Applying facts and logic in the asylum seeker issue

The issue of asylum seekers arriving on our shores in boats has been highly politicized, so much so that the political players have locked themselves into positions from which they cannot or will not retreat.

The Pacific Solution
We all know the history. It began in 2001 with John Howard’s ‘Pacific Solution’ that included detention and processing of boat arrivals on Nauru and Manus Island, Temporary Protection Visas that precluded the bringing out of the families of those who had arrived, and ‘turning the boats around’, something that was done on a few occasions, in some instances, such as in the case of Siev X, with the tragic loss of 353 lives.

Seventy per cent of asylum seekers sent to Nauru and Manus Island were found to be genuine; 30 percent were sent home. Forty three per cent were resettled in Australia; the remainder was settled in other countries, mostly New Zealand. While the Pacific Solution was in place there were fewer arrivals by boat.

In response to the anguish of those who were kept in Nauru for long periods, many of whom suffered severe mental health problems, the number of families separated for long periods under the TPV system, and the fact that 70 percent ended up here or in NZ anyway, the Rudd Government was persuaded to close Nauru, abandon TPVs, and on advice from naval authorities, refrain from turning boats around, as this was considered unsafe as it put asylum seekers and service personnel at unnecessary risk. The number of boat arrivals increased, and is still high.

Alternative proposals
The Gillard Government sought a collaborative regional approach to curb boat arrivals that was to involve neighbouring countries, with regional processing of refugees, first proposing East Timor as a venue, and more recently Malaysia.

The Coalition has had just one policy: offshore processing via Howard’s Pacific Solution, a policy they insist worked then and will work now. Q.E.D.

The Greens oppose offshore processing and want everyone processed here in Australia.

How big a refugee problem do we have?
Let’s now examine briefly the extent of the problem. In his 18 June article in the SMH National Times: Abbott’s evil policy work, Malcolm Fraser gives this contemporary data: “In 2010-11, 4730 asylum seekers arrived by boat. During the same period, more than 13 million people crossed our borders and arrived in Australia; 4730 out of 13.9 million is not a ''system vulnerable to abuse''.

This is hardly an ‘invasion’, as some like to represent it. In fact, compared with many European nations who have many thousands arriving each month, our ‘problem’ is quite minor. But in the minds of the electorate, it constitutes a major assault on our borders, a view perpetuated by the Opposition, which makes political capital from every new boat arrival.

It was John Howard in 2001 who created this extraordinary fear of ‘irregular boat arrivals’ with his post-Tampa and ‘kid’s overboard’ vow: “We will decide who come to this country and the circumstances in which they come”, an utterance that had resulted in boat people being reviled. They were stigmatized with terms such as ‘illegals’, and ‘cashed up queue jumpers’, and of course, as many were of Middle Eastern origin and Muslim, the stigma was accentuated.

Given that background, let’s analyze the contemporary issues.

‘Stop the boats’
There seems to be no one who does not want to stop people getting on fishing boats in Indonesia to traverse the treacherous waters between there and Christmas Island. Everyone says they want the boat traffic to stop.


The Government and the Coalition believe a deterrent is needed to stop asylum seekers boarding boats bound for Christmas Island. They disagree on what constitutes an effective one. More of that later.

The Greens’ solution
The Greens seem to believe that if Australia increased its intake, say to 20,000 per annum, and was more welcoming to asylum seekers, they would not get on leaky boats. They have never explained how increasing the annual intake from the present 13,500 to 20,000 (and remember the Coalition offered to do this over three years) would stop those not within the intake from coming on boats anyway.

We know there are countless asylum seekers, indeed millions around the world, and in neighbouring countries, several hundred thousand. The Jakarta Post reports that: “The number of asylum seekers entering Indonesia has drastically increased by 800 per cent,” but is still comparatively small compared with Pakistan, which received 1 million refugees; Iran 800,000; Thailand 100,000; and Malaysia 98,000.

There is no way that Australia could possibly take all who seek asylum, either logistically or politically. There must be a quota, and that means that some are selected, while others are not. What do those not selected then do? Wait patiently for their turn? Some will because they have no resources to do otherwise. But will those who do have money wait? Unlikely. Why would they wait their turn if money could short circuit the wait and get them to Australia quickly? Many of those arriving in recent times have purchased a package deal from criminal gangs of people smugglers whereby they receive a cheap airfare to Malaysia or Indonesia, and a place on a boat for around $10,000. Will they wait their turn, which might take years? No, they will buy their way onto a people smuggler’s boat. The well off always have an advantage over those less well off.

Only this week Sarah Hanson-Young visited Indonesia to seek a ‘solution’, and on AM reported this as follows: “Eighteen months ago when Australia took more people from Indonesia, more people than they usually do, it made a dramatic difference to the numbers of people boarding boats. The numbers dropped.” This assertion was not accompanied by any data. How many is ‘more people’; how much is ‘dramatic’. She added little, other than a few platitudes.

Christine Milne has now upped the ante by advocating an increase in the annual intake to 25,000 to ‘solve’ the boat arrivals problem, but as that is a very tiny fraction of those seeking asylum from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, Thailand and other countries, how does that help the hundreds of thousands left behind?

If Australia were to increase its intake ten or twenty or thirty fold, and guaranteed processing would be complete in a few weeks, there would be much less inclination for people to pay people smugglers large sums of money and take the inordinate risk of travelling on unsafe boats. Clearly though that intake would be politically unacceptable and a logistic nightmare.

Moreover, given that not all of those seeking asylum could come at once, how would their processing and acceptance be managed. Would the most deserving, those who had suffered most and waited longest, those escaping the most awful persecution, even if they had no resources or money, be given preference? That would seem to be the most just way. If that were so, what would the less deserving, and the most recent arrivals in Indonesia, but who have resources and cash, do? Get on boats, of course.

I invite any Greens supporter to tell us precisely how enlarging our intake to the extent suggested, and opening our arms in welcome, will stop people getting on boats when there are so many more who desperately want to come to our country than we are prepared to take. And while you are at it, tell us how those accepted in our quota for asylum will get here, if not on leaky boats. Will we fly them here at our expense, or provide safe sea transport?

The Greens never give us such practical detail; all we get is high sounding idealism, embellished with sad stories of how desperate many asylum seekers are and what awful conditions have forced them from their homes. It’s fine to have ideals and compassion; we all have them. But let’s hear the practicalities. Without them, it’s just idle talk.

Mike Carlton had this to say in 7 July piece in the SMH: “…the Greens's policy of an open door and onshore processing would have the people smugglers thinking all their Eid al-Fitrs had come at once. There would be many, many more boats, and many more of them lost, with many more men women and children drowned.

“And for those tens of thousands that do arrive safely by sea, how exactly would the Greens deal with them? You can't just dump them all in Cabramatta, as we did with the Vietnamese 40 years ago. The cost of housing, health and education would be humungous and, like it or not, the average taxpayer simply would not cop it.”


While leaving the Greens to tell us how they will achieve their aims, what of the offshore processing that both Government and Opposition espouse.

The Opposition’s solution
The Opposition insists that as the Pacific Solution ‘worked’ in 2001, it will ‘work’ now. This contention conveniently ignores the changed circumstances eleven years later, in 2012. Apart from ‘push factors’ being greater than they were in 2001, the salient difference now is that people smugglers know full well that seventy percent of those processed on Nauru or Manus Island ended up where they wanted to be – here or in NZ. They can easily market their boat trade by giving that seventy percent guarantee, and virtually a hundred per cent guarantee to anyone who ends up being classed as a ‘genuine refugee’. That’s a pretty marketable offer. But the Opposition persists with its ‘it worked then and will work now’ mantra, although it is as aware of these facts as are the people smugglers.

Andrew Metcalfe and Immigration Department officers insist that the Pacific Solution will NOT work now because the people smugglers know what happened last time. Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison and Coalition members know that, but it makes not the slightest impact on their sloganeering because they have no interest in the truth, only in what they can persuade the electorate to believe.

Moreover, they ignore the terrible mental trauma suffered by those incarcerated on Nauru and Manus Island, often for years. Despair, depression, and other mental illness afflicted many, the scars of which persist. Indeed, many believed that this ‘punishment’ was a deliberate Coalition ploy, a central part of the deterrent value of the Pacific Solution.

Let’s look now at another element of the Opposition’s asylum policy – Temporary Protection Visas. This was another ‘punishment’. Because those who held them were not permitted to bring out their family members, long and emotionally traumatic periods of separation occurred. So painful was this, that many family members attempted the boat journey in order to join their loved ones. Some perished on the way. Psychiatrists were so appalled at the mental suffering of those holding TPVs, and their families, that they advised against them. This persuaded the Rudd Government to abandon them.

The third element – turning the boats around was highly contentious and still is. Tony Abbott is vigorously echoing this element to this very day, on Insiders. He says: ‘…they did it safely before, we can do it safely again’. In doing so, Abbott ignores the advice of naval authorities, which insist it is dangerous to both asylum seekers and the service personnel who have to turn the boat around. The former chief of the defense force and head of Navy under the Howard government, Admiral Chris Barrie, told ABC radio this past week that it was not possible to ''mount an impermeable barrier at sea'', and that it was dangerous for all involved to tow or turn around boats. We all know that under these circumstances asylum seekers have damaged their boats and disabled their motors to force a rescue and achieve transport to Christmas Island.

In response to Admiral Barrie, hairy-chested Abbott upped the ante by insisting that commanders of naval vessels were subject to the will of the civilian government, an assertion challenged by Barrie: ''Policy can't override international law and cannot tell a commanding officer what decisions he must make at sea at the time''. Professor Don Rothwell, international law expert at ANU, agreed: “…there was no firm legal basis for turning asylum boats around.”

Not satisfied, Abbott then came out and said that naval personnel would remove fuel from vessels nearer to Indonesia to stop them continuing to Christmas Island. He did not explain how these officers would know how much fuel to remove so that the boat could return to Indonesia, perhaps in heavy sea conditions, yet prevent it from proceeding to Australia. But that matters nothing to Abbott who wishes only to show the electorate now tough and resolute he is, something the rednecks would applaud. On Insiders this morning David Marr did give an explanation. You can hear it here.

Abbott is hairy-chested not just with the Australian electorate, but also with the Indonesian Government.

Abbott says he would need to boost the navy and to travel to Indonesia to deliver ‘the tough message’. Scott Morrison said a Coalition government would ''…fix things up on our side of the fence'' and expect the Indonesian government to ''do more'' to stop vessels.” Asked whether Indonesia would accept the forced return of boats, Abbott aggressively insisted: ''The legal home of these vessels, Indonesian flagged, Indonesian crewed, Indonesian ported, is in Indonesia.''

But a senior Indonesian official said Indonesia would object strongly to the Coalition's policy of forcing asylum boats back into Indonesian waters. ''It's exactly like you going to someone else's house and throwing dirt there,'' the official said, on the condition of anonymity. ''Why would we take something that is not our property?''

“There are also practical problems with the turn-around policy, the official said. Unless the boats were to be abandoned on the high seas, or handed over to the Indonesian navy mid-ocean, they would need to be towed to land. But there is no safe port on Java's southern shore because the seas are too high and dangerous. This would mean the Australian navy towing an asylum boat to Tanjung Priok, Jakarta's commercial and military port, which is many hours' sail away on Java's northern shore. The source said the Australian navy would never be given permission for this kind of incursion into Indonesian waters. ''It's impossible for a military ship to get security clearance and border clearance,'' the source said."


That seems to put paid to Abbott’s ‘we’ll turn back the boats’ threat. It is simply hot air, but we can be sure he will persist with it, and many will believe him. On Insiders this morning, David Marr reiterated Indonesia’s determination to not receive returned boats. He described Abbott’s notion that he could send boats back to Indonesia as ‘fantasy’.

It is noteworthy that only two other countries are known to have turned boats back - Italy sent boats back to Libya in 2009 and Thailand pushed Rohingya Burmese out to sea. Both countries have now stopped the practice.

Referring to the Abbott’s ‘evil’ policy, Malcolm Fraser concludes his article with: “Instead of restoring ''integrity and public confidence'', the Coalition's policy is detrimental to people seeking asylum, breaches our obligations under the Refugee Convention and appears to work from the position of the assumption of guilt.”

The Gillard Government solution
So what of the Gillard Government’s policy? Apart from its willingness to reopen Nauru as a compromise to the Coalition despite professional advice that this would be ineffectual, and to reconsider TPVs, its main policy thrust is its arrangement with the Malaysian Government to return up to 800 boat people in exchange for five times that number resettled in Australia, an arrangement Abbott describes as ‘a people swap and a dud deal for Australia’.

It is strongly believed by the Government that placing boat arrivals on a flight to Malaysia within a day or two of their arrival on Christmas Island would be a powerful deterrent. Even the mention of this before the High Court struck down its implementation, was followed by a drop in arrivals. How could people smugglers sell passages to Christmas Island when all arrivals there were to be immediately sent to Malaysia to wait for processing there, perhaps for years – to go back, as it were ‘to the end of the queue’?

The Government of Malaysia has given guarantees of proper treatment and adherence to human rights for those returned. It has also guaranteed that those returned could work and their children attend school.

Abbott has attacked the Malaysia arrangement on the grounds that Malaysia is not a signatory to the UNHCR Convention on refugees and that human rights are therefore not guaranteed. This is a grossly hypocritical argument since his current policy includes sending boats back to Indonesia, a non-signatory, and all the time the Coalition used Nauru, it too was a non-signatory.

If the object is to deter people from taking the hazardous boat journey from Indonesia to Christmas Island, there seems to be no better deterrent than the Malaysia arrangement. As it now stands, boats are coming every few days, often calling for help, in a recent instance only fifty miles on the journey from Indonesia, and even when told to turn back, continued to proceed to Christmas Island. Asylum seekers were thereby thumbing their noses at Australia and its maritime services, which the boat people expected to ‘rescue’ them if they got into distress. Sadly, in recent weeks over a hundred people have drowned.

At the end of his article, Mike Carlton drew this conclusion: “Deeply flawed though it is, the government's so-called Malaysian solution is the least worse option we have.”

So where does this analysis of facts and the application of logic leave us?

Many who blog here would like our nation to make asylum seekers welcome, to erase the stigma that attaches to them, to increase very substantially the number admitted, to have them come here safely, to integrate them into our society, to have them contribute to our country and to live happy and productive lives free from the persecution they suffered back home.

But unless the numbers accepted increase massively, unless processing time is reduced to just a few weeks, unless safe transport to Australia is provided, asylum seekers will continue to pay people smugglers for a passage to Christmas Island on unsafe boats and make the perilous journey. Some will perish. This is what everyone with an ounce of compassion in his or her heart wants to avoid. They want the hazardous boat traffic stopped.

How does Australia stop asylum seekers risking their lives on unsafe boats? No ‘solution’ is ideal; none is perfect. We are left choosing the least imperfect.

The Greens’ solution seems to be impractical and almost certainly ineffective. The boats will keep coming.

The Coalition solution is highly unlikely to be an effective one as the people smugglers will guarantee their clients that if they are genuine refugees, it is almost certain they will be resettled in Australia or New Zealand, which is just what they want. The boats will keep coming.

The only solution that seems to have any chance of being effective is the Government’s Malaysia arrangement. Tony Abbott won’t support it, not because of the human rights issues that he says concern him, but because he fears it will work and he will lose a key political lever against the Government. He is prepared to see people continue to risk their lives on leaky boats for his own political advantage. He won’t even join a cross party committee to discuss alternatives. His ulterior motives are transparent.

In my view, with the current intake and the long wait so many have, the Malaysia arrangement is the ONLY practical way to deter arrivals on unsafe boats. If this could be a precursor to a broader regional agreement under the “Bali Process” – Building Regional Cooperation to Combat People Smuggling and Trafficking in Persons, a definitive solution that all in the region could endorse just might be possible.

What do you think?

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jaycee

8/07/2012The change of proceedure by the "traffickers" to literally push people out to sea in deliberately chosen "leaky boats", makes a game changer to the problem. Processing onshore now becomes a search and rescue mission on top of all else. The "Nauru solution" becomes more of the same as there will be more boats. One has to concede in the current "sophistication" of trafficking, a regional solution re; Malasia or Indonesia has to be tried. there may have to be an increase in acceptance numbers, but there has to be a regional solution. This problem is as much our neighbours as much as ours...we have to cooperate, not aggravate.

DMW

8/07/2012On the 10th of December 1992, then Australian Prime Minister, Paul Keating, gave his landmark Redfern Park speech. Some words from that speech that could be held in our minds as we discuss the so called 'Asylum Seeker Problem' may give us another way of looking at it. [i]... We practised discrimination and exclusion. It was our ignorance and our prejudice. And our failure to imagine that these things could be done to us. With some noble exceptions, we failed to make the most basic human response and enter into their hearts and minds. We failed to ask – how would I feel if this was done to me? As a consequence, we failed to see that what we were doing degraded us all.[/i] Also before we discuss supposed solutions to this problem we need to decide something else. Should we as a nation abide by our obligations under the Refugee Convention and various other international and/or regional treaties and conventions we are signatory to or not? We have to choose between being law makers and law keepers or being law breakers. As a country we currently don't seem able to take heed of advice of experts in the fields of human rights and particularly the rights of displaced persons. In the last week the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights issued the Report of the Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants. [b]Imprisoning migrants is not the answer, says UN expert[/b] [i]States use a wide range of reasons to justify the detention of migrants and some see irregular migration as a national security problem or a criminal issue, notes the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, in his latest report to the Human rights Council. However, he warns, there are a number of human rights issues at stake. “Any detention of migrants must be prescribed by law and must be necessary, reasonable and proportional to the objectives to be achieved,” Crépeau says, drawing special attention to the fact that the right to liberty and security of person, the protection against arbitrary detention, and all other human rights are applicable to all detained persons, regardless of their migration status.[/i] http://ohchr.org/EN/NewsEvents/Pages/ImprisoningmigrantsisnottheanswersaysUNexpert.aspx The full report is available here: http://ohchr.org/Documents/HRBodies/HRCouncil/RegularSession/Session20/A-HRC-20-24_en.pdf The government and our Prime Minister need to get over a few things and start leading a debate that answers some important questions which go to the maturity of the nation and our standing in the region. As things stand we are, as Keating said, [i]degrading ourselves[/i] with the current level of debate on this issue.

Marilyn

8/07/2012They are not paying criminal smugglers do to anything, it is not smuggling as it is their legal right. The fact is Malaysia is ridiculous and illegal. Why do we punish one small group of people to force other groups of people to die elsewhere. Which part of we have no right don't you racist blithering cowards get? And now that the news has all come out that the only times people drown are when we let them what is it you monkeys are on about? And you never ask the simple question - what if all nations do the same frigging stupid whiney things? Yemen copes with over 100,000 refugees arriving by sea every year, what if they send them all back? How about if Europe forced back the tens of thousands who arrive there? What if the neighbours get sick of us human trading into their countries and decide to do the same to us and why do you morons think that it was about Malaysia or Nauru? Are they are countries and why do you think people who have been terrorised in Afghanistan, Pakistan, possibly Malaysia, Iran, Indonesia and elsewhere should stay away or be pushed away again by us. It takes a particularly racist nation to arrogantly assume we are allowed to do what you think? And having money to pay to be safe is nothing to do with anything. Everyone has THE RIGHT TO SEEK ASYLUM. And the boats are not that dangerous. And the only people pushing refugees onto boats are the Indonesian army and immigration people trained by us to do so. You just don't get it. If one of the 148 nations in the refugee protection regime breaks the law they all will and there will be mass genocides because you cowards it is not about us.

Marilyn

8/07/2012From the Daily Telegraph and Peter VAn Onselen showing what the so-called debate was really about, something all the rest of the racist media bogans forgot to report. There is no such thing as this mysterious off shore processing though. To gain protection in any country people can only apply in that country. Resettlement is the voluntary migration of people who already have protection and has no legal basis whatsoever. WE already process claims sent by the UNHCR in 36 of our near embassies - it's just that we only accept 10% of them so the rest just die. If you want to write about these things learn some facts. WHETHER you favour onshore or offshore processing of asylum seekers, few Australians could disagree that the inability of our political class to find a compromise solution in the wake of recent deaths at sea has been a thoroughly unedifying spectacle. The parliament has limped into disrepute this week and all political parties need to share in the blame. A major reason no compromise could be reached is because of the historical animosities which have plagued asylum seeker debates in this country. The Liberal Party, which sent families of asylum seekers to Nauru when it was in government, well before the small island nation had signed the UN convention on refugees, now condemns Labor's Malaysian solution on humanitarian grounds. The major reason Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison would not support the legislation, apparently, is because Malaysia has not signed up to the UN conventions. Talk about chutzpah. The opposition demands Australia only consider an offshore solution with a nation that has signed the treaty, safe in the knowledge that Nauru finally did just that recently. I applaud the principled stand from the Coalition (finally), but what about Indonesia? It is the country boat people are using as a conduit to get here and like Malaysia, it hasn't signed the UN treaty. Yet the Coalition would happily tow boats back there as part of its border protection policy. It's a mammoth contradiction. When Joe Hockey showed outrage in parliament on Wednesday because of the implications of sending children to Malaysia he should think about how towing them back to Indonesia compares. Less favourably in this lesser of evils comparison. Not that Labor has much to be proud of in this debate. The ALP railed against offshore processing during the Howard years. Julia Gillard was front and centre when they did, as shadow immigration spokeswoman no less. When the immigration minister during Kevin Rudd's prime ministership, Chris Evans, dismantled the so-called Pacific Solution shortly after Labor was elected, he declared it the proudest moment of his political career. I wonder how Evans feels now, as Labor argues for a Malaysian Solution which includes shipping women and children off to an under-developed country, where asylum seekers won't be under Australian control (as at least occurred in Nauru) and will be left to fend for themselves as second class citizens with limited access to basic human rights. It is undoubtedly a tougher policy than Nauru, in the present or in the past. Then we have the Greens, who have long taken the moral high ground and preached to the major parties about the worth of onshore processing on humanitarian grounds. The humane treatment of asylum seekers has always been their mantra. Yet when faced with deaths at sea, in the hundreds no less, they are not prepared to even consider a short-term fix to stop boat arrivals and hence save lives at sea. The Greens' failure to compromise disqualifies them from being regarded as a third force in Australian politics. While I for one admire (and agree with) their purity in philosophical terms, legislators sometimes need to be pragmatic, and this may be one of those times. Our entire parliamentary system is based on deal making. A minor party unprepared to do deals is more suited to being a special interest group than a political party. Contradictions and stalemates haven't been the only features of this week's asylum seeker debate. Hypocrisy and misrepresentation have long been at the forefront of it. The Coalition claimed it has always been consistent in arguing for a Pacific solution, now criticising Labor for closing the centre at Nauru. But former immigration spokeswoman Sharman Stone told the ABC in 2009: "We don't need the Pacific Solution now, that's Nauru Island and Manos Island, because we have the Christmas Island centre completed." In other words, the Coalition went along with Labor's move to shut down Pacific Island processing centres following the expansion of the facility on Christmas Island, yet now attempts to chastise the government for having done so. No wonder the public winces when it watches politicians in full flight. Labor used the final sitting day before the winter recess to slam the opposition for refusing to compromise to find a solution to the impasse. It was as if they were not listening to the compromise offer Abbott put on the table the evening before. The Morrison amendment, as it was called, offered up an increase in Australia's humanitarian refugee intake to 20,000 and the ditching of TPVs as a requirement for Coalition support of off-shore processing laws. The catch was that Malaysia needed to be jettisoned and only Nauru considered.T hat is the very definition of compromise, albeit one unacceptable to Labor. Yet Gillard said: "Mr Abbott did not move one millimetre at any stage". That is an absolute misrepresentation if ever I have seen one, shameful for a prime minister during a time of national crisis. Both leaders tell us time is of the essence because of the dangerous conditions at sea. They claim we need a solution right now so that more asylum seekers do not drown. How then does the Coalition square that with the suggestion of opening Nauru? The centre has been closed for years, is run down, unstaffed and it would take many months to get it into an operational state. Just in time for the end of the hazardous sea conditions of this time of year, and presumably after more deaths at sea. Meanwhile, Gillard has sent debate about what to do about the asylum seekers stand-off to a committee, which will report back God knows when. At its core perhaps the biggest embarrassment in this whole debate is the way that Australian law-makers (politicians) are running away from Australian law. The whole unsavoury point of offshore processing is to restrict boat people from Australia's appeals courts, which give them numerous opportunities to prove their refugee status. That's why Christmas Island was excluded from the migration zone in the first place. That's why politicians want the navy to intercept boats and ship them to offshore sites, whether it's Nauru or Malaysia or anywhere else. How utterly pathetic that the only political solution our two major parties have come up with is to hide from the laws of the country they represent. Surely they either must change these laws if they don't like them (even if doing so requires a referendum), or they must accept the consequences? Our political leaders respecting the law of the land they serve should be the only principle not open to compromise in this debate. Finally, we have the rhetoric to consider. Abbott has described boat people as being part of a "peaceful invasion". Even with a handful of boats coming here each week the numbers hardly amount to an "armada" of boats as Abbott has previously described it. The aim of such rhetoric was to polarise debate and play to people's fears about boat arrivals, and it has succeeded. However, the numbers of refugee arrivals are in fact very low by world standards, those that do try to come here never make it to the mainland anyway, they are always intercepted, which debunks the invasion rhetoric. This Coalition rhetoric was preceded by Labor rhetoric during the Howard years which condemned the former prime minster as a virtual criminal of international law. He was accused of all manner of things, including playing with the lives of children for political advantage. No wonder Liberals now look at what Labor is offering up by way of the Malaysian Solution and simply shake their collective heads. The temperature of debate over asylum seekers has been too high for too long, militating against compromise, as we again saw this week. It is hard to know where this debate now moves on to. Boats will keep coming, the major parties will continue to blame one another for that, and the public will slowly lose more and more faith in our leaders' capacities to run the country, not just in the policy space in question. As tragic as deaths at sea are, the simple fact is that asylum seekers are desperate people, and they would be risking their lives to make their way to other safe havens if they weren't doing so to come here. Genuine refugees fleeing persecution would certainly be in jeopardy were they to stay put in their homeland and not attempt to reach safe havens. In other words, deaths at sea of boat people trying to reach Australia is but one isolated tragedy in a worldwide tragedy of refugee migration. It is an unfixable failure of global affairs. Dr Peter van Onselen is a university professor and The Sunday Telegraph's political commentator 0

Marilyn

8/07/2012And further to that Malaysia crap - how does taking people from this nation when most have already suffered decades of war and torture and dumping them for a 76 year wait in Malaysia solve anything? And what is the question that needs solving by breaking every law in the book? You really are stupid old son.

tincan

8/07/2012Another alternative plan would be one suggested by Julian Burnside, that we set up office in Indonesia, Dept Immigration, ASIO and Federal Police and start processing these people ASAP. There are only 2 UNHCR personnel in Indonesia to process thousands of people. In the past 6 months we have accepted just 60 people from the UNHCR camp.

