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Abbott’s asylum seeker policy casts a shadow over his face

(by Ray Dixon – it’s just my opinion, James. Don’t lose it and make it personal, please)

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They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and this one of Tony Abbott, taken at today’s incredibly telling announcement, certainly does. Abbott has seriously damaged his credibility over how he would handle asylum seekers with the announcement of a scheme that is totally unworkable.

Make no mistake, Abbott’s plan to round-up existing Temporary Protection Visa holders would throw our immigration system into chaos and is simply too harsh. The very idea that he can remove any right of appeal while putting them all (all 30,000 of them) into detention would clog up our courts and put asylum seekers into further limbo. Housed exactly where, Tony?

Furthermore, by saying he will put all boat people on TPVs (including future ones), Abbott is effectively leaving the door open for even more boat arrivals, not slamming it shut like Rudd has. Under this scheme, the people smugglers would simply tell their customers, “Yes you will get a Visa, Tony says so”.

This is exactly the sort of thing that may yet bring Abbott undone and see him lose the unloseable election – because it’s becoming pretty clear that Tony Abbott is all about saying what he thinks will be popular without having a real plan or thinking about the impacts his off-the-cuff and policy-on-the-run ideas would have on this country.

He’s probably still the favourite to win (let’s face it, the bogans of Western Sydney won’t understand how this plan cannot work), but he’s moving closer to blowing it with every passing day.

What a great election this is.

More please.

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26 Comments

  1. Richard Ryan says:

    Still reckon Abbott will fall over at the last fence.

  2. Ray Dixon says:

    I hope you’re right, Richard. Abbott is not a right fit for PM, and his party is not ready to resume government. Better to stay with one that actually lays out its plans, policies & costings for all to see.

  3. Iain Hall says:

    Ray
    I am certain that you have utterly misunderstood the situation with the “asylum seekers” at issue here tthe vast majority of them have not had their claims processed which means that they will be problem that The Abbot government will have to deal with . If you would take the time to read or listen to what the opposition actually says you would not be making such a silly argument.
    Time and time again you assert that “ Abbott is not fit to be PM” but you never back that up with any substantive argument or justification. Yet you can not bring yourself to advocate for the Labor government because even you know how woeful they were under Gillard and how they are unimproved by the return to Rudd.
    So my challenge to you is this, if you can’t countenance the idea of an Abbot government then please tell us why you Judge Rudd fit to govern.
    If all you have is your visceral dislike of the coalition and an “he is not Abbott” argument then you do yourself a serious disservice by denying that it is LABOR and Rudd who are unfit for office.

  4. Iain Hall says:

    The answer, I think, lies in a failure of political strategy.

    Instead of convincing Australians that refugees represent a social good, that they can actually improve our communities, advocates have overwhelmingly argued that we need to show “compassion” to the world’s needy. Couched in terms of “moral obligation”, these arguments have ignored one of the key factors underpinning effective social change: that people are more likely to support something when they deem it to be in their community’s interest, and not simply a burden that they’re forced to accept.

    Take Christine Milne’s electoral pitch. The Greens leader has argued that Australians should support their refugee policy because they’re the only party offering compassion on asylum seekers. Milne hasn’t suggested that asylum seekers will enrich the lives of existing Australians, she has simply appealed to moral abstractions, like our “humanity”.

    The Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) has a similar approach. A quick scan of the lobby group’s recent Facebook posts uncovers a number of important messages, but two themes are most persistent: on one hand, the “illegality” of Labor’s PNG policy and, on the other, the need for Australians to extend their “compassion” and “humanity” to displaced people. Again, these are two abstractions, however admirable, that are largely detached from Australians’ quality of life.

    Historically, however, successful social movements have approached transformation from a different direction. For instance, when Ben Chifley introduced changes to social welfare after World War II, it was not simply because of a moral obligation to the unemployed: it was also because it provided the “aggregate demand” which would underpin the economics of growth and full employment. Unlike the Greens and ASRC pitches, change would benefit the whole community, not just those in need of charity.

