I’m not sure which is more disturbing, the thought of fawning Latte sippers lining up to get David Hicks to sign his book or the notion that he might profit from it.
Notice too how the Age skips over the salient fact that Hicks trained with al Qaeda and declared allegiance to Osama Bin laden? Hmm I very much hope that the profits from this book are seized by the Commonwealth, but I am cynical enough to expect that they won’t be because the Labor government and their masters the Greens will ensure that Hicks is able to profit from his crimes, just as they caved in to the spurious law suits from that other terrorist Mandoub Haib.
If Hicks was genuine about wanting to put those , err,” indiscretions” behind him, then he would just look to the future and not try to profit from a very disgraceful past.
I find it utterly stupid and just downright bizarre that after taking such a beating over the asylum seeker issue that The Gillard Government has tried to play the third country processing card without actually having the appropriate cards in her hand, Now with no deal signed between Australia and Malaysia or New Guinea they have thrown away what little credibility that they may have had by insisting that the latest arrivals will be processed in an as yet undecided third country country:
Frankly this is as stupid as making an all in bet on that inside straight when playing poker, it may pay off but the risks are huge. In political terms Labor are just tying themselves in knots here all because they don’t want to admit that they they should have just bit the bullet and picked up the phone to Nauru where they know that asylum seekers will be both treated well and that the host government will accept the new arrivals. But they just have to ask themselves if the inevitable unrest as disappointed asylum seekers are forcibly put onto planes to Malaysia or New Guinea is going to be worse than having to try to spin going back to the Pacific solution? Gee it looks to me as if Gillard and her immigration minister are going to be thinking that the crevice between that rock and a hard place is very cosy indeed compared to the media grist mill that they have jumped into here. The left are going to berate theme for being cruel when they should be compassionate and their heartland are just going to roll their eyes heavenward while thinking that this is just another example of Labor incompetence. The Coalition can quite rightly feel vindicated that the Labor party have substantially moved back towards their own solution to the problem of unauthorised arrivals while they also will appreciate that because this is only another ‘half way there” back-flip there is still plenty of room for them to promise the public that they can fix the problem properly.
Australia’s problem is that Gillard does not know how to play political poker properly, she does not seem to know that you don’t bet on an inside straight and then show the world that you are missing that vital card that will turn nothing in your hand into something that you can bet and win with. Labor’s problem is that they too have made a bad all in bet by picking Gillard and they have no choice but to stick with her because there is no one brave enough or with enough of a political death-wish to grasp the now poisoned chalice of the Labor leadership.
Its something that we have seen the Labor party do repeatedly, they decide upon a “reform” don’t really think about what the “knock on” effects will will be, then they go into denial that their reform is the cause of the subsequent problems, finally they realise that they can’t spin their failure as a success so they take a step back to the pre-reform position. Sadly this usually means that the thing that they broke in the first place is still stuffed but then they begin a whole new round of the spin cycle:
As pressure mounts on Labor to deal with the asylum-seeker issue in the wake of a large influx of boats over the past three years and violent riots at detention centres in recent weeks, the Papua New Guinea cabinet is today expected to endorse a proposal submitted by Canberra for a centre to be located in the country.
One of the options is to open a detention centre on Manus Island, the site of the Howard government’s so-called Pacific Solution.
In a clear sign the government’s original proposal for a centre in East Timor has become an embarrassing failure, Immigration Department secretary Andrew Metcalfe and Richard Marles, the Parliamentary Secretary for Pacific Island Affairs, travelled to Port Moresby this week for discussions with PNG officials. The visit followed concerted behind-the-scenes lobbying by Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd, who pointedly refused to take carriage of the ill-fated East Timor solution announced by Julia Gillard in the lead-up to last year’s election.
Of course even if they get this up they will be on a hiding to nothing in the opinion of the public because without the removal of permanent residency the people smugglers will still have a product to sell and the boats will continue to arrive…
Half measures, are not enough…
It is of course understandable that those in the legal profession would think that justice actually requires the performance in their own theatre, with appropriate posturing from their own stars of that stage. They truly think that the courts and the legal profession have an absolute monopoly upon the dispensing of justice. Personally I think that the claim for justice being the exclusive business of lawyers and judges is flawed. Firstly I shall give you the example of Geoffrey Robertson who says this in the Age and was very quick of the mark at the ABC making essentially the same argument:
I do not minimise the security problems of holding a trial or overlook the danger of it ending up as a squalid circus like that of Saddam Hussein. But the notion that any legal process would have been too hard must be rejected. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed – also alleged to be an architect of September 11 – will go on trial shortly. Had bin Laden been captured he should have been in the dock alongside him, so that their shared responsibility could have been properly examined.
Bin Laden could not have been tried for the attacks on the twin towers at the International Criminal Court, since its jurisdiction only came into existence nine months later. But the United Nations Security Council could have set up an ad hoc tribunal in The Hague, with international judges (including Muslim jurists), to provide a fair trial and a reasoned verdict that would have convinced the Arab street of his guilt.
This would have been the best way of demystifying this man, debunking his cause and de-brainwashing his followers. In the dock he would have been reduced in stature – never more to be remembered as the tall, soulful figure on the mountain, but as a hateful and hate-filled old man. Since his videos exult in the killing of innocent civilians, any cross-examination would have emphasised his inhumanity. These benefits that flow from real justice have been forgone.
