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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Particular concerns were raised about the return of TPVs, a Howard-era policy condemned by refugee advocates and repealed by the previous Labor government.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.
During the course of the last government we saw the rather unedifying spectacle of the Labor party trying very hard to distract attention from its failings by letting the polity be distracted by the Greens long held desire to change the marriage act. With all kinds of silliness we saw MPs asked to consult with their constituents about their feelings on the subject we saw several doomed to fail private members bills presented to the parliament and we saw the Canberra town council try to create same sex marriage in their jurisdiction even though they knew that their efforts would be quickly torn down by the high court. So it should surprise no one that the high court has in fact ruled that the whole edifice created by the Canberra Town council is null and void.
The problem with political stunt flying is that those sort of aircraft are bound to come back to earth with a very unpleasant crash and sadly people get hurt. Some how I think that the sad Gay couples pictured in the Canberra Times’ picture gallery will direct all of their angst at the wrong players in this bit of legal theater. They will undoubtedly blame the current government instead of both the Labor party and the Greens who gave them such false hope that there is any substantive mood for change of the Marriage act in the Australian polity. At best its a fringe issue a long way down the political agenda of most people. The general public are more than OK with homosexuality per se I would venture that the reforms to various acts to remove discrimination against same couples made by Labor under Rudd is generally endorsed and that within the greater Australian community* being Gay is of no more consequence than having a particular hair colour. That is something to give ourselves a collective pat on the back for but Gay marriage? Forget it, its not going to happen in this country any time soon because there are far more pressing fish to fry than the vanities of that small proportion of the community who bat for the other team.
*Our Islamic community is a notable dissenter when it comes to social acceptance of homosexuality within our society and that the Koran insists that being Gay is a capital offense.
We all want faster Broadband but sadly the ALP stuffed up the delivery of the NBN, especially in the bush.
Isn’t it amusing that dyed in the wool Abbott government haters are so willfully blind to the ineptitude of the previous government when it comes to the management of their big ticket schemes like the NBN? Now that the grown ups are in charge its very clear that in every possible way the Labor party were up top their necks in Africa’s longest river. As long as they rely only upon the broad brushstrokes of policy design and a futile hope that the details will resolve themselves they will not deserve to hold the treasury benches at a federal level. Design matters, and a good design takes real thought and real understanding of the need that you are trying to meet. Now if only the ALP could truly assimilate that idea then they might be electable again.
Well now the mother of all by-elections is all over bar the shouting (and counting, assuming that its not stuffed up again) its good to see the leader of the opposition moving to reform the ALP to better reflect the diminished standing of the union movement in Australian society. The requirement that someone who wants to join the Labor party has to also be a financial member of a union is an anachronism that has surely been putting off a lot of people who might otherwise join the party. Now as much as I dislike the ALP as it is currently constituted and the polices that it pursues I do recognise the need for there to be a viable yin to the LNP’s yang and as the Greens are too loopy to be let anywhere near the levers of government a viable ALP is the best option and for them to be viable they need to be more reflective of the people that they purport to represent. So after Ray has picked himself up after discovering me writing something positive about Electricity Bill Shorten I’m sure that we will be in agreement that making Labor party membership easier and cheaper will be a good for the political landscape of this country.
Who would have thunk it?
There has been something rather sad and desperate about the way that the luvvies were taking great comfort in the short lived downturn in the polling for the coalition but this poll reversal must come as a very bitter blow to those who have been clinging to the vain hope that the Labor party can come back into contention without the reformation that it so dearly needs if it is ever to be credible enough to return to office.
I also think that their parliamentary tactics are backfiring badly. Simply put they are being obstructionist to the government legislative agenda in a rather shallow attempt to demonstrate that they still have parliamentary teeth. A sensible party would have waved through the repeal of the Carbon and Mining taxes but in an expression of political machismo Electricity Bill Shorten has just succeeded in shooting himself and keeping the very reasons that his party was thrown out front and centre in the minds of the voters.
The utter brilliance of the coalition’s proposed Royal commission into the Unions can not be underestimated every new revelation of thuggery or other nastiness will stain the reputation of the party that is the creature of the union movement and that means that things can only get worse for the ALP under the current leadership and the truly sad thing is that none of the alternatives are likely to do much better. Shorten had a chance to draw a line under the follies of the last government and move on to rebuilding the party’s fortunes but he chose (or was instructed by his union masters) to carry on in the usual Labor style. Frankly If he is still leader by Christmas I will be very surprised indeed.