Another epistle from Cory’s Conservative Bullsh*t Network

Liberal Party bullshit merchant Cory Bernadi is back in your email inbox with another serving of smears and lies:

The usual suspects are outraged at the ‘immoral’ determination of Tony Abbott and the Coalition to stop the pernicious trade by people smugglers. Naturally the most vocal critics of the morality of Coalition policy are those whose policies are directly responsible for 14,800 illegal arrivals since 2008 and the deaths of an estimated 600 people.

The most sanctimonious and hypocritical has to be…

The big parties who insist on refusing to allow refugees to arrive by air, who destroy smuggling boats regardless of safety thereby encouraging them to be as disposable as possible, the big parties who would rather waste millions upon millions on mandatory detention than risk a couple of “undeserving” immigrants on Centrelink payments? Tony Abbott who cares so little for refugees drowning that he wants to order the Navy to drag these “leaky” boats back to sea?

No, of course not. It’s the minor party that’s opposed to the present system, whose policies have never been enacted:

The most sanctimonious and hypocritical has to be the Greens’ Sarah Hanson-Young…

Talking of hypocritical:

…whose rhetoric and clamour for the media spotlight have regularly set new lows in party politics.

On the plus side, being detested by Bernadi is one of the finest testimonies to a person’s character available in Australian politics today. Congratulations Sarah.

Bernadi continues:

For the princely sum (even by Australian standards) of $11,500, a one way trip to Australia is then arranged. This begins with a flight to Malaysia, a quick trip across Indonesia’s porous borders and ultimately, a leaky boat to Australia.

Incredibly, somewhere along this route any legitimate travel and identification documents are lost, leaving little chance of confirming the identity or history of some of the new arrivals.

Presumably if they had legitimate travel and identification documents they’d get on a plane for a fifth of the price. Unless of course we had a system that refused to let people in the country on a plane if they were going to seek asylum here. Which we do.

And if we stopped pretending transporting refugees was a crime and returned the boats that were run safely, then legitimate businesses would enter the market, run safe boats, much cheaper, saving lives and making sure it’s not just those “privileged” desperate refugees who can afford to get on a boat. You know, if you’re serious about all that “what about the poor people who can’t afford a fare” stuff. (Yeah, I know you’re not.)

The demonising and pandering continues:

The advice to the would-be new Australian colonisers is to “have a good story”.

Colonisers?

The entire process is disheartening to anyone that believes our welcoming nation and accepting nature are being taken advantage of.

Welcoming? Accepting? The people paranoid about “colonisers”?

Imagine being the target audience for that article, the sort of person who’d respond not with revulsion directed at Cory, but self-righteous fury at his targets.

ELSEWHERE: And Tim Andrews at Menzies House has turned his fatuous rant against anyone left of John Howard into an email forward. Alienate your family and friends! Send it on! (via R.)

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110 responses to “Another epistle from Cory’s Conservative Bullsh*t Network

  1. Both major parties are pursuing policies aimed at ending the boat-person trade. The Greens (and you) appear to prefer policies that actively encourage and promote that trade.

    This puts the Greens (and you) firmly on the wrong side of this debate. Your preferred policies lead to a reduction in the fairness of our refugee intake system and have lead to multiple unnecessary deaths at sea. Those are simple facts.

    It’s time to accept, as I have, that the idea of a ‘controlled’ , ‘safe’ or ‘fair’ people smuggling option is a complete fantasy. The Left’s policies have failed – but that’s OK – our ideas aren’t going to work out 100% of the time.

    You just have to let this one go Lefty. We were wrong.

  2. On the contrary, Mondo, the big parties are committed to “discouraging” refugees from seeking the asylum to which they’re lawfully entitled by (a) putting them in enormous danger (policies to encourage boats to be as cheap and dangerous as possible) and punishing them (including children) as if they were criminals. Also, in Tony’s case, by dragging unseaworthy boats back to sea.

    The cruel policies which have failed are those of the big parties. Not the Greens.

    Their approach would save lives. But it’d also increase the number of refugees to whom we’d give asylum. And that’s the thing the big parties are really trying to stop – fulfilling our obligations as fortunate human beings. And they don’t care how far short of that basic standard we fall in pursuit of that goal.

    Deporting children to countries with no human rights protections? Locking up children indefinitely in the desert? Dragging unseaworthy boats back to sea?

    FFS.

  3. People like Mondo are sick disgraces of humanity. Like they actually give a fuck about refugees. Feel free to visit Villawood or Darwin Detention Centre any day of the week and help those poor poor people in need. I won’t hold my breath.

    In the immortal words of Molly Ivins:

    “most people have a very hard time forgiving those whom they have deeply wronged”.

    You’re all going to burn in hell. Have a nice trip.

  4. On the contrary, Mondo, the big parties are committed to “discouraging” refugees from seeking the asylum to which they’re lawfully entitled

    Jeremy – this is simply a false claim. The policies of the major parties are aimed at discouraging boat arrivals, not asylum seekers in general. Why are you pretending that you don’t understand this distinction?

    But it’d also increase the number of refugees to whom we’d give asylum. And that’s the thing the big parties are really trying to stop.

    Oh. I see. You’ve decided to invent motives, apply them to the major parties, and then to attack them on that basis. You’re not pretending that you don’t understand the distinction – you’re just ignoring it.

    Do you at least recognise, in principal, that it’s possible for someone to oppose the boat person trade while simultaneously supporting Australia’s refugee intake? Or are the two positions mutually exclusive in your mind?

  5. People like Mondo are sick disgraces of humanity. Like they actually give a fuck about refugees.

    Wow. That’s a pretty vile smear.

    But appropriate I suppose. It’s just Jeremy’s argument phrased in an incredibly aggressive and offensive way: anyone who supports or promotes policies aimed at discouraging boat arrivals must really be anti-refugee.

    It’s hardly necessary for me to point out that it’s also a childish strawman.

  6. The policies of the major parties are aimed at discouraging boat arrivals, not asylum seekers in general.

    No, they’re aimed at reducing the boat arrivals by deterring asylum seekers.

    And the method by which they do that is by treating asylum seekers who arrive by boat appallingly. As if the method of arrival ought to make any difference. As if you need permission to apply for asylum.

    If they were concerned with the safety of the boats they could stop criminalising the running of perfectly safe boats, and turning it into a criminal free-for-all.

    Oh. I see. You’ve decided to invent motives, apply them to the major parties, and then to attack them on that basis.

    Didn’t you read Cory’s little tract? All the insane “colonising” paranoia?

    Do you at least recognise, in principal, that it’s possible for someone to oppose the boat person trade while simultaneously supporting Australia’s refugee intake?

    It’s possible. Dubious, though.

  7. I agree with Mondo,though I’ve only recently come to this point of view.
    I used to have this silly idea that arriving here by boat was a simple case of sailing the Timor Sea and claiming refugee status.
    The tragedy of last Boxing Day made me start thinking about it differently, as did some of Mondo’s comments over at PP.

    I’ve now come to the view that, whilst perfectly legal and, sometimes, the only option, arrival by boat is deeply problematic in terms of asylum seeker safety.

    The Movement Conservatives have discovered this newly minted concerned for the well-being of boat arrivals just in time to craft it into a huge stick with which to bash the Labor Party.
    I believe these Neo-Cons are about as concerned about boat people as they are about gays in Iran, which is to say; only as far as it’s politically convenient.
    And let’s face it, this concern for safety is only a talking point to be used to sway your progressive mates at dinner parties. Real Conservatives™ know that the Islamic threat is the core issue, which is why Geert Wilders official knob-muncher down under, Cory Bernardi, is dog-whistling about ‘colonisers’.

    So what do we do? How do we stop people from drowning in the oceans?

    Jeremy, I think your ideas are good, but only a half measure.
    I think we should have an Immigration office/camp in Indonesia.
    We should pay for the running of the place, we should keep an eye on the human rights of those under our care and we should fly successful applicants to Australia at our cost.
    Any asylum seekers arriving in Australia by boat will be sent back to Indo and placed at the back of the queue.

    My imperfect solution will, hopefully, stop irregular boat arrivals and not disadvantage those who cannot afford to arrive by air.

    Your solution of effectively legitimising and controlling the people smugglers would probably work, but, like de-criminalising drugs, getting that past the electorate will take a shit load of time and lobbying.
    And in the meantime, people will keep dying and, with people like Bernardi around, most Australians will keep not giving a fuck.

    The cattleman from Down Under says it
    The patriot with his plunder says it
    Watching a boat of full of refugees
    Sinking into the sea
    Babe, I’m on fire
    Babe, I’m on fire

    Nick Cave from Nocturama

    Cheers

  8. As if the method of arrival ought to make any difference.

    You really don’t understand why boat arrivals are fundamentally different from the other methods of seeking asylum in Australia? What about the 200 people who recently died when their boat sank? Can you see the ‘difference’ their decision to come here by boat made?

    Can you admit that they’d all still be alive were it not for their decision to risk a boat trip here?

    It’s possible. Dubious, though.

    Jeremy – as it happens I oppose the boat person trade while simultaneously supporting our refugee intake.

    That’s my considered position. Your comments above suggest you think it highly probable that I’m lying, and that I’m really just anti-refugee (that certainly seems to be Jonathan’s ill-considered view), and I can’t tell you how disappointing that is.

    There is merit to an anti-people smuggling but pro-refugee position, even though you seem utterly intent on ignoring it. It is a considered and moral position that balances Australia’s unquestionable obligation to help as many refugees as we can against the deadly risks of unregulated boat travel to Australia.

    You can ignore that position if you want and just rail against a generic anti-refugee bogeyman – that certainly seems to be your preference – but that’s obviously a cop-out. My point of view is real, and I suspect it is held by a growing number of Australians.

  9. I should add that I agree with Marek that the “newly minted concern” of many movement conservatives is simply an argument of convenience.

