The power of the “Gillard has rooned our country” fantasy Part 2

Or to put it another way:

Have you noticed how many of your friends and family, coworkers and acquaintances are just determined to get rid of “that woman”, meaning Gillard – but if you ask them why, how little depth there is to their reasoning? Okay, you despise her, and blame her for wrecking the country, but why specifically?

Maybe you’ll hear –

  • “Carbon tax”, but if you ask why, and they say “my energy bills”, and you ask them if they’ve checked which part of the increase has anything to do with the “carbon tax” and what compensation they received in tax cuts, they won’t have checked at all.
  • “I’m paying more tax”, but they won’t actually have any figures, because if they’ve actually checked, they’d have noticed that, odds are, they’re paying less.
  • “Cost of living”, and sure, that has indeed increased somewhat – housing costs, in particular – but if you ask them what government policy led to that, or what Abbott policy would improve the situation, they won’t be able to point to one.
  • “Boat people” – but if you ask what possible impact that has had on their lives and why they’re so concerned, they won’t have anything. How much is it costing the budget? Point out that we’re spending vastly more locking them up offshore (the Liberal policy the ALP has now adopted) than we would if we just processed them here, and there’s no response.

But questioning the shallowness of the above impressions, thoughts, feelings often results in a shutdown or hostility. Why? Because you’re questioning away an easy villain, an easy solution, the satisfaction of blaming someone else for every difficulty.

Because once that’s gone, what’s left? A challenging world with difficult decisions? Shut up and leave us with our fantasy!

We can deal with reality after September. And when we get Abbott, and things actually get worse, maybe we’ll be able to convince ourselves it’s someone else’s fault again.

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97 responses to “The power of the “Gillard has rooned our country” fantasy Part 2

  1. Pingback: The power of the “Gillard has rooned our country” fantasy | An Onymous Lefty

  2. As my wife keeps saying, “People should look past the spin, examine reality, and be careful what they wish for”.

    The “herd mentality” has really taken over peoples ability to think for themselves.

    I’ve put out a few cartons on the topic. This link will take you to one of them and there’re others nearby.

    http://cartoonmick.wordpress.com/editorial-political/#jp-carousel-574

    Cheers

    Mick

  3. ‘There is a great deal of roon in a nation’ – Adam “Smithy” Smith, “On the Dosh of Nations”.

  4. narcoticmusing

    I have this same frustrating discussion every time I see my family who live in an area where there is only news corp. Very frustrating. The state has increased electricity prices significantly and yet any rise was ‘carbon tax’ even before the carbon tax was introduced. [sigh]

  5. Splatterbottom

    Most of Labor’s unpopularity is a result of its own behaviour, meaning videos like this resonate:

  6. Really? That resonates for you? To me it just makes the Liberals who produced it look like total childish idiots.

    That said, if you want to make a point with chook noises – how about playing them loudly whenever the gutless Tony Abbott runs away from press questions.

  7. Wisdom Like Silence

    Politics breaks mind
    Reason obscured by hacks
    Causes great sorrow

  8. narcoticmusing

    Short on revenue
    Austerity contracts us
    Madness loves surplus

  9. Splatterbottom

    “Really? That resonates for you?”

    The video has an astounding 374,000 hits. It resonates with a lot of people.

    What we are seeing now is the death throes of a truly rotten government and quite possibly of Labor as a political force in this country. If Labor does not reform and get the union monkey off its back then it will lose all connection with a significant chunk of the population.

    It is a measure of the incompetence of this government that someone as inept and compromised as Tony Abbott has led the Liberals to such a commanding lead in the polls.

    Gillard is good at one thing – Unionland factional warfare. She plays that game well. That is how she knifed Rudd and how she saw off two leadership challenges despite her monumental incompetence and unpopularity with the electorate. The trouble is that the dishonest gamesmanship that works well in Unionland – the grubby backroom deals, the duplicity and the sheer lust for power – doesn’t work in the wider community. It just repulses people.

    People are sick to death of Gillard. Sick of the broken promises, the idiotic double speak, the utter incompetence and the vitriolic personal attacks. They just want her to fuck off out of their lives.

  10. Wisdom Like Silence

    They might be sick to death, literal no pulse death, of Gillard.

    Yet she’s still preferred PM…

  11. Will be funny to watch their reaction when they realise that Tony&Co will be throwing them and their fantasies under a bus;
    – Coalition will stick to the current Govt’s carbon emission reductions plans, possibly even increasing them, and will be seeking a global deal on carbon emissions through the UN
    – will be increasing taxes; see the Paid Parental leave ‘levy’.

  12. zaratoothbrush

    the idiotic double speak, the utter incompetence and the vitriolic personal attacks

    Yeah, Gillard is nothing but a cunting bitch troll cunt, and above all, she’s really fucking rude!

    Plus unions. All the time unions. Never anything but…

  13. Splatterbottom

    “Yet she’s still preferred PM…”

    Perhaps you prefer her as PM, Wisdom, but according to the latest Newspoll Abbott is 5 points ahead.

    Sadly you are right ‘Gadj. There is no real reason to expect Abbott to be much better.

  14. Yeah,

    The climate crazies are in for a rude surprise.

  15. The video has an astounding 374,000 hits. It resonates with a lot of people.

    I watched it, SB – doesn’t resonate with me.

    Maybe a large number of those 374k hits were people checking that a party that wants to govern actually made a childish attack ad with cartoon chickens. And laughing in disbelief that they did.

    What we are seeing now is the death throes of a truly rotten government and quite possibly of Labor as a political force in this country. If Labor does not reform and get the union monkey off its back then it will lose all connection with a significant chunk of the population.

    What are you talking about. Labor’s connection to the unions is no more obnoxious than the Liberals’ to big business. And they’ve both survived half a century so far.

    People are sick to death of Gillard. Sick of the broken promises, the idiotic double speak, the utter incompetence and the vitriolic personal attacks.

    Yeah, that’s the spin right there. But it’s utterly hollow. “Broken promises”? You mean the carbon price that really isn’t a broken promise but in any case has actually resulted in most voters being better off? What “double speak” and “vitriolic personal attacks”? Please, entertain us trying to demonstrate how it’s Gillard who’s lowered the tone in this parliament. “Utter incompetence”? Only if you define it as “occasionally adopting shit Liberal Party ideas like offshore detention”.

  16. The more you hate her, the less you have to justify it by reference to anything substantive. Her incompetence is so utter and monumental as not to require any proof, obviously. Plus there’s the vitriolic personal attacks. Very sensitive, some of these Gillard-haters.

  17. Splatterbottom

    “doesn’t resonate with me.”

    Didn’t think so!

    ” You mean the carbon price that really isn’t a broken promise”

    You’re delusional, Jeremy. It is a tax.

    And then there is the promised surplus and the citizens’ assembly and cash for clunkers. And her weird BS statements like “And let me reverse engineer your question.” or ”I don’t think this is a chemical formula about one molecule plus another molecule gives you an answer.” or her inability to say yes or no to whether she knew about her own department writing her victory speech two weeks before she knifed Rudd. And the way she tried to shut down discussion of her role in the AWU slush fund she helped to set up, threatening a journalist a couple of weeks ago for saying she was being investigated by the police when in fact she is.

    Her “misogyny” attack on Abbott, even while defending a disgusting misogynist, says all you need to know about her. She is utterly repulsive precisely because she is so cynically manipulative. She is rotten to the core. There are no depths to which she will not stoop to hold on to power.

    “Only if you define it as “occasionally adopting shit Liberal Party ideas like offshore detention”.”

    Labor has so far killed over 1,000 people by reversing the Pacific solution.

    Anyway, the people will decide in September. It is not a hard decision and the outcome will surprise no one.

  18. You’re delusional, Jeremy. It is a tax.

    No, it’s the carbon price she promised in the second half of the sentence where she ruled out a carbon “tax”.

    In any case, most voters are actually better off as a result of it, so the hostility to it doesn’t really make much sense. I suppose if you were a rich Labor voter who actually isn’t receiving much compensation and voted Labor expressly because you were opposed to a carbon “tax”, then you’d have some basis for being angry… but pretty much no-one is in that category. The people who are obsessed with the “carbon tax” are people who never voted Labor in the first place.

