50.5-49.5 among men. http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollbludger/2010/07/09/morgan-56-5-43-5-to-labor/ [i]THE Liberal Party has appointed an advertising agency that specialises in marketing to women. Simon Canning, The Australian Business[/i] It will research key marginal seats as it moves to counter the sudden emergence of Julia Gillard as its electoral foe. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/media/liberals-sign-up-womens-marketing-specialist-for-election-campaign/story-e6frg996-1225887760219 [i]Abbott's gender fender bender, Bernard Keane, Business Spectator [/i] In any event, even if Abbott does have a problem with women voters, his preferred PM and net approval ratings suggest it's part of a bigger problem that voters just don't like the guy. http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Tony-Abbott-Julia-Gillard-politics-election-polls-pd20100708-766PS? [i]Insecurities to the fore!, The Piping Shrike[/i] But as Abbott’s polling went nowhere, even the toughest cultural warriors were having their doubts and the media’s love affair with Abbott faded along with his polling. http://www.pipingshrike.com/2010/07/insecurities-to-the-fore.html [i]BMF - Individual seat markets open, Possum Comitatus, Pollytics[/i] This week on Betting Market Friday, the money flowed towards the ALP, blowing the implied probability of an ALP election victory out to 76.4% http://blogs.crikey.com.au/pollytics/

HS

9/07/2010Bilko, Wow! How about that! I suppose I should think myself lucky that it only happened to one of my legs. :) The one upside of it all was that I lost some weight because I couldn't get to the fridge as often for snacks, and my children finally had to learn how to do a few things themselves that I had done for them until then. :)

Jason

9/07/2010HS, Yesterday I wasn't sure about the "policy" today I'm against it. I would sooner see the labor party get voted out at the next election than see us go along with having the opposition tell us what to do. Scratch under the surface and that's all the liberal party have they have nothing, should they get into government they can't guarantee they can implement anything they're offering. That said it's time to start talking about what the punters actually care about the hip pocket, just about everything Abbott says about policy is we'll release it well before the election. We are the government and it's time we acted like one and started to starve Abbott of the media oxygen and started to dictate to them you want to win you fight us for it because thats they only way your going to get it. Enough of the Liberals and the media it's time the media start putting Abbott et al under the pump and labor declare war.

Lyn

9/07/2010Hi Jason I agree with you Jason, as Ad said yesterday it's just pathetic, but it is the Newspapers and their journalists, making such a huge beat up out of the small amount of asylum seekers arriving here. Well the Australian, says Abbott is ruling the country anyway, opposition or not. Look at this, mind you, Abbott is good friends with Greg Sheridan, they went to University together. [b]Now Abbott has forced Gillard to adopt Howard's policy on illegal immigrants. He has even forced her to describe asylum-seekers as illegal immigrants, as she did in her speech yesterday.[/b] [b]Taken altogether, it establishes that Abbott is ruling the country from opposition, the next best thing to ruling it from government.,[/b] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/gillard-shows-howard-and-abbott-were-right/story-e6frg6zo-1225888708722

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9/07/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

HS

9/07/2010Jason, Labor will come out all guns blazing as soon as the election is called IMHO. I think/hope they are playing their cards close to their chests and not going off half-cocked, preferring to leave it until the election campaign to blare it out across the country just how good a bunch of economic managers they have been. Also what a bunch of economic incompetents the Liberals are. They've basically got a good story to tell. I think I detected the beginnings of TA starting to be called to account on AM this morning. As per usual he had his weasel words pre-formed in order to get out from under the difficult questions, like which countries he would choose for his offshore proocessing centres, only able to come up with the old Howard gulag on Nauru. At the moment events are free-floating as the PM tidies up all the loose ends. Once the election is called a new pardigm emerges and closer scrutiny of both electoral alternatives ensues. Well, at least I hope our media hasn't become so thoroughly corrupted yet that they forget that's what they are there for.

Jason

9/07/2010HS, Yes I heard AM this morning and I would probably watch and listen to as much current affairs as you do (If some can be called that) and like you I hope they have it under control, but the last time we played games with the Libs near election time we had the Tampa and 9/11 why gamble?