    But that doesn’t, of itself, undermine the validity of that concern. There’s a reason why their previous “we hate the muslims” argument has been jettisoned in favour of this new one: and it’s because the new one actually holds water.

  10. Many apologies, I got that Nick Cave quote wrong.
    The whole quarter hour (!) song is here with the relevant verse at around the 12:20 mark.

    Cheers

  11. “The Left’s policies have failed – but that’s OK – our ideas aren’t going to work out 100% of the time.”

    Well any ideas coming from the left excludes you Mondo.

    You make Scott Morrison look like a blading heart lefty.

    The one chance we have to prove to the Muslim world we do really care about people and their welfare, and we have f!!! wits wanting to turn them around and back into the mess in some cases we created..

    That Cory Bernardi gets voted in at all, speaks volumes.

  12. You really don’t understand why boat arrivals are fundamentally different from the other methods of seeking asylum in Australia? What about the 200 people who recently died when their boat sank?

    Yeah, that was a tragedy. And caused by an unregulated, criminal system of boat arrivals because our big parties refuse to regulate it to ensure the safety of the asylum seekers.

    It was not caused by people travelling on boats. It was caused by people travelling on UNSAFE boats. And why was that? Because we make no distinction between the criminal who runs an unseaworthy, overcrowded, incompetently-crewed boat for thousands per passenger and the potential legitimate business person who’d run a boat subject to safety standards. We confiscate and destroy any boat, regardless of how it’s run, and punish the crew. So of course we get dangerous boats crewed by disposable crews owned by unscrupulous criminals.

    Can you see the ‘difference’ their decision to come here by boat made?

    Can you admit that they’d all still be alive were it not for their decision to risk a boat trip here?

    They’d still be alive if we hadn’t made the appalling decision to criminalise the boats.

    Jeremy – as it happens I oppose the boat person trade while simultaneously supporting our refugee intake.

    That’s my considered position. Your comments above suggest you think it highly probable that I’m lying, and that I’m really just anti-refugee (that certainly seems to be Jonathan’s ill-considered view), and I can’t tell you how disappointing that is.

    I think you’re mistaken. I think you’ve somehow bought the one-sided, relentless rubbish in the popular media that portrays boat arrivals as inherently worse for refugees than leaving them in danger in the countries from which they’re fleeing.

    (The idea that there’s something “fair” and “queue”-like in the formal intake is obscene. Oh, as is the bit where for everyone who arrives unannounced we take a place from the formal intake. Why? Because then we can pretend that they’re “queue-jumping” and “taking a place”, even though there’s no reason why we have to “take a place” and play them off against each other when a refugees arrives seeking asylum.)

    There is merit to an anti-people smuggling but pro-refugee position, even though you seem utterly intent on ignoring it. It is a considered and moral position that balances Australia’s unquestionable obligation to help as many refugees as we can against the deadly risks of unregulated boat travel to Australia.

    Not really, because the reason it’s “unregulated” and “deadly” is that we’ve criminalised it.

    We could, you know, not do that.

  13. narcoticmusing

    We confiscate and destroy any boat, regardless of how it’s run, and punish the crew. So of course we get dangerous boats crewed by disposable crews owned by unscrupulous criminals.

    I think this is the crux of the most ignored part of the debate by the media and the right (and unfortunately most of the left with any voice).

    We could also put in place processing strategies that enabled a person who wished to claim asylum to fly here, without appropriate documentation – and be processed here for security / validity etc – that would stop the boats tomorrow b/c it is cheaper for everyone. But we don’t. So how then can one conclude that the stop the boats crew aren’t anti refugees?

  14. zaratoothbrush

    It’s getting tedious reading about how the Laberal Party is out to solve the problems of human beings out at sea somewhere. They aren’t doing any such thing: it’s the problems in marginal electorates inside our borders that really concern them.

    This “people smuggling” meme is tedious too: it isn’t illegal to seek asylum in this country; the people manning the boats aren’t “smuggling” people, they’re transporting them. It’s also strange to hear that Liberal policy has some relation to humanity, when all Abbot says is “stop the boats” and “turn the boats around” as if these boats were empty of human life. These people are political footballs, full stop. The crocodile tears over them are beyond sickening.

  15. Hey, it’s no different to your daily fatuous rants about anyone to the Right of Marx!

  16. Quite different, in that yours is utter, utter bullshit.

    Some examples:

    * “The Labor Government plans to indoctrinate all children through their compulsory education curriculum to use the term “Invasion Day”.” Not according to your News Ltd link – they were to be taught why some people use that term.

    * “The University of Western Australia has announced that displaying the Australian Flag on your car makes you a racist.” No, it didn’t. It noted that someone displaying the flag on their car was more likely to have racist views, and it didn’t just declare it by fiat, it was announcing the result of actual research.

    * “At university campuses across the country, it remains a rite of passage for young wannabe intellectuals to burn our flag as a sign of their intellectual sophistication, an act which initiates them into the left wing movement”. No further comment necessary on the utter bullshit there. So what percentage of graduated “lefties” do you think burned the flag at University, Tim? 90%? 95%? Idiot.

    * “It would seem every day we are told by our self-appointed intellectual elites that there is nothing to love about our great country” Really. “Nothing to love”. By that do you mean that people who disagree with you often criticise certain things that happen in our great country (usually the terrible ones that Menzies House prioritises over all others)? Again, not the same as being told “there is nothing to love”.

    * “I’m proud we have beautiful beaches, the nicest people,” You can’t even write that without bullshitting. Your link says the second-nicest.

    * “the Greens want to censor the media outright” No they don’t.

    * “Worst of all, last year was the passing of the economy destroying carbon dioxide tax” It won’t “destroy” the economy. I doubt you’ll apologise come July when the carbon tax comes in and the economy continues to function.

    * “I think the publically [sic] declared hatred of everything Australian speaks for itself.” Your link doesn’t cite a single person who “hates everything Australian”.

    And so on.

    Also, I’m to the right of Marx.

  17. PS Nice commenters you attract, Tim:

    “The left better enjoy their day in the sun as when the pendulum swings back to common sense and self responsibility, I for one, look forward to the day that my boot is on their necks and I won’t relent until they are purged from the sphere of influence.

    I have my targets, commencing with the socialist union front…GetUP!”

    Charming.

  18. Lefty – what you’re advocating is an open border boat person trade. You are suggesting we foster an industry that assists people to circumvent our refugee intake program – while simultaneously advocating we exempt those who arrive in this way from our intake quota.

    Meritorious or not your suggestion is a distraction from the issue. As Marek has observed (and as I’m sure you would agree) your open border idea has exactly zero chance of being picked up by a major Australian political party.

    Jeremy – people are dying by the hundreds while we argue about pie in the sky policy ideas. A solution exists now – a solution that, even though it’s far from perfect, will reduce the number of people dying while preserving our (relatively) generous refugee intake program. Offshore processing in an Australian run centre in Nauru is the least worst of the solutions available to us.

    Look – I was willing to accept the status quo while we agitated for a better solution (than Nauru) until the status quo started killing refugees in their hundreds. You couldn’t find a more passionate opponent of Howard’s “border protection” policies than me – but the truth is that the death toll has got to me.

    Eventually it will get to you too.

  19. Mondo, Jeremy, you appear to be repeating an old argument without either of you having changed your minds in the slightest.

    I believe now, as I did then, that one of the main causes of the disagreement is that you are framing the the same set of objective facts from two different moral perspectives:

    https://anonymouslefty.wordpress.com/2011/12/18/only-way-to-save-lives-is-to-encourage-the-running-of-safer-refugee-boats/#comment-29096

    If I’m right, it is literally impossible for you to resolve this argument until you acknowledge the different frames, and either agree to disagree about them, or talk about them directly. Mondo like myself is taking a consequentialist view, focused on the fact that an unintended consequence of resettling those who arrive by boat is that many more people attempt the journey, and drown, than otherwise would. Jeremy’s views seem more deontological – Australia should follow obligations under current human rights law, regardless of whether that leads to the best short term outcome in this case or not. At least that’s the position he seems to advocate, as best I can tell without an explicit statement from him.

    I’ll note that Jeremy and the others who advocate his views seem to not want to face up to economic reality – while demand for refugee migration outstrips supply, if there continues to be a way (such as a boat journey) to convert money into a vastly increased chance of a visa, then a black market will exist. And what’s more in this case a rather dangerous black market.

    Oh, and Jeremy, please don’t state or imply that anyone who disagrees with you on this has just bought into media propaganda. I’ll try to keep my disagreement respectful of your intelligence if you’ll do the same. Thanks 🙂

  20. Splatterbottom

    “Tragedies happen. Accidents happen.”

    Apparently it doesn’t matter that hundreds are killed by the Green’s policy. Being a Green means never having to say you are sorry. Whatever Cory Bernadi’s shortcomings, they are trivial compared to the murderous indifference of Senator Hanson-Young.

  21. Hundreds are killed by a policy that hasn’t even been tried yet?

  22. an unintended consequence of resettling those who arrive by boat is that many more people attempt the journey, and drown, than otherwise would.

    Yep – but try to get Lefty (or anyone else on his side of the argument) to accept this as fact and you’ll be disappointed. I’ve watched as those I used to side with have progressively shifted their argument as follows:

    1. It’s all push factors – our asylum seeker policy has no impact on boat arrivals;

    2. OK there are pull factors in play, but boat travel by people smugger is actually relatively safe and should not be demonised in the way it is;

    3. OK, people smuggler boats aren’t safe at all but we should fix that through government regulation of the people smuggling industry.

    You know what Jordan? These people aren’t arguing rationally or honestly. They’re shifting positions as each former position becomes untenable, and aren’t even bothering to acknowledge that their former arguments were complete bunk. It’s classic rationalisation of a completely immobile policy position.

    Parts of the Left are now welded to an onshore processing model and will just keep shifting arguments to avoid admitting error even as the bodies of dead refugees pile up at their feet.

