A nation of brutes and cowards

cowardly-lion

by Chris Becker

Europe’s burgeoning refugee crisis is putting the spotlight on David Cameron’s conservative UK government approach, which has been mentioned as “Australia-lite”. Or in other words, constrained brutality with a pinch of indifference. This has changed in recent days as the spectre of seeing dead children wash up on Turkish beaches and scenes of hundreds of refugees piling into trains, then throwing themselves on the rail tracks in Hungary has reversed the mood of “sending them back where they came from”.

That mood hasn’t changed Down Under. And Europe’s refugee crisis is putting a stark spotlight on Australia’s “successful” asylum seeker policy.

From the op-ed pages of the New York Times:

Australia’s Brutal Treatment of Migrants

Some European officials may be tempted to adopt the hard-line approach Australia has used to stem a similar tide of migrants. That would be unconscionable.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has overseen a ruthlessly effective effort to stop boats packed with migrants, many of them refugees, from reaching Australia’s shores. His policies have been inhumane, of dubious legality and strikingly at odds with the country’s tradition of welcoming people fleeing persecution and war.

Since 2013, Australia has deployed its navy to turn back boats with migrants, including asylum seekers, before they could get close to its shores…

Those who have not been turned back are held at detention centers run by private contractors on nearby islands, including the tiny nation of Nauru…

The Border Force Act, which took effect July 1, makes it a crime punishable by a two-year prison sentence for employees at detention camps to discuss the conditions there publicly. Australia and Nauru, which depends heavily on Australian foreign aid, have gone to great lengths to keep international journalists from gaining access to the detention center…

European officials have traveled to Australia on fact-finding missions recently. Mr. Abbott… has urged European governments to follow his model, and some European leaders seem so inclined…

The world’s war zones are all but certain to continue to churn out an extraordinary number of refugees and economic migrants in the years ahead… It is inexcusable that some find themselves today in situations that are more hopeless and degrading than the ones that prompted them to flee.

This is the difference between a rich nation and a prosperous nation. An immature nation and a compassionate nation. The rich immature brute who would rather hide behind a fence – physical and metaphorical – while the rest of the world deals with its own problems. A prosperous nation would both ask and do what can be done to help others, to share its own good fortune with others who have none.

At Fleet Base East in Sydney stands Australia’s newest warship, the HMAS Canberra. A mammoth vessel, bigger than a WW2 aircraft carrier, it includes a hospital the size of a regional city and can maintain over 18 transport helicopters and carry over 1000 troops.

Why can’t a nation that has not suffered any strife, any war – hell, even any economic recession in over 20 years – not send a ship of that size to the Medittarean and say – how can we help?

Australia runs an overly generous immigration program for economic migrants arriving via aeroplane or the back door (e.g. international students), yet is so harsh on genuine refugees that arrive by boat. Why?

Instead we send in RAAF bombers to attack the source of the problem –  ISIS (whose birth was the abortion that was the Iraq War) and the Syrian civil war – and fly away leaving others to deal with the aftermath, including potential “collateral damage”. We send RAN patrol boats and warships to send back our own meagre trickle of sea borne migrants to other nations that can barely afford to deal with them or  just use the chequebook to bribe and pay for silence. We process the ones that slipped through in concentration camps on desolate Pacific islands and threaten the lives of anyone who reports on what happens therein, including doctors and mental health professionals.

And then sit back and watch our house prices go further north and bask in the richness.

Well done Australia. Cowardice has found a new home, complete with sunny beaches.

Comments

  1. It has been clearly established at several elections now that the community reasonably expects the government to remain in control of the borders. This is not inconsistent with Australia having a high refugee settlement program through the UN however. And we do.

    Australia is a generous nation in this regard but we are also one which understands that the organised crime which had a big business bringing people into the country is not operating in the interests of the Australian community.

    Syria is a special case and deserves special attention (perhaps similar to what the Kosovar received). But the Australian government should not be criticised for acting in the interests of the Australian community in shutting down the boat people smuggling trade which got completely out of control under the last government. 30,000 people in ONE YEAR is not a ‘meagre trickle’.

    • It’s a complex issue with good arguments on both sides. One thing is for sure though, it’s only going to get worse — much, much worse, if scientists’ predictions about climate refugees are to be believed 😯

      • A-bboatt might try and suggest the $40 bil spend for the RAN’s new surface frigates and destroyers are for ‘defence’ purposes, but it’s not provocative or hostile neighbours he’s worried about. It’s the AUS coastline of ~25,000 km’s he refers to as a ‘border’ and when the desperate, displaced folk from the northern hemi set their coordinates on the southern hemi.

    • “The community reasonably expects the government to remain in control of its borders”
      Well it certainly does when one side of politics and John Howard in particular fear-mongers and makes an election issue out of a relatively small number of hugely disadvantaged people trying to make their way to Australia. We can trace all this back to the appalling politics the LNP used to win the 2001 election. It has formed a template for the LNP since and dragged our polity down with it. It was always going to make our country poorer. An increasingly inhumane country, obsessed with house prices, racist and selfish – thanks John!

      • “small number of hugely disadvantaged people trying to make their way to Australia”
        30,000 people in one year with 100,000 sitting in Indonesia waiting to come is not a small number.

        Remember that those who came by boat are those with the money to pay the criminal elements to smuggle them. The truly disadvantaged are sitting in refugee camps and not those coming by boat. This is why Australia should have a generous quota through the UN. Each boat arrival was effectively taking a spot from those who were truly disadvantaged.

        John Howard won the 2001 election because the majority of Australian voters agreed with his position. While that might not be palatable to those with certain political persuasions it does represent a political truth.

        This is an emotive issue but it is essential to see facts as they are rather than as you wish them to be.

      • 20,000 people is 0.087% of our population. That’s 1/12 of 1%
        I’d call that a “relatively small number”
        As you were saying, it’s essential to see the facts as they are and not as you wish them to be.

      • Remember that those who came by boat are those with the money to pay the criminal elements to smuggle them. The truly disadvantaged are sitting in refugee camps and not those coming by boat.

