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.
As shocking and tragic as the recent sinking of an overloaded boat full of “asylum seekers’ is I just can’t help but think that to be honest it is not our responsibility,there is absolutely NOTHING that any Australian government could have done to prevent the loss of life. The boat sank within 40k of the shores of Indonesia yet we have the open door left suggesting that Australia is in some sense culpable for the loss of life. Fools like our learned friend seem to think that because these people were heading in our direction then we should hang our heads in shame that there has been such a tragic loss of life:
Lets first go to his rather stupid contention about them being in “danger” in Indonesia. How precisely would they be in danger? Or more correctly why would they be in any more danger than say a Christian Aussie tourist buying some weed in Bali? Sure they might face arrest but is that a mortal danger? I don’t think so… In fact as Muslims they are probably safer than any Aussie tourist would be in that country.
The second bit of silliness comes from his repeated contention that it would be practical to not confiscate the boats and prosecute those who have been operating them. Am I the only one who has noticed that he does not link back to the last time he tried to get that argument to float? Where even his own Latte sipping acolytes were less than convinced? Jezza Maaate, It was an impractical and stupid idea then and the passage of a little time has done nothing to rescue it from the depths to which the argument sank last time. The fact that you have managed to find only that Loonie Lynot from WA to support you this time does not bode well for you either. So a word from the wise, when you put up an argument that is silly and you learnt that it is silly on the first outing then don’t make your self look a total tool by dragging it out again a few weeks later.
The final thing that I want to say about this tragedy is that no matter how seaworthy a boat is it will surely founder if it is overloaded and it set out onto to a savage sea, there is no doubt that bad weather and 5m waves constitutes a savage sea so and so many people crammed upon a boat not built for such numbers was a disaster waiting to happen and I would dearly love our learned friend to explain just how his “let them keep the boats” scheme would have made the slightest difference in this instance.
I have to say that due to his repeated threats to sue yours truly I can’t allow any comemnts that suggest that our learned friend is anything less that utterly scrupulous about maintaining his his obligations to his profession and to the ethics that all barristers are obliged demonstrate.
It had to happen, and sadly it has happened sooner rather than later:
In terms of propaganda this event will be an all round winner, in the first instance those who want open borders will claim that this tragedy proves how desperate (and therefore genuine) people are to flee in our general direction,The government will claim that its all Tony Abbott’s fault because he would not rescue their stricken from conception “Malaysian solution”, The opposition will of course point out that this is the deaths at sea that it has been predicting.Even Indonesia will use this as propaganda to denounce Australia as the honey pot that attracts these desperate flies to their watery doom (which is one way to shift blame from themselves for failing to stop this boat’s departure) Our learned friend may even reprise his silly suggestion of giving people smugglers their boats back if they are sea worthy vessels. It will be a win all around in terms of rhetorical ammunition.
Of course for the dead and those who grieve for them there will be no win here at all and there is no portent of a way to stop this sort of thing happening again. It does seem obvious to me though that a big part of the problem would be solved by making it clear that no one who arrives by boat would ever be granted permanent residency and that being able to quickly deport those who are found not to be genuine refugees would make the world of difference. Get that program in order and it won’t matter where people are processed.
With respect for the dead Comrades
One of the things that I have often said here at the Sandpit is that Vegetarians are evil and if the accusation revealed in the senate committee hearing yesterday are factually correct then they are very evil indeed:
THE row over live cattle exports has reignited amid claims Indonesian peasant meat workers were bribed to mistreat animals for explosive television footage that sparked a four-week suspension of the industry.
Liberal senator Chris Back made the allegations before a Senate committee yesterday, raising the possibility that the damaging shutdown of the $320 million-a-year industry could have been based on a lie.
As the ABC television journalist who produced the program that aired the disturbing scenes described Senator Back’s claims as ludicrous, and Agriculture Minister Joe Ludwig stood by his decision to suspend the live trade, Senator Back, a veterinarian, said he was not in a position to publicly release his evidence.
The animal welfare activist who helped produce the footage denied making any payments, saying that the claims were outrageous. She said that she did not reveal her identity to the meat workers and pretended she was a tourist when she visited the abattoir.