Truth Seeker

8/07/2012Aa, the only thing in your article that I would dispute is the 70% resettled figure, as the information that I came across when looking at a number of different reports, was that the figure was closer to 96%. Other than that you are right on the money, as all the experts have come to the same conclusions. The problem with "On-shore" processing, is exactly that "On-shore" and to get on-shore you either have to travel by plane or boat, and as you rightly point out, if we open up our borders for another fifty thousand or even one hundred thousand, there will still be others prepared to take the perilous boat trip, as there are many more asylum seekers than we can possibly take. The ideological stand taken by the greens beggars belief, and Abbotts stand is based only on political advantage and shows him to be morally bankrupt.

Psyclaw

8/07/2012 [b]Marilyn[/b] Welcome to TPS. Haven't seen you here before, but of course I have on other sites. You have a unique style of grammar, and especially of vocabulary viz: [quote]you racist blithering cowards........ .......what is it you monkeys are on about? .........what if all nations do the same frigging stupid whiney things?[/quote] Over the last 2 years on other sites I have often supported things you have said. But the rate of boats and the rate of drownings have now changed the game and all of us have to adapt to this. You do too Marilyn, if you want anyone to support your views, and how else can you get things to be as you want them. I recall when the Opposition first went heavy on stopping the boats "to keep ASs safe". At the time, I believed that that was absolute nonsense and political double speak to justify their towbacks and I opposed it. But the stakes are now different. You quote PVO...... [i]It is an unfixable failure of global affairs.[/i] This sums up the wisdom of his position and apparently your's too. Let them drown. As I see it, it is self manifest that to be writing very very pro AS comments and endorsing at the same time PVO indicates deep confusion and self contradiction on your part. And if you choose to reply to this post Marilyn, don't bother with the invective .....water of a duck's back to me.

Marilyn

8/07/2012The things you and others have failed to note: 1. the end of the civil war in Sri Lanka that saw 40,000 civilians slaughtered, 300,000 rounded up into camps and 11,000 disappeared - do you think that might have accounted for the 140,000 Tamils being granted refugee status around the world in 2010? Or just our policy? 2. The Iranian election in 2009 that was rigged by the mullahs with dissidents and religious minorities singled out for torture and killing? Do you think that might have anything to do with the increase in christians, human rights advocates and Sabaen Mandaeans fleeing Iran in the last few years? Or just our policy. 3. the massive increase of sectarian murders of christians, human rights advocates and sabean Mandaeans and the explusion of Palestinians from Iraq have anything to do with more Iraqis? Or just our policy. 4. the surge in Afghanistan which saw the massive increase in genocide against hazara and minority groups not to mention the massacres committed by NATO and us? Or just our policy. 5. the 2009 taliban war started in Pakistan that sees thousands of deaths and the genocide of Hazara and other shiítes become the national sport? 6. the starvation and persecution of Palestinians increasing since the 2009 Gaza massacre? 7. the uprising in Egpyt has seen a huge increase in Egyptians flying here, not mentioned. 8. the increased brutality in Zimbabwe has seen a big increase of them flying here, not mentioned. 9. the steady flow of Falun Gong and others fleeing China, not mentioned. With just 0.0001% of the world's refugees ever getting to Australia what precisely do you think our policy has to do with anything? The only way to prevent refugees anywhere is to wipe out the entire human race and let the cockroaches, couch grass and chokos take over. Apart from that I do not want to answer one more ignorant question, do you own research.

jaycee

8/07/2012Marilyn..I find it is best to seek out a doctor who will perform surgery with a sharp scalpel, NOT a meat cleaver! Mr. Van Onselen of the Daily Telegraph, is one of those Murdoch employees who will bend in the wind. That he is leaning toward your preferred direction on this issue at this moment, is mere fortutious. I have read other articles by the same author would make a lefty cough and choke! As to debate on the above subject, yell, cry, rage against the wind by all means, but please, spare us..PARTICULARLY us, the abuse. We are trying to be part of a solution (of which in your posts I see none!)not a ploblem...THAT already exists! and as Mr. Von Onselen states ; it is a world-wide failure. I fully support onshore processing, but to "get onshore", one has to be taken "Off shore". AND THAT, and its'solution, is the current debate. Please contribute...

Tom of Melbourne

8/07/2012Ad Astra said – [i]” The only solution that seems to have any chance of being effective is the Government’s Malaysia arrangement. “[/i] This statement is simply partisan nonsense. As Astra ignores consideration of temporary protection visas and the potential deterrent they provide. How is it that they do not assist to “break the business model” He neglects to address a genuine, extensive program of informing the crews recruited by the people smugglers about the gaol term consequences of their actions. Something that the government has belatedly acknowledged as worthwhile. Why have these long gaol terms if the government has not sought to inform of the deterrent? Ad Astra sees punishing people desperate by sending them off shore as reasonable in the circumstances. Yet he doesn’t acknowledge that this is a “problem” created by the government. …and also – [i] “they ignore the terrible mental trauma suffered by those incarcerated on Nauru and Manus Island, often for years.”[/i] …and yet Ad Astra is able to see his way clear to inflicting the trauma of sending vulnerable people to Malaysia.

2353

8/07/2012I'm not convinced about Malaysia (or the Greens on-shore) solution either. Setting up office in Indonesia is not a real option either as those that don't want to or don't know how to "be processed" will still spend time in leaky boat rather than go to the processing office. For the record I emailed Senator Milne the other day to ask for more details as their "on-shore processing" plan had not been well explained in the media (or whats wrong with a compromise so that people don't die on boats). I got a response - but I still have no idea on how The Greens proposed on-shore plan would work or why they won't compromise. Either it is a work in progress or they have the opinion their plan will not be implemented any time soon. The real issue here is that 40 years ago, Australia accepted Vietnamese and other South East Asian people in the thousands I suspect in part because we helped cause the problem in the first place (the Vietnam War). This was done by both major tribes of politicians. 10 years ago John Howard used the "refugee problem" to win an election. What happened to the Australia psyche in the 30 years between the 70's and the 00's that effectively makes such a difference to how we as a country treat our fellow human beings? I'm not arguing that some checking of credentials etc should not be done when a refugee first encounters an Australian official, but Canada can do it in 3 days with double the number of refugees - what's our problem? Regardless of "deterrent effects", "quotas", "regional processing plans" or any other scheme - it is human nature to desire a better life for yourself and your family It is my opinion that the thing that will "stop the boats" in the end will be that the standard of living of those who live in the areas to the north west of Australia will rise to a sufficient level so that those that currently would consider attempting to get to Australia deem that the risks outweigh the benefits. Unfortunately it seems the current level of political debate in this country stoops to the level of demonising other human beings from a different cultural environment - unfortunately it also appears the political will to fix the problem is further away today than it was in the 1970's - and that is pathetic.

Marilyn

8/07/2012The thing is Jaycee you are talking tripe. We cannot shove people from our shores when they arrive to apply for protection. There has not been a case in any court in the world won by any country to allow such a thing. We have three programs at the moment if you bothered to check the DIAC website. 1. refugee resettlement which is a tiny voluntary program of taking refugees referred by the UNHCR but only if we are the country of last resort, only if they are well off and only if they suit us. 6,000 people out of the 47,000 who apply in 36 different embassies. All we have to do is accept more of them. 2. the special humanitarian which is a sponsorship for families of refugees already here and that has to be applied for here, it cannot be applied for over seas. 3. the protection of refugees seeking asylum who have to be here. Letting people get here and then expelling them without process is illegal. And expensive and pointless because the reason for getting rid of them is so we don't have to accept them. It's getting them out and shutting the door permanently and that is illegal. In the Evian Conference of 1938 22 western nations shut the door on Jewish refugees - our contribution was 13 words that a like being kicked by a herd of elephants - we don't have a racial problem, we are not desirous of importing one. There is no debate at the moment, it's a stupid fiction. And Psyclaw, in 13 years a few hundred refugees have drowned only when we let them,to then punish and push away others for our crimes is beyond ludicrous. In that same 13 years 117 million children starved to death before they hit 5, about 208,000 Afghan women died in childbirth, 25% of all the kids born died before they were 5, over 1 million Iraqis starved to death or were slaughtered in our war, hundreds of thousands of Afghans are dead, tens of thousands of Sri Lankans dead, 5,000 Australian's drowned. And you pretend that a few refugees drowning is really a serious issue? Spare us the lies and crocodile tears used to justify criminal behaviour by the parliament.

Ad astra

8/07/2012jaycee Thank you for your comment. A regional solution that involves all countries that house or receive refugees would seem to be the way to go. DMW Thank you for your thoughtful contribution and the links. Many who blog here would acknowledge that refugees have the legal right to seek asylum. It is the sheer numbers that are daunting. Moreover, the attitudes of many in the community remain a barrier to the acceptance of more than a trickle of refugees into Australia. I would like to see from those who support larger migration a plan for that happening.

Ad astra

8/07/2012Marilyn Instead of coming here and throwing gratuitous insults such as labeling unspecified people as ‘racist blithering cowards’, ‘monkeys’, ‘morons’ and ‘stupid’, why don’t you assist us to understand what you would do were you Prime Minister of this country. Let’s start by acknowledging that it is perfectly legal for people to seek asylum. Specifically, tell us: How many refugees would you admit to Australia each year? If you felt that you could not admit everyone who wanted to come here, what number would you admit? How would you decide who shall come? What authority would process their applications? From what countries would you admit them? How would you bring them here, or how would you permit them to come? Would you be comfortable about them coming on Indonesian fishing boats? If not, how would you stop them coming? If they came on Indonesian boats, would you be prepared to rescue them if they ran into difficulties on the high seas? How would you manage those whom you were unwilling or unable to admit? When we have your answers to these questions, there will be something we can debate with you. Neither you nor PvO have offered an alternative strategy. All you both have offered is trenchant criticism of those would have the power to determine these things. It is so easy to criticize and affix pejorative labels. Let’s have some constructive ideas [i]sans[/i] insults.

Ad astra

8/07/2012ToM You are in the same category as Marilyn. Why don't you answer the questions I posed to Marilyn?

Ad astra

8/07/20122353 I would be interested to see your solution, and how you would answer the questions that I posed to Marilyn.

Tom of Melbourne

8/07/2012Ad Astra, how about you specially address a few questions- • Why is sending people off shore preferable to other options, such as TPVs? • When there are so many people seeking asylum, why is it desirable policy to send them to Malaysia? • Why didn’t the government previously support an extensive program of informing potential crews of their actions? and why doesn’t the government assess the effectiveness of this policy before sending desperate people to Malaysia? How about you stop the bland and non stop endorsement of government policy and address some inadequacies of it?

jaycee

8/07/2012Marilyn. Your rage is choking up the debate. If you take the time to "see" what we are saying, you will notice I wrote that we will have to increase the intake. The "regional solution" is to stop people getting on boats to come here, not sending them back!...repeat ; to stop the dangerous attempt to come by boat. Sure, we could all intersperse abuse and invective against others amongst our propersitions, but I would rather save THAT for Tom and the right-wingers..and in passing, I think I could state without contradiction that 45yrs in the building trade has armed me with such a vocabulary as would make your hair curl..in at least half a dozen different languages...BUT..I believe we all here(save Tom)are mostly on the same side and mostly singing from the same song-sheet(except Tom)! Lastly, we are all pretty much aware of the legality and obligations of the situation (though maybe not as well read on the subject as yourself), but that does not exclude the realpolitik of the situation which is under debate. Let us continue.

Jason

8/07/2012"ToM and Marilyn" Two card carrying members of the democrats! Spare me your sanctimonious tripe

Patriciawa

8/07/2012Well said, AA. Sad that Marilyn's compassion for refugees is too often overshadowed by her rage and leads her into abuse of those commenting rather than constructive criticism of what they have to say. It's caused her eviction from other sites, which is a pity, because she really cares passionately about this and could contribute a lot. Thanks for this really comprehensive overview of AS issue. It reminds that I went down on the day of the big debate and have a been a largely passive observer of everything that's been said since. I had planned some NOTES for my http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2012/06/27/turn-back-the-boats/ pome. So there's some unfinished work to do there and for which I will now be better informed thanks to this work you've done, and to Miglo's comments at http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/stop-the-deaths/ Best day I've had so far! Feeling a bit more than half normal!

Tom of Melbourne

8/07/2012Yes Jason, it's so much easier just to send asylum seekers to Malaysia. Just punish those people, and let that be a lesson to the rest of them. Nice.

Ad astra

8/07/2012ToM For the answer to your questions, try reading the piece again. Before coming back, try answering the questions I posed to Marilyn. We’re looking for answers here, not more rhetoric.

Ad astra

8/07/2012Patriciawa I’m glad that things are improving for you. Thank you for your encouraging comment. Marilyn is obviously passionate about this issue. I’m looking forward to reading her answers to my questions.

Psyclaw

8/07/2012 [b]Marilyn[/b] Thanks for your reply and also thanks for pretty well sparing me the invective. You write:<i>Letting people get here and then expelling them without process is illegal ...... It's getting them out and shutting the door permanently and that is illegal.</i> Yes, under the current Migration Act sending ASs elsewhere is indeed illegal. The HC said so last August. That's the very point. It's only illegal under current legislation, hence it is not being done. The debate that you are uninterested in is about changing the legislation to make it legal. And before you go off !!!!!!!! let me suggest you read s1 of the Constitution .......only the Australian parliament can make law for Australia. [b]So called International Law , Conventions, Treaties etc have no legal status in Australia unless the Australian Parliament specifically legislates them.[/b] Your argument if it depend on "legality" has no legs. As I said earlier, I have supported some of your arguments in the past, especially those parts which are related to your values. But something is not illegal if the Australian Parliament so legislates, subject to HC review if challenged.

Psyclaw

8/07/2012 [b]AA [/b] I note that you have been asked several questions shortly after 6.17pm. With respect might I suggest that answers are not needed since the information, whilst couched in the structure of questions, are really mere statements of that person's opinions. That is the dishonest writer's way of disseminating info ..... putting it "out there". It saves effort in not having to present one's case, and it avoids scrutiny of pissy arguments.

Tom of Melbourne

8/07/2012How many refugees would you admit to Australia each year? • As many as required to participate in a meaningful way in the region, and to alieviate the problem in Indonesia, rather than just transfer our problem to them. If you felt that you could not admit everyone who wanted to come here, what number would you admit? • I certainly wouldn’t shun desperate people by sending them to Malaysia, and then hypocritically complain about the trauma of being sent to Nauru. How would you decide who shall come? • If people arrive here and seek our protection, we’re big enough and sufficiently resourceful to meet the (minor) challenge. What authority would process their applications? • I don’t particularly care who processes their application, do you? From what countries would you admit them? • If people arrive here and seek our protection, we’re big enough and sufficiently resourceful to meet the (minor) challenge How would you bring them here, or how would you permit them to come? • If people arrive here and seek our protection, we’re big enough and sufficiently resourceful to meet the (minor) challenge Would you be comfortable about them coming on Indonesian fishing boats? • If they are aware of the danger of the travel, that’s a major deterrent. Increase surveillance. If not, how would you stop them coming? • Why do you so mean spirited? If they came on Indonesian boats, would you be prepared to rescue them if they ran into difficulties on the high seas? • Of course, we should be humanitarian. How would you manage those whom you were unwilling or unable to admit? • That’s entirely a different question to off shore processing. Now, perhaps you’ll address yourself to some reasonable questions, rather than just repeating the government line.

jaycee

8/07/2012I believe the region is on the cusp of finding a solution to such a huge influx of refugees (re. the numbers in your post). I cannot believe our neighbours would be that enamoured of them even if All were Muslim. This recent phenomenon due to so much conflict, of which we must shoulder some blame, will, I believe bring the relevant govts' to the table for a solution. Aust' could and should greatly enlarge its' intake along with joint assistance programs with the relevant countries. I suspect a more social(ist) solution will, by necessity, have to be adopted for a permanent solution to be found. Perhaps a special ASEAN summit could be called to address the issue?

Sir Ian Crisp

8/07/2012I would like to congratulate Marilyn for not mentioning the Bakhtiari family.

Ad astra

8/07/2012ToM Your answers are generic. How about putting some approximate figures to them? Tony Abbott suggested an increase to 20,000 per annum, Christine Milne 25,000. Is your figure about the same? If it is bigger, as is suggested by your statement: [i]“As many as required to participate in a meaningful way in the region, and to alleviate the problem in Indonesia, rather than just transfer our problem to them”[/i], what is your figure? 50,000, 100,000, 200,000, 500,000, or more? Give us a rough idea. And if you believe there are more refugees than we can take, what would you do about those who couldn’t be included in your quota? If some were left behind in Indonesia, would it be OK for them to come on fishing boats, even although that would push Australia over the quota you recommend? How many more would you be prepared to accept via this group? Now don’t avoid these questions ToM, as it is the sheer logistics that overwhelm all those who genuinely seek to manage refugee numbers. I think you would find that most people are humanitarian, kind-heated, sympathetic, and want to do the best they can for refugees. It is simply the magnitude of the problem that defeats them. Share your logistic wisdom with us.

paul walter

8/07/2012Re Marilyn, I know her personally and she does wear her heart on her sleeve as to this issues. To dismiss it as sanctimony is neither necessary or sufficient..it's well-intentioned. While many Aussies have got on with their uncaring, unconsidered hedonistic lives here in the relative lap of luxury, she's followed this uncomfortable real world issue at length and in depth for a long, long time, so I'd commend Patricia WA's insightful reading of state of play. Marilyn can and will expose any flaws in the excuses of politicians and others unsympathetic to the asylum seeker's plight. She's right, we are cowards. Yet I agree with Adastra as to the current situation against the backdrop of political realities home here as well as abroad. I personally have a sense that the failure to cease discrimination against refugees fleeing from war zones, against others also arriving here in the millions from elsewhere, is at the root of the thing. It is a stoopid policy, I believe. It's related to the Bush Howard Murdoch Islam scares of the early part of the decade, but an intelligent person can see that Jihadists would get into the country far easier on a 767 than by leaky boat, with bombs nursed on their laps. What refugee advocates often fail to see is that this current problem has arisen from uncertainties induced in the general public through neoliberalism in times of high unemployment in the past and the sense that newcomers are to be be played off against local workers, perhaps causing the busting of unions and the safeguards gradually put in place for the working classes over a century of struggle locally. Is it full-on racism we cope with, or mere insecurity? Probably a bit of both. Adastra's comment re the Greens is perhaps correct, I've always also felt that the refusal to approximate intake numbers, eg as to current resources and infrastructure has been a mistake- it has only added to the insecurity that has grown into a phobia. People won't "buy" the activist position without a more definite, detailed proposition or a guarantee that they are not affected unfairly relative to others; as with a used auto, they want a written warranty in case it goes wrong, somehow. Even oiks know who really causes global suffering, it is the West and most of all, the 1%. They know that the Rineharts of the world will pay nothing toward settlement costs, altho benefitting from war in some cases, as with Halliburton. Any costs will invariably be carried by the majority. They will agree that we are involved in the wars and also general economic exploitation of the third world, but are reluctant to wear the costs of compensation when those even more responsible than they are walk away from any moral hazard, as they hav e done both in the wake of the mid east wars and the resulting global recession. The big irony is that liblab followed the high pop road any way, employing visas for off shore workers to fill gaps in the local workforce and hold down wages. No, activists are horrified both by the individual situation for the usually gratuitous misery involved, but also what it say about the way affairs are run in our miserable world and human nature in general. Whether you agree with the activist position or not, you can see good reason why often unnecessary suffering on this level should not be allowed to pass unremarked, or some minor, why NOT major effort be spent "Doing unto other as we'd have them do unto us", if the positions were reversed.

Ad astra

8/07/2012Truth Seeker Thank you for your comment. The reference for the 70% figure is Wikipedia’s ‘Pacific Solution’: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Solution where it says: [i]”Under the Pacific solution, 30 percent were sent home, 43 per cent of asylum seekers resettled from Nauru and Manus Island ended up in Australia. The remaining were settled in other countries.”[/i]

Jason

8/07/2012ToM, "Yes Jason, it's so much easier just to send asylum seekers to Malaysia." In the short term yes it is! I want to see an actual solution not the half arsed approach that we have now. However life is a risk if people drown they drown. I see their deaths no different to that of "train surfers, rock climbers" or any other dangerous pursuit, but don't make me feel guilty for their stupid choices no matter how noble the reason might be.

DMW

8/07/2012Ad yes the numbers are daunting and they will only become more daunting while our politicians continue playing politics and games of blame with the issue. I purposely went back and read Keating's Redfern Speech earlier last week as I consider it was a turning point in Keating's Prime Ministership and big step towards a more mature debate on our relationship with the first Australians. By taking responsibility for how and why we had gotten to where we were the nation was able to change direction and albeit very slowly accept notions such as native title, and that we owed an apology for our predecessors actions. To take another quote from that speech: [i]This is a fundamental test of our social goals and our national will: our ability to say to ourselves and to the rest of the world that Australia is a first rate social democracy, that we are what we should be – truly the land of a fair go and the better chance.[/i] The debate on how we treat those less fortunate than ourselves, those that feel the need to flee thier homeland to seek refuge in a strange faraway land is another of those fundamental tests of our national character. Australians on the whole wish to be led, to have our government make the big calls for us and do so in our best interests. Our current government and Prime Minister could turn this debate around if they dared to look beyond petty partisan poo throwing and laid out the challenges the world is facing with the ever increasing numbers of displaced persons and that we have a responsibility to accept refugees as well as a responsibility to work positively in our region to assist other countries with the far greater problems with even bigger numbers of displaced persons landing on and living within their shores. Through adversity arises opportunity and if Ms Gillard has the guts to rise above the fray and the petty politics and lead us to a better place in this debate we could all win. If they did so we could prove again that we [i]are a first rate social democracy, that we are what we should be – truly the land of a fair go and the better chance.[/i] So far the chances don't look good.

Ad astra

8/07/2012paul walter I accept that Marilyn is passionate about this matter, and sincere. So is Sarah Hanson-Young, and Christine Milne, and I believe Julia Gillard and Chris Bowen are also. It is the magnitude of the problem that is so daunting. Generalities are of limited value when specific numbers are needed. Let’s suppose that there were only 13,500 refugees seeking asylum. As that is Australia’s quota for the year, all would be taken and welcomed. No one would argue about that intake. No one would have to board fishing boats to come to Australia. And if they were processed quickly, we would all swell with pride. But there are around 100,000 in Malaysia alone, and an uncertain number in Indonesia. More come daily from Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Burma, and other places, more than we can possibly take. That is why I ask ‘how many should we take?’ The lot? If not, how many? It is the actual numbers that constitute the problem. None of those against offshore processing and in favour of onshore processing ever attempt to address the numbers. In my view, to not do that is a cop out, as it is the sheer numbers that overwhelm even those with the best intentions.