        Have you talked to the UN about your new way of identifying how much danger somebody is in based on their bank balance ? It’d probably make their jobs a lot easier.

        Each boat arrival was effectively taking a spot from those who were truly disadvantaged.

        Speaking of facts, it’s best to remember that was an arbitrary policy change made by Howard to support his scaremongering.

    • Gramus just took the words right out of my mouth… comparing Australia’s recent past experience and Europe’s is not apples for apples

    • Spot on Gramus.

      We have all been saddened by the terrible image of a three year old refugee washed ashore in Turkey. NYT failed to note that the Stop the Boat policy of the Australian Government has successfully prevented a repeat of the more than one thousand deaths at sea (just as with the young boy) seemingly tolerated by the previous government.

      As an island nation it is difficult to accommodate an open borders policy; as a welfare state, it is impossible. Refugees in large number landing in Italy or Spain move quickly to those countries offering opportunity for employment or better social services. To date, countries like Germany, in need of workers, has welcomed newcomers generously. As we do, with those that are successful in achieving residency in Australia.

      As demonstrated almost daily in the comments here, immigration is a deeply divisive issue. As one of a handful of pro immigration commenters here, I would welcome more refugees. But it must be on our terms, ordered, transparent and affordable.

      • The Abbott Government set aside 4400 places for Syrian and Iraqi refugees in 2014 annual intake, equally split. I understand not all Syrian placements were filled, so room there too. Interesting to note that the USA has accepted fewer than 1500 Syrian refugees in total. We do our bit, if carefully managed we can do more.

      • interested party

        “the Stop the Boat policy of the Australian Government has successfully prevented a repeat of the more than one thousand deaths at sea (just as with the young boy) seemingly tolerated by the previous government.”

        Fact or media blackout?

      • We have all been saddened by the terrible image of a three year old refugee washed ashore in Turkey.

        Well, some of us were. However, sociopaths like you were licking your lips at the opportunity it presented to make dishonest commentary comments like this:

        NYT failed to note that the Stop the Boat policy of the Australian Government has successfully prevented a repeat of the more than one thousand deaths at sea (just as with the young boy) seemingly tolerated by the previous government.

        <sarc>It’s sad to know that boy wouldn’t have suffered any harm if he’d stayed in Syria, though it does kind of raise the question of why he was trying to run away.</sarc>

      • We all agree its a difficult issue 3d1kface, and that there are no easy answers, but what is completely and utterly inexcusable is attempting to take political advantage of the tragic death of asylum seekers:

        Mr Abbott said on Friday: “If you want to stop the deaths, if you want to stop the drownings you have got to stop the boats.

        “We saw yesterday on our screens a very sad, poignant image of children tragically dead at sea in illegal migration,” Mr Abbott told ABC radio.

        “Thankfully, we have stopped that in Australia because we have stopped the illegal boats.
        “We have said to the people smugglers: ‘Your trade is closed down.’
        “If you want to keep people safe, you have got to stop illegal migration and that’s what we have done.”

        And please, spare me the spin, we all know exactly what he is doing here.

    • “As one of a handful of pro immigration commenters here, I would welcome more refugees. But it must be on our terms, ordered, transparent and affordable.”

      So you’re absolutely no different to the rest of us. From what i’ve read, most people on here have no issue with immigration per say, they just want it done in a sustainable and transparent manner so it doesn’t erode our quality of life or create social tensions.

    • It has been clearly established at several elections now that the community reasonably expects the government to remain in control of the borders.

      We have control of our borders and always have.

      When “refugees” start rolling out of amphibious landing craft wearing uniforms and carrying guns, the hysterical ranting about “border security” might actually have some substance. Not before.

      Trust no-one who tries to paint boat arrivals as a “border security” issue. They are lying to you.

      • Big call smithy.

        You say that the only way invasion can occur, and that a native population can be displaced is via a military action?

      • You say that the only way invasion can occur, and that a native population can be displaced is via a military action?

        Are you seriously trying to argue boat people are an invasion force ?

        Surely someone like you would take the position that if our culture could be overrun by a handful of desperate, demonised refugees, it would deserve to die ?

      • “Are you seriously trying to argue boat people are an invasion force ?”

        Did I express that sentiment? I would say it’s no applicable here, but the numbers and proximity in Europe are a different question.

        “Surely someone like you would take the position that if our culture could be overrun by a handful of desperate, demonised refugees, it would deserve to die ?”

        I’m quite in different to it, but I can understand the resistance to it. The numbers in Europe are someone more than a handful.

      • Did I express that sentiment? I would say it’s no applicable here, but the numbers and proximity in Europe are a different question.

        The discussion thread was about here, not Europe.

      • Greta, so we’re onto not objecting to the concept of resisting the migration patterns, just the numbers imply it’s inconsequential to Australia.

        What numbers would be necessary for it to then be a problem?

      • What numbers would be necessary for it to then be a problem?

        We can all see how eager you are to rant about the inferior yet scary brown people. Just let it rip.

      • “We can all see how eager you are to rant about the inferior yet scary brown people. Just let it rip.”

        I don’t need this board to rant about ‘inferior brown people’, I can do that every morning with my Tamil wife.

        When I wake up in the morning, she goes “How are you hun?”, I reply “F*ck off, we’re full !”.

        Same as that little half-brown brat running around in my house.

      • It’ll be a bit different when you have something personally vested.

        Are you actually trying to make a point or just being a contrarian troll ? You don’t have a problem with high immigration or population growth (“there’s never any shortage of productive work to be done”, “there’s never any shortage of people trying to lift their living standards”, or words to that effect) and you’re claiming not to care about colour or creed, so what’s the issue ?

    • ” 30,000 people in ONE YEAR is not a ‘meagre trickle’.”

      The number of legal migrants is a far bigger issue in context of the actual numbers.

    • ‘Australia runs an overly generous immigration program for economic migrants arriving via aeroplane or the back door (e.g. international students), yet is so harsh on genuine refugees that arrive by boat. Why?’

