I mean, seriously, who doesn’t support spending a lot more taxpayer money being crueller to refugees?

To be fair to the politicians demonising refugees, it does win them votes.

Also, if the leftists hadn’t foolishly guaranteed that precisely no-one in a population of several thousand people would ever commit any kind of crime, well, then we wouldn’t have to do this. Remember the last time an Australian citizen committed a crime and we were all put on watchlists? And we deserved it, too.

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61 responses to “I mean, seriously, who doesn’t support spending a lot more taxpayer money being crueller to refugees?

  1. It was a pretty blatant dog-whistle from the Coalition and I think it will blow up in their faces.

    They’ve misread the recent shift in public opinion as being anti-refugee instead of what it really is – i.e. frustration with lack of progress in stopping the boat people trade.

  2. Sadly Mondo, I think the latter is starting to morph into the former the longer the whole thing drags on.

  3. “frustration with lack of progress in stopping the boat people trade”

    Maybe they’ve read that fairly accurately, since it’s not like those advocating for refugees to stay where they are before they get on boats give a damn about what happens to them if they are “deterred” and don’t try to reach safety.

  4. So if you’re opposed to the boat person trade then by definition you’re anti-refugee?

    Given that the boat person trade has killed in the vicinity of 1,000 refugees in the last couple of years I would think a convincing argument could be mounted that those who support that trade are the ones who are anti-refugee.

    I don’t believe that by the way – I only raise it to illustrate the pointlessness of treating this difficult and depressing issue as nothing more than a fight for the moral high-ground.

    We all want a better solution Lefty. Treating those with a different viewpoint to your own as morally deficient isn’t the way to find it.

  5. Sorry Ben – my comment wasn’t directed at you or your post, which I think has some truth to it. Although having said that I believe that the anti people-smuggling position can be split into two distinct categories:

    1. Those who are not opposed to refugees but who want to shut down a dangerous, uncontrollable and grossly unfair trade in human beings, and

    2. Those who are opposed to refugees and thus are opposed to any mechanism that assists them to get here.

    I’m not sure that the passage of time alone will move people from group 1 to group 2.

  6. Blow them out of the water! Let them drown! Would you want them living next door to you?! They bring horrible diseasesese into Straya!

  7. returnedman

    Given that the boat person trade has killed in the vicinity of 1,000 refugees in the last couple of years …

    I THINK that Jeremy has mentioned on way TOO MANY occasions (but evidently way not enough) that he is opposed to the lack of distinction between seaworthy and unseaworthy boats by the Australian authorities.

    That, to me, indicates that he HAS given thought to the matter that you also seem to bring up on TOO MANY occasions.

  8. Splatterbottom

    Mondo: “Given that the boat person trade has killed in the vicinity of 1,000 refugees in the last couple of years”

    You know the Greens answer to that: “Accidents happen, tragedies happen”. So get over it.

    And now that we have an open border policy, anyone care to suggest a limit on the number of refugees we take, or the amount we spend on looking after them? Rudd’s murderous decision to open the floodgates has killed at least a thousand people if not more and cost Australia billions of dollars. I hope the warm fuzzy feeling of self-righteousness felt by the practitioners of that sentimental middle-class religion we call leftism was worth it.

  9. You know the Greens answer to that: “Accidents happen, tragedies happen”. So get over it.

    Liar. You know perfectly well that our answer to that is to distinguish between safe and unsafe boats. You know it’s my answer, because you’ve read me writing it many times.

    And now that we have an open border policy

    Another ridiculous lie.

    anyone care to suggest a limit on the number of refugees we take, or the amount we spend on looking after them?

    Well, we could certainly waste a lot less money if we stopped imprisoning them expensively on remote islands.

    Rudd’s murderous decision to open the floodgates has killed at least a thousand people if not more and cost Australia billions of dollars.

    A frankly obscene lie. Seriously, mate, do we have to start calling you Splatterliar?

    I hope the warm fuzzy feeling of self-righteousness felt by the practitioners of that sentimental middle-class religion we call leftism was worth it.

    Enjoying the hot self-righteous glow of pretending that your advocacy for a selfish “let them eat suffering where they came from” policy is somehow based on concern for their lives? Enjoying the revolting release that follows a frenetic bout of fantasising that some gullible people might believe your monstrous support of cruelty to be some kind of heroically brave attempt to save lives?

    Mondo – the main reason the trade is “dangerous” is that by our policy of not distinguishing between safe and unsafe boats, and in destroying all of them and imprisoning all crews, we encourage the sending of disposable boats. The main reason taking a refugee off a boat might be “unfair” is because of our deliberate policy of taking a place from another refugee on our list. Neither of these are necessary, both of these clearly cause most of the “danger” and “unfairness”. And yet I’ve heard you criticise and campaign against neither of them.

    Hence my not being convinced that it’s concern for these refugees that motivates your attitude to this issue.

  10. Splatterbottom

    Jeremy: “Liar.”

    That is a bit harsh. All I did was quote a Greens senator as evidence for the Greens view, albeit that she is a particularly disgusting and duplicitous person.

    You know perfectly well that our answer to that is to distinguish between safe and unsafe boats. You know it’s my answer, because you’ve read me writing it many times.

    That was the ex post facto reasoning that emerged after Hanson-Young’s Freudian slip. In fact you know from my past comments that it is easier and cheaper all round just to fly them here.

    The problem with that is that there needs to be some limit s to the number that can be taken in. And there is the rub. That is the one question I raise in my last post that you did not answer and that you have steadfastly refused to answer in all past discussions we have had on this topic. I suppose you won’t answer it this time either – it is easier just to call people names, isn’t it?

    As I have consistently argued here, we should take in many more refugees, and we should, to the extent possible, be selecting on the basis of need rather than preferencing those with the money to fly into Indonesia (with papers) and to pay people smugglers. But in the end we need to devote considerable resources to deal with refugees and we should be able to decide, as a society, what we are prepared to allocate to that end.

    “A frankly obscene lie.”

    How so? Just look at the numbers! You might get a more rational answer than if your analysis consists of name-calling.

  11. Mondo – the main reason the trade is “dangerous” is that by our policy of not distinguishing between safe and unsafe boats, and in destroying all of them and imprisoning all crews, we encourage the sending of disposable boats.

    I don’t know how many times this needs to be debunked. Its bogus economics; the costs of the actual boats are a small fraction of.the revenues of a smuggling operation.

