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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

a regional solution? « Previous | |Next »
June 6, 2011

Illegal immigration and asylum seekers are a hot political issues in Australia with the latter becoming a defining, visceral issue that burns deep into the body politic.

In an earlier post I suggested that the Malaysian solution to the asylum seeker issue had possibilities of becoming a regional solution. That possibility looks increasingly remote.

LeakB Asylum.jpg

The Gillard Government gives the appearance of struggling to finalise the deal with Malaysia, and there is little indication of other nations willing to engaging in such deals with it. Some are now accepting the Coalitions argument that the Pacific Solution is what is needed, as it would be better.

A detention centre on Nauru as a way to stop the boats means that w asylum seekers will end up in Indonesia and Malaysia. So it isn't a regional solution.

Any agreement with Malaysia can be s supported if it will lead to better protection, rights and resettlement outcomes for the thousands who are trapped inside the Malaysian borders. Will it? Labor will find that any arrangement that was not supported by UNHCR or by UNICEF Australia will be hard to sell. Australia is a signatory to the UN Convention on Refugees, has so a legal responsibility to respect the standards and principles of that Convention.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 9:34 AM | | Comments (7)


On a world stage Australia is probably looking like it is unable to cope with the issue and looking at poorly thought out plans involving other countries.
And we do have a history of poor human rights with aborigines.

I remember it was not so long ago that Gillard and Bowen were still pretending that the clearly dead in the water East Timor solution was still alive.

it seems to me that the Gillard Government has become desperate for any deal that would stop the boats coming to Australia. The issue has become so electorally toxic that they'll cut a deal with only a minimal commitment to human rights.

We are now in a situation in Australia where both major parties think that it is OK to lock up innocent people indefinitely in detention centres; even though most of them turn out eventually to be genuine refugees entitled to our protection.

Barrie Cassidy writes the following at the ABC's The Drium:

There are already signs that the sting has gone out of the asylum seekers debate with the Malaysian solution sending a clear and unambiguous message to both people smugglers and those contemplating the dangerous journey by boat.

Is that so?

I thought that Gillard and Bowen were still taking heavy punches from the right and the left over the Malaysian "solution". Will they crack under the pressure?

"The issue has become so electorally toxic that they'll cut a deal..."

I'm guessing it's most "toxic" in the swing seats... amongst Howard's battlers. I wonder how toxic it is across the electorate as a whole.

Yeah, moot point. I know.

The nub of the current situation revolves around the bizarre policy of refoulement of people, including unnacompanied children, to Malaysia and its harsh camps.
I fantasise that the government has structured the debate to produce a response in the public opposed to the weird refoulement policies, they are so ugly.
If Australians are prepared to accept this policy, and the lack of complaint indicates it, then we begin to wonder what options remain open to the government, in the wake of our own complicity.