    And then there is the promised surplus and the citizens’ assembly and cash for clunkers. And her weird BS statements like “And let me reverse engineer your question.” or ”I don’t think this is a chemical formula about one molecule plus another molecule gives you an answer.” or her inability to say yes or no to whether she knew about her own department writing her victory speech two weeks before she knifed Rudd. And the way she tried to shut down discussion of her role in the AWU slush fund she helped to set up, threatening a journalist a couple of weeks ago for saying she was being investigated by the police when in fact she is.

    What a random collection of meaningless trivia. Ok, pretty silly to promise a surplus when you don’t know what will happen to exports – but both parties did that. The citizen’s assembly and cash for clunkers – so what? What actual difference have they made to anyone’s life? Or random out of context quotes?

    And in what way did she “knife” Rudd that’s different from how Abbott “knifed” Turnbull? Or Napthine “knifed” Baillieu? Haven’t you just defined “knifed” in a way that’s completely meaningless and describes almost all political transitions?

    Link on the journalist thing? Let me guess – Michael “creepily obsessive crank” Smith?

    Her “misogyny” attack on Abbott, even while defending a disgusting misogynist, says all you need to know about her.

    Yeah, cos it’s inappropriate to call out the misogyny of a man who’s regularly stood for anti-women policies daring to lecture her on it.

    And it’s not like Labor got Slipper into parliament in the first place. That’d be Tony Abbott’s party, the fucking hypocrites.

    Labor has so far killed over 1,000 people by reversing the Pacific solution.

    Fuck off.

    Anyway, the people will decide in September. It is not a hard decision and the outcome will surprise no one.

    It shouldn’t be a hard decision, no – making Tony Abbott PM will be an utter disaster and drag us backwards.

  19. Not hard, that’s right. If you feel you can’t trust Juliar, vote for don’t-believe-everything-I-say Tony. At least he doesn’t pretend not to be a bullshitter.

    And if you have any reservations you may have about Joe “$10b Black Hole” Hockey being in control of our nation’s finances, just remember Julia Gillard says things like “Let me reverse-engineer that question for you” which is more than we can reasonably be expected to tolerate.

    Some other reasons to hate her that I learned from people at Andrew Bolt’s blog include her annoying voice and her huge arse.

  20. …..and don’t forget her ear lobes.

  21. narcoticmusing

    I think, SB, you can’t genuinely consider Gillard’s statements as stranger than Abbotts? Surely, the ones you quoted are not as bad as:
    “”It’s actually pretty hard to do this because carbon dioxide is invisible and it’s weightless and you can’t smell it” – that doozie remined me of when some Californian idiots tried to ban dihydrogen monoxide.
    Or
    “Jesus knew that there was a place for everything and it’s not necessarily everyone’s place to come to Australia” – so very christian of him.
    Or
    “idea that sex is kind of a woman’s right to absolutely withhold” – he must think that SA judge that said it is ok to rough up your wife for sex was on to something.
    Or
    “If you want to put a price on carbon why not just do it with a simple tax” – well now that would just be madness.
    Or
    “…it would be folly to expect that women will ever dominate or even approach equal representation in a large number of areas simply because their aptitudes, abilities and interests are different for physiological reasons” – because it is widely known that our genitalia define our IQ.

    Although, given we’re all on notice to not believe what he says, it makes it all ok huh? So, could Juliar just say “Look, I’m not going to pretend to be consistent” and all is forgiven? Or should we refer to the last quote there for guidance?

  22. Splatterbottom

    “No, it’s the carbon price”

    It is a tax. There is enough case law on what constitutes a tax to say definitively that it is a tax, which I have previously outlined at length here. To deny this is to put yourself in the same boat as creationsists, flat-earthers and truthers.

    In addition to promising no carbon tax Gillard acknowledged the unpopularity of a carbon price and promised a lengthy process of consultation before she would legislate anything and that she would wait until the people were ready for the tax. She did not to that.

    Instead we are stuck with an utterly useless, economically destructive tax that we were promised we would not have. Surely you can understand the utter derision there is for this idiotic tax which will make absolutely zero (correct to three decimal places) difference to global temperature.

    “And in what way did she “knife” Rudd that’s different from how Abbott “knifed” Turnbull?”

    1. She was his deputy.
    2. She is a pathetic stooge installed by the union bosses. (This image says it all really.)
    3. She conspired against Rudd and then pretended that she only decided on the day to stab him.
    4. She couldn’t even give a straight answer when questioned about this on Four Corners. That pathetic shambolic performance showed her up as shifty, evasive and vapid.

    “Haven’t you just defined “knifed” in a way that’s completely meaningless and describes almost all political transitions?”

    Not at all. This cynical “transition” was emblematic of Labor’s terminal disease.

    Rudd was elected leader despite having little factional support. Once he had served his purpose and won the election the unions installed Gillard for no good reason at all. We saw how this worked when Albanese and Doogie Cameron gave evisence to ICAC about how the left unions kept the corrupt McDonald in parliament despite pleas from ALP politicians that he was shady. Albanese said “It is just realpolitik”. Cameron said he was “shocked” to find out that Thomson was tainted, notwithstanding that other elements of the party knew he was on the nose and despite the fact that Cameron’s daughter worked in Thomson’s office from 2003 to 2010. (This seems to happen a lot in Unionland – Gillard was “shocked” that her boyfriend Bruce “Rooter” Wilson was a crook and Combet was “shocked” to find his mate John Maitland had made a motza on his ‘training’ mine.)

    The ALP is a 50% owned subsidiary of the unions. It is no surprise that union corruption seeps into the highest office in the land. Note that it is Gillard, not Michael Smith who is being investigated by the police. Smith ought to be lauded as someone who would rather lose his job than be prevented from reporting on Gillard’s slush-fund shenanigans. He is a principled journalist, especially in comparison to the mealy-mouthed morons at Fairfax and the ABC. Obviously there are a pack of dumb mongrels who hate him, just as they vilified Kathy Jackson, just as they tried to punish Gillian Sneddon for outing one of the many ALP pedophiles, just as they bashed Bob Kernahon and Peter Baldwin before him. They really don’t like anyone who exposes Unionland corruption.

    “Fuck off.”

    Obviously you don’t have a rational comment. The fact is that the ALP replaced an effective policy with a disastrous policy, not least for the thousand plus people who have drowned. The ALP created an opportunity for the people smugglers to ply their grisly trade with the inevitable consequences. That much is unarguable.

  23. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic, i don’t have high hopes for Abbott. He is a political opportunist and I doubt he will please anyone when he is elected. You should also include his “women of that calibre” comment of yesterday in his catalogue of grotesqueries.

    But Gillard has had her go. She has failed. She will lose this election. There is a narrative that Labor can push to put the best light on their government but they can’t help themselves. I heard David Bradbury questioned about Abbott’s PPL policy. He commenced his answer with the assertion that Abbott had well known issues with women. That just distracts from Labor’s record and suggests that the only tactic left to them is personal vilification. It may be music to the ears of those who already hate Abbott but it just turns the rest off. My wife immediately hit mute and rubbished me for my view that Bradbury is a decent person and talented minister.

  24. narcoticmusing

    I’m just not sure I agree Gillard has failed. She has one of the highest percentages of bills passed of any government, which demonstrates her skills as a negotiator. She did the right thing and introduced a transitional model for the carbon price (which I agree operates as a tax). It takes a bold person to say, I was going to go with model (a) but given what the impacted sectors tell me, I will need to implement a transition period, which unfortunately looks a lot like (and effectively is) model (b) which i promised not to do.

    I think you are jumping on the propaganda wagon a bit by hammering the carbon tax thing – basically if it was something you agreed with, you’d be applauding her changing her mind when given evidence it shouldn’t be done. For example, Baillieu promised PSOs in every hospital but when shown it would be a bad thing, he reversed the “promise” so that he didn’t make the situation worse. He didn’t go back to an election for it. It was the right decision. Gillard promised a carbon price, and conceded that a transitional arrangment was the right thing to do despite it not being what she wanted to do. It is a good thing. And it was due to the consulation she did that she foudn this out – so while she didn’t have the citizen’s assembly she did consult broadly on it.