      Why?, because they don’t have any money, we are only interested in people with money to buy real estate, even if they are just flying in for the weekend to buy an investment property and leave, its always about money and you will always be welcomed with open arms if you have it regardless of where you are from and happily be left to drown in a leaky boat if you don’t.
      This situation has nothing to do with morality..

  2. The problem needs to be sorted at source. What the west was doing in Syria backing so-called Islamic moderates is the root of the problem. Trying to overthrow Assad, who despite the flaws still ran a secular society, rather than the sectarian strife we now see in the middle east.

    • Once you start interfering in the internal squabbles of other countries, you’re on a very slippery slope indeed.

  3. “Some European officials may be tempted to adopt the hard-line approach Australia has used to stem a similar tide of migrants.”

    hmm… sure if you call “In the year to July 2015, there were 684,060 permanent and long-term arrivals into Australia” stemming anything

  4. Do not forget the farce the Europeans played in Libya. Turning Africa’s most prosperous nation into a hotbed of extremists.

  5. interested party

    Policy is as the bigoted, narcissistic, xenophobic grey-heads wish it to be.
    Humanitarian NIMBYism.

    I feel sick!

    • The irony is if something went wrong in our own backyard most Australians would do whatever they could to get their family somewhere safe and prosperous (including stepping on you and I).

    • It’s not the greyheads, it’s the dickheads!

      We had a migrant intake of over 600,000 last year.

      Why we couldn’t take in 100000 plus Syrians in need is beyond me. Especially if we made space for them by getting rid of overstayers.

      And certain people in the government claim to hold Christian values! Hah!

      • They are not migrants they are students, backpackers, 457s, etc. who are temps with majority returning home.

      • Most western and developed countries are populating at below replacement rates.

        They are doing as you say.

      • Yeah, I’m not convinced the planet has reached a catastrophic point of no return just yet.

        And if we want to reverse the population, well let the west continue on its merry way, and rationalise the population in the ‘breeder’ countries then.

        i.e., be careful where you send your $25 per month.

      • interested party

        RP,
        “I’m not convinced the planet has reached a catastrophic point of no return just yet.”
        I often ask myself just what it is that people will need to see or experience to arrive at that very conclusion.
        I don’t know if I am in that space yet either…..but the events unfolding everywhere are not helping the lighter side of my thoughts. I do think that we are very close to something going snap though. The steady state and a sudden shift thing.

      • “I often ask myself just what it is that people will need to see or experience to arrive at that very conclusion.”

        It’s things like this that worry me: “We’re losing species today at a rate not seen in 65 million years…we expect, by the most conservative of estimates, to have lost a third to a half of all species by the end of this century.”

        Dr Aaron Bernstein of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard University http://www.australiangeographic.com.au/news/2010/04/biodiversity-loss-threat-to-our-health/

      • 99.5% of all species were extinct prior to homo sapien.

        Bio-diversity always ‘perishes’, it also has a way of replenishing

      • interested party

        Rob,
        I see this everyday in my permaculture work.
        That work is the only thing that gives me some hope that we may make it through what is coming.

        There is an almost silent battle going on in the background between the environments incredible capacity to regenerate and humans fascinating propensity to destroy it.

        I can only hope that we as a species run out of idiots before the environment collapses….breath not being held!

      • 99.5% of all species were extinct prior to homo sapien.

        Bio-diversity always ‘perishes’, it also has a way of replenishing

        I don’t know about you, but personally I have little interest in a world without Humanity.

      • “I don’t know about you, but personally I have little interest in a world without Humanity.”

        Don’t be so narcissistic, nature doesn’t care about you. It sounds like you’re acting out of self-interest, cut that out immediately.

      • “.. the environments incredible capacity to regenerate and humans fascinating propensity to destroy it.”

        Yes. I suspect life will bounce back when we’ve one day gone (unless we do something really, really stupid).

        “I have little interest in a world without Humanity.”

        Yeah, but we need to remember we need a healthy planet more than it needs us. Also, that article explains why it is in our interest to protect biodiversity.

      • Don’t be so narcissistic, nature doesn’t care about you.

        I hold no illusions nature cares about me.

        But saying “don’t worry, the world will regenerate without people” is a bit like saying to the bloke who just lost everything “don’t worry, other people still have stuff”.

    • Of increasing significance has been the ageing of populations due to prosperity increasing longevity and driving population growth, but they are hardly the target of media and politicians, it’s the foreigners who cannot vote….

      No coincidence, in the Anglo world there have been ‘white nativist’ and ‘white nationalist’ groups emanating from the US who’ve been patiently influencing opinion in media and policy via politicians regarding identity, values, fertility, immigration and ‘other types’.

      The objective is to preclude non-European types from immigrating, then if they do succeed, still try restrict their influence upon a predominantly white European society, while maintaining and increasing antipathy towards non-Europeans.

      The fulcrum of the movement is in the US, and of course the movement has strong links in Australian academia, politics, media and environment, as it does in Canada and the UK.

      The NYT has an article here about, “The anti-immigration crusader” (who like some in Oz has never seen a non-European immigrant he liked, and admired the White Australia Policy) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/17/us/17immig.html?pagewanted=all

      Further, legal NGO SPLC explains the philosophy in more detail “Nativist lobby: three faces of intolerance” (in US) https://www.splcenter.org/20090201/nativist-lobby-three-faces-intolerance

      Any restriction or even increase in bigotry (by proxy) is a successful outcome, any guesses which Australians in politics, environment and academia who are connected to the movement?

      Meanwhile moderate GOP Republicans are going crazy watching their party slide into potential unelectability as these types not only influence and inform Trump, but turn off those of non-European background from the GOP, even demographics mean they will be the majority.

