I’m not scared of the “boat people”. I’m scared of YOU.

boatpeople_wideweb__470x430,0

One of the most obvious questions I’d like to ask the “THEY’D BETTER NOT LAND HERE” crowd is – where would you like to send them?

Back home!

You mean to the land they’ve fled? The land they say is persecuting them? You don’t care if that means death, then?

Alright, back to their last port of call! Indonesia, wasn’t it?

You mean already overcrowded Indonesia that already takes its own share of refugees? You mean this Indonesia?

The Federal Government has described as “regrettable” the shooting of two suspected asylum seekers whose boat was intercepted by the Indonesian coastguard.

This is what I don’t understand about you and your ilk. I’m going to assume, for the sake of argument, that you are not a moron. Therefore, you realise that the people coming on the boats are fellow human beings. You realise that their input into our total immigrant numbers is miniscule. You realise that we are only one of many, many other countries to which refugees flee – and one of the minor destinations. You realise that most of the people who’ve dared the trip from Indonesia on shabby boats are ultimately found to be genuine refugees. You realise that this country was built on the backs of immigrants fleeing wartorn – and, yes, impoverished – countries for a chance at a better life. You realise that the “queue jumping” line, the attempt to play one refugee off against another, is ridiculous – no-one in an official queue has their application delayed because someone was picked up in a boat. You realise that there is no genuine security concern – terrorists would just fly in. You realise that jail is the toughest punishment we have, that we impose on the worst criminals in our country – and that the facilities in which we’re housing people who’ve committed no crime except trying to join us are essentially jails.

You realise that what the people on the boats are doing is precisely what you would do in the same circumstances.

And yet you want them STOPPED. You want them LOCKED UP. You want them SENT HOME.

And the party that promises to treat these people the worst, that party will get your vote?

I’m not scared of the dreaded “boat people”. I’m scared of you.

Advertisements

49 responses to “I’m not scared of the “boat people”. I’m scared of YOU.

  1. From the second verse of the national anthem:

    For those who’ve come across the seas
    We’ve boundless plains to share

  2. Cue anti-Leftist rant from SB in 3 …. 2 …

  3. Its funny though RM, SB can be very reasonable on certain issues.

    I quite enjoy reading him when he’s not going off the deep end about “The Leftists”

  4. I’m all for taking in genuine refugees, but I have my doubts about this guy:

    http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/1127737/Asylum-seeker-Alex-admits-criminal-past

    Is he fleeing from war-torn Sri Lanka or is he an ‘economic’ refugee from India and either way, do we want to allow in a violent criminal who has already been deported from another country for his crimes ?

    Also Deborah, as I’m sure you know most of our “boundless plains” aren’t exactly suitable for human habitation.

  5. RM, you obviously haven’t read any of my posts on the refugee issue.

    My view is that we should increase the refugee intake, expand our processing efforts and work harder at integrating the refugees when they arrive.

    Rudd has found $43bn to spend on improving the internet. Perhaps we could spend less on that and more on direct assistance to people in truly desperate need. The fact is that we can do more, much more, if it is a priority for us to do so.

  6. “do we want to allow in a violent criminal who has already been deported from another country for his crimes ?”

    No – this is why we screen them, I’m not aware of anybody advocating just letting anyone in with no checks.

    “Also Deborah, as I’m sure you know most of our “boundless plains” aren’t exactly suitable for human habitation.”

    But, we can hardly claim we are overpopulated, well we can but relatively speaking we aren’t. I know we don’t have much water but that doesn’t stop us using it at a higher rate per capita than anywhere else. Sooner or later we must understand that we (Australian’s) are carrying on in an unsustainable manner, I vote for sooner so let’s get populated.

  7. By the way, why is our desert any less inhabitable than the deserts of the Middle east? It may well be , this is why I ask.

  8. Can we expect Kevin to issue ANOTHER APOLOGY in 25 years time to the way in which we are treating asylum seekers today??

    I’m tired of Kevin hogging the ‘apology stage’ and have decided that the only option is to take matters into my own hands and out-do Kevin on the apology count.

    Feel free to add your apology to the list:

    http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2009/11/16/monday-in-the-confession-box/

  9. “Can we expect Kevin to issue ANOTHER APOLOGY in 25 years time to the way in which we are treating asylum seekers today??”