    We are seeing the same situation now with NDIS. She is damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t. If she does, she’ll get the ‘promise broken’ idiocy, and if she doesn’t, she’ll get the ‘you don’t care about disabled people’. She’ll get the ‘money waster’ despite managing one of the best economies in the world despite the GFC. Despite her expenditure being similar to Howard’s; despite that she’s inherited a range of elements that generate some of the spending excesses (where howard committed a non-recurrent windfall recurrently). I don’t see any headlines for Abbott saying ‘vote for my big fat tax’ regarding the parental leave scheme (a scheme I agree with despite that many on this forum will wish to cane me for with a shrill ‘welfare for the rich’ without considering the policy basis).

  25. narcoticmusing

    “the only tactic left to them is personal vilification” – have you looked at the commentary on Gillard? Can it be described as anything but personal vilification?

  26. narcoticmusing

    PS. I also think that Abbott’s views on women and his religious affiliation and seriously important matters as the appropriatness for the Office of the PM. He has demonstrated in the past that these views impact his policy decisions, as such, as a voter that he has in the past imposed his draconian views on, I need to know how they’ll impact him as PM. It is not tiresome and far more relevant than whether the PM may have been a lawyer to a person who committed fraud – this attempt to extend guilt to a 3rd party can not be seen as anything but personal vilification.

  27. Obviously you don’t have a rational comment.

    What did you expect? Your claim that asylum seekers had been killed by the ALP was itself irrational. Because, you know, the ALP didn’t kill them. It’s not like asylum seekers forfeited their free will and became automatons once the Pacific Solution was disbanded. So if you insist on rationality from others, maybe lead by example and restrict yourself to it also. “Fuck off” was all your comment deserved. You set out to offend, and achieved your aim. Congratulations. You are really good at trolling.

  28. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic, it comes down to this – I disagree with a lot of the governments policies, particularly the carbon tax, letting the unions off the leash, the mining tax, BTER, refugee policy and many others. I also disagree with the thought -bubble school of policy making. These days we have an over-hyped announcement with very little thought and very little substance. The decision to build the NBN was classic as was the East Timor solution. I still don’t know what the Gonski money will be spent on, so I have no idea how it will actually improve education.

    But most of all i hate the corrupt sleaze that infests the ALP and the union movement.

    Even though I don’t have high expectations of Abbott I want this government gone. Most Australians seem to agree on this.

    Buns: “You set out to offend”

    No. I set out to hold the ALP accountable for its disastrous policy.

    “Your claim that asylum seekers had been killed by the ALP was itself irrational.”

    No. It is exactly what happened.

    “It’s not like asylum seekers forfeited their free will and became automatons once the Pacific Solution was disbanded.”

    Causation fail! You might just as well say that “It’s not like indigenous youth forfeited their free will and became automatons once they are put in an unsupervised cell.”

    And it is a bit rich you calling someone a troll given your pre-eminence in that genre.

  29. Splatterbottom

    I suppose this lot won’t be invited on to Q&A.

    Pretty disgraceful. It should generate some sympathy for the PM.

  30. mondo rock

    Also buns – if you want to be really literal – the ALP can’t kill anyone because it is not an individual entity.

    Its policies have caused the deaths of many though – and that’s probably what SB meant.

    However it’s good to see another on the Left accept that it was the abolition of the Pacific Solution that triggered the influx of boat people. Most won’t even concede that much.

  31. If you want to be literal, mondo, I didn’t make the concession you claim I did. I expect if you re-read what I wrote, you’ll see that.

  32. narcoticmusing

    Happy to go on the record to say that I don’t think people desperate enough to get on a boat give a rats arse what Australia’s immigration policy is – they just want out of a horrid situation. I think anyone that has worked with them would agree. But then, I’ve also been pro-just have a different window at the airport for people without papers and just fly them here.

  33. No. It is exactly what happened.

    No. It isn’t.

    Causation fail! You might just as well say that “It’s not like indigenous youth forfeited their free will and became automatons once they are put in an unsupervised cell.”

    You say that now. It was a different story when I tried unsuccessfully here quite a while back to get you to accept that US foreign policy causes terrorism. You obviously concede that now.

  34. mondo rock

    I don’t know buns – if you weren’t conceding that the end of the Pacific Solution triggered the current influx of boat people then why did you write the following:

    It’s not like asylum seekers forfeited their free will and became automatons once the Pacific Solution was disbanded.

    Seems logical to me to conclude that you assign some sort of connection between the two – or else why would you link them in the statement above? In any event – and regardless of whether you’re prepared to concede your own position – there seems little doubt at this point that a causative connection exists.

    I wonder how many lives would have been saved were it not for that disastrous change in policy? I wonder how many Australian roads, hospitals, bridges and schools we could have built or improved with the extra billions we now spend on processing, housing and integrating the thousands of extra refugees arriving over and above our budgeted intake?

    More to the point I wonder how many desperate and deserving people have been left languishing in squalid refugee camps around the world as their places were taken by those who realised they had the means to pursue an alternative path into Australia?

    And I wonder how many self-identified progressives will entirely ignore this reality in their determination to cling to an increasingly hollow definition of ‘compassion’?

  35. Usual complete load of extremist bollocks from mondo; he soaks up right wing propaganda and then just squeezes it out of his body and smears it all over himself; he then wonders why people complain about the smell.

  36. I’m pretty sure I know what I meant, so you have definitely misunderstood me. I am not sure how I can clarify the point other than to state the obvious, namely, that my statement “It’s not like asylum seekers forfeited their free will and became automatons once the Pacific Solution was disbanded” does not necessarily require acceptance of the causal relationship between the change in policy and the influx of boats.

    That’s not to say I deny the relationship either. I am undecided on the extent of the relationship between the two, if any. You say there’s “little doubt” about the causative connection, but you were also quite sure the boats would stop coming once the government restored mandatory detention/offshore processing, remember? But that didn’t happen. So perhaps it’s not as simple as just being harsher and harsher in our treatment of asylum seekers until the boats dry up entirely (although that seems to be Coalition policy).

    This is the problem with letting the number of boat arrivals determine whether or not we have our asylum seeker policy right, in my opinion – zero boats indicating we have it right and one or more indicating we need more deterrence in the form of harsher treatment of asylum seekers who arrive here. I don’t see much of a sign of an upper limit to which the Stop The Boats crowd would not have the government go in terms of harsh treatment of asylum seekers in order to Stop The Boats. Obviously, their limit is beyond where we’re at now – locking people up indefinitely and thereby knowingly inflicting mental harm on them.

    I just find it both childish and incredibly disgusting that some people use the “luring them to their deaths” bullshit as a wedge, as though everyone is forced to get behind whatever level of inhumanity our government chooses to mete out in our name to asylum seekers as long as boats are still arriving, at pains of otherwise being accused of having “killed” those asylum seekers. Taking it through to it’s logical conclusion, that position is going to justify anything the government chooses to do to asylum seekers provided boats continue to arrive. Anything short of literally killing them, anyway.

  37. mondo rock

    Hey Eric – I’ve missed you and your penchant for ad hominem instead of actual reasoned argument. You contribute so much to every debate you enter.

  38. mondo claims he engages in “reasoned argument” when in fact of course nothing he says here has any basis in fact or evidence based reason.

  39. mondo rock

    A few points of clarification buns:

    but you were also quite sure the boats would stop coming once the government restored mandatory detention/offshore processing, remember?

    This is not correct. Firstly, mandatory detention has been in place since 1995 so not sure what you mean there. Secondly, while I supported the reintroduction of offshore processing as a positive step towards reducing boat arrivals, I was never “quite sure” it would stop the boats.

    I do concede, however, that I thought it would have more of a deterrent effect than it did. There now seems little purpose to continuing it in its current form given that it has failed to work anywhere near as effectively as it did last time.

    everyone is forced to get behind whatever level of inhumanity our government chooses to mete out in our name to asylum seekers as long as boats are still arriving, at pains of otherwise being accused of having “killed” those asylum seekers.

    Again untrue. All that people like SB and I are trying to do is get people like Lefty and yourself to admit that the change in policy has led to increased refugee deaths. Which currently you will not do.