  6. The real irony is that we bombed the shit out of these countries for reasons unknown . Then when the civilians flee for their lives we try and send them back to where they were being bombed by us!
    Now yes it’s not all us but Saudi Arabia , Qatar UK , USA are sponsoring all sorts of evil blood thirsty groups in these places .
    Stop the wars stop Refugees fleeing for their lives .
    Simple really .. But no one no one the media ever makes this point . USA , Aus and their allies are the cause of all this Mayhem .
    Just get the fck out of these countries save the budget money too

  7. Well said Chris and thanks for having the guts to say it. “European” settlers invaded Australia and dumped their human waste here in the form of criminals. As descendants of these said criminals (and others) we have decided that it is our country, we “earn’t” it and have worked hard to make it prosperous. The facts being it is a vast land, blessed with huge natural wealth with a very small, lucky, privileged population. When the world was really big Australia was a small island and very hard to get to, now that the world is a very small place Australia is an oasis just across the water. Just because we were born here or arrived legally (lets not talk about the indigenous), do we really own this country? There is no easy answers, or even a hard answer, but to pretend we are doing the refugees a favour by stopping the traffickers is a joke. If it was about safe passage, and not that we don’t won’t them here, why don’t we send the Canberra to Indonesia and pick them up??? Abbott and Morrison religious hypocrites.

    • ‘“European” settlers invaded Australia and dumped their human waste here in the form of criminals’

      Whoa, scale back on the white guilt. You make enough laws, and everyone is a criminal. The laws that sent a lot of convicts to Australia included sodomy, being a trade union member and stealing a loaf of bread to feed a starving family.

      A construct of property rights, where the have-nots were ordained ‘trash’.

      In a religious conflict, they’re probably fighting over interpretation, and those who have the “wrong” message…. would also be ‘heathens/infidels’ … trashy enough to kill.

      Ergo, if one wanted to hate, these fleeing Syrians are trash.

      Philip, everyone.

  8. The Abbott government is the worst I’ve ever experienced since I started voting over 30 years ago. The man is a disgrace, as is his crew.

    And I also think that we should welcome genuine refugees into our community, as we do. I live in Canberra, and the racial makeup of the city has changed markedly over the last ten years for the better. I’d be willing to bet that most of the black folks I see looking prosperous in the malls these days originally came here as refugees and asylum seekers. I certainly don’t think that the tone of the NYT is fair.

    Having said that…and I realise that others have different and valid vviews…I really believe that people who arrive here without due process should be returned to their place of origin, no matter how they arrived or where they come from. I believe (correct me if I’m wrong) that the largest class of “illegal immigrants” consists of young British, European and American people who arrive by plane and overstay their student and holiday visas. If that’s the case then the Gummint should get cracking rounding them up and shipping them home.

    A nation that does not control its borders will sooner or later end up not being a nation.

    • A nation that does not control its borders will sooner or later end up not being a nation.

      And that would be the best possible outcome. Since we invented states and nations poor people were dying on masses for these ideals they never benefited from.

      • Rome could be a case, Charlemagne moreso, but either the Holy Roman Empire, or the England/UK after the Magna Carta (in a western sense) brought about the prospect of the ‘nation’ as we know it.

        I would assert the poor of today are richer than the poor of those times, and perhaps a few classes above.

  9. my mum and her family are all refugees..after patiently waiting years in a refugee camp with literally nothing

    we can’t take everyone in

    we need compassion, so those countries bordering Iraq and Syria, for example, should be paid billions to help give them temporary shelter, for years if necessary

    it is very sad to see desperate people…but there must be order

  10. What kind of evil fuck tries to gain political advantage from this?

    Mr Abbott said on Friday: “If you want to stop the deaths, if you want to stop the drownings you have got to stop the boats.

    “We saw yesterday on our screens a very sad, poignant image of children tragically dead at sea in illegal migration,” Mr Abbott told ABC radio.

    “Thankfully, we have stopped that in Australia because we have stopped the illegal boats.
    “We have said to the people smugglers: ‘Your trade is closed down.’
    “If you want to keep people safe, you have got to stop illegal migration and that’s what we have done.”

    • Exactly, “Keep them safe” by sending them back to their deaths, or failing that a living hell in a 3rd World tropical detention centre. Lovely stuff.

    • on the contrary, he could have endorsed the trade of human traffic which sets vulnerable ill-equipped people onto the high seas with a very real chance of perishing prior to arriving back on land…. how is this trade not worth condemning? Anything a Pollie says could be viewed as point-scoring if you frame it like that. geeze

      • on the contrary, he could have endorsed the trade of human traffic which sets vulnerable ill-equipped people onto the high seas with a very real chance of perishing prior to arriving back on land…. how is this trade not worth condemning?

        Yeah. Those people hiding Jews and smuggling them across the borders in WW2. Helping black slaves get out of the American South. All complete monsters.

      • @ Smith

        How many people profited from assisting Jews escape persecution from NAZIS during WWII? was a mature lack-market money-making trade established can you enlighten me? or are you comparing apples with bananas?

      • How many people profited from assisting Jews escape persecution from NAZIS during WWII? was a mature lack-market money-making trade established can you enlighten me? or are you comparing apples with bananas?

        I’m happy to admit to not being an expert of WW2. However,

        a) it’s almost inconceivable there were not people “profiting” from hiding and smuggling Jews.
        b) you are presenting an absolutist position that people smuggling never helps anyone, which is both stupid and wrong.

  11. We should massively increase our funding to the bordering states, Turkey and Jordan, implement a free trading zone and really improve their lot there. There are other ways that we can help other than just moving them from one country to another. Bringing them here is one of many options, not without its own pitfalls. These migrations are only going to increase due to poor resource usage and massive population increases in these countries. Can’t take em all.

    • interested party

      Forget Jordan. They have massive water issues. Flat-out looking after their own.
      In fact…..they may be added to the refugee list in time because of lack of water.

      • you are right of course, many of those countries are going to go belly up due to their poor usage of water resources and massive population growth.

  12. A shameful shameful situation. What we have is politicians conflating issues left and right to create a position that they think will advance their own narrow interests. At the expense of a genuine humanitarian tragedy.

    In Abbotts case, he sees an opening in public opinion that is wary of muslim extremism, and aided and abetted by the right wing press, exploits it with a toxic cocktail of so-called border security, national security, traffic congestion and over-stretched infrastructure etc. All over a few thousand refugees, who are demonised and treated as if they’re the scum of the earth when in fact they’re just mostly decent people, some very educated, trying whatever they can to escape torture, persecution and death. On the other side of his face he touts Australia as “open for business” and cheers his business cronies bringing in and profiting from a huge wave of immigration.