  23. “Apparently it doesn’t matter that hundreds are killed by the Green’s policy. Being a Green means never having to say you are sorry. Whatever Cory Bernadi’s shortcomings, they are trivial compared to the murderous indifference of Senator Hanson-Young.”

    If I was Sarah Hanson -Younge I would seriously think about suing you for that odious comment. To blame the Greens for assylum seekers dieing on the high seas is the ranting of a person who lets their ideological narrow mindedness get in the way of good common sense. If you think for a nano second the Liberal party or for that matter the Labor party gives a flying f!!! about these people you Sir are as thick as two short planks. This whole issue is cheap political opportunism, aided and abetted by the fourth estate who are in the pockets of the Liberal party.

  24. “Abbot says is “stop the boats” and “turn the boats around” as if these boats were empty of human life. These people are political footballs, full stop. The crocodile tears over them are beyond sickening.”

    Indeed. This is just grist to the mill for Abbott and his coterie of rednecks.

    He is playing up to his core constituency for all it’s worth, and the left who should know better are falling for this Machiavellian plot like as per usual.

  25. Some simple questions for you Lynot:

    1. Do you accept that refugees are dying in their attempts to come to Australia by boat?

    2. Are you content with that state of affairs, or would you like to see a reduction in the number of those deaths?

    3. Of the current asylum seeker policies tabled by the three big parties, which do you believe will be most effective in reducing those deaths?

    For me it’s the Liberals and Nauru – for the multiple reasons I’ve already laid out above.

    What is it for you?

  26. Splatterbottom

    Unique, the deaths were a clearly foreseeable result of the abolition of offshore processing, something fully supported by the Greens. Even the hyphenated half-wit Hanson-Young understands this.

  27. 1 – yes, 2 – yes, 3 – none of the above.

    Run a government-funded weekly ferry or flight to the Australian mainland for any asylum seeker who fronts up in Indonesia, Malaysia, wherever. Cheaper than mandatory detention on Christmas island. Much cheaper than Nauru. It would destroy the so-called “smuggler’s business model” instantly and completely. And be safer all round for the asylum seekers.

    But that would actually involve changing our focus to helping asylum seekers instead of finding ever more creative ways to discourage them from coming to Australia.

    The cry of “Stop The Boats” is not about stopping the boats and never has been – its about stopping people seeking asylum. It’s mean and nasty and only increases the chance of risky boat journeys.

    We can stop the dangerous boat trips instantly – if we provide a safer way to get here without years of red tape, soul-destroying incarceration, and deliberate bureaucratic obstruction! Some may call that “open borders”. I call it “not being an asshole to my fellow human beings”.

  28. 1. Do you accept that refugees are dying in their attempts to come to Australia by boat? Yes.

    2. I wont even dignify that with a reply.

    3. None.

    4. For me. Asylum seekers should be allowed to settle in Australia after basic back ground checks for security reasons. No gaols, no mental torture, and stop treating them like criminals. If and I said “If ” the refugees are found to be not genuine, they should be deported via the nearest international airport. Simple!!!.

    But of course when they arrive on an aeroplane with a suitcase full of sun screen, colourful shorts and a nice Hawaiian shirt, that’s just dandy isn’t it?

    This whole issue is about who can make the most political capital out of it. Except the Greens of course, who bring what’s needed in this debate and that’s compassion. Not a load of self righteous bullsh!t which is the stock in trade of the other two main political parties. The Liberal party is like I said playing to it’s core constituency “rednecks” and the Labor party who are trying to absolve their rotten souls, for being part of the problem.

  29. Splatterbottom

    Compassion = “shit happens”, apparently.

  30. Edit, 2 – no, not content, but yes, want to see a reduction. One question at a time please.

  31. “‘Compassion = “shit happens”, apparently”

    Racism, indifference, bigotry, selfishness = “Sh!T happens, yep! for sure..

    Also did I mention that’s most traits of conservatives?

  32. OK Unique – fair enough that you don’t like any of the policies currently on offer. But my question wasn’t “which policy would you like?”, it was “of the three policies on offer, which do you think will be most effective in reducing boat-related deaths?”

    So if you had to pick one of the three policies on offer (which, as it happens, is the real world situation you find yourself in) which one would you pick?

    For me Labor is out – since I find the idea of sending our refugees to Malaysia objectionable, the Greens are out – since they don’t seem to actually want to reduce the number of boat arrivals, which leaves the Liberal Party policy of offshore processing on Nauru.

    It’s just common sense.

  33. “It’s just common sense”

    Yep sure it is, for you maybe..

  34. At the moment we take about 14,000 refugees each year, although many of them arrive by boat and a portion of those attempting the boat trip drown on their way here.

    Under the Nauru solution we will take in about 14,000 refugees each year and (at least in theory) fewer people will drown.

    Why are we even having this argument?

  35. So lynot – which of the three policies on offer do you prefer. You still haven’t told us.

  36. “Why are we even having this argument? ”

    This argument doesn’t start and finish with how many people are coming here or drowning. The argument should be why are they coming?

    Then and only then, will we be able to say to the refugees sorry but you don’t fit the criteria of a genuine immigrant. That’s my only argument.

    Whilst we are involved in the politics of other countries with our troops on the ground killing people. We own the problem.

  37. “So lynot – which of the three policies on offer do you prefer. You still haven’t told us.”

    I know I am getting in my dotage but I would have thought it was quite obvious, my own! However the Greens will do.

  38. narcoticmusing

    So, Mondo, if your option to the boat coming in is:

    1. Go to Naaru or
    2. Go back to Indonesia

    You do realise that your economic argument is destroyed by the former (which will cost billions, much less than just accepting more refugees or setting up some other system) and that your latter is the same as the Malaysian solution b/c Indonesia also is not a signatory… just a thought.

  39. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic, if we manage to get back to the situation prior to the ALP ending offshore processing there will be a handful of refugees in Nauru and no boats coming. That should not be expensive.

    More to the point, we should be spending billions on refugee policy – on accommodating a much larger number of refugees (selected on some other basis than their ability to pay people smugglers) and providing services to enable them to fully participate in our society.

  40. Let me come at this from another angle.

    Lets assume that Australians would support a policy that increased our refugee intake by, say, 10,000 per year (a situation that, believe it or not, I would welcome). That is, let’s assume Jeremy’s proposal to regulate the boat person trade was politically feasible.

    Would you rather this increase was achieved (in whole or in part) through a semi-regulated boat person industry, or through an increase in our refugee intake directly from refugee camps? Surely the latter is preferable?

    If we’re going to argue for an increase in our refugee intake, why not do so but simultaneously act to disincentivise the boat-person trade by adopting offshore processing? This would increase the numbers we help while still saving lives at sea and increasing the fairness of our refugee intake?

    I could support that – would anyone else here? Is there some sort of fundamental attachment to on-shore processing that I’m not understanding?

  41. Narc – for the record I haven’t made an economic argument in this or in any other thread. Check my comments above and you’ll see that you’re in error.

    For the record, however, I hadn’t considered the Indonesia issue you raised above. Perhaps I was hasty to distinguish between the Nauru and Malaysia solutions on that ground.

    I still, however, find the idea of an Australian run centre on Nauru preferable to the “get them to Malaysia and let them loose in a squalid refugee camp” idea.

  42. Dammit – I said “for the record” twice in a row, and then inserted “,however,” in the first sentence of the paragraph twice in a row as well.

    I’m such a talented wordsmith.

  43. “I could support that – would anyone else here? Is there some sort of fundamental attachment to on-shore processing that I’m not understanding?”

    Not really. You don’t understand the fact that some people like me get a bit tetchy about off shore processing. I have visions of Dachau, Treblinka, Belsen, Sobibor, And then there’s the old Serbia and the camps, much fun for all there.Then we had Abu Gharaib. But wait that was run by moms home apple pie boys wasn’t it? My old mans brother was in Changi.

    I know, there ‘s absolutely no connection is there?

  44. You’re right Lynot – those refugee camps exist and it’s a real shame. Refugees sit in squalid and dangerous camps around the world waiting for a lottery to come up in their favour.

    But you see the thing is, a boat person free for all would do absolutely nothing at all to address that problem. In fact it would likely exacerbate it.

    Unless you’re now talking about mandatory detention under an on-shore processing system – which you would know, of course, is the processing system I’ve been arguing against.

  45. Splatterbottom

    Abu Ghraib was much, much worse than Dachau, Treblinka, Belsen, Sobibor and the rest. It was run by Americans. Sure they didn’t kill millions there. In fact they didn’t kill anyone. But don’t let that stop you hating Bushitler and Amerikkka. They are the true enemy.

  46. “But you see the thing is, a boat person free for all would do absolutely nothing at all to address that problem. In fact it would likely exacerbate it.”

    Unless these poor souls are processed here there are no guarantees for their safety and welfare.Hence that is what I am advocating. That doesn’t mean I would allow clones of Bin Laden or any of the other scary bogey men that right wingers hide under their bed sheets from. As I have said, and reiterate. The faux tears by her majesty’s opposition and other right wing racist rednecks is political point scoring, nothing else.

    If the media left this issue alone it would surely die like the dodo bird. We are not being swamped by these people and in the scheme of things, they amount to five fifths of seven eighths of F.A.

    The conservatives (Liberal party) are quite cognisant of the fact most Australians would have these people torpedoed at sea and shark food. They are playing on the base fears of the populace who buy into the media beat up of this issue.

  47. cont.

    When this issue dies a death (sorry) it will be the carbon tax, or the price of jocks or blamonge. I for one have seen all this crap before

    During the Vietnam conflict the very same right wing rednecks were saying, Öh those poor South Vietnamese they’re being terrorised by the communists (sorry nationalists really) and when we pulled out and left them to it was ” WE ARE BEING INVADED BY THE GOOKS, POWER POINTS, OR SLANT EYED DINKS.”Don’t tell me it’s raining when your pissing down my back.