Ad astra

8/07/2012DMW I am in accord with the sentiments you express and the examples you quote. Wouldn’t it be gratifying if the political climate was such that Julia Gillard, or for that matter Tony Abbott, could make Keatingesque statements without being howled down, without being ridiculed, without being politically crushed by an opponent, without the electorate rising up in anger. I suspect our political leaders live in the constant shadow of how their opponents might attack them, how the electorate might react, what the polls might show, if they stood up and declared unequivocal support for asylum seekers. One only has to reflect on how Tony Abbott uses every opportunity to deride, demean, and diminish Julia Gillard to understand why she is so guarded. Courage in leadership is an admirable quality; it is scarcely robust enough to withstand the powerful forces pitted against leaders by their opponents and a vicious media.

Ad astra

8/07/2012jaycee I do how you are right about an imminent regional solution being found. Psyclaw Thank you for your comments and your response to Marilyn.

Ad astra

8/07/2012Folks Here is the transcript of the extraordinary interview of Tony Abbott by Barrie Cassidy on [i]Insiders[/i] this morning. My initial assessment was that Abbott’s responses were a mixture of evasive behavior and slogans. I thought I would analyze the transcript to see how accurate that assessment was. Here it is. Note that there were a number of questions related to the subject of this piece – the asylum seeker issue, which is why I am posting it now after receiving your initial responses. BARRIE CASSIDY, PRESENTER: Tony Abbott, good morning, welcome. TONY ABBOTT, OPPOSITION LEADER: G'day, Barrie. BARRIE CASSIDY: So the business community wants certainty. You're certainly clear on one point, there will be no carbon tax under a ... But what about an emissions trading scheme? Will there be an emissions trading scheme at any point? TONY ABBOTT: Well, the world is running away from an emissions trading scheme at a million miles an hour. It's been obvious since Copenhagen that we’re not moving toward these things, we’re moving away from them. [b]LIE 1[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: Are you sure about that though? That they’re moving away from a carbon tax perhaps, but you’re banking a lot on the fact there will never be an emissions trading scheme. TONY ABBOTT: As I said, all the signs, whether it's America, Canada, whether it's the rest of the big economies, there are no signs that any of them are embracing a carbon tax or an economy-wide emissions trading scheme. [b]LIE 1 REPEATED[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: So you don't think there will ever be one in Australia; that Australia will ever be part of a global market? TONY ABBOTT: Well who knows what might happen in a decade or two decades or three decades? But our challenge is to deal with the problems of today. And at the moment this is the world's biggest carbon tax at the worst possible time. [b]SLOGAN[/b] We are exposing ourselves to all sorts of economic damage, without doing any environmental good. [b]SLOGAN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: So you're satisfied that's the view of the business community as well, that they don't want an ETS in place at any point? TONY ABBOTT: You can always find some voices that will say, 'yes, we want one.' But I don't think anyone wants a carbon tax of $23 a tonne - because the world's biggest carbon tax at a very bad time. [b]LIE 2, SLOGAN[/b] Now I've visited literally hundreds of businesses over the last year, I don't think Julia Gillard has visited very many at all, and the universal message I'm getting Barrie, is they don't want this thing because ... BARRIE CASSIDY: They don't want the carbon tax ... TONY ABBOTT: Because it’s going to act like a reverse tariff. BARRIE CASSIDY: ... but the ETS is a different question. TONY ABBOTT: Well I don't believe that it is a different question because it will act as a reverse tariff. If it's a unilateral carbon tax or a unilateral emissions trading scheme, it puts up our prices vis-a-vis our competitors, it hurts jobs in this country and effectively protects jobs in other countries. [b]SLOGAN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: Now you've got a problem repealing it of course, but the other issue is compensation. Your approach seems too good to be true. There will be no carbon tax, so therefore there will be no price rises, and yet people will get tax cuts anyway, and presumably the pension increases will stay? TONY ABBOTT: We will pay for tax cuts without a carbon tax, and for pension increases without a carbon tax through sensible savings in unnecessary and wasteful government expenditure. [b]SLOGAN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: But why is there a need for those tax cuts or pension increases if there is no carbon tax? TONY ABBOTT: Because we want people to be better off and we want government to live within its means.[b]SLOGAN[/b] Now at the last election Barrie, we came up with $50 billion worth of savings. [b]LIE 3[/b]. The challenge will be harder this time, I accept that, because these are tougher fiscal times. But I believe that we can find significant savings that will enable us to give a tax cut without a carbon tax. [b]SLOGAN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: So you want people to be better off but you want government to live within its means. The two contradict each other. TONY ABBOTT: I don’t believe that’s true, not at all. Look what's happened across the Tasman. In about five years, John Key has got government as a percentage of GDP (gross domestic product) down from 35 per cent to 30 per cent of GDP, that’s a 5 per cent reduction in government spending. Now has New Zealand been devastated? No, it hasn't. These are the sorts of reductions that you can achieve over time if you believe in small government rather than big government. And that's Labor's problem. This is essentially an old-fashioned borrow and spend, tax and spend, Labor government that has forgotten the lessons that Bob Hawke and Paul Keating learnt. [b]SLOGAN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: You would make it easier if you had the mining tax, though, and at least with that tax you have significant community support. TONY ABBOTT: The trouble with that mining tax Barrie, is that it is a success tax which sends exactly the wrong lesson to our citizens and the world. It says we are a country where if you succeed the government hits you. [b]LIE 4. ALL GOVERNMENTS TAX SUCCESS, IT’S CALLED ‘PROGRSSIVE TAXATION’.[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: There was an editorial in the Australian that said that you might expect that Mr Abbott would gratefully accept these dollars on behalf of the community. Instead, even with a budget deep in deficit, Mr Abbott says no. TONY ABBOTT: Because you've got to pursue the right policies for the long-term benefit of the country, not the wrong ones. And I want our country to be a country where success is celebrated not penalised. [b]LIE 4 AGAIN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: In retrospect, do you think, though, you misjudged when you so vigorously opposed the Queensland flood levy? TONY ABBOTT: Look that was only ever a temporary levy, but it did express the fundamental conviction of the Coalition Barrie, that the ordinary business of government should be met out of the ordinary revenues of government. Sure, the Queensland floods were a big disaster, but they weren't so big that we needed a new tax to pay for them. BARRIE CASSIDY: But people copped it. Don't you think they showed a generosity of spirit in the way they dealt with that levy, they paid it and they moved on? TONY ABBOTT: People don't show generosity by paying a tax, people show generosity by giving freely. Now people did give freely of their own income to the various appeals. That was generous. The government hitting you up with a tax, that's not generous. BARRIE CASSIDY: But looking back on that, don't you think that people copped it? TONY ABBOTT: In the end, people accept what government does, often not very willingly. But we are a democracy Barrie, and people understand that if you don't like the government you get rid of them at the next election. [b]SLOGAN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: Do you think that overall you do enough to promote the country, and particularly the strength of the economy? TONY ABBOTT: Well the point I keep making at the moment Barrie, is that we are a great country let down by bad government. [b]SLOGAN[/b] Now I'm always building up Australia and I think if we had a better government we would be much better able to play to our strengths.[b]LIE 5[/b] And what I hope after the next election we'll have is a better government that believes in lower taxes, better services, stronger borders and modern infrastructure. [b]SLOGAN[/b] And that's what I want to do should I have the chance to govern the country after the next election. BARRIE CASSIDY: You do build up the country but not so much the economy and the strength of the economy. You once said that the international investment community thinks Australia is no longer a safe place to do business? Do they really believe that, do you think that is the view of the international investment community? TONY ABBOTT: Well if you listen to people like Jac Nasser and Marius Kloppers, who are Australia's biggest international business people, they’re saying we have a tax problem, a workplace relations problem and a false class war problem which is being fostered by the Government. [b]DECEPTIVE TALK[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: But they're not saying Australia is not a safe place to do business. TONY ABBOTT: What they are saying is that at current mineral prices and current dollar values and at current internal cost structures, you don't invest in Australia. That's what they're saying. [b]LIE 6[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: If that is the view of the international investment community, what is your view? Do you think Australia is a safe place to do business? TONY ABBOTT: Well I think if we get rid of the carbon tax, if we get rid of the mining tax, if we can bring the workplace relations pendulum back to the sensible centre, if we can cut red tape, and I want to cut $1 billion a year out of red tape cost; if we do those things, yes Australia will be a great place to do business. [b]SLOGAN[/b] The danger at the moment Barrie, is that the Australian moment in the Asian Century might be missed because of complacency on the part of Government. [b]SLOGAN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: But without those things, you seem to be suggesting it's not a safe place to invest, and there's a lot of evidence to the contrary. TONY ABBOTT: Well I think there are a lot of people who have made investments on the basis of no mining tax and no carbon tax who suddenly find big problems. [b]DECEPTIVE TALK[/b] Take the Impex development in the Timor Sea. Over the life of the project they will pay $1 billion worth of carbon tax. Now that's a $1 billion straight off their bottom line. [b]DECEPTIVE TALK. SO WHAT – TAXES ALWAYS COME OFF THE BOTTOM LINE[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: On asylum seekers, now clearly turning back the boats will impact on our relationship with Indonesia. Why did you not discuss this issue with president Yudhoyono when you met him this week? TONY ABBOTT: I don't talk about what I discussed with president Yudhoyono, Barrie. And this is one of the problems the Government has got; they’re more interested in making heroes of themselves in the media than building a good relationship with Indonesia. [b]EVASIVE TALK[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: No but it's clear that you didn't discuss it with him. Now why did you not discuss it? Is it because you were troubled about what he might say? TONY ABBOTT: Again, I'm not going to say what I did and didn’t discuss with the president. [b]EVASIVE TALK[/b] But the fact is, if we are talking about the issue of turning boats around, it's been done before, it can be done again and ... [b]SLOGAN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: But if that's your view, why not be up front with him? I mean you’ve got an opportunity, you’re sitting across from him, why would you not raise it with him? TONY ABBOTT: Well you shouldn't assume what was discussed ... [b]EVASIVE TALK[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: My sources are pretty good. You did not raise this issue with him. TONY ABBOTT: Well the fact is, the fact is Barrie, Indonesia knows exactly what our position is, they know exactly what our position is. [b]DECEPTIVE TALK[/b] They know that on day one of an incoming Coalition government the Navy will be given new orders to deal with illegal boat arrivals and with safety at sea. These are orders ... [b]SLOGAN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: They don't like that, they don't like that policy. TONY ABBOTT: And I accept that from time to time Australia will do things that the Indonesians don't particularly like. The difference between a government I lead and the current Government is I won't be playing this for media advantage, [b]DECEPTIVE TALK[/b] and I will try to have a no surprises policy with the Indonesians, where at least we tell them well in advance what we’ve got in mind. BARRIE CASSIDY: A no surprises policy? You had an opportunity to talk to him about it and you didn't. TONY ABBOTT: Well it's not as if the Indonesians are in ignorance as to what the Coalition intends. [b]DECEPTIVE TALK[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: How would it work? A boat turns up on the horizon, you locate the boat, what happens then? TONY ABBOTT: It will work the same way in the future that it's worked in the past. [b]SLOGAN[/b] And let's never forget Barrie, that Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard are both on the record at different times supporting the policy of turning around boats. BARRIE CASSIDY: But how does it work though? You locate the boat as I said, you take away fuel and food or something to make it difficult for them to carry on? TONY ABBOTT: It's the same as it worked in the past. [b]SLOGAN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: Well remind us of how that was? TONY ABBOTT: Well I'm not going to go into those sorts of details. But the success ... [b]EVASIVE TALK[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: But that's critical. I mean tell us how it works. TONY ABBOTT: And various naval commanders have explained all this in great detail before Senate Estimates Committee and elsewhere. But it was done in the past, it can be done in the future. [b]SLOGAN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: But why can't you give us a sense of how it actually works? TONY ABBOTT: Because you've just begun to give us a sense of that Barrie, and we've had this explained to us by the naval commanders, and I don't want to be setting myself up as a modern-day Captain Hornblower. [b]EVASIVE TALK[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: Yes and one of those was Admiral Chris Barrie and he doesn't like it. He thinks it's dangerous both for the Navy and for the asylum seekers. TONY ABBOTT: And I'm not saying this is particularly pleasant work. It is a very tough job. BARRIE CASSIDY: Dangerous work. TONY ABBOTT: Yes, it's dangerous work, but that's why people join our armed forces; they go into harm's way to help the country. [b]GRATUITOUS BACKHANDER TO THE ARMED SERVICES FROM A HAIRY CHESTED ABBOTT[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: But you concede it as dangerous, then why go through with it? TONY ABBOTT: Because it’s less dangerous all round than these boats taking to sea. You see, as long as the boats keep coming, the tragedies will keep happening. And the great thing about turning the boats around is that it sends the clearest possible signal to the people smugglers and their customers, the game is up. The game is up. And that's the best possible way to stop the boats. [b]SLOGAN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: I still don't see, if you take away the fuel for example, they keep going until they run out of fuel, then it’s Australia's obligation to rescue them. TONY ABBOTT: Well as I said Barrie, it's been done in the past. [b]SLOGAN[/b] The professionalism of the Navy was up to it in the past. I have no doubt the Navy is just as professional now as it was in 2001. BARRIE CASSIDY: And they end up in Indonesia, which is not a signatory to the conventions. What's the difference between that and sending them to Malaysia? TONY ABBOTT: Well they put themselves in Indonesia. [b]A PALTRY RATIONALE[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: But they still end up in a country, you’re allowing them to end up in a country that is not a signatory to the convention TONY ABBOTT: That they put themselves in. [b]ANOTHER SLOGAN IN THE MAKING[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: It's their fault? TONY ABBOTT: Well they put themselves in Indonesia. They didn't put themselves in Malaysia. [b]SLOGAN REPEATED – WHAT’S MALAYSIA GOT TO DO WITH HIS REASONING?[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: Will you nominate an MP to sit on the multiparty reference group? TONY ABBOTT: We have a policy Barrie. We don't need an external committee to tell us what our policy is. [b]EVASIVE TALK -THAT MEANS ‘NO’[/b] And rather than appoint new committees to tell her what the policy should be, the Prime Minister should be using the committee set up for this purpose, the Cabinet. The Cabinet is the committee that should be deciding what the Government's policy is. And what the Government should be doing is adopting a policy that it can get through the Parliament. BARRIE CASSIDY: So it’s got nothing to do with the terms of reference, you won't be putting anybody up? TONY ABBOTT: Well I think as a courtesy, the Prime Minister should be telling us exactly what this committee is supposed to achieve. BARRIE CASSIDY: But what's the point? You have just said you are not interested in sitting on it. TONY ABBOTT: The committee that should be dealing with this is the Cabinet. You see it's interesting, isn’t it Barrie, on the carbon tax Julia Gillard said she had to work with the Parliament she'd got, on mandatory pre-commitment she said she had to work with the Parliament she’d got. On company tax cuts she said she had to work with the Parliament she's got. [b]REPETITION, ABBOTT’S BIGGEST WEAPON[/b] Why won’t she work with the Parliament she's got and take the offshore processing that this Parliament will approve, which is offshore processing at Nauru, PNG and 146 other countries that have signed the convention. [b]SLOGAN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: On the James Ashby, Peter Slipper matter, how have you satisfied yourself none of your colleagues have had improper contact with James Ashby? TONY ABBOTT: Well I'm not going to go into all the conversations that I've had, but I am satisfied none of my federal parliamentary colleagues had any specific knowledge of this until they saw it in the newspaper. [b]EVASIVE TALK[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: Why do you say specific? What other sort of knowledge is there? TONY ABBOTT: Well all sorts of rumours go around the Parliament at all sorts of times of the BARRIE CASSIDY: You all picked up on rumours. TONY ABBOTT: Look Barrie, the important point here is: did or did not Mr Slipper sexually harass his staff member? [b]SLOGAN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: Of course that's the key point. TONY ABBOTT: And that’s the matter before the court. Now the interesting thing Barrie, is that the judge on Friday said there had been far too much gratuitous commentary about this case. And I think the case should be left in the hands of the court to do its job. [b]QUITE THE OPPOSITE THAT ABBOTT DID WITH THE THOMSON AFFAIR[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: Did you pick up on some of these rumours? TONY ABBOTT: I think the case should now be left in the hands of the court to do its job. [b]SLOGAN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: But clearly you did, you heard rumours TONY ABBOTT: Look, it's now in the hands of the court. [b]REPEATED SLOGAN[/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: You said the first time you actually knew anything of this, perhaps anything specific about this, is when you read it in the papers. But did you hear anything unofficially from journalists, from media sources? TONY ABBOTT: Look Barrie, as I said, the place for this to be dealt with is in the court and that's where it should be. [b]REPEATED SLOGAN[/b] I think that Justice Rare has made a very good point. And frankly senior ministers in the Government who have been out there offering a running commentary on the case, particularly the Attorney-General, should pull their heads in. BARRIE CASSIDY: Now the Greens and Labor are going at it, or at least some in the Labor Party are urging their colleagues to be tough on the Greens. If both sides of politics agree they are extremist, why not do a deal and both agree to put them last? TONY ABBOTT: Well this is a real problem for the Prime Minister. I mean she did the deal with the Greens that has given us the carbon tax, because she wanted to stay in the Lodge. The deal with the Greens has also given us effectively no border protection policy and the flood of asylum boats. Now this is a challenge to the Prime Minister's authority. Effectively, the faceless men are now saying to the Prime Minister, you got it wrong and it's up to the Prime Minister to determine whether the Greens, not two weeks before the election but now, are her friends in Government or her enemies in the electorate. BARRIE CASSIDY: Just finally, on Clive Palmer, why did you tell him not to run in Lilley? Was it that he's too rich, too busy, too outspoken? What's the problem with Clive? TONY ABBOTT: I don’t – I’m not in the business of giving people instructions. [b]WHAT ABOUT INSTRUCTIONS TO TURN THE BOATS AROUND[/b] I'm delighted that so many people want to join the Coalition team. BARRIE CASSIDY: He says you gave him instructions, you told him not to run. TONY ABBOTT: Believe me Barrie, I don't give people those sorts of instructions. [b]LIE 7[/b] I'm delighted that a whole range of people want to run for us. I think it's a sign of the fact that the Coalition is doing a very good job that people want to join our team. Look, it's up to the pre-selection panels to pick the best people. BARRIE CASSIDY: So you're not going to try to run him out of Fairfax or run him out of Kennedy or wherever he turns up? TONY ABBOTT: Look any member of the party, no matter how rich, how poor, no matter how busy, no matter how much time he or she might have on his hands, is welcome to put a hand up for pre-selection and the panel will do its job and pick the best candidate. BARRIE CASSIDY: Thanks for your time this morning, appreciate it. TONY ABBOTT: Thanks very much, Barrie.

paul walter

8/07/2012And that, kiddies, is why no progress is ever made on refugees, ecology and development, indigenous affairs and other serious issues- because there is a stubborn knot of people, often in command of significant resources, who gain of the retention of the status quo and whose interests are served by divide and conquer, which is the component of the equation locked into its own status quo. The one percent.

Cuppa

8/07/2012Thanks Ad Astra for providing the transcript of Barrie Cassidy's interview with Abbott. With all the time devoted to talking about the hypothetical repealing of the "carbon tax", Barrie did not ask about the Coalition's supposed alternative policy. Now, why would that be? Surely in the context it would have been germane, if not imperative, for Barrie to say words to the effect, [i]You say you would repeal Labor's policy, so let's get some details from you about your party's alternative policy[/i]... But no, not a mention from either host or guest of the so-called "Direct Action Plan". Which was a good thing for Abbott (if not the audience), as he wasn't put in the position of having to defend the indefensible, to justify or even explain their economically pariah "plan". The question in my mind is: Why didn't Barrie Cassidy broach the subject of the Liberals' alternative policy? Why omit completely something so obvious and relevant?

Truth Seeker

8/07/2012ToM, although I know that I am probably wasting my time, I feel compelled to reiterate the facts. As you seem to be enamoured with the idea of TPVs, as a way of stopping the boats, all the experts, and anyone who actual thinks about them will know that rather than stopping the boats, TPVs just fill them up with the women and children that can't come in because those granted TPVs do not have the option of family reunions. This discussion has moved well past the philosophical, ideological or in Abbotts case the political advantage, and is now about the saving of lives and the best way to do that. As a nation we are lessened by the current debate. Yes, as any beauty pageant contestant will affirm, world peace is the, dream, ultimate goal, what most hope and pray for. The reality is what we have to deal with, and to that end we should listen to those that make it their business to know what the best options are, ie; the experts, not ideologically or self motivated politicians. Aa, the numbers that I saw were approx 1639 asylum seekers assessed and only 45 rejected, these numbers may be one or two out as I am working from memory, but they were quoted as official figures.

Jason

8/07/2012Paul Walter, I guess you could always stand at the next election since you seem to think you have all the answers!

DMW

8/07/2012Ad, [i]Courage in leadership is an admirable quality; it is scarcely robust enough to withstand the powerful forces pitted against leaders by their opponents and a vicious media.[/i] A leader confident in their policy and the conviction that it is the correct policy would be robust enough to withstand whatever any opponent threw at them. [i]Gillard and Abbott started small and stayed there. Their present fight over asylum-seekers is emblematic of a nation that does not take its place in the region seriously enough to speak to it with a unified voice. The irony is the politicians of White Australia's last hurrah -- Robert Menzies and Arthur Calwell -- look like visionaries with the benefit of hindsight because they didn't play politics with the non-English speaking immigrants after World War II. Gillard and Abbott will never live down their argument at the last election when they competed not just to stop the boats, but to cut the regular intake as well.[/i] [b]The regional stage is no place for our leaders' petty politicking[/b] http://goo.gl/iMKer (this link to Google, click on the artcle title displayed) The opportunity is here, now, for the Prime Minister to prove many critics wrong, to rise above the petty politics and lead the nation to a better place in this debate.

Tom of Melbourne

8/07/2012Ad Astra, in 20 years we haven’t had enough people arrive by boat to fill the MCG. Estimations re that there are about 10000 people wishing to travel to Australia. How about if I say I’m willing to accept 10 times that number before I start to get bothered about your “problem”. Your faux concern about the trauma suffered by people being sent to Nauru is just that, it’s hypocritical given your advocacy about sending all men, women and children to Malaysia, without any prospect of returning here. You’ve avoided questions, and you are exposed as a commentator driven entirely by political interests and expedience. Now how about you address yourself to a couple of the questions I posed.

Tom of Melbourne

8/07/2012[i]” I want to see an actual solution not the half arsed approach that we have now.”[/i] Youcan blame your government for the half arsed approach. [i] you seem to be enamoured with the idea of TPVs[/i] It’s an option, that the government refuses to consider. They are more humane than shipping people to Malaysia. The government is driven by political expedience. The government hasn’t addressed itself to this issue.

Psyclaw

8/07/2012 [b]AA[/b] Sadly I have to take your assessment to task. The 3 bolded sections are not merely evasive. In the first bolded bit he tries to avoid. In the second, he "suggests" that he did raise the issue. In the third he tries to justify the lie. [i]BARRIE CASSIDY: On asylum seekers, now clearly turning back the boats will impact on our relationship with Indonesia. Why did you not discuss this issue with president Yudhoyono when you met him this week? TONY ABBOTT: [b]I don't talk about what I discussed with president [/b]Yudhoyono, Barrie. And this is one of the problems the Government has got; they’re more interested in making heroes of themselves in the media than building a good relationship with Indonesia. EVASIVE TALK BARRIE CASSIDY: But if that's your view, why not be up front with him? I mean you’ve got an opportunity, you’re sitting across from him, [b]why would you not raise it with him? TONY ABBOTT: Well you shouldn't assume what was discussed [/b] BARRIE CASSIDY: My sources are pretty good. You did not raise this issue with him. TONY ABBOTT: [b]Well the fact is, the fact is Barrie, Indonesia knows exactly what our position is[/b], they know exactly what our position is.[/i] But in this bit AA the shifty, unsettled involuntary movement of his eyes confirm the lie. You got it right, here.This is manifest on my replay, even with the audio turned off. TONY ABBOTT: [b]Believe me Barrie,[/b] I don't give people those sorts of instructions.

Psyclaw

8/07/2012 I think it is quite inaccurate to place Marilyn in the same category of that one from the southern capital. Unlike him, Marilyn does good research, is knowledgeable, provides facts and handles the truth with due care. She does not always come to the same conclusions I do, but c'est la vie.

BSA Bob

8/07/2012. And this is one of the problems the Government has got; they’re more interested in making heroes of themselves in the media than building a good relationship with Indonesia. EVASIVE TALK A transcript is necessary to really highlight the Goebbels principle Abbott uses so often. Abbott accusing others of what he himself is doing.

