I am not by nature an activist, but events of the last dozen years or so have driven me time and time again to protest.
Like millions of people, I march in demonstrations, I write to newspapers, discussion pages and now blogs. I busk and re-write familiar songs to pro-refugee or anti-war themes, and I write to the people most concerned, the politicians committing what I regard as crimes and the refugees whose lives have been impacted.
Again there’s so much of it out there that I only have representative fragments. I think the old Justice for Refugees group in Armidale kept all my letters to the local Independent from 2003 to 2005, including a public stoush with Philip Ruddock who incredibly replied to one of my letters after I’d met him and wrote about what I thought. They also have my letters from a girl from Afghanistan, 18-year old Sharifa, who was eventually released as a refugee but died tragically with her new baby in a stupid car accident due to some person passing them dangerously. Oh, I still cry sometimes for Sharifa.
This collection of letters is from the Guardian, a paper I used to read on the steps of a building site in London and recently rediscovered as having a great free-ranging discussion with post-moderation so you can really speak your mind. I know there are many people who despair at what we’re doing to refugees, our tendency to stupid wars, our negligence on climate change, but don’t know what to do. I hope my posts to the Guardian give you some ideas on how it can be done.
on My home is being swallowed by the sea. Will Australia do nothing?.30 May 2014 4:09am 28
Australia is failing the challenges of the 21st century. We have had our head in the sand about climate change for over thirty years. I first heard about it as a non-controversial scientific fact in the late eighties. It was clear even then the problem was huge and imminent.
By the mid-nineties the evidence in the form of global climate trends was starting to flood in. John Howard stalled on that for another decade, and was eventually forced to accept the need for emission controls.
We now have the basis of an emission control scheme, which Tony Abbott would like to stop, apparently because it contradicts his political philosophy. This seems to be misconception now peculiar to his party and their political advisers. They have sacked the scientists who have been advising them about the risks of climate change since about 1985.
We have also failed the demographic challenge of refugees, to the extent that we now treat people in genuine need and danger as if they are criminals or some kind of threat. As far as I can see it is the same side of politics in the same kind of denial, as if the real world and its problems are some kind of junior debating challenge. They’re wrong, and people are suffering for it.
The last thirty years have been wasted, and it may now be too late. With the collapse of the West Antarctic ice shelf we may find that Australia and the pacific islands are in the same lifeboat. All of our coastal capital cities and our most densely populated land areas will be degraded or destroyed.
I don’t have a crystal ball, no scientist does, but if you ignore a risk as great as this for as long as we have, with as much evidence of the coming danger, then the whole idea of civilization is a sham. I personally blame the likes of John Howard and George W Bush, who were in power at a time when this could have been averted. I have no doubt history will agree.
I would say we have one chance in twenty of getting it right now, and it will involve sacrifices and losses we cannot even imagine. The acceptance of Pacific Island refugees will be our first priority, and it will not be the kind of party-political jaywalk we have foolishly allowed to happen away until now.
I will vote for anyone who immediately implements the full emissions control scheme AND who immediately reverses the bizarre schizophrenia now poisoning our refugee policy. Any other policy, as far as I can see, is tantamount to murder-suicide on a global scale.
on Tony Abbott’s budget emergency: what are the facts?.13 May 2014 4:31am 3
Gillard did not lie about the carbon tax. The full text of her pre-election statement included “but we are committed to putting a price on carbon” which the LNP and NL journalists simply left off their quotes.
The whole direction of the Rudd-Gillard government was to introduce a carbon pricing scheme, which was destroyed by the greens’ insistence on a big 25% introductory rate (pipe-dream ridiculous and politically impossible) and then by the Phoney Rabbit’s intransigent bastardry and obstructionism.
To say Labor lied about the carbon tax is like saying Churchill lied about blood sweat and tears. He didn’t lie, and neither did Gillard. It’s Abbott’s lie, and you’d have to be really dumb or ideologically obsessed to believe it.
So Abbott’s whole ‘principled stand’ on political honesty and commitment to pre-election promises is based on a lie. For him now to turn around and break all his promises would have to make him historically Australia’s greatest liar of all time, well ahead of his mentor and the next obvious candidate for that crowning glory, good old Pauline Howard.