  48. “Abu Ghraib was much, much worse than Dachau, Treblinka, Belsen, Sobibor and the rest. It was run by Americans. Sure they didn’t kill millions there. In fact they didn’t kill anyone. But don’t let that stop you hating Bushitler and Amerikkka. They are the true enemy.”

    Says the man who made great delight making comparisons between Stalin and Hitler bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahe. You really are something else SB. When I work what , I’ll let you know.

    Let me see one Hitler= a Stalin and a Mao, or should that be just a Mao?
    Bwaaaaaaaaaaaaaa.

  49. narcoticmusing

    Mondo – i never said you made an economic argument, the point is that not increasing the refugee intake is an economic one, whether you argue it or not. Ergo, you are arguing we can’t increase that so it becomes economic even if you don’t understand that economics is the only thing in the way of allowing more refugees in. Indeed, we could have onshore processing, with nice safe aeroplanes doing it all and put the smugglers out of business, but then, why do that when we can just demonise ppl?

  50. Wow, how easily fake compassion is swallowed up by Mondo etc. And SB having a smear at the Greens for their position – SB you hypocritical shit bag – you were for refugees being allowed to come here via boat last time i bothered to read your comments.

    Jeremy’s arguments seem pretty sound to me. Don’t let these fuckwitted arguments you’re encountering here dissuade you J.

    The only thing that’s been left out however, and clearly overlooked by the “compassion crowd” is that Australia should probably stop policies that make people want to flee.
    Like, I’m sure being a Tamil in Sri Lanka isn’t a good thing at the moment – maybe Aus could stop giving money to the Sri Lankan government and calling it “aid”.
    Maybe the Aus government could switch tact in Iraq, and maybe, just maybe, stop helping the US prop up a government of war criminals, murderers and rapists in Afghanistan.

    If they really cared, this would at least be a topic to discuss. But it aint, because they don’t.

  51. Splatterbottom

    BT: “SB you hypocritical shit bag – you were for refugees being allowed to come here via boat last time i bothered to read your comments.”

    Thank you for bothering to read my recent comment, and for remembering my previous comments. As you will recall my criticism of the Howard/Ruddock refugee policy was that it was inhumane, and based on a crude demonisation of refugees for electoral gain. This attitude filtered down to the public servants who administered the policy leading to incidents like the disgraceful treatment of Cornelia Rau. It also encouraged division and hatred in the community.

    You might also recall that I wanted the refugee intake to be massively increased and for Australia to expand international processing, especially in Indonesia. Maybe if that had been done in conjunction with the abolition of the Pacific Solution less people would have died at sea.

    The fact is that since the abolition of the Pacific Solution I have seen hundreds of people die trying to get here and, as a consequence, I have modified my views. I am upset at the deaths and I am not prepared to persist with support for a system that inevitably leads to deaths on such a scale.

    I haven’t changed my view on our need to dramatically increase our refugee intake. Australia can support a much larger population and we should take in many more refugees. But the way in which we do it should not include an inducement to participate in a game of Russian roulette.

    What I don’t get is the unwillingness of ideologues to modify their views. Too many of them are content to take the “shit happens” approach and persist with their murderous policies.

  52. It really depends on how much evil you are prepared to do to “discourage” people from seeking asylum here – and whether “discouraging” people from seeking asylum here is in fact saving their lives in any case.

    Mondo, you’ve somehow bought this line that there’s a “queue” of more deserving refugees who are being pushed down the “queue” by “unauthorised” arrivals. This ignores the facts that:
    (a) the “queue” of which you speak is now longer than a lifetime, so saying “join the queue” is effectively saying “go to hell”;
    (b) there are plenty of areas from which you cannot realistically join any such “queue” in any case;
    (c) the “queue” doesn’t tell us anything about which refugee is more “deserving” than another; and
    (d) there’s no reason why we need to take a place from the “queue” when someone arrives by boat.

    I certainly agree that we shouldn’t be encouraging people to board dangerous boats. But the only way not to encourage people to come here is to be worse than the countries from which they came – either for all of us (hardly a positive plan) or by treating the refugees even worse than the countries from which they’re fleeing (the ALP/Liberal plan, also monstrously inhuman).

    Otherwise of course they’ll keep trying.

    But that’s NOT the only policy available to stop them drowning on dangerous boats. You could make the boats safer.

    The fact that neither big party supports such a plan highlights that their priority is not with saving lives, but with pandering to racist dickheads who just don’t want more foreigners coming here.

    If it wasn’t about that, we’d be looking at ways of saving lives even if it meant that more people arrived here.

    The idea that we have to choose between treating people inhumanely or being responsible for their deaths is a lie. NEITHER of those options are acceptable.

    PS Oh, and say we were prepared to treat refugees so abysmally they stayed in danger in Indonesia or elsewhere. Is that really “saving their lives”? Their life expectancy there isn’t very high either. There’s a reason they’re prepared to get on leaky boats. It’s just that apparently those advocating the “deterrence” plan don’t care if they die where we don’t have to hear about it.

  53. Splatterbottom

    Jeremy: “The idea that we have to choose between treating people inhumanely or being responsible for their deaths is a lie. NEITHER of those options are acceptable.

    Yet the ALP/Greens coalition did precisely that. They chose to reintroduce the Russian roulette system by abolishing the Pacific Solution without doing anything that would mitigate the drownings that inevitably followed.

    If what you are saying is that the cost in human lives was worth it, then please explain your reasoning?

    If you don’t think the cost in human lives was worth it then why all the resistance to reversing the policy decision that resulted in the deaths?

    The short answer is that onshore processing makes the people of the lower North Shore and the Eastern Suburbs feel good about themselves, even if a few hundred refugees drown as a consequence. That is why there is massive resistance to doing anything to stop the inevitable drownings. Just an expression of regret and an acknowledgement that “accidents happen”.

    The ALP/Greens government was wrong to change Howard’s policy, and it would rather have people drown than admit that.

  54. Are you being deliberately obtuse, SB? You know perfectly well that I am disputing that the deaths are caused by our minor steps towards being less cruel: that I am specifically arguing that they are caused by our continuing cruelty of encouraging the running of dangerous boats by not distinguishing between them and safely-run boats. The drownings are NOT an inevitable result of reducing cruelty to refugees: they’re an inevitable result of criminalising refugee boats.

    Please address my point and stop just pretending that I haven’t made it.

  55. narcoticmusing

    Please address my point and stop just pretending that I haven’t made it.

    But that is SO inconvenient for people’s arugment J.

  56. The drownings are NOT an inevitable result of reducing cruelty to refugees: they’re an inevitable result of criminalising refugee boats.

    The drownings are an “inevitable result” of many causative factors.

    As SB has pointed out, this “its criminalising the boats that’s the real problem here” stance taken by you and others is completely new as of a couple of months ago. Before that it was “there are no such things as pull factors“. Etc.

    Decriminalising the “safer” boats would only prevent some drownings. And its a ridiculously ineffectual way of creating a legal market for refugee visas, anyway. Why let people who organise boats take a profit, when it would be both safer and cheaper to let refugees pay the Australian government directly to be flown here from Indonesia and other source countries?

  57. Splatterbottom

    Jeremy, we are not all that far apart on this. The difference is that pending the development of system that takes a lot more refugees and takes the pressure off the boat trade I would revert to the Pacific Solution. That is one practical thing we can do now and it is politically achievable and would save hundreds of lives.

  58. It really depends on how much evil you are prepared to do to “discourage” people from seeking asylum here

    It’s tough to debate this topic when you keep deliberately misrepresenting my argument Jeremy. As I have clarified countless times now – I have no interest in discouraging people from seeking asylum in Australia. My priority is to discourage them from getting on a boat as a means of seeking that asylum.

    I expect morons like Blast Tyrant and Lynot to misrepresent me – because that’s pretty much all they’ve got – but surely you understand what I’ve been arguing and are capable of addressing it.

    by treating the refugees even worse than the countries from which they’re fleeing

    As you should know by now, my preferred policy solution is Nauru. You cannot honestly believe that several months in an Australian run detention camp on Nauru as worse than the life-threatening persecution these refugees are fleeing from. A central tenet of your argument against offshore processing is therefore based on obvious hyperbole. That should bother you more than it apparently does.

    To be entirely clear, by advocating in favour of offshore processing on Nauru I’m not arguing that we adopt “evil” as our policy – and I’m certainly not arguing that we treat refugees worse than the country from which they’re fleeing. You are incorrect, as a matter of fact, to characterise the pro-offshore position in that way.

    In reality this issue comes down to a simple “would you rather”: would you rather Australia push back boats attempting to get here (and send all those who do to an offshore processing centre before allowing them into Australia), or would you rather the status quo whereby we allow/encourage boats to freely come to Australia in the knowledge that a percentage of refugees will drown on the way.

    I would rather the first. I understand that you reject the choice and advocate for a third option (i.e. try to regulate the boat person trade), but that third option hasn’t been tabled and is obviously not going to be.

    In the meantime you have to pick: Nauru, Malaysia or the status quo? Nauru is clearly the lesser of two evils.

  59. Narc: You do realise that your economic argument is destroyed by the former . . .

    Narc later: i never said you made an economic argument

    Jesus narc. Get it together.

  60. Why let people who organise boats take a profit, when it would be both safer and cheaper to let refugees pay the Australian government directly to be flown here from Indonesia and other source countries?

    Jordan – we already have a system whereby the Australian government flies refugees directly (and safely) to Australia. They don’t even have to wait in immigration detention once they get here – they are released immediately into the community.

    It’s called our formal refugee intake program.

    The problem is that this system is always going to be subject to a quota, and therefore there are always going to be strict eligibility criteria and relatively long application times.

    For some reason I don’t think Jeremy, or others here, will accept any refugee system unless it retains on-shore processing as a central element.