DMW

8/07/2012Some facts I was unaware of until tweeted tonight ASRC ‏@ASRC1 Just 452 #refugees settled from Indonesia to Australia btn 2001-9. Call that regional co-operation? ASRC ‏@ASRC1 Annual intake of #refugees from Indonesia by Australia cut by 40% this yr, another way Gillard forces people onto boats ASRC = Asylum Seeker Resource Centre http://www.asrc.org.au/

paul walter

8/07/2012Psyclaw reminds me, the most stupid aspect of all, sending eight hundred people to Malaysia to be processed when it could be done here, and expensive. Shows just how wanky it's all become. Btw the comment on Marilyn was what I'd call dead right, yes she has far more credibility than several others posting here, either mean spirited or sanctimonious.

Von Kirsdarke

8/07/2012Nice article, AA. Asylum seekers is something that I'm conflicted on. It's a big problem that needs a well thought out solution. I don't think the Malaysia solution is as terrible as some people say, I'm friends with someone from Malaysia and she says that it's not really that bad of a place, it's improving rapidly along with the rest of southeast Asia. I do think that we need to figure something out with Indonesia for a better solution though. However, one thing I'm certain of is that Abbott's plan to use the navy is disgusting. He not only plans to jeopardise our relationship with Indonesia and go very close to the line of breaking human rights and international laws, but wants to turn Australia's maritime defence forces into national border bouncers to keep out undesirables. This is unforgivable, and damn those journalists that refuse to give him scrutiny over this madness.

Marilyn

9/07/2012You ask the wrong questions, who do we think we are to believe we can have a limit on refugees asking for help? Do we have a limit on the number of tourists who arrive here every year or do we beg for more? Everyone has the right to seek asylum and here is a newsflash - if the 13 million people who arrive here every year want to claim refugee status we have to let them. What if Pakistan started sending home Afghans because there are too many? Wait, they are which is why more Afghans are seeking asylum in the west. Try with your shrivelled imaganation Astra to put yourself in the shoes of an Afghan who has had a lifetime of war. So many here seem to think it's just a matter of us being as vicious as the taliban and the Afghans will stay home, but we pretend to be a nation that observes human rights. Many who come here to seek asylum have been in exile for years on end, some have been kicked out of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia and we want to kick them out to and play human trading ping pong around the world. Under the law we have zero choice about allowing asylum seekers into the country and we cannot and do not have a quota for asylum seekers. And as 75% of all asylum seekers fly here just what is it you are whining about? 35,000 people in 35 years arriving by sea. Spare me the stupid questions, they have been asked so many times by whining scared old men I have lost count. What are you? A chicken coward terrified of a few thousand refugees? Because the thing is we don't own the countries we want to dump human beings in so we can expect those countries to return the favour. Or is racist whiney Australia so precious and superior we think we can do whatever we like and bugger the law and human rights. None of you bothered to find out the facts, do that and get back to me.

Marilyn

9/07/2012The refugee convention is domestic law and has been for 20 years. ri http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2002/1009.html?query=al%20mas “60 In any event, while it is literally correct to describe the applicant as an "unlawful" entrant and an "unlawful non-citizen" that is not a complete description of his position. The nomenclature adopted under the Act provides for the description of persons as "uinlawful non-citizens" because they arrived in Australia without a visa. This does not fully explain their status in Australian law as such persons are on-shore applicants for protection visas on the basis that they are refugees under the Refugees Convention. 61 The Refugees Convention is a part of conventional international law that has been given legislative effect in Australia: see ss 36 and 65 of the Act. It has always been fundamental to the operation of the Refugees Convention that many applicants for refugee status will, of necessity, have left their countries of nationality unlawfully and therefore, of necessity, will have entered the country in which they seek asylum unlawfully. Jews seeking refuge from war-torn Europe, Tutsis seeking refuge from Rwanda, Kurds seeking refuge from Iraq, Hazaras seeking refuge from the Taliban in Afghanistan and many others, may also be called "unlawful non-citizens" in the countries in which they seek asylum. Such a description, however, conceals, rather than reveals, their lawful entitlement under conventional international law since the early 1950's (which has been enacted into Australian law) to claim refugee status as persons who are "unlawfully" in the country in which the asylum application is made. 62 The Refugees Convention implicitly requires that, generally, the signatory countries process applications for refugee status of on-shore applicants irrespective of the legality of their arrival, or continued presence, in that country: see Art 31. That right is not only conferred upon them under international law but is also recognised by the Act (see s 36) and the Migration Regulations 1994 (Cth) which do not require lawful arrival or presence as a criterion for a protection visa. If the position were otherwise many of the protection obligations undertaken by signatories to the Refugees Convention, including Australia, would be undermined and ultimately rendered nugatory. 63 Notwithstanding that the applicant is an "unlawful non-citizen" under the Act who entered Australia unlawfully and has had his application for a protection visa refused, in making that application he was exercising a "right" conferred upon him under Australian law.” Now those four paragraphs make the law pretty clear and that was upheld by three more judges in the Full Court of the Federal court in April 2003 after Akram had been deported. So far so good on the “unlawful” = “illegal” story. So let’s wander off to the High Court appeal which became Behrooz, Al Kateb and Al Khafaji and have a look at the meaning of “unlawful”. GUMMOW J: What is the baggage of the word “unlawful”? MR BENNETT: Your Honour, none. It is a word used in a definition provisihttp://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/other/HCATrans/2003/456.html?query=behroozon, it is simply a defined phrase. It is not a phrase which necessarily involves the commission of a criminal offence. http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/other/HCATrans/2003/458.html?query=behrooz “GUMMOW J: What is the force of the word “unlawful”? MR BENNETT: It is merely a word which is used in a definition section, your Honour. GLEESON CJ: Does it mean without lawful permission? MR BENNETT: Yes, that is perhaps the best way of paraphrasing - - - GUMMOW J: But in the Austinian sense that is meaningless, is it not? MR BENNETT: Yes, your Honour. The draftsperson of the Act is not necessarily taken to be familiar with the - - - GUMMOW J: Well, perhaps they ought to be.” Wow, so the word unlawful is legally meaningless. Who would have thought. But wait it get’s better. http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/HCA/2004/37.html?query=al%20kateb Here is the actual judgement. Paragraph 86 is there for all the world to see. “From 1901 to 1994, federal law contained offence provisions respecting unlawful entry and presence in Australia, which was punishable by imprisonment as well as by liability to deportation. The legislation gave rise to various questions of construction which reached this Court[90]. The first of these provisions was made by the Immigration Restriction Act 1901 (Cth) ("the 1901 Act")[91]. Section 7 thereof stated: "Every prohibited immigrant entering or found within the Commonwealth in contravention or evasion of this Act shall be guilty of an offence against this Act, and shall be liable upon summary conviction to imprisonment for not more than six months, and in addition to or substitution for such imprisonment shall be liable pursuant to any order of the Minister to be deported from the Commonwealth. Provided that the imprisonment shall cease for the purpose of deportation, or if the offender finds two approved sureties each in the sum of Fifty pounds for his leaving the Commonwealth within one month." As enacted in 1958, s 27 of the Act continued this pattern. That provision eventually became s 77 of the Act, but this was repealed by s 17 of the Migration Reform Act 1992 (Cth) ("the 1992 Act"). It has not been replaced[92].” Want a bit of icing on the cake, all of which I sent to the editors of the Australian, the Press Council and Media Watch. http://www.austlii.edu.au/cgi-bin/sinodisp/au/cases/cth/FCA/2004/1267.html?query=hamdan “30 It is important to emphasise that the client did not escape from custody. It would have been an offence for him to have done so: see 197A of the Act. He was released from detention pursuant to a court order. Neither was he committing or proposing to commit an offence simply because he was taking steps to avoid being detained. As Gummow J indicated in Al-Kateb at [86] ff, the current Migration Act, unlike its precursors, does not make it an offence for an unlawful non-citizen to enter or to be within Australia in contravention of, or in evasion of, the Act. 31 Further, as Hayne J observed in Al-Kateb at [207]-[208] the description of a person’s immigration status as "unlawful" serves as no more than a reference to a non-citizen not having a "valid permission to enter and remain in Australia". The use of the term "unlawful" does not as such refer to a breach of a law.” . http://sievx.com/articles/sentences/dirlist.php If you read these cases you will note: “As has been observed in relation to other cases of this kind, the prisoners were not involved in a 'people-smuggling' exercise. There was nothing covert about either operation. They were transporting the non-citizens to Australia for presentation to Australian authorities. There was no attempt to hide from the authorities or to disguise what they had done”. This is why we really locked up a few hundred poor schmuck Indonesian fishermen and if it was challenged in the High court I reckon all the cases would have been dismissed because we locked people up for things they could not have known. “These are serious offences because the Australian Parliament has said the Australian Government has the right to control immigration into Australia in any way it chooses to do so. Australia has agreed to take a large number of refugees from other countries each year. This has to be done in an orderly way. The bringing to Australia of illegal immigrants avoids having these people go through the proper channels. This costs the Australian Government a lot of money and may well have the effect of causing other

Lyn

9/07/2012TODAY’S LINKS Four Questions for Tony Abbott, Victoria Rollison Abbott skirts this issue of wealth redistribution like a slippery worm. He worries about the profits that go to offshore owners of mining companies, rich shareholders and of course Gina and Clive, more than he cares about average Australians being rewarded for the massive wealth that comes from the natural resources that we all own. Enough is enough Tony. Whose side are you on? http://victoriarollison.com/2012/07/08/four-questions-for-tony-abbott/ The Catholic Connection , Frances Jones Broken Rites Australia was formed in 1992. Since then, Broken Rites has researched more than 120 Catholic priests and brothers who have been sentenced in Australian court cases in which Broken Rites has had an involvement. These 120 court cases are on the top half of our http://francesjones.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/the-catholic-connection/ Father of Mine, Wixxy, Wixxy Leaks You see, this $800,000 warehouse near Sydney Airport was used as Studio 19, a rehearsal studio. Funnily enough, the person running the studio goes by the name of Chris, or Christopher Williamson, also known as the C in Canme Services. The members will be pleased to know however, that Michael didn’t overcharge his son Chris on the rent. A http://wixxy.wordpress.com/2012/07/06/father-of-mine-2/ Actions Unconscionable, Sal Piracha ,Only The Depth Varies The answer from Tony Abbott is, as usual, a flat 'no'. As the Prime Minister has allowed Labor MPs a conscience vote, it's unlikely that the current same sex marriage bills would succeed; the ALP members may cross the floor, and the Liberals may not. Turnbull, and probably others, will be required to vote against theirconsciences. http://onlythedepthvaries.blogspot.com.au/ Jacksonville 15: Welcome to Williamson, Peter Wicks, Independent Australia Michael Williamson was elected to the position of State Secretary of the Association, then known as the Health and Research Employees Association of NSW, in 1995. Whilst there, the rules changed and he became General Secretary. In 2003, a decision was made to adopt a new logo and change the name of the union to the Health Services Union. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/welcome-to-williamson/ ABBOTT LOOKS ACROSS THE DITCH AND TRIES TO DRAG US INTO IT, Penny Wong In another example of his economic incoherence, Tony Abbott says he wants Australia to be more like New Zealand, which has higher unemployment, higher spending and lower economic growth. http://www.pennywong.com.au/media-releases/abbott-looks-across-the-ditch-and-tries-to-drag-us-into-it/ Mungo MacCallum- Refugee boats stuck in too hard basket, Hinterland Times This, like all of Abbott’s simplifications, is not entirely true. There is ample evidence that the Temporary Protection Visas, with their ban on family reunion, actually led to more women and children accompanying their husbands on the boats, with consequent loss of life. But even if they did play a part in easing the flow of boats, that was then and this is now. http://www.hinterlandtimes.com.au/2012/07/06/mungo-maccallum-refugee-boats-stuck-in-too-hard-basket/ Tony Abbott promises a return to the centre with Work Choices version 2 – if that is centre, what do the LNP consider extreme, Turn Left 2013 Now he has predicted a return of SerfChoices:Tony Abbott said on Saturday: The carbon tax will go, the mining tax will go, workplace relations will return to the sensible centre, we’ll cut a billion dollars a year from business red tape. http://turnleft2013.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/tony-abbott-promises-a-return-to-the-centre-with-work-choices-version-2-if-that-is-centre Tony Abbott will never be Prime Minister, Miglo, Café Whispers I’ve scrolled through our pages and randomly selected a handful of gems from the hundreds that have graced our site that sum up why I hope Tony Abbott will never be Prime Minister. http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/tony-abbott-will-never-be-prime-minister/ Don’t be surprised – Greens are not ALP’s natural ally, Dragonistas Blog The ALP isn’t trying to win progressive votes from the Greens, they’re trying to win the middle class, middle income voters who are parked with the Libs but are uneasy about Abbott. They’re also trying to win progressive voters parked with the other/independent category who find the Greens too extreme. http://dragonistasblog.com/2012/07/08/dont-be-surprised-greens-are-not-alps-natural-ally/ ABC News 24 reckons you should speak English, ABC Has Gone To Hell But to make matters worse the ABC decided to cut off their coverage of the President and switch to a rugby match instead! They could not even give the guest of honour, the President of Indonesia, the courtesy and respect of airing his speech. The minority of viewers http://www.abcgonetohell.net/post/26449304891/abc-news-24-reckons-you-should-speak-english The Free Market; Maggots and Tapeworms, Archie, Archiearchives So everything became free. And everyone had a vote. And of course the Market had to be free as well. Please don’t ask me why, it just had to be. Everyone still had to pay taxes. To themselves, of course since it was all democratic. Even your http://archiearchive.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/the-free-market-maggots-and-tapeworms/ Fear Mongers Belittle Politics And Humanity, Dragonista, The Kings Tribune And with information we can learn, for example, that there is no queue and that asylum seekers are fleeing persecution or war; that we are all polluters and must each play our part in tackling climate change; that our predisposition for conflict and sensationalism has encouraged shock jocks and other tabloid media; that skilled workers http://www.kingstribune.com/current-issue/1534-fear-mongers-belittle-politics-and-humanity Carbon tax or evil gouging , Donna Kelly, The Fifth Estate Debate is raging on whether the carbon tax is causing the cost of refrigerants to soar, or whether refrigerant companies are using the opportunity to hike up their prices. Federal Industry opposition spokeswoman Sophie Mirabella blames the carbon tax http://www.thefifthestate.com.au/archives/36283 Australia’s carbon tax – dispelling the scare campaign against it. Christina MacPherson, Antinuclear the great tragedy of this is the groups behind this ludicrous scare campaign – the Minerals Council of Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Australian Coal Association, and the Housing Industry Association – will never be brought to justice for the misleading conduct they’ve engaged in over the last two years. http://antinuclear.net/2012/07/07/australias-carbon-tax-dispelling-the-scare-campaign-against-it/ Labor wakes up to the Greens, Climate Nonconformist Since the minority government was formed, the Greens have continually dragged Labor down. Paul Howes outlines how they did it. They have got away with their grab-bag of loopy and out-there policies for years. They’ve got away with it by being passed http://climatenonconformist.wordpress.com/2012/07/08/labor-wakes-up-to-the-greens/ LADIES MAN: Tony Abbott boning up on nipple clamps, spanking, kink & domination to get inside the female mind, Oz Politic.Com There seems to be no limit to Tony Abbott’s commitment to women, reports a Sunday newspaper that probably won’t be around next year to see him elected our nation’s leader. They report him admitting to http://www.ozpolitic.com/forum/YaBB.pl?num=1341695892 The End of the Party? Labor's History and the Rise of the Greens , Modernising Labor For more than a century, Labor has been pushed and pulled between forces of electoralism and those of ideology both within and outside the Party. However, in the long run, the ALP has always responded to bouts of ideological extremism that threatened its long term viability by successfully reaffirming its commitment to electoralism. http://modernisinglabor.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/end-of-party-what-labors-history-can.html The Size of Government in Australia, Stephen Koukoulas, Market Economics Not once did the Howard or Fraser governments in about 20 years in office achieve a single year where government spending was cut in real terms, while Labor governments have been able to cut real spending in five years since the mid-1980s. Viewed another way, the 2012-13 budget will see the ratio of government spending to gross domestic product fall to 23.5 per cent. http://www.marketeconomics.com.au/2115-the-size-of-government-in-australia The Age Economic Survey. They're optimistic, Peter Martin Australia is set to do it again. BusinessDay's half-yearly economic survey has found our private sector economists believe the country will grind its way through the 2012-13 financial year to record solid growth, despite risks of Europe's problems deadening the world economy http://www.petermartin.com.au/2012/07/age-economic-survey-theyre-optimistic.html Carbon Pricing in Australia: Lessons for the United States, Brookings How Australia fares in reducing its GHG emissions and at what cost will only become clear over time. But certainly the challenges for Australia will be no less than what the U.S. will face should it decide to price carbon and aim for similarly ambitious GHG mitigation targets. These reasons alone recommend close U.S. attention to Australia’s experience http://www.brookings.edu/research/opinions/2012/07/02-carbon-australia-meltzer Australia doesn’t need the NBN, says Abbott, Renai LeMay, Delimiter Right now the greatest problem of Shadow Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull is keeping the other senior politicians in his party quiet when it comes to the NBN. Abbott, Joe Hockey, Andrew Robb, Warren Truss … every time these Coalition figures talk about the NBN they put their foot in their mouth http://delimiter.com.au/2012/07/06/australia-doesnt-need-the-nbn-says-abbott/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_ The Wall Street Scandal of All Scandals, Robert Reich, The Huffington Post Libor is the benchmark for trillions of dollars of loans worldwide -- mortgage loans, small business loans, personal loans. It's compiled by averaging the rates at which the major banks say they borrow.So far, the scandal has been limited to Barclay's, a big London-based http://www.huffingtonpost.com/robert-reich/libor-wall-street_b_1656665.html Scientists Generate Electricity from Viruses Imagine charging your phone as you walk, thanks to a paper-thin generator embedded in the sole of your shoe. This futuristic scenario is now a little closer to reality. Scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have developed a way to generate power using harmless viruses that convert mechanical energy into electricity. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/05/120513144619.htm Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison - caught out telling lies and fudging figures for Nauru This video highlights the lies and distortions from both Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison on reopening Nauru.Not only have they lied about the cost of reopening Nauru, but they've lied about the time that it would take to open it up again. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FRvLAJFJ-vY&feature=related Today’s Front Pages Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 9 July http://www.frontpagestoday.co.uk/index.cfm?PaperCountry=Australia

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9/07/2012AA, In response toyour question last night, my response was in my original post [quote]Regardless of "deterrent effects", "quotas", "regional processing plans" or any other scheme - it is human nature to desire a better life for yourself and your family It is my opinion that the thing that will "stop the boats" in the end will be that the standard of living of those who live in the areas to the north west of Australia will rise to a sufficient level so that those that currently would consider attempting to get to Australia deem that the risks outweigh the benefits.[/quote] Keating's Redfern speech (courtesy of DMW) says [quote]This is a fundamental test of our social goals and our national will: our ability to say to ourselves and to the rest of the world that Australia is a first rate social democracy, that we are what we should be – truly the land of a fair go and the better chance. [/quote] DMW suggests [quote]Our current government and Prime Minister could turn this debate around if they dared to look beyond petty partisan poo throwing and laid out the challenges the world is facing with the ever increasing numbers of displaced persons and that we have a responsibility to accept refugees as well as a responsibility to work positively in our region to assist other countries with the far greater problems with even bigger numbers of displaced persons landing on and living within their shores.[/quote] [quote]Through adversity arises opportunity and if Ms Gillard has the guts to rise above the fray and the petty politics and lead us to a better place in this debate we could all win. If they did so we could prove again that we are a first rate social democracy, that we are what we should be – truly the land of a fair go and the better chance. [/quote] I agree completely. Whitlam and Fraser in the 70's could bring the country around to accepting refugees from a country where Australia was on the losing side of a war less than 5 years previously (and co-incidentally is now a "hot" tourist destination). So whats wrong with Howard, Beasley, Rudd, Gillard, Milne and Abbott - why can't they communicate to the Australian public that humanity outweighs political grandstanding? The media reports that the majority of refugees to Australia come from Iraq, Afganistan and Sri Lanka. In the case of the first two, Australia was an agressor (remember Bush calling Howard a "Man of Steel"), in Sri Lanka's case, Australia sat on its hands for years and did nothing meaningful despite it being common knowledge there was a civil war in progress. Refugees are our "problem" as we assisted in the creation of the "problem". I'm not getting suckered into a discussion on numbers, where, when and so on - we need to address the real issue here. There are millions of people around the world seeking refugee status on a weekly basis, in the scheme of things those that get to Australia are numerically akin to the pimple on the backside of the worldwide "problem",

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9/07/2012LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Psyclaw

9/07/2012 Truth Seeker @9.53pm [i]ToM, although I know that I am probably wasting my time[/i] Nearly correct. Just one word too many. Number 8!

Psyclaw

9/07/2012 Marilyn Thanks for your references .... some interesting reading. It is important to note that your quotes about the Behrooz case are [i]obiter dicta[/i]. They are not part of the judgemnet and as you probably know have the legal status of being judges' musings or thought bubbles or discussion stimulators. In the end, the HC found against Mr Behrooz. The essence was that the Act had been redefined not to say that ASs in Aussie waters were [i]unlawful[/i] but that detention of ASs was lawful and [b]escape[/b] from detention was unlawful. Here's the full judgement from the following year. http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/HCA/2004/36.html There is another aspect IMHO ..... the circumstances at the turn of the century were quite different to now. I agree that [i]people smugglers[/i] were a relatively few rank amateurs then ...... disorganised but in all likelihood a bit more customer focussed than now, and probably providing a safer service than now. I think the evidence now is that they are a big enterprise, organised, callous, ruthless, unconscionable and have one focus only. Get as many $10Ks pp as they can, put them in any vessel and shove them off shore. The more the merrier. Strike while the iron's hot. Pluck the fruit while the tree is still available. With such a business model, drownings are highly likely to continue in big numbers ..... too big to just say "well really, not many drown in the big picture of refugees." Nevertheless I am interested to hear more of your arguments. Cheers

Lyn

9/07/2012Good Morning Ad and Everybody Twitterverse:- Margaret‏ My response also wordforword : This is Bickford's response to my complaint over there involvement in http://pic.twitter.com/l6Lei3Sn View photoHide photo The Australian‏ Carbon blame for burial hike 'an error': A CEMETERY has admitted it was a mistake to blame the carbon tax for an... http://bit.ly/NAjkfs The Opposition and some funeral industry figures have previously suggested cremation prices would rise due to the carbon tax, a claim refuted by the Gillard government TAWNBPM‏ The Daily terror screamed, on front page this am: " DEATH TAX" The Age has covered the real story. A Melbourne... http://fb.me/NviayqbF Mulgabob‏ The only one putting the dirt in is Simon Benson @dailytelegraphhttp://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/carbon-tax-cost-added-to-familys-funeral-bill/story-e6freuy9-1226420545281 #auspol Phillip Coorey‏ my column today. Softly-softly a better approach to Indonesia rather than turn back boats. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/jakarta-on-abbotts-todo-list-but-no-one-has-told-the-indonesians-20120708-21p9f.html vexnews‏ Queensland joins mining tax High Court challenge initiated by Fortescue Metals #qldpol #auspol http://bit.ly/Nei4Ad Janice Gill‏ Abbott admits he heard Slipper rumours http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/-21ph9.html TAWNBPM‏ "THE Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, has, for the first time, said he was aware rumours had circulated in... http://fb.me/1TIoh3Rl1 Mulgabob‏ Springvale Cemetery denies $55 carbon tax charge | 3AW Breakfast | http://www.3aw.com.au/blogs/3aw-breakfast-blog/springvale-cemetery-denies-55-carbon-tax-charge/20120709-21q3m.html #auspol Stunt Spud‏@SpudBenBean I disagree with the first paragraph here http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/abbott-admits-he-heard-slipper-rumours-20120708-21ph9.html Abbott DIDN'T confirm the rumours were abt Slipper's CONDUCT. #insiders Mike Kelly MP‏ Mining tax leads other resource-rich nations to follow suit. So where is our risk?| The Australian http://bit.ly/Mbb1uz David Paul Jobling‏ Want to hang out with the Prime Minister? Here's how http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/want-to-hang-out-with-the-prime-minister-heres-how-20120630-219g5.html via @theage #Yesplease #JuliaGillard #OurSay #Hope Kate Carruthers‏ some good advice from @catrionapollard: The power of a blog connects readers & businesses http://kcar.me/RJisYy via @SMH couriermail.com.au‏ Qld to join court fight against mining tax http://goo.gl/fb/S3MJz Stephen Mayne‏ Great Mumble on unethical ALP Right thugs. Should have added Labor is preferencing Family First before Greens in Melb: http://blogs.theaustralian.news.com.au/mumble/index.php/theaustralian/comments/nsw_right_and_greens/

archiearchive

9/07/2012I hadn't read this extremely good post yesterday and so coincidence reigns. Following Tony Abbott's sit-down with Barrie Cassidy and a partially drunken tweet-storm last night in which I conflated Capn' Hornblower, The Pirate King and Tony Abbott, I spent a sleepless night. Again. Worrying over the implications at 3am. This morning I sat and wrote stuff in which I tried to clarify the consequences of Tony Abbott's stated policies on Asylum Seekers. I don't know if you will find it interesting but it is here. http://archiearchive.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/tony-arrrrrrbott-talk-like-the-pirate-king/

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9/07/2012Anyone else notice the Rudd vs Gillard speculation started again on the weekend. It seems to have died an early death this time as The Australian's banners outside newsagents this morning is alluding to a split between the ALP & the Greens. Wonder if the Rudd/Gillard thing is now so obvious, even the media don't believe it when it's trotted out yet again or have the ALP found another way to shoot themselves in the foot after the comments by the NSW State Secretary over the weekend?