There comes a point where hypocrisy and stupidity are not good explanations for consistent failures to express the truth. Abbott is a crook. He should be locked up.
on Sadness and fear: what the drawings by children in detention showed us.13 May 2014 12:22am 7
Under Australian and international law it is not illegal for asylum seekers to enter Australia by any route. The Australian government is breaking these laws, not the asylum seekers.
Asylum seekers have next to zero options. They would not bring their children on a dangerous journey like this if they had some easy alternative. They cannot stay in Indonesia, refugees are acually illegal in most SE Asian countries, while people smuggling is just another small business like fishing or tourism.
There is an easy solution: Australia should go back to the pre-1996 policy of short detention for background health and security checks followed by community housing during refugee status determination. Naval patrols should be used to locate boats before they become a shipwreck risk.
We need to get this back in perspective. There are only small numbers of refugees who seek to come to Australia. Of 20 million refugees worldwide, there are signatory nations including Australia with a total population of about 820 million. That’s 2 percent. Australia’s share would amount to something close to the current refugee flow. It is a tiny factor in our overall population growth, including normal immigration.
The alternative you see in these children’s drawings, our complicity in in humane acts of total bastardry against our own laws and our own compassionate instincts. You think border protection is protecting Australia’s “cultural integrity”? In fact this whole anti-refugee madness is the biggest distortion of my native culture that I have ever witnessed, and it disgusts or scares me.
I would never permit this to be done in my name. I categorically reject it, and here’s my name:
Michael Gordon Evans
Armidale, NSW, Australia
on Tamil asylum seekers detained at sea for four weeks get court hearing.
13 Oct 2014 10:31pm30
Why is there even any question about the legality of detaining people under guard in enclosed spaces for most of a 28-day period? What crime have these Tamil refugees committed that we treat them like criminals?
The court should call Minister Scott Morrison to the dock to answer charges of human rights violations bordering on crimes against humanity for deaths and abuses against asylum seekers. Recognised refugees are still effectively detained by confinement on a small impoverished island with limited water and no future, probably endangered by either guards or care workers! Oh, with the alternative of a life of indentured agricultural labour in Cambodia, right.
What is wrong with the world? Morrison, answer!
on Tamil asylum seeker held at sea wasn’t asked basic questions, high court hears.
15 Oct 2014 12:51am
Great work Italy and the EU on humanitarian success of rescue operations for refugees in the Mediterranean. Hard times for everyone but Europeans clearly understand their economic troubles are small compared to the disasters of war in the Middle East and North Africa. Thank you for your inspiration and guidance.
Respect and Regards, Australia.
on ‘Torture’ of deported Afghan Hazara asylum seeker to be investigated.09 Oct 2014 10:30am 5
[re an article about refugees returning to Afghanistan being killed as well as demonised by Scott Morrison]
“People who are returned in these circumstances are found not to be refugees and not owed a protection by the Australian government. On that basis they have no lawful basis for remaining in Australia,” the minister said.
The Hazara in Afghanistan are a target of violent oppression by the Taliban. Being a Hazara basically means you are a refugee, this is a historical fact and no amount of hand waving by Scott Morrison can make the danger go away.
“Of eight Afghan refugees that were sent back under John Howard, six are dead and one is missing. Three were killed in the last 18 months for the reasons they left in the first place.”
Quote from Refugee Council of Australia President Phil Glendenning
on ‘Torture’ of deported Afghan Hazara asylum seeker to be investigated.09 Oct 2014 12:33pm 3
[re a post who actually managed to articulate all the hidden fears of conservative voters about a future racial meltdown due to excessive refugee immigration]
Finally, an honest answer! Just factually wrong:
The total number of boat arrivals in Australia from 07/08 to the end of 2013 was 36,000.
Since the early 2000’s the regular immigration rate has risen from 80,000 to around 190,000 per year. This is the number of places currently available under Australia’s immigration program.
Not a million refugees per year, more like about 20,000 maximum when things are at their worst, or about 3000 averaged over 2004 to 2013. So the historical maximum is about 10% of normal irrigation, and the historical average is more like 2%.