HS

9/07/2010Jason, The big difference there, of course, is that in 2001 Howard was in power and he was able to use the Tampa incident to his political advantage, as well as leverage the 9/11 calamity. Unless something similar happens between now and the election that the Opposition can use to their advantage, the serious journalists will do just that, i.e. take their jobs seriously, and apply the correct amount of scrutiny to Tony Abbott and the Coalition. I tell you, I can't wait for the ABC to stop leading off very News break with the line, "The Opposition said today...", as if whatever it is they have to say is worth a pinch of snuff.

Rx

9/07/2010Hillbilly Skeleton, What's been the most frequently-used phrase in ABC Radio 'news' bulletins over the past couple of years? [i]"The Federal Opposition says ..."[/i] :-/

HS

9/07/2010From Cafe Whispers: The Sledger: Oh, how twagic. A little News Ltd bird has just told me that the barking Mad Monk is not going to like the next Newspoll results. I hope, I hope, I hope this is true. :)

Jason

9/07/2010HS, If you say just wait until the election is called then thats good enough for me, I'll go with your better judgment.

HS

9/07/2010Jason, Then again, it could all turn to crap if the media don't play fair. That's why I'm hoping the Unions have their ad campaign lined up ready to go too. The ALP will need all the support they can get. The Opposition will be given the rails run.

Canbra Dave

10/07/2010HS, Don't worry, Shanahan will find some way to spin it to show that the Liberals are going to win the election. Even if it's just "It wasn't as bad as what people though it might have been, therefore her honeymoon is already over". Still I'm hoping that it will actually be a pretty close election here in Canberra. Labor takes its two seats here entirely for granted and our community often suffers as a result. The fact that both sitting members have vacated their seats means that they lose the personal vote. The Labor Senator Kate Lundy has been almost invisible in either the community of the media, compared to the Liberal Senator Gary Humphries, who I know personally has been campaigning in parliament, the media and the community on behalf of Canberrans. Lundy by comparison seems to focus all her time on 'Government 2.0' reviews and initiatives. It looks like the closer race is already starting to pay off since Gungahlin is going to be one of the 14 areas to get the first rollout of the NBN.

Lyn

10/07/2010[b]TODAY'S LINKS[/b] [i]Gillard takes poll position.... with Mungo MacCallum[/i] If they hadn’t started already, the opposition’s shit-unit and the gutter trawlers of the media will be raking through her past in search of scandal. . http://www.hinterlandtimes.com.au/2010/07/09/gillard-takes-poll-position-with-mungo-maccallum/ [i]Has Gillard back-flipped on boat people?, Crikey[/i] Was Gillard’s speech misleading or simply misinterpreted? Was it bad diplomacy or is the media cooking up a storm in a teacup? And http://www.crikey.com.au/2010/07/09/has-gillard-backflipped-on-boat-people/ [i]There, But for the Grace of God, Go Us All, Leon Delaney[/i] why the hysteria over asylum seekers has been blown completely out of all proportion http://leondelaney.blogspot.com/ [i]Julia Gillard, presidential governance and the future of progressive politics, Kim, Larvatus Prodeo[/i] I also think the Timor kerfuffle demonstrates that “consultative” leadership is not the panacea that many claimed it was. http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/07/09/julia-gillard-presidential-governance-and-the-future-of-progressive-politics/#more-13611 [i]What is Border Protection,by PAUL BARRATT Australian Observer[/i] Where is the evidence that people are slipping into the country by boat http://aussieobserver.blogspot.com/2010/07/what-is-border-protection.html [i]Media Bias alive and well at Your ABC, Reb, Gutter Trash[/i] in fact edit out, material which proves that the Opposition Leader is guilty of exactly the same accusations he is levelling at the Prime Minister.It’s not just hypocrisy, it’s clear media bias. http://guttertrash.wordpress.com:80/2010/07/09/media-bias-alive-and-well-at-your-abc/ [i]Threads of Doom and the lurch to the right, Tigtog, Hoyden about Town[/i] over-congratulating politicians when they are doing well and then over-killing ]them when they are doing poorly – seems to be cranking up once again, and it cannot be good either for St Julia or for the country. http://hoydenabouttown.com/20100709.7803/threads-of-doom-and-the-lurch-to-the-right/ [i]Politics makes for real drama Laurie Oakes, Herald Sun[/i] THE sudden downfall of Kevin Rudd was compelling drama. http://www.heraldsun.com.au/opinion/politics-makes-for-real-drama/story-e6frfhqf-1225889985955 [i]At Least the jobs are alright, Peter Martin[/i] An extra 45,900 jobs were created in June - more than 1500 each day . http://petermartin.blogspot.com/ [i]Here’s the deal, Mr Murdoch: If you stop lifting my content, I’ll pay for yours, Tim Burrows, Mumbrella[/i] it’s one year this week since John Hartigan , the chairman of News Ltd, turned his fire on Mumbrella during a keynote speech: http://mumbrella.com.au/heres-the-deal-mr-murdoch-if-you-stop-lifting-my-content-ill-pay-for-yours-29275

