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The brilliance of the government’s tactics in using those orange boats is being refined with each time that they have to be deployed:
The asylum seekers were transferred to the Customs vessel – perhaps MV Triton, though they do not know the name. As they were loaded on board, officers were ”pushing one by one with hands behind our back”, Ali says, showing on his friend how their arms were bent into a painful position.
Any objections or requests for food and water were shouted down, no discussion entered into.
”He says: ‘Don’t speak. Shut up. F— you’,” Ali says, the others nodding. One man, Khazim Mohammad, from Iraq, was lying sick on the boat: ”The [Australian officer] said, ‘You’re joking. Liar, liar’ … and grabbed him and pulled him.”
The Indonesian crew have told Central Java police that the wooden boat was then ”blown up”. They cannot say how this happened, but speculate on a bomb.
On board the large Customs ship, interaction between crew and asylum seekers was minimal. Once their details were taken and entered on a computer, the men were given wristbands with numbers on them.
For about three days, they say they were kept below decks.
”Inside the big ship, no sun, no air. We don’t know if it’s night or day. We can’t sleep; loud noises,” says Ali.
They were fed once – cheese sandwiches – and given a cup and told to fill it up in the bathroom to drink. ”For two days we went on hunger strike.”
The Indonesian crew was kept in a separate part of the ship.
On the Customs patrol boat, Ashrof says someone searched their belongings, and all valuables – money, phone, SIM card – were taken. He does not know who took them. No phones means that, unlike on other ships, there is no video footage of their experience.
The next move, on Monday morning, was to the orange lifeboat. It was the first time they had seen it and the transfer was done in sight of land.
”The soldiers brought [us to] the orange boat … and closed the door and said to the driver of this boat … ‘Go to that island’,” Ali says.
Again the Australians would not answer questions. The Indonesians – who spoke almost no English – said it was Christmas Island. Ali did not believe them.
But there was no chance of turning back to the real Christmas Island. The crew, though experienced sailors, had never seen anything like the orange blob they now captained, and there was not enough fuel to go anywhere except to that island on the horizon.
The island, it turned out, was Java.
The lifeboats are small and inside they feel smaller. They are dark and airless with only a couple of small, high windows. Having 28 on board would have felt crowded – not everyone could have a seat, though the nameplate says it is rated for 55 people.
”No air inside and no airconditioning for the orange boat. We are very sick. We have no oxygen. We are very sick,” says Ali. ”It’s like animals. Animals [cannot be treated] like this.”
There was water on board and muesli bars.
The journey lasted only about three hours before the boat ran aground in huge seas on a rugged bay near the village of Kebumen. They were 30 metres from the beach and the surf was high, but there was little choice but to jump.
”We jumped from the boat. We are at the beach, ocean high. We arrive and drift, arrive and drift. We think we will die. We think we will die. We can’t swim,” Ali says.
Finally on the beach the exhausted men were confronted with a steep, slippery slope to climb before a local farmer found them and called the police.
The crew is now in custody being questioned by police under people smuggling laws for taking people out of the country illegally and then, at the insistence of the Australian Customs and Border Protection, back into it. The asylum seekers are bound for detention, although they don’t know where.
Some how I doubt that this group of chancers will be trying again and while I expect that the usual suspects will whine about the less that luxurious conditions in the orange boats , or the confiscation of mobile phones from this cohort but there is no escaping the simple fact that this tactic works as a way to return people who try to enter this country illegally under the pretense that they are refugees . Labor believed all of the lies that they were told because they wanted the preferences of Greens voters and the Greens were the most useful idiots to the people smuggling trade but we , the Australian people, want orderly a controlled immigration program that chooses socially useful immigrants that will help make this country a better place instead of self selectors who bring with them a legacy of self serving deceit.
While I don’t always agree with the things Andrew says I do warmly welcome his return to the Sunday morning TV schedule because I just love to see the counterpoint of his show compared to “Insiders” on a Sunday morning
Its amazing just how many of the left just about have kittens at the thought of Andrew on the airwaves , Gee anyone would think that the left can not stand any voices that come from a conservative view point…
Stay tuned Comrades
I never wanted to be the sort of blogger who writes about their Tweeting stoushes but the exchange that I had yesterday was both amusing and revealing about the nature of the devotees to the Green religion,
@theiainhall ok I get it. Being a dickhead just comes naturally.