I think the thing that frightened people was the way the boat numbers seemed to grow in the Gillard-Rudd years. The last year of the graph was a spike up to 18,000, probably driven by refugees’ fear of the Abbott government closing the door, as actually happened. But the trend in all the years before that was a linear trend, just like normal immigration, which would take about another 50 years to reach 100,000. Forget 1 million per year. Maybe 1 million total by 2050, by which time immigration total would still be about ten times that, assuming a relentless linear increase.
That’s bordering on a lifetime, and I don’t have a crystal ball, but what I do see is the present fear and angst is completely mistaken. Fear feeds off itself, as does hatred and the seeds of war. Don’t go that way. Get a grip, do the maths, have a cuppa and a good lie down.
on ‘Torture’ of deported Afghan Hazara asylum seeker to be investigated.09 Oct 2014 10:01pm 3
[in reply to the same poster who protested that I had dishonestly fudged the figures]
I used the financial years from 07/08 being the first year of Rudd. Straight from Refugee Council as per my link, protection visa applications by boat arrival:
Apart from the last year this is not an unusual refugee stream. The spike was probably caused by last-minute jumps before Abbott closed the door.
I mentioned immigration because it is over ten times larger than the worst case spike. Orderly yes, but on the other side of the security barrier is an international humanitarian crisis that demands a not-business-as-usual approach.
Instead of destroying asylum seekers’ hopes still further, we could adjust the immigration rate by 5-10% and bingo, problem solved, we’re still in control and we don’t have blood on our hands.
The radical and damaging approach taken by Abbott and Morrison is crude, brutal and ultimately ineffective in solving anything other than the domestic political problem they created under John Howard. Are you mistaking crude brutality for simplicity and effectiveness? Let me tell you, quite honestly, it WON’T WORK.
on ‘Torture’ of deported Afghan Hazara asylum seeker to be investigated.10 Oct 2014 10:35
[in reply to the same poster who boasted that the coalition’s policy HAD worked in “stopping the boats”.]
It won’t work. Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison have solved the wrong problem. The problem is not the number of boats coming to Australia. The real problem is the huge number of refugees worldwide, who must essentially find their own way in a world of refugee camps and lifetime-long waiting lists.
We “lefty advocates” do not say that we should let all of these refugees into our country. You have misunderstood the imperfect best solution that the refugee convention provides. It does not mean we must take all of them, or that they could all ever even get here. Europe takes more than its share. America does likewise. Central Europe does what it can given its totalitarian past. Australia must do its share, which is responsibility to those that can make it here, under international law.
As Italy and Greece have shown, the risk of drowning is not a problem to countries with a well-resourced coastguard and no political interference. The problem is not the numbers of refugees arriving in Australia. These numbers are small by world standards, small per head of population and small by comparison to normal immigration.
on ‘Torture’ of deported Afghan Hazara asylum seeker to be investigated.10 Oct 2014 7:16am
[re a post who said there was no evidence of refugees being killed on reroulement to Afghanistan]
Australian Border Deaths Database, Monash University
Deaths: 11. Two females aged six and nine, and nine males. All 11 victims murdered in their homes in Afghanistan by locals calling them “spies” after being deported as a group from Australia.
That was 9/9/06. Incidentally there have been 31 other deaths due to refoulement, suicide or violence in detention, not counting medical conditions exacerbated by detention, mostly under LNP governments. Of 1495 deaths of asylum seekers (in Australia, en-route or refouled) since 21 December 2000, 850 or 57% occurred in the period September 2007 – September 2013.
on ‘Torture’ of deported Afghan Hazara asylum seeker to be investigated.10 Oct 2014 6:20am
[re a post who argued that Afghani refugees should apply to the four neighbouring countries, all signatories to the refugee convention.]
The four countries bordering Afghanistan are Iran, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and China, all of which are authoritarian post-communist basket cases riven internally with religious conflict and dissent.
The other nearest signatory nations are Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, Armenia and Turkey. You could say that Australia is the one country in the entire hemisphere that has the combination of low conflict, high prosperity, genuine democracy and multiculturalism, that are the essential conditions for success of the refugee convention.
Your recitation of the advantages of refugee movements into those listed countries neglects the documented poor outcomes of refugees that seek asylum in those neighbouring countries.
In fact the majority of afghan refugees do seek asylum in neighbouring countries, and though their outcomes are not ideal they are unable to return home. In most cases are living a half-life of informal recognition with no actual citizenship.
