November 26, 2012
Gillard Labor has pretty much adopted the Coalition’s policies on asylum seekers. They don't work in terms of deterrence. Australia will have a lot of asylum seekers to deal with in coming years because of the political upheaval in the region and the international flow of labor. All that's left for the ALP to adopt is towing the boats back to Indonesia.
What is puzzling is that neither political party is seriously canvassing a regional solution to slow the number of, asylum seekers arriving by boat by paying Indonesia and Malaysia to keep them there while their claims for refugee status are assessed by the UN.
I would have thought that this would be preferrable to the route towards forced labor camps where by irregular migrants become stateless ‘by geographic design’.
You get the impression that a regional solution is just rhetoric. All that matters is domestic politics-- that requires building a bare life in camps where asylum seekers are expunged from society and deprived of all rights and civil functions. What is crucial in the domestic politics is the management of the media and this is taking dominance over policy development and delivery.
There is a contradiction here: on the one hand, professing a neo-liberal commitment to liberalize the world economy and the other hand seeking to protect the interest of nation state and the l economic powerhouse in terms of Fortress Australia.