    Crappy boats happen to be regularly and easily available in Indonesia. Smugglers also have every incentive to overcrowd boats, and no reasons not to. Sending back the more seaworthy ones would do nothing to fix this. As its also effectively quasi-legalising the industry, its insane to propose as a measure in place of simply allowing refugees to buy visas off the government directly. Cut out the (generally criminal) middle man, and let people travel on the cheaper and safer planes that everyone else uses.

  12. Its important to realize that the service smugglers provide isn’t transport. A plane ticket from anywhere in the world to Sydney is, literally, orders of magnitude cheaper than the Indonesia-to-Australia leg alone of a smuggling journey.

    The service being sold is evasion of immigration controls. Specifically, you can’t get a plane ticket to Australia without a visa, and if you’re Afghani, Iraqi, etc you have no hope in hell of getting a visa – the Immigration Department is going to racially profile you and reject any claim you make of wanting to travel here for tourism or business (this doesn’t happen to people from countries that have many non-refugees travelling here, which is why most Chinese asylum seekers arrive by plane.)

    Trying to fix the transport side of the smuggling industry when we have direct control over the actual thing being bought and sold, namely immigration controls, is nuts.

  13. Lefty – you have gone on the record stating that our formal refugee intake cap should not apply to boat arrivals. That is, that no matter how many boat arrivals, well, arrive, we should still take in the same number of refugees from the established overseas camps.

    At the same time you have also consistently argued that we should take steps that would actively increase the number of boat arrivals – i.e. you advocate for a regulated and decriminalised boat-person trade.

    If your preferred policies were put in place then how could Australia effectively limit the number of refugees that we take in each year?

    Put another way – how is your preferred position distinguishable from an ‘open border’ policy?

  14. I THINK that Jeremy has mentioned on way TOO MANY occasions (but evidently way not enough) that he is opposed to the lack of distinction between seaworthy and unseaworthy boats by the Australian authorities.

    And, RM, you may have noticed that every time Lefty has made this point I have countered by noting that he is, in effect, arguing for a legalised boat person trade.

    To be fair to Lefty his proposal could work in the medium to long term. If regulated commercial operators started running the boat-people trade out of Indonesia then eventually they would squeeze the criminals out and the number of deaths at sea would obviously plummet. P&O could send the Fairstar up there – at $5,000 a pop I’m sure they could turn a good profit.

    Hell – competition might even drive the price down. The world’s refugee camps could start to empty as the world’s poor and desperate realise that they can simply buy their way into Australia at increasingly reduced prices.

    But let’s be serious RM – how is this is a realistic policy proposal in a country where most of the population agrees that there should be a limit on our annual refugee intake?

  15. All I did was quote a Greens senator as evidence for the Greens view, albeit that she is a particularly disgusting and duplicitous person.

    Cynically and deliberately quote out of context, you mean.

    That was the ex post facto reasoning that emerged after Hanson-Young’s Freudian slip.

    I think you’ll find that I’ve been putting it a lot longer than that.

    In fact you know from my past comments that it is easier and cheaper all round just to fly them here.

    Sure. No objection to us doing that.

    The problem with that is that there needs to be some limit s to the number that can be taken in.

    Why? We’ve gone most of our history without needing to put limits on people arriving seeking aid. Didn’t destroy us. There is already a natural limit to the number of people coming in that most of the world isn’t actually trying to.

    As I have consistently argued here, we should take in many more refugees, and we should, to the extent possible, be selecting on the basis of need rather than preferencing those with the money to fly into Indonesia (with papers) and to pay people smugglers.

    Nasty little meme that is. Somehow these miserable desperate people are the RICH LUCKY ONES WE SHOULD RESENT.

    How so? Just look at the numbers!

    The ALP hasn’t “opened the floodgates” which is why it’s still expensive – because they insist on imprisoning them offshore. Which I gather is a ridiculous expense you support.

  16. If your preferred policies were put in place then how could Australia effectively limit the number of refugees that we take in each year?

    Put another way – how is your preferred position distinguishable from an ‘open border’ policy?

    We would still process people as to whether they’re genuine refugees or not, and send back those who aren’t.

  17. But let’s be serious RM – how is this is a realistic policy proposal in a country where most of the population agrees that there should be a limit on our annual refugee intake?

    It isn’t. Which is why we need to address the ignorance and xenophobia behind that attitude. Step 1 – help people understand the tiny numbers we’re actually talking about. Step 2 – show them, by reference to our history, how immigration has enriched the country – even immigration by refugees! Step 3 – present an accurate picture of the actual refugees so the reaction to dogwhistling by those like Morrison is greeted more like this.

    It’s not easy to tackle xenophobia and racism, but that doesn’t mean we should give up on it.

  18. Crappy boats happen to be regularly and easily available in Indonesia. Smugglers also have every incentive to overcrowd boats, and no reasons not to. Sending back the more seaworthy ones would do nothing to fix this.

    Right, so we think that punishing all boats being sent is a disincentive, but punishing the sending of unseaworthy ones wouldn’t be. We think that imprisoning crews for ridiculous mandatory jail terms is a disincentive, but punishing incompetence at sea wouldn’t be.

    Get real.

    So you’ll be advocating the removal of seaworthiness standards and crew competence requirements for vessels leaving Australia? Cos it makes no difference to the operators?

    As its also effectively quasi-legalising the industry, its insane to propose as a measure in place of simply allowing refugees to buy visas off the government directly. Cut out the (generally criminal) middle man, and let people travel on the cheaper and safer planes that everyone else uses.

    No opposition to that. Let’s do that as well.

  19. Splatterbottom

    Jeremy: “We’ve gone most of our history without needing to put limits on people arriving seeking aid. Didn’t destroy us. There is already a natural limit to the number of people coming in that most of the world isn’t actually trying to.”

    So you want to take all refugees who want to come here? I strongly urge the Greens to go into the next election with that policy front and centre. This will be of great benefit to our political system.

    If you want to understand why the Greens have a reputation as flakey extremists just read what you’ve written above. Your statement doesn’t even make sense. History has nothing to do with it and I don’t know what your “natural limit” point is. What is the natural limit? The number of refugees in the world? Or the number that can afford to get to Indonesia and pay the smugglers? Or does the number that drown on the way here, lured by your policy, create the limit?

    And I suppose I should apologise for trying to preference the most vulnerable and most in need because that is, you know, an offensive meme. Oh yes, the Greens are a rational sane down to earth party and if it wasn’t for the evil Murdoch all Australians would vote for them.