    Successful modern social movements have tended to heed this lesson. Paid parental leave, which is now bipartisan policy, was not purely prosecuted with abstractions based on gender theory. Rather, advocates have argued that, by allowing parents to return to work after time with their child, Australia would maximise its participation rate and industrial output. Again, economic benefits would be diffuse, not simply concentrated in those few receiving payments.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-08-16/crowe-asylum-seeker-campaign-strategies/4892374

  5. GD says:

    Ray
    I am certain that you have utterly misunderstood the situation with the “asylum seekers” at issue here

    Excellent start to the argument Iain. With this post Ray has gone from being the self-proclaimed, non-biased commenter back to being the rusted on Labor voter that he always was. Hypocrite.

    ‘Whatever it takes’ being the current Labor motto.

  6. GD says:

    Ray mistakenly reckons that:

    Abbott is not a right fit for PM, and his party is not ready to resume government. Better to stay with one that actually lays out its plans, policies & costings for all to see.

    What colour is the sky on your planet Ray? Clearly you have lost all sense of reality.

    Now let’s look again at your comment:

    …one that actually lays out its plans, policies & costings for all to see.

    I hope you’re not talking about Labor here Ray, because if anything, Labor’s costings over the past six years have been nothing short of a joke.

    Labor has a tragic record of financial planning, policies and costings. The NBN is the first cab off the rank, now running billions over the original ‘back of a drink coaster’ agreement between Rudd and disgraced censorship minister Conroy.

    Back in 2007, Labor quietly released its 2007 costings the night before the election, simply posting them on its website. The lack of publicity was understandable, for they could scarcely be taken seriously.

    Dismantling Howard’s Pacific Solution would save $60 million, they claimed; instead, it cost an additional $10.3bn. Industrial relations reform would mean “less bureaucracy”, saving $260m; instead, spending increased by more than that amount. Further millions would be saved by slashing government advertising and entirely eliminating the communications unit; in fact, spending on government spin is reaching record highs. And the National Broadband Network would be financed entirely from “existing investments” for a total of “up to” $4.7bn – less than one-tenth of the outcome.

    Once again Ray, what colour is the sky on your planet? Because clearly you don’t live on ours.

  7. Iain Hall says:

    Listen to this Guys its lovely!

  8. Tony says:

    Excellent start to the argument Iain. With this post Ray has gone from being the self-proclaimed, non-biased commenter back to being the rusted on Labor voter that he always was. Hypocrite.

    nicely said GD, and before Ray again attempts to squirm out of his “born again” neutrality status there is this ?

    I think the gap will narrow closer to 50-50 by election time but it’s still an uphill battle for Labor to win. Remember, the Coalition will be effectively starting with a majority of 76 seats given they’re almost certain to win the seats being vacated by Windsor & Oakeshott and given Katter is again likely to support Abbott. So Labor actually needs to win seats off the Coalition and that’s a very big ask. At least Rudd’s return has saved Labor from a wipeout and, while I haven’t yet given up hope and conceded, I reckon deep down they know they’re pushing shit up hill from now on.
    https://iainhall.wordpress.com/2013/08/09/peter-beattie-and-that-telling-grin/#comments

    So which is it Ray ?
    Sh*t, you’re up and down like a harlet’s drawers ?
    You labor today or lib, wish you would make up your mind ?

    Wait for the identity challenge folks, zoom zoom ?

  9. Tony says:

    God she is an airhead ?
    Reinforces my premise earlier, to put the Greens last doesn’t it ?
    Give them balance of power, you have to be kidding.

  10. James says:

    I think you are all being very tardy against Ray, he’s a reformed Laborite who’s going to vote Independent this time aren’t you Ray? You know, those Independents who can really get that much done, or claim they can. Those Independents that like Windsor, Oakshot, Wilkie and a string of others found that team Labor wasn’t all it was cracked up to be and still had a stack of knives in the kitchen drawers to stab them in the back too.

    As for Hanson Young, well little girls just should play in a big mans world, isn’t that right Julia?

  11. James says:

    Shouldn’t that was supposed to read shouldn’t, bloody hell, anyone like to buy a new keyboard for me pleeese.