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9/07/2012Folks This piece has evoked strong emotions. Reading through the comments, I see a lot of concern for refugees and their awful plight. Many of you have expressed a willingness to embrace them, and castigate our leaders for not doing so to the extent you believe they should. You criticize their handling of asylum seekers. You call for ‘leadership’, along the lines exhibited by Paul Keating in his Redfern address, something you see sadly lacking among our current leaders. Many who come here would agree with those sentiments. I see no anti-refugee feeling among the comments. I see no one arguing that seeking asylum is illegal. We know it is not. Given the level of agreement that seems to unite many who comment here, I wonder why emotive comments are made. Why is it necessary to use pejorative terms such as ‘shriveled imagination’, ‘chicken coward’, and ‘whining scared old men’? Will such insults advance understanding and consensus? The contemporary debate was precipitated by the recent loss of asylum seeker lives at sea from fishing boats that were overwhelmed by tumultuous seas. While there may be some who don’t care, I feel confident that people who comment here are deeply distressed by this loss of life. So, an important question is how this loss of men, women, and children can be avoided. It was addressed early in this piece after the introductory comments. Yet there are but a few comments about how these maritime tragedies might be averted. Marilyn said that ‘boats are not that dangerous’ and will ‘keep coming’; tincan suggested setting up efficient regional processing in Indonesia; Psyclaw said the rate of drownings had changed the game. 2353 urged a compromise to avoid further drownings, and said that raising the standard of living in areas from which refugees come will stop the boats. jaycee noted the ‘regional solution’ is to stop people getting on boats, and ToM answered some questions about boats that I posed. Truth Seeker disputed whether TPVs would stop people getting on boats, and argued that the opposite was more likely. That is all I could find about ‘stopping the boats’. I’m sure you will correct me if I have missed any further suggestions about how to do so. The other aspect that has attracted attention is that of numbers. I heard last night on ABC Melbourne radio that there are 43 million displaced persons and 15 million refugees in the world today, figures that paint the dimensions of the problem. Yet, I sense that some of you are downplaying the numbers issue, and suggesting that there ought to be no limit to how many we admit to this country. Doesn’t this idealistic approach need to be tempered by how larger and larger numbers of arrivals can be managed? If we had literally open borders with no limits, how many could be housed, fed, employed, educated, and cared for by our health and social welfare system which taxpayers fund? There must be a limit as Australia’s resources are not limitless. It may well be that we can take many, many more than at present, that we can process them quickly and get them here safely, that we can integrate them well, but where do we draw the line and say we cannot receive any more and do justice by them? In my view, no matter how idealistic one feels, no matter how much sympathy wells up in one’s breast, it is unrealistic to advocate open borders without limits. Yet when I ask how many you think we could reasonably accommodate, I not only get no takers, but am also rebuked for asking ‘stupid questions’. These questions are not stupid; they are ones our nation must answer if it is to better manage the asylum seeker issue. Try putting yourself in the decision making position of our leaders. No matter how fine their oratory, no matter how influential their words in changing community attitudes for the better, they still must manage the logistics. So let’s have some practical suggestions as to how we can fulfill the aims and wishes of the most idealistic of those who comment here, within the limits of our nation’s resources.

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9/07/2012archiearchive Thank you for your kind comment. I enjoyed reading your piece. At least you had a shot at posing a solution.

grannie

9/07/2012I wrote my bid and lost it as the capichars are hard to reas i am hearing impaired als Ad astra the speaking is not clear Try again can udo a piece on whsmay happen if abbott goes turning back boats No one in the gov seems to wa t to go tbere, if it got out of hand and if u get my meaning would it bee seen as agression, by others.i cannot beleive this is our cou try Surlley big busi has have had enough of abbott re trade in indonesia and asia Have read there is aust. Minning interests in these areas Typing on tablet The rudd thing annoys the ,,,,,,,,out of me have lost respect for him newspoll weekend to Typing on tablet sorry about typos .

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9/07/2012Hi Lyn Thanks for the interesting Twitterverse. I see Tony Abbott’s evasion of questions about his pre-knowledge of the Slipper affair have caught up with him.

Gravel

9/07/2012Ad Astra Another very interesting and challenging post. I agree totally with your second last paragraph. I thought when it was proposed at the time that it was something that is/was worthwhile trying, most especially so now with these recent drownings. It is the drownings I would like to see being dealt with. At 12.33pm you then asked about the numbers of Asylum Seekers that would be acceptable. To me, the 4000 for 800 deal sounds good with the possibility of that being extended. I also recall something about Thailand being interested in the same Malaysian deal. Again, with my total disappointment in the Greens knocking back the Oakshott Bill, I get really frustrated in recalling their outrage at Rudd's "Big Australia" statement. They screamed what about the environment, ecology, food, land........but now they want almost 'open borders'. I agree with our Prime Minister, take the politics out of it, work together so that there are wtte 'no winners, no losers, only a reasonable solution'.

grannie

9/07/2012Ad astra re caught up with him , i use to blogg on p b and the institance that every dash pol has pride of place and talking nothing but rudd and trolls everywhere , given up. So i have not caught up with abbott being caught up with re slipper May bei can find the tweet having wondered around all the good bloggs have found some amazing stuff re abbott this morning o for it to be out there for the community.

Lyn

9/07/2012Hi Ad At last I am here to say thankyou for your splendid article on the contentious issue of Asylum Seekers and their leaky boats. You have worked hard and long to produce so many words comparing and abandoning various commentators. It really is a very controversial subject isn't it with many different points of view. I don't want to present my point of view because my words would involve Mr Abbott and I might get banned from TPS. Some Asylum Seeker information: UN push on refugee effort, Michael Gordon, SMH Opposition Leader Tony Abbott announced this week that he would ask the UNHCR to supervise its planned centre on Nauru, but Ms Feller said she could not commit the agency to be involved ''in the abstract''. The agency considered Nauru problematic under the Pacific Solution and now that the country had signed the refugee convention ''wouldn't automatically change our position''. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/un-push-on-refugee-effort-20120629-218as.html#ixzz2063Mj2qH Craig Emerson MP‏ Rewriting history. Previous Coalition Government needed Labor Opposition legislative support on asylum seeker issue &amp; got it. Below is a Government link please click on it now to find out if your computer is at risk:- The Today Show‏ CHANNEL 9 Here is the website to see if your computer is infected with the virus expected to hit today. http://dns-ok.gov.au #today9 This temporary solution was switched off at 2pm AEST on 9 July 2012. In most cases, if you have managed to load this webpage after this date, you are very unlikely to be affected by DNSChanger, as you would have been unable to load the webpage if you were affected. However, there are some potential circumstances in which you may be still affected by DNSChanger, as described below http://dns-ok.gov.au/

Marilyn

9/07/2012But what do our natural resources have to do with refugees? 13 million people come here every year without us whining about natural resources, they don't have to bring their own water or food so why conflate the fact that a few thousand of the world's 43 million displaced manage to come here? What does that have to do with anything? The reality is that over 80% of those displaced people subsist in the third world while the rich world spend billions a year trying to keep them out. Which part of everyone has the right to seek asylum really means that alone in the world Australia gets to set a tiny quota of who they will help? But let's look at some numbers you might be interested in. 1. refugee prisons in Australia last year - $1.2 billion or an average of $137,000 per annum per refugee with most of the profit going to SERCO to keep refugees out of our sights and minds while they torture them with small daily brutalities. 2. aid to the UNHCR to assist the 43 million displaced people - $30 million with extra to Africa during the drought. 3. armed forces in Afghanistan achieving nothing at all $1.5 billion a year, aid to 33 million Afghans $120 million or $3.64 per person per annum which will increase to about $7 per person per annum. On 31 May there were 1993 Afghans in refugee prisons, including 50 kids, at the cost of $137,000 per annum each or $270 million per annum. How are we liking these number so far? Now to have the Afghans living in the community it is $300 per week each. Or $31 million. What if we did that and gave the $240 million in savings to the Afghan men, women and children who are dying of starvation on the $7 per person in aid. Even the $4 billion per annum pledged in Tokyo is just old money re-announced and amounts to $133 per person per annum. All this deranged expense is just because we refuse to allow Afghans to get visas to come to Australia because of the threat that they will seek our protection from horrors like the excecution of that woman last week that Bob Carr bemoans - that woman under ALP would have been flogged off to Malaysia, jailed and tortured at our expense of $340,000 per annum in Malaysia and then deported at our expense back to Afghanistan to be shot again. Under the international smuggling laws we signed onto seeking asylum is strictly exempt because the transport providers are not doing anything illegal in any country and they are not forcing refugees to use the transport, it is the other way around and always has been. How on earth Australian politicians came up with the delusion that refugees have to be recruited by transport operators to leave war zones is beyond me but they have done it and sold it as a fact. It costs $137,000 per annum to keep the Indonesian fishing crews in prison and $250,000 for the trials - that should stop now the Supreme court of Victoria and the Indonesian governments have said the goverment have to prove they know they are coming to Australia. Last year we wasted over $200 million jailing destitute Indonesian fisher kids and men while their families starved. And in the case of Behrooz I was at his final court case for his escape and it was thrown out and he was awarded $1000 in costs.

LadyInRed

9/07/2012There really is no nice way to tell people they are not welcome. And no matter which solution we adopt, whether it be onshore, offshore, or a much more liberal policy that increases our intake to 20,000, there are always going to be people who want to try their luck. I think we are most likely always going to have to have some sort of cutoff point. Being an island that is so isolated has meant that we can control our boarders better than other counties. I believe that once again we are the envy of other countries that do not have isolation on their side. Also, we are a secular country so we do not feel any religious presure to take people. No doubt all asylum seekers have very valid reasons for wanting to come here, and my heart goes out to them. Ultimately though the people that live here have a right to be heard. We may not like what we hear from either sides, be it the Libs, Labor or the Greens and Independents. So I think the idea the PM had to bring people together to see if a consensus can be reached is the best way forward. TA is being his pathetic usual. Marilyn you are very idealistic and passionate about your beliefs, but we live in an imperfect world and democracy is not perfect, but it's all we have and its precious. You make a very good case, I agree with you on the fisherman. Marilyn what would be a good cutoff number in your opinion for Australia to take? And what should we do once we have reached that number? Or is even the idea of puting a number on it being mean spirited. Sometimes idealism has to be tempered. But I believe that we need idealistic people in this world - so hats off to you. Of course the only real way to fix the refugee problem is for the countries that people want to flee from to have stable progressive governments ( and that is not going to happen) anything else is just a bandaid. We can and should do our best.

Ad astra

9/07/2012Hi Lyn Thank you for your kind comment. The asylum seeker issue is contentious and evokes emotional responses. It is difficult to engage in rational discussion when emotions are running so high. The link to the [i]SMH[/i] article was helpful; it contains important information. I noted particularly these paragraphs: [i]''This is not really an Australian problem alone and it's not going to be resolved through an Australia solution alone,'' Ms Feller told The Saturday Age. ''This is really not a domestic political issue, which it seems to be being debated as, it's actually a regional and in fact a global one.'' “Ms Feller said countries in the region were likely to meet this year to consider how to deal with ''irregular maritime movements'' by refugees and urged Australia to increase its efforts in this area. “Asked about the government's proposed Malaysia people-swap, whereby up to 800 asylum seekers who arrive by boat would be sent to Malaysia in return for Australia taking 4000 refugees from that country, Ms Feller said: ''We said we could work with it and we stand by that - subject to certain things happening, and they haven't yet happened.'' “One of the things still to be finalised was how Australia would assess the needs of children and vulnerable people before any decision on whether to send them to Malaysia.”[/i] Ms Feller does not show much enthusiasm for Tony Abbott’s Nauru option: [i]”Opposition Leader Tony Abbott announced this week that he would ask the UNHCR to supervise its planned centre on Nauru, but Ms Feller said she could not commit the agency to be involved ''in the abstract''. The agency considered Nauru problematic under the Pacific Solution and now that the country had signed the refugee convention ''wouldn't automatically change our position''.[/i] http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/un-push-on-refugee-effort-20120629-218as.html#ixzz2063Mj2qH

Ad astra

9/07/2012Gravel Thank you for your kind words. You are the first one to specify the number of asylum seekers that would be acceptable. Clearly, that number has been planned for; some who have commented here have given the impression that much larger numbers might have to be catered for. grannie Typing on the iPad is a challenge. You suggest I might write something on Abbott’s plan to turn back the boats. I’ll wait to see how this idea progresses. From what has been said, here and in Indonesia, it appears the idea may already be a dead duck.

Ad astra

9/07/2012LadyinRed Thank you for your thoughtful comment. You throw out a challenge to Marilyn, which I echo: [i]”Marilyn what would be a good cutoff number in your opinion for Australia to take? And what should we do once we have reached that number? Or is even the idea of putting a number on it being mean spirited. Sometimes idealism has to be tempered. But I believe that we need idealistic people in this world - so hats off to you. “[/i]

LadyInRed

9/07/2012And thank you Ad astra. This is not an easy subject and it's nice to see you handle it sensitively. I hope that the debate can continue without the need for unpleasantness.

Ad astra

9/07/2012Marilyn I’m sure that there would be no need to reassess our capacity to take refugees if the numbers were, to use your words, restricted to [i]“a few thousand of the world's 43 million displaced that manage to come here.”[/i] 13,500 a year are already catered for. The resources needed to cope with the many millions of tourists that we welcome each year are also already catered for. They come with money to pay for what they want; we do not have to permanently house, employ, educate, and provide health care for them. To compare tourists with those seeking permanent refuge is a fictitious comparison. A consideration of resources would be needed though if the new refugees arriving were ten or twenty or thirty times the number planned for. I certainly got the impression from comments on this piece that much larger numbers ought to be admitted, but no one has said how many. So may I ask you to respond to LadyinRed’s question: [i]”Marilyn what would be a good cutoff number in your opinion for Australia to take? And what should we do once we have reached that number?”[/i] You have provided us with much useful information on asylum seeker issues. Thank you.

Marilyn

9/07/2012Why do you arrogantly propose or assume there is anything like a cut off number? Look around the world and ask how many nations pretend they can choose? We can have a cut off number for refugees under the hoax and expensive volunatary scheme and we do - it is 6,000 people referred by the UNHCR through 36 of our embassies. What we can not do is have a cut off number for asylum seekers because no-one can ever control the number of people who seek asylum and it is illegal to try. When it says everyone has the right to seek asylum it means precisely that. Should all nations have a cut off and just let the rest die? Honestly, stop this arrogant ignorance and read the facts. Again, what do our resources have to do with a few thousand refugees arriving here? We don't whinge about the 76% of all asylum seekers who fly here and use resources even though most are frauds. We don't whinge about spending $60,000 per person to import them as migrants disguised as refugees when they have no legal treaty cover to even apply here. So why do we whinge about the few thousand who come by sea. I bet though Pakistan would like to set limits on the millions of refugees there. We cannot limit and we cannot arbitrarily decide to set some weird number that amounts to a mere 6% of entire migration and then whinge endlessly about the money we waste with illegal prisons.

Marilyn

9/07/2012As for the Bali process, what does that have to do with anything and how come those who support it don't even know what it meant? http://www.eurekastreet.com.au/article.aspx?aeid=32044 Independent Rob Oakeshott has introduced to the House of Representatives his own Migration Legislation Amendment (The Bali Process) Bill 2012. If passed, this bill would amend the Migration Act removing the peg on which the High Court was able to hang the Malaysia solution out to dry. Under the unamended law, the Minister for Immigration is required to declare in writing that any country to be used for offshore processing provides access to effective procedures for asylum claims, provides protection for asylum seekers while their claims are processed, and meets relevant human rights standards in providing that protection. In August last year, the High Court of Australia ruled that the Minister could not make a valid declaration in relation to Malaysia as it was not a signatory to the Refugees Convention, and the Arrangement between the two governments was not legally binding. Oakeshott is proposing that a new peg replace the old one, and that the new one be designed such that Malaysia could pass muster without High Court interference. His bill would permit the Minister to designate Malaysia as an offshore assessment country because it is a party to the Bali Process which at its last meeting a year ago included 32 countries working on a Regional Cooperation Framework. If Oakeshott intended meaningful public decision making by the Executive government and appropriate parliamentary scrutiny, he has failed. Participation in the Bali process could not be reckoned a sufficient precondition for a country to pass muster with human rights protection and appropriate asylum procedures. For example, Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran are all participants in the Bali process. The only other precondition in the Oakeshott bill is that “the Minister thinks it is in the national interest” to designate a country as an offshore assessment country. Anxious to avoid any further High Court scrutiny, his drafters have stipulated that the international obligations and domestic laws of a country are irrelevant to the process of designation. In considering whether designation of another country would be in Australia’s national interest, the Minister is required to have regard to the assurances offered by that country’s government about the assessment of asylum claims and the non-refoulement of asylum seekers whose claims have not yet been decided. These assurances need not be legally binding. The Minister is required to place a statement of reasons before Parliament within 2 sitting days of making a designation. He is also required within 14 days to make a request of UNHCR and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) seeking a formal statement of their views about the arrangements proposed in the designated country. It would make more sense if the minister were required to make the requests and receive the statements before making his decision to designate a country, and before tabling the decision in Parliament. That way the UNHCR and IOM positions could help to inform both the Minster’s decision and Parliament’s assessment of the decision. The bill provides that “the sole purpose of laying the documents before the Parliament is to inform the Parliament of the matters referred to in the documents and nothing in the documents affects the validity of the designation”. Parliament has no power to disallow the designation and a failure to table the documents would not affect the validity of the designation. So the Oakeshott peg is designed to ensure that neither Parliament nor the High Court could hang a designated country out to dry, ever again. The bill is simply a convoluted means for allowing the Executive government to declare an offshore processing country without any meaningful scrutiny by Parliament or the High Court. It does nothing to advance the cause of public scrutiny of government decisions to provide offshore processing of asylum claims. A completely toothless tiger, the bill still provides the opportunity for Parliament to agitate again the debate about Nauru, Malaysia and onshore processing. And these are the facts on the Bali countries involved. Yeah, those Bali countries - shows how ignorant and lazy our media are. The Bali countries are - Afghanistan - currently 5 million Afghan refugees Myanmar- tens of thousands leaving Australia - currently signatory to the convention with just a few thousand refugees. Nauru- the only refugees ever there were trafficked by us. Bangladesh- currently hosting 229,000 and sending thousands of Rohingays out to sea Nepal Bhutan New Zealand Brunei Darussalam Pakistan- people of concern 4 million Cambodia - 15,000 fled last year Palau China, including Hong Kong SAR* and Macau SAR* - 301,000 refugees, 290,000 left to seek asylum. Papua New Guinea- still hosting 10,000 West Papuans Democratic People’s Republic of Korea Philippines 240,000 people of concern Fiji Republic of Korea France (New Caledonia) Samoa India- Hosting 189,000 refugees Singapore Indonesia - 4,200 in country, 16,000 sought asylum Solomon Islands Iran- hosting 887,000, 89,000 sought asylum Sri Lanka- 487,000 people of concern, last year 140,000 sought asylum Iraq - 1.7 million internal, 3 million sought asylum Syria - 988,000 refugees, currently thousands being slaughtered and fleeing. Japan Thailand- 608,000 refugees Jordan - 455,000 refugees Timor-Leste Kiribati Tonga Laos - 8,000 claimed asylum last year PDR Turkey - 146,000 refugees Malaysia - 217,000 refugees Vanuatu Maldives Viet Nam - 339,000 refugees. Only Australia and New Zealand have actual protection obligations under the convention. So these are the countries Oakeshott thought were great. And the lazy ignorant media still think that is rational to pass Now Lady in Red and AA, if we think seriously that we can lawfully dump refugees in all these countries are the countries allowed to reciprocate? http://inside.org.au/what-has-the-bali-process-got-to-do-with-it/ And this from the professor who actually bothered to do the research into the hoax Bali conference which is only about bullying the nations to make sure their citizens cannot escape persecution which is precisely what we did to the Jews. People who want to write or comment should understand what they are on about first.

Jason

9/07/2012Marilyn, The only fact I'm aware of is that both parties have offshore detention as policy for the foreseeable future! So unless you are able to form government in your own right at the next election,that will be the only fact you will have to get your head around.

Lyn

9/07/2012Hi Ad Twitterati ASRC‏ Think Gillard & Abbott are doing the top 5 things possible to save the lives of #asylum seekers? Read this: http://tinyurl.com/7cyy9fk #auspol Carry_On‏ Abbott’s policy 'doomed to fail'..much like his political career http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/immigration/abbott-policy-doomed-to-fail/story-fn9hm1gu-1226420554499 G_R_E_E_N_S___ What Happens When Indonesia Turns Back Abbott's Turned Back Boats. #auspol #thedrum #qanda LifeRewardsTheBrave Abbott 'playing with fire' on boats: Carr - Sydney Morning Herald http://news.google.com/news/url?sa=t&fd=R&usg=AFQjCNFwcWU64MvxfkZW0XvPnWY_URcmsg&url=http://news.smh.com.au/breaking-news-national/abbott-playing-with-fire-on-boats-carr-20120709-21rdu.html #auspol ASRC‏ 'We have allowed the media and politicians to reduce asylum seekers to an abstraction.' Read more: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/opinion/parliaments-action-on-asylum-seekers-is-cowardly-20120708-21p8z.html#ixzz205W4cSY7 #asylumseekers Mike Stuchbery‏ A Current Affair reporting on how much of a great idea Nauru is, with Scott Morrison grabs. Blatant LNP propaganda. Get your act together. smh.com. National News: Greens back Labor deal despite stoush http://bit.ly/OO3FMk #australia John Rolfe‏ Average NSW household electricity "discount" is just 1.9%. We think we can get 12%+ for People Power registrants. More: http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/seeing-the-light-on-power-discounts-with-one-big-switch-campaign/story-e6freuy9-1226420603537 TEN News Queensland‏ 42,000 applications in last 2 weeks for solar panels as Qlders beat tonight's deadline on scrapping 44c subsidy. Richard Cranston‏ Labor's getting seriously desperate with more dirty, vicious attacks on #Greens http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-09/combet-distances-labor-from-greens/4117706 http://www.skynews.com.au/topstories/article.aspx?id=769768&vId= #auspol Jonathan Holmes‏ Another burden: underfunded pensions RT @Colvinius: US newspapers: the great crackup continues apace. http://nyti.ms/M9cqLK via @AkikoFujita The Daily Telegraph‏ HSU reformers take to the hustings http://bit.ly/NTk0ud Greens branded extremists, similar to One Nation, by ALP factional heavyweight NSW ALP state secretary Sam Dastyari, whose branch holds its conference in Sydney this weekend, has sparked debate with a call to abandon automatic preferences for the Greens and arguing the minor party comprises "extremists http://www.skynews.com.au/video/?vId=3375411&cId=Sport&play=true Equitist‏ MUST READ Liberal Party's "speaker's notes" read like a Soviet propaganda tract. http://media.crikey.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/0628x77-Coalition-Speakers-Notes-1-July-2012.pdf #AUSpol Marquis‏ The opportunity cost of not acting on climate change. Take note Tony Abbott http://m.smh.com.au/business/markets/us-heatwave-to-send-australian-food-prices-higher-20120709-21r3w.html Agnes Mack‏ Notice that @TonyAbbottMHR hasn't posted link to his #insiders interview. Not on his website either. I'm here to help: http://bit.ly/NaJaWK :):)

Gravel

9/07/2012Ad Astra Thanks for your response. The numbers I spoke about are over and above what are already in Labor's policy and if other country's in the region get involved I would expect the number to move upwards, if the legislation gets the go-ahead.

2353

9/07/2012I give up, I have refrained from commenting earlier but the constant repetition is getting to me. Asking for someone to suggest a number of people this country should accept is pointless unless: 1. They can actually do something about it - i.e. they are the Government 2. They are in possession of details of the people that actually want to come to Australia 3. They can determine accurately how the numbers that want to come here would affect services etc. 4. They have an intimate knowledge of the interrelation and national systems, processes and legislation in respect to refugees. Clearly, no one in this conversation so far can do any of these things. So, how about we all calm down a bit - respect that others have differing opinions and there obviously has to be a better way. There are arguments for both onshore and offshore processing of people but can I remind you that if we did have a land border with anyone, there would be considerably more refugees seeking our assistance. The conversation is important and thank you AA for allowing us to have it. Hopefully someone somewhere will read this that actually can introduce a more humane refugee policy, take some thoughts away from this and other sources and act on them.