  61. In the meantime you have to pick: Nauru, Malaysia or the status quo? Nauru is clearly the lesser of two evils.

    That’s three evils, not two. And its totally unclear that imprisonment in a Nauru detention centre is preferable to relative freedom and the right to work in Malaysia. Not to mention that the immigration department believes it was the tow back to Indonesia and TPVs, not offshore processing, that reduced boat arrivals under the Pacific Solution. Which makes sense – how exactly does Nauru differ from Christmas Island? In terms of outcomes for the refugees the two places are essentially identical – a long and tortuous wait on an isolated pacific island that is not part of Australia’s legal migration zone, followed by a very high chance of refugee status in Australia (or a similar resettlement destination such as NZ.)

    The problem is that this system is always going to be subject to a quota, and therefore there are always going to be strict eligibility criteria and relatively long application times

    Or, you could just supplement the existing program with a separate intake for paying migrants assessed to be genuine refugees, and thus price boat-operators out of the market.

  62. Mondo – none of the options you put are necessary or acceptable. They all involve cruelty to refugees or indifference to their deaths. (and by the way, your attempt to distinguish between saying “stay where you are” and “but you can come in the UTTERLY IMPOSSIBLE TO JOIN official intqke” is unconvincing: in practice, discouraging people who can’t get in the other intake from getting on a boat is trying to encourage them to stay in the danger and misery they’re trying to escape).

    I’m not going to accept any of them. It’s a false choice, and there is a better option. Whether it’s presently politically acceptable or not is a separate question: how about instead of advocating for cruel policies like Nauru or Malaysia we advocate for a humane option?

  63. As you should know by now, my preferred policy solution is Nauru. You cannot honestly believe that several months in an Australian run detention camp on Nauru as worse than the life-threatening persecution these refugees are fleeing from

    That’s disingenuous, because your whole reason for supporting Nauru is as a “deterrent” so people don’t get on boats. Ie, so they stay in danger overseas where we don’t have to see it.

  64. the immigration department believes it was the tow back to Indonesia and TPVs, not offshore processing, that reduced boat arrivals under the Pacific Solution.

    Even better news Jordan – if the Immigration Dept is correct.

    If what we need to do to significantly curtail the boat person trade is implement TPVs and push seaworthy boats back to Indonesia then that’s obviously better than doing the same thing plus incurring the cost of Nauru.

    It had been my understanding that the Nauru/Manus Island centres had operated as a disincentive in their own right but if that’s not the case then I have no basis for supporting their use.

    Or, you could just supplement the existing program with a separate intake for paying migrants assessed to be genuine refugees, and thus price boat-operators out of the market.

    You could, although I would not support such a proposal. IMO our refugee intake should be prioritised based on need rather than ability to pay.

  65. I don’t understand, Jeremy.

    Whether it’s presently politically acceptable or not is a separate question: how about instead of advocating for cruel policies like Nauru or Malaysia we advocate for a humane option?

    If this is your view, why don’t you advocate the actually humane option – namely, unconditionally grant refugee status to any applicant assessed to be genuine, from anywhere in the world – instead of this bizarre half-arsed “regulate the boats” policy that will neither eliminate the danger of ocean crossings nor substantially decrease the number of refugees living in danger and misery around the world?

  66. Lefty – our refugee intake program isn’t impossible to join. It’s not even “IMPOSSIBLE TO JOIN” – I’m afraid that’s just exaggeration.

    Equally, the “queue” (that you intermittently claim doesn’t exist) is obviously not “longer than a lifetime”. It if was then our formal refugee intake would consist solely of dead people – which is not the case.

    You might want to reflect on just how much of your argument is based on transparent hyperbole. We accept about 6,000 genuine refugees each year through the offshore program and many of these are young families – certainly they have waited their turn in a long and difficult process – but this “longer than a lifetime” idiocy is just convenient nonsense. A simple application of logic reveals that claim for what it is.

    That’s disingenuous, because your whole reason for supporting Nauru is as a “deterrent” so people don’t get on boats.

    Now you’re buying into your own strawman Jeremy: I keep telling you that the idea behind Nauru is not to “out-cruel” the persecutors from which the refugees are fleeing, but apparently you won’t accept that.

    My understanding is that Nauru was effective as a symbol. It was a way of saying to the asylum seekers “if you come here by boat you won’t reach Australia”. Mistreatment of refugees was completely unnecessary in order to achieve this symbolic outcome (and did not, in fact, occur as far as I’m aware).

    Anyway – we’re obviously going nowhere in this discussion.

  67. The difference is that pending the development of system that takes a lot more refugees and takes the pressure off the boat trade I would revert to the Pacific Solution. That is one practical thing we can do now and it is politically achievable and would save hundreds of lives.

    I don’t think it would. Firstly, unless we’re actually worse than the place they’re fleeing – mad enough to try dragging boats back, for example – it’s not much of a deterrent. Particularly given that eventually almost all the people sent to Nauru were accepted as genuine refugees.

    And secondly, even if we DID deter people from getting on boats, then we are in effect LEAVING THEM IN DANGER. So we’re not “saving hundreds of lives”. We’re just trying to encourage them to go and suffer and die where we don’t have to hear about it.

  68. My understanding is that Nauru was effective as a symbol. It was a way of saying to the asylum seekers “if you come here by boat you won’t reach Australia”. Mistreatment of refugees was completely unnecessary in order to achieve this symbolic outcome (and did not, in fact, occur as far as I’m aware).

    Could you concede for a moment that the point of your “symbol” is to stop people getting on boats? And therefore to encourage them to STAY WHERE THEY ARE? Even if that’s in danger (so much danger that they were otherwise prepared to risk such a voyage)?

    Equally, the “queue” (that you intermittently claim doesn’t exist) is obviously not “longer than a lifetime”. It if was then our formal refugee intake would consist solely of dead people – which is not the case.

    No, it consists of people who joined the queue a very long time ago. When there was a queue. Where there was a queue.

    Just how long do you think it takes to get to Australia if you rock up to the Australian embassy in Jakarta and apply for asylum?

  69. If this is your view, why don’t you advocate the actually humane option – namely, unconditionally grant refugee status to any applicant assessed to be genuine, from anywhere in the world

    What, have a refugee assessing centre in every country in the world, and then fly people here if they’re genuine refugees?

    We could do that, but it’d be very expensive.

    Or we could regulate the boats coming here and process those who arrive, here, in Australia, at local processing centres we can manage ourselves.

    Seems a far more sensible option to me.

    instead of this bizarre half-arsed “regulate the boats” policy that will neither eliminate the danger of ocean crossings

    Wait, why not? We regulate ships all the time. And planes, and cars, and every other form of transport that would be dangerous if run solely by criminals knowing they’ll never see their vessel again and they might as well send something disposable.

    Why can’t we regulate the boats coming here? Punish those who endanger people’s lives and encourage them not to. Encourage boats that are seaworthy and not overcrowded, and competently-crewed by confiscating unsafe boats and prosecuting those who run them. Why would it then be particularly dangerous?

    nor substantially decrease the number of refugees living in danger and misery around the world?

    We’d be doing our part, and we wouldn’t be resorting to cruelty.

  70. narcoticmusing

    Forgive me Mondo for assuming (in which I did explain that assumption) you knew the basis for the limit on immigration. In case you didn’t, I’ll spell it out for you again, it is an ECONOMIC limit. Thus, all your arguements, regardless of what you think they are based on, come down to an economic one and a human rights one.

    Sending them back to Indonesia negates the human rights one, so why not send them to Malaysia? Sending them to Narru is more expensive than onshore processing and costs associated with feared higher rates of granted status – this thus negates the economic arguement of ‘we can’t afford all these ppl’.

    Again, I’m sorry for treating you as someone who understood the rationale behind restricting refugee numbers. I’d mistakenly assumed you had already joined these dots. Clearly you hadn’t. So get it together Mondo and join some dots.

    We don’t stop boats by sending them to Naaru. That just sends boats to Nauru at great expense to the Australian taxpayer. We don’t stop dangerous boats by sending them back, sending them to Nauru or processing them onshore. We could stop ALL BOATS tomorrow if we wanted, without necessarily increasing the refugee cap, but that would take people joining the dots and not pretending that people actually think it is not dangerous to get on the boat, that these people are just stupid or something. No, they make a value judgement that Nauru, the Pacific solution, Malaysia – none of these will solve this.

  71. Could you concede for a moment that the point of your “symbol” is to stop people getting on boats? And therefore to encourage them to STAY WHERE THEY ARE? Even if that’s in danger (so much danger that they were otherwise prepared to risk such a voyage)?

    Surely any system that doesn’t let every applicant in encourages some applicants to stay where they are.

  72. What, have a refugee assessing centre in every country in the world, and then fly people here if they’re genuine refugees? We could do that, but it’d be very expensive.

    Its the morally correct policy to hold, but its not politically feasible, because spending that much taxpayer’s money to help the world’s most marginalised is never going to win significant political support. So, some of us make compromises, and advocate policies we think are the most likely to achieve a decent outcome for refugees. Such as charging the applicants who apply to those centres, which covers the costs of flying them here, and also vastly reduces the number of applicants to a politically manageable level. Oh, and it would end the profitability of smuggling, as well (plane tickets already cost less than the typical boat journey.)

    Or we could regulate the boats coming here and process those who arrive, here, in Australia, at local processing centres we can manage ourselves. Seems a far more sensible option to me.

    Why is it sensible to give people who physically arrive in Australia a higher chance of refugee status, when that means they must take dangerous and expensive journeys (and the trip from Afghanistan or Somalia or Sri Lanka to Australia will remain dangerous and expensive, even if the Indonesia-Australia leg is on the best Indonesian fishing vessel money can buy….) to maximise their chances of success? Surely we want every refugee regardless of physical location to have as equal a chance of resettlement here as possible, if we all agree our overall intake is necessarily limited?

    Why can’t we regulate the boats coming here? Punish those who endanger people’s lives and encourage them not to

    By “those”, I assume that like the major parties you are referring to the fishing villagers, frequently underage, who crew the boats.