    Well I’m confident that we’ll have a different PM by then 😉 but you make a good point, I’m hoping that today’s current MPs will eventually see the NASTINESS of their ways, messing with REAL LIVING people to look tough politically. They’re a disgrace.

  10. Good point RobJ.

    I was thinking that maybe Kev will be like John “I’m not going to provide a running commentary” Howard by that time, you know – professing that he would’ve apologised long before anyone got offended if he was still in office…

    That kind of thing….. 😉

  11. Jeremy – I think your basic premise is wrong. You are assuming that the sort of people who are loudly opposing asylum seekers have a compassionate bone in their body.

    They don’t. They don’t give a toss about anyone but themselves. They are the “I’m alright, Jack – sod you!” mob. Ironically they also suffer from the worst kind of downward envy; a secret fear these brown people are going to get something they, as nice white people, aren’t entitled to.

    No amount of fluff stories about who these people are on a human level, what atrocities they have fled and what they might one day have to offer rur country will melt the cold, cold hearts of these racist bastards.

    1995 – white refuges from the Bosnian War? No worries; in you come.

    2009 – brown refugees from the Sri Lankan War? No way – back home with ya!

  12. “I was thinking that maybe Kev will be like John”

    Wouldn’t surprise me, I’m finding it difficult to separate the two these days… Oh, there is a difference, Howard never made any pretences to being humane toward asylum seekers.

    Rudd likes apoloigisng he also likes making no apology and asking himself “This?” rather than even attempt to answer questions put to him.

    Rudd has been very disappointing, I’m glad I didn’t vote for his useless, right wing mob who call themselves “Labor”.

  13. “I vote for sooner so let’s get populated.”

    I’d rather we keep our population at a sustainable level — one that is in tune with the capabilities of the land to support, if I want to live in a third world country I’ll emigrate to one.

    As to our deserts being less habitable than Middle Eastern ones — I don’t think there are large populations in deserts anywhere, most of the population of Middle Eastern countries are centred either on the coasts, on rivers or on large springs (oases).

    The majority of true desert dwellers I think tend to be more nomadic.

    You’re right of course about our water usage habits, although I think the largest users of water here are industry and agriculture so it may take a while to change those practices.

  14. “I’d rather we keep our population at a sustainable level — one that is in tune with the capabilities of the land to support, if I want to live in a third world country I’ll emigrate to one.”

    UK seems to manage, I wasn’t thinking third world when i was thinking about countries that are far more densley populated than Australia.

    Everyone in Australia pretty much lives in a metropolitan or regional centre, we are one of the most, if not the most urbanised populations in the world.

    UK Has three time the population and NO WAY does it have three times the inhabitable land.

    Australians tend to exaggerate the population problem IMHO.

    “The majority of true desert dwellers I think tend to be more nomadic.”

    Israel is all desert.

    “You’re right of course about our water usage habits, ”

    It’s not just water though, it’s coal and food too, we have a massive sense of entitlement! We NEED to be taken down a peg or two for our own sakes.

  15. Gavin,

    Melbourne – population density: 1566/km²
    Paris – Population density: 20909/km²

    France is an OK place?? 😉

  16. “Israel is all desert. ”

    For Israel’s water supplies:

    http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/brief/Water.html

    I’m no expert on the subject but I think we waste a lot of water through our practice of not using ‘grey’ water for industry and agriculture.

    Many non-third world countries are indeed more densely populated than Australia, here we have been brought up on the idea of not living on top of each other, I think I prefer it that way too, (selfish outlook I know, but there it is), I’m horrified at the thought of a Melbourne with in excess of10 million people living in it, if I want that I’ll move somewhere like New York or London or any of the other over-populated cities around the world.

    I believe their land is also more productive than most of ours, particularly in Europe, they can produce far more product per acre than most of our farms can.

    I know you have a dislike of coal Rob, but right now we’re stuck with it, Europe and the USA have nuclear power stations to supplement coal-fired ones, thanks to the anti-nuke lobby here we don’t, so until a practical and cost effective alternative — as distinct to pie in the sky schemes — is found, we will have to continue using coal to supply our power.

  17. “I know you have a dislike of coal Rob, but right now we’re stuck with it, ”

    I disagree, well we are because our politicians insist on sucking up to the coal business. I wouldn’t mind betting that in the not too distant future other nations will penalise us for not trying hard enough to get off the coal teet.