Australia is better than this, or used to be and would be still except for the irresponsibility of political misjudgements that have nothing to do with the circumstances of actual refugees and asylum seekers.
on ‘Torture’ of deported Afghan Hazara asylum seeker to be investigated.10 Oct 2014 3:36am
[re a post who accused me of not supporting the war against the Taliban, ie my hypocrisy now in supporting the Hazara]
Wrong again. I supported the war in Afghanistan against the bastards responsible for 9/11. Probably most of the world supported that war.
What we “surrender monkeys” (GWBush’s very nice language) rejected was the fatal overreach into Iraq, on the basis of cooked-up “evidence” implicating Saddam Hussein. The real evidence presented by security analysts of that time was that Iraq had no WMD, were ideological enemies of OBL’s Taliban, and were a religion-fractured tribal society unprepared for democracy over their traditional concept of a strong man leader.
We completely blew it in Iraq and lost the resources we needed to win the “right” war in Afghanistan. And you guys on the misnamed “right” are so predictably wrong it’s depressing.
on ‘Torture’ of deported Afghan Hazara asylum seeker to be investigated.09 Oct 2014 10:12pm 3
[re a post who was incredulous that I thought all this racial tension was just because of Pauline Hanson.]
Yes, before Pauline Hanson this country did not have a racial problem other than a vague annoyance at the number of new cultures on the street.
Please, tell me exactly what the new residents of Lakemba are doing that is so damaging to social cohesion, other than maintaining a semblance of their own familiar world and culture in Australia.
Where is your evidence that they were moving towards some kind of near-future overthrow of the classic white-Anglo culture? And OK, so if in fifty years time the country is unrecognisable, ask any grandfather, from any time in modern history, anywhere in the world, what it’s like to see the world change.
It’s normal. The problems are imaginary. They only become real when you start slapping that other culture and deploring how bad it all is?
What exactly have they ever done other than punch a surf lifesaver in Cronulla, and we know how well that turned out for “Australia”.
on ‘Torture’ of deported Afghan Hazara asylum seeker to be investigated.09 Oct 2014 1:05pm 5
[that same futile discussion extended to blame and re-name the real bastards in this tragedy]
The last decade’s social cohesion has been eroded by reactionary types like Pauline Howard and Tiny Abbott (and I don’t call names lightly) who can’t stand to share a footpath with someone who looks different to them, or rather cynically using the politics of such types to promote their ideology.
What’s happening in Lakemba is called demographic change, and it’s normal. Do you think Australia stayed the same even in the golden years of white Australia? You reckon old codgers liked where things were going in 1932, or any other year? Get a grip. Countries change, new people are not your enemy, refugees least of all.
on Afghan Hazara asylum seekers to be forcibly deported from Australia.09 Oct 2014 12:41pm
[re a post who accuses me of budging all my life and expecting others to pay]
Oh bullshit. I have worked hard all my life. Strangely enough, tiny abbott is no friend of mine. Are you seriously trying to use the Abbott government’s employment figures to justify your poor excuse for an argument?
Tealybook, they’re paying you too much. There’s plenty to go round, fortunately for you.
on Afghan Hazara asylum seekers to be forcibly deported from Australia.09 Oct 2014 11:14am
[re a post who argued I needed a maths lesson about the numbers of potential refugees, then failed to actually do any maths]
So do the maths then. Of Hazaras living in Taliban-dominated areas, a fraction are routinely targeted to prove the power that is held over them, and a friction of those escape. Again of those, a fraction escape by land to Indonesia and then Australia. On the historical record that’s a number in the low thousands, total, all time.
We owe asylum to genuine refugees who come to ask for it. That’s not big numbers. We are a prosperous country whatever these lying fear-merchants in power will tell you, and we can afford a few thousand more refugees. Australia is not a life boat, but a basket case on this issue.
on ‘Torture’ of deported Afghan Hazara asylum seeker to be investigated.09 Oct 2014 11:03am
[in friendly reply to a poster who tangled with another friendly about whether Morrison is a psychopath or merely a “sociopath”.