NormanK

10/07/2010Jason "I would sooner see the labor party get voted out at the next election than see us go along with having the opposition tell us what to do." I know that my opinion will have very little influence on you, but I hope this is a fit of passion rather than a concrete intention. I have never been as scared of a politician as I am of Abbott. It would be nothing like a "normal" conservative government - as Ad pointed out on the last thread they would be hopeless at governing but more importantly Abbott has strong ultra-conservative views on individual liberties and rights. The weak and vulnerable will suffer outrageously under his rule. I wrote somewhere that we need to keep him out for the sake of our children and our parents - these were carefully chosen words. WE may be able to withstand a period of him in power but those older and younger than us will suffer greatly. I too deplore this move on AS policy because it is an act of political opportunism rather than standing up for what is fundamentally right. But one swallow doth not make a summer and one or two bad policies do not make a bad government especially when examined in the reflected light of the Mad Monk and what he would do. What we will see in the election campaign will be phoney Tony. The real Abbott, if elected, will feel no compunction to stick to anything he has said to date or in the near future.

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10/07/2010LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/Lyns-Daily-Links.aspx

Glorfindel

10/07/2010 Just think in an alternate dimension close to ours sanity prevailed Rudd is still the PM and the press of the last couple of days has focused on how exceptionally good our unemployment figures are and how unworkable Abbott's "turn the boats around" solution is. Instead we have the focus on the farce of the "Timor Solution" whoops I mean the "PNG Solution" whoops I mean the "Where The Heck Do We Put Them Solution". NormanK when Bolt is running articles "How Tony Abbott runs Australia" then perhaps you should be more scared of a Labor government cedes Abbott such influence.

NormanK

10/07/2010Glorfindel If Bolt said the sky was green would we change our colour charts? I have conceded this AS move may be ill-conceived but the day I agree with anything Bolt has to say, is the day for the funny farm. He is only a journalist and a very poor one at that.

Jason

10/07/2010Normank, Your right it was a fit of passion and I'm with you on Abbott he's dangerous, but the issue of assylum seekers is not a favorite battle ground of Labor and no matter what we do we can't win even amongst labor suppoters. Let the Libs carry on with their dog whistles lets get back to what we do Health Education and reforming the country.That is what I find frustrating.

Glorfindel

10/07/2010Hi NormanK, If Bolt said the sky was blue would you automatically assume he was wrong? Painful as it is to admit there was a certain logic to the points he raised - the ETS - the mining tax - asylum seekers. He could probably have added the insulation scheme too if he wanted. I tend to vote Labor because I want a Labor government, not because I want a faux-conservative one. If it's a choice between a conservative government and a faux-conservative one then we might as well go for the genuine article.

Jason

10/07/2010HI lyn, Here is a good article by Peter van onselen who gets stuck into the opposition http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/julia-at-sea-but-towaway-tony-misses-boat/story-e6frg6zo-1225889999360

Lyn

10/07/2010Hi Jason, Thankyou for the link to Peter Van Onselen, he sounds convincing, seems convincing, appears convincing, has an excellent point about Abbott and the Coalition, this moment. He was on the Contrarians yesterday afternoon, saying the same thing, more or less word for word to his column. [b]Great Big But[/b], Jason he doesn't fool me, you watch him, he is fake. cheers

