The Argument About Illegal Boat Arrivals The Left Doesn’t Want You To Hear

CHARDONNAY SWILLERS, compassion babblers and the Left believe in their own moral superiority on the issue of unlawful boat arrivals; even after the failure of ALP policy since the abolition of John Howard’s Pacific Solution, their rectitude is unswerving. Here’s a scenario which proves they are wrong.

I’m tied up tonight on international phone calls, so this is a quick comment (and a link) on an issue that has played out over the past few days, involving yet another boatload of unauthorised asylum seekers from Sri Lanka that landed in Geraldton, Western Australia, apparently undetected and undisturbed, last week.

Something that irritates the hell out of me (and a lot of other good conservative folk) is the insidious and sanctimonious insistence by Lefty types — be they the chardonnay guzzlers who fancy themselves, or those who make a living off government money and charity in the bleeding heart industry, or the more sinister hardcore Lefties sitting in the Senate under the Communist Greens banner — that anyone who disagrees with them is a heartless, thoughtless, penny-pinching bastard.

(Or bitch).

There are good reasons why the silent majority in Australia doesn’t want to see its borders (or coastlines) overrun by an open-ended, never-ending stream of people seeking asylum in Australia and arriving by sea, unheralded and uninvited.

In some of their cases the reasons of those asylum seekers for leaving their homes may be genuine, and motivated by tyranny or the fear for their lives; in others, it can be a simple case of trying to “jump the queue” and circumvent what can be a wait of several years to come to Australia through legitimate channels.

Yet this is the point: our country has generous provisions and procedures in place to take thousands of refugees each year — legitimate refugees — as part of an overall immigration intake that, despite recent cuts, still numbers some 200,000 persons per annum.

It is not xenophobic or unreasonable — or heartless — for people perfectly prepared for taxpayer monies to be spent on such programs to then resent the additional arrival of thousands more who refuse to come through the established legitimate channels.

And that includes some genuine refugees; those who sail through ports, en route to Australia, in a number of other countries which are signatories to the United Nations charter on refugees — countries in which asylum would be forthcoming.

But no, they want to come here: and the way they choose to do so is not the way it ought be done.

Inflammatory argument (on both sides of the issue) aside, however, I’m posting an excellent column by Piers Akerman on this issue, given the constraints on my time I face tonight. Readers can access this article here.

I simply say this is precisely the type of incident the chardonnay drunks and the bleeding heart bullshit lobby don’t want anyone to know about; it not only humanises the supposedly draconian measures the Howard government introduced to stop boats coming and to deal with the occupants of those which did, but it actually illustrates — by highlighting real and realistic ramifications — the potential consequences of adopting an open-border, merry-free-for-all approach to this most fraught of political issues.

This is the side of the issue people like the Greens will do anything to bury, and at any cost: it’s a hell of a lot easier to yank at the heart strings of the gullible and the stupid if they are denied the knowledge on which to base an informed decision in the first place.

And make no mistake, people, the Greens prey on gullibility and stupidity, because without those attributes virtually every policy on the Greens’ slate is indefensible.

And they know it.

I’ll be interested in feedback from those who have read and considered the attached article.


Oh, and another thing: note where the people on the boats wanted to go. In the end, it wasn’t to come to Australia at all…

Asylum Seeker Policy: Indictment, And Cautious Endorsement, Of Gillard

Julia Gillard’s pledge to implement the recommendations of the Houston Report into unauthorised boat arrivals elicits the support — guardedly — of The Red And The Blue. In terms of deaths at sea, however, the Prime Minister and her government stand condemned.

It didn’t have to come to this; more than four years after the ALP dismantled the Howard government’s Pacific Solution, hundreds of asylum seekers have died at sea whilst Labor pontificated, procrastinated, politicised innocent deaths in the callous and cavalier pursuit of smearing opponents, all the while avoiding at any cost the reintroduction of a suite of policies it should never have abolished in the first place.

Very few policies, in Labor eyes, were as emblematic of or synonymous with John Howard as the Pacific Solution; the ALP’s loathing of this hardline but effective policy is and was visceral, and it was little surprise when — in early 2008 — its abolition was an early item implemented from the new Rudd government’s agenda.

We all know the subsequent storyline: the boatloads of asylum seekers began arriving again, as people smugglers in the Middle East roared back into business; hundreds of them, carrying thousands of souls desperate to get away from whatever they were fleeing from, and from wherever they had come.

And all too tragically, hundreds have died; drowned, as the rickety, unseaworthy vessels into which they were packed by unscrupulous smugglers proved unable to withstand the voyage.

