Yet another illegal boat. More asylum seeker deaths. Border policy shouldn’t be squibbed in the name of burbling bleeding hearts and compassion babble; the government can walk softly but must carry and use a damned big stick.
First, an apology to readers: I am still here, and I apologise for my silence; I have simply been so snowed under as to have had no time to pen these articles, working 80-100 hours per week as I have been. Even so, I want to post comment on this issue, even if it is hurried.
It’s become a story so familiar now that I suspect some people have become immune to it; yet another unauthorised boatload of illegal immigrants has met with disaster off the coast of Australia; dozens of people are dead.
And it is about time Julia Gillard and her government shouldered responsibility both for the endless stream of boat arrivals and for the growing number of deaths at sea instead of playing politics.
The latest call for “bipartisanship” — Labor’s trumpeting panacea for every mess in which it lands these days — has rightly and correctly been ignored by Tony Abbott, his spokesman Scott Morrison, and their Coalition colleagues.
I’ll come to the boat arrivals shortly, but Abbott and his colleagues are shrewd enough to recognise the trap and astute enough not to fall into it; and if anybody wants to accuse anyone of heartlessness or bloody-mindedness, they should point the finger in the direction of the government.
When it came to power (and this is an old story), the ALP under Kevin Rudd inherited a border protection regime and an approach to asylum seekers and people smuggling that had literally stopped the flow of boatloads of illegal immigrants bound for Australia completely.
Supposedly in the name of “compassion” and of “humanity,” Rudd’s government quickly set about closing the offshore detention facilities that the Howard government had established, abolishing temporary protection visas, and curbing a raft of other measures that had been introduced to deal with the problem of people smugglers putting thousands of lives at risk each year by sending unauthorised boats filled with asylum seekers in our direction.
Now, the results of this so-called compassion are clear to see; dozens of boats and thousands upon thousands of people risk their lives now in coming to Australia, with the cost that not only can the country not accommodate them, but that increasing numbers are dying en route — as has happened now.
What became known as the Howard government’s “Pacific Solution” unequivocally worked, and the Coalition is committed to reintroducing it.
Labor, by contrast, persists with the cack-brained mentality that anything to do with the Howard government — especially anything it has abandoned — must be avoided at all costs.
And so it consequently persists with its useless “solutions” to the issue.
Far from reaching out to the Coalition in the name of “bipartisanship,” Labor merely seeks to infect the Liberal Party with the venom of its own policy failure, and Abbott and Morrison are right to reject such overtures in the absolute.
And far from being a policy of compassion, the Labor approach to this issue is a policy of death; of Russian roulette with people’s’ lives, and the ongoing tragedy of death at sea as unauthorised boats meet with disaster is a direct and damning consequence of that.
Communist Party Greens — with their open-the-borders-let-’em-come-and-bugger-the-consequences policy — are just as culpable as the Labor Party; but I would make the point that with their influence over Gillard government policy since entering into coalition with Labor after the 2010 election, the Greens have provided ample evidence that they are indeed the malevolent band of dangerous lunatics most of us on the Right (and an increasing number of people in the centre) have always believed them to be.
And for those asylum seekers who actually make it here, a rising tide of anger awaits them in the Australian populace; it’s not a few boatloads of people coming here now, but tens of thousands of people each year, and the government simply refuses to stop it.
Australian people do not want these people wandering around their communities awaiting processing; they do not want them rewarded with indefinite residence for jumping the queue; and they do not want — down the track — exponentially greater numbers of consequent arrivals in the form of family reunion visas that bring enormous numbers of people into the country and who add — quite literally — nothing to Australia’s society or to its economy.
I believe that family reunion visas should be abolished for all but immigrants arriving under the skilled migration intake, but that’s an argument for another day.
Border policy and the fraught issue of dealing with people smuggling, illegal boats and the resultant flood of people are not things that can be dealt with by burbling bleeding hearts, compassion babble, or on the whims of the chardonnay-swilling chatterati set which is far too trendy — and detached from reality — for its own good.
Rather, the bittersweet pill of a hardline approach is essential; countless lives can be saved, and the integrity of Australia’s legitimate (and genuinely compassionate) refugee intake policies can be preserved.
Anything else from the elected government, I’m afraid, is a cop-out, and a sick joke.
The worst consequences are there — in the form of dead asylum seekers being pulled from the water on Christmas Island — for all to see.
And let’s be clear: those deaths are the direct result of government policy, and have nothing to do with Tony Abbott, Scott Morrison, the Liberal Party of Australia, or any other entity that the Labor Party callously seeks to blame.
Some may gasp at the fact I’m not even going to sugar-coat the fact that the Labor government is directly responsible for the deaths of these people, but that’s one of the problems in this country these days; in the mad obsession with offending nobody, nothing is ever called for what it is any more lest the political consequences be catastrophic.
Yet that’s the way it is; and if the Gillard government doesn’t want to face those facts, then it must — must — forget about this pathetic obsession with the Howard government and reinstate the Pacific Solution it so ill-advisedly abolished.
It must stop playing political football; Labor is in office, and Labor must govern; the responsibility for dealing with this lies with the ALP.
And in addressing that fact, it can show real compassion by legislating policy that will stop asylum seekers dying at sea, rather than its despicable attempts to spread the blame for a policy regime which is, quite literally, a proven recipe for disaster.