The law on asylum seekers is very clear: you can’t send them home to danger

Greg Barbs asks “Doesn’t Julia Gillard know the law on asylum seekers?”:

But what is most disturbing about Ms Gillard’s supposed plans are that it flies in the face of Australia’s obligation to act in accordance with the Refugee Convention.

Article 31 of the Convention says that no “Contracting State shall expel or return (“refouler”) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.”

There it is, in black and white. Don’t send people home if they are going to be killed, injured, harassed or captured. But this is exactly what the Gillard government is planning to do, according to today’s report.

One of the refugee-bashing commenters to that piece, who sees the above as a good thing, suggests something we might want to consider: maybe Gillard is actually hoping the left gets really angry about what she does this morning. Maybe the angrier we get, the more it will sure up her “tough a***hole” credentials with the hysterically frightened and paranoid brigade, which is clearly her aim.

The strategy would then be: use the left’s outrage to get the Lib/Lab refugee-hating misinformed swinging voters onside, and then in the last week of the campaign claw back the Greens votes with a relentless advertising blitz and smear campaign. Labor won’t promise to implement any progressive policies: it’ll just scare Greens voters with its traditional “if you vote for them TONY ABBOTT WILL WIN AND REINTRODUCE WORKCHOICES” (even though there’s no way that voting Green will help the Liberals) and “the Greens are extremists who won’t work with anyone” (even though the issue this parliament has been that the ALP repeatedly refuses to talk with the Greens on anything).

Cunning, amoral, shameless bastards, aren’t they? I suppose we shouldn’t be surprised that the ALP would trash Australia’s responsibilities under the Refugee Convention if they thought it’d help them retain power.

PS Note that I’m not advocating that we don’t go hard on their outrageous treatment of asylum seekers – the flaw in their calculation has to be where they’re confident they can get lefty votes back whilst representing rightwing policies. That’s where we have to stand firm.

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13 responses to “The law on asylum seekers is very clear: you can’t send them home to danger

  1. Splatterbottom

    They don’t want lefty votes back. Gillard’s labor Right puppet-masters want her to reclaim swinging voters in outer urban electorates. The only question is what fig leaf she will use to cover her indecency.

  2. confessions

    Abbott beats PM to the punch on boats trumpets the Oz proudly on its homepage.

    It’s all just a game. Who can beat the other one into the gutter with the most cruel, inhumane treatment of asylum seekers. What’s next? Getting the Navy to open fire on boats? Indefinite detention for AS? Death penalty perhaps, after all Abbott has already mused on its reintroduction.

  3. Gillard’s labor Right puppet-masters want her to reclaim swinging voters in outer urban electorates.

    Urgh. It saddens me that I cannot find fault in this comment.

  4. Blast Tyrant

    Well Jeremy, according to that dweeb on Q&A (the guy who used to advise for Howard), they ARE queue jumpers, and they should “do the right thing” and go through the proper channels at the embassy or high commission. Sure, they might get killed, captured and tortured or gang raped in the process, but it’s more important to “go through the proper channels”.

    I seriously wanted to punch that little freak Downer in the face last night as well. Saying it’s only “bourgeois inner city types” that support refugees.
    Because the representatives from the Wulringi people who gave out ceremonial passports to refugees on May Day this year are so bourgeois, or the CFMEU and other unionists that support refugee rights are so bourgeois.

    Oh, and there’s two reasons they could be coming here – it’s the push factor or the pull factor, and Downer says it’s the pull factor. It’s not the fact that they’re trying to escape genocide in some instances, it’s actually because they really just like Australia that they’re coming here! sure they might die in the process and be locked up on arrival.
    Fuck i hate that lying little piece of shit.

    I dont know why SB thinks she needs a puppet master. She’s an opportunist, she’s able to make these decisions on her own to benefit her own career. Which is probably even more despicable.

    So is this strike 3 Jeremy?

  5. Splatterbottom

    The worst outcome for labor in alienating lefties is the loss of one or two inner city electorates. This arises only if the Greens get more first preference votes than Labor. For the rest of those seats Labor can rely on Green preferences.

    On the other hand Labor stands to retain many seats that a few weeks ago were showing signs of swinging to the Libs. The numbers are clear, and the stomach for building a principled case is entirely absent.

  6. the stomach for building a principled case is entirely absent.

    I fear that stomach has been absent for many years now as political parties around the world have become entirely poll driven.

    Our career politicians now see votes in the same way that businesses see revenue.

  7. and if you don’t obey the law, Ban Ki Moon will run a devastating leaflet campaign against you

  8. confessions

    SB’s second comment is pretty much where it’s at. Progressive Labor voters shifting to the Greens does SFA to influence Labor’s policies.

  9. There’s a tipping point, confessions, beyond which the ALP will no longer be able to ignore the threat of the Greens, and will have to actually start listening to Greens’ voters concerns. By voting Green, you bring that point closer. By voting ALP, you push it further away.

    Hence my subsequent post.

  10. While the Greens are no threat in the lower house, they can easily gain balance of power in the Senate, which will pull Labor to the left either by providing an alternative negotiating partner for legislation than the Liberals or by motivating them to protect their “Left Flank” to prevent further loss of power in the senate

  11. Poor Greg Barnes. Still doesn’t understand Year 7 Civics. Dude, as the the leader of the elected government of Australia, Prime Minister Gillard makes the laws in this country.

    How the fuck are there so many brain dead people in this country about basic civics?

  12. “Dude, as the the leader of the elected government of Australia, Prime Minister Gillard makes the laws in this country.”

    Actually, based on that comment, I think it’s you who don’t understand basic civics.

    Hint: no, she doesn’t.
    Hint 2: check out the Constitution.

  13. Blast Tyrant

    acdicey. Um what?

    Given that logic you would have had no complaint with Hitler making the laws of Germany during the ’30’s.
    “meh, he IS the leader of the country…”

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