How can I tell if I’m a xenophobe who fears refugees arriving here, or a compassionate person who wants to save them from drowning?

I’m often asked by people desperately wondering whether they’re a compassionate human being or actually a xenophobic ***hole – how can I tell, from my response to asylum seeker deaths, which one I am?

Fortunately, there’s an easy test.

Is your response to news about boats arriving safely to demand that we “stop the boats” – or is it, “thank god they got here alright”?

Is your response to news about boats sinking and lives being lost to demand that we “save the refugees” – or is it to think “see, now I don’t have to feel guilty about wanting to ‘stop the boats’ when they get here safely, I can pretend it’s because I care about their lives”?

“Stop the boats” or “save the refugees”.

The one that more closely matches your response, gives you your answer.

PS LET THEM GET ON THE BLOODY PLANES FFS.

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17 responses to “How can I tell if I’m a xenophobe who fears refugees arriving here, or a compassionate person who wants to save them from drowning?

  1. Splatterbottom

    “PS LET THEM GET ON THE BLOODY PLANES FFS.”

    Who?
    Where?
    How many?
    How much are you prepared to spend on this?

    A good proposal within the limits.

  2. narcoticmusing

    Yes we all want costed policy proposals until it is the policy proposal we want and then it is ‘fund it at all costs’ – well, all costs are a lot.

    that being said, I think the current offshore processing has a hell of a lot of case being thrown at it that could happily be used to offset the costs of allowing a post-flight immigration checks for asylum seekers.

  3. “How many?”

    About ten percent. Apparently 90% of those who claim asylum arrive by plane.

  4. How much are you prepared to spend on this?

    Concern troll’s bluff called. There’s a cost point at which he’d opt for continuing to “lure them to their deaths”.

  5. Haven’t we spent $10B being nasty to asylum seekers? (which hasn’t stopped the boats) I suggest anything less than $10B is relatively good value.

  6. Who?
    Where?
    How many?
    How much are you prepared to spend on this?

    Who – those seeking asylum.
    Where – in the community as we process claims
    How many – slightly more than arriving now, probably, up to at least a reasonable proportion of the world’s refugees rather than far fewer as at present
    How much – much less than we’re wasting imprisoning them.

    How much are you prepared to spend on military intervention and prisons (both of which are EXTRAORDINARILY expensive) to persecute the already persecuted?

  7. By the way, another hint to help you answer “How can I tell if I’m a xenophobe who fears refugees arriving here, or a compassionate person who wants to save them from drowning?” – is, when confronted with a policy suggestion that clearly would result in people arriving safely, your first question “how much will it cost?”

    And, when confronted with a policy suggestion that involves being increasingly cruel to refugees in an effort to STOP them coming here at all, do you support it even if it’s ridiculously expensive?

  8. > your first question “how much will it cost?”

    Its always reasonable in public policy to ask how much something will cost. Even if its a question of saving lives; because there is an opportunity cost of other lives that could be saved to consider. If not politicians would e.g. blow huge sums on experimental procedures and research for exceedingly rare diseases, to save the lives of a handful of unfortunate children.

    Of course in this case the financial cost of accepting even ten times our current intake of refugees would be completely reasonable, especially given a) the contribution they can make to our economy over the medium to long term and b) the savings narcotic already mentioned from shutting down offshore processing.

  9. Splatterbottom

    What strikes me most about the original post and the more hysterical responses above is the reflexive need to grab the moral high-ground. Perhaps that is because those commenters know that Rudd’s decision to reverse the Pacific Solution has already resulted in the needless killing of over a thousand people. And perhaps that is why these moral cretins seek to mask their shame by demonising anyone who dares to differ with them.

    A much better approach would have been to keep the Pacific Solution in place and to massively increase our refugee intake, as well as our overall migrant intake.