  20. So you want to take all refugees who want to come here?

    You mean process those who arrive on our shores the way we have done for most of our history? You’re right! “Flaky extremism”!

    The limit is that not every refugee has the desire or energy to bother getting here. You can observe this limit in action by looking at all the years up until 2001 in which we weren’t swamped by every refugee in the world.

    Or does the number that drown on the way here, lured by your policy, create the limit?

    Oh FFS. They’re drowning bc we do everything in our power to make the trip as unsafe as possible because there are too many Australians who would rather the refugees drown than arrive here safely. It’s not the boats that didn’t make it that bother them – it’s the boats that did.

    And I suppose I should apologise for trying to preference the most vulnerable and most in need because that is, you know, an offensive meme.

    How are you “trying to preference the most vulnerable and most in need” by demanding they stay in camps in danger?

    Oh, right, you’re running this idiotic idea that those who get on boats are RICH LUCKY REFUGEES and those who have places taken from them by the cruel bipartisan policy of taking away a place when a refugee arrives on a boat ARE THE ONLY GENUINE ONES.

    Horrible. Monstrous. Stupid.

    PS

    the Greens are a rational sane down to earth party and if it wasn’t for the evil Murdoch all Australians would vote for them.

    The Greens are a mainstream progressive party. They certainly would not have “all” Australians voting for them, because they are not a conservative party, they are not a low-tax low-service party, they are not a party for the interests of the rich and powerful. The only way a party can get 51% or more of the vote is to pretend to be all things to all people, or convince them that it doesn’t matter how they actually vote – you’ve got to vote for a big party, and the other one is worse! The Greens could only be a majority party by standing for nothing. Which is the last thing I want.

    But I do think there’s a natural 20-30% of the electorate who are mainstream progressives the Greens could appeal to over time, if they can overcome our electoral system’s strong bias towards the two big parties.

  21. Splatterbottom

    Jeremy: “You mean process those who arrive on our shores the way we have done for most of our history?”

    Does that formulation of words make you feel warm and fuzzy? It really doesn’t mean anything does it? How many refugees rocked up here in Australia prior to, say, the Vietnamese refugees who were turned away by Whitlam? The answer would be vanishingly small.

    Your position is completely irrational. You are still forcing people on to boats to get here to cash in on your plan. How will that not lead to more deaths? And it still only allows in the ones who can pay $10k per head to the smugglers. Sheer fucking genius that, eh?

    Given the way defence has been gutted to pay for the government’s wastrel schemes, the navy might be able to afford an extra boat if it goes into the people smuggling business – it could collect the $10k per head and no one would drown!

    And, again, why do you preference those with the wherewithal to get to Indonesia and then pay people smugglers? By the time they get to Indonesia they are no longer in any peril. The main reason they proceed to Australia is economic – better welfare, better prospects. It is the same the world over. That is why few refugees stop at Latvia (with its rudimentary welfare system) on the way to Sweden. (Oops. Sorry. Not allowed to mention inconvenient facts when talking to a Green. Might be a nasty meme. Quick. Quick. Call the thought police. I assume once the Media regulator is up and running this sort of discussion will be banned from the press, and indeed from this blog if Finkelfuckwit has his way.)

  22. So Jeremy, in response to my asking how your policies make sense within the framework of a limited refugee intake you admit that they don’t, and on that basis state your support for an unlimited refugee intake.

    Furthermore you argue that, in order to achieve this, the government should either set up a safe, cheap and regulated commercial boat-person trade or (better yet) fly all applicants here at the Australian taxpayer’s expense. According to you there’s no need to distinguish between actual refugees and economic migrants under this scheme – we should help anyone and everyone who wants to come here and sort out their legal status once they arrive.

    And the icing on this cake Jeremy – is your inference that opposition to your plan can only stem from a racist and xenophobic belief system.

    My fiancee is Columbian (yes I’m getting married). She came here five years ago on a 457 Visa and we’re going to Fiji in June to marry. Her sister is here too – she recently married her Mexican husband in a ceremony under the Harbor Bridge in which I was the best man.

    My best friends in this world consist of an Iranian immigrant (fled from Khomeni), a Polish refugee (father was a Union leader persecuted by the Right-wing government), an Australian farmer and an Australian born son of an Indian father and Pakistani mother (some passionate politics are argued in that house as I’m sure you can imagine).

    But I’m a racist xenophobe because I believe in a cap on our refugee intake? Nice.

    I’m done with this nonsense. I don’t know what happened to cause you to devolve into a ranting, name calling bigot – but whatever it is you need to get it under control.

  23. My fiancee is Columbian (yes I’m getting married).

    Congratulations Mondo! 🙂 Best wishes to you and your bride to be for the happy day and life thereafter….

    or (better yet) fly all applicants here at the Australian taxpayer’s expense

    Not sure if Jeremy’s advocating this, as he mainly seems to continue to be obsessed with improving the sea worthiness of boats (and in brief reply to your “but we regulate other forms of shipping” inanity, J, sure, and organised crime gangs don’t abide by OH&S requirements or even pay super for their street-level drug dealers, either. We should get right on that.)

    But as someone who actually advocates putting refugees on planes – no, not at taxpayers expense. They can buy their own ticket.

    While there are refugees who have money, and while our system massively prioritises people who physically arrive for resettlement, there will be a smuggling industry. To properly wipe it out you need to make it unprofitable; and in the limit the costs of smugglers are almost certainly dominated by the costs of bribing Indonesian law enforcement, so unless you have some radical plan for wide-scale societal reform in Indonesia, plus hugely increasing their governments incentives to crack down on the trade, its not something we can stamp out by means of criminal law, anymore than we can end the supply of cocaine in Sydney by waging war in Columbia (contrary to the apparent thinking of the CIA over the years :P)

    Hence, Australia acting unilaterally can only really address the “prioritise people who physically arrive” thing. We can do this by reducing or removing their advantage: in some rather horrible ways like mandatory detention and TPVs, or in other (I feel) quite reasonable ways like proposed Malaysia style swaps (although obviously those have to be at a minimum bilateral.)

    Or, you can give visas to anyone who wants them. Even an open-door tourist visa policy would end the smuggling trade: all asylum seekers would use a tourist visa to get here, fly in, and then apply for asylum on arrival, as those from non-racially profiled countries like China do.