NormanK

10/07/2010Hi Glorfindel, I take your point. I don't defend Labor to the death - they have made some mistakes and I would prefer Rudd was still at the helm because in my opinion he is a tough cookie who, if left to his own devices, would have stared down the nervous backbenchers and other compromise-artists. This is not the reality of the situation so it's a moot point. I only stick my head up when I hear someone saying the two major parties are becoming alike or we should "punish" Labor because they've done one or two things we don't like. It's apples and oranges. In terms of effect on our daily lives the AS issue is tiny, tiny tiny. It deserves two inches on Page 6 once a month. The compromise with the miners was unfortunate but still a whole lot better than nothing. The jury is out on the GPRS - this week will be telling. As for the insulation scheme, an independent inquiry cleared the government of wrong-doing. It's just that Bolt (and others) thought it unnecessary to pass this on to the Australian people. On the far more important issues of health, education, worker's rights, global warming and the environment and social welfare in general there are stark contrasts between the two major parties. And that is even before we take into account what I mentioned above. Abbott's campaign material will be mostly party-endorsed (apart from some stupid one-up-manship gambits to move the worm in his favour) and I have no faith at all that he will abide by these policies if he gets a mandate. I am not staunchly pro-Labor to the point of blindness but I am vehemently anti-Abbott. We should never bandy such words around lightly, but every time I see him speak I become more convinced that he is actually evil and will poison us for his own gain. Jason Praise Allah for the van onselen article!

macca

10/07/2010Re; The Asylum Seeker debate I think that the plan the PM has proposed is sensible and pragmatic. Having watched her press conference and read the transcripts I, for the life of me, cannot see how the MSM have read it so wrong. Well, I can, and we all understand their motives. It is an unfortunate reality of modern Australian politics this Govt will have to defend each and every word on each and every policy, idea, vision ,decision they put forward and try to implement. The reality that second raters such as Bolt, Shanahan and the rest can twist, obfuscate and devalue the common sense approach that the Govt has put forward is testament to our flawed thinking Whether we like it or not, whether we agree or not, there are concerns in the community about boat arrivals, that is fact and those concerns aren't just coming from marginal seats. I'm a blue collar worker in the construction industry. The people I work with are pretty diverse and, I must hasten to add, more xenophobic than overtly racist and the general principle of a "fair go" is held in pretty high regard, and the majority seem happy with the East Timor plan. These people aren't fools. They know common sense when they see it, conversely, they are pretty adept at recognising media beat ups. Should Shanahan and his ilk understand this simple fact they would find they wouldn't be so wrong, so often. The polls may just be starting to prove this. That the media can engineer, with the help of the opposition, a debate,involving 20 million people, over the fate of 2000 asylum seekers, is not testament to medias power, it is proof positive of its corruption. What do I hope for? That the govt wins the election convincingly. That Kevin Rudd returns to cabinet as the Minister charged with the job of ensuring that all Australian media, both print and electronic, is 100% Australian owned. Bye bye Rupert. Go get em' Kev. and of course, World Peace.

NormanK

10/07/2010macca "That Kevin Rudd returns to cabinet as the Minister charged with the job of ensuring that all Australian media, both print and electronic, is 100% Australian owned. Bye bye Rupert." Wouldn't that be sweet!

Lyn

10/07/2010Hi Norman K I love reading your comments and Jason's, you both sound like such thoughtful, people. [quote]I am not staunchly pro-Labor to the point of blindness but I am vehemently anti-Abbott[/quote] Like you Norman K, I am terrified of Abbott getting elected. I wander round the house saying, who would have ever thought, we would have had Abbott as Leader of the opposition, a threat to our country. You know, when Labor was in opposition I never heard anyone saying such nasty remarks about the miserable Liberal Party and Nasty mean Howard. Abbott is saying now that, Julia Gillard is incompetent. A few quotes below to prove point to myself: [quote]Tony Abbott yesterday attacked Ms Gillard as a political amateur "lost in a wilderness of spin". And in a further embarrassment, Labor factional powerbroker [/quote]... [quote]Tony Abbott is capitalising on this: "We have amateurs running the Australian government," the Opposition Leader said gleefully. ... [/quote] [quote]Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says the Prime Minister has bungled. "What we're seeing from this Prime Minister, as from her predecessor, is incompetence[/quote] [quote]The opposition leader, Tony Abbott, says the PM cannot be believed. "What we are seeing again is a pattern of incompetence and deception from the government ... [/quote] [quote]Federal Opposition Leader Tony Abbott has claimed that a temporary GP super clinic at Warnervale is an “absolute disaster” [/quote] [quote]The government's plan to establish an offshore processing centre for asylum seekers is unravelling, Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says. ... [/quote] [quote]OPPOSITION leader Tony Abbott described the $850000 spent on a second library at Annangrove Public School as a “scandalous waste” of taxpayers money while ... [/quote] [quote]The opposition leader, Tony Abbott, says the prime minister is trying to spin her way out of trouble after prematurely announcing a refugee processing ... [/quote] [quote]Gillard's failure to properly consult East Timor shows amateurs are running the country, Tony Abbott says. ... [/quote] [quote]Tony Abbott has accused PM Julia Gillard of being at the heart of govt incompetence. [/quote] [quote]Tony Abbott said Ms Gillard's idea was just a thought bubble. "No credible prime minister ought to announce government policy [/quote] [quote]Tony Abbott, said the government was being run by amateurs [/quote] [quote]Tony Abbott said Ms Gillard had confused a head of state with a head of government[/quote]. ' [quote]Tony Abbott notes, suspiciously like a thought bubble. Indeed, it has all the hallmarks of putting short-term politics before rigorous policy.[/quote] [quote]Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says the Government's figures can not be believed. "They can't be telling the truth to both groups. ... [/quote]