  73. We’d be doing our part, and we wouldn’t be resorting to cruelty.

    I like that “our part” consists of helping precisely the few thousand or so boat arrivals out of the worlds millions’ of refugees. Praise be the hallowed gods of progressivism who have ordained the carefully calculated limits on how many people we must extend our compassion to.

    As for cruelty, I’ll gladly the Malaysia solution under a deontogolical framing is slightly cruel to the first few boatloads or so of refugees. who would returned in general to a slightly better situation than the one they left (having obtained additional protections and rights to “non Malaysia solution” refugees). Which is one reason it is only my preferred choice out of the current options presented by the political parties, not my own personal policy.

    After that, given we all accept that refugees behaviour is based on desperate but fundamentally rational self-interest, you’d expect boat arrivals to slow drastically or cease once people realise that the journey is a futile one. This of course accords with the views of the immigration department’s experts.

    That means all the people who would have attempted the journey previously now simply accepting their fate and rotting in a camp in Indonesia, Malaysia etc. But we don’t have any obligation whatsoever to those people in this moral framework, so that’s fine……

    We could stop ALL BOATS tomorrow if we wanted, without necessarily increasing the refugee cap, but that would take people joining the dots and not pretending that people actually think it is not dangerous to get on the boat, that these people are just stupid or something. No, they make a value judgement that Nauru, the Pacific solution, Malaysia – none of these will solve this.

    Narc, I’d like to hear your policy proposal.

  74. Could you concede for a moment that the point of your “symbol” is to stop people getting on boats?

    “Concede”? Hell I’ve been trying to get this point across for weeks! I definitely concede this – stopping people getting on boats (and thus risking their lives) is pretty much the basis for my position.

    And therefore to encourage them to STAY WHERE THEY ARE? Even if that’s in danger (so much danger that they were otherwise prepared to risk such a voyage)

    Yes, I would prefer that they remain in Indonesia until their claim can be processed. I appreciate that life for a refugee in Indonesia would be shitty compared to life in Australia, but surely an improvement from the imminent danger and persecution from which they are fleeing.

    Just how long do you think it takes to get to Australia if you rock up to the Australian embassy in Jakarta and apply for asylum?

    I imagine it depends on your facts and circumstances – but I can’t believe it is a quick process. The reality is that I don’t know the answer – but then I doubt you do either. What I can say, with 100% confidence, is that it is less that “a lifetime” and that those who suggest otherwise are simply lying in order to promote an agenda.

    Don’t get me wrong – their hearts are in the right place – but bullshit is still bullshit.

  75. Narc – whether you want to accept its or not the argument for and/or against our current asylum seeker policy is humanitarian at least as much as it is economic. The debate on this thread has been almost entirely framed around humanitarian issues and not economic ones.

    I have not made an economic argument against on-shore processing and do not seek to do so. My argument has been a humanitarian and political one (i.e. I oppose the dangerous boat-person trade on humanitarian grounds and see the Pacific Solution as the only politically palatable solution).

    If you want to argue economics that’s fine – but I’m not interested in joining you.

  76. narcoticmusing

    The political one is based on economics – that is all my point was there. I assumed you understood the political rationale.

    Regardless, the Pacific solution/Nauru and its likes all advocate sending boats back to Indonesia as part of the ‘solution’ or keeping people in Indonesia, thereby negating any form of humanitarian perspective.

  77. On-shore advocates like you Narc support a system that drowns refugees in their hundreds, thereby negating any claim to ‘humanitarian’ goals that you might make.

    See – I can completely ignore all counter-arguments and get up on my moral high horse too. It’s a completely pathtic way to make a case – but hey, if it’s good enough for you . . . .

  78. On-shore advocates like you Narc support a system that drowns refugees in their hundreds

    That’s a lie. We do not support such a system.

    I imagine it depends on your facts and circumstances – but I can’t believe it is a quick process. The reality is that I don’t know the answer – but then I doubt you do either. What I can say, with 100% confidence, is that it is less that “a lifetime” and that those who suggest otherwise are simply lying in order to promote an agenda.

    Last I heard it was sixty years and counting, but I’ll have to try to find the source.

    If it was something like sixty years, would you concede that simply saying “get in the queue” is basically ordering them to suck it up and spend their lives in danger and misery?

    I like that “our part” consists of helping precisely the few thousand or so boat arrivals out of the worlds millions’ of refugees. Praise be the hallowed gods of progressivism who have ordained the carefully calculated limits on how many people we must extend our compassion to.

    “Carefully calculated limits”? Uh, no – that’s the point. We do our duty by all who arrive and seek refuge.

    We may not be able to solve all the problems for all the world’s refugees, but we can do our duty by those who arrive and ask.

    After that, given we all accept that refugees behaviour is based on desperate but fundamentally rational self-interest, you’d expect boat arrivals to slow drastically or cease once people realise that the journey is a futile one.

    My point, of course, is that “stopping the boats” might save the lives risked by our encouraging-boats-do-be-dangerous policies from being lost for that reason – but it doesn’t in any way make those people safe. They’re safer back in Indonesia than if they’d drowned, of course, but far LESS safe than if they’d been some of the more numerous boat arrivals who did get here successfully. You’d rather those people – the people we are processing now – to have been discouraged into staying – with their families – in much more danger in Indonesia.

    In summary: trying to get them to stay in Indonesia might be reducing deaths by sinking boat, but it will increase deaths by violence/starvation/poverty etc over there. It’s just that it won’t be on our TV screens, so those advocating policies determined to discourage boat trips think we can be persuaded not to care.

    In contrast – making the boats safer and processing people here actually DOES save those lives.

  79. That’s a lie. We do not support such a system

    Turn up your irony detector and take his quote in its entire context. Mondo is simply echoing all the “your policies views on this topic are completely immoral” rhetoric fired in his direction, to prove a point.

    Last I heard it was sixty years and counting, but I’ll have to try to find the source.

    On my memory sixty is actually a rather conservative estimate. Perhaps its a median waiting time with a substantially worse mean – IIRC there are at least 100 million refugees in the world with only about one million resettled in any given year for instance.

    “Carefully calculated limits”? Uh, no – that’s the point. We do our duty by all who arrive and seek refuge. We may not be able to solve all the problems for all the world’s refugees, but we can do our duty by those who arrive and ask.

    So those who ask, but do not arrive physically in Australia, have less right to seek refuge. Why?

    The “duty” as it exists in current international law to help only those refugees that physically arrive in your country was poorly conceived. The intention of the framers were good, but they did not think through the unintended consequences of the system they were establishing. A refugee should have no incentive to pay anyone to smuggle them on a dangerous journey to increase their chances of asylum. Under current international law, because “duty” extends only to the people within your own borders, all refugees have this incentive. The majority don’t have the means to pay a smuggler, and are left to rot largely in the countries that neighbour the conflict zones and failed states they are fleeing from (those who have made it to Indonesia or Malaysia are already better off than those in Pakistan, or on the Thai-Burma border, etc etc.)

    In summary: trying to get them to stay in Indonesia might be reducing deaths by sinking boat, but it will increase deaths by violence/starvation/poverty etc over there. It’s just that it won’t be on our TV screens, so those advocating policies determined to discourage boat trips think we can be persuaded not to care. In contrast – making the boats safer and processing people here actually DOES save those lives.

    As I’ve already pointed out, if you want a regulated market in asylum visas (as I personally am an outspoken advocate for), the “make the boats safe” approach is, frankly, pure foolishness. It is less safe and less cost effective than the alternatives – the same refugees could pay to fly to Australia for substantially less money and in a great deal more safety than the cost of passage by even the safest of the currently employed boats. So why not let them do that, and cut out all of the various middlemen?

  80. That’s a lie. We do not support such a system.

    You most certainly did Lefty – you and I both did.

    We both applauded Rudd when he abandoned TPVs and the Pacific Solution. We both claimed vindication when Howard’s policies were abolished and Australia adopted a more ‘humanitarian’ approach to dealing with boat arrivals, and we were both reluctant to admit it when things started going badly wrong.

    But things DID go wrong – something that you now implicitly acknowledge by rejecting the current system.

    We have BOTH been forced to accept that the changes Rudd implemented – the changes we both supported – came with unintended (and tragic) consequences. And we’ve both now modified our policy preferences as a result (although in different ways). Obviously neither you nor I could propose or support a system that involves unjustifiable cruelty or death for other human beings and so we’ve had to cast around for a better solution.

    Which is why playing the ‘moral highground’ card as so many here have done is such an insulting waste of everyone’s time. It’s about as effective as you and I wagging our dicks at each other – we’ve both got one and they’re not trump cards.

    If it was something like sixty years, would you concede that simply saying “get in the queue” is basically ordering them to suck it up and spend their lives in danger and misery?

    Absolutely not. I would, however, accept that it is basically telling them that they’re never going to get residence in Australia. Not a brilliant outcome for them – sure, but hardly “ordering them” to spend their lives in danger and misery”. That’s a ridiculous and deliberately hyperbolic characterisation.

    But more to the point – if there really is a 60 year bottleneck of refugees in Indonesia then that’s obviously something we can both agree needs to be addressed and resolved. I don’t think a semi-regulated boat person free-for all run by Indonesian criminals is a particularly sensible or realistic solution – and that’s really the only point where we differ.

  81. narcoticmusing

    On-shore advocates like you Narc support a system that drowns refugees in their hundreds, thereby negating any claim to ‘humanitarian’ goals that you might make.

    Nope, wrong again. I proposed a solution that would stop the boats completely. End of story. It could be set up at minimal cost utilising the current resources in place. But, hey, feel free to make shit up. You ignored that because you won’t (refuse to?) consider that the political basis of the entire issue is economic. It is about ‘hey why are we spending our money on these foreigners’ racist bs. All the talk about “limits” = $. And rightly so – we should get good bang for buck. But Nauru doesn’t do this – it shoves everything under a rug so that we can minimise accountability – both to the Australian people regarding taxpayer spend and to the international community regarding our place as an international citizen.