    Once again: passage from Indonesia to Australia by smugglers boat costs $5,000 – $20,000 in every published source I’ve ever seen. And you have to add in the costs of the journey to Indonesia, plus of course the large risk of drowning, and the awful mandatory detention hell at the end of the journey. Plane tickets from anywhere in the world are a lot, lot cheaper, and of course overwhelmingly safer; no one would ever get on these boats at all, except the Immigration department stops the world’s airlines from letting Hazara et al get on planes bound here (we apparently levy large fines against any airline that takes on board a passenger without a visa; and supposedly we’re one of the few countries that does this.)

    Of course the less generous version of this policy is to charge anyone genuinely found to be a refugee by the UNHCR some fraction of the thousands its costs to be smuggled for a specific and official humanitarian visa, on top of their own travel costs. That naturally limits our intake, too, at something comparable to the current rate of boat arrivals (i.e. the fraction of the world’s refugees who both want to come to Australia and can afford it).

    Is it as equitable a policy as taking a fixed annual limit of the world’s refugees strictly in order of need, in the magical world where the ones who have money can be counted on not to have themselves smuggled? No, of course not. But its the obvious pragmatic compromise, at least until all the years of work needed for a functional multilateral, regional system can take place.

  24. Not sure if Jeremy’s advocating this, as he mainly seems to continue to be obsessed with improving the sea worthiness of boats

    That certainly seems to be his focus – however when SB above suggested that we save money by flying those who would otherwise come by boat to Australia Lefty responded with:

    Sure. No objection to us doing that.

    Perhaps he was advocating something similar to what you have outlined above – perhaps I jumped to an incorrect assumption. To the extent that I did then I apologise to Jeremy.

    Anyway thanks for the congrats Jordan – three months and counting . . .

  25. returnedman

    But I’m a racist xenophobe because I believe in a cap on our refugee intake?

    Did he call YOU that? He was actually referring to the ignorance and xenophobia that needs to be addressed because “most of the population” APPEARS to think a particular way on this issue, and that they APPEAR to think this way because there is a lot of misinformation out there.

  26. returnedman

    organised crime gangs don’t abide by OH&S requirements or even pay super for their street-level drug dealers, either.

    A bad analogy, I think. You might find that the law is actually nuanced enough to impose such punishments in the “informal” economy! If someone is considered to be an “employee”, even if in the employ of such unpleasant company, then those that are considered “employers” could certainly be slugged with some tough OH&S breaches. Of course, if you’re considered a “business partner” in an organised crime gang then you’re operating at an equal level.

    I do like your idea of the open-door tourist visa policy, though.

  27. narcoticmusing

    My fiancee is Columbian (yes I’m getting married)
    Heartfelt congratulations to you and the lucky lass, Mondo!

    In terms of the subject matter, just got back from a stint in the US hence not posting much (and can I say it is always interesting to compare their media with ours as it shows that we really cannot pretend our 1-2 voices is the same as their glorious cacophony, but I digress)…

    While I think all here agree that the current intake should be increased, it is an entirely sensible and economically responsible position to desire limits on numbers to ensure that costs can be budgeted for. It is the responsibility of the Federal Government to spend Australian taxes wisely and responsibly – notwithstanding that their current immigration policy of offshore processing costs more than onshore processes would cost and is thus not a responsible expenditure imo.

  28. Wisdom Like Silence

    Congratulations Mondo!

  29. Thanks Narc and Wisdom – 37 years old is probably the right time to hang up my bachelor shoes!!

  30. Did he call YOU that?

    Oh yes he did RM.

    I have noted multiple times that I believe in a cap on our refugee intake. Jeremy’s comment, directed at all who believe in such a cap, was as follows:

    . . . we need to address the ignorance and xenophobia behind that attitude.

    In the same post he then stated that:

    It’s not easy to tackle xenophobia and racism.

    Now you can agree with Jeremy or not – that is your right – but you cannot rationally deny that he has characterised my personal belief as one that stems from ignorance and xenophobia and then strongly implied that there is an element of racism informing it also.

  31. . . we need to address the ignorance and xenophobia behind that attitude

    Yeah. You’ll note it was in response to your assertion that we had to tackle this issue “within the framework of a limited refugee intake” because “most of the population agrees that there should be a limit on our annual refugee intake”.

    Which, weirdly enough, was what I was responding to when I suggested how to tackle that precise problem.

    Way to make it all about you.

    And did you run pretty much the “many of my best friends are foreigners” defence? Seriously?

    Congratulations on your engagement. I wish that, after all these years, you’d announced it in a less dickish way – as leadup to calling me, ironically, “a ranting, name calling bigot” – so my hearty congratulations weren’t tarnished by the necessity of the rest of this comment.

  32. Or you can give visas to anyone who wants them. Even an open-door tourist visa policy would end the smuggling trade: all asylum seekers would use a tourist visa to get here, fly in, and then apply for asylum on arrival, as those from non-racially profiled countries like China do.

    Once again: passage from Indonesia to Australia by smugglers boat costs $5,000 – $20,000 in every published source I’ve ever seen. And you have to add in the costs of the journey to Indonesia, plus of course the large risk of drowning, and the awful mandatory detention hell at the end of the journey. Plane tickets from anywhere in the world are a lot, lot cheaper, and of course overwhelmingly safer; no one would ever get on these boats at all, except the Immigration department stops the world’s airlines from letting Hazara et al get on planes bound here (we apparently levy large fines against any airline that takes on board a passenger without a visa; and supposedly we’re one of the few countries that does this.)

    Sounds like an excellent plan.

    Sure, there wouldn’t be an arbitrary fixed “limit” like apparently we imagine we need to apply to refugees (imagine if we didn’t have a formal limit on how many babies are allowed to be born! Imagine the chaos if that was unlimited!), but so what? If the people who came by boat came by plane instead we’d see only a tiny percentage increase on the numbers who arrive that way already. And we’re nowhere near the limit of what the country can handle, and there’s no good reason to believe that what did not happen prior to mandatory detention is suddenly going to happen now.

  33. It’s really simple, and the simplest things are always the most complicated. The constant chatter here, back and forth, round and round, endlessly picking over ridiculous notions of control is just silly. Of course that’s what the far right xenophobes want, to keep Australia arguing over complete rubbish while reality passes us by. Fiddling while Rome and all that…and IMHO of course:-

    Australia could if it wanted to adhere to its treaty and international obligations. It could then advocate at an international level for other nations to do the same and to extend the obligations much further. Australia could take a lead role in developing international solutions to the massive and growing problem of worldwide refugees; 1 million coming out of Syria as we fiddle. International discourse around refugees is of course the solution. An objective discourse where countries committed to helping (yes helping, a difficult concept for some) solve issues like how many? and where they go? through shared good will and the committed sharing of worldwide resources. This would take time, meanwhile we should set a benchmark example and take as many refugees as we possibly can, all the time. We should use the not for profit and the non-government sector to help us help them, by getting as many of them as we can here as safely as we possibly can. By any means possible.