@evcricket Thirdly that enduring global cooperation for the next millennium (or longer) could be achieved
Isn’t the attitude of my interlocutor just so cute? He really believes that everyone should be happy that policies like the Renewable Energy Target raises the cost of energy for ordinary people, I have no doubt from previous writings of the author that he believes that the Carbon Tax is the best thing since sliced bread and its immanent repeal will be a terrible sin against Gaia. But most sadly amusing is his intense faith in “Experts” and is total suspension of any reasoning when it comes to what they say. Its what the faithful used to say about the clergy when they held far greater sway over the lives of the people the sad thing is we are consonantly told by the trendies and social media wonks that this is the age of the individual who is both connected and contribution to our collective wisdom through the wonders of social media. To the likes of Evan Keith Beaver though all that matters is that those with the “correct” political orientation, the cultural elite that he sees himself as part of, should impose their ideas and values upon the rest of us. Notions of social democracy go straight out the window so his “experts” are to remain unchallenged.
I actually like the idea that social media can be an important tool in a vibrant and active democracy but it saddens me that so many of the leftists who have been its early adopters now think that it should forever be their instrument of control, that their clicktavissm should be supreme and anyone who dissents from their orthodoxy is to be derided and ignored. The irony is that the review of the Renewable Energy Target has been scheduled since before the last election, in fact its part of the legislation under which the target was created in the first place so there is no reason at all to think that it means that this article of faith for the Green religion is, of necessity , going to be abolished. Personally I think that having a diverse variety of energy sources has great virtue. However the quest to achieve this through subsidies and overly generous feed in tariffs and other incentives has had some rather nasty consequences for those who are least able to afford them. I am talking about those who rent, those who can not afford to put the solar panels on their roof, the poor who struggle to pay their energy bills all of these people subsidise the likes of Evan Keith Beaver ‘s religious belief in Climate Change while he and his Latte sipping cronies think that they are “doing their bit” for climate change the poor and downtrodden in our country are struggling to pay those ever increasing energy bills. Its not just , its not fair and the hypocrisy of minions of the left who think like this is just breathtaking.
Who would have thunk it?
There has been something rather sad and desperate about the way that the luvvies were taking great comfort in the short lived downturn in the polling for the coalition but this poll reversal must come as a very bitter blow to those who have been clinging to the vain hope that the Labor party can come back into contention without the reformation that it so dearly needs if it is ever to be credible enough to return to office.
I also think that their parliamentary tactics are backfiring badly. Simply put they are being obstructionist to the government legislative agenda in a rather shallow attempt to demonstrate that they still have parliamentary teeth. A sensible party would have waved through the repeal of the Carbon and Mining taxes but in an expression of political machismo Electricity Bill Shorten has just succeeded in shooting himself and keeping the very reasons that his party was thrown out front and centre in the minds of the voters.
The utter brilliance of the coalition’s proposed Royal commission into the Unions can not be underestimated every new revelation of thuggery or other nastiness will stain the reputation of the party that is the creature of the union movement and that means that things can only get worse for the ALP under the current leadership and the truly sad thing is that none of the alternatives are likely to do much better. Shorten had a chance to draw a line under the follies of the last government and move on to rebuilding the party’s fortunes but he chose (or was instructed by his union masters) to carry on in the usual Labor style. Frankly If he is still leader by Christmas I will be very surprised indeed.
While I’m not naive enough to think, as some people are dim enough to try to counter-argue, that everyone who applies for asylum here should be granted it, to suggest we, by sheer dumb luck, deserve life freedom and security above those unfortunate enough to be fleeing persecution is the kind of staggering prejudice and arrogance that leads nations down very dark paths indeed. Prejudice, whether in the form of racism or economic elitism or religious zealotry is the trait Australians should be looking to avoid, but unfortunately we’ve allowed it to become the enemy from within. You can’t send it offshore in a lifeboat when it’s embedded in your soul like a thorn.
Well said; very well said indeed. But…
SOME of the people who come here in boats are fleeing genuine persecution. But as Marga and others have pointed out, what at least some of these unfortunate people are fleeing from is political and economic stagnation in their countries of origin. And so I ask this simple question: why should the present population of Australia have to pay for that?