  12. Ray Dixon says:

    Gentlemen, gentlemen, please calm down. One anti-coalition policy post among all the Rudd and Labor bashing posts that have been written ad infinitum here of late and look at your responses. Your comments are over-reactions in the extreme – it’s as though you think “how very dare anyone have a different opinion to mine”. There’s not much of substance in your retorts but I will respond (without personal attacks, unlike some of you) one by one:

    Iain,
    I fully understand Abbott’s newly announced policy. It’s unworkable and I note you have failed to address or respond to my specific points regarding its shortcomings. How does he round up 30,000 TPV holders? Where does he detain them? How does he handle the High Court challenges to any rejections – tens of thousands of them? And how long will that take and how much money will it cost? This is not a plan, Iain.

    Then, and this is a point that Labor has failed to ram home yet, the fact is Abbott has clearly stated he will issue TPVs to new arrivals, meaning they will be added to the system and still have a chance (via the High Court) to obtain residency. Meaning he’s sending a message to the people smugglers that it’s “not quite business as usual, it’s just a little tougher to gain entry”, whereas Rudd has stated clearly “if you arrive by boat you will not be admitted to Australia, full stop”.

    Abbott is deliberately and cynically keeping the door open with this so-called policy. He has no plan to carry it out because even he realises its unworkable and, if elected, he will simply adopt Rudd’s PNG solution. The point is it’s a political sham designed to keep the asylum seeker issue going and keep the boats coming right up to September 7. He knows Rudd’s policy is the right one but he wants to undermine it. And in so doing, he is actually proving unfit to be PM.

    As for your second comment or more correctly, your quote of a Drum opinion piece, that is just someone else’s opinion – a university student no less! This guy:

    Yes Iain, this is the bloke you’re quoting as some kind of expert opinion. Please, give me a break – I could put up 4 or 5 other opinion pieces penned by people far more qualified than this kid including University Law Professors who have pointed out the minefield and impracticality of Abbott’s policy. But I’d rather we both used our own heads and formed (and expressed) our own opinions.

    I’ve stated my case, you are yet to even begin adressing the points I raised and, instead you attempt to divert the issue away from Abbott’s kneejerk faux policy by “challenging” me to state the case for voting Labor. No, not yet – I’ll wait until the final week to give my full analysis (like Abbott is waiting before he reveals his policy costings!) but right now we’re talking about Abbott’s asylum seeker policy announced only yesterday. I’m happy to debate you on that when, and if, you care to actually address the key points.

    GD,
    Haven’t you got the message yet? I told you yesterday (and the day before) that I will not respond to you when you continue to attack the person not the opinion. Your remarks such as “Ray has gone from being the self-proclaimed, non-biased commenter back to being the rusted on Labor voter that he always was. Hypocrite and “What colour is the sky on your planet Ray? Clearly you have lost all sense of reality are nothing but baseless personal attacks. Nowhere in your comments on this post have you addressed or answered the key points and weaknesses I’ve raised about Abbott’s policy. If you care to do so – minus the personal digs – I’ll gladly respond. Do try. Or not. I don’t care to debate you in your current frame of mind, mate.

    Tony,
    That’s hardly worth responding to. I’ve never supported the Liberals. But I’ve clearly stated that they’re likely to win. There’s no flip-flopping in my position and you seem to be reading something that’s not there. I’ll leave it at that.

  13. James says:

    This week Kevin Rudd caused a storm when he brought notes into the leaders debate. And yet amid all the outrage no one has been able to find out what was actually written in them.

    James please note:
    I have deleted your off topic copy & paste from the Daily Telegraph. This is my post. It’s about Abbott’s new found asylum seeker policy. If you care to address the issue you’re welcome. If not, put your off topic comments on another post. Not here. – Ray

  14. Tony says:

    neither is your censorship

    (It’s not “censorship” to edit out off-topic comments. I let his first one stand but two in a row indicates he has no desire to actually debate the topic at hand. Now I have allowed a little more latitude to you, as you have made two comments on this post and neither addresses the actual issue, Tony. But any more off topic comments by you will also be deleted – Ray)

  15. James says:

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    Obviously Raymond, you didn’t read the post correctly, did you miss the line “Yes I let a few too many boats in”, that deemed the post to be on topic.

  16. Ray Dixon says:

    Doesn’t cut it. It was 99.99% off topic. And a copy & paste.