Jason

10/07/2010Lyn, Your correct, the trouble though is Abbott's style at the moment is like the greens by that I mean they never have to frame a budget or such things because they will never govern.Abbott on the other hand could so when he comes out with slogans they're just that no solid response such as if in government we would ....... apart from asylum seekers, He's like David Copperfield constantly moving full or distractions so you can't see that there's no rabbit he can pull out of his hat,it's on with the show of illusion and make believe and the media at the moment are spell bound.

Ad astra reply

10/07/2010Folks Your comments make great reading. Thank you for the van Onselen link Jason. Several of you have commented that Tony Abbott is dangerous. I believe that fervently. And when you read Greg Sheridan asserting that Abbott is running Australia from Opposition, it demonstrates how negativity and obstruction gains traction among a proportion of the electorate. With a media that seems largely disinclined to challenge Abbott’s assertions, is so easy for him to condemn what others are doing, so easy to malign, so easy to ‘call the shots’ by raising fears in the community, by dog-whistling on divisive issues. This is the worst type of politics, seen in totalitarian countries, but here without the violence as yet, although the egg-throwing yesterday is a gentle reminder of what might happen if rhetoric becomes overblown. Abbott is dangerous not just because of his extreme policies, but because of the destructiveness of his approach to politics – Sheridan almost left the impression that Abbott’s “destruction of Kevin Rudd’s prime ministership" and his "destruction of the the ETS” were laudable. [i]Gillard shows Howard and Abbott were right[/i] http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/opinion/gillard-shows-howard-and-abbott-were-right/story-e6frg6zo-1225888708722 This country’s media has very seldom challenged Abbott over any of his actions – it was refreshing to read Peter van Onselen doing so today over Abbott’s ‘turn back the boats’ policy. Until we get balanced media appraisal of policies from both sides, if it ever does occur, debate will be lopsided and damaging to Labor because Abbott seems for most journalists to be ‘beyond criticism'. Maybe our only hope is that this will occur during the election campaign. Lyn’s quotes demonstrate how negative the media is to Labor at present. I’m with what macca says about the AS debate, and agree with his amusing suggestion that Kevin Rudd be given the task of ensuring the media here is Australian owned, which NormanK also favours. That would flush out the most pernicious source of media manipulation in this country, News Limited.

Lyn

10/07/2010Hi Ad, That's a lovely thoughtful comment too Ad. [quote]so easy to malign, so easy to ‘call the shots’ by raising fears in the community, by dog-whistling on divisive issues. [/quote] I agree Ad it's all too easy for Abbott, tell you what, when Labor gets voted back in, I will be beside myself with delight even more so than the 2007 election Macca your's and Norman K's comments are always very informative and enjoyable everytime. [quote]These people aren't fools. They know common sense when they see it, conversely, they are pretty adept at recognising media beat ups. [/quote] Macca I agree, people aren't fools, common sense will take over, when they get to the ballot box.