I would say psychopath on what I have seen so far of Scott Morrison. His boss tiny abbott is a classic sociopath, but Morrison is … something else.
on ‘Torture’ of deported Afghan Hazara asylum seeker to be investigated.09 Oct 2014 10:59am 8
[re a post who is clearly terrified by the prospect of Australia having to take so many refugees]
Hazaras are targeted by the Taliban for being anything other than cowed and silent. Not all of them are singled out to be killed, and not all of them are in territory controlled by the Taliban. The ones who are targeted by Taliban in areas under Taliban control and who have fled to safe countries including Australia, are by our own definition refugees.
The numbers of Hazara refugees worldwide is in the tens of thousands, but not millions or even hundreds of thousands. Worldwide it’s true that there are many millions of refugees who deserve our protection and will never get the chance.
What’s your solution? Should they all live useless lives as refugees or die of various causes because of the danger of life as a refugee, just so we don’t have to give up some small percentage of our standard of living to help them? How much impact do you think it would have to welcome a few thousand Hazaras? You probably sneer at climate change fear-monsters, why do you believe so fervently in this other much more unlikely racial apocalypse?
on Afghan Hazara asylum seekers to be forcibly deported from Australia.09 Oct 2014 10:49am
[in reply to another poster who argued that Hazara refugees refouled to Afghanistan are killed not because they are Hazaras but because of their Australian connection]
So Hazaras in Afghanistan are targeted by the Taliban, their movements controlled and monitored, and Australians among them are likely to be killed.
Hazaras in Afghanistan are routinely killed for being anything other than cowed and silent. That especially includes the ones sent back from “Australia”.
I hear what you’re saying crystal clear, you mouthpiece, and it is wrong. Hazaras in Afghanistan are endangered by a resurgent enemy that we were not able to defeat, and Australian Hazaras will be killed. That makes them refugees, go look it up in a dictionary.
on ‘Torture’ of deported Afghan Hazara asylum seeker to be investigated.09 Oct 2014 9:59am 14
[re a post who righteously agrees with the government that Hazara refugees are not refugees and can be sent back to Afghanistan.]
Hazaras have been a target for Islamist extremists in Afghanistan for decades. Sending them back to Afghanistan is murder. Scott Morrison says they are not refugees, but this is ludicrous. If a political ethnic group with considerable power in your country wants to kill people of your kind, what are you but a refugee?
Are you trying to say that refugees don’t exist?
on Afghan Hazara asylum seekers to be forcibly deported from Australia.08 Oct 2014 3:16am
So you’re saying that Hazaras are not persecuted by the Taliban, only Hazara-Australians?
Violence against the Hazaras in Afghanistan is one of the most dangerous and entrenched racial-ideological conflicts in recent history. Ask anyone who knows, except of course Scott Morrison.
on Afghan Hazara asylum seekers to be forcibly deported from Australia.07 Oct 2014 9:47pm 2
[in reply to a not uncommon height of absurdity among right-wing posters]
Send ’em back? You’ve just quoted a creditable news report about a massacre targeting Hazaras, mused over how different to Australia this is, and concluded the Hazaras should be sent back? Are you joking? Are you saying it’s so normal they won’t even mind? Are you sick?
on Afghan Hazara asylum seekers to be forcibly deported from Australia.07 Oct 2014 9:35pm 3
[in reply to the only other of a small handful of conservative posters still supporting the government’s refugee refoulement schemes]
So we send them back to Afghanistan where they are killed by the Taliban, exactly as they said would happen. Which makes them refugees, and us criminals.
A Hazara refugee tries to visit his grandchildren because he thought it was safe and is killed by the Taliban. Another is forcibly returned because we thought it was safe and is tortured by the Taliban. If your hypothetical question is whether Afghanistan really is safe now, or not, the answer would have to be no.
on Mandatory detention of children ‘abusive’, say Australian paediatricians.06 Oct 2014 9:53pm 3
The last time this happened under John bloody Howard they dismissed the sudden spike in humanitarian concern as “doctors wives”, that is liberal voters with a compassionate heart but probably not much medical training.
This time it’s the actual doctors, whose advice any civilised society should take very seriously, and which no government should categorically deny in the way this government has, repeatedly, against all the evidence.