    Nobody has accused you of killing anyone. What you have been (and are) accused of is willfully ignoring the reality that an uncapped (and ultimately impossible to regulate) boat person trade carries with it an unacceptable threat to the lives of innocent people. If 5% of those who went on P&O cruises perished at sea due to appalling safety standards would you be so cavalier as to say of the dead “well, nobody forced them to get on the boat”?

    Yet you did say that about the dead refugees! Which seems like something of a double standard to say the least.

    Sure – we could go la-la land like Lefty advocates and set up a government regulated ferry service that takes any asylum seekers that want to come direct from their point of origin to Australia’s shores – but if we did how quickly would our economy be overwhelmed with the cost of processing, housing and integrating hundreds of thousands of the world’s needy every year?

    A balance needs to be struck buns – somewhere between the crazy open door nonsense I’ve seen advocated here and the racist closed-door hatred I read on the right-wing blogs. But we get no closer to a solution while those on your side of the debate refuse to get off their (ultimately hollow) moral high-horse.

  40. returnedman

    I for one can’t wait for an Abbott government this September. It will be great to see the LNP consigned to the political wilderness (maybe for 20+ years, as Labor was before Gough came to power) after a disastrous single term, and hopefully will mean we will never hear from Tony again. I’m also certain that Gillard will be much more influential and interesting in opposition than she ever was as PM – that is, if Labor do the right thing and keep her as leader.

  41. mondo rock

    Lefty, I have two comments stuck in moderation – one from several days ago. When you get a mo could you release?

  42. Mondo, I can’t see any comments from you awaiting moderation. THe only ones were from Eric being somewhat more personal than I’m overly comfortable with – Everyone calm down.

    Now, as for refugees – it is clear that the offshore processing “solution” does not stop boat arrivals. So removing it did not cause them either.

    Which of course utterly demolishes the “but onshore processing causes deaths” argument.

    You know what I propose, of course, which would actually save lives – ending the policy whereby we prevent people from certain countries getting on planes destined for our airports. And regulating the passage of boats travelling here so we’re not actively making it more dangerous and risking lives.

    And of course the answer to your question – “how quickly would our economy be overwhelmed” is, well, not at all, since we didn’t have quotas for most of our history and we’ve done fine. In fact better than fine – immigration has built this nation.

    So if your paranoia about boat arrivals is a fear of being “swamped”, history doesn’t bear it out.

    I wonder why else you might be paranoid about people from the areas our immigration policy discriminates against arriving. I wonder.

  43. narcoticmusing

    Re-instating offshore processing hasn’t “stopped the boats” ergo causation fail on it preventing them in the first place.

    Also, if 5% of P&O cruise participants died, we would not suddenly divert the cruises to another port. We would insist the quality of the P&O boats be increased to immediately stop the deaths – we would insist on regulation which OMG

  44. But we get no closer to a solution while those on your side of the debate refuse to get off their (ultimately hollow) moral high-horse.

    Irony alert! It’s always those on the other side of the debate who are on their high horse, isn’t it? Is it possible to disagree with you on this topic without being on a high horse? I really doubt it. And you can come across as fairly sanctimonious too on this issue sometimes, you know?

  45. Nobody has accused you of killing anyone.

    The government “killed” asylum seekers by reintroducing off-shore processing, according to one person here whose views you endorsed. If I think asylum seekers should be processed onshore, I support the government killing asylum seekers. Seems fairly straightforward to me. But no, I wasn’t personally accused of killing them – you’re right about that.

    What you have been (and are) accused of is willfully ignoring the reality that an uncapped (and ultimately impossible to regulate) boat person trade carries with it an unacceptable threat to the lives of innocent people.

    I’m not sure I have done that. I agree that an unregulated boat person trade carries a significant threat to the lives of innocent people, if that helps you. I don’t feel bad admitting that I don’t know how the boat person trade can be shut down entirely. I don’t believe the government’s approach of treating asylum seekers progressively more harshly will work. We’ve seen the reintroduction of offshore processing produce little to no effect. How do you propose to reduce the risk of boat deaths?

    we could go la-la land like Lefty advocates and set up a government regulated ferry service that takes any asylum seekers that want to come direct from their point of origin to Australia’s shores – but if we did how quickly would our economy be overwhelmed with the cost of processing, housing and integrating hundreds of thousands of the world’s needy every year?

    I don’t know on what basis you assume hundreds of thousands would get here. I suppose it depends on whether reducing the risk of boat deaths to effectively zero is really priority one or whether it ranks behind other considerations such as potentially having to deal with a lot more asylum seekers than we currently do or, for many people, just stopping the illegal queue jumpers getting here. I think our economy could manage a great deal more asylum seekers. It could even be less overwhelming to our economy than the Pacific Solution.

  46. Tony Abbott’s a right sleazebag isn’t he.

    http://www.finance.gov.au/publications/parliamentarians-reporting/docs/T30/ABBOTT_Tony.pdf

    (Are you an April fool, a taxpayer or both?)

  47. “Sure – we could go la-la land like Lefty advocates and set up a government regulated ferry service that takes any asylum seekers that want to come direct from their point of origin to Australia’s shores – ” – Mondo

    We did essentially just that for Vietnamese refugees in the 1970’s. Somehow we survived (interestingly, we’ve seen a recent surge in arrivals from Vietnam – for reasons unknown).

    I’m sure policy has some influence on arrivals, but there are good reasons to believe that it’s limited. And then doesn’t even take into account what other choices poeple make – we’re not talking about a zero-sum game here. It’s not as though it’s a choice between a dangerous boat voyage to Australia and complete safety. As we’ve seen on a few occasions recently, some boats have decided to try for NZ – an even more perilous journey.

  48. narcoticmusing

    Jules – I’m not sure what point you are making other than that is a lot of money for a person NOT actually running the country etc. But then, we all know the adage that there is only one thing that really gets bipartisan support, the vote for politicians payrises…

    I note that the payrises that the Victorian parliament will vote in for themselves will not be subject to the ‘productivity offsets’ required of the rest of the public sector if they wished a payrise above 2.5%.

  49. If you go to that page and look at the week leading up to April 1 you’ll find he has claimed over 3000 bucks travel allowance for doing Pollie Pedal. He claimed it unde “official business”.

    I’ll bet he didn’t donate it to the charity either, tho he claimed more than you get for a years carers allowance. No wonder he always has a smug grin on his face.

    He’s done the same thing in 2011, and in the two years earlier tho on those occasions he claimed 75 and 115 buck a night.

    He was effectively campaigning this year too, yet he’ll probably claim it again.

    (Sorry for the stupid comment after the link, I recently played Arkham City and its kind of messed with my head.)

  50. I wonder why else you might be paranoid about people from the areas our immigration policy discriminates against arriving. I wonder.

    Because I’m racist – right Jeremy? That’s what you’re getting at isn’t it?

    Buns – THAT’S the hollow moral high horse I’m talking about. I would be perfectly content to have this discussion on rational, emotion-free grounds, but the assumption that those on the ‘stop the boats’ side of this issue are immoral racists is absolutely integral to the approach that some take to this topic. It cannot be that my concerns are exactly those that I have expressed above – it must be that I’m disguising my true (and horrible) motive, which is really built around fear/loathing of brown people.

    But since two wrongs don’t make a right I will agree to stop returning this serve in kind, and will try to go back to making my argument free from deliberate and provocative moralising.

    I don’t feel bad admitting that I don’t know how the boat person trade can be shut down entirely.

    Nor should you buns – none of us know the answer to this. I certainly don’t. But all I would ask is this – do you think that we should be trying to shut the boat person trade down?

    I do – I think it is inherently dangerous, prone to rorting, immune to regulation, and grossly unfair to the many refugees unable to avail themselves of it as an option. I believe that taking steps to shut it down is the right thing to do – on both practical and moral grounds. I don’t believe that this makes me racist, or even conservative for that matter, and yet holding such views has apparently identified me as both to many here at this blog.

    To be honest I doubt that they genuinely believe it, in the same way that nobody here really thinks that SB is a right-winger (he holds far too many confusingly progressive views) – but labeling your opponent is a very easy way to reject their argument without having to actually think about it. Paraphrasing Kennedy – it is the soft comfort of opinion without the harsh discomfort of thought.