    If we must burn fossil fuels then what about Natural gas? we’ve got gazillions of it.

    “I’m horrified at the thought of a Melbourne with in excess of10 million people living in it,”

    Well, you’ll probably be moving one day. 😉

    “Many non-third world countries are indeed more densely populated than Australia”

    As are many first world countries.

    “here we have been brought up on the idea of not living on top of each other, I think I prefer it that way too, (selfish outlook I know, but there it is)”

    That’s what I’m on about when I speak of a sense of entitlement, we waste MORE than everybody else and think that we don’t need to change. We do, the sooner the better, the longer we leave it thwe more painful it will be.

    “I believe their land is also more productive than most of ours, particularly in Europe, they can produce far more product per acre than most of our farms can.”

    Even so, the UK is tiny in comparison, has hardly any arable land, it’s great for sheep and was once great for beef too.

    “Due to the desert climate that makes up a large percentage of Israel’s landscape, the country has always had problems with water shortages.”

    And yet they manage..

  18. Rob,

    I wouldn’t want to live in Paris…It’s ok to visit but that’s about it.

  19. ““Many non-third world countries are indeed more densely populated than Australia”

    As are many first world countries.

    I think you misread what I wrote there 🙂

    “Even so, the UK is tiny in comparison, has hardly any arable land, it’s great for sheep and was once great for beef too.”

    Is meat and farm produce a major export for the UK as it is for Australia ?

    How much do they import ?

    I know they do have an export market but I suspect its nowhere like the percentage of revenue that ours is.

    Israel manages its water far better than we do, they use recycled water for industry and agriculture — something we should do also, in fact I can’t believe we don’t.

    Natural gas would possibly be a good alternative, not sure if it might be too volatile though — but how long would it take to convert our power stations to it and how much would it cost — how much extra would people be prepared to pay to cover those costs, do we take power stations offline one at a time to convert them thus dropping the supply of power for that time, or do we build a new gas power station first ?

  20. “Is meat and farm produce a major export for the UK as it is for Australia ? ”

    Used to be a major beef producer and exporter – Mad Cow’s put paid to that, fact is they’ve adapted thier economy (not withstanding the GFC and appalling economic management of Brown and Co)

    “I know they do have an export market but I suspect its nowhere like the percentage of revenue that ours is.”

    Gavin as a percentage of GDP you might be surprised how low it is in Australia (3.4% according to the CIA World Factbook).

    “Israel manages its water far better than we do, they use recycled water for industry and agriculture — something we should do also, in fact I can’t believe we don’t.”

    100 % Agreement, I met an Israeli Hydrologist a couple of years back, she spent Christmas with us.

    “Natural gas would possibly be a good alternative, not sure if it might be too volatile though — but how long would it take to convert our power stations to it and how much would it cost — how much extra would people be prepared to pay to cover those costs, do we take power stations offline one at a time to convert them thus dropping the supply of power for that time, or do we build a new gas power station first ?”

    Unfortunately due to our insistence on coal burning we’ll be buying the tech off the likes of China and the US. I’d be prepared to pay what it actually costs, but I want us to stop burning coal.

  21. “I think you misread what I wrote there”

    Lol – I mean ooops…

  22. Gavin,

    To bolster my Australia is underpopulated argument I’ve sought out this list:

    http://www.photius.com/rankings/geography/population_density_persons_per_sq_km_2009_0.html

    Australia stands 227 on the list, that’s right down the bottom with a population density of 2.79 people per sq km, the UK sits at 49 with 252.96 per sq km. There is no way the UK has approx 100 times more liveable/arable land, or water and resources for that matter. OK the standard of living in Au is better but not by much.

  23. No argument with you about our population density being low Rob, but I’m not sure what Australia’s sustainable population actually is — I think its hard to compare with Europe because of different climate conditions, Europe has a higher annual rainfall than us — Australia is recognised as the driest continent.

    The number of people per km has to be taken in the context of the size of the country and the resources – particularly water – available.

    I guess what we need to do is build a more efficient system of collecting our rainwater and transporting it from the areas that get a lot each year, problem with that in such a huge country of course though is the cost and the fact that we would need to also build storage for it.

  24. “I’m going to assume, for the sake of argument, that you are not a moron”

    Sorry Jeremy, but the majority of those opposed to “teh evil boat people” are morons.