    Here’s a tip: If you have no opinion of your own and nothing original to say on this issue then … say nothing.

  17. James says:

    So, Richard Ryan’s post was directly on topic?

  18. Ray Dixon says:

    You’re right, Richard was off topic too. I missed that one – it’s now deleted. Thanks. Now have you got an opinion on the issue or not?

  19. James says:

    The PNG Prime minister Peter O’Neil has told Australian media today that; “There is no agreement that all genuine refugees will be settled in PNG,”

    He has also said that Australia will need to take back a share of them.

    Given that we have a huge backlog of so called refugee’s/boat people who conveniently lose their papers, already in detention, in Green community Motels etc. etc. who are relying on handouts from the Australian Tax Payer and do gooders who are feeding thousands of dollars to lawyers more than willing to fill their bank accounts to fill the courts with appeals from people who have no proof of identity, and officialdom is hard pressed to ensure their bonafide , this policy is a must.

    TPV’s with a clause that they work for the dole to earn their keep will be another signal to smugglers and those cashed up to the gills to buy illegal entry into Australia , that there’s not a bed of roses for you at the end.

  20. Ray Dixon says:

    This is the fuller quote (from The Age, the same source you cherry picked from):

    ”There is no agreement that all genuine refugees will be settled in PNG,” Mr O’Neill told The Saturday Age.

    He said PNG would work with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to engage with other countries willing to take part in resettling those refugees.

    ”That includes Australia, New Zealand and all the other countries who are signatories to the UN conventions on refugees,” he said.

    Rudd has never said they will ALL eventually settle in PNG. It’s always been the case that PNG will ask other countries to take some of those who are genuine. But O’Neill doesn’t decide which countries will have them. And Australia will be under no obligation to take them either, as any who have first attempted to get here by boat will not be admitted.

    But under Abbott, the country will have tens of thousands of TPVs working for the dole in Australia. For years. A cheap labour force – slave laboor? But effectively residents. So he’s going to give them money, housing, benefits etc and let them stay for years. While Rudd is giving them nothing except a one-way ticket to PNG. You have your argument back to front.

  21. James says:

    Ray, cherry pick, mate you’re the expert at that so I’m told. The following is exactly the words, a transcript from the original so called joint Rudd Png announcement, cherry pick, you’re a joke…

    Today the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea and I are announcing a major initiative to combat the scourge of people smuggling.

    Today we’re announcing a new resettlement arrangement between Australia and Papua New Guinea.

    From now on, any asylum seeker who arrives in Australia by boat will have no chance of being settled in Australia as refugees.

    Asylum seekers taken to Christmas Island will be sent to Manus and elsewhere in Papua New Guinea for assessment of their refugee status.

    If they are found to be genuine refugees they will be resettled in Papua New Guinea, an emerging economy with a strong future; a robust democracy which is also a signatory to the United Nations Refugees Convention.

    If they found not to be genuine refugees they may be repatriated to their country of origin or be sent to a safe third country other than Australia.

    These arrangements are contained within the Regional Resettlement Arrangement signed by myself and the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea just now.

    http://www.pm.gov.au/press-office/transcript-joint-press-conference-2

    It’s very clear what Rudd said:

    If they are found to be genuine refugees they will be resettled in Papua New Guinea, an emerging economy with a strong future; a robust democracy which is also a signatory to the United Nations Refugees Convention.

    There is no mention of maybe another country.

  22. Ray Dixon says:

    There’s no mention of it THERE, but since that announcement O’Neill has said he will seek other countries out to take a share – which is his perogative. Rudd has acknowledged this … because it’s not his choice. Nor is it O’Neill’s choice to send them back to Australia. You are making this out to be something it’s not. The Rudd policy is clear:

    “IF YOU ARRIVE BY BOAT IN AUSTRALIA YOU WILL NOT BE SETTLED HERE”

    (PS: Do not call me “a joke”. Play nice or bugger off)

  23. Ray Dixon says:

    Now how about you answer this one, which is what this post deals with? How about you address the shortcomings in Abbott’s policy without diverting by making up shortcomings in Rudd’s?:

    But under Abbott, the country will have tens of thousands of TPVs working for the dole in Australia. For years. A cheap labour force – slave labour? But effectively residents. So he’s going to give them money, housing, benefits etc and let them stay for years. While Rudd is giving them nothing except a one-way ticket to PNG.