The obsessive belief of the US in capital punishment – alone among advanced nations – is reflected in its rejoicing at the manner of bin Laden’s demise. Barack Obama has most likely secured re-election by approving the execution. This may be welcome, given the alternatives of Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee (who have both urged that Julian Assange be hunted down in similar fashion) or Donald Trump. But it is a sad reflection on the continuing attraction of summary execution.
So I’ argue that the killing of Bin laden is just, he got what he deserved, and that would have been the judgement of a reasonable court anyway so in terms of natural justice there is no problem here at all.
Islamic enough and really much more than the mastermind behind the deaths of so many innocent lives deserved.
In the wake of the execution of the Bali Bombers I was advocating that they should have been denied the rituals and comfort of an Islamic funeral, playing as it were to the religious dogma of the faith that these vile creatures claimed to kill for. I still think that there is merit in playing to the superstitions of those who kill for Allah, by making them believe that we will do everything possible to undermine a glorious reward in the afterlife.
Thus I find it very interesting that the USA have found something of a middle path between undue deference to Islamic dogma and the political necessity that there be no focal point for Jihadist pilgrimage to the tomb of thsi truly evil man:
I fully expect that the footage and still images of a dead Bin Laden will shortly be released and there is no doubt that some people will not believe it until they see it for themselves. While the apologists for the Jihadists will undoubtedly try to insist that the disposal of this vile man’s corpse is “un-Islamic” the more sensible will realise that it is just Islamic enough and really much more than the mastermind behind the deaths of so many innocent lives deserved.
Amanda Vanstone was minister for immigration in the Howard government and she still knows her onions, her opinion piece in the Age this morning is succinct and to the point:
When you say yes to someone who has come in with a people smuggler, you are going to have to say no to people waiting in camps for the world to help them. So being nice to one person means you are not being fair to another. Not fair at all.
It’s all too easy to market yourself as compassionate because you take up the cause of asylum seekers who come in the back door. But it is a conveniently conspicuous compassion, and it’s the politics of convenience.
How can letting others with more money buy a place at the front be in any way fair to the refugees in camps? The government needs to bite the bullet and recognise that the people in camps who come in the front door are deserving of priority. That’s what’s fair.
Things have changed, so the policy needs to change. Permanent protection should be saved for the most deserving – those who have spent years in refugee camps with little hope, or those for whom we are the country of first asylum.
For those who force our hand and come in the back door through other countries, we should offer protection – but temporary protection only. No visas to travel the world, and no family reunion.
Its a tough but fair regime that Amanda Vanstone is suggesting here and who could possibly argue with that ? So if the coalition is the only party prepared to make this sort of reform it is obvious that a change of government is necessary sooner rather than later if we are going to solve this problem.
Those of us who are concerned about the issue of the endless stream of unauthorised arrivals of
asylum seekers illegal immigrants have long known that the most attractive carrot that draws them here is the easy route to getting permanent residency and the right to sponsor their family members once that get that desired migration outcome. I am not alone in being disgusted to discover that even those who have been convicted of the destruction of commonwealth property have thus far not been “bad enough” for the minister to refuse them a visa on “character grounds”. The fact that the Labor government has finally decided to “Toughen up” and change the law so that any offence will be enough to refuse residency is a good start. But the obvious question that comes to mind is why the hell has it taken the partial destruction of not one but two detention centres for them to act?
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said that if the laws were passed they would come into force from today and cover any troublemakers convicted over acts of violence and riots at Broadmeadows, Villawood and Christmas Island.
As protests continued at four detention centres around the country yesterday, Mr Bowen said: “These changes send a clear message to anyone considering engaging in unacceptable behaviour in immigration detention that this will only increase their chances of not being granted a visa.
“The Government believes the powers under the Migration Act can be strengthened to create a more significant disincentive for this sort of destructive behaviour.
This will apply to all people in immigration detention: onshore and offshore arrivals, asylum seekers, or otherwise,” he said.
Under the Migration Act, Mr Bowen already has the power to refuse visas, but it is easy for him to do so only where a person has a substantial criminal record, or where someone has been sentenced to jail for a year or more.
The changes will mean that, if a convicted criminal faces persecution in their own country, they will most probably be granted only a provisional visa, which does not permit refugees to bring their families to Australia.
Once the threat in their home country is over, they can be sent back.
Along with the ridiculous reluctance to forcefully deport those who have failed in their claim for asylum (they and their country of origin has to agree that they be deported 🙄 ) the lack of any meaningful sanction for unacceptable behaviour while their claims are being determined is the underlying cause of the unrest in the detention centres at present. Further I find the naivete of the protests from asylum seeker activists almost breathtaking. If ever there was an issue where a protest is beyond futile it is this one . They certainly will get a chorus of “right on ” from the Uber-left loopy Greens but Labor have no wriggle room to give even the tiniest part of a millimetre to their noisy demands lest they lose even more of their base vote. And the general public are just not prepared to believe the narrative that “asylum seekers” are the “worthy of our concern victims of oppression” narrative since both Christmas Island and Villawood have burned.
So in true Labor party tradition what we can see here is an example of policy over reach followed by a ridiculous denial of the negative consequences of their changes and then finally a partial restoration of that which they changed.
Is it any wonder that the Gillard government is the top contender for the “Worst Labor government of all time?