    Of course, the first is used to divert attention from the second.

    We see pretty much the same story unfolding in the UK, where a few thousand refugees (versus the 800k Germany is receiving, with far less complaining) are used to scapegoat the concerns of a population fed up with overcrowding (which as ever is actually caused not by any refugees but by the big-business interests of remaining part of the EU).

    The common feature? Murdoch press.

    • A shameful situation indeed!

      I find it hard to stomach criticism levelled against the current government though, without sharing the blame equally with Labor.

      Labor, by default it would seem, have been disgusting cheerleaders (if not instigators) for every immoral, self serving act of political bastardry visited upon our refugees.

      Not a cigarette paper between them.

  13. It’s not OK to discriminate based on any inborn characteristic but somehow it became desirable to discriminate based on citizenship which is mainly inborn characteristics. Citizenshipism became dominant discrimination ideology of our age, strong enough to justify killing (or letting people die) based only on a check box characteristic called citizen. Somehow, in last few decades, natural human rights got transformed into bureaucratic citizen rights and none even noticed. Non-citizens somehow lost their rights: Right to life, freedom from torture, freedom from slavery, right to a fair trial, freedom of movement ….

    The descendants of old age boat non-citizens who invaded another continent created an ideology to justify their immoral criminal acts.

    • “The descendants of old age boat non-citizens who invaded another continent created an ideology to justify their immoral criminal acts.”

      When you approach an abstract from an emotive point of view, rather than a logical point of view, you will assert the type of tosh you just did.

      Pointing out what happened to aboriginal Australia is actually an argument to secure borders, ‘except the evil do’ers deserve it.. .karma !!!”

      • pointing out what happened in past is done to explain grand scale of hypocrisy they grew as a cancer on Australian body

      • Who grew ‘as a cancer’?

        European settlers?

        What with the dehumanising language?

        I understand to those that are approaching this from an emotive perspective, it would appear hypocritical, but it’s actually rational thinking.

    • Empiricism changing to having internationalism changing to neoliberalism is simply those in control understanding that there is a need to adapt to changes of technology, etc. Those adaptions are to either keep masses ignorant or indoctrinate. Of course many of those indoctrinated is due to their ignorance, but many act due to nature. Woe the ones who act simply in ignorance. Those who do not, I hope all your hopes become undone. Those in between, maybe it is fair for the ones close to you to deal with you, whether family or work associates.

  14. It is morally indefensible to prevent a single refugee or migrant entering a country that can offer them a safer and more prosperous existence than the one they are fleeing from. Until social, economic and political conditions have equalized across the world’s nation states, unimpeded migration is a necessity.

    Currently there are roughly twice as many people living in Sub-Saharan Africa and MENA as there are in Europe. By 2050, at around 2.5 billion, this will be 4-5 times Europe’s projected population.

    Given that level of population growth, in Africa especially, it is going to be very difficult to sustain gains in living standards without substantial emigration. Indeed, the ecological constraints Sub-Saharan Africa is already facing are increasingly urgent. Just as the relief valve of emigration from Europe to the US during the 19th Century was critical for Europe’s development, so will be emigration from SSA and MENA to Europe in the 21st.

    In absolute terms, Europe must ready itself for the largest wave of international migration in human history over the next 2-3 decades.

    • Keep having children in Africa and the Middle east and house them all in Europe, what could possibly go wrong. That’s the way to raise living standards!

      Everyone could live in Germany.

    • When the EU was being nutted out I recall some critics saying open borders was all well and good, until it wasn’t. At that point it was expected that countries would progressively reintroduce border restrictions, in need limiting migration flow. The process would be uneven, messy and may even result in military conflict if not carefully managed. The world will be watching how the EU (and other nations) handle this very complicated human drama.

      Numbers are manageable now, just, but as you suggest, are likely to escalate to tipping point.

      • darklydrawlMEMBER

        Yes,,, Good Point 3d1k. I would say there are no easy solutions to this. Clearly stopping the corruption and fighting ‘back home’ would be a good place to start. Easy to say, difficult to execute.

      • FiftiesFibroShack

        The conflict is looking like it’s not far off. Extremists have been gathering to taunt refugees as they arrive.

    • And when the old blood Europeans decide enough is enough, it will be like the Normandy Landings. Live.

  15. … and meanwhile, legal immigration continues at a ridiculous pace, and not a peep from most people and definitely nothing from our political leadership.

    I’m as enthusiastic about putting on a shiny Border Force uniform and breaking a federal law or three in order to kick the crap out of refugees as anyone. But somehow I think I’d be much less enthusiastic if Australian politicians didn’t blow the asylum seeker issue out of proportion, aided by a hysterical and corrupt media. I suspect if politicians instead stated that our legal immigration level was too high and that it should be reduced, and that throwing out rule of law and decency in order to scare away what is really a small number of refugees is not worth it as it will corrupt your institutions, I might take off my shiny foreigner stomping boots and focus on something else… like the fact that Australia’s cost base is crazy expensive and workers have their wealth stripped in order that it be given to the asset rich.

    Australia has become this way because its people are easily led, its media is corrupt, and its politicians are unprincipled cads. However, all of these 3 stem from the people. The people choose to consume the rubbish media, and for years have voted for awful politicians.

    The coming depression in Australia will change things. Once the aspirationals start losing their jobs en mass, they’ll be looking for someone to blame. Since Tones ‘stopped the boats’, they certainly won’t be able to blame refugees. They’ll focus their rage somewhere else… given that they’re starting to notice the foreigners who are buying up houses and leaving them empty, I suspect I know where that rage will go. The depression will smash the high immigration policy.

    • People are getting angry. I have notice this change more recently. They no longer tolerate the crowds, the empty houses and the alienation of what used to be an accommodating culture, to enrich the favoured few.