    Very few of these people can put together a decent argument, other than “send em back” and “we don’t want em”. They want a “tough on border protection” policy even though the borders aren’t being threatened. They want to be tough on people smugglers by punishing their victims.
    Sorry Jeremy, but anyone who doesn’t factor in the humanitarian, political, financial, and legal consequences of “tough border protection” is a fully fledged moron.

  25. I will never understand why so many people are scared of boats. When’s the last time a boat sailed into a tower?

  26. My cousin was eaten by a boat.

  27. Robj – just because we don’t have the population density of other nations doesn’t mean we can afford to support more. (In the short term, maybe we could but…)

    As I understand it, we’re already over populated for our resources. At the current growth rate, some experts are predicting that we’re going to start running short of food production and water in the near future. Not to mention gobbling up tracts of wilderness just for places to live (or resources to make places to live, either way).

    High population density is not a good thing.

    That isn’t to say that I think we should turn boat people away, it is merely to make an observation that some people seem to be under the mistaken impression that Nature is not already stressed to the absolute limits by the population density in some countries. We need less humans the world over, not more. 🙂

  28. Accepting boat people encourages others to try. 100 people have died attempting the trip in the last year or so. The government’s kindness killed them. Being mean saves lives.

  29. “As I understand it, we’re already over populated for our resources.”

    In that case we’re buggered since our population will inevitably rise.

    How come we keep selling our resources? I mean if there isn’t enough for us.

    And with agricultural exports we’re exporting water??

    “Accepting boat people encourages others to try”

    And there I was thinking WAR was motivating families to move.

    “The government’s kindness killed them. ”

    Kindness? I’d hate to see their evil.

  30. Well said Todd. RobJ, war pushed them out, got them moving. That is one of the “push factors”. But why do they come all the way to Australia if all they need if a safe haven? In a large part it is because of the economic opportunities and quality of life here. Why not India, Malaysia, Indonesia? Why should the people on the boat in Indonesia insist on being processed in Australia if all they need is a safe haven? I doubt as many Australians would have problems with taking and assisting refugees from our own near neighbouring countries in Asia or the Pacific. This was demonstrated by our willingness to help during the Tsunami and Indonesian earthquakes. Most people just don’t like being take for a soft touch.

  31. “But why do they come all the way to Australia if all they need if a safe haven? ”

    More go to Europe.

    Would you like to spend 9 years in a camp in Indonesia, would that be good enough for you and your family? If not why should it be good enough for others?

    “Why not India, Malaysia, Indonesia? ”

    Go and lead by example. The nations you have listed are POOR! Why not Australia? The nations you have listed already have massive populations, why not Australia?

    “Most people just don’t like being take for a soft touch.”

    Then MOST people are selfish pricks, considering that boat people are a MINUSCULE number of the overall amount of asylum seekers! Why are you so scared of boat people?

    “Well said”

    Riiiiiiiiiiiiiight, sounds just like Sharman Stone’s/Philip Ruddock/Kevin Andrews/John Howard cruel, base rhetoric to me.

  32. “Accepting boat people encourages others to try. 100 people have died attempting the trip in the last year or so. The government’s kindness killed them. Being mean saves lives.”

    No, it doesn’t. It just makes their suffering and death less obvious to Australians because it doesn’t make the news.

    “Why not India, Malaysia, Indonesia? Why should the people on the boat in Indonesia insist on being processed in Australia if all they need is a safe haven?”

    They DO go to India, Malaysia, Indonesia. Far more than here.

    You can tell the moral paucity of the “I don’t want to see them” side when it has to constantly rely on false contrasts:

    *boat people vs those in the queue (there’s no contest between them, since letting in the former for assessment doesn’t affect the latter)

    *Australia vs other destinations (there are far more refugees going to other countries than Australia).

  33. Hi Rob, I reckon GavinM and Zandilar are on the right track here, particularly if you take the long view.

    If people were willing to live in the desert and drink recycled water, maybe we could carry more people.

    Unfortunately where most people want to live is the cooler, higher rainfall areas, where housing development often comes into conflict with agriculture, forestry and native bushland.

    Another inevitability is higher oil, natural gas and phosphorous prices. All are finite inputs that modern agriculture simply cannot function without, and as they get more expensive our ability to produce food will be limited.