Because pay we will. If the borders are thrown wide open (and that is the inescapable political corollary of all the ‘refugee advocacy’ we see here) then we will pay: in overpopulation, in environmental degradation and the rest of it.
As far as bettering the lot of refugees from the Islamic world, Australian dollars would be far better spent on projects that help break the grip of the theocrats in their countries of origin: like aid with family planning. (Do I hear Tony Abbott and his mate Pell having seizures, convulsions and paroxysms stage right? Or should that be stage far right?)
I think of the refugee situation as analogous to the drama that occurred in mid-Atlantic when the Titanic went down near midnight on April 14, 1912.
The analogy of the Titanic is all the refugees and others’ (mainly Islamic) countries of origin. The analogy of the lifeboats is the sought-after destinations like Australia, NZ, the US, Canada and the countries of Western Europe. (No comparative number to that of the people claiming refugee status here, note, are seeking anything but temporary ‘asylum’ in Eastern Europe, the Far East, South America or Africa.)
On the Titanic: the inquiries in the aftermath of the sinking ” …reached broadly similar conclusions: the regulations on the number of lifeboats that ships had to carry were out of date and inadequate; Captain Smith had failed to take proper heed of ice warnings; the lifeboats had not been properly filled or crewed; and the collision was the direct result of steaming into a danger area at too high a speed….”
But the fact is that the (mainly Islamic) countries of origin which are the analogy of the Titanic are not sinking. On the contrary, their Titanic has been taken over by religious fundamentalist pirates. The refugees could all save themselves if they would just convert to the variety of Islam that the majority of the pirates belong to, and accept whatever economic subservience follows from that.
But, most understandably, they do not want to.
Trouble is, the more refugees, and pseudo-refugees of one kind or another, that make it into the lifeboats, the more who want to abandon ship and hope for a place in one of those same lifeboats. Those of us in the lifeboats face the genuine moral dilemma of either pulling all comers out of the water, and going down with the overcrowded lifeboat, or leaving them to drown. But there will always be people like you, Sooz, with us in the lifeboat, and claiming the moral high-and-dry ground. You lot will continue to urge us to admit all comers. That is, until it dawns on even you that this is not sustainable. Not even in the short term.
You call us ‘racists’. I do not believe that you have even the vaguest idea of the meaning of the word.
You, on the other hand, in your moral purity, will protest mightily here on NM as Abbott and Morrison to send boats back to Indonesia. You will protest without having for one instant to face the consequences of the political folly implied by what you demand. Because only a pathetic minority of Australians are in favour of open borders; because only such a pathetic minority are incapable of foreseeing the real consequences of what they advocate.
Cover yourself in righteousness as much as you like, Sooz. You know damn well that the historic experience of Australia is against open borders, and for damn good reasons, and likewise the majority of her people. But you will always be OK and never have to face any sad realities. You can have it both ways: the apparent moral superiority of being in favour of open borders, and the comfort of knowing that the policies you advocate will never be adopted, and that the lifeboat you are in will stay afloat.
Except that I do not think that you pontificate to the rest of us from the moral high ground. You have found the easy way out. You preach at the rest of us from the middle of a moral swamp
I hope that the anonymous author sees this post as it is intended, as a salute to an argument well put about an issue that matters.
I dips me lid Comrade O. Puhleez
As devastating as it will be for Victoria and south Australia the economic realities of the car industry can no longer be denied by the minions of the left who would have our government pump billions of dollars of borrowed money into keeping the car manufacturing industry alive. The whining from the Labor party about this is as unsurprising as it is self serving. Simply put with the end of car making in this country we will also see significant decline in one of the countries larger unions, and where the unions decline so too does the power base for the ALP. Likewise the rhetoric from the ALP that the closure is the fault of the current government is sill beyond description if you ask me, its actually a bit like blaming the doctor who turns off life support for a road accident victim for that persons death.
Not that I think that Australians are going to reject Toyota cars into the future, many of the best selling models are already fully imported anyway. The thing is after both Ford and General Motors made similar decisions we all knew that Toyota would follow As other far more knowledgeable commentators have pointed out its the scale of our market and our sustained high dollar that has caused this death and there is absolutely nothing that the government could do to change those factors. and that is why we could never compete with the other countries when it comes to making cars. Like that imagined accident victim the time has come to turn off the machine that goes ping, to sing our eulogies and to then move on to the future.
Sad cheers Comrades