Time after time after time in the past few years — beginning with Gillard’s ridiculous East Timor Regional Processing Centre, announced prior to the last election and of which the East Timorese had never heard — this Prime Minister and this government have ducked and weaved, and put option after inadequate option on the table to “deal” with the boat arrival/asylum seeker issue.

And time after time, those options have come to naught: in large part because, politically at least, they were motivated almost solely by the desire to avoid reinstating Howard’s policy package.

That avoidance has come at a price; the deaths of hundreds of asylum seekers at sea in the time Gillard and Labor have stuck to their intransigent refusal to reinstitute the Pacific Solution are the direct consequence of those actions and the federal government is responsible, morally at least, for those deaths emanating from its ill-considered policies and its refusal to embrace practical and workable solutions.

Legislation has now been urgently prepared to enable the reopening of detention centres on Manus Island and in Nauru; parallel to this, teams of Immigration officials have already been dispatched to those islands to begin to ready the facilities to be recommissioned.

Obviously, this column heartily endorses these measures, and reiterates — again — that the facilities in question should never have been closed in the first place.

The Red And The Blue also gives cautious support to another recommendation of Houston’s panel — the increase in Australia’s humanitarian refugee intake to 20,000 people per annum. However, I am adamant that these additional places should not be allocated to family reunion considerations in any way, shape, or form.

Indeed, it doesn’t take a crystal ball to see that so-called family reunions are likely to be the next category of immigration arrivals to experience explosive growth; now that these policies will enforce an involuntary change of focus onto people smugglers away from “get there at any cost” the focus is likely to become “just get one there, and we can work with it.”

This column does note that the Houston report stipulates that Gillard’s preferred “Malaysia Solution” should remain on the table, but be improved and refined prior to any implementation phase being commenced.

The Red And The Blue restates its resolute opposition to the Malaysia Solution in any way, shape or form; as I have said many times now, it is completely unacceptable for this country to countenance any arrangement that involves Australia sending 800 illegal immigrants to a third-party country for “processing” in return for agreeing to resettle five times that number of “processed” persons over whom this country has exercised no control or input into the selection of.

This brings me to the second key point: this column supports the implementation of all of the Houston report’s recommendations, with the specific qualification that this does not and will not extend to the so-called “Malaysia Solution” under any circumstances whatsoever.

It should come as no surprise to readers and to the wider public that Tony Abbott and his parliamentary colleagues have moved swiftly to help facilitate precisely that outcome.

But equally, it ought surprise nobody that the point continues to be made, both by Abbott and his colleagues (led by shadow Immigration minister Scott Morrison) that the measures being legislated should never have been dismantled in the first place.

And if there is a key point I would repeatedly restate on this issue, it is that: Labor should never have abolished the Pacific Solution.

Make no mistake, this outcome is an utter vindication of the Liberal Party and its policies, of John Howard and his government’s stand on this issue, of Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison, and of their consistent and principled position on a difficult issue in the face of attacks in the Parliament, the media, and from those sections of the commentariat who are most able to yell their views the loudest.

Equally, the outcome now being put to practical effect is an utter and abject humiliation of Julia Gillard and the ALP; and it reflects just as profoundly and in the same damning vein on Kevin Rudd as it does on those who now sit in Cabinet following his demise as Prime Minister.

As confrontational as it may sound, Julia Gillard and her colleagues in government deserve no credit or acclaim whatsoever for the measures shortly to resume effect; they have gone well out of their way to attempt to ensure that the Pacific Solution, once dismantled, was buried forever.

Buried for no better reason than the fact it was a Howard government initiative; this is petty Labor politics at its worst, and if there is one lesson Gillard should learn from this, it is that a seemingly petty triviality, if pursued with obsessive fervour, can still lead to the most disastrous of outcomes.

Just ask the families of the dead asylum seekers who perished at sea as a direct consequence of the Gillard government’s policies.

Even so, making these observations are no more confrontational than the language Gillard has already sought to deploy, attempting to portray the reinstatement of the Pacific Solution as an example of her government “getting things done” and presenting Abbott with silly ultimatums almost daring him to attempt to vote the restored arrangements down.

Gillard has rightly been made to look like an absolute idiot over this issue, and whilst it may very well be those around her and in the ALP back room that are equally or more responsible for the contemptible policy settings the government has been determined to pursue, the ultimate responsibility for Labor’s failed immigration policies rests with Gillard.

