Just imagine that someone here fronts up to a group of poor lads at a bus top here in Australia and suggests to a nineteen year old that if they agree to work on a boat for one voyage and for doing that they would be paid a what would amount to a year’s salary for the job. Surely the first thought going through that lads head would have to be that no one offers that much money for a simple job unless there is something dodgy about the offer, Something like it being either a scam illegal very dangerous or all of the of the above. Frankly I don’t think that Aussies would be any different to Indonesian lads when it comes to accepting such offers namely that if their greed overcomes their good sense and then they get caught its hard to to feel too much sympathy when they face a very harsh penalty for the that they have subsequently broken in pursuit of that easy money. I felt that way about the Bali Nine and I feel the same way about those Indonesian people smuggling crew who are being prosecuted and jailed for breaking our law.
The sins in play here with these crewmen and with the Bali Nine are precisely the same, Greed and wilful stupidity and an irrational belief that they would not get caught. Now from an Australian perspective it is easy to say that the “10 million rupiah (about $A1000)” is not a lot of money but to do that is not appropriate; we must view the amount of money from the perspective of the young man offered the stipend. To him that is a very big wedge indeed. Sadly minions of the left like our learned friend thinks that criminals such as this should be given a slap on the wrist and then sent home with “I love Australia Tee shirt*”
There is something sadly predictable about our learned friend’s argument. In the first instance he ignores the very long-standing principle that ignorance of the law is no excuse and that it should have no effect on the punishment received by law breakers. But further he makes the patronising assumption that because the chap in question is from a poor background has no concept of right or wrong and that as such he does not deserve whatever punishment the courts deliver.
Finally he cites, as an alternative, a very wishy-washy propaganda piece from the Greens even though it wouldn’t be in any sense a viable alternative. I suppose that it does show just why the Greens are so attractive to political theorists like our learned friend. They, like him, just love playing “what if” games based upon some “high minded principles” knowing full well that those ideas will never be put to the test in the real world.