    Your proposal does nothing to stop the boats, it diverts the boats. That doesn’t stop boats, it, wow, DIVERTS them. Look at that – rocket science. They either go to nauru (very exensive) or Indonesia (no better than Malaysia). So what does it solve? You haven’t stopped people from using shoddy boats b/c you’ll still conviscate them at either end. You haven’t stopped the deaths at sea. Nauru doesn’t even help us deal with the issue of our onshore obligations because they will be considered within our jurisdiction despite being on another nation’s soil – and we’ll pay stupid amounts to enable that rather than just processing them here for a fraction of the cost. I am pro saving the money and still ending up with better outcomes for people. I am pro- not putting sailors in the position of waiting until desperate people act (so surprisingly) desperately.

    We’d be better off spending the $2b on a better processing facility in Indonesia than bloody Nauru. At least then the $2b wouldn’t come with the same jurisdictional responsibility that we’d have if we processed them onshore anyway but at a fraction of th cost.

  82. narcoticmusing

    the same refugees could pay to fly to Australia for substantially less money and in a great deal more safety than the cost of passage by even the safest of the currently employed boats. So why not let them do that, and cut out all of the various middlemen?

    Yup, exactly.

  83. narcoticmusing

    We have BOTH been forced to accept that the changes Rudd implemented – the changes we both supported – came with unintended (and tragic) consequences

    Are you suggesting that potential asylum seekers are well versed on australian immigration policy? I very much doubt that. They may, however, have been fed the BS from news corp that outright lies about the policy… but then, why would we seek to blame anyone but this current government for anything? look over there! A shark attack – that was a foreign shark so it must be Rudd’s fault!

  84. Are you suggesting that potential asylum seekers are well versed on australian immigration policy? I very much doubt that.

    Now you’re just trying to revive the “there’s no pull factors, only push factors” argument Narc. The rest of us have moved on mate – it’s quite obvious that asylum seekers do follow Australian policy and adjust their decisions accordingly.

    But look – if your proposed solution will be effective in stopping the boats while still allowing Australia to manage its refugee intake within a democratically agreed quota then great! I’m all for it – you’ve solved the problem.

    If, on the other hand, it involves throwing the gates open to all asylum seekers who make it to Indonesia regardless of numbers then, again, I’d have to point out that such a policy will never gain majority support amongst Aussie voters.

  85. narcoticmusing

    democratically agreed quota

    I laughed out loud at that one.

    Because, of course, the quota is only there because of economic reasons that you suggest don’t exist.

  86. narcoticmusing

    PS – not trying to revive the push/pull factors argument – not sure how you concluded that… you have suggested that the Rudd govt policy is the reason for more boats and I posed an alternative. Or is your view the only one that counts?

    Push/Pull factors DO exist, but that wasn’t even remotely in my argument.

  87. I’m sure the idea of respecting the democratic position of the rest of Australia is quite hilarious to you Narc – assumed moral superiority and patronising disdain for those on the opposing side has been a core aspect of your approach to this debate so far.

    And I’m glad you now admit that “pull factors” do exist, even if you did rubbish the idea that asylum seekers might base their decisions on Australian immigration policy not two posts earlier.

    the quota is only there because of economic reasons that you suggest don’t exist.

    Firstly, even a cursory review of my comments above will reveal that I haven’t once claimed that economic reasons don’t exist. I have only noted that my argument wasn’t based on them (i.e. I have been arguing from a humanitarian perspective).

    Secondly, economics is clearly not the “only” reason Australians wish to set refugee intake quotas. There are social, personal and cultural reasons why people might prefer to limit the number of traumatised foreigners we allow to resettle here. Hell, some people are just plain xenophobes (which certainly wasn’t a subject offered when I studied economics).

    I’m pretty tired of correcting the multitude of errors in your argument Narc. Most of what you’ve contributed to this debate so far has been half-baked nonsense relying entirely on strawman misrepresentation of my comments, and the rest has been simplistic guff that in no way addresses the reality and complexity of the situation.

    Fortunately for me your views on this issue are now firmly at the margin of Australian politics and there’s really no need for me to bother with you any further.

  88. narcoticmusing

    assumed moral superiority and patronising disda

    Because of course, that hasn’t been your approach at all. Other than the multiple times you state that to disagree with your view is to endorse deaths at sea. No, not at all moral superiority or patronising disdain from you. Or to have a different view on what the pull factors are suddenly = not acknowledging pull factos – because of course only your pull factors count. But not, not that isn’t patronising. Any you final post, particularly that lovely last paragraph, that must have filled you with self-righteous glow – that wasn’t at all patronising, filled with disdain or moral superiority was it? Perhaps you should consider that before aiming an insulting accusation my way. I can be patronising if that is how you want to play it.

    I don’t require you to ‘correct’ my ‘errors’ – you are yet to name an error per se, you simply state things you disagree with and repeat the same reasons as before as if repitition makes you right. I don’t think I’ve offered up enough as alternatives for you to correct, I’m still trying to figure out how your policy will stop boats / lives lost at sea beyond LibCo totally promisied you it would.

    I haven’t given enough detail on anything for errors – i’ve merely questioned your solutions and you are yet to provide a satisfactory response. Convince me, I am willing but so far your arguments are just regurgitations of LibCo policy.

    You are yet to describe how the Pacific solution and Nauru will ‘stop the boats’ and /or reduce deaths at sea. Nauru assumes that people will come by boat and we divert them to Nauru – ergo boats continue. Nauru lengthens their trip – increasing the risk. Nauru will still lead to boat confiscation, thus giving no insentive for safe boats. Nauru risks people doing desperate things to get to Australia. Nauru assumes if they don’t agree to Nauru they get sent back to Indonesia (which is worse than the Malaysian solution). Nauru will cost a ridiculus amount of money to set up and maintain.

    You claim i misrepresent your views – not once have you not misreprented my views in this debate – For example, I never once suggested there weren’t pull factors but you claim i did. I simply disagreed with what they were. But as your are right and I am wrong, of course that translates to an alternative view = no pull factors. You are yet to describe anything to justify your view, beyond: boats increased when Rudd’s policy came in. I gave you an altertantive reason for that, as my experience working with refugees has found a very low rate of understanding of Australian immigration policy. Anecdotal as it may be, after working with 1000+ asylum seekers I am yet to meet ONE that understood anything beyond ‘getting on this boat gets me off this rock’. That there is your pull factor – which , funnily enough is also a push facter but then you like to pretend there aren’t push factors (indeed you seemed offended by the prospect of someone mentioning it) so we’ll ignore thant for now.

    We disagree Mondo, it is not your job to fix my view in order to have it align with yours.

  89. “I have been arguing from a humanitarian perspective…”. LOL.

  90. narcoticmusing

    So from a humanitarian perspective – how is diverting the boats to Nauru making the trip longer and increasing the risk – good? It doesn’t stop boats, it diverts boats. How does sending them back reconcile with a humanitarian perspective?

    We have quotas yes – they are not democratically determined or else there would be some choice and/or consultation on it. They are economically determined.

  91. “I have been arguing from a humanitarian perspective…”. LOL.

    Well . . . I’ve been trying to argue from a humanitarian perspective Eric – although probably not persuasively in your case.

    I have been arguing that any refugee policy that fails to address the “pull” of an on-shore processing system, and which therefore leads to hundreds of refugee deaths at sea, should be rejected on humanitarian grounds.

    You obviously disagree.

  92. narcoticmusing

    That is your most concise summary thus far, thank you Mondo.

    I will attempt to articulate my disagreement, but I will start by saying I do not disagree that pull factors exist and contribute to the issue.

    I disagree with the idea that the Nauru solution has the capacity to remove that pull factor, as, from my experience, asylum seekers are not aware of the processing arrangements. Indeed, during the pacific solution, my – granted this is anecdotal – expereince was that asylum seekers still believed there was onshoure processing in Australia as a default. In addition, Nauru does not change our jurisdictional responsibility, so it might as well be on shore, thus, how does it change the pull factor? For example, there were many asylum seekers at Nauru duing the Pacific solution – just because they didn’t come to australia on TV doesn’t mean the boats were stopped. Also, most of those at Nauru were delcared legit refugees who then settled in Australia. This is a point that is ignored by pro-Nauru groups – this is a major pull factor and I predict that if we went with Nauru again people would recall the re-settlement rate and time to re-settle far more than where you go prior to resettlement. Ergo, imo, the pull factor remains.

    We also have to address that any solution that ignores or exacerbates deaths at sea should be rejected on humanitarian grounds. I believe diverting boats, which extends their trips, increases the risk. I believe policies that encourage use of boats instead of planes increase the risk. I believe policies that encourage use of shoddy boats increases the risk. All of these should also be addressed and not just ignored as if this issue is simple and uncomplicated.

  93. BTW – I just checked the Greens website to see if they have any policy proposals aimed at:

    (a) reducing either the incentive for boat arrivals and/or
    (b) reducing the dangers of boat travel.

    They do not. Their current preference seems to be to leave the door open for boat arrivals and do nothing to address the safety issues. In fact many of their policies actively increase the “pull” of a generous on-shore refugee processing system.

    Nobody on this thread, to my knowledge, has backed the Greens position in this regard. Everyone here, regardless of ideological bent, has suggested a solution that reduces the likelihood of refugee deaths by addressing at least one of the above two issues.

    SB is therefore correct when he observes that the Greens have lost the humanitarian high-ground on this issue. Of the three main Australian parties the Greens seem to be the only one whose policies fail to propose anything to address the deaths at sea issue.