Indefinite detention is abuse. The kinds of people who would be willing to work as guards in these death camps are now revealing their basic inhumanity. They are lead by a man who I consider to be a psychopath, whose high moral ground is an empty shell of racism and overblown fear of an imagined racial apocalypse of the future.
Multicultural societies fail when reactionaries who don’t get it start to do anything in their power to prevent their fears, but inadvertently bring their fears into reality.
on Mandatory detention of children ‘abusive’, say Australian paediatricians.06 Oct 2014 9:38pm 1
[in reply to another conservative poster, finally woken to disquiet about government actions, whose instinct of course is to blame the ALP]
You’re backwards. The LNP have the full and sole responsibility for all of this. The ALP tried to re-humanise this and were blocked at every turn by Tony Abbott in opposition. Finally Kevin Rudd tried to defuse the political bomb that Abbott had created, but failed and lost the election. LNP ramped the harm up by a factor of ten, stopped processing applications, and while the boats stopped coming the human rights abuses started to emerge. This is not the work of adult government, it is abusive, like allowing your dog to bite every one who walks up your driveway and claiming you are defending your property.
on Mandatory detention of children ‘abusive’, say Australian paediatricians.06 Oct 2014 9:33pm 2
[re a post who dismissed accusations of physical and sexual abuse on Nauru as in some sense normal and not abusive]
Child abuse, plain and simple. Desperation drives people to get on boats. Australia is a safe haven under international and our own law. They attempt to come here no matter what we do. Their success or failure is nobody’s fault. Stopping drownings by indefinite long term detention is insane. Send the coast guard if you want to save lives.
on Mandatory detention of children ‘abusive’, say Australian paediatricians.06 Oct 2014 9:30pm 1
[pursuing my theme about rescuing refugees with the coastguard whenever possible]
So send the coastguard to pick up the boats before they sink. How hard could that be?
on Mandatory detention of children ‘abusive’, say Australian paediatricians.06 Oct 2014 9:26pm 2
[re a post asserting that left-wing refugee advovcates as usual have no actual useful proposals, just abuse]
There is an alternative, it has been proposed. We patrol the sea north of Australia to locate asylum seeker boats and deter illegal fishermen. We process the asylum seekers in detention for a limited time, a few weeks maximum. Those whose claims seem likely to be verifiable or with children are released into the community with reporting requirements to go with English language classes and training for work. Those deemed likely to be security risks or to be false applicants on the basis of disparity with ethnicity or place of origin are released with no work rights but the same reporting requirements while deportation rulings are finalised, with appeals based on evidence. Police are employed to locate abscondees and prevent harm to children.
This is straight off the top of my head and could be argued into any number of workable forms, but the imposition of mandatory indefinite detention on all even after refugee claims have been verified is unconscionable, illegal in terms of the international convention, and proven time and time again to be damaging to people in detention.
The Rudd-Gillard years did not produce the “flood” of refugees that people seem to fear, it was not even a large spike on our historical record. Rudd-Gillard attempted a humanitarian rework of the inhumane Howard years, and if not for the raving of Tony Abbott no one would even have noticed the numbers of refugees compared to normal immigration or even birthrate.
Get a grip and stop this descent into barbarism.
on Nauru staff report persistent child abuse and self-harm, leaked documents show.04 Oct 2014 9:53am
[re a post who asked “who says” refugees experience atrocities?]
THEY say they witnessed atrocities. Children from war zones. And you don’t believe them.
Nothing fools you, hey. You with the big lie so far down your throat you think it’s what you had for breakfast. You’re like a big fish on a hook, too brutal and stupid to get that something’s not right here.
on Nauru staff report persistent child abuse and self-harm, leaked documents show.04 Oct 2014 8:15am
[in reply to poster smearing care workers of being lazy and useless]
That’s right, paid to save the children and they haven’t even got past the gatekeeper, what a bunch of leaners
on Nauru staff report persistent child abuse and self-harm, leaked documents show.04 Oct 2014 8:18am 1
[in reply to poster who showed ridiculous candour in lying about his best mate who came back from a stint on Nauru and claimed the place was filthy because the care workers weren’t doing their bit to clean the toilets…I’m serious, this is what he was saying]
So your mate went to clean the toilets, but he didn’t do his job because he got pissed off at the aid workers talking to the asylum seekers, so he left and the toilets are filthy?