    As Jordan has noted, part of good policy design is to understand how much the policy will cost so that it can be adequately funded. I agree that the number we accept should be at least our proportion of the global number of refugees. It is important to devote the resources to integrating the new arrivals and to avoid tribalism and ghettoisation. If this is not done then the program will not be viable. What we need is a program that works and is seen to be working. If this is not done then the program will not be viable. People who are particularly affected will put enough pressure on politicians to end the program, and no amount of moral grandstanding by posturing, anus-fingering leftists will change their minds.

    Why not assume that Australians are decent people who would like to help as many people as possible and are prepared to make some sacrifices to do it and rather than demonise them? Why not make a compelling case for the benefits of increased migration, including refugee migration? Australia cannot reasonably expect to enjoy a privileged lifestyle while so many in the world suffer. Further, Australia will be better of with a much larger population if the transition can be arranged smoothly enough and without the destruction of the values which make Australia a successful country.

    While being lectured by hectoring, jabbering leftists will not change peoples’ minds, a bit of humility might be a good start – like an admission that “We really fucked up by abolishing the Pacific Solution but here is what we can do to benefit Australia and ensure its future …….”.

  10. No, SB, the “Pacific Solution” was a giant cruel ****-up based on the fallacy that we should and even could deter people from coming here by being cruel to them – as if we could ever be as hideous to them as the countries from which they were fleeing.

    As for “the moral high-ground”?

    Well, is giving refuge to refugees “taking the moral high-ground”? Is damning the xenophobia and inhumanity of those who want to drive them away is “taking the moral high-ground”?

    I suppose, if the concept of a “moral high-ground” has meaning at all, they are. Because treating refugees with compassion is moral and trying to drive them away is not.

    And I’m not sorry for pointing that out to people who are deliberately choosing the moral low-ground of trying to drive refugees away instead of helping them.

    Playing refugees off against each other (as per the Howard Government’s decision to link the offshore and onshore streams, so if one arrives we take a place from another) is no form of morality I recognise.

    Pretending that we need to be cruel to them to “save lives” when we could achieve the same end compassionately and vastly more cheaply by simply ending the racist policy of refusing visas to asylum seekers from particular countries so they can’t get on a plane – well, that’s just dishonest.

    As even the Roman Catholic Pope said yesterday: “We pray for a heart which will embrace immigrants. God will judge us upon how we have treated the most needy.”

    I don’t believe there’s a God, but I’m sure as hell certain that treating the desperate with compassion is one of the things that’s best about humanity. When we do it.

  11. I take it you failed the test in the post, SB.

  12. “more hysterical responses above”

    Which responses? This one:

    “And perhaps that is why these moral cretins seek to mask their shame by demonising anyone who dares to differ with them.”

    “a bit of humility might be a good start”

    Why not practise what you preach?

  13. What strikes me most about the original post and the more hysterical responses above is the reflexive need to grab the moral high-ground. Perhaps that is because those commenters know that Rudd’s decision to reverse the Pacific Solution has already resulted in the needless killing of over a thousand people. And perhaps that is why these moral cretins seek to mask their shame by demonising anyone who dares to differ with them.

    Fuck off. You’re the one endlessly jerking off to your despicable assertion that the ALP has lured people to their deaths. What we have here is a classic case of right wing projection, Andrew Bolt style.

  14. Splatterbottom

    Q.E.D.

  15. Well, is giving refuge to refugees “taking the moral high-ground”? – Jeremy.

    Not at all, but as SB so often demonstrates, it’s all about your vantage point.

  16. “Q.E.D.”

    What do you mean? You wrote:

    ” the more hysterical responses above

    You must mean your own posts!

  17. He gets so much enjoyment from accusing opponents of the Pacific Solution of “luring refugees to their deaths”, but somehow still thinks he’s in a position to criticise others for their hysteria and for demonising those who disagree with him. And now he is crying for having been called on his extremely obvious hypocrisy. It’s the total lack of self-awareness that we’ve come to expect from him. Right wing bully boys and their glass jaws.

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