  16. “Instead we send in RAAF bombers to attack the source of the problem – ISIS (whose birth was the abortion that was the Iraq War) and the Syrian civil war”

    ISIS is an American tool that has run wild. Ditti the so called “moderate” rebels. We are now getting calls from top American brass to arm Al Nusra (that’s Al Qaeda for the uninitiated). This entire refugee crisis can be traced back directly to US imperialistic meddling.

    Why is it that that previously the Syrian airforce was striking more ISIS targets in a week then the entire coalition have in a month. What purpose does an American enforced no fly zone in southern Syria serve, other than to ensure that forces loyal to Assad cannot provide any type of air support against ISIS positions in these areas. The USA will get serious about wiping ISIS out after it serves the purpose of ousting Assad. If reports are to be believed this entire sh*t show has now attracted direct Russian involvement. A further dangerous development, adding a second military super power to this powder keg.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Its Turkey and Saudi Arabia, that are ISISs main backers not the US.
      ISIS was inevetable once Sadam was overthrown and the shia put in charge and the US wouldn’t have given a fuck one way or another as the powers at be were to bussy making a fortune out of a taxpayer funded, trillion dollar war

      • “Its Turkey and Saudi Arabia, that are ISISs main backers not the US”

        Absolutely, but they couldn’t be so without implicit or tacit support from the US.

      • Even more to the point, Saudi Arabia is Terrorism Inc. They are the money that bank rolls terror everywhere, from the Horn of Africa to the Mid-East all the way to the Caucuses. If i were American it would make me proud to be in bed with the country that “sling-shotted” two planes into NY, but alas this is whimsical irony that can only be achieved by an American.

  17. FiftiesFibroShack

    Using that kids death to flog a three word slogan was a real low point for us.

    What’s the option for those running from “The Death Cult” and/or the bombing of their homes? Anything other than getting on a boat to safety?

    We have a lot of garbage people in positions of influence. Drop them into Syria and see what they’ll do to get out. Arrg, just garbage people.

    • You forgot the other options FFS. For a man (or a boy) you can hang around and have your head sawn off, or be crucified. For a woman (or girl) you can become a sex slave to be passed around, flogged and burnt, and then beheaded.

    • Using that kids death to flog a three word slogan was a real low point for us.

      You should strap in. I daresay we’re going to go lower.

  18. “why is multiculturalism forced on the people of europe?”

    Because they don’t have the balls to tell America to f*ck off, and fend for themselves? The entire Euro zone experiment is a wider extension of the Euro-Atlantacist pact. Everything happening to Europe right now can be traced back to the lack of fortitude of their leaders. They deserve everything they have coming to them. The Americans couldn’t care less. They can start a silly war on any continent and not have to worry about blow back such as a refugee crisis. I for one am not shedding any tears for Euro member states.

  19. We need to let absolutely anybody that wants to come here in. By boat, plane whatever. This way we can say we are the world’s most leftiest nation and will be left alone by the new york times, whose approval we so desperately crave. REVOLUCION!!!

  20. Great article and sentiment. Particularly:

    “Why can’t a nation that has not suffered any strife, any war – hell, even any economic recession in over 20 years – not send a ship of that size to the Medittarean and say – how can we help?”

    Sad to note that this simple message seems lost on posters here, who prefer to focus on our borders, and who is a worthy migrant and who isn’t, and what our country needs. If you took a whole of issue view, you’d start helping the masses close to the source of their trouble, starting with the neediest.
    You’d look to make good diplomatic ties out of it in the troubled region, and maybe have some negotiating leverage when it comes to the broader issues…..but no, our fearless leaders think bombing a country that we are not at war with is justified because they posted videos on youtube. This is the result ISIS wants. This is what our leaders appear to want. Wars are good for business after all.

  21. Bertrand Russell

    The greatest threat to all sovereign societies is mass migration. Period – no ifs or buts. It threatens to even undermine our ability to deal with global warming.

    The greatest cause of mass migration will be environmental causes – drought primarily, then sea then crop failure, then level rise.

    There is no stopping a tsunami of people wandering into your land – and the consequences are simply overwhelming.

    People do not realise the starkness of mass migration – it is utterly overwhelming – we have not seen it yet – we will.

    Think locusts – several thousand times bigger.

    • That we have the technology, the wealth and the ability to feed and shelter all of humanity but choose not to do so, must surely indicate that the sovereign society model is flawed, failing and fucking two thirds of the planet in the arse….

      Borders that are mostly imaginary, were created through many and various acts of corruption and bastardry, and I’d say we were overdue for a corrective tide. You say locusts, I’d say human beings, en masse, getting sick of being sanctioned, bombed and preached to about sovereignty by people with no real concept that their wealth is merely an accident of birth.

      • interested party

        It’s not the sovereign society model that is flawed…..it is the socio-economic model that is flawed.
        Granted, the sovereign model has had its time though. Cheap energy has expedited the next phase of human evolution…the great homogenization. We are seeing the effects of that being fought off by the old guard as we speak. Abbott et al are dinosaurs in the big picture, clinging to the skirt of past history.

    • interested party

      Bertrand,
      Are you aware of the crop failure and drought in the New Guinea highlands?
      If no rain falls…..Port Moresby will be a fun place…..more funner that I recall and that was hairy enough.
      Cape York may cop some pressure from these people in time.

  22. The one point that many, in fact everyone here has elided past is that most “refugees” are not genuine refugees, many are economic migrants and others seeking a better life as part of some “promised land” narrative.

    I’m compassionate, yet also understand the realities here: The EU situation is one that is unsustainable, socially harmful (in the long term) and a band aid for the causes of mass migration in the first place. It is easy to look at those being critical of the situation and say “you’re just detached sociopaths!” however the reality is that there are nations to govern and bringing in migrants en masse (don’t get me wrong, I disagree with mass importing of labour too) is not the ideal way to create the societies we want.

    There is a point where you have to sit down and think “we’re trying to manage societies here, what is the best way we can achieve the goals we want?”. Because I can tell you now you’d be very hard pressed to come to the conclusion those seeking asylum should be let in en masse – the decision would be made emotively, not rationally.