Marilyn

9/07/2012But we have offshore and onshore now. REfugees already assessed can only apply if the UNHCR proposes them and this is designed to keep out almost everyone. Then we have protection which can only be applied for here. Why is that so difficult for people to understand?

2353

9/07/2012Lyn, your first twitlink (how's that for a new word?) is extremely powerful. Thanks. (I refreshed and saw your links above my post.) We are fiddling while "Rome" burns.

paul walter

9/07/2012Actually made the mistake of watching ACA this evening, something I normally scrupulously avoid doing. As it happens, after initial hysterics from Grimshaw concerning "hoon drivers"( (not again!!) the thing transferred its attention to asylum seekers, identifying a veritable saturation of Australia as asylum seeker folk are farmed out into the community, boostering Abbott and snarking at the government, and pushing for a Nauru solution- straight electioneering! As the issue was framed, for a mass audience, it really strikes me as difficult to see how community mentality will change much, if this is the best info they can get. Joseph Goebbells would have blushed with shame at ACA's callous handling of the subject.

Patriciawa

9/07/2012Starting my notes on the asylum seeker pome I realized it was ten days out of date. So have re-written. As per instructions TT, here's the first edition! [b]"I [u]Will[/u] Turn Back The Boats!"[/b] Tony Abbott knows he has authority To give commands, to turn the tide of history. He can ignore advice, needn’t wait for votes. Of course he can turn back those boats! He has a sacred pledge or covenant With God. He knows that government Is rightly his….or soon will be. It must. His blood oath on that just needs our trust. Knowing himself to be pure of soul, And with a clear mandate from Newspoll, He demands again an immediate election. Gillard must obey, with appropriate genuflection. Yes! Once Liberals are in ascendance, Labor, the Greens and Independents Must finally obey his orders As he secures Australian borders. Then his law enacted will be enough To show the world how stern the stuff Of Aussie sailors. They will obey! Who cares what daft old admirals say? As for rulers in any neighbouring land, They were shown exactly where they stand By John Howard few short years ago. Ask Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono! In power he’ll accept no opposition, Least of all from within the Coalition. "High Court?" "International Law of the Sea?" He laughs. “There’s only one law around here! “That’s me!”

Jason

9/07/2012 Expert Panel on Asylum Seekers Home Panel Members Terms of Reference How to make submissions http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/

Patriciawa

9/07/2012 Hi, TT! As usual it's only when published that first time all the little mistakes jump out. e.g. apostrophes in last verse. Do I need them anyway? I played around with just using them in the last two words, or maybe just the last line? I can see a few others which I'll sort out as I finally get around to those notes. But of course AA has already broken the back of that particular task. Suggestions for the pome as always are welcome.

Tom of Melbourne

9/07/2012[i]” but no one has said how many.[/i] That just isn’t true. I certainly did, and others have said we’re nowhere near the point of getting bothered. Ad Astra, you’re determined to support this government even when they dip into the political slime and chase the redneck vote.

Jason

9/07/2012ToM, At least the rednecks can be bothered to vote unlike you!

Marilyn

9/07/2012There is an expert panel on asylum seekers and refugees, it is called the United nations high commission for refugees and there are 148 member states.. How ridiculous and arrogant we have become in this pissant little place.

Lyn

9/07/2012Hi 2353 You posted Lyn, your first twitlink (how's that for a new word?) is extremely powerful Brilliant 2353 a new twitword I am going to use it thankyou. Yes the article you are referring to is a must read for everybody, I hope Ad Astra has time. Gillard & Abbott are doing the top 5 things possible to save the lives of #asylum seekers? Read this Asylum Seeker Resource Centre http://www.asrc.org.au/media/documents/asrc-submission-expert-panel.pdf :):):)

BSA Bob

9/07/2012I too watched ACA & am still recovering. "Straight electioneering" is correct, simply a ten minute advertisement for the coalition. Plus a bit of rabble rousing, reeling off the names of suburbs where arrivals are staying.

Psyclaw

9/07/2012 [b]Marilyn[/b] Just to check it out, I think you are saying let all ASs who come this way settle here if refugees. This is an open door policy. Now people who have not seriously entertained this possibility, to get their head around it need to know what we're talking about. Hence the questions about numbers. Apparently there are 3 million refugees in the South East Asian basin at the moment. So an open doors approach theoretically suggests that we can deal with that number ie a population increase of 14% in a couple of years. On past records of drown rates, that means we can expect about 100K to drown on the way. This number cannot be easily dismissed as you did regarding "a few hundred drownings" yesterday. We could alleviate this by providing free air transport. That's 9,000 full 747s or two flights per day for 15 years. Now personally, my view of the world is that such a plan would not faze me. However I'm sure that many people more skilled in the transportation, immigration, housing, social planning areas to name but a few would come up with some pretty logical and cogent reasons about how this couldn't possibly work. If 3 million is just too big a number,how do we reduce it? I [b]think[/b] what you're saying is [i]let anyone who chooses to get on a boat and come here do just that. And if the boats sink, help them as best we can, some will drown and we take the rest.[/i] Is that a fair summary of what you are saying? I would appreciate your calm and plain English feedback. Cheers

DMW

10/07/2012Ok Ad you asked for numbers. The planned immigration intake for 2012 - 13 is 203,750 see table here: http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/01backgd_01.htm The humanitarian intake appears to be capped at around 13,750. The breakdowns for the five years to 2010 -11 are shown here: http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/60refugee.htm. The numbers for the various other migration programmes amounts to 190,000 So for the current financial year I would reduce the numbers proportionally through other programmes so as the humanitarian intake could be doubled to take it to 27,500. I would allocate 20,000 of those 'places' to refugees as recognised by the UNHCR and/or IOM that are currently residing in other countries. The balance of 7,500 would be available for Irregular Maritime Arrivals who would be processed within Australia. I would continue with similar numbers until such time that there was a reasonable dent made in the numbers of displaced persons in places such as Malaysia, Thailand, Inonesia and Pakistan. IO would review the situation after three tears and would consider increasing the number of humanitarian places if appropriate.

paul walter

10/07/2012BTW, Patricia WA retains her enthusiasm for construction of verse and the sharing of the burgeoning fruits of her endeavours with posters here, as in the past at other sites. And this time she is very, very accurate in the messaging. Methinks the Grahame Morris types are already well and truly about trying to light fires, as the election draws closer, then running off to hide while others cop the consequence, as per usual. Mind you, the ALP does make its own life difficult for itself and easy for its enemies some times, doesn't it? Am not sure the Greens are playing it much smarter, either.

DMW

10/07/2012For data nerds The Guardian has a mash up of 2011 UNHCR Refugee Statistics http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/jun/20/refugee-statistics-unhcr-data#data Some quick Numbers Australia has 0.98 refugees per 1,000 residents that is less than 1 per 1,000. Austria 5.08 / 1000 Belgium 1.67 / 1000 Burundi 3.50 / 1000 Canada 4.87 / 1000 Germany 7.22 / 1000 Iran 14.51 / 1000 Liechtenstein 2.55 / 1000 Luxembourg 6.41 / 1000 Malta 14.73 / 1000 Mauritania 7.72 / 1000 Gees we have it bad don't we? We can't cope with numbers that are a drop in the ocean compared to countries worse off than us and don't get even close to similar countries. We could double our intake and still be embarassed by Canada. I have changed my mind on the numbers I gave in my previous comment. This financial year I will up it to a 55,000 intake.

DMW

10/07/2012paul walter @ 1:58 AM I can't recall which guru it was who told me that when I was looking for my worst enemy that I should first look for a mirror. It was sage advice then and I suspect something I should still use :P

paul walter

10/07/2012Hopefully you will follow your guru's advice.

Marilyn

10/07/2012Psyclaw, that is the law whether you like it or not. If every tourist, student or temporary worker decided to apply for asylum tomorrow we would have to assess them as refugees against the convention. No matter how much you whinge about wanting numbers you don't get to choose numbers.

Austin 3:16

10/07/2012So a refugee gets sent to Malaysia - what's to stop them getting on the next plane or boat and heading back to Australia ? Are they going to be physically detained ?

Lyn

10/07/2012 TODAY’S LINKS News Values , Mr Denmore, The Failed Estate The irony is that the more the established players trash their brands by chasing the 24/7 cycle (the original Hamster Wheel), cutting staff, outsourcing sub-editing, moving relentlessly downmarket and using partisanship as a marketing opportunity, the greater premium on news and analysis you can trust - that isn't the mouthpiece of some Capitalist Poobah and their paid lackeys. http://thefailedestate.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/news-values.html Labor and the Greens, Andrew Elder, Politically Homeless Labor and the Greens have to work together. They need to let off steam from time to time, but they must do substantial work together. The Coalition won't work with anyone for the greater good, so stuff them until they wake up to themselves. They have adults in both ranks http://andrewelder.blogspot.com.au/ The Finnigans home of the BISON’s STOP PRESS: In his Budget Reply, Tony Abbott said: "I Can Save $50B" - If so, his Blackhole is still near $70B. But he cannot tell us where the $50B saving will come from http://www.thefinnigans.blogspot.com.au/p/blackhole_10.html Time for Turnbull to walk the talk on gay marriage, Tess Lawrence, Independent Australia But it is unworthy for Turnbull to even attempt to delude us into thinking that the Liberal Party enjoys the moral high ground because its members don’t get expelled if they cross the floor. It is farcical when in the next breath he tells us that because leadership (read Tony Abbott) won’t allow a “free vote,” http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/time-for-turnbull-to-walk-the-walk-on-gay-marriage/ Tony Arrrrrrbott; Talk Like The Pirate King, Archie, Archiarchives So it seems that Tony Abbott’s instructions will either lead to good old-fashioned (it worked in the past) piracy being carried out by the Navy or to real, actual crimes being committed by our Naval personnel. Good luck, Tony, the professionalism of the Navy includes http://archiearchive.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/tony-arrrrrrbott-talk-like-the-pirate-king/ Climate concerns forgotten in carbon tax anti-climax , Mungo Macallum, ABC But the fact that the top end of town seems to be moving at least slightly in her direction should give Gillard a shred of hope. Perhaps it's time to start a scare campaign of her own: if you don't start being sensible about the carbon price, you'll end up with Tony Abbott as prime minister! And then we'll really have something to panic about. http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/4118434.html Boat People. Not New. Never New, Suddenly Unacceptable, Therese Trouserzoff , Pigs Arms So, for saving us from more of his type, we should respond in kind and send Tony back to , a post Thatcherite England – a place where he is bound to find a nation willing to embrace. his values, speak his language and provide a climate as bleak as his spirit – or apparent lack thereof http://pigsarms.com.au/2012/07/09/boat-people-not-new-never-new-suddenly-unacceptable/ I Will Turn Back The Boats!”, Patricia WA, Polliepomes He has a sacred pledge or covenant, With God. He knows that government,Is rightly his….or soon will be. It must,.His blood oath on that just needs our trust http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/i-will-turn-back-the-boats/ Abbott's Politburo Propaganda, Ian McAuley, New Matilda If this drivel is the best the Coalition can do, it is nowhere near fit to govern. That is not to give a wholesale endorsement to the present Government, which has failed to engage the public in policy processes. But if the Coalition is to be taken seriously, it has to http://newmatilda.com/2012/07/09/abbott-politburo-propaganda The day the Gillard government died, The Piping Shrike The exquisite irony, of course, was that so much did Labor fail to reconnect, it lost its majority and ended up having to take up the Greens agenda anyway, especially on the ETS. But even Gillard supporters can hardly claim she has been stumping the country talking http://www.pipingshrike.com/2012/07/the-day-the-gillard-government-died.html Why the Labor Right is off-beam on the Greens, Bernard Keane, The Power Index That of course points to Labor’s real problem: if there’s been any “cannibalising” of the progressive vote by the Greens, it’s now been replaced by a massive shift of Labor’s vote to the Coalition. The Labor Right may lament Labor voters who’ve shifted to the Greens http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/analysis/why-the-labor-right-is-off-beam-on-the-gre Collca - Welcome to the Collca Website, Peter Martin The latest Essential Report does indeed show Greens supporters out of touch with mainstream Australia on something - asylum seekers. But even here Greens supporters are not as much out of touch as might be imagined. 35 per cent believe the Labor has been too tough on asylum seekers, a surprising 30 http://www.petermartin.com.au/ ABC poster boy- Clive Palmer, ABC Has Gone To Hell The ABC chasing after garbage and bathing in it, while cheap and easy, is not fulfilling their public service. Key to the ABC’s editorial policy is to provide appropriate coverage of valid community perspectives, but when viewers are saturated with the dominant voice of Palmer and a select few, such as Peter Reith, it’s a meaningless document. http://www.abcgonetohell.net/post/26540819082/abc-poster-boy-clive-palmer Economists have no lock on economic understanding, Ross Gittins Many people don't realise the economics we hear from politicians, business people, economists and the media, morning, noon and night, is just one way of analysing how the economy works. Almost everything we're told about what causes what is inspired by the "neoclassical" model http://www.rossgittins.com/2012/07/economists-have-no-lock-on-economic.html Gillard going” at rate of once every 4 min, Uthers Say On The Contrarians, otherwise seen as Fox News Channelling down under, of July 6, 2012 the host Peter van Onselen manages to either mention or promote mention of Kevin Rudd and/or the imminent departure of Julia Gillard from the leadership of the Labour government at least eight or nine times. http://utherssay.com/ Rinehart’s Reach, Sharona Couts, The Global Mail Yet those pasty little policies do give some insight into Rinehart's encounters with our elected representatives and public servants, and how she and other powerful players can gain direct access to decision-makers, who don't have to disclose anything but the scantest details to the public http://www.theglobalmail.org/feature/rineharts-reach/295/Australian Democracy and the Right to Party, Amanda Lohrey, The MonthlyNews footage of Egyptians queuing patiently for hours to exercise their first free vote in decades is a sobering sight. Even more sobering is the whining of those Australians who currently complain about having to vote at all. Our political culture has never been more cynical; it is fraying at the edges, mired in ignorance and negativity. http://www.themonthly.com.au/comment-australian-democracy-and-right-party-amanda-lohrey-5628 Today’s Front Pages Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 10 July 2012 http://www.frontpagestoday.co.uk/index.cfm?PaperCountry=Australia

2353

10/07/2012DMW - You're right (again). Australia doesn't have a refugee problem, it has a politiical problem driven by a race to the bottom lead by Gillard and Abbott (and their respective machines). Off topic but what is it with the ALP? As soon as they start looking credible, some clown puts his head above the wall and shouts look at me. The media invaribly does. Like it or not, the LNP is either better at keeping its fights private or more disciplined - which will be a telling factor at the next election.

2353

10/07/2012And maybe this is how the LNP does it. http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/former-howard-minister-blasts-lnp-cult-20120709-21rh7.html

Ad astra

10/07/2012LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Lyn

10/07/2012Good Morning Ad and Everybody Twitterverse :- Abbott, SBY did not discuss boats policy: Faizasyah TONY Abbott's controversial plan to turn back asylum-seeker boats was not discussed with Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono during recent talks with the Indonesian president. The Opposition leader repeatedly has refused to say if the plan was mentioned to Dr Yudhoyono during their meeting in Darwin last week. Teuku Faizasyah, the president's spokesman for foreign issues, said Mr Abbott did not mention asylum-seeker boats."The president's meeting with Tony Abbott in Darwin last week was just a casual meeting," he said."That issue was untouched between the two." http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/abbott-sby-did-not-discuss-boats-policy-faizasyah/story-fn59niix-1226421950518 Simon Cullen‏@Simon_Cullen Here's Tony Abbott's letter to the PM, saying the Coalition won't participate in border protection reference group: http://www.scribd.com/doc/99641085/Committee-Letter-10-7-12 news.com.au‏@news_com_au The federal opposition will hold talks with an expert panel set up by the federal government to devise a politic... http://tinyurl.com/72dbj76 Steve Thompson‏@stevethompson49 “Indonesia will bend to boats policy, says Abbott” Our would-be PM is delusional. http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/indonesia-will-bend-to-boats-policy-says-abbott-20120709-21rrd.html jacinda woodhead‏@lesslinear It's not very Christian to come in through the back door. http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/immigration/abbott-slams-boatpeople-as-un-christian/story-fn9hm1gu-1226422034305 Pamela‏@Pamela_November FORKED TONGUE DOES NOT WANT SOLUTION Abbott reportedly turns down positions on government's border protection committe http://bit.ly/LKdPKG Newsflash: Julia Gillard didn't lie about her carbon tax plans before election There is a gulf of difference between a broken promise in the context of altered circumstance, and a deliberate decision to mislead. As such, to accuse Gillard of lying, to argue that the carbon pricing scheme is based on a deliberate, pre-meditated lie, in itself displays some towering mendacity. Who's telling the biggest porkies in Canberra? Join Paul Syvret to discuss. Date: Tuesday July 10, 2012 Time: 12:00PM AEST http://www.couriermail.com.au/news/opinion/newsflash-julia-gillard-didnt-lie-about-her-carbon-tax-plans-before-election/story-e6frerdf-1226421929786 Mulgabob‏@mulgabob The only one digging himself out of a hole is "Genius" Benson who didn't check the facts First #auspolhttp://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/death-tax-cemetery-digs-itself-out-of-hole-with-apology/story-e6freuy9-1226422058520 The Australian‏@australian Labor says poll uptick will take longer: LABOR says it is unrealistic to expect a turnaround in the latest Newsp... http://bit.ly/RRsAi0 Spencer Jolly‏@SpencerJolly Speaker Fiona Simpson outlines to mps ban on tv cameras in debating chamber and she's ordered security review of whole parliament AndoJC‏@AndoJC Tony Abbott's direct action to cost double that of Labor's carbon attack | The Australian http://bit.ly/Mh8WcN #auspol Treasury analysis released under Freedom of Information laws yesterday shows the Coalition will have to impose an effective carbon price of $62 a tonne of carbon abated compared with $29 under the government's scheme Sid Maher The Australian http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/carbon-tax/abbotts-direct-action-to-cost-double-that-of-labors-carbon-attack/story-fn99tjf2-1226128448888?sv=4c6af160bb1f98952ffb7de0f20f8f55 DNN‏@d_notices Turnbull won't cross floor for gay marriage http://www.nationaltimes.com.au/opinion/political-news/turnbull-wont-cross-floor-on-samesex-marriage-20120710-21sc7.html @NationalTimesAU vexnews‏@vexnews NSW govt won't join a legal challenge to the mining tax, believes it has little chance http://bit.ly/PI1nB8 #nswpol #auspol #ausbiz #mrrt :):):):)

Psyclaw

10/07/2012 Marilyn @5.47am I am very disappointed by your response, and tone. I think that you have something reasonable and sensible in your argument, and I am trying to understand it and its implications. So I wrote to you about [u][i]my understandi[/u]ng [/i]of your argument to see if I was getting your message OK and you reply with aggression and criticism. [quote]Psyclaw, that is the law whether you like it or not ............. No matter how much you whinge about wanting numbers you don't get to choose numbers.[/quote] [u][i]As a result I'll pretend that your 6.47am comment never happened, and invite you [/u]to [/i] (1) read my 11.25pm comment again (2) note that it was not a whinge (3) note that I was not enquiring or complaining about what the law is (4) address the essence of my query as reposted below [quote]I think what you're saying is let anyone who chooses to get on a boat and come here do just that. And if the boats sink, help them as best we can, some will drown and we take the rest. Is that a fair summary of what you are saying? I would appreciate your calm and plain English feedback.[/quote] Please note the 3rd and 5th last words of the last sentence. Cheers

Patriciawa

10/07/2012Psyclaw, sadly I think you may find Marilyn as impervious to reason as FB was to your logic elsewhere, refusing to accept even friendly and constructrive criticism. Lyn thanks for the link! My email played up in the night so I'm not sure if you got to see I had sort of finished those NOTES. I hope Ad Astra gets to read those, and TT to see the cleaned up and illustrated version of it all at http://polliepomes.wordpress.com/2012/07/09/i-will-turn-back-the-boats/ Back in the land of the living again! After a good night's sleep I'm off for a latte at South Beach Shed with Tacker and friends and to show off my bedroom slippers!

LadyInRed

10/07/2012Marilyn there is really no need to get offensive, when you do it makes me want to switch off. I hear your frustration at our supposed ignorance. Calling this a pissant country doesn't help your cause, calling us arrogant and ignorant doesn't help get your points accross. However, I am giving you the benefit of the doubt - this time. I now understand the point you are making. If someones turns up at our door and says 'I am seeking asylum', it is our duty to take them if their claim is validated - end of story. A very hummane and noble act and no doubt the correct way to treat people. I for one would like to think that if I became a refugee I would find refuge in a country like Australia. The truth is this isn't going to happen, and you can scream and yell and be as aggressive, passionate, as you like it isn't going to happen. And from what I have read of your posts even the very word compromise on your position causes you be more infuriated and resort to name calling (I understand but it's not helpful). Currently the people holding the same view as yourself are approximately 12% of the voting population and so if no solution can be found and everyone sticks to their preferred position then the government of the day will just have to take charge, as unpleasant as that is. That's democracy. And I guess we have reached an impasse.

Ad astra

10/07/2012Patriciawa I was delighted to read of your steady recovery. I hope you will soon be back to full strength. You have lost none of your poetic skills. Your pome is delightful, the cartoon is apt, and your words are wise. Thank you for your kind words about [i]TPS[/i] and your link to the current piece.

Michael

10/07/2012Why does anyone in the media bother talking to Alexander Downer? Here: http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-10/downer-says-afghan-asylum-seekers-have-duty-to-stay/4120718 he's quoted from Lateline last night that he has little time for asylum seekers from Afghanistan because they should be staying there to help build the nation. For a start, a high proportion of refugees from Afghanistan are ethnically Hazara people, who are actively thwarted, both historically and now, from participating at meaningful levels of Afghani society because of their belittled ethnicity and religious beliefs. They leave a country that won't allow them to get ahead, to get ahead, Alexander, no matter how many Australian dollars or other first world currencies are being thrown at Afghanistan. While he's criticising political refugees for coming here because they aren't assisting in their home country's development, why not take aim at the close to a million expatriates from Australia* working in the financial capitals of Europe and the US, apparently quite happy to advance the situations of foreign employers but denying this country their skills and contributive talents? Expatriates pursue exactly the same livelihood aspirations of asylum seekers, but they're "us", aren't they? On an historical note, as Foreign Minister and thus in the frontline of handling this country's international obligations, Downer is quoted in the above story, referring to turning back refugees' boats: "The Navy took them to the 12-mile zone of Indonesia, near an Indonesian port, left them with enough fuel and food to get to that port. "On some occasions I rang the Indonesian foreign minister to tell him what we had done and he presumably put in place various measures to deal with those people when they arrived there." On "some" occasions, "presumably"??? Downer was always a disgrace as Minister for Foreign Affairs, a fool who applied his wife-beating 'joke', "the things that batter", to every aspect of his worldview. Nothing has changed. The man embarrasses himself every instant he opens his mouth. And yet the ABC return again and again, as if he were some font of wisdom. More bowl than font. And floating in it... * http://www.exfin.com/ a site where expatriates are tutored in making the most out of 'over there' and still put claims in 'back here'.

Ad astra

10/07/2012Hi Lyn Your Twitterverse highlights the evasiveness of Tony Abbott and his lack of courage. He makes loud noises about turning back the boats, but hasn’t the guts to raise it with SBY. The stark truth that his DAP will cost twice the Government’s carbon price/ETS plan is now exposed, but how much air play will that get in the MSM?

Jason

10/07/2012The Australian Labor Party is conducting its first ever survey of members and supporters and we want to hear from you. http://laborsurvey2012.surveyanalytics.com/

Tom of Melbourne

10/07/2012[i]” I think you may find Marilyn as impervious to reason[/i] Marilyn appears to be one of the few here who actually uses reason to reach a conclusion. Most others simply look for the ALP press release and speaking note that supports their latest policy u-turn/volte-face/back flip. We have the government dredging the policy and political slime chasing the redneck vote, a succession of diametrically opposed government policies, the government backers unthinkingly falling into line with every change, [b]but apparently it’s people like Marilyn who don’t see reason[/b] Marilyn at least supports a humane policy, whereas others here seek to send desperate people, who seek our protection, off shore, and though some convoluted logic, they think there is a difference between their version of off shore, and the Liberals version of off shore. It’s truly bizarre.