  94. narcoticmusing

    I am not as familiar with Greens policy on this as i used to be, but I they used to (not sure if they still do) advocate for increased budget for increased intake. It is the budgetary limitations that limit the intake atm – hence it is not a demoncratically determined amount (sorry for my previous snide response). It is a budgetary limit based on the costs of settling etc. I’m not sure that it matters what the Greens policy is, as they aren’t the ones calling the shots. I am very concerned that there seems to be only two solutions being thrown around by the powers that be, neither of which address any of the issues outlined by both sides oof the debate on this thread.

  95. I am not as familiar with Greens policy on this as i used to be, but I they used to (not sure if they still do) advocate for increased budget for increased intake. It is the budgetary limitations that limit the intake atm – hence it is not a demoncratically determined amount (sorry for my previous snide response).

    Budgetary limitations and democracy go hand in hand.

    Given a choice between “fewer services; higher taxes; increased government debt”, voters will essentially always select D) none of the above. But of course that’s a logical impossibility to implement; you have to take the pain somewhere. Still, nothing stops people voting for the impossible if it sounds appealing enough.

    Now, you could have some sort of direct democracy plebiscite to determine the quota of boat people. But if that lead to an increase (which sadly I very much doubt would be the case), where will the funding for all the necessary services come from? I can say which taxes I’d raise and which services I’d cut, and I’m sure everyone else could to. But I’d doubt we’d come up with the same set of answers amongst ourselves, or even a set with clear majority support. Then what? Direct democracy has a hard time dealing with this, which is why we have representative democracy and elected governments that make the “hard decisions”, i.e. come up with policy platforms that aren’t incoherent.

    That’s (one reason) why a revenue-neutral or positive option, like letting asylum seekers pay the government directly for a visa and a plane ticket, is likely the only pragmatic solution to this problem.

  96. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic: “Also, most of those at Nauru were delcared legit refugees who then settled in Australia.”

    This is just wrong. Most were not settled in Australia. Many were settled in other countries and many others had their claims rejected entirely.

    “So from a humanitarian perspective – how is diverting the boats to Nauru making the trip longer and increasing the risk – good? It doesn’t stop boats, it diverts boats.”

    This is a nonsense argument as well. About 1600 went to Nauru or Manus during the 5 years of the Pacific Solution. Yet thousands per year came before and after (eg five and a half thousand in 2001 and six and a half thousand in 2010). And how many boats sank while being escorted (“escorted” is a much more accurate and honest term than “diverted”) to Nauru? None. So your argument about increased risk is not supported by the facts either.

  97. Push/Pull…..b@llocks language invented to distract everybody. Worked a treat.

  98. From a political perspective, the government and opposition could easily solve this by having a bi-partisan agreement to (for instance):

    * Quadruple our humanitarian intake, with the excess quota being devoted exclusively to applicants at our consulates, who will pay for their own reasonable transport and resettlement costs (say $2000 per person)

    * Implement a joint Nauru / Malaysia solution for boat arrivals, with strong human rights and processing time guarantees, and an aim to negotiate a better multilateral regional framework in the longer term.

    * Reintroduce TPVs exclusively for people who A) don’t have documents and B) would not qualify under any other scheme, but who would like voluntarily to apply for a TPV as “better than the alternative”.

    This is an example of a win-win-win – it should eliminate the boat trade, its an improvement for literally *all* prospective refugees over both the status quo and all the other arrangements of the previous couple of decades, unlike my charter cities idea its not too unusual to get political support, and its a reasonable compromise from the point of view of all the major factions within the major parties.

    Political opportunism and pride (on all sides) is what stops the implementation of something like this…..

  99. Oh Eric, you contribute so wisely and astutely to this thread! Lo, we are all so much less distracted now that you have lanced the insidious boil of “push/pull” terminology from our discussion.

    Maybe I should write a poem glorifying you and the genius with which you enlighten us all.

  100. narcoticmusing

    Jordan – nice ideas but that is not have government budgets and budget cycles work. They are not malleable, they are stubborn difficult beasts primarily due to the budget processes.

    I accept escorted is a better term – but again I ask, at what cost? Do you think that is the best use of our military? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to not need to escort them? Say, if their boats were sea worthy?

    Under the ‘Pacific Solution’ a total of 1637 unauthorised arrivals were detained in the Nauru and Manus facilities between September 2001 and February 2008. Of those, 1153 (70 per cent) were found to be refugees and ultimately resettled to Australia or other countries. Source: Cth Govt Media release 8 February 2008.

    Note that the Pacific solution also returned boats to Indonesia – which is as bad or worse than sending them to Malyasia.

  101. narcoticmusing

    Assuming my above comment with sources gets through moderation… one should also note that it is unclear how many potential arrivals were simply sent (or escorted) back to Indonesia. There seems to be competing views (say compare Oz data to UN to Indonesia – all different)

  102. It is the budgetary limitations that limit the intake atm – hence it is not a demoncratically determined amount (sorry for my previous snide response).

    Wow – apology definitely accepted.

    Thanks! I apologise too.

  103. narcoticmusing

    by having a bi-partisan agreement to…

    But then how would they get all the bottom feeding point scoring off one another?

    Forgive my cynicism, a lot of things could be easily solved if the two parties just stopped squabbling for 30 seconds but that isn’t going to happen. In addition there are some genuine (as shown on this thread) disagreements on how to solve and/or manage and/or minimise harm in this sphere.

    Unfortunately SB, WordPress moderated my comment (that I refer to above) Why must wordpress always shunt sourced material to moderation? I will dare to post it again at some point at the risk of it again being moderated, perhaps for having actual sourced evidence??

  104. narcoticmusing

    Mondo – I think we both developed a ‘tone’ in our debate. I apologise on my part for it devolving as such (your apology is also accepted). It does however demonstrate that there are very strong views on both sides, which explains a lot about the grand dose of inaction politically.

  105. Narc, in my experience, longer posts are more likely to get moderated, and posts with links are more likely to get moderated. Both of these are evidence of spam (unusual or large volume of words, presence of links.) But… well either Jeremy has somehow managed to completely screw up the settings for this site to about the worst configuration possible, or WordPress sucks donkey-arse – their spam filtering technology is seemingly about a century behind the state of the art 😛

  106. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic: “I accept escorted is a better term – but again I ask, at what cost? Do you think that is the best use of our military? Wouldn’t it be cheaper to not need to escort them?”

    That depends on the value you put on human life. (I know it looks like a cheap shot, but that is precisely my argument.)

    “Under the ‘Pacific Solution’ a total of 1637 unauthorised arrivals were detained in the Nauru and Manus facilities between September 2001 and February 2008. Of those, 1153 (70 per cent) were found to be refugees and ultimately resettled to Australia or other countries. Source: Cth Govt Media release 8 February 2008.”

    The figure you omit to cite from your source is that only 61% of the 70% who were resettled were resettled in Australia. That is a only a minority of those who went to Nauru and Manus Island were settled in Australia.

  107. Jordan – nice ideas but that is not have government budgets and budget cycles work. They are not malleable, they are stubborn difficult beasts primarily due to the budget processes.

    This is precisely why I propose, first of all, a measure which is revenue neutral/positive – charge “self-funded” refugees the costs of processing their applications, flying them here, and setting them up with the basics they need to start establishing a new life.

    It increases our intake, and undercuts demand for smuggling by boats. Can everyone here – you, SB, Mondo, Jeremy – agree this is a positive? As in, this is absolutely, clearly, a win-win (technically speaking, Pareto efficient) policy suggestion – there are no losers from implementing it, so from a utilitarian point of view it is a clearly correct course of action?

  108. The figure you omit to cite from your source is that only 61% of the 70% who were resettled were resettled in Australia. That is a only a minority of those who went to Nauru and Manus Island were settled in Australia.

    Where were the rest settled? If it was Canada or New Zealand etc, surely that’s something we can all agree to as part of any policy platform we advocate, provided the countries themselves are still amenable 😛 And they have to be at least as good from the refugee’s point of view, so there’s no real change in incentives.

    If it was somewhere more akin to Indonesia as far as economic opportunity etc, well, I hardly see how this improves upon the Malaysia solution.

  109. narcoticmusing

    SB, it looked like a cheap shot because it was a cheap shot and you knew it. Because my argument was that you could also save that human life at a significantly lower cost. Are you suggesting that we should spend billions on a few lives when millions would achieve the same outcome?

    If we want to be really cold about it, TAC values a human life in budgetary cycles as around $3-4million depending on the age. But that is an Australian life based on GDP and productivity contributions. A refugee is likely to be a budgetary drain, at least initially. So from a cold budget point of view, the value is dubious. Thus, if we could attain the SAME or BETTER outcome for a 10th of the cost, wouldn’t it be prudent to do so?

    SB – Source for your figures? Where’d they all go? Are you going to include how much Australia bribed other countries to take them? Ergo, it still cost Australia.

    Jordan – again, your idea is so politically abhorrent it will never even be proposed in a budget bid let alone get up. The department of immigration would be responsible for proposing it – do you honestly think they would? What government would suggest this and lose all low-brow point scoring opportunity while opening themselves up to immense ridicule. Doesn’t make it without merit, just makes it without political merit/will. But we’ve already debated this idea.

  110. It increases our intake, and undercuts demand for smuggling by boats. Can everyone here – you, SB, Mondo, Jeremy – agree this is a positive?

    I agree that the two outcomes you’ve listed are positive.

    I’m still not entirely comfortable with the idea of asylum seekers buying their way into Australia – particularly if they are (directly or indirectly) buying a spot that would otherwise have gone to refugees without the cash – but it would at least curb the boat person trade wjhile increasing our overall intake.

    It does however demonstrate that there are very strong views on both sides, which explains a lot about the grand dose of inaction politically.

    That it does – although I would note that IMO it is the attitude of the Left on this issue is what makes it so divisive. It took only two posts at the top of this thread before jonathan called me “a sick disgrace of humanity” merely for arguing that our refugee program should not seek to incorporate a people smuggling option.

    If our side of politics could just realise that those who deviate from the ‘standard’ position on refugees aren’t all inhuman racists that would go a long way to keeping the debate more civil and productive.

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