    • The one point that many, in fact everyone here has elided past is that most “refugees” are not genuine refugees, many are economic migrants and others seeking a better life as part of some “promised land” narrative.

      [Citation needed.]

      “Economic migrants” arrive in planes, with work visas, which we and most of the rest of the western world are happy to hand out like candy in the name of suppressing wages.

      • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

        Yes and its the discontent, at the effects that these kind of migrants have on Australian living standards and opportunities, that had the working class voting for the conservative governments of Howard and Abbott.
        It was a major propaganda achievement, deceiving large swathes of the public into believing that it was Refos stealing their jobs and pricing their kids out of home ownership.
        The whole refugee “debate” was inreality, a sly,defacto-immigration and multiculturalism debate.

        The public were never consulted in the decision to massive expand immigration (the population ponzi)
        and innocent refugees became the fall guys for the effects.

        I say cut immigrant numbers but massively increase the Refo intake.

      • Well I made this comment with you in mind, so it accomplished its goal.

        You will note I stated I’m not in favour of labour importing (economic migrancy), the goal here is to manage our society and create the best society possible.

        You know very well this is uncitable and you beg the question regardless.

        The fact is there is an enormous issue in europe that will only get worse, the attitude amongst those arriving is that europe is the promised land, with the UK being the final destination and the most utopian.

        http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21657838-many-migrants-think-britain-promised-land-it-no-milk-less-honey

        Now is the point where you infer this isn’t representative and we can’t know their motivations, so the natural order is to insert your own perceptions of their motivations in place of this.

        The crux? The reality is that migrancy is a symptom of a problem, a problem we are unwilling to treat and governments have actively been stoking for years (really, look at the factionalisation in the ME). Prevention – in this case building stable systems – is better than a band-aid fix of mass migration. Do not make the assumption these migrants are all of good character or intent and will mix well for they will not – some invariably will be, others less so.

        Anyway, M.A.

      • You know very well this is uncitable and you beg the question regardless.

        Your claim is that “most migrants” are not “genuine”.

        (Conveniently you fail to define “genuine”, thus allowing you an out no matter what, and then you have the cheek to accuse me of engaging in fallacy.)

        If we define “genuine” as “whatever a given countries requires to be issued a refugee visa” then all the evidence points to most refugees being “genuine”.

        So, in truth, you can most certain cite evidence relevant to your claim, but you don’t like what it says.

        The fact is there is an enormous issue in europe that will only get worse, the attitude amongst those arriving is that europe is the promised land, with the UK being the final destination and the most utopian.

        Well that’s a remarkable marketing campaign by the Poms, is all I can say, if they’re perceived as Europe’s Utopia.

        Here I was thinking most of them were headed for Germany and the welfare-generous Northern European countries. That’s what the rest of the news reports seem to be saying.

        Now is the point where you infer this isn’t representative and we can’t know their motivations, so the natural order is to insert your own perceptions of their motivations in place of this.

        Actually this is where I say if they’re not refugees they won’t be issued with visas and will have to leave. Like happens in Australia.

        If that’s not what happens in the UK, then that’s the UK’s problem to solve.

        The crux? The reality is that migrancy is a symptom of a problem, a problem we are unwilling to treat and governments have actively been stoking for years (really, look at the factionalisation in the ME). Prevention – in this case building stable systems – is better than a band-aid fix of mass migration. Do not make the assumption these migrants are all of good character or intent and will mix well for they will not – some invariably will be, others less so.

        Yes ? Who do you think disagrees with this ?

  23. Why can’t a nation that has not suffered any strife, any war – hell, even any economic recession in over 20 years – not send a ship of that size to the Mediterranean and say – how can we help?

    Dude, you’re living in the past.. Today’s Australia is very very different from the one you wish it was. You can’t expect a nation to be compassionate towards others when it’s not even compassionate towards its own citizens (I’m referring to the government’s continuous refusal to change the tax laws that favor the rent seekers at the expense of the young generation’s future). Sad but it is what it is..

    • That’s right.

      “Australia runs an overly generous immigration program for economic migrants arriving via aeroplane or the back door (e.g. international students), yet is so harsh on genuine refugees that arrive by boat. Why?”

      Genuine refugees don’t have any money to donate to the LNP or contribute to the wealth of the existing land owners by bidding up house prices. Case closed.

    • greedypuppyMEMBER

      not to mention the Strong on Border Protection crap Abbott and Morrison et al push while at the same time criminally happy to give any protection away under a badly thought out free trade agreement with China ..

  24. The most fucked thing about this, is not the ‘Stop the Boats’ policy, which is pretty fucked up already. The fact that the policy has been executed so poorly, and we are spending so much, that not only are we indefinitely imprisoning men, women and children in a 3rd world nation but we can’t even guarantee their safety while they’re being ‘processed’.

    An unbelievable amount of evidence has come to light and been published day after day about women and children being sexually abused, living in squalid and unhygienic conditions, children attempting to kill themselves, state-sanctioned rape. And yet there seems to be no real take-up, no one really seems to care? It’s fucking incredible in my view. Even the staunchest of conservative should be horrified about the treatment of these people.

    I mean, if we can treat these people the way we are while things are still pretty good, what is going to happen to them once the economy really hits the shitter?

    • That’s how women and children are treated in Muslim societies. Why do you think they want to come here? Nobody will accept that Islam in it’s various forms are the cause of all of this. Every single one of the refugees would be at home happy were it not for Islam.If they would renounce their mad religious dogma, they would be more welcome and may even assimilate. Until then, keep them out. You may welcome a cancer in your safe western democracy, but not everyone does.

  25. Maybe the west should increase their funding of ISIS. That might solve the problem, or it might spectacularly backfire when the Chinese and Russians decide to help fighting the evil “death cult”.

  26. International disgrace

    Take more

    Get funding from IOM/IMG/whatever

    Have special zones — not the capitals — where jobs including govt depts move to, and tax treatment for corporates/HQ

    Develop.

