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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.
You have to hand it to Kevin Rudd, when it comes to ‘rat fucking” his party he is a true champion not only did he lie about serving the electorate of Griffith for the full term but he would not even give its current leader the courtesy of a forewarning of his intention to resign:
While I would expect a certain level of magnanimity from the current prime minister about the man that he so decisively defeated in September I frankly would have respected Electricity Bill just a bit more had he just stood up and said that the party will be better off now that it is fully free from the spectre of Rudd’s pernicious influence. No we did not get such candor from Electricity Bill instead we got the usual empty platitudes even though he was clearly NOT feeling the love at all. Sorry folks but to may mind that is precisely why Electricity Bill will never be PM of this country.
So as Rudd retires on his 155k per year along with a car and security detail we poor long suffering voters will have to take comfort from the fact that thanks to the efforts of our Kevin it may well be longer than a decade before we again see a Labor PM in the Lodge, the sensible among us may well think that I am being too generous the the ALP in this prediction but I prefer to err on the side of caution…
My brother the computer tech spent most of yesterday afternoon/evening here and now I have two new PCs, my hard-drives were OK so all of my data was spared being fired with the computers. It looks to me that it is not our phone line that has been damaged but the phones themselves along with our data switch/router. the good old credit card will get a workout when I go shopping tomorrow , I do have insurance for the house but not its contents as we have reasoned that the cost of the premiums would far out weigh the benefits that we may have to claim in this sort of calamity. Even with replacing the fried appliances I expect that it won’t cost more than 1.5k at the very worst (probably around a grand ) and that is only two years premiums. Having lived here for more than fourteen years we are still ahead.
Enough of the domestic disaster stuff its time to enjoy the fact that Kevin Rudd has done precisely as I predicted and resigned from the parliament. I may be wrong here but I can’t help thinking that there was financial incentive for the former Brother Number one to sit at least once in the new Parliament before resigning. that little vanity will probably cost the taxpayers a great deal over the years of his retirement. I had to laugh though as I watched both members of the government and the opposition doing the “hail fellow well met” game on the TV last night. For all of that I think that history will be far from kind to Kevin, and will recall his failings far more than they will recall his successes in high office.
Despite his dreams of once again being a fine and handsome rooster he is very definitely a feather duster now! Which of course begs the question of necessary by-election for the seat of Griffith. Will it too fall to the coalition? This is just like the old Saturday morning serials, without the corny music track!
Cheers indeed Comrades
Minions of the left are suffering terribly at present, not only do they have to contend with their side losing the last federal election they also have to put up with a total change in style in the way that the government. presents itself to the people. And they are clearly flummoxed by the change. You see they have become addicted to a constant diet of sugar rich media hits from the the previous Labor administration and now they are suffering form a sort of political hypoglycaemia. Take Laurrie Oakes as an example :
As I see I think that Oakes, like a lot co commentators and media players think that governments exist to give them something to talk or write about. That it is the duty of Government to keep giving them the political sugar that they crave. Its a vestige of the Labor years and I can’t be the only one who thinks that Labor created a rod for their own backs in the way that they insisted on being total media whores and now that they are in opposition and well totally irrelevant we get the likes of Oakes whining about the much more grown up government refusing to play by the old paradigm.
To some extent its all about the ever shorter attention span of the political classes that feeds the angst of Oakes and his cronies at Fairfax, lefty bloggers, and the Twiterarti that are to blame here.It used to be not so long ago that our news cycle was all about what has/was/is happening today. now with in instant message culture. The desire is to have something new every minute or so. Kevin Rudd and to a lesser extent Julia Gillard were both very keen to try to tap into the social media demographic and they tried to use social media as a tool to promote themselves and their government’s activities, they may not have created the short attention span of the media but they certainly entrenched the sugar addiction of polity.
Maybe, just maybe, the fact that parliament will be sitting again soon and that will mean a bit more colour and movement which will silence the interminable whining about the government being “secretive” and or that Tony Abbott is “hiding”. Somehow though I expect we will continue to hear the whining of the Hypoglycaemic leftist media braying for another of the sugar hits that they got so used to from the Labor days.
I’d suggest a good twelve step program if I believed in them or maybe hope that there was a type of political Narcan for this sugar hungry leftist-polity but sadly I think that the addicted are going to be obliged to go cold turkey., It won’t be pretty and the wailing will be loud and long but those of us who are politically grown up should cover our ears and look away from the tantrums because what matters in the public life of the country is not the smoke and mirrors of political spin but good solid administration. That is what we elect governments for; to do the job not just to talk about doing it.
- Oakes hits out at Tony Abbott (smh.com.au)
- Laurie Oakes slams Abbott government (theage.com.au)
- Abbott rallies party faithful in Tasmania (abc.net.au)
- Tony Abbott preferred over Kevin Rudd (news.theage.com.au)
- Women’s group accuses Kevin Rudd of treachery over Julia Gillard treatment (abc.net.au)
- Rudd’s 2010 animus is still hurting Labor (abc.net.au)
- I call bullshit on The Age and Kevin Rudd (cateswannell.com)
- ALP boss slams ‘gothic horror’ Labor government (abc.net.au)
- An Open Letter to Bill Shorten (theaimn.com)
- In the internet age, a time when there are effectively no media islands any more (iainhall.wordpress.com)
I am somewhat amused by the reinvention of public personas and this is one that I could not fail to notice. When one of the worst PMs in living memory was indulged to an hour and a half of soft interview on the ABC It was impossible not to notice that those horn rimmed spectacles have mysteriously disappeared. Suggesting to me that they were always an artifice intended to make Juulia gillard look more serious and to create a feeling of greater intelligence :
Well as she is in definitely into chip wrapper territory now I can’t help wondering how long the feministas will continue to celebrate her frankly deleterious period in power? Its ironic that for all their talk of gender equality and so forth that those of the feminist tribe seem awfully keen on judging a woman in politics entirely on the contents of their underpants rather than their ability to do the job with skill or rigour.
- on evil blogs and dustbins of history (superflat.typepad.com)
The thing about the last six years of frankly awful government is that it has given us some great humour and I for one will miss the way that comedians like Anthony Ackroyd took the Piss out of Kevin Rudd. This vid is a pleasant revelation into the process of satire and comedy writing and no matter which side of the fence you are on it is worth a viewing.
- Rudd impersonator fronts eyewear retailer’s TV campaign attacking foreign aid (mumbrella.com.au)
- Craig Emerson blasts ‘destructive’ Kevin Rudd for Labor instability, says he must quit parliament (abc.net.au)
- Secret diagnosis helped bring down Rudd (smh.com.au)
- Kevin Rudd a ‘grandiose narcissist’ (stuff.co.nz)
- Get out of parliament, Newman tells Rudd (sbs.com.au)
- Talking Funny – Comedians Talking Comedy (writersislandblog.wordpress.com)