  51. “nobody here really thinks that SB is a right-winger” – mondo

    Are you kidding?

  52. – THAT’S the hollow moral high horse I’m talking about. I would be perfectly content to have this discussion on rational, emotion-free grounds, but the assumption that those on the ‘stop the boats’ side of this issue are immoral racists is absolutely integral to the approach that some take to this topic.

    OK, but that’s Jeremy. I don’t believe I’ve said anything to imply you’re motivated by racism. If you’ve taken anything I’ve said that way, I assure you it wasn’t intended.

  53. narcoticmusing

    Mondo – I think most here assume SB is right wing due to his hatred and bile directed at the left. That being said, I for one do not think you are right wing, you just have some views that are closer to what LibCo are advocating just as SB has some views closer to what the Greens are advocating. All that being said, I dare say one of the issues here is that people are quick to label a person left or right rather than ‘thinks for themself meaning their views are varied rather than one “side” or the other’.

    I believe that taking steps to shut it down is the right thing to do – on both practical and moral grounds And yet, when people suggest that offshore processing is not the step that would shut it down they get accused of murder or endorsing murder. We had offshore processing, I disagree that it worked, and I think much of the data used to try to make it appear successful uses the same sort of convenient time discrepencies that we see when ever people try to disprove climate change or savings in budgets. Further, just in case everyone was wrong – the govt re-introduced offshore processing – and look at that – it still does not work.

    What exactly do you want the govt to do? The Pacific solution for all intents and purposes is back in place. So if that is what ‘stops the boats’ then what more should be done seeing this is not working and is causing significant, unnecessary harm.

  54. mondo: I am not a right wing racist but…I’ll go on and on and on from that corner but claim I am not standing in it. When anyone points out that I am in fact standing in the racist corner I’ll call them moral high horses because…well…because. Of course, I’ll then go on saying the same things over and over and over again, even though I am repeatedly and deftly refuted with the facts. I’ll go on and on and on and on and on twisting and turning talking complete nonsense about refugees on whatever thread I can, but claim all the time that I make sense and everyone else is blind to my rational reasoning. I will not accept that this behaviour is trolling in any way at all, because…well….because. And I am not right wing and neither is my mate SB even though all we ever do is spout right wing nonsense.

    Ad hominem? Yes indeed, IMHO people like mondo need to be told they’ve been spotted talking rubbish whenever they are talking rubbish and mondo talks rubbish all the time.

  55. Exactly.

    My point to Mondo was offshore processing DOESN’T WORK, even if you define “work” as “bully refugees into staying in danger in overseas camps so they don’t get on boats”. The government caved and reintroduced it and, exactly as we predicted, it utterly failed to stop people fleeing even worse places.

    And Mondo, I did like how you ignored all of my comment except for two lines at the end asking for you to present an alternative explanation for your obsession with offshore processing despite its only practical effect being to waste billions of dollars trying to treat refugees as badly as we can get away with to “deter them”.. You ignored my proposed alternative and my answer to your mad “swamped” fear. I didn’t actually accuse you of being “racist”, despite your concern with us being overwhelmed not being exercised whenever we increase the number of people arriving by planes from the countries not on the greatly restricted visas list. I’d love to hear your alternative explanation for your somewhat inconsistent approach here.

    PS Why is not treating refugees who arrive on boats badly “unfair” to other refugees? Accepting refugees on boats instead of those in the formal program would be, sure, but we don’t have to treat refugees on boats badly to avoid that unfairness – we could just stop spitefully punishing other refugees for it. It is the Liberals and the ALP and their voters who insist on being “unfair” to refugees in the formal program by punishing them whenever an unexpected refugee arrives.

  56. Mondo in November, in the thread linked above:

    Let me stop dancing around the issue and actually put my view on the table (hell I can hardly ask others to be honest in their argument if I’m holding back myself): I strongly suspect that a large percentage of those arriving here by boat are not genuine refugees and are deliberately gaming the system to obtain Australian residency. I suspect that these people are being lured (sometimes to their deaths) by what they perceive as an easy back-door route to permanent residency in a wealthy country.

    Just for the record I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with the decision to try this back-door route – I might try the same if I was in their position – I’m just noting what I suspect to be the truth.

    And so we come back to Nauru – the little island that should work to deter non-genuine asylum seekers, but probably will not work as a deterrent against genuine refugees.

    Seems like a pretty good solution to me.

    So, ready to concede yet that clearly the vast majority of the refugees we’re talking about are clearly genuine refugees – as they keep coming – and therefore the offshore processing system does NOT deter them and simply treats them badly for no constructive reason (and at great cost)?

  57. Oh, and by the way, if you’re doubting the “treats them badly” part, care to justify the Department doing everything it can to prevent journalists – like those from Four Corners – examining how it’s treating the refugees?

  58. Towards the end of that thread, Mondo concedes:

    If offshore processing can’t deliver a reduction in boat arrivals then it is a gigantic waste of time and money and not worth pursuing.

    So why vote for either party that’s obsessed with it?

    Why not support an alternative proposal, such as the Greens’ policy of concentrating resources on processing refugees before they get on boats?

    Or my even better one of:

    1. not taking places from a refugee in the formal program when one arrives here unexpectedly
    2. ceasing refusing visas to people getting on a plane declaring that they will seek refuge
    3. regulating boats so that there’s actually some disincentive to run disposable boats with disposable crews.
    4. Also doing what the Greens propose.

  59. Splatterbottom

    This statement of the bleeding obvious is one former Labor minister’s take on the Gillard government’s prospects:

    Only a few weeks ago, Climate Change Minister Greg Combet was telling us that, yes, there was a disparity between the budget prediction of a price of $29 a tonne in 2015 (when our scheme is to link to its European counterpart) and the current European price of about $4. But, he suggested, there might be an economic recovery in Europe by 2015 and the price might not seem so silly.

    Given everyone in this country with an IQ over 50 knew that this was a crock, it came as no surprise that the minister should confess this week that the predicted price would be lowered in next week’s budget and the promised compensation for the higher price would therefore be abolished.

    There has been an unseemly rush this week to announce as many of the broken promises as possible. Family Tax Benefit Part A increases hit the fence at the start of the week. I am not sure what promises are left to be broken, but I’m not sure it matters much either. There is so little credibility for the government to stand on that no one is bothering to listen. …..

    When the true horror of our financial position is revealed next week, it is to be hoped that some impetus is provided to enable Abbott to walk away from his parental leave policy. A good idea it may be, but it is not responsible to outlay billions on every good idea. Australia can’t afford it and this budget will provide the Opposition Leader the perfect opportunity to ditch a policy he knows he can’t afford. The Gillard government got itself into all sorts of trouble by trying to pay for policies it couldn’t afford and that failure is one of the main reasons the Coalition will sweep into office.

    Back with the shambles, a paper on our defence preparedness was released a week ago. It disappeared without trace. Most people are simply awaiting the election of an Abbott government with its own defence priorities. Even when policies are cogently put, their futility is blatantly obvious. September can’t come soon enough. The election will see carnage on a scale not seen in most slaughterhouses. This week the PM conceded she had moments when she doubted herself. At last, she shares something with most Australians.

    .

  60. Splatterbottom

    Jeremy: “Or my even better one of:

    1. not taking places from a refugee in the formal program when one arrives here unexpectedly
    2. ceasing refusing visas to people getting on a plane declaring that they will seek refuge
    3. regulating boats so that there’s actually some disincentive to run disposable boats with disposable crews.
    4. Also doing what the Greens propose.”

    How much will all of that cost? How many refugees can we afford to take?

  61. mondo rock

    OK Lefty – so you’re still approaching this issue from the assumption that I’m racist. You’re not resiling from that position, although you’re also obviously not willing to actually come out and say it directly. I’ll let you (and others here) decide for yourself whether you find that to be an honourable or constructive way to approach someone you’ve known for so long.

    Anyway I will now explain why I don’t have the same hang-up with refugee applicants arriving by air – although I fear it will be a waste of my time. I doubt that anything I say will shift you from your sad assumption that I have suddenly become a racist.

    Firstly – we are not, to my knowledge, facing a huge surge in the number of refugee applicants arriving by air. These applicants are not overwhelming our refugee program or causing any significant backlog in our ability to take in refugees from refugee camps around the world.