    Australian soils (unlike Europe, UK etc) are unable to produce even moderate yields without the use of a lot of fertilizer, in particular phosphorous.

    With water shortages and a looming global peak in food and oil production, the idea that Australia needs more people is madness.

  34. “With water shortages and a looming global peak in food and oil production, the idea that Australia needs more people is madness.”

    The madness is how wasteful Aussies are, the most wasteful people on the planet when it comes to water usage and CO2 production. This just goes to show that Australia could sustain many more people if we weren’t such wasteful, greedy people.

    We currently sustain 20 million, in a totally unsustainable manner.

  35. I’m not talking about sacrifices, I’m highlighting waste. Enormous waste.

  36. Besides, with regard to the topic we aren’t talking about large numbers of people so all the arguments about sustainability and popn density are moot.

  37. Just out of interest Rob, what is your reasoning on this? Is there some economic, environmental or social benefit you can see to having a higher population?

    Have you considered what i said about global peak food production?

    Are you aware that peak food production and aquifer depletion are currently some of the biggest issues being considered by security and intel agencies all over the world?

    Why is having room to expand or grow into the future a bad thing, why the rush to over populate?

  38. BTW, my arguments on this are nothing to do with our obligation to refugees, which of course are a tiny number of people when compared to regular immigration.

    Im simply talking carrying capacity, no hidden agenda!

  39. “Is there some economic, environmental or social benefit you can see to having a higher population?”

    Not particularly, I just contend that we aren’t anywhere near the max popn we can sustain, comfortably. I highlighted that for Australia we are very wasteful, we could support more just by wasting less.

    “Have you considered what i said about global peak food production? ”

    You’d need to explain how this would be Australia’s problem alone.

    “Are you aware that peak food production and aquifer depletion are currently some of the biggest issues being considered by security and intel agencies all over the world?”

    Like you say this is an international issue, if it isn’t sorted we’re doomed, regardless of Australia’s population.

    “Why is having room to expand or grow into the future a bad thing, why the rush to over populate?”

    I’m not in a hurry, I’m just convinced that boat people will have an infinitesimally small impact. I just wandered off topic with Gavin on the overpopulation issue which I’m happy to debate.

  40. Hi Rob,

    We did go a bit off-track there didn’t we 🙂

    I’m with you on the refugee issue of course, the numbers of “boat people” arriving here are pretty insignificant in the grand scale of things so I don’t see any reason for not processing – (hate that term, makes them sound like meat or something) – them here and allowing the genuine refugees amongst them to stay.

    But in terms of overall population we do need to be a little cautious because Australia’s environment is unique and definitely has a finite capacity for the number of people it can support – a number that is far lower than the size of the continent might suggest.

  41. “Why should the people on the boat in Indonesia insist on being processed in Australia if all they need is a safe haven?”

    Ditto what everyone has said so far re: them taking more with a side of THEY ARE SHOOTING REFUGEES, YOU MORON.

    This whole “the government is responsible for all the boat people dying trying to get here” might fly if

    a) You could prove that the people trying to get here are even aware of our policies

    b) If they are, that it’s actually a push factor

    c) If you admitted that the previous government, which apparently stopped people from thinking of coming here who subsequently died from their situation, was responsible for those deaths.

    You can’t have it both ways.

  42. Keri & Jeremy,

    In all fairness, the Indonesians aren’t shooting all refugees as a matter of policy — 2 have reportedly been wounded when allegedly refusing to stop when approached and ordered to do so by the Indonesian Coastguard, while I don’t condone those shootings, I don’t think we should exaggerate them either.

  43. Pingback: Global Voices Online » Australia: Asylum Seekers test tough but humane approach

  44. Pingback: Australia: Asylum Seekers test tough but humane approach :: Elites TV

  45. Pingback: Australia tests Tough but Humane Approach to Assylum Seekers | Vybes.com - Tech News, Reviews, Business, Health News and More

  46. Interesting story you got here – Sven – marine student Norway

  47. Pingback: Australia tests Tough but Humane Approach to Assylum Seekers « ASRC Bulletin

  48. Pingback: Australia tests Tough but Humane Approach to Asylum Seekers « ASRC Bulletin

  49. Pingback: The worst Anti-Muslim Statement by the Muslim leader of the the year goes to Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi « San Oo Aung’s Weblog

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s