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At last after seven years of madness the country can draw a line under the Asylum seeker disarray created by Kevin Rudd
I must say that waking up to the news that the government has finally manged to secure the passage of a bill to reintroduce TPVs has really brightened my day.
“The crossbench shouldn’t have been put in this position, but we have,” the Motoring Enthusiast party senator said.
Independent senator Nick Xenophon also wrestled with the decision, but like Muir believed the amendments would give hope to thousands of refugees stuck in detention.
In return for their support – and that of the Palmer United party – the government agreed to quickly process the claims of 30,000 asylum seekers languishing in detention centres across Australia.
PUP leader Clive Palmer said that backing the legislation meant 1,500 asylum seekers – including 468 children – would soon be leaving Christmas Island.
But Labor and the Greens accused the government of using those children as a bargaining chip, arguing that the immigration minister, Scott Morrison, could release them at any time, if he wished.
Independent senator Jacqui Lambie – who opposed the legislation – attacked the government for keeping children detained for so long.
“These kids have been sitting there for 15 months, and you want a pat on the back? You’ve got to be kidding yourselves,” she said.
Particular concerns were raised about the return of TPVs, a Howard-era policy condemned by refugee advocates and repealed by the previous Labor government.
The government also agreed to increase Australia’s humanitarian intake of refugees and to give those on bridging visas the right to work.
Now the government can virtually clear the legacy backlog of mendicants that we can thank the Labor party for creating way back at the beginning of the Rudd regime. Long time readers may remember when I correctly predicted the subsequent flood of boats Further despite voting against the bill in the Senate I very much doubt that any future Labor government will be rushing to repeal the legislation because they will not want to endure being thrashed for their stupid position of the issue for another seven years. Any one who looks back on the this part of our political history must surely recognize that the whole problem is a consequence of the Labor party making a bad call and then being political cowards unwilling to undo their mistake or even admit that it was a mistake. All because the Labor party have been trying to court the very loopy left who support the Greens position on the Asylum seeker issues. That sort of thinking from the ALP is of course rather mad because there is no way that a sensible ALP person can possibly sink deep enough into the slime of Green political idea without alienating their center.
The thing that we should always remember is that the measure of the ALP’s position on any issue where it is at odds with the current government is not the posturings of Electricity Bill Shorten and his motley crew but their answer to being asked “will you repeal it if you win office?” and my guess is that The ALP answer will almost without exception fudge it and make excuses and prevaricate because the last thing that they want to do is commit themselves to giving the public a very spiky stick to beat them with for the next seven years.
The thing that so many on the fringes of the political spectrum for get is that politics in this country is a game with a well defined rule book and no matter which side (speaking of the ALP/LNP ) you are part of the way to convince the public to give your side the treasury benches at a general election is by being far better at the day to day battles in the parliament and in the court of public opinion. The simple truth is that Abbott succeeded in opposition and at the last general election not because he was “a wrecker” As Chris Graham insists in his article but because he was a far more effective playing at the game of politics than Rudd/Gillard/Rudd. He would not have had a chance of success however had the ALP government not been so deeply flawed.
In the first instance Rudd was deeply flawed insofar as he was really good at capturing the imagination of the polity during 2006 and he made all of the right noises to convince the voters that he would be “Howard lite” he insisted to those of us concerned that a Labor government would be mad spenders were wrong to worry because he was “an economic conservative”. To the left he promised to be a champion for their environmental bet Noir of climate change and to do something about the then non problem of asylum seekers.
The history of the ALP’s last been much written about by its (cough!) stars (12 books and counting!) but one thing is clear and that the they were the wreckers, making changes that made no improvement to the country, Things like Rudd’s abandoning of the successful suite of policies dealing with boat people and the sorry story of “the greatest moral challenge of our generation” which when it came to the crunch he lacked that cahones to take to a DD election(which most pundits thought he could have won)
Rudd was a wrecker not because of his flawed ideologies but because of his flaws as a leader. A good leader of men is able to delegate and trust those to whom he delegates his authority to. Rudd was almost pathologically incapable of doing this. As an egomaniac and a control freak he managed to destroy the belief and trust of the public servants in his administration wasting both their good will and much of their work effort in his unreasonable demands and a bullying style to both his staff and parliamentary colleagues. Gillard was likewise a wrecker. First and foremost she was tainted with the dripping blood of the plotter’s knife but worse than that she was a political whore willing to say one thing to win office only to change like the wind when she needed the support of the Greens in the hung Parliament. The betrayal of her infamous “there will be no carbon tax under a government I lead” broken promise wrecked the remaining credibility of the ALP. The sad truth is that had she stood up to the Greens &’indies” and told them she would only agree to a carbon tax after the subsequent election Abbott would not have had his most powerful campaigning slogan.
In government the LNP under Abbott have not been perfect but they have been scrupulous in their determination to be true to their election commitments Against all of the predictions to the contrary the Abbott government has been able “stop the boats” and although this has upset the usual suspects, (hi Marilyn ;o) ) now that there is not the eternal new arrivals into the system the problem can be solved. There is still a large legacy of Rudd’s wrecking in the detention centers but that is being addressed.