    Secondly – arriving by air is not inherently dangerous and is not leading to the loss of life we are seeing through people smuggling channels.

    Thirdly – applicants arriving by air all have passports and are easily identified, and thus the potential for economic migrants to ‘game’ our refugee intake system is much lower.

    Lastly, repatriation to these countries is generally relatively straightforward and so rejected applicants are not left languishing in detention for years while we wrangle with the country of origin about who is responsible for them.

    I also recognise that, in order to facilitate ease of international travel, it is necessary that we not add too many countries to the ‘restricted visa’ list otherwise we would become isolated. If we started getting a huge number of refugee applicants arriving on holiday visas from, say, China, I would expect that we would shut down our holiday visa program for the Chinese. Not because of their race, of course, but because of the obvious problem Chinese refugees would be causing to our immigration system.

    I’m happy for others here to correct any aspect of my comments above that they consider to be non-factual – and to the extent that they can convince me of this it will almost certainly have an impact on my viewpoint.

    What I am less happy to accept is those who will respond as though these views are not honestly held by me, or that they are somehow being put forward as a cover for an underlying racism. I guess I just don’t see that as a particularly mature or rational way to engage with the views of another person.

  62. mondo rock

    Also, Lefty, it would be great if you could stop using the word “swamped” in quotation marks in relation to my position. I haven’t used the word at all so I’m not sure why you’re quoting me as having said it.

    For the record I don’t believe we are being swamped, although I do believe that we have lost control of our refugee intake system.

    I also believe that if some of your crazy previous proposals were implemented – e.g. that our government should assist every person in the world who claims to be a refugee (and wants to come to Australia) to actually come to Australia – then we would be overwhelmed. Sure – ‘swamped’ if you want to use that word.

  63. How much will all of that cost?

    How much does offshore processing cost? An absolute crapton – just to make things worse.

    How many refugees can we afford to take?

    How many babies can we afford to make? Better put a cap on that.

    Seriously – we’ve had plenty of uncapped immigration in the past and the country’s done very well out of it. Why are we suddenly so paranoid that we’re going to get “swamped” or something?

    Mondo – apparently you’ve missed the point about visas. Why do you think anyone spends thousands on a leaky boat? Because we won’t let people without papers get on a plane and apply for asylum.

    If, as you’ve noticed, air travel is vastly safer, easier to process at the other end etc – then why the hell don’t we just stop doing that? Let people fly themselves here and then take them from the airport to process them.

    And the “oh he sort of implied maybe my reason is racism” shield is pretty pissweak. I’m keen for you to explain why it is that you think we should be discriminating in our visa program against people from certain countries. Why is that? I’d love to know that it’s not racism of any kind. Please help me see what it is instead.

  64. So why weren’t we “overwhelmed” during the rest of our history? Not like there haven’t been large refugee-creating crises previously.

    Maybe it’s because where nowhere near being at capacity here and there’s plenty of room for population growth.

  65. mondo rock

    Re offshore processing – I am happy to concede that I have been proved wrong in my assumption that it would have the same deterrent effect this time around as it did last time. There could be a range of reasons for this, not least of which being the political climate in which it was launched, but I suspect most here will prefer the more simplistic explanation that Australian policy has zero effect on refugee arrivals.

    For the record I have already conceded above that there is little point in continuing the program now that it has been proved not to work in the current refugee climate.

  66. mondo rock

    And the “oh he sort of implied maybe my reason is racism” shield is pretty pissweak.

    Sigh.

    I’ve had enough Jeremy. I have offered up no “shield” – I have only pointed out that you are prosecuting this argument, in large part, by calling me a racist. Which you are – and which I’m sure everyone here can see here as clearly as I can. I think I deserve better than that, but then perhaps I do not.

    Oh well. Them’s the breaks and this is your website. If victory is your goal regardless of how it is achieved then I have good news for you – you have achieved your goal. I will withdraw and allow you to enjoy this blog going forward unblemished by the disgusting prejudice that is my viewpoint.

    Good luck to you and your commenters – especially Narc, Jordan and SB, whose opinions I have found to be consistently enlightening and thought-provoking.

  67. Really, Mondo? Despite me repeatedly asking you to explain the basis for your inconsistency on this you’d rather play “he implies I was being racist” and take your bat and ball and go home? After so many years, I’m very sad to hear it. I’d rather you address the proposals in question, but c’est la vie.

  68. narcoticmusing

    I will not accept that this behaviour is trolling in any way at all, because
    I’m pretty sure trolling is adding nothing but pissy childish bullshit designed to provoke people – which is what you’ve contributed there. I think your post is what might be described as irony or maybe an own goal.

    Lefty – I can give you a really good reason why you’d filter lists based on countries – because you have a lot of exploitation of your system from that country. It has nothing to do with the race of the people in that country. Do I agree with the policy? No. But do I understand it? Yes. Is it racist? No – racism is where a group is treated differently due to their race. All countries are subject to the same criteria. The racism is only present in the countries we’ve selected to have special ‘arrangements’ with, like NZ. So, unless you advocate for severing ties with NZ then it is just as racist…

    Mondo – I hope you continue posting here, despite the sometimes difficult environment. There appears to be some willing to debate and others unable to be constructive. Most here are constructive, albeit we all get a little hot under the collar at times.

  69. ” I strongly suspect that a large percentage of those arriving here by boat are not genuine refugees and are deliberately gaming the system …” – mondo

    I’m surprised that anyone could say this.

    Asylum seekers arriving by boat have consistently been found to be, overwhelmingly, genuine refugees; 80-90%.

    Conversly, for those arrivng with all the genuine documents; passports, visas, etc, the situation is mostly the opposite.

    One caveat – I haven’t checked the figures for the latest surge in arrivals. But, I’d be surprised if it was significantly different from the record of the last 10-15 years.

  70. Quite right, nawagadj.

  71. narcoticmusing

    Asylum seekers arriving by boat have consistently been found to be, overwhelmingly, genuine refugees; 80-90%
    This is consistent with my experiences also.

  72. Lefty – I can give you a really good reason why you’d filter lists based on countries – because you have a lot of exploitation of your system from that country. It has nothing to do with the race of the people in that country.

    Narcotic, its not “exploitation of the system”, I am pretty confident to say (would need to FOI the Department of Immigration’s internal procedures, ministerial directives and risk modelling scorecards to be 100% sure). We discriminate in the visas based on national background to exclude people we know are likely to be refugees.

    Its really clear from the data. Nawadj says “Conversly, for those arrivng with all the genuine documents; passports, visas, etc, the situation is mostly the opposite.“, but this isn’t quite right. Asylum seekers who have visas:

    1) overwhelmingly come by plane. Duh. Its much cheaper, quicker and safer.
    2) overwhelmingly come from countries with plenty of genuine persecution.
    3) are found to be refugees at something like a 50% rate (off the top of my head.)
    4) overwhelming come from countries, and this is the kicker, that also have lots of people travelling here for reasons other than to seek asylum.

    Why is 4) important? You can’t exclude a Falun Gong practitioner in China from flying here on a normal visa of some sort, because she is statistically indistinguishable from a regular Chinese tourist or businessperson. But if she is instead a Hawarzi from Afghanistan fleeing the Taliban, she is shit out of luck, because the Department of Immigration can be confident she is a refugee and thus reject any attempt she makes to get a visa that would enable to travel here legally to claim asylum. “An Afghani? Wanting a tourist visa? Computer says BZZZT NO PULL THE OTHER ONE ITS GOT BELLS ON.

    So we are racially profiling, not to eliminate asylum seekers who aren’t actual refugees, but the ones who are (so we don’t have to let them into the country.) This is also, obviously, the direct cause of all those refugees (and for that matter the ones who are non-refugees) spending orders of magnitude more money with criminals, trying to get here by boat, with a high risk of drowning. If thats not racism… well whatever you call it its morally worse than most forms of government-sponsored racism in the Western world that I’m aware of.