    A complex and demanding international role for a country whose whole ethos was once one of fairness…for those who’ve come….boundless plains to share…advance…fair.

    My view is that if an Australian government was to work up the guts to do this, take this lead, the Australian people would cheer and be proud of themselves for once, rather than cowering behind false borders like frightened criminals as they are now.

  34. And did you run pretty much the “many of my best friends are foreigners” defence? Seriously?

    When I am accused of xenophobia it is directly relevant for me to respond by pointing out that I choose to surround myself on a daily basis with people from other countries. That I am marrying a person from another country. It rather conclusively puts the lie to your childish assertion.

    (Although I should probably thank you Jeremy – by correctly identifying my comment as a ‘defence’ you are implicitly admitting that it was made in response to an attack. An attack by you.)

    When you characterise a common public position – i.e. that our refugee intake should be capped – as a “problem” that stems from racism it is entirely rational to point out that you are directly accusing all who hold that opinion of being racist.

    Does the economic rationale for limiting our refugee intake not exist for you Jeremy? Are you simply unaware that it costs money to resettle refugees within Australia, and that this could be part of the equation considered by those who are trying, in good faith and in good conscience, to find a way forward on this most difficult of issues?

    No no no – it can’t be that – it must be racism!!

    For crying out loud you are attacking people who are on the record as supporting and expandingour refugee program – people with whom you share significant common ground – and you still can’t respond without calling us liars, xenophobes and racists. How unbelievably sad. How far you have fallen.

    If you want to know why so many Australians carry so much resentment towards the Greens then look no further than your own mirror. It is exactly your brand of “if you disagree with me it must be because you are immoral” stupidity that defines the party in the eyes of so many. Congratulations on putting it on such prominent display for all the readers of your blog.

  35. Splatterbottom

    Congratulations on your engagement, Mondo! All the best to both of you.

  36. meanwhile we should set a benchmark example and take as many refugees as we possibly can, all the time.

    Eric – I agree with you for once.

    But my question is this: once we identify the limit, i.e. once we have calculated the maximum number of refugees “that we possibly can” take in, what do we do about the excess of people who still want to come here?

    I mean, by definition we have reached our limit so we would have to close our intake program and say “very sorry but we just can’t take you”, would we not?

    And what if they ignore this and, say, pay people smugglers to bring them here by boat anyway? What if thousands of them are drowning as a result of pursuing this back door option?

    What should we do then?

  37. Thanks SB – it’s weird to think that I’ll be married soon after so long as a single fellow.

  38. Splatterbottom

    Mondo, it is a great thing. I am very happy for you.

    Incidentally, my brother married at 36 to a Chilean woman. They have been happily married for 15 years and have two children who are growing up fast. I hope you two are as happy. Being a bit older you will have mellowed a bit and have a better perspective and you will probably not argue too much as you have had plenty of time to consider the alternative.

  39. mondo: But my question is this: once we identify the limit, i.e. once we have calculated the maximum number of refugees “that we possibly can” take in, what do we do about the excess of people who still want to come here?

    International discourse around refugees is of course the solution. An objective discourse where countries committed to helping (yes helping, a difficult concept for some) solve issues like how many? and where they go? through shared good will and the committed sharing of worldwide resources.

  40. When I am accused of xenophobia it is directly relevant for me to respond by pointing out that I choose to surround myself on a daily basis with people from other countries. That I am marrying a person from another country. It rather conclusively puts the lie to your childish assertion.

    (Although I should probably thank you Jeremy – by correctly identifying my comment as a ‘defence’ you are implicitly admitting that it was made in response to an attack. An attack by you.)

    No, you decided it was an attack on you personally, where I was addressing this weird argument you’ve put before that a more humane refugee policy is not something for which we should be pushing because it falls foul of this mass of people who apparently want fewer immigrants. I repeat, your point was that there was a general attitude in Australia that we need to put arbitrary numerical limits on the refugees we consider for asylum, and that the debate had to pander to the people determined to do so.

    And yes, I don’t think you can reach that conclusion – that we should turn away refugees long before we’ve hit any kind of real limit to the numbers we can take – without some indifference to their plight that involves thinking of them as somehow lesser human beings. I have no idea what motivates yours, but I’d bet good money that for a lot of the people you suggest we need to pander to it is, at a subconscious level, racism. These people do not deserve sympathy or compassion or aid, because they are not the same as me. Keep in mind that limits on visas ARE applied differently depending on the country, and oddly enough we don’t put much in the way of white English-speaking immigrants.

    Good for you that you’ve got plenty of non-white friends and a Columbian fiancee. But still, you’ve been around for long enough to know who uses the “many of my best friends” argument. I mean, Andrew Bolt often points out to us that he has gay friends. The godfather of his children, he reminds us, is gay! Doesn’t stop him advocating for the law to discriminate against them.

    Here’s a start – now that it’s been pointed out to us, how about you join me in agreeing that our visa system should not discriminate between people on the basis of the country from which they come.

    When you characterise a common public position – i.e. that our refugee intake should be capped – as a “problem” that stems from racism it is entirely rational to point out that you are directly accusing all who hold that opinion of being racist.

    In general it stems from racism. There might be a small percentage of people holding that view who do so for non-racist reasons – maybe they think the population is already too great, and they seek to apply that philosophy generally to Australian citizens and our uncapped birthrate as well – but those who are only concerned about limiting population increase when it involves foreigners certainly have a case to answer as to whether they’ve got some explanation that has nothing to do with race.

    Does the economic rationale for limiting our refugee intake not exist for you Jeremy? Are you simply unaware that it costs money to resettle refugees within Australia, and that this could be part of the equation considered by those who are trying, in good faith and in good conscience, to find a way forward on this most difficult of issues?

    Overall immigration, even refugees, has long been clearly an economic benefit for a country. If you’re worried about the money it costs to resettle refugees in Australia, why haven’t I ever heard your plans for tackling the far more numerous people arriving here on planes from countries where we will hand out visas, applying for asylum? Why the focus on the much smaller number from countries where they can’t get visas and so have to get on boats?