HS

10/07/2010This sums up the ridiculousness of the Asylum Seeker issue very nicely: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mmTfAstUjOk

HS

10/07/2010Can I just say that all this talk from the Murdoch minions about how Abbott is already running the country is merely just another method of brainwashing the gullible in the electorate to think that way as they walk into the booth to cast their vote on election day. If enough of them believe it by then they will vote accordingly. Or so it is hoped by the man that has been backing Abbott all the way since their tete a tete earlier this year, Rupert Murdoch. It behoves Julia Gillard to get her act together again fast and start dogging Abbott the way he has been dogging her. She will have to get on top of the last item on her 'To Do List', Climate Change policy, then turn around and start the task of putting Abbott in a box marked 'Risky Alternative', where he belongs. As I see it at present, Julia Gillard is running fast just to stand still, in order to get everything done that needs to be done before she calls the election. I can only hope that, once campaigning begins, she will be on her game better than she is now.

NormanK

10/07/2010Hi Lyn I'm glad you enjoy our comments. Jason is the handsome intelligent one and I am the poor country cousin with straw in his mouth. I tell myself every day that I will read and not write, but it seems I lack self-control. That list of quotes was really depressing, I must say. I wonder what an objective onlooker makes of all this propaganda. In terms of major advanced economies we are a shining light and yet our media appears determined to pull the "establishment" down (sorry baby-boomers). I could understand it if we were in dire straits and needed someone to blame, but we're not. It's not as though the MSM is saying "look to the Conservatives - they've got the answers". They seem to be using the Libs as much as the Libs are using them, with the intended goal of bringing down a democratically elected, successful government. I haven't put my finger on it yet but I have a feeling that the MSM is not pro-Abbott. It is just anti-Labor. I base this on their apparent reluctance to speak in glowingly favourable terms of the Coalition - in fact they hardly speak of them at all except to quote their negativity. I may be wrong on this since I no longer give The Australian my patronage and rely instead on others quoting from them but certainly the tabloid television news programmes don't seem to be talking Abbott up - just Gillard down.

HS

10/07/2010NormanK, Tony Abbott would give Joseph Goebbels a run for his money. The man is truly the face of evil and he believes he can decimate his way into power without being held to account for his own mile wide, inch deep policies.

NormanK

10/07/2010HS I try very hard to avoid using superlatives (I suspect we've already got enough overnight "superstars" - does being a star actually mean anything anymore?) but there is no good way to look at Abbott's AS proposals. Either he is a Christian who can see no hypocrisy in sending to their deaths men, women and children who have probably done no wrong other than to be born in the wrong place, of the wrong religion or wrong class. This is a sin of the old kind. Or he doesn't believe what he is saying (I suspect this is the case) and he is using these same unfortunates for his own personal gain. That it is a political gain is no excuse. Again this is a sin. There is no argument that I can see which would support the idea that Coalition policy on AS is "for their own good". So, to flaunt in public, and revel in the idea, of repeatedly committing a sin is evil. If his sin was paedophelia, he would be strung up. It is an indictment of the Australian public - not just the media - that he is not called to account for these grossly immoral acts. And why is he not? I don't care what anyone says, we are a racist country at our roots and I am quite confident that if the boats were full of sunburned Swedes escaping their homeland because Norway had invaded and was persecuting them, we would have an all together different attitude i.e. more empathy because they look like us (white Australians). Poor little white babies. Add to this the fact that modern Australians don't know what true hardship is (myself included) and you get a selfish, myopic unsympathetic bunch of people who only want to know - what's it going to cost ME? What's the answer? Be nice to everybody because you never know when you might need a friend.

HS

10/07/2010NormanK, Abbott is a CINO(Christian In Name Only). He only subscribes to the socially conservative aspects of religious faith. His Industrial Relations policies show that to be the absolute truth. How anyone could put the welfare of businesses above the welfare of employees, and then continue to call themselves a Christian is beyond belief.

Rx

10/07/2010The Mad Hatter, The Mad Abbott. The Miserable Monk.

Ad astra reply

10/07/2010Folks Satirist NormanK, a regular on [i]TPS[/i], makes his first contribution as an author tomorrow. We welcome him. Look for his piece [i]Phudget 2010[/i].

Jason

10/07/2010Normank, whats happend mate earlier in the day you said" I tell myself every day that I will read and not write" now your going to publish. well all the best I look forward to reading.