Ironically enough, if there is one government minister who to some extent is absolved from blame over the asylum seeker debacle, it is Immigration minister Chris Bowen, who — alone of his colleagues — at least attempted to put a reactivation of the Pacific Solution on the agenda on a number of occasions during the past year.

This is part of a point made by Neil Mitchell on his morning programme yesterday on Melbourne radio station 3AW; Mitchell also sheeted home blame for the asylum seeker fiasco — including for the deaths that have occurred in the past year — to Gillard.

It cannot be emphasised strongly enough — nor, indeed, over-emphasised — that the outcomes being implemented are in no way a vindication of, nor a triumph for, Julia Gillard and her government.

Rather, they are an indictment on an inept and incompetent political, policy and administrative outfit that was, and remains, unfit to govern, and which is very heavily culpable for the volume of lives lost off the coasts of Australia.

It may yet prove the case that the restored Pacific Solution is, on its own, inadequate as a complete solution to the boat arrival problem, and as a deterrent to the God-forsaken activities of people smugglers.

Even so — should that prove to be so — a far better framework on which to build lies in a suite of policies previously proven to work in this arena, as opposed to Labor Party alternatives that collectively amount to virtually nothing of any meaningful or constructive consequence whatsoever.

In closing, there one more aspect of this issue, and of this debate, to address.

Looking at the Communist Party Greens — with their protestations that onshore processing of asylum seekers should not only be retained, but expanded, on the basis offshore processing and mandatory detention are cruel — I have two words: grow up.

And two more: get real!

The Greens would do well to inform themselves of the fact that parties of the Left do not have a monopoly on such decencies as kindness and compassion.

More to the point, they should reflect that in the real world — as opposed to in some doctrinaire microcosm of the mantra of the hard Left — it is sometimes necessary to temper the human instinct to kindness and generosity of spirit with practicalities that are not pleasant, but which optimise the prospect that the best eventual outcome will be realised.

It’s called doing the right thing. Belatedly, the ALP and its leader have done so. It’s time the Greens opened their eyes, put down the platform pamphlet filled with their lunatic ideas, and came to the same conclusion.

Asylum Seeker Disgrace: It’s Despicable, And It’s Labor’s Fault

If there’s one issue in federal politics at the moment that boils my blood, it isn’t the carbon tax; it’s not the recent Cabinet reshuffle; it’s not Wayne Swan’s characteristically inept mini-budget; and it isn’t Peter Slipper or Kevin Rudd. It’s asylum seekers.

And the mess — and it is a mess, for want of a far stronger term — is something the Labor Party is completely and directly responsible for.

In 2001, faced with rocketing numbers of illegal boat arrivals — most notably, the arrival of the MV Tampa — the Howard government instituted a drastic but highly effective policy aimed at stamping out illegal boat arrivals and, with it, the insidious practice of people smuggling.

Islands were excised from Australia’s migration zone; offshore detention facilities established on Nauru and Manus Island; Temporary Protection Visas were issued; and wherever safely possible, illegal boats were turned back.

In short order, the boatloads of illegal immigrants stopped coming.

Kevin Rudd and his sloganeering “Kevin ’07” ALP surfed the jingoistic waves from empty campaign slogans into government six years later; it’s debatable whether the Labor Party has actually achieved anything meaningful in its years in office, but one thing it has achieved it to roll out a virtual welcome mat to anyone who wants to come to this country in flagrant disregard of the proper protocols.

And so here we are: today, hundreds of boats containing thousands of illegal immigrants arrive here every year; it has blown into a colossal political storm, and for reasons best known to the fairies in the garden, it’s all the fault of Tony Abbott.

Can I just say that the terrible tragedy off the Javanese coast at the weekend — when up to 200 asylum seekers drowned when their boat sank — is just that: a tragedy.

But the responsibility lies at the feet of the present government and the architects of its immigration policies. Tony Abbott is blameless.

Shortly after taking office in 2007, one of the first things the Rudd government did was to dismantle Howard’s so-called Pacific Solution. Borders were opened, criteria relaxed, many of the more punitive aspects of the Howard policy abolished altogether.

And the compassion babblers and the elites and the chatterati applauded.

Julia Gillard was given an early warning of the current political firestorm around this issue at last year’s election; whilst mining taxes and broken promises and bad campaigning and knifed Prime Ministers all played their part, the vast majority of the regions and electorates that swung most heavily to the Coalition last year also happened to be those most affected in some way by illegal immigration.

Bear in mind, Gillard actually lost last year’s election: her majority comes from the Greens and Independents on the crossbenches.

Labor — half way through a term of government that increasingly appears to precede its return to Opposition — is panicked; most of the sources for that panic have been self-inflicted, and this one is no exception.