I’m not surprised its his ex-wife he’s working so hard to support. Did he abuse his kids too?
on Nauru staff report persistent child abuse and self-harm, leaked documents show.04 Oct 2014 8:40am 1
[my same train of thought following this posters unconsciously revealing comments about his mate who had a job for a while on Nauru]
You’re sure your mate wasn’t one of the ones who were “let go” around the time the child sex abuse allegations started to appear?
So I’m thinking, he abused a child, got the sack, and they didn’t replace him because the government doesn’t have a budget for water on Nauru let alone cleaning the toilets.
So now your mate tells you it was the political activists doing the abusing, just like he told his employer Transfield as well, so they write a report alleging the Save the Children staff are abusing the children.
You could ask him about this, but you won’t be any wiser if you do, because your mate is a liar and you are full of BULLSHIT.
on Nauru staff report persistent child abuse and self-harm, leaked documents show.04 Oct 2014 8:06am 2
[in reply to one of those charming old ducks who can’t understand our disloyalty to the government minister]
Because he’s a fucking monster. That’s why we want him sacked.
on Nauru staff report persistent child abuse and self-harm, leaked documents show.04 Oct 2014 7:49am 4
[re a post who with exquisite delicacy referred to child physical and sexual abuse as “impropriety”]
By “impropriety” I believe you mean child abuse, sexual, physical and emotional, by staff employed by the “Australian” government and by the “government” themselves.
When you say “allegations of self-harm” you are referring to children and imply it is a crime to be so bereft of hope and so destroyed in spirit that you want to hurt yourself. You’ve gone one step past blaming the alleged coaching by Save the Children staff to blaming the children themselves.
Good one Tim, you’ve got a big heart, like a black hole in the sky.
on Nauru staff report persistent child abuse and self-harm, leaked documents show.04 Oct 2014 7:38am 9
[re a post who with understandable exasperation asked when we refugee advocates would ever give up]
If you mean opponents of indefinite mandatory detention of children on remote desert islands, subject to abuse, trauma, fear and despair, if you mean will we ever give up, I can tell you in 100% certain terms: NO, we will never give up.
It is you who will give up and fade away. Having done your damage you will go into the night with the rest of the abusers and assorted minor monsters of history, and we will emerge a better, stronger, wiser world.
If on the other hand you mean the real fabricators or LIARS of our time, the LNP and their media mates in Murdoch media, yes I think we can expect them to give up about the time Rupert Murdoch dies, and the world will breathe one vast sigh of relief.
on Nauru staff report persistent child abuse and self-harm, leaked documents show.04 Oct 2014 7:26am 9
[re a post repeating Tony Abbott’s utter fucking bullshit about suicide attempts by young mothers being “emotional blackmail”]
Emotional blackmail by children suffering trauma after losing home and family with no hope on a desert island after witnessing atrocities and being abused by guards…and yes they need their parents so I guess you’d prefer they die and get it over with?
Death camp Nauru, and you a vocal supporter.
on Tony Abbott’s burqa comments divisive and harmful, says Labor.04 Oct 2014 4:48am
[a longish argument about the wearing of burqas in the Australian parliament]
You are attempting to impose YOUR cultural biases on women.
I assume your fear or bigotry (and I don’t care which) is based on assumptions about Islamist as opposed to Islamic doctrine.
Islamic women CHOOSE to wear head covering. More devout Islamic women choose to wear burqa or niqab.
You would force YOUR choice on them, against all sense and for no good security or social cohesiveness reason.
This mad attempt to reverse multiculturalism is about thirty years too late and likely to end in civil war. Australia is multicultural, get used to it. “Australia” to make a euphemism of our foolishness, is insane with divisiveness and lies sown to reap the votes among the whirlwind, and you have fallen for it, hook, lie and (dangerously) sinker.
on Tony Abbott’s burqa comments divisive and harmful, says Labor.03 Oct 2014 12:36pm
[re a post who with magnificent pomposity and the crudest irony (or sarcasm really) gave me a “bravo sir” for my evident hypocrisy]
As a raving fearful bigot yourself, guided by suppositions as outdated as they are unhelpful, I suppose you really cannot be expected to form accurate character assessments about normal decent people, so we can excuse you for being completely off the planet in your ludicrously shallow opinion about me or what I believe in. But you have my sympathy anyway.
on Nauru child sex abuse allegations to be examined in new inquiry.03 Oct 2014 11:58am 6
[in reply to yet another fascist boldly hiding, with unusual face even for this type, behind the Godwin rule proscribing Nazi accusations in online debate]
Mike Godwin, the network researcher who coined that rule about nazi comparisons, has said publicly he doesn’t support his rule being used for what’s happening in Australia.