LadyInRed

10/07/2012I am not a redneck Tom nor am I inhumane, but this issue has become political and so a political solution is the only thing we have to debate about. I can say I agree with Marilyn, and I do think we should take people who are desperate and who seek our protection. Afterall isn't that what I would want for myself? And that is precisely the position the Greens have taken to the talks. Abbott's reply to Julia has said you have the numbers if the Independents, Greens and Labor can come to a compromise, and I guess he is correct. They don't need the Libs its true. Can a compromise be achieved - I truly hope so - but if you go into these talks with an absolute position and your only premise is to push for your solution and that appears to be the position the Greens have so far adopted then I see no solution coming out of it. And, judging by Marilyn (assuming she is a Greens voter or at least is typical of a Greens voter) then if the Greens changed their position they would lose a lot of face.

Jason

10/07/2012ToM, Thanks for your lecture! I was unaware that it was a crime to disagree with whatever Marilyn had to say (no matter how loud she yells) on this or any other issue. If I believe what the government was trying to do was the right thing aren't I entitled to believe it? Is not my democratic right to be a dumb ill informed "red neck"? is it also my democratic right not to give a stuff about the plight of refugee's or how they're treated here or elsewhere despite with the UN says? Just as it's your right to hold your views I'm not going to lecture you try to change your mind or anything like that, for the simple reason I don't have the answers! I don't know how to unite the community to be as one on this or any solution because you have the rednecks on one side and Marilyn on the other and no compromise could be found. I'd be more worried if I were you about the Prospect of a coalition government with control of both houses than I would about what anyone thinks here.

2353

10/07/2012Jason, Survey completed. Don't know if they will like some of it, oh well . . .

Jason

10/07/20122353, It did say tell us what you think! not sure if they will like some of my answers either.

LadyInRed

10/07/2012I did the survey Jason - thanks for the link.

DMW

10/07/2012ToM, ToM the Piper's son Stole the pig and away he run. There are very few that can hold there heads high in this debate. Among the few are the independents in both houses who moved positions a bit here and there in attempt to find a solution through compromise. The intransigence of the majority of LNP and Greens was a disgrace. I do not agree with the governments policy and 'solutions' but accept they are the government and should be able to implement their programme. Having followed the discussions here for about 18 months and put in my two cents worth with great vigour at times I have noticed some subtle shifts and not all of it toward an absolute toeing of and echoing of the government line. I am finding your constant taunts and name calling to no better than the tactics used by the Leader of the Opposition and they are sometimes very dull colourless and boring. I enjoy some of your contributions but playing petty school yard name calling doesn't cut it. You have gotten me to the point where I feel obliged to tell you to FERK ORF but I am still inclined not to just yet.

Marilyn

10/07/2012Why should the government be allowed to break the law just to suit the rednecks in western Sydney? Would those who think that is OK like them to break the law and punish them without cause? The Greens are not intransigent, the media simply refuse to publish the major amendment they made - an immediate resettlement for those in Indonesia that we have had jailed for over a decade rotting their lives away, let them fly here instead of denying them visas, increased aid to the UNHCR in the region and all the things we have been arguing for over a decade. To believe that upholding the law is wrong truly shows what a cretin country we have become.

Tom of Melbourne

10/07/2012DMW, you’re welcome to address me as you are inclined, I’m really not too bothered one way or the other. One of the issues I have with this site is the falsity of its claim – [b]“Putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword”[/b] It does no such thing, nor does it even attempt to pay lip service to its statement of intent. It’s an entirely partisan site. I’ve not seen a lead from Ad Astra that puts government actions or policy under genuine scrutiny, much less the sword. This is the latest example, a shameless and partisan endorsement of the latest policy brain wave of the government. ----------------------- There is plenty of lecturing/pontificating going on here Jason. Mine is simply an alternative form of it.

Ad astra

10/07/2012Folks I’m trying to catch up on the issue of asylum seeker numbers, knowing though that this will irritate Marilyn. We seem at times to be talking at cross-purposes. If I’m interpreting Marilyn’s approach correctly, she would accept all asylum seekers whether they come by fishing boats or other ways, as we are legally required to do. That is happening already. They are processed onshore and fit within the annual cap that is said to be around 13,500. (Can anyone provide a link to confirm this number?) It has been suggested that this cap be lifted to 20,000 or even 25,000. Some of you have suggested numbers we might take into this country. DMW suggests 55,000; LadyinRed, 20,000. ToM, you are right, you did mention a number – 100,000; I missed it. Psyclaw goes to the other end of the spectrum and asks what would be the effect of admitting the estimated numbers of refugees currently in neighbouring countries, namely 3 million. He estimates that if we provided air transport, instead of them coming on fishing boats, that would take 9,000 full 747s, or two flights per day for 15 years. Although there is reticence among some to contemplate the number of asylum seekers we might be able to accommodate, without numbers any debate we might have wallows in uncertainty. If it was a question of whether we could accommodate those arriving on fishing boats, because of the relatively small numbers, the answer is ‘yes’. What concerns us about boat arrivals is the numbers that die on the way, now around 5%, one in twenty. Much of the debate is about this. So let’s look at the numbers as supplied by Government’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship at http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/60refugee.htm The whole site is a most informative reference. Here are some extracts. “[i]The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that there were 43.7 million forcibly displaced people worldwide at the end of 2010, the highest number in 15 years. Of these, 27.5 million were internally displaced persons; 15.4 million were refugees and 837 500 asylum seekers.”[/i] Further on we read: “[i]In 2010–11 a total of 13 799 visas were granted [in Australia] under the Humanitarian Program, of which 8971 visas were granted under the offshore component and 4828 visas were granted under the onshore component.”[/i] That gives a perspective on the dimensions of the program. Looking to solutions, an article in [i]The Age[/i] talks of a proposal by Julian Burnside: ”[i]… the only way to stop the boats is by processing asylum seekers in Indonesia. "I suspect that their real concern is to stop people getting here full stop," he said. "They say the problem is that people die at sea trying to get to safety in Australia. "If that's really the problem then I would've thought the obvious solution to it is to stop getting people on boats and the only way to do that ... is for Australia to set up a fair dinkum, fair processing system in Indonesia with the co-operation of the Indonesian government." Mr Burnside has proposed an agreement with Indonesia that would involve processing boat people's claims for asylum in Indonesia and then giving them a ticket, telling them they will be safely resettled in Australia in a number of months or years and warning them not to get on a dangerous boat in the meantime. "If you did that you'd stop people getting on boats and risking their lives," he said, adding that we would have to increase our annual refugee intake as well.”[/i] http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/asylum-seeker-impasse-pathetic-qcs-plan-to-stop-the-boats-20120629-216da.html#ixzz20BtWkzZw According to the UNHCR, at the beginning of 2012 there were 3233 refugees in Indonesia. http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e488116.html Julian Burnside’s scheme could encompass all of those without putting a strain on Australia’s resources. But the problem is much wider. In our immediate region, there are estimated to be around 100,000 asylum seekers is Malaysia and about the same number in Thailand. What is our obligation to them? How may could we accommodate, and over what period of time? In summary, with the humanitarian attitudes expressed strongly here on [i]TPS[/i], I expect we would want to make serious inroads into the resettling of more refugees in our country. From what we understand of the numbers seeking asylum, and our current program to accommodate them, we ought to be able to implement Julian Burnside’s Indonesia proposal. The number arriving by boat is relatively small, but the deaths along the way could be avoided by processing asylum seekers in Indonesia so that they had no need to get on boats. The numbers seeking asylum though extends well beyond Indonesia, although this is where most finally embark on the boat journey to Australia. They come from Malaysia, Thailand and countries beyond, from as far afield as Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and so on. There seems to be an endless flow into Indonesia for passage to Australia. Even if we could cope with the refugees now in Indonesia, as we drain them away to Australia via the Burnside proposal, there will be more arriving in Indonesia to take their place? The ‘queue’ seems almost endless. So, as much as some would like to dismiss the issue of numbers as irrelevant, and even advocate an ‘open-borders’ approach, to do so without considering the logistics and the resources we would need to support that approach, would be folly. I hope that the Houston Committee http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/ will consider all these complex issues as well as finding a way to stop people risking their lives on boats and expeditiously accommodating a larger number of refugees. Its terms of reference are here: http://expertpanelonasylumseekers.dpmc.gov.au/terms Note the first one: “[i]how best to prevent asylum seekers risking their lives by travelling to Australia by boat.”[/i]

LadyInRed

10/07/2012Marilyn come on cretin country? How old are you? Ad astra thank you for your summary. Let's hope that a compromise can be reached and I do believe if everyone comes together in good faith then that should be achievable. And, if Abbott has refused to join in then he really ought to be booed out of the arena if he then comes out and criticises it and uses it against the government.

2353

10/07/2012Lets assume for a minute that those that choose the irregular route to Australia solely do so because the camps are considered to be too crowded and "they will be at the back of the queue" that lasts sometimes over 10 years. Lets also assume that all 300,000 refugees in South East Asia actually will choose to stay in the camps if they don't get entry to Australia. A Qantas A380 (Mk2) has 484 seats (source Seatguru.com) and Qantas would appear to use them intensely, meaning that one in all likelihood couldn't be spared to run shuttle trips to SE Asia. Also not every airport can handle a A380 - so other smaller planes would more than likely be used. It would take over 600 trips using an A380 to clear all the camps. So while 300,000 sounds a lot - it would take almost a year (assuming two trips a day) to clear everyone. Australia has a population of 23 million or so so the population increase would be under 2% - even if they all landed here tomorrow. Just think of the economic stimulus to retail, real estate and a lot of other sectors that are currently claiming to be struggling! I would imagine that for a lot of people in a refugee camp - if the ultimate destination was not Australia it wouldn't be a deal breaker. If you cut out the waiting time (in what really does look like sub-human conditions), a lot more people would be inclined to take the safer option - front up at a resettlement camp and be prepared to wait a considerably smaller timeframe. That Australia only takes hundreds per year from the camps is pathetic (a word I have been using a lot lately in regard to the current Government). While I'm not advocating taking 300,000 people per year from refugee camps - a realistic total (possibly a regional deal to take the number that enter the camps plus a significant figure over and above to reduce the "perceived need" to get on the leaky boat) would be a valid option. Then once the time spent in camps decreased, the numbers reduce. If there is no demand, those that send the boats lose their business (no real loss there), people in the camps can see the light at the end of the tunnel, and Australia returns to being a country that shows humanity and diversity. All it needs is political leadership - not a race to the sewer. Yes there is a considerable amount of The Greens policy in this post, maybe instead of having brain farts in media interviews, the ALP should look at their traditional support base and question why something like 10 to 15% of them now Vote Green.

MWS

10/07/2012Ad Astra, there is one flaw in Julian Burnside's suggested solution. Indonesia doesn't want to host a UNHCR refugee camp. And as Indonesia is a sovereign country, Australia can't make them. Indonesia's position is that having a UNHCR camp will encourage even more potential asylum seekers into Indonesia. Many of these asylum seekers will be better treated (better food, health care, housing)than Indonesians! This will cause a lot of unrest, and (rightly) Indonesia doesn't think that the benefits of such a camp (if any)outweigh the costs. Indonesia feels that the majority of asylum seekers in their country are there because these people are drawn towards Australia. They don't want to stay in Indonesia, so why should Indonesia make them? Because Australia wants them to? Indonesia thinks that Australia's solution is to stop accepting asylum seekers, then there will be no traffic through Indonesia. It's hard to argue with that logic, even though Australia can't do that according to the Convention. The Malaysia Solution was signed because Malaysia got something out of it - a reduction in their overall number of refugees, and financial assistance for those sent from Australia. Indonesia doesn't have the same numbers of refugees, so the same "carrot" won't work. Sorry to sound so negative. I wish I had an answer.

Ad astra

10/07/2012LadyinRed Tony Abbott is so locked into saying ‘no’, that if he were to say ‘yes’ to the Houston committee, he would be seen to be losing face. He has imprisoned himself and has thrown away the key. Because of his ‘locked in’ position, he is confined to negativity and obstruction, by which he will be judged as the months pass. The Houston committee will reject his ‘turn the boats back strategy’, leaving him isolated in his lonely cell. As the effects of the carbon tax are shown to be benign, his catch cries of economic disaster, job losses, industries and towns wiped out, will be seen as gross deceptiveness. The people will reject his Chicken Little prognostications, and most damaging for him will soon begin to laugh derisively.

Lyn

10/07/2012Hi Ad Twitterati for you. Mr Abbott was on ABC 24 in an IGA supermarket today talking about the Carbon, here is a link to tell you IGA stores are closing down because of competition from Coles and Woolies Chris Ogilvie ‏ I have just told IGA Port Douglas my family will no longer shop there due to Tony Abbott &amp; IGA's anti Carbon Tax stunt http://pic.twitter.com/DjhfarK2 Chris Ogilvie ‏ The manager of IGA Port Douglas just called, was unaware of Abbott's/IGA stunt,apologised,said he backed Carbon price THE Townsville-based Walters IGA supermarket group is to be carved up and sold off to the highest bidder, with grocery wholesaler Metcash announcing the closure and sale of seven of the group's eight shops http://www.townsvillebulletin.com.au/article/2012/04/05/320411_news.html ABC News 24‏@ABCNews24 Watch the Prime Minister's Community Cabinet forum live from Ipswich at 6.45pm AEST on #ABCNews24, right after The Drum. #auspol #gillard David Kirkpatrick‏@daveyk317 Reading some of the questions to the PM on http://oursay.org . What a bunch of ignorant Trucks! Looks like the MSM has won. # TAWNBPM‏ Abbott refusing to be involved in finding a solution, but insisting on having influence, as usual. b6... http://fb.me/Wub3UH2A Tads‏ Confused about public debt, private debt, foreign debt and Australia's position? Read on and fear no more http://www.smh.com.au/business/why-our-foreign-debt-is-a-taboo-topic-20100312-q42h.html #auspol Abbott boosts foreign ties, Michelle Gratton vexnews‏@vexnews Abbott to visit China and US to boost foreign policy credentials http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/political-news/abbott-boosts-foreign-ties-20120709-21rt6.html :):):)

2353

10/07/2012Correct AA - the fly in the ointment is the ability of Labor to publicise the failures without some ALP halfwit scoring an own goal - as demonstrated this week.

Ad astra

10/07/20122353 I did enjoy what you wrote. I hope that the Houston Committee will include information and reasoning along these lines. MWS Welcome to [i]The Political Sword[/i] family. Do come again. I did not know that Indonesia does not want to host an UNHCR camp. That makes Julian Burnside’s proposal problematic. No doubt, the Houston Committee will consider that impediment.

Marilyn

10/07/2012But there is nothing to discuss. Anyone who comes here and asks for refugee protection is entitled to do so. They are all asylum seekers but not all refugees. That has always been the law.

DMW

10/07/2012ToM [i]One of the issues I have with this site is the falsity of its claim – [b]“Putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword”[/b][/i] Yes I have always had difficulty with that. In my world it is impossible for anyone to put 'the verbal sword' to anyone else in writing. Many have difficulty in living up to their mottos. As an example The Australian Democrats claim to be able to [i]Reclaim the Centre[/i]. They are doing a great job of that. How many Democrats are in any parliament in Australia?

2353

10/07/2012Marilyn, The current debate (here anyway) is not about who can claim asylum status (I take your point they are not all refugees) in Australia but a more humane way to treat refugees than them having t travel to Indonesia with little or no support followed by (usually) paying a huge sum of money, then forcing them onto inadequate boats and so they can make the claim. I don't think that any of the regular commentators here disagrees that asylum seekers can legally claim asylum in any of the countries that signed the Hague Convention - regardless of where they started. DMW, [i]Many have difficulty in living up to their mottos[/i] and it's not only political parties - "you're call is important to us . . ." :D

42 long

10/07/2012There is no doubt that some of the green's aims are a bit scary for some labour voters and that some labour achievements do not go far enough to the green side for some who have voted labour in the past but now vote green. We could once have viewed the greens as defining one end of the spectrum of which the other end is the "Tea Party" copiers or equivalent religious (christian), right. The majority of australians fit somewhere in the middle with a fluctuating swinging vote from labour-LNP and return. It should not be forgotten that the LNP is a coalition which has moved well to the right under Abbott. IF the success they crave does not materialise there will be a lot of instability in that alliance. W What is the NP anyhow? What does it stand for except to be the remnant of a rural based anti-labour party, conveniently in alliance with the Libs?( who aren't very LIBERAL anyhow) Currently the liberal policy seems to oppose anything the labour party do even when in the past those policies might well have more likely come from the LIBS eg a market based carbon price rather than the more costly pick winners centrally determined, Abbott plan. Other than mine owners,News LTD, cigarette manufacturers, christian churches , private schools, poker machine operators etc, who is Tony looking after? Will the ABC continue to be funded and exist under the Abbott "way". Will the GST rise? These are among the questions we need answers to. We get NO straight answers from this man.. Just run a propaganda war and think that is enough? How can it be? Nothing happens because Abbott says so. He is in fact wrong about most things. The only time you can be assured he does Know something is when he says" I have no SPECIFIC knowledge of "XYZ" which is lawyerspeak for " I'm lying to my back teeth now".

Jason

10/07/2012Marilyn, In theory you have a point!However in reality it's a totally different thing.I don't have a vote in cabinet of the ALP i'm not a member of the greens who don't have the numbers to do anything by themselves and the Coalition aren't interested in anything. So what is it you expect us at this blog to do? Take on the "shock jocks" on both radio and tv? I do my bit with shock jock radio here in Adelaide,but those that I do hear don't care! Bob Francis night time host was suspended for a month because he said " he wishes asylum-seekers who arrive by boat would drown." That's the reality you need to face is yell at the Hadley's Jones and francis's of this world! the reason you don't is because they wont put you to air except to poke a bit of fun at.

TalkTurkey

10/07/2012Greetings Comrades I have been wasting or spending a lot of time on Twitter lately, getting to know it and making a few enemies. Interested in how best to deploy it to the advantage of the Left. I have kept a bit of an eye on TPS though, this last thread is a bit of a muddy pool and I haven't sought to stir it so far. But I will, a little anyway. First, Grannie, I must say how delighted I am to see you here again, I have seen you on PB and Twitter too as I told you last time you were here. I think I am right in thinking that you have serious arthritis in your hands, anyway I find working out what you say in Broken English* to be fun and worthwhile. I think I remember you saying something very touching about making wedding dresses. I'm a crusty old bloke, but I'm misty just now at what you said. If I am right - as you might confirm? - I'll tell the Swordsfolks what you said. I thought it was a manifesto of perfect humble worship in simple Humanity. I do believe that you are Catholic, well I have no sympathy with the Catholic Church or the crimes committed in its name and I think belief in deities is as weird as if you believed in any other occultism, but I don't tar all the Pope's followers with the same brush, and I know you have a staunch and caring Leftish outlook personally. When it comes to this blog, of course you know, Politics comes first. For my part I wish Religion never darkened Parliament's door at all ever again, and I know for the most part you respect that too. As Abbortt does not. He uses the Get out of Gaol Free aspect of it, as I doubt that you ever do (or if you did I s'pose you could always confess it!) Anyway sincerity and respect is what you get here, if that's what you give (as you do); I know you have had a bit of aggravation on PB. On which I only lurk, but which I do value a lot. Well you know Ad astra anyway, he sets our tone, and most of the rest of us care a lot about the feelings of other goodwilled people - religion being virtually entirely irrelevant. Now, Patricia - Sorry not to have replied earlier about punctuation and all that but not really, I have no doubt that what you end up with is exactly what you want to say, sometimes I might change something if it was me but it's not, Dam, you're all over blogs the length and breadth of the Wide Brown Land, y'on't need any Turkey droppings really. The last line this time is perfect. Well you know what Louis XIV said, [i]"l'etat, c'est moi!"[/i] and you know what happened to [i]him![/i] (Abbortt remember the Ides of September . . ! . .) Keep us posted on how you are progressing. It does seem to have been a big strain, we are all hoping to Dog that you are 100% well again soon. So many other good-hearted people on the Sword, greetings even if not individually. Then there's this *Marilyn*. First utterance: [b]You ask the wrong questions,[/b] (Which of course instantly establishes her qualifications beyond doubt as Utter Authority. So glad, infallibility at last! Just what we needed!) Oddly enough she doesn't seem to know this though: [b][u]who do we think we are[/u] to believe we can have a limit on refugees asking for help?[/b] That's an easy one, we are [i]Australians[/i], with the very unusual problematical blessing of corporately 'owning' a great big island. Most of which is pretty desolate, and some of which is quite crowded, and all of which is one continuous nation. Unique situation. Unlike most places, we do have some, but only some, control over how many people come here. Undeniable fact of geography. [b]Do we have a limit on the number of tourists who arrive here every year or do we beg for more?[/b] You'd think Utter Authority would know that wouldn't you? [i]Where the bloody Hell has she been [/i]I wonder? I started to lose faith in Marilyn's infallibility about then. [b]Everyone has the right to seek asylum and here is a newsflash - if the 13 million people who arrive here every year want to claim refugee status we have to let them. [/b] Well, er, that's a bit like saying if we all had twenty sets of triplets. We actually won't and neither will the 13 million. What if Pakistan started sending home Afghans because there are too many? Wait, they are which is why more Afghans are seeking asylum in the west. Yes. Well? But then I saw this: [b][i]Try with your shrivelled imaganation Astra to put yourself in the shoes of an Afghan who has had a lifetime of war.[/i][/b] Now listen, you Marilyn: [i]Pull your foul-mouthed head in[/i]. You don't talk to Ad astra with disrespect without provocation. This is his domain, he has the respect of everybody I respect, and you have lost mine for good. Didn't take long! You can't even spell imagination. Imagine that, when you purport to infallibility. You purport further to occupy higher moral ground than Ad astra. You asked earlier who do we think we are, well wtf do you think you are? I'll tell you: Anyone who is as gratuitously insulting as you have proven yourself is on a moral par with Anal Jones. So after that, I figured that this Marilyn's thoughts could not possibly be worth considering further, so instead I scanned down a bit for confirmation So many here seem to think it's just a matter of us being as vicious as the taliban and the Afghans will stay home, but we pretend to be a nation that observes human rights. Many who come here to seek asylum have been in exile for years on end, some have been kicked out of Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Malaysia, Indonesia and we want to kick them out to and play human trading ping pong around the world. Under the law we have zero choice about allowing asylum seekers into the country and we cannot and do not have a quota for asylum seekers. And as 75% of all asylum seekers fly here [b]just what is it you are whining about? [/b] 35,000 people in 35 years arriving by sea. Spare me the [b]stupid questions[/b], they have been asked so many times by [b]whining scared old men [/b]I have lost count. [b]What are you?[/b] A [b]chicken coward terrified [/b]of a few thousand refugees? Because the thing is we don't own the countries we want to dump human beings in so we can expect those countries to return the favour. Or is [b]racist whiney Australia so precious and superior [/b][b]we[/b] think [b]we[/b] can do whatever [b]we[/b] like and bugger the law and human rights. >This little piggy said [i][b]we we we [/b][/i]. . . Yes WE you nasty-tempered self-righteous hypocrite, not everybody else but you! [b]None of you bothered to find out the facts, do that and get back to me.[/b] >Why, you cocky up-yourself holier-than-thou prig! Go, get an endocephalotractocotomy Marilyn. *http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsyBEv1dbLo

Marilyn

10/07/2012Yeah, yeah, what a ridiculous rant. You proved everything I said to be exactly true. I don't say anything that I know to be a lie, unlike this partisan blog. And we cannot stop one single person getting on a boat anywhere in the world because it is not our right to do so.

DMW

10/07/20122353 [i]Your call is important to us ...[/i] Boom, Tish and a ting :)

42 long

10/07/2012Just making a general comment , IF anyone finds they are required to insult almost EVERYONE somewhere for the way they express their opinions, that THEY may be on the wrong site, and should best use their talents elsewhere. I have visited quite a few where the general tone doesn't suit me and I don't go there. This site has depth and I personally don't expect the majority to totally agree with what I say. The best you can hope for is that your thought music will be considered by most and approved/agreed by some. It's a pooled resource of constructive thought, and exchange of ideas, or sometimes a bit of reinforcement of support We have some "non genuine stirrers" that come here to "bait" rather than be constructive. That may genuinely be their nature ( as the devils advocate role for example) or worse, to create disfunction, but they declare themselves over time.

Miglo

10/07/2012Jason, is that idiot Bob Francis still around? Incredible.

Jason

10/07/201242 long, I don't know about you, but for two days all I've heard is it's unlawful for us as a country to do this that or the other because the UN charter we signed says so, despite the realities that are there! I then try to get my head around the former USSR now Russia and China who not only sit in the UN but are on the security council who both have a shocking records on human rights yet see fit to veto actions in places like Syria. Yes shame on us and shame on those who hold the UN up as some sort of virtuous institution who's member countries don't even practice in their own countries what they preach!