    Well, ……………………………?

  24. Ray Dixon says:

    Btw, I “trashed” your last comment. This is my post. Iain allows me editorial control of comments on my posts and I will delete any off topic or personalised rubbish you attempt to put up. I’ve sent you an email.

  25. Ray Dixon says:

    And I “trashed” your next one.

    Take out the personal stuff – all of it – and you can put it up again if you like but I’ve had a gutful of your rubbish and you’re now persona non grata as far as I’m concerned.

  26. Iain Hall says:

    Ray

    I fully understand Abbott’s newly announced policy. It’s unworkable and I note you have failed to address or respond to my specific points regarding its shortcomings. How does he round up 30,000 TPV holders? Where does he detain them? How does he handle the High Court challenges to any rejections – tens of thousands of them? And how long will that take and how much money will it cost? This is not a plan, Iain.

    I don’t think that you have succeeded in defining specific “shortcomings” in the policy at all Ray. You certainly have made a number of erroneous assertion that the 30 k asylum seekers are already on TPVs when that is not right at all. TPVs will only be issued to claimants who have been determined to be genuine . None of the 30k have had their status determined. High court challenges may have been mooted by the usual suspects but they will fail simply because the previous judgements are not immune to legislation. Remember this is the coalition rather than the Labor party and I am rather sure that all of the T’s have been crossed and all of the I’s dotted.

    Then, and this is a point that Labor has failed to ram home yet, the fact is Abbott has clearly stated he will issue TPVs to new arrivals, meaning they will be added to the system and still have a chance (via the High Court) to obtain residency. Meaning he’s sending a message to the people smugglers that it’s “not quite business as usual, it’s just a little tougher to gain entry”, whereas Rudd has stated clearly “if you arrive by boat you will not be admitted to Australia, full stop”.

    Rudd may well have said that Ray but he has yet to deliver that reality which is sadly the whole problem with labor, they over promise and under deliver on just about everything.

    The simple fact is that the PNG solution is far from being workable and even your blessed Kevin has failed to live up to his grand plan and very few of the most recent arrivals are now in PNG and there is some shilly shallying about the idea of PNG settlement for “genuine” claimants. If anyone is sending the wrong message to people smugglers its Rudd and Labor.

    Abbott is deliberately and cynically keeping the door open with this so-called policy. He has no plan to carry it out because even he realises its unworkable and, if elected, he will simply adopt Rudd’s PNG solution. The point is it’s a political sham designed to keep the asylum seeker issue going and keep the boats coming right up to September 7. He knows Rudd’s policy is the right one but he wants to undermine it. And in so doing, he is actually proving unfit to be PM.

    That is utter nonsense Ray Of course Abbott will of course salvage what he can from the PNG solution but we both know that there is no reason to think that Abbot in government would want the boats to continue.

    As for your second comment or more correctly, your quote of a Drum opinion piece, that is just someone else’s opinion – a university student no less! This guy:

    Yes Iain, this is the bloke you’re quoting as some kind of expert opinion. Please, give me a break – I could put up 4 or 5 other opinion pieces penned by people far more qualified than this kid including University Law Professors who have pointed out the minefield and impracticality of Abbott’s policy. But I’d rather we both used our own heads and formed (and expressed) our own opinions.

    I made no claims that this chap is an expert I just cited him because I think he has a good point, one that I would have thought you might agree with in fact (given your liking for immigration)

    I’ve stated my case, you are yet to even begin addressing the points I raised and, instead you attempt to divert the issue away from Abbott’s kneejerk faux policy by “challenging” me to state the case for voting Labor. No, not yet – I’ll wait until the final week to give my full analysis (like Abbott is waiting before he reveals his policy costings!) but right now we’re talking about Abbott’s asylum seeker policy announced only yesterday. I’m happy to debate you on that when, and if, you care to actually address the key points.

    Read my archive Ray You know how often I have argued this issue and my position has not changed.Nor is the coalition policy a new invention its the same policy that they have been enunciating for the last six years.

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