  73. narcoticmusing

    I agree Jordan that the policy sucks, but that doesn’t make the practice racist. I was merely saying that if you accept
    a) politically, neither party want an open door policy for refugees, and
    b) due to (a) there needs to be measure in place to ensure limits are controlled/regulated
    c) the methods from (b) create pathways to Australia for refugees but due to (a) these also create barriers

    Then you end up with a situation where pathways that try to sidestep the regulatory process are considered an exploitation of trust. It would be represented something like this:
    Australia: Why are you coming to Australia?
    Respondent: For a holiday.
    Australia: no worries, come on in, have a good stay.
    Respondent: haha, I lied, I’m actually here to apply as a refugee.

    Now, if the regulators from (b) become aware of respondents by-passing (c) then they should be entitled to close that loop hole. So yes, the idea would be to actively stop those who were refugees. That is the point of all regulatory regimes – they have a goal, and they attempt to achieve that goal.

    You and I don’t particularly like the goal of this policy instrument. Indeed, I think we both agree that my representation above is disingenuous – nevertheless that IS how it would be represented to voters. We’d rather there not be such limitations, the electorate does not agree. However, that there is does not suddenly make it (the instrument) racist unless there was some race we barred without grounds other than their race (ie, they were not from a nation that was likely to by-pass the approved/regulated pathways, rather it was just a nation where we said – you guys smell funny so we don’t want you here). The White Australia policy was racist. This is equally arbitrary (throw in cruel too if you’d like) to everyone.

    I’m just not sure why people find this so confusing. It is a policy instrument. It is the policy we all disagree with, but the instrument is no more racist than any other form of regulation.

  74. narcoticmusing

    My comment (as with a couple others) is stuck in moderation.

    In summary, the regulatory instrument isn’t racist but the policy that enables it is very likely morally worse than that because it indeed intends to prevent the refugee (typifying them as a drain on the economy) and prefers the non-refugee (typifying them as a contributor to the economy). The policy is horrid, I”m not sure anyone on this blog, myself included, like it – but that is where BOTH the major political parties are at which would infer it is where most Australians are at.

  75. The regulatory instrument is racist. What else is it? Its an institutionalised form of racism. Its structural and procedural, ie its built into the policies.

    Also the numbers of people arriving by boat reflected the numbers of international displaced people to the point where the graphs of both groups were almost mirror images with arrivals in Australia lagging the international numbers by about 6 months. I have posted those things here over the last couple of years, but obviously some people preferred their presumptions to evidence. The increase that idiots have been blathering on about lately followed wars in Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, both with increasing casualties and brutality.

    Finally the reintroduction of offshore processing following Gillard govts capitulation on the issue hasn’t done anything to slow the rate of boats, so why would it have the first time?

  76. So racial profiling is not in any way a racist practice, because Arab-appearing people are, statistically, more likely to be terrorists? Because Black skinned people are, statistically, more likely to commit property crimes?

    I mean the policy objective in either case is only says “we are out to stop terrorism / theft.” Right? Unlike the refugee example neither of those things are objectionable, so….. yay racial profiling?

    a) politically, neither party want an open door policy for refugees, and b) due to (a) there needs to be measure in place to ensure limits are controlled/regulated

    So withdraw from the Refugee Convention. Its more honest. Repatriate anyone who turns up; stop pretending to offer a right to claim asylum. There’s nothing that stops us doing this and continuing to resettle other refugees from around the world, via the UN – at an increased level, even . No one gets locked up; and no one drowns at sea. If you want a barrier, if that’s the policy objective, just put in place a barrier. Don’t hodge podge one together out of huge expense paid to criminals plus risk of death at sea plus chance to be arbitrarily be locked in a prison camp in the middle of nowhere for an indefinite length of time. Some people will die or are tortured because we send them back to places were they will be persecuted, yes. But that’s happening and will continue to happen to most of these people anyway, and we don’t care enough to fix it, right?

    I mean I would not support this policy, and the party I am in would not support this policy. But I’ll put it this way: if I were voting on this issue alone, I would probably give my first preference to anyone allocating this over what the Coalition, ALP or Greens have currently got on the table.

  77. Also the numbers of people arriving by boat reflected the numbers of international displaced people to the point where the graphs of both groups were almost mirror images with arrivals in Australia lagging the international numbers by about 6 months. I have posted those things here over the last couple of years, but obviously some people preferred their presumptions to evidence.

    Jules to be honest I really didn’t think the data looked like this, from my impressions of numbers/analysis I’ve seen posted. I must have missed your material. Any chance you could dig up to a link? Preferably to something that directly has the hard numbers or even better these pretty correlated graphs.

  78. narcoticmusing

    So racial profiling is not in any way a racist practice, because Arab-appearing people are, statistically, more likely to be terrorists? Because Black skinned people are, statistically, more likely to commit property crimes?

    What does racial profiling have to do with designating a classfication on a country due to a statistically significant proportion exploiting one entrance mechanism (not designed for refugees) as a means to enter as a refugee?

    I’m not suggesting it is a good thing that we go to such lengths to prevent refugees – again, that is due to the (misguided) rationale that refugees = a drain, non-refugee immigration = profitable. Nevertheless, classifying a country a certain way isn’t racist – cruel, ignorant, stupid maybe, but not racist. Eg. say we blocked tourist/work visas from China due to some threshold being met of Chinese citizens seeking asylum here. It is not racist to then say ‘No Chinese citizen can get a tourist/work visa without demonstrating that they will not then claim asylum’. Yes, it is horrid because obviously those seeking asylum need to come here, but that is not the goal of the policy instrument. Many policy insturments have horrid goals.

  79. What does racial profiling have to do with designating a classfication on a country due to a statistically significant proportion exploiting one entrance mechanism (not designed for refugees) as a means to enter as a refugee?

    Because its pretty much the exact same mechanism. You’re Arab – therefore we will target you for increased security checks. You’re Afghani – therefore we will target you for stricter visa scrutiny.

    I’m actually in favour of governments discriminating on characteristics including race, gender etc in some cases, where its clearly justified. But to claim this policy just happens to use national origin as a means incidental to its ends and therefore raises no issues of racism…. I mean, really?

    “We’re not discriminating against you because your black per se – just because being black means we calculate on statistical ground you are likely to be violent/poorly educated/etc!

    I’d be pretty surprised if you were to claim this was a hunky dory statement. Again you can substitute “Afghani” for “black” and “a refugee” for “violent/…”. Can you please explain why it is now suddenly ok? What is qualitatively different about the two statements?

    Yes, it is horrid because obviously those seeking asylum need to come here, but that is not the goal of the policy instrument. Many policy insturments have horrid goals.

    You keep coming back to this Narc, and I’m going to keep disagreeing with you in the strongest possible terms. Its not just the policy of “lets severely limit the number of people who come here on refugee visas” that is horrible. The instrument itself – or rather the compound effect of the various instruments – is actively vile, in its own right. Our suite of policies leads to an essentially worst of all possible worlds set of outcomes for achieving the policy goal of capped humanitarian migration.

    Namely:

    * A large portion of our intake becomes based on willingness to pay rather than severity of need (relatively speaking – obviously as a baseline we only accept people who are refugees under international law). And of course the money goes to smuggling groups, often criminals, rather than the government.

    * We actively reduce your odds of coming here if you’re a refugee from a country that has a proportionately higher percentage of refugees – which again means we are likely to be least favourable to those with highest relative need, such as those fleeing warzones such as Afghanistan.

    * We achieve this by making it impossible to travel by the safe, cheap and fast means available to them, which leads to many people drowning at sea.

    * Because this doesn’t yet set a sufficiently high price to deter all demand from the desperate, we lock up people, including children, in remote prison camps with terrible conditions, at great and unnecessary expense (esp. w/ respect to offshore processing.)

    As I said in the last post – we could withdraw from the refugee convention tomorrow, refoule any person arriving in Australia attempting to claim asylum, keep the same total refugee intake via resettlement, and the “policy goal” of capping our total intake would be achieved at:

    Far less expense to us
    Far less expense to asylum seekers
    Far less profit for criminal gangs
    Zero deaths at sea
    Zero trauma via mandatory attention

    This is pretty much the simplest, least thought out policy possible, that your average refugee hating xenophone on the internet will typically come up with given 30 seconds of thought on the issue. And yet and it hands down kicks the shit out of the neutral, reasonable “policy mechanism” we currently have, that I am supposedly maligning so unfairly.