    Northern Australia
    Water pipelines
    NBN
    TGVs
    Northern NSW – solar farms
    Related services: accounting, engineering, doctors, laywers, farmers, mechanics, boilermarkers, sparkies (related training), teachers, musicians, bakers, artists
    The list goes on

    We could take 500,000 of these poor b#stards easily

    If you disagree you’re not thinking properly

    What’s clear is we’re seen as a pack of utter See You Next Tuesdays and that’s all down to Tony f$cking Abbott and also Labor for supporting it

    Voting green would be a good start
    (3d1k your comment is not welcome, nothing personal)

    • 500k is an interesting number- if we did that and Germany took three times as many roughly in line with its population relative to Oz that would be all the approx 1.9 mill refugees the UN reckons there are in Syria. If the EU and the US joined in, you could completely empty Syria of people.

      • Just pulled the number out of mon derriere (wait is bum masculine or feminine?)

        And Fitzroy, hard is relative

        Watching these people being slaughtered is hard

        You say hard, I say draw up the plans and get can do

      • Or burned alive. Plenty are economic migrants too. The Saudis who are responsible for a much of this will take zero. Many don’t want to go to Hungary, Greece, Italy they want to go to Germany.

  27. Reverse desertification in North Africa by restoring the large, small and local water cycles and that part of the world, fertile and green several thousand years ago, would again be able to support a significant human population. Refugee problem solved. The World Bank assisted in restoring the devastated Loess plateau in China; they could easily do the same in North Africa.

    • ErmingtonPlumbingMEMBER

      Here is a good idea using nuclear bombs. Maybe Israel could help.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qattara_Depression_Project

      “They wanted to make use of peaceful nuclear explosions to construct a tunnel, drastically reducing construction costs compared to conventional methods. This project proposed to use 213 devices, with yields of 1 to 1.5 megatons detonated at depths of 100 to 500 metres (330 to 1,640 ft). This fit within the Atoms for Peace program proposed by President Dwight Eisenhower in 1953.”

      Well,….it didn’t seem silly in 1953.

    • interested party

      The problem here is that establishing the required permaculture systems will not happen fast enough for the mass exodus of humanity from these zones. Problems are outpacing the solutions.
      10 years ago would have been the best time to get these systems up and established…….now the traumas are shutting down complete societies, and needed beneficial infrastructure is being reduced to rubble and dust. As much as I believe permaculture is the solution….it has to fit the situation. Maybe after the lead stops flying we can make a start…….not yet though.

      • Hi interested party

        The World Bank could do a lot worse than to contract Geoff Lawton to expand his project in Jordon and extend it to those parts of the Middle East and North Africa that are not engulfed in internecine struggles. Training the trainer is part of the solution as well to allow amplification of the beneficial effects of the methods proposed by visionaries like Lawton, Holmgren, Andrews and Savory. Once people can grow their own food successfully in these arid regions and start to revegetate the landscape with trees and perennial ground covers then the water cycles start to normalise, moisture is extracted from the air and the dry land gets to rehydrate. So I say start now, regardless.

      • interested party

        “extend it to those parts of the Middle East and North Africa that are not engulfed in internecine struggles.”…….absolutely.

        “So I say start now, regardless.”………….already projects underway so easily expandable……as it will be.

        You are preaching to the converted here. I have completed a PDC under Geoff and know that permaculture is the only hope we have to turn things around. My original comment was regarding Syria and the nearby troubled regions that are forcing the refugee movements.

  28. “HOME,” -by Somali poet Warsan Shire:

    no one leaves home unless
    
home is the mouth of a shark

    you only run for the border

    when you see the whole city running as well

    your neighbours running faster than you
    
breath bloody in their throats

    the boy you went to school with

    who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
    
is holding a gun bigger than his body

    you only leave home

    when home won’t let you stay.

    no one leaves home unless home chases you
    
fire under feet
    
hot blood in your belly
    
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
    
until the blade burnt threats into
    
your neck
    
and even then you carried the anthem under

    your breath
    
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
    
sobbing as each mouthful of paper

    made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

    you have to understand,
    
that no one puts their children in a boat
    
unless the water is safer than the land

    no one burns their palms
    
under trains
    
beneath carriages
    
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
    
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
    means something more than journey.
    
no one crawls under fences

    no one wants to be beaten
    
pitied

    no one chooses refugee camps
    
or strip searches where your

    body is left aching
    
or prison,
because prison is safer
    
than a city of fire

    and one prison guard
    
in the night

    is better than a truckload

    of men who look like your father

    no one could take it
    
no one could stomach it

    no one skin would be tough enough

    the

    go home blacks
    
refugees

    dirty immigrants

    asylum seekers
    
sucking our country dry

    niggers with their hands out

    they smell strange
    
savage
    
messed up their country and now they want
    
to mess ours up
    
how do the words
    
the dirty looks
    
roll off your backs

    maybe because the blow is softer
    
than a limb torn off

    or the words are more tender

    than fourteen men between 
your legs
    
or the insults are easier 
to swallow
    
than rubble

    than bone

    than your child body
    
in pieces.
    
i want to go home,

    but home is the mouth of a shark

    home is the barrel of the gun
    
and no one would leave home

    unless home chased you to the shore
    
unless home told you 
to quicken your legs
    
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert

    wade through the oceans
    
drown

    save
    
be hunger
    
beg

    forget pride

    your survival is more important
    no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear

    saying-
leave,

    run away from me now

    i dont know what i’ve become

    but i know that anywhere
    
is safer than here.

    • And when it works out it is great, when it doesn’t it is 5 rapes in a week within a month of arrival. Hakeem[2007] VSC 5

  29. Weekend passed, some reflection.

    Most generous per capita refugee intake nation, a great place to live, a generally kind and accomodating people. Yet most commenters above shat all over Australia. I guess they’ll be the next flux of the global migrant crisis. Good.

    • Mr Abbott has made it clear there will be no increase to total refugee intake, and unless population growth went negative since the last ABS release, we are therefore taking fewer refugees per head.

      In fact, apart from the temporary increase in 2012-2013, we have been taking fewer refugees per head every year for at least eight years now.