NormanK

10/07/2010Jason I'll have to look it up - what's the word for a compulsive writer?

Lyn

10/07/2010Hi NormanK You are tops, thankyou so much for writing for us "Phudget 2010". I am so excited, I can hardly wait to read your piece. We have Ad Astra, our CEO, Bushfire Bill, Hillbilly Skeleton, NormanK, what a brilliant line up, three cheers for our writers.

NormanK

10/07/2010Hi Lyn Thanks. I hope you like it. Hypergraphia "Hypergraphia is an overwhelming urge to write. It is not itself a disorder, but can be associated with temporal lobe changes in epilepsy and mania in the context of bipolar disorder." I think they're trying to tell us we're bent. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypergraphia

HS

10/07/2010lyn, And we also have our very own Canary in the political coalmine, who lets us know very early every day what's going on out there in the big, bad world of Australian politics, and what the blogs and the rest of the media are saying. Where would we be without you. :)

HS

10/07/2010NormanK, More strength to your compulsively keyboard-tapping arm! Am so looking forward to reading your contribution(after the Sunday morning TV staples for us political junkies). :)

Miglo

10/07/2010Hi NormanK, I too amd looking forward to seeing you walk with the literary marvels of this site.

HS

10/07/2010Miglo the Marvellous, You're included! :)

Lyn

10/07/2010Hi Hillbilly Thankyou for your nice compliment, I enjoy every minute of being a "Canary in the political coalmine", I wish I could blow some of them up though.

Lyn

10/07/2010Hi Miglo I thoroughly enjoy your brilliant writing too. I have just been to the Cafe Whispers, but find it difficult to comment on climate change, the other commenters, Mobius Ecko,Ray Hunt, Nasking, Tom R, are doing a fantastic job providing some very interesting reading and links. [i]Climate changeby Miglo , Cafe Whispers[/i] It’s a topic that more or less slipped under the radar while the mainstream media (MSM) have been directing everyone’s attention to the political arena. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2010/07/10/open-forum-climate-change/

Rx

10/07/2010Another item for [b]ABC Watch[/b] please, Ad. By poster, Mercurius, Larvatus Prodeo, June 21st, 2010 http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/06/21/monday-morning-musings/ Quote: "Scanning this morning’s Murdoch and ABC news media, the order of stories and editorial lines are identical."

Miglo

10/07/2010Hillbilly/Lyn, Thank you for those glowing compliments, but as a couple of great thinkers have said before me, I only stand on the shoulders of those far more brilliant than I could ever be.

HS

11/07/2010Good Morning All! This brilliant analysis of the BER from Larvatus Prodeo is required reading for everyone interested in the truth: http://larvatusprodeo.net/2010/07/08/analyzing-craig-maynes-claims-full-post/

Bilko

11/07/2010Today is the 15th sunday of ordinary time in the RC yearly calender. Todays sermon is one of the most powerful ever "the story of the good Samaritan",and with the topic of this blog very relevent. This raises a point, why are all the church,s in this country seeminly SO silent on the issue of asylum seekers/refugees or am I mistaken. I could not get hold of todays catholic paper too early I think otherwise I could have seen their take on the subject,or like labor,s good news not being reported. Tone's mate Pell no comment anywhere that I have heard of a good catholic but a poor christian almost an oxymoron.The unemployment figures were down but minimal mention of that either or am just in a dream and will wake up soon. Off to the hospital to see the OH have a good day all, keep up the good fight.

Ad astra reply

11/07/2010Folks [i]Phudget 2010[/i], a delightful piece of satire by our most recent author on [i]TPS[/i], NormanK, has just been posted. Enjoy and chuckle.

vote1maxine

11/07/2010Bilko Re The RC Church's silence on the issue of asylum seekers/refugees Well it is at least consistent with the issue of pedophile priests and the non-compassionate treatment of these priests' victims. Swordians Re The danger & threat posed by Abbott My worst nightmare would come to pass if Abbott became PM. I'm seriously considering commissioning a car bumper sticker a long the lines of "Keep Australia Abbott Free". Any suggestions from the more creative and imaginative Swordians are welcome.

HS

12/07/2010vote1maxine, Re Bumper Sticker: How about 'Tony is a bad Abbott' ?
How many umbrellas are there if I start with two and take 2 away?