DMW

10/07/2012 Marilyn @ 7:37 PM [i]... we cannot stop one single person getting on a boat anywhere in the world because it is not our right to do so.[/i] Exactly. Nor can we stop people from smoking or drinking, picking up an automatic rifle and walking down the street randomly killing people. We can provide incentives for people not to do these things. The point of this discussion as I understand it is, what incentives can we offer so that people do not take the journey to Australia on leaky boats? Leaky boats that offer a one in twenty chance that the passenger while die from drowning. There is no doubt in my mind that there are some, and I don't think there many if any commenting here, who only wish to [i][b]Stop The Boats[/b][/i] for xenophobic and racist reasons. There are some who wish to do it so that they can ignore the plight of those less fortunate than us or maybe wish to ignore the fallout for waging war. I don't disagree with much if anything of what you have written. I do take umbrage at the way way you have put some of it and characterised everyone here as idiots and worse. Are we capable of striking some common ground so that we can move toward discussing the differences in a commonsense mature and adult way? At the moment I beginning to suspect because of your passionate belief in the rightness of your view which I supect is [i]the only possible sensible and decent view[/i] in your mind only, you are falling into schoolyard bullying tactics of name calling and invective. I'll take you back to the schoolyard for a moment: [i][b]Ms M Manson[/b] My dad has taken in 103 different refugees and cared for them and set them up to be fantastic Australian citizens. Lick that. [b]DMW[/b] My dad hasn't wiped his bum for forty years. LICK THAT[/i] Pointless and trite. Continuing to name call and insult is also pointless and trite and will not win you any friends or converts. If you wish to find some common ground and then discuss the differences in a reasonable way then I will take great pleasure in discussing with you. If you want to name call and be a spiteful schoolyard brat go talk with Tony Abbott and many of his Liberal Party colleagues. They might be able to teach some new tricks in schoolyard politics.

Jason

10/07/2012Miglo, As hard as it is to believe he's still here and doesn't look like he'll retire or be sacked anytime soon! 50 years or something I think he says he's been in radio.

DMW

10/07/2012A slight sidestep but sort of germane. [b]China questions Australia's asylum policy[/b] ABCNews [i]The Chinese government has raised Australia's asylum seeker policy at human rights talks in Canberra. Representatives from the Australian and Chinese governments meet every year for human rights talks. ... "A Chinese leader once said there is no best human rights, only better human rights," Mr Cui said.[/i] http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-07-10/china-questions-australia27s-asylum-seeker-record/4122096

DMW

10/07/2012And totally off topic NormanK I hope there are not to many overwhelming issues for you at the moment. Thinking of you and missing your presence. Hope you know if there is anything we could do to to assist we would do it at the drop of a hat or quicker.

Patriciawa

10/07/2012DMW - that TPS metaphorical goal of [i]'putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword'[/i] was what first attracted me to this site. I think that with AA's leading of the debate with his posts and Lyn's linking of us to the www and twitterverse we do a half decent job of that. The Daily Derp today http://thedailyderp.net/tag/murdoch-virus/ reminded me of how inspired I was many decades ago by an English teacher by the idea that [i]'the pen is mightier than the sword' [/i] and how preferable civilised debate is actual war. Sadly, we've been recently reminded though that the pen can often be destructive if badly wielded. The penned insults and abuse which are new to this little community have done nothing to advance the cause the writer claims to be championing. They have achieved one thing though - unanimity amongst us, who don't always agree, in wishing that she would go away! We are all convinced of the morality of the case for people seeking asylum. How best to achieve that in this lucky country is surely not well argued by abuse of the hosts giving one an opportunity to promote their cause.

Ad astra reply

10/07/2012DMW, ToM I'm sure you could find dictionary definitions of 'verbal' that correspond with your understanding of its meaning. But I have always distinguished between 'verbal' and 'oral', the former designating the written word; the latter the spoken.  In support of my contention, I quote the definition from Wikipedia:  Verbal: Pertaining to language or the use of words in general (be it spoken or written) as opposed to non-verbal expression, or to spoken words in particular (although, this is usually a common misuse where "oral" is the correct term, e.g. "oral" v. "written" contract -- rather than "verbal" v. "written").  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Verbal It's pedantic I know, but I did choose  'verbal' deliberately.    Whether the site lives up to its 'motto', is altogether another question.

DMW

10/07/2012Hi Ad, I often comment here [i]well you learn something everyday[/i] (if you are willing). I accept your point on the difference between verbal and oral. And thanks for another teaching/lesson. :) Now I wonder if I can verbalise my oral thoughts as I often talk to myself when taking in the verbal output here :P

jaycee

10/07/2012I,ve been away for a couple of days out of internet range so will have to catch up. On the subject of one; B. Francis : broad(in every sense of the word!)caster..After wishing a distastful end to the refugees, he was suspended, so went for (so I,m informed) a cruising holiday to Scandinavia...seems he became greviously ill on board and had to be airlifted(evidently it took THREE chinooks to lift him!!)to hospital to be saved....poetic justice, I believe it is called. Sadly, despite all her good intentions, Marilyn is behaving like someone who is spinning around with a long piece of timber in a crowd, hitting friend and foe alike in her blind anger. I suspect her youthfull irrationality is letting her down, as there is basic agreement with the laws, but the problem comes with realistically enacting them. I think any primary teacher could tell us of the difficulties in moving a busload of kids from point A to B without the most rigorous discipline and proceedure. Here we are talking tens of thousands of strangers, of differing cultures and ethnicity and religion...AND, not all entirely friendly or sympathetic to eachother, even if in the same desperate situation. AND with the added dimension of at least 50% of Australians (a lot of them immigrants themselves) not wanting them! As for "Tom"....I,ve been thinking..rather than reject and ridicule his agent provocateur pose..let us "embrace" him, and "adopt" him as our own right-wing "pet"...much like some fundamentalist christian groups "adopt" converted bikies as a sort of status object, a "star rating" kind of thing. Tom can be our own "reacionary rat-bag"...we can hold him up at times and say ;"Look, here's our right-winger, now lets' see yours". Oh yes!, they'll get jealous over there at "vex news' and have to admit ; "My..he's a big one!!"

DMW

10/07/2012Hi PWA' [i]... that TPS metaphorical goal of 'putting politicians and commentators to the verbal sword' was what first attracted me to this site.[/i] Somewhat similar. I do recall that I was somewhat isolated in the Middle East when I first came across The Sword and found it helpful in catching up with what was going on back home none the least because of the links that cut little Tweety offered. In my comment to ToM I didn't use the #sarcasm hashtag to indicate I deliberately misinterpreted his take on the supposed failure of the site to live up to its' motto.

DMW

10/07/2012Please excuse me Tweety while I but in on your Twitterati but this is important Phillip Adams ‏@PhillipAdamsABC Happy birthday Gough. 96 tomorrow Known him for 46 years. Maintain the age!!!.

Ad astra reply

10/07/201242 long, TT, Patriciawa I do appreciate your supportive comments and the good sense your words convey. I'm calling it a day.

Psyclaw

10/07/2012I note a post above in which ToM supports Marilyn 100%. [b]Marilyn[/b] ...... you must flee from this site ASAP. With friends like ToM you need no enemies. A couple of days ago I stated that you always talk a passionate "truth" as you see it. Tom's raison d'être here is to launch any smear he can against the government, and like Abbott he is very relaxed in his concepts of "truth". He may wish you to join a cabal of misleaders.

Tom of Melbourne

10/07/2012Ad Astra - [i]”Whether the site lives up to its 'motto', is altogether another question.[/i] Take my word for it, you don’t, and I agree with Patricia on this occasion -“[i}”we do a half decent job of that[/i] Though giving you credit for meeting half your objective is very generous.

Jason

10/07/2012GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes #Newspoll Best handle the asylum-seeker issue: ALP 17 (-4) L/NP 37 (-10) Other 13 (+1) None 12 (+5) #auspol GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes #Newspoll At least partly to blame for asylum-seeker policy impasse: ALP 66 L/NP 60 GRN 57 #auspol GhostWhoVotes ‏@GhostWhoVotes #Newspoll Most to blame for asylum-seeker policy impasse: ALP 32 L/NP 28 GRN 16 #auspol

Truth Seeker

10/07/2012Jaycee. Good one, right on the money. Cheers

TalkTurkey

10/07/2012[b]Happy 96th Birthday Dear Gough Whitlam[/b] Thank you for making Australia's so much fairer a society. It's Time we got that same spirit going again. But Labor is still Labor, [i]Don't You Worry About That![/i] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jykIqQxEOw

Patriciawa

11/07/2012Yes, TT, and we can do it again! So much achieved by Whitlam in those few short years. This is certainly not the time to throw in the towel. Look at all we've done even with a hung parlt, and we still have another year to go. Mind you, we have to deal with a different voter mindset today. Have a read of this http://www.themonthly.com.au/comment-australian-democracy-and-right-party-amanda-lohrey-5628 Someone somewhere recommended this today. Thanks to them, cos it's a good read. Though I still think major threat to our democracy is control of the media by the Murdoch empire. Without their support Abbott would have long gone. Some truth telling on 7.30 this evening re boats.

paul walter

11/07/2012psyclaw's 9.28 comment is interesting. I read it a bit that way also. Too many neolibs and hacks have exploited the issue and the rightful concern of people like Marilyn, for quite debased ulterior motives.

Marilyn

11/07/2012Those sheep by Kate Wildermuth, Marilyn Shepherd and Anon. from Armidale September - October 2003 Let's move forward to the next election campaign. Is it possible that now the flow of asylum seekers has dried up the Howard Government will turn it's attention to sheep? We can picture the campaign: 1. The sheep will be accused of throwing their lambs overboard. The government will say that they have photos and a video as absolute proof it happened. We'll be told that these are not the type of sheep to be allowed into Australia. There will be statements such as 'they will never set hoof on our shores'. 2. They'll be accused of being queue jumping sheep. What about all the other sheep in the sheep camps waiting to be allowed in? 3. They'll claim that if we take these sheep we'll be swamped by thousands of others wanting to come here. Merino Vanstone will present statistics to show that Australia is the most generous of all towards refugee sheep. 4. The sheep will be attacked for not having passports and proper documentation or having thrown it overboard. 5. We'll be told that it is cruel to allow the sheep out of detention on the ship so they can do what normal lambs do. Merino Vanstone will say the detention of the lambs is for their own good so they won't be disappointed when she locks them up again. 6. We'll be told that locking them up is necessary because it will deter others. 7. They'll say that these sheep paid sheeple smugglers. They must be wealthy sheep. Genuine sheep don't pay smugglers. 8. We'll hear how a plane flew directly over the boat containing the sheep but saw nothing. 9. The sheep will be accused of being potential terrorists with links to Osama Baa Laden. 10. They'll say these sheep could not possibly love their lambs. Why on earth would they not stay on a strife torn farm if they loved them? 11. We'll be told they could be hiding weapons under their wool. 12. The media will be told not to photograph them or it will sheepify them. 13. We'll be told that they only had lambs to blackmail the government. 14. NZ will take them - they can't get enough of 'em. 15. They'll be accused of trying to take advantage of our limited grass and then bleating to the elite. 16. The government will ram it home that they are so baaaaad that most of them will get the chop anyway and not to listen to the woolly thinking of the sheepitarians. 17. Most Australians will follow like ...yep, you guessed it. 18. And absolutely no-one will tell the PM. Back to sievx.com

Marilyn

11/07/2012But Jason, there is no impasse, that is a media invention. Everyone has the right to seek asylum from persecution is rock solid law all over the world. How can there be an impasse.

janice

11/07/2012Bugger, bugger, bugger. My new specs have done nothing to improve my vision - probably it is a bit worse. :( Because I just cannot read the blurry script for more than a few minutes without my eyes feeling like burnt holes in a blanket, I can only offer my opinion on this 'bloody boat invasion' topic. What pisses me off, and I suspect a good many other people, is that these boat people are using our generosity and compassion against us to force their way into our country. It pisses me off no end that they are also forcing us to go the way of the coalition to use methods abhorrent to our principles of extending a helping hand and giving all a fair go. I have come to the conclusion that we cannot throw out our compassion and go the coalition route and come out the other end feeling anything but guilt and disgust. Therefore, it is my opinion that the government should withdraw from the outdated Refugee Convention and refuse to give refugee status under any circumstances to people who persist in forcing their way through the back door by using boats to gain entrance. The Government should not even 'process' these people but issue them with very TPV until they either go home voluntarily, can be deported to a UNHCR refugee camp, or deported to their own country when it is deemed safe. The Government should then ramp up our refugee intake from those camps around the world where there are people who've been languishing in limbo for years and those who are suffering untold misery in places like Africa. This country can only take as many refugees as is sustainable for our economy. Apologies in advance for any errors and omissions.

Lyn

11/07/2012Today’s Links Sinking Abbott, Independent Australia IF EVER Australians needed a reason not to vote for a Government led by Tony Abbott, the Opposition Leader’s performance with Barrie Cassidy on the ABC’s Insiders program on Sunday morning was reason enough. http://www.independentaustralia.net/2012/politics/sinking-abbott/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=sinking-abbott Tony Abbot under the influence of one of his many political delusions, Clarence Girl, North Coast Voices Oh dear, here is Opposition Leader Tony Abbott displaying his ignorance concerning the constitutional implications of the oath set out below.Because when push comes to shove over turning back the boats, it is convention not law which has naval vessels http://northcoastvoices.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/tony-abbot-under-influence-of-one-of.html The Murdoch Virus Part 4 – Hackgate, Dan Gulbery, The Daily Derp The scandal which involves the hacking of people’s private phones, has been going on for over a decade. At first it involved hacking into the phones of celebrities and members of the Royal Family. Although arrests and convictions were made over this, the general http://thedailyderp.net/2012/07/10/the-murdoch-virus-part-4-hackgate/ Social Media and Australian Politics , Alex Schlotzer There are only a handful of blogs that carry influence and most of these are connected to the mainstream media, though I expect this will broaden out more as the political blogosphere in Australia matures. That is not to say, however, that there aren’t some great political blogs but it is questionable as to the weight of influence http://alexschlotzer.wordpress.com/ ALP think tanks sprout, but who’s talking policy?, Andrew Cook, The Power Index In some recent articles uploaded to Challenge, former Anna Bligh chief of staff Murray Watt gives his take on how to win back lost tradies, while Osmond Chiu tears strips off the fallacy of social impact bonds. But the most significant intervention came from United http://www.thepowerindex.com.au/out-on-the-town/alp-think-tanks-sprout-but-whos-talking-policy/201207101539 Roxon High Court Dilemma, Andrew Lynch, Inside Story Roxon’s candour about her wish to enhance diversity has, so far, aroused little objection from the profession or the public. But it will be interesting to see whether this is provoked by the announcement of the new justices themselves. As broader political http://inside.org.au/roxon-high-court-dilemma/ The Greens; Principle or Nothing, Archie, Archie Archives Marriages do not survive for long if one partner publicly and openly sides with an outsider. We did it once with the ETS. We voted with a group who are totally opposed to everything we stand for. Our partners forgave us.Now we have done it again with the Asylum Seeker http://archiearchive.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/the-greens-principle-or-nothing/ Labor 1 Liberal 2 Greens 3 - The Senate Effect, Poliquant. Com On a Senate election based on the current polls, Labor preferences will have a limited and vital impact on the make-up of the Senate, specifically in WA. Conversely, Green preferences will not influence Senate contest as the Greens score either just under a quota, which leaves them in the count until the end ensuring their preferences http://poliquant.com/labor-1-liberal-2-greens-3-the-senate-effect/ WE DON’T NEED TO TALK ABOUT KEVIN, Tracey Spicer, The Hoopla To call Therese Rein a smart woman is like saying James Magnussen is a pretty good swimmer. Her international employment agency Ingeus is worth $210 million. When Kevin Rudd was Prime Minister, they were pitched as a power couple http://thehoopla.com.au/talk-kevin/ I Have A Question And My Question Is This-, Tim Dunlop, The Kings Tribune a couple of journalists finally called him out on a few things. Where have they been since he took over from Malcolm Turnbull? Abbott’s idiocy was just as apparent back then but the entire press gallery decided to give him a pass. And a pedestal. And a megaphone. And a medal for his far-too-frequently-exposed hairy chest. http://www.kingstribune.com/magazines/january-2012/1420-i-have-a-question-and-my-question-is-this Councils are Never to be Trusted “Part 1″, Wayne Brooks, Curiosity and Challenge Your Council will up front tell you there is a fee for the approval, this will vary in amount but its for the approval to build. This covers some guy reading the letter, checking your plans and deciding if its okay and saying yes. But if there is something wrong http://wrb330.wordpress.com/2012/07/10/councils-are-never-to-be-trusted-part-1/ Tony Abbott as Popeye the Sailorman gets a walloping!, Patriciawa, Café Whispers speechifying in front of cameras and before audiences, rationalising and lying his way out of every objection that was put to his policy of destructive negativity, I was astounded that so many in the the media accepted his hypocrisy, prevarications and arrogance as http://cafewhispers.wordpress.com/2012/07/11/tony-abbott-as-popeye-the-sailorman-gets-a-walloping Labor's Spectacular Own Goal, Jeff Sparrow, The concerted offensive launched by Labor heavyweights at the Greens this week centres on the supposed gulf between the ideas of the Greens and those of ordinary Australians. The Greens will never "represent mainstream working Australian values", says NSW Labor General Secretary Sam Dastyari http://newmatilda.com/2012/07/10/labors-spectacular-own-goal Coalition NBN notes: Some truth, mostly fiction, Renai LeMay, Delimiter although its document used substantial detail to heavily criticise the Government’s NBN policy, it does not outline virtually any detail of how the Coalition’s rival policy would function, including what technology would be used, what services would be guaranteed http://delimiter.com.au/2012/07/09/coalition-nbn-notes-some-truth-mostly-fiction/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium= Posts from the ‘Daily Fix’ Category http://australianpoliticstv.org/category/daily-fix/ Today’s Front Pages Australia Newspaper Front Pages for 11 July 2012 http://www.frontpagestoday.co.uk/index.cfm?PaperCountry=Australia

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11/07/2012LYN'S DAILY LINKS updated: http://www.thepoliticalsword.com/page/LYNS-DAILY-LINKS.aspx

Michael

11/07/2012Finally FINALLY people are starting to see Malcolm Turnbull as the hollow mainchancer he's always been. His 'performance' on Q&A revealed just how far he's sucked at the Abbott teat of dissimulation and outright nonsense, from the "fresh election" to the 'how can I go back to being an also-ran backbencher by actually supporting something I believe in?' line on same sex marriage, Talcy Malcy puffed and bluffed, rolled his vowels, and slid into place a cabbage patch smirk so self-congratulatory he looked like he might even be prepared to allow someone other than himself to pat his back for once. Malcolm Turnbull as PM would be so involved in reading his reviews he'd never actually do anything. People who've fallen for his 'successful businessman/nature's gentleman' schtick are the wide-eyed provincials who want a Smooth Daddy to lead them, just as prepared to forgo thinking through the issues that confront this nation as were those who went with the 'Leave it all to Little Johnny' brigade. His intellectual windbaggery was exposed as he set out to hog the panel with his 'let me frame the argument' line, which translates as, "Malcolm explains". Well, Malcolm explains nothing particularly well, as he shifts and waffles and slips and elides - and now that he's outed himself as a signed-up Abbott acolyte, he's as one with Morrison and Mirabella. Puffed up on the front bench of hack inconsequents.

TalkTurkey

11/07/2012Lyn I can never find praise high enough for your Daily Links. It is an amazingly educative work. I know you don't write long critical dissertations like some but your links are richer fare far than any one person be he the Bard himself could ever provide. I once read a Don Camillo story where a poor artist paints a portrait of the local whore in a small Italian town. It is so beautiful that she is awed, she has never thought of herself as beautiful and she has always been treated as lowlife. She says reverently of his painting, "But it's beautiful!" He says, "Is it better to see beauty or to have it?" You are the artist btw, just in case there might be any confusion! You reveal the beauty of others' writings, not only the beauty though, the satires and the hypocrisies and the joys, the heads-up on urgent information of all the most poignant writers around, and unlike the issues themselves or the lass's fleeting beauty, your work remains in the archives of TPS and Australia as long as records exist. Daily history. I know it's all obvious, what I just said, but Dam, you do it every day, and it is my daily education, and I am one of thousands now, given all your links. On behalf of us all, thank you so much. And thank you personally for goading me to Twitter. A forum for feistiness!

Psyclaw

11/07/2012 [b]Michael[/b] Well said. I especially agree with: [quote]People who've fallen for his 'successful businessman/nature's gentleman' schtick are the wide-eyed provincials who want a Smooth Daddy to lead them, just as prepared to forgo thinking through the issues that confront this nation as were those who went with the 'Leave it all to Little Johnny' brigade. [/quote] Nevertheless IMHO he is far ahead of any of the rest of them. Just imagine Pyne, Morriscum, Mirabella, Dutton, Andrews, Bishop (take your pick), Hunt, Bob Baldwin!!!!!!!!!eek as PM. Most of those have no chance but in the absence of Abbott [b]someone[/b] has to be the alternate PM. Oh. I forgot Sloppy Joe..... another "surely not".

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11/07/2012TT I applaud your beautifully crafted comments about Lyn's magnificent daily contribution to TPS. Her links enrich us immeasurably. She has fashioned TPS into a hub for the Fifth Estate, a place where so many come to radiate out to the rich collection of material in the blogosphere. Thank you TT for your acknowledgement of our Lyn. And thank you Lyn for all you do to inform us all, every day. You are a gem.

jaycee

11/07/2012After spending the last two days with aged people who are entirely "informed" by talk-back MSM of the likes of Jones and Francis et all, I conclude there is a deliberate program by the LNP. propagandists along the lines of the worst of Goebbles or De Stefani to promote doubt through lies and deceipt..we are facing a concerted effort to promote the "legitimate" election of a fascist regiem. Jones and his ilk are well educated, yet they sprout foolishness, ergo, it is a deliberate, calculated move to promote Abbott with emotialist propaganda directed toward the most vulnerable. Therefore we must find and publish online all manner of items and articles and bits and pieces of information (but only true bits!) that will bring into disrepute those pushers of fascist intent. THAT or suffer the consequences! So get out there and seek out those bits of incriminating and demonising evidence..we are not dealing with "fair and polite" company here, we are dealing with potential psychopaths!...show no mercy now, because as history has shown us already..THEY will not!

42 long

11/07/2012It makes you realise how far to the "looney" right the Abbott mob are when a successfull merchant banker is too left for them. They believe he should join the labour party. With Turnbull as leader they would cement a win which is risky with ABBOTT, but the win at all costs, take no prisoners tough guy ( but not really, he runs from scrutiny and bullies Julia) image our rusty iron man projects has them captivated and blinded. Malcolm only looks good because he is being compared to someone who is weird and really scary and cannot be trusted to say anything you can believe. Turnbull is not good in politics, he doesn't quite have the "feel" for it. Those who thought a ray of conscience might have shone through a party totally lacking in it, with Mal washer are doomed to disappointment there. " Wishy Washer" seems appropriate for a description of him. The LNP preselection process seems to be consistent. They are uniformly uninspiring in the people and the promise. perhaps Clive Palmer will liven it up

TalkTurkey

11/07/2012Janice Dear, Dear oh Dear, you must *see* about having an operation. (No Pun intended, it just got there of its own accord!) Please keep us posted. We treasure you, Ad's #1 Platinum Contributor, you have too many too-good friends here to lose track of. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Jason You do have a way with words, cutting through piles of BS like a Dingo Digger. And there has been a good bit here this time, misdirected and immoderate invective from one source dominating what might have been clearer waters but which she turned into merde. Good on you Jason, Voice of Facts Of Life. No way to talk sense with that sort of harpy screeching at us, oh well, just read Ad astra's lead again, there isn't really any more to be said, that's why I didn't. What I do know is that the Greens have cut off everyone's nose, including future drownees, to spite all our faces; the Abborttians are dead-set terrified of any reasonable strategy being developed; and the only body with genuine goodwill and the amply-demonstrated preparedness for compromise is the Australian Labor Party. Fie on the Greens leadership. A bas the whole bloody Abborttians. Hooray for Labor's cross-party efforts, may the Abborttionless Committee come up with a *passable* compromise. That's up to less stupidity in the heads of the Greens now obviously. Abbortt will just say NO NO NO NO NO NO NO to the end of the line Recaptcha: arsiol toleration Yeah I reckon!

Michael

11/07/2012Psyclaw, hi. My vote's for 'Sloppy Joe', because there are apparently Coalition people who consider he is a real leadership contender - it was him, Abbott and Turnbull last time, after all. In the Coalition, there are enough MP's and Senators who can't abide Turnbull, so Hockey is seen as a non-rabid leader who can take a 'can't lose against Gillard' Coalition into government without Abbott's poisonous narrowmindedness setting the nation back once the Conservatives are in office. Is that why I'd support Hockey? Nope, I'd wholeheartedl