After all just what could possibly be more evil than to create a subterfuge to exaggerate the levels of cruelty in Indonesia so that the trade with them could be suspended?
Watching this one with some serious interest…
Only the most deluded fool would think that Indonesia would ever change its long-standing hard-line on foreign drug smugglers condemned to death in their courts. However its a strange dance of denial that those foolish traders in the white death play…
Of course knowing that Juliar and Kevin are on the job will be a huge comfort to the condemned men because they will soon appreciate their great abilities to make all of the right noises (to their support base)while not actaully doing anything of substance to address the actual problem( think of the Oh so effective Carbon tax, pink Batts, or the BER). Some how I don’t think that the last thought as these men wait for the bullets will be to thank Juliar and Kevin so you would have to wonder why our PM and foreign minister are bothering to ask for something that is sure to be refused.
As for the condemned men, well it has to be time to summon up whatever courage that they have so that they can go to their self made end with some dignity.
We can debate the justice of a death penalty for drug smuggling until the cows come home but there is no doubt that it has been well known for years that Indonesia shoots drug smugglers that it catches and Andrew Chan must have known that before he hatched his ill-fated scheme to import heroin into Australia via Bali. Apart from the shock of being caught, It can’t have been a realistic expectation that he would receive any other sentence. Further it can’t have been a reasonable expectation that appealing the sentence would succeed in cancelling the firing squad either. So I find the tenor and tone of the reporting of this very as expected decision to be rather silly and quite ridiculous.
I can’t help thinking though that there may just be a bureaucrat in the Indonesian department of justice with a heart though because the decision to tell Scott Rush that he won’t face that post in a jungle clearing at the first opportunity meant that he was spared some measure of fear and loathing for his fate and in a strange kind of way not telling Chan immediately that his appeal has failed has given him a brief period where he could maintain some measure of hope that his fate was not a last walk into the jungle. There is no reason to expect that the final appeal for clemency will succeed either, so it now becomes a matter of when rather than if and I don’t think we should shed any tears for the very silly man who has gambled with his life and lost.
After all everyone knows that the house always wins in the end and only the most desperate gamblers think otherwise.
There are times when I have been not so impressed with Indonesia’s courts and there are times when I have been pleased that they can deliver justice to some rather nasty wrongdoers well I must say that I was pleased that that merchant of hate will probably spend the rest of his life in a prison cell, Sadly though I expect that he will still have the chance to preach his hatred and bile from within that jail cell.
Although I can’t help thinking about the way that other inciter of Jihad have been dealt with in recent months could perhaps have been an inspiration for dealing with Bashir…. No, dealing with him through the courts is the best option and hats of to Indonesia for finally making the charges stick, after all its the rule of secular law that is the mark of a proper civilisation and sometimes they even manage to deliver justice….
The mark of just how civilised any people are is very much related to how they address notions of cruelty to those creatures over which they have domain. Frankly you would have to be living under a rock if you are not aware of the scandal about the methods of slaughter that are common in countries like Indonesia and the middle east.
On a personal level I have dabbled with the vegetarian faith but I eventually came to the conclusion that as long as each individual is prepared to take personal responsibility for the life that must be taken to put meat onto the table then cruelty can and will be minimised. But lets make no mistake there is no entirely cruelty free way to kill the animals that we eat. All that we can do is try with the greatest sincerity to make the necessary death swift and as lacking of suffering as we can. Now I have previously denounced the practices of Halal slaughter and I find the stories that have inspired this current scandal entirely unsurprising. If you add a general indifference to the suffering of lesser creatures (or unbelievers ) to very poor governance on matters secular (like the regulation of abattoirs) you have the conditions for a sort of perfect storm of cruelty.But I also see the industrialisation of meat as a pernicious factor in this scandal as well because it allows the slaughter to be distanced form polite society and in that distance there is no social oversight of the practice either.
Well on this issue I find myself pretty much in tune with those who insist that unless the cruelty can be stopped (or at least minimised ) then we have no ethical choice but to suspend the export of Australian cattle until the ending of cruel slaughter practices can be assured.