    No no no – it can’t be that – it must be racism!!

    Who knows in your case. I’m not really all that interested in speculating. But clearly there’s racism in much of the electorate about the issue, which is why Morrison can dogwhistle on things like FOREIGNERS SECRETLY IN YOUR COMMUNITIES. You asked how we could tackle that problem – that’s the context in which I made the remarks about xenophobia.

    For crying out loud you are attacking people who are on the record as supporting and expandingour refugee program – people with whom you share significant common ground – and you still can’t respond without calling us liars, xenophobes and racists.

    I called SB a liar because he was telling lies. And I didn’t call you anything.

    How unbelievably sad. How far you have fallen.

    If you want to know why so many Australians carry so much resentment towards the Greens then look no further than your own mirror. It is exactly your brand of “if you disagree with me it must be because you are immoral” stupidity that defines the party in the eyes of so many. Congratulations on putting it on such prominent display for all the readers of your blog.

    That’s a subtle but critical misrepresentation of what I’d said. I noted that racism and ignorance and xenophobia were behind much of the demand for arbitrary limits to the number of refugees whose applications we’ll consider – which it clearly is. Regardless of whether there are occasional principled demanders who do so for other reasons. I have not resorted to name-calling, unlike you. It wasn’t me declaring that people who disagreed with me had “drowned 1000 people”, unlike SB.

    You are being embarrassingly precious on this, and quite nasty, and I had never expected such a display from you. Even though we’ve ever met, I had come to respect you and I’m kind of depressed about how this has turned out, to be honest.

  41. Splatterbottom

    Eric: “But my question is this: once we identify the limit, i.e. once we have calculated the maximum number of refugees “that we possibly can” take in, what do we do about the excess of people who still want to come here?”

    At the moment there are a many as 10 million refugees in the world and many more that while not being technically refugees live in precarious circumstances. Presumably a good number of these would like to come here (as opposed to staying where they are).

    Our annual refugee quota is now 20 thousand (and Gillard should be congratulated for increasing it from 13,750). Under the current system some refugees are selected and transported to Australia. In addition we take whoever else can get themselves here. Basically we rely on the cost and difficulty of getting here, and the risk of drowning to limit the number of refugees we take in. And that seems to be Jeremy’s answer as to why we don’t need to have a stated limit.

    If we are to deal with refugees decently we need to support them when they arrive, house them, educate them provide them medical services and social services to integrate them into society. And it appears that even on the meagre numbers we take now, the government cannot mange to deal properly with the refugees that do arrive here.

    An alternative to the curerent ‘natural selection’ process advocated to limit refugee numbers would be work out how much we can afford to dedicate to this task and determine a number of refugees we are prepared to deal with decently and arrange safe transport for them to Australia. Think of it as a national discourse we ought to have.

    The advantage of this is that we take in the maximum number we can decently deal with and we get them here safely. The downside is that even if we take in an additional half a million refugees there is still likely to be a significant number from among the other 9.5 million refugees who would be prepared to take the people smuggler option, meaning that to implement this alternative we would need strong measures to limit arrivals outside our stated limit.

    The choice as I see it is between the current system, which relies on the cost and perils of the journey to limit refugee numbers, and an alternative which would greatly increase refugee numbers, coupled with a deterrent like the Pacific solution which did act as an effective deterrent before the ALP dismantled it in favour of deterrence by drowning.

    Australia is a large wealthy and underpopulated place and we should think about sharing it with the others in the world, whether they are technically refugees or not. It should not be that an accident of birth or circumstance gives us the right to act like a dog in manger when so many in the world live in abject poverty. What we do need to do as a nation is to accept our responsibility to share what we have, even if it means a small decrease in our standard of living. The real limit is our ability to deal decently with those who would come here, and if we are prepared to redirect significant amounts of government expenditure, that limit may well be a lot higher than 20,000. I would certainly welcome a substantial increase.

    “(yes helping, a difficult concept for some)”

    As for this sarcastic little snippet, I would note that “helping” doesn’t mean “drowning”, which was the direct result of Labor’s ending of the Pacific Solution without replacing it with a decent alternative.

  42. At the moment there are a many as 10 million refugees in the world and many more that while not being technically refugees live in precarious circumstances. Presumably a good number of these would like to come here (as opposed to staying where they are).

    Well, since no-one’s advocating open slather in which it doesn’t matter if someone’s a refugee or not, that’s not exactly germane to the discussion. So 10 million’s the absolute maximum, the highest estimate of refugees in the world? What percentage have indicated a determination to come to Australia? What percentage indicated a determination to come to Australia before the “Pacific Solution”? Hint: a tiny one.

    Under the current system some refugees are selected and transported to Australia. In addition we take whoever else can get themselves here.

    You’ve forgotten that the “priority” argument is based on the fact that we choose to take a place from the selected list every time a refugee outside the list is accepted.

    Are you with me that we should stop doing that?

    Basically we rely on the cost and difficulty of getting here, and the risk of drowning to limit the number of refugees we take in. And that seems to be Jeremy’s answer as to why we don’t need to have a stated limit.

    No, the risk of drowning is something we should tackle. As I’ve repeatedly said. Constantly asserting I don’t care if people drown is both dishonest and monstrous.

    If we are to deal with refugees decently we need to support them when they arrive, house them, educate them provide them medical services and social services to integrate them into society. And it appears that even on the meagre numbers we take now, the government cannot mange to deal properly with the refugees that do arrive here.

    That’s true, but that’s mainly because we insist on waiting billions imprisoning them offshore on remote islands.

    The advantage of this is that we take in the maximum number we can decently deal with and we get them here safely. The downside is that even if we take in an additional half a million refugees there is still likely to be a significant number from among the other 9.5 million refugees who would be prepared to take the people smuggler option, meaning that to implement this alternative we would need strong measures to limit arrivals outside our stated limit.

    History totally doesn’t back you up on that.

    The choice as I see it is between the current system, which relies on the cost and perils of the journey to limit refugee numbers, and an alternative which would greatly increase refugee numbers, coupled with a deterrent like the Pacific solution which did act as an effective deterrent before the ALP dismantled it in favour of deterrence by drowning.

    Or an alternative which would greatly increase refugee numbers without any additional “deterrents” designed to try to bully refugees into staying in danger.

