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banging an old drum « Previous | |Next »
April 17, 2009

Doesn't the old hang on in the new? The Liberals are banging the old drum about border security, bad asylum seekers, boat people and soft on security. It is just like a replay of the old children overboard affair with its undercurrent of Asian hordes invading Australia.

Apparently desperate people in Afghanistan decided to catch a slow boat to fair Australia because they read The Australian and were informed that the Rudd Government had gone soft on the processing of asylum seekers. Open borders all round.

Koudelkaboatpeople.jpg Kudelka,

Sure this, is a mockery of the conservative rhetoric, but my exaggeration is not that great. Thus Greg Sheridan in The Australian says:

There is no doubt the Rudd Government has been widely reported internationally as softening Australian border controls. That must act as a magnet for illegal immigrants. At the same time, there has been a general rise in illegal immigrants and asylum seekers around the world...The problem with taking a soft line on asylum seekers is that you end up establishing that virtually anyone who can physically get to Australia can stay. That will greatly encourage people-smuggling, with all the risks and tragedies this involves.There is also no evidence that the Australian people have any appetite for an unregulated inflow of people in this manner. Such an inflow could easily accelerate rapidly out of control.

The phrases "virtually anyone who can get to Australia can stay" , "unregulated flow", "accelerate out of control" are the rhetoric of the politics of fear. And that is what is being deployed by the conservatives.

The reality is that most asylum seekers arrive by plane, many are sent back, whilst the asylum seekers who arrive by boat are processed on Christmas Island. Children are treated more humanely,d the so-called "Pacific Solution", which had people sent to Nauru has been abolished and it has scrapped temporary protection visas, as well as reforming detention policy. As Michell Grattin points out in The Age:
.

..intercepted boat arrivals are taken to Christmas Island, where the Government uses the big custom-built centre commissioned by its predecessor. Even after their initial checks, these people can't leave the island until their cases are determined.Under the processing there, asylum seekers don't have access to Australian law because the "excision" provision, passed by the Howard government, prevents this. If a person's claim is rejected there is no appeal to an Australian court. Almost all these arrivals are, however, found to be refugees and are then settled in Australia permanently.

Notwithstanding this, the Opposition immigration spokeswoman Sharman Stone quickly blamed the Government for encouraging people-smuggling by moderating procedures for dealing with asylum seekers. This is running a scare campaign on border protection.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:01 AM | | Comments (10)
Comments

Comments

Colin Barnett, the WA Liberal Premier tried to recreate the children overboard strategy yesterday with his assertion that asylum seekers had set themselves alight.

Sharman Stone is prepared to use desperate asylum seekers as electoral fodder by banging the xenophobic drum.

They're whistling the same old xenophobic whistle and the same old dogs are responding as they have since Pauline Hanson.

As usual, all the facts in the world won't smother the outraged response. Outrage on both sides

I hope Rudd has the guts and sense to deal with this properly.

It's all about trying to invest some hope into the conservative movement that has seen better days. They look a bit rag tagged these days, are low in spirit and are desperate for a bit of lift that they are on the path to their glory days.

Poor Andrew Bolt. He is carrying their burden on his shoulders, the burden is heavy and the road is long.

Heavy burdens, long roads and undescended testicles. Lucky thing the Liberals are the natural home of the enduring human spirit which only white people of the Judeo Christian variety understand.

So far Rudd appears to be handling this well, talking about people smugglers trading in human misery. Probably could have done without hoping they all rot in hell.

Lyn,
he's a Christian. That is how he thinks.

The Liberals are not saying whether they would reinstate TPVs or other hard detention policies, whether they would reopen Nauru or reinstate full-blown mandatory detention. So theirs is a rhetorical message that appeals to the fear that is once again rising in line with the leaky boats' arrival.

The Liberals are hardening their rhetoric on boat people. Turnbull is now calling for the reintroduction of temporary protection visas to beef up border security.

yeah. a "tough on border security" stance locks in the conservative base behind the Coalition. The attack on big government in the name of market market doesn't really do the trick--to find that "cut through" message.

Remember, Rudd was elected by presenting as being just as tough on Howard on this issues. If The Luvvies should have learnt only lesson since Keating's defeat it should be this one.