    Or am I missing something?

  80. Yeah, I’ve spent ages looking for it and can’t find it. The graph I saw included all displaced people, internally displaced and externally displaced people, so you know, take it how you like. It’s probably not worth worrying about cos I can’t find it, but FWIW – I was struck at the time by how closely the graph mirrored the one that showed boat arrivals in Australia.

    If I find it again I’ll post it, if not don’t worry about it.

    BTW What you’re describing is institutionalised racism. Its a procedural form of racism where the structure of the policy disadvantages people based on their race.

  81. narcoticmusing

    Nope, Jordan – I agree with you. Everything you said.

    I was just explaining how the instrument works, not saying it was a good thing (indeed I reiterated several times it was a bad policy goal). However, it is the policy goal of both governments to not be humanitarian because that is (wrongly) seen as a cost with no benefit.

    I do hear you regarding the instrument being racist, but my point is that it is colder than that. Racism has some moral or value judgement – if this instrument had a value or moral code, maybe then it would be less inhumane. But you keep terming how it works in terms that suit your point, where you get it wrong is saying “your arab so…” it’s not that, it is “you are from country X, no matter what race you are”. So it is far more a blanket ban than a race. So my argument is that it is actually far more harsh than a policy that even for a moment considered the human at the other end – god forbid we consider the human at the other end – we may end up making humane decisions and well, we couldn’t have that, the instrument would be terribly ineffective.

  82. narcoticmusing

    My post is stuck in moderation – but Jules, you may be right that it may in effect be institutionalised racism because (and Jordan mentioned this also) its effect is to impact people of certain races. My point is that that is not the instruments function (despite as you both point out, it is the likely outcome). The reason is likely because there is a presumption that coming from a country does not make you a certain race. Certainly being Australian doesn’t mean you are descended from either the UK or Indigenous populations. So perhaps the multiculturalism of Australia makes the instrument ignorant of its impact (that if you are from China you are likely to be Chinese for example).

    A colleague mentioned the other day that the original baby bonus was a form of ‘white Australia’ policy. To roughly explain his reasoning, it was intended to be given to people who didn’t need it in order to supplement the white population vis the immigrated populace. What do you think of that idea?

    He said much the same of Abbott’s parental leave scheme – a mechanism to keep the rich populating. I personally think Abbott’s scheme is a good idea, albeit I’m not confident of a) his motives and b) if he’ll pull it off. But, while the many here will disagree, I think it is a sound scheme towards equality. Certainly isn’t worth voting for Abbott, but the policy on its own has merit.

  83. narcoticmusing

    Jordan – you also forget the aim of government isn’t to do something, it is to be seen to be doing something. So they have to be seen to be conforming to the convention, not actually conforming. They have to be seen to be stopping the boats, not actually stopping them. Seen to be trying to prevent loss of life, not actually preventing it. That is why cameras at the offshore processing ‘plants’ are forbidden – in case the govt is seen for being what it really is – and in this space, they are inhumane pricks. None of these pricks gives a toss about refuges – anyone who has worked vaguely near this space is far too aware of that.

    I think in my angst I almost channeled lynot.

  84. Yeah, I also have a comment stuck in moderation.

    Re: national origin is way more closely and directly correlated than those other things. In fact, given race is not itself a scientifically coherent concept, national origin is one reasonable characteristic alongside ethnicity and appearance (e.g. skin colour) to be consider a component in matters of of “racial” prejudice.

    Or, put it this way. If the data the immigration department had available to it was ethnicity as opposed to country of origin, do you think they would not be using it instead? In fact I’d bet they’d rather be using this information, and for all I know, maybe they are to the extent they can determine it indirectly via things they may have access to like name, languages spoken, etc. They are trying to determine the likelihood of being a refugee. Being Tamil is a better predictor than just being Sri Lankan. Being Hawara is a better predictor than just being Afghani. Being a Copt is a better indicator than just being Egyptian (although that’s religion rather than ethnicity per se so that’s a whole different ball park case? :P)

    They have to be seen to be stopping the boats, not actually stopping them.

    Right. So we are all on the same page that its not even the supposed policy goal of limiting refugee intake, but rather the political goal of being seen to take measures to limit the refugee intake, that the existing arrangements support. At the expense of the lives and mental health of refugees, and with an implicit subsidy to the criminals in the smuggling industry we supposedly hate so much.

  85. narcoticmusing

    As I thought I made clear – I agreed with you (and Jules). I was just explaining how the instrument works. Not at all suggesting it was humane or good.

    I don’t think country of origin predicates race if you consider being from Australia/UK/US etc does not at all predict your racial heritage. So the instrument is ignorant.

  86. @splatterbottom The video has an astounding 374,000 hits. It resonates with a lot of people.

    Ummm… yes indeed, some 374,000 people VIEWED it. Rather telling (being an Abbott supporter n’ all) you missed the point that of those less than 2,000 actually LIKED it.

    I therefore put it to you that it didn’t actually resonate with very many people at all. In fact, it resonated with less than 1% of people who watched it.

  87. Yeah, that’s one small detail he did not notice!

  88. Splatterbottom

    “Have you noticed how many of your friends and family, coworkers and acquaintances are just determined to get rid of “that woman”

    Not much has changed in the month since that was posted. All we have had since is increasingly deranged rantings resembling the last mad days of the Berlin Bunker.

  89. Splatterbottom

    Beware men in Blue Ties. Be afraid. Be very afraid.

  90. narcoticmusing

    SB, are you suggesting women will be better off or no worse off under an Abbott government? Considering the only woman in Abbott’s team will be shunted to the side at any chance to lead, that is significant. Further, Abbott’s track record is awful. Gender is an issue, not with ALP vs LibCo per se, but with an Abbott government? Absolutely.

  91. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic, the position of women will be dramatically improved once that contemptible idiot Gillard is removed from office. She is an embarrassment to her gender. She plays the gender card so cynically and so often it degrades sexism as an issue.

    She is an utter stinking hypocrite, supporting Feeney over a woman when the last thing the ALP needs is another loyal union stooge in the lower house. Her hypocritical misogyny rant at Abbott (while in the very act of defending the misogynist Slipper) was so stupid that a ‘useful idiot’ editor of the Macquarie Dictionary had to change the definition of the word so she wouldn’t look quite so illiterate.

    Gillard’s problem is that cynical dishonesty works well in Unionland – it allowed her to stab Rudd and to see off two challenges notwithstanding her monumental unpopularity. The trouble for her is that voters see straight through her BS. They know she is a union puppet installed for her loyalty rather than her (pathetic lack of) ability.

    While she is the best female PM we have had, she is also the worst PM we have had – and a truly rotten human being to boot. Most people can’t wait for her to fuck off out of their lives on September 14.

    And every day the cynical stupidity gets worse. Her “Women for Gillard” ploy was just a tin-eared attempt at identity politics, the last refuge of meretricious morons everywhere. She wouldn’t even allow the press in to cover it! Those on the left with even a shred of decency about them say her speech was a divisive disgrace. The sad fact is that, facing defeat, there are no depths to which she will not sink, and each time she jumps the shark there are fewer and fewer rusted-ons to support her.

    The Gillard decline is straight out of Shakespearean tragedy – lust for power leads to depravity, destruction and madness.

  92. Wisdom Like Silence

    Beware of men in blue ties seems like a warning about men in blue ties to me.

    Maybe I’m reading too much into that.

  93. Splatterbottom

    Narcotic, I’ve got a reply in moderation. In the meantime, the ever more ridiculous Gillard reprised her screaming banshee routine, looking more ridiculous than ever. To make matter worse she now knows that her hysteria and machinations backfired in her very own Gordon Gretch moment.

    I’m wearing blue ties every day and checking my watch, counting down to September 14.

  94. Splatterbottom

    Narotic, now I’ve got two in moderation.

  95. narcoticmusing

    The moderation monster has had a hefty appetite 🙂

  96. Splatterbottom

    When I re-read them I wish I had been a bit more … er, moderate. 🙂

  97. narcoticmusing

    I figure we can agree that Jules probably shouldn’t win the election but equally the Australian public don’t deserve Abbott. 🙂 Damn if we do…

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