    Australia is a large wealthy and underpopulated place and we should think about sharing it with the others in the world, whether they are technically refugees or not. It should not be that an accident of birth or circumstance gives us the right to act like a dog in manger when so many in the world live in abject poverty. What we do need to do as a nation is to accept our responsibility to share what we have, even if it means a small decrease in our standard of living. The real limit is our ability to deal decently with those who would come here, and if we are prepared to redirect significant amounts of government expenditure, that limit may well be a lot higher than 20,000. I would certainly welcome a substantial increase.

    Glad to hear it.

    It’s a pity that, if the polls are right, too many Australians don’t agree with you on it. Let’s work to change their minds.

  43. There’s too much for me to respond to here without a ridiculously long post so instead I’ll restrict myself to what I believe to be the critical areas of disagreement:

    1. It is simply false to assert that refugee limits are ‘arbitrary’ by definition, and thus any and all reasoning that flows from that falsity is similarly corrupted. The caps not arbitrary – they are based on a fundamental understanding that it costs money to house and care for the world’s poor and traumatised.

    Now the question of where we should set that limit is obviously open to reasonable debate – and should be debated vigorously. But taking a position that there should be no limit, as you have done repeatedly throughout this discussion, is quite frankly ridiculous. It is a self-refuting argument.

    2. You seem determined to frame this argument around a strawman version of the ‘cap our intake’ policy advocate – i.e. someone who you assume is terribly racist and immoral. Instead of rational discussion you seem to attack the opposing position largely on the basis of the assumed immorality of this strawman and not on any rational assessment of their position.

    Of course there are economic limits to what we can do to help the world’s refugees – it’s not racist to accept that fact. You complain loudly and often that we do not spend enough money on welfare programs, roads, infrastructure and other projects necessary to sustain our way of life and yet you act as though this refugee issue exists entirely in an economic vacuum. As though the billions we would (and already do) spend on helping and integrating these people would not come at the expense of other economic priorities.

    3. It is, quite simply, false to assert that refugee programs are demonstrably good for our economy. Immigration is good for our economy – sure, that’s widely accepted – but specifically bringing in traumatised families from third world countries with no skills and few prospects of work is not> the economic slam dunk you seem to assume it is.

    If this is what you rest your ‘no limits necessary’ refugee policy on then it is on much shakier ground than you realise.

    4. Our refugee intake doesn’t discriminate against people on the basis of the country from which they come – it discriminates on the basis of whether they qualify as a refugee or not. Whether they come by boat, plane or tunnel through from China it doesn’t matter – if they have a valid refugee claim then we accept them and tally one more against our annual intake cap.

    I have no idea what you’re talking about when you claim that our refugee visa program is discriminatory – do white refugees who come from Zimbabwe and then successfully apply for a refugee visa not count towards the cap? Do Chinese refugees who fly here on a holiday visa and then claim (and receive) asylum count towards a different annual quota to those who get here by boat?

    5. Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, is the fundamental importance of not treating those who argue an opposing position to you as morally deficient. It’s not a rational or sensible way to approach any issue and, yes, it renders the likelihood or reasonable or constructive debate with those who hold opposing views extremely small. It is grandstanding in place of reasoned argument.

    I opened this thread by noting that the Liberals have dogwhistled and misread anti-people smuggling sentiment as anti-refugee sentiment, yet you immediately rejected that distinction and insisted instead that the two are inextricably linked. That you can’t oppose the boat-person trade without also being anti-refugee. You’re still clinging to that manichean absurdity for crying out loud.

    It’s not rational and it’s not logical. And commenters at your blog – including me – deserve better.

    Well look at that – it ended up being a ridiculously long post anyway.

  44. BTW I don’t think you should be depressed about this – we’re only having the debate we’re having because I’m (rightly or wrongly) angry that after all these years you appear ready to dismiss my view as one that’s motivated by racism and xenophobia.

    I’m being nasty – OK, I’ll admit it – but from my perspective it’s nothing more than returning fire in kind. You actually do know me well enough to be able to trust that my behaviour towards you is unlikely to be capricious.

    The good news is that your comments would never have struck a nerve like they have unless I was actually invested in what you think of me.

  45. International discourse around refugees is of course the solution.

    Oh Eric. Herein is where we must part ways once again.

    I’m more of an action man when people are drowning in their hundreds/thousands. But each to their own I suppose . . .

  46. narcoticmusing

    through shared good will and the committed sharing of worldwide resources. – Eric

    What a world that would be huh? We could all hold hands around a giant camp fire and sing folk songs. It is a lovely thought but probably the most detached from reality I’ve seen on this blog for a while. Perhaps I am too cynical to even dream of such a world anymore, but you know that a cynic always sees themselves as a realist 😉 We are, however, creatures born of survival first as an instinct. Self interest is not evil in and of itself, but it would render your blissful utopia about as probable as the contributors to this thread coming to some even vague agreement.

    Nevertheless Eric, I will bask in that lovely ideal for a moment – a world that gives a shit. It would be nice. I do mean that sincerely – I often use sarcasm but if we really could market and convince people to give a little up to help others a lot as described by SB, it would be a much better world overall.

  47. Mondo, you know we have a lot of common ground on this issue, but there’s something you’ve said I specifically want to rebut:

    Our refugee intake doesn’t discriminate against people on the basis of the country from which they come – it discriminates on the basis of whether they qualify as a refugee or not. Whether they come by boat, plane or tunnel through from China it doesn’t matter – if they have a valid refugee claim then we accept them and tally one more against our annual intake cap.

    While we don’t technically discriminate in the refugee intake per se, we effectively do. The Department of Immigration “risk assesses” people in the process of evaluating whether to grant any visa. Amongst the risks they are assessing are security (criminal / terrorism / etc), overstaying…. and yes, reading between the lines of some of their published material, the risk of claiming asylum.

    And one of the factors used in their profiling tools is nationality.

    The end results of this are reflected really obviously in our humanitarian intake statistics. Asylum seekers from countries where a proportionately high number of visitors to Australia are refugees: i.e. Afghanistan, Burma, Iraq – come by boat. Why? Because they can’t get tourist or other visas, because the DoI (accurately) assesses them as being high risk to subsequently claim asylum.

    Whereas for countries that generate a large number of asylum seekers to Australia, but also lots of non-asylum seeking visits for tourism and business, this kind of racial profiling isn’t effective. Net result? Asylum seekers from those countries come by plane, on valid visas, and then seek asylum subsequently. The best example of this is China.