Much has been made in this piece about the deployment of ADF people and planes to the fight against ISIS in Iraq but really what is the alternative? Can we really just look the other way and do nothing? Can we, as part of the civilized world ignore the slaughter of Shia people or the treatment of women and girls as prizes of war? Surely even the left must realize that destroying the Islamo-Fascists of ISIL is a moral and justified cause? Sadly too many seem unable to let go of their hatred of the United states for long enough to realize that they are all that stands between the world and the rise of a totalitarian Caliphate with global ambitions.
That said the problem that our own Muslim minority feels somewhat besieged by the tide of events is clearly not of the magnitude that many of the left claim it to be. In fact the number of anti-Muslim incidents has been very small and the panic from Islam apologists has been of far greater magnitude than any criticism of Islam in this country. Even the recent concerns about the Burqa in our parliamentary precincts has not created the sort of anti-Muslim hysteria that so many of the left invoke when ever there is an issue with ISLAM. On this Issue Abbott has been both calm and truthful He was honest about how confronting it is to have people who hide their faces in public yet accepting that we are not a society that wishes to prohibit those who want to do this.
To insist that Abbott Was A Wrecker In Opposition; Who’s Surprised He’s A Wrecker In Office? is to misread both the politics of the period of the last Labor government and to misunderstand the nature of a soundly administered government.
The Federal Government has confirmed that 41 asylum seekers have been handed over to Sri Lankan authorities after being intercepted near the Cocos Islands.
It is believed that two boats were intercepted north-west of Australia in late June, but the Government was not confirming their existence.
However, Immigration Minister Scott Morrison has now confirmed that one of the boats, intercepted west of the Cocos Islands, was carrying 37 Sinhalese and four Tamils from Sri Lanka.
A statement from the Immigration Minister says the 41 people on board were processed at sea and transferred to the Sri Lankan navy yesterday near Sri Lanka.
The Government says one of the Sinhalese may have a case for seeking asylum but opted to be handed back to Sri Lanka.
Well how is that? Now that these would be illegal immigrants have been handed back to the Sri Lankan navy I very much doubt that there will be a new flood of mendicants following their example and buying passage on a voyage of gilliaganesque proportions that takes them nowhere. To me the thing that I find most in interesting about this cohort is their ethnicity. Namely that the majority were not even Tamils they were Sinhalese which very neatly undermines the arguments form the open borders left who have been insisting that they are all Tamils. Frankly if ever there was proof that these are economic migrants then that is the clincher right there.
Isn’t it nice to see our government doing what it promised?
Like others I woke up this morning to the news that the government has had a very sharp turnaround in the polls many people are unhappy with the budget. Well just tell me who is surprised? I’m not because the government have gone the difficult path of doing the right thing. something that is often rather unpopular. Its times like this that we learn the true calibre of our leaders. Perhaps its time for those who are cheering so loudly for Labor in the commentary should take a moment or two to consider just how we got to this place where a government has to bring down such a harsh and, lets be frank, unpopular budget.
That is exactly what happened. Rudd was worse than Whitlam. In the six years Labor was in government, the growth in Australia’s real federal expenditure was close to highest in the Organisation of Economic Co-Operation and Development – even though Australia was a resource economy with a sturdy banking sector and no housing bubble, and thus not susceptible to the financial shock in the US and much of Europe.
It is difficult to move the macro-economic needle quickly in a $1.5 trillion economy that is the 12th largest in the world (larger than Spain, which has 47 million people). In 2009, Rudd managed to jolt the needle, ramping up federal spending as a percentage of GDP.
He was also more profligate than Julia Gillard and she was no prize, loading future budgets with the Gonski education program, the national disability insurance scheme and the multibillion asylum seeker debacle without seeming to have a Gonski about how it would all be paid for.
Now that the bills are coming due, neither Rudd nor Gillard are around. It is the morning after. The clean-up. The payment due date. And the demographic challenge has loomed into focus. So let’s not confuse who did the spending and who is having to pay.
It would also be remiss not to mention the supposed “crisis” in NSW. The people who instigated the current revelations about Liberal politicians, lobbyists and fund-raisers were a Liberal senator, Bill Heffernan, and a Liberal Party executive member, Holly Hughes. Not exactly a cover-up.
New South Wales has a new premier untouched by scandal. He has a thumping majority in Parliament and firm hand on the budget. The Independent Commission Against Corruption is doing its duty to the discomfort of both sides of politics, unhindered by political interference. Its work will lead to better governance of all political parties.
A clean-up is not a crisis. We’ve already had a false crisis and are about to pay for it.
In my younger days I participated in various protests. It was political street theater then and its the same thing now. The difference is that then it had a point then and now well its for such a grab bag of pointless posturing that all achieves is a jump in sales for inner city Latte purveyors. One thing is clear though and that it proves what a disconnected bunch of posturing wankers our friends from the left have become. Courtesy of my twitter feed here are a couple of the more amusing images :
Its all of the usual suspects, making the usual complaints in the very tedious old fashioned manner None of it will be remembered beyond Tuesday (that attractive volunteer may be remembered till Thursday! 😉 ) and nothing will change in the polity as a result of this piece of nonsense.
Rollin on Comrades
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.