Rather than heed the warning shot across her government’s bow that the electorate delivered, in this area Gillard has thrown all caution and good sense to the wind entirely.

From the ridiculous and merit-free idea of a processing centre in East Timor that the East Timorese didn’t even know about, the government moved on to the abominable concept of a system with Malaysia by which Malaysia would accept 800 illegal arrivals from Australia in return for 4000 — 4000 — “processed” asylum seekers over which Australia had no right of veto and no actual control over their vetting.

All the while, the boats have arrived faster and fuller; the tide of public opinion has swelled further and further against the government on the issue; and the rising wave of panic in government circles over what to do has reached its crashing crescendo.

Now, the government blames Tony Abbott; after all, they say, had he allowed the Malaysia Solution to pass Parliament, tragedies like the one-off Java in recent days would not occur.

But Tony Abbott is responsible to his party, to its policies, and to the people who vote for them; the Liberal Party has been resolutely opposed to the Malaysia Solution ever since its half-baked details were first devised.

And besides, it is a bad policy. As Opposition leader, Abbott has a responsibility to the country to oppose it.

The fact is that Labor has worn many different coats on this issue; every one of them has cloaked disastrous policy.

And the government steadfastly refuses to countenance the one policy that worked: the Pacific Solution, which the Liberal Party is committed to reintroduce.

Labor has learnt the hard way that far from simply being a nasty bastard, John Howard led a government that actually fixed this issue.

Rather than admitting its mistake, it would prefer to pursue any available course of action other than to reinstate the policy it so foolishly overturned.

So which way forward?

The ALP now says it wants to negotiate a solution and has been pestering Tony Abbott to agree to a series of meetings to this end, even going so far as to leak confidential correspondence in which it virtually begged the opposition leader to come to the table.

It is true Abbott has refused to do so, although he has left the door slightly ajar, saying that if the government wishes to negotiate it must first put a new policy proposal on the table.

I’d have thought that was fair enough; but the government has refused.

The entire tenor of the rhetoric coming from government circles is that Tony Abbott should agree to pass their cack-brained Malaysia Solution into law and — if he doesn’t — they, the Labor government, stand blameless for any future catastrophe along the lines of what occurred so recently in Java.

This argument is akin to a thug beating an old woman in the street, telling her that if she doesn’t hand her handbag and money over, the thug is thenceforth absolved from any further injury he might cause.

Today, of course, Labor tried a new tack, suggesting they would be open to a compromise “solution” of their Malaysia Solution operating in tandem with a reopened detention centre on Nauru.

This reeks so badly of desperation I just wonder if whoever dreamt the idea up was so panicked as to be incapable of seeing the sheer absurdity and unworkability — to say nothing of the contradiction inherent — in such a scheme.

Can I just say that no matter how this issue plays out, the ALP has only itself to blame for the utter mess this issue has become.

And on a more basic point: Gillard wanted to stay in office so, so desperately without the numbers after last year’s election; if she can’t govern, and if the Parliament is unworkable, there is an option open to her…

…but silly me, she’d never do something as drastic as calling an election.

Whilst the Left like to rattle on about the heartless Howard government, about how mean-spirited and cruel it was, and how its policies were some sort of humanitarian disgrace, it conveniently overlooks the fact that Howard presided over an immigration program that saw net immigration to Australia, in real terms, at its highest level ever.

And what it also ignores is the fact that to varying degrees, in the past ten years the Australian Left has advocated an open border policy when it comes to this issue,┬ábe it overtly as the Greens do, stating our borders should be open to anyone who wants to come here; or on the sly, which is what Labor has done, abolishing all of the protections in Howard’s regime, and rendering the enforcement provisions it retained toothless.

The Labor Party holds office in order to govern.

In this area, as in so many others, it is out of lockstep with the overwhelming weight of public opinion.

Further, the agreements negotiated by Julia Gillard in the aftermath of last year’s election were specifically designed to ensure the Coalition was incapable of controlling either of the Houses of Parliament.

In other words, to ensure the government controlled both.

You can’t have it both ways.

If this issue can’t be resolved, it is the fault of the government and its allies in the Greens and the Independents, who not only have the numbers but have written agreements that stipulate as such.

No no no, this is one mess that the ALP can’t squirm out of; and nor should it be allowed to do so.

Make no mistake, even if Abbott does cut some sort of deal, it will be to save lives, not to get the government off the hook.

And especially given that in this area of policy, the Australian Labor Party — once again — has shown its complete unsuitability for office, and that it is totally unfit to govern.