    Thus, ultimately, the more likely your nationality makes you to be refugee, the less likely it is you can actually get asylum in Australia.

  48. Its worth noting this racial profiling is the entire reason for the boat smuggling industry’s existence. If the DoI were forbidden from profiling on the basis of nationality, and granted tourist visas to Afghanis on the same criteria as it grants them to Chinese, all asylum seekers with the means to travel would come here by plane, on tourist visas. As we’ve gone over here to death now, air travel is both hugely cheaper and hugely safer than sea.

  49. I thought that comment would bring you back into the debate Jordan!

    If I understand your proposal correctly you are suggesting that we should and cease our efforts to screen likely asylum seekers out of our holiday visa program.

    Under your proposal very few genuine refugees would need to avail themselves of the boat person trade – although I suppose that those unable to obtain travel documentation/passports might still see it as necessary – but wouldn’t it also effectively open our borders to every refugee in the world? There would be no way to limit the number coming here and claiming their legal right to asylum.

    It could be economic suicide, although I’ll admit that I haven’t yet thought it through to a proper conclusion. Perhaps if it was paired with a reduction in the level of government assistance offered post-arrival?

    Politically I don’t think it has much hope of ever getting up, which means it may not have much practical value, but fundamentally that’s not a reason to reject it as a valid policy option.

  50. narcoticmusing is soooo riiiiight isn’t he? I mean he’s not coming on like the usual right wing negative idealogue, forgive me.

    I guess we should forget the campaign against apartheid in South Africa, forget votes for women (what a joke I mean, really???); and the emancipation of black people here and in the US of A of course, in fact the campaigns against slavery overall are just ridiculous camp fire singing (bring back the slave ships I say, I mean were they or were they not seaworthy vessels?), all that stuff about an 8 hour day, you know, and notions of equality in general is just ignoring “reality”. No positive change is ever possible, there are no precedents for it, and anyone who advocates it is “utopian”. Let’s face it, considered and committed national leadership advocating positive and progressive change at an international level, never, ever works. Thanks for that I stand next to the Berlin Wall, corrected.

  51. Narc is a girl.

  52. thanks mondo that changes everything, especially on IWD, which of course is just a uptopian fantasy that will never take place, I mean seriously, women?…celebrating their “achievements”….how detached from reality is that….

  53. narcoticmusing

    Wow, Eric. Just wow. I say that your idea is really great and you go nuts? Wow.

  54. “but probably the most detached from reality I’ve seen on this blog for a while…”. lol.

  55. Splatterbottom

    Jeremy: “Well, since no-one’s advocating open slather in which it doesn’t matter if someone’s a refugee or not, that’s not exactly germane to the discussion. So 10 million’s the absolute maximum, the highest estimate of refugees in the world? What percentage have indicated a determination to come to Australia? What percentage indicated a determination to come to Australia before the “Pacific Solution”? Hint: a tiny one.”

    You are being a bit too picky here. The number was only meant to pick up the right order of magnitude. As ever, the stats and the definitions are never straight forward.

    As to how many would come here, I think that that is an interesting question. I would have thought that many don’t apply because they have no means of getting here. They are stuck in a god-forsaken camp in somewhere like Dafur and do not even consider the option of making their way to Australia. So despite the fact that people in that situation may never have been asked, and never considered Australia as realistic possibility for a destination, it may be that given the option and the possibility of getting here, quite a few would prefer to come here than stay where they are. Don’t you think so?

    “You’ve forgotten that the “priority” argument is based on the fact that we choose to take a place from the selected list every time a refugee outside the list is accepted.

    Are you with me that we should stop doing that?”

    Of course we should stop doing that, if only because our current intake is so pitifully low. However if we raised the intake to the maximum we could afford to deal with decently then my answer may be different.

    “Or an alternative which would greatly increase refugee numbers without any additional “deterrents” designed to try to bully refugees into staying in danger.”

    If we get the intake high enough, this may not be an issue. However, I don’t think people in Indonesia are in much danger. And FFS don’t give me the ‘dangerous meme’ crap. If we are really going to help the most in need then we need to be a bit clear-headed about it. That means we acknowledge that:

    1. the current system introduced by the ALP has had murderous consequences for 1000 odd people who have been lured to their deaths. Unlike others, I don’t think “accidents happen, tragedies happen” is an adequate response.

    2. we know that the Pacific Solution was effective in dramatically reducing both arrivals and deaths.

    3. once we set a limit then we need to deter (rather than incentivise) highly risky arrivals.

    I don’t believe the system you advocate is as humane as the one I propose.

    Two final points:

    I f we persist with our xenophobic dog in a manger attitude as country we will pay a heavy price for it both externally and internally. Internationally we will lose respect and become a hated target. Also it is destructive of our national psyche – altruism his psychologically healthy and we will be a saner, happier country if we are less selfish as a nation.

    Mondo has a point that you have become a little more shouty lately. Given his record as a calm and thoughtful commenter here over a long period here he should be presumed to be acting for the best of motives. OTOH I don’t mind – in fact sometimes I deserve it, it comes with being the village idiot. I think you might be more effective if you were a little calmer or maybe used a bit more sarcastic humour (which you do very well) rather that straight out insults. Don’t take this the wrong way – I know it is your blog and you can say what you like. And I am grateful that you are tolerant of vigorous dissent (even if you’ve got a little prudish lately 🙂 )

  56. Splatterbottom

    Eric, you seem nice. Perhaps a little hyper and bit judgmental. I think you’ve taken Narc the wrong way entirely, but you probably haven’t had the time to read her previous comments. Anyway I hope you stay around and have some fun and some spirited conversations.

  57. Eric’s heart is in the right place – it’s his brain that lets him down.

  58. narcoticmusing

    Eric, I was lamenting at the state of our current discourse that would place as such a high target just one country speaking rationally about this let alone all of us. I do hope and advocate that this does occur, it would make my day job a lot easier.
    Cheers

  59. “we know that the Pacific Solution was effective in dramatically reducing both arrivals and deaths”

    Utter and complete unadulterated bollocks.

    and mondo as a calm and thoughtful commenter???…even more bollocks.

    nice to see the far right loonies stroking each others vast egos with such gusto…

  60. Splatterbottom

    “Utter and complete unadulterated bollocks.”

    With such an array of facts and impeccable logic how can we not be convinced by your brilliant argument, Eric?

  61. Wisdom Like Silence

    Still think the Gauntlet of Citizenship is the way to go.

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