In other words, Godwin himself says the LNP are showing worrying nazi tendencies. So sure, go ahead, verbally support their fascist rule you Pathetic, Weak, Fascist, Nazi, Moron.
on Nauru child sex abuse allegations to be examined in new inquiry.03 Oct 2014 11:51am 6
[in reply to another conservative poster, suddenly horrified at evidence of government child abuse, blaming it on the ALP]
So we are abusing children, but it’s someone else’s fault? I thought the Australian people had voted for this, that it’s a great success of border protection, that Scott Morrison was a hero? Suddenly, were abusing children and it’s Labor’s fault?
You want someone else to take the credit for your great leader’s astounding success in defending us against these hordes of abuse-prone children? Why, for heaven’s sake?
on Nauru child sex abuse allegations to be examined in new inquiry.03 Oct 2014 11:52am 4
Yes, it’s someone else’s great success in defending us from these…these…children!
on Nauru child sex abuse allegations to be examined in new inquiry.03 Oct 2014 5:22am 12
I do not for one nanosecond believe that humanitarian staff are coaching children to self-harm as a ploy for resettlement in Australia. Has there been even one documented case where self-harm resulted in a different immigration outcome? So why would it be used as a tactic?
Answer: it is not a tactic, it is a scream of mental anguish common in cases of sexual abuse and despair.
Nauru death camp, welcome (very unwillingly) to the historical record.
on Nauru child sex abuse allegations to be examined in new inquiry.03 Oct 2014 5:14am 13
Whether staff on Nauru are sexually assaulting children or coaching them to self-harm, the result is unconscionable harm to children who are helpless and trapped in the “Australian” government’s care.
This is a vicious and twisted political game being played by the major parties, with the LNP in the clear lead and Scott Morrison the undisputed champion.
Regardless of the outcome, I expect Morrison to take the full responsibility for this utter failure of human rights management in this country, as per the precedent loudly established by the LNP in their pursuit of the ALP’s home insulation fiasco.
What’s happening on Nauru is core government policy, to deter asylum seekers by making the asylum situation worse than the threats they are escaping from. This is ILLEGAL under international law, and don’t give us your bullshit that it’s the victims or the carers at fault, it all comes back to Morrison who as good as fully intended this to happen.
Life in a Belgian high security prison will be more comfortable than life on Nauru. Small comfort, eh Morrison?
on Tony Abbott to backtrack over parliamentary burqa exclusion.03 Oct 2014 12:20am 3
Bigoted “Australia”, go back to your bottle
on History will treat Australia ‘very poorly’ over its treatment of asylum seekers.02 Oct 2014 11:37pm 21
[the story profiles the departing head of Christmas Island detention centre Jon Stanhope, who unloads a decade’s frustration and contempt on the Australian government, and introduces the new Kommandant Herr Ubermeister Barry Haase who clearly does not give a shit about refugees or any whinging bludger]
Thank you Jon Stanhope! You have restored my faith in the humanity of officials required to administer this awful divisive madness.
Barry Haase, you make me think of Amon Goeth, the newly arrived camp commandant in Schindler’s List, an actual historical murdering bastard psychopath Nazi and a precursor to a very ugly “Australian” future.
on Tony Abbott to backtrack over parliamentary burqa exclusion.02 Oct 2014 11:14pm
[re badges identifying Muslims in detention centres – seriously]
No, of course, crescent moon. Sure, that’ll be a great help.
on Tony Abbott to backtrack over parliamentary burqa exclusion.02 Oct 2014 11:02pm
[in reply to a poster who seriously wanted to know how we would feel if the government forced your family to wear a burqa just to appease the Muslim community]
How would you feel if the government said that the females in your family had to ______ in order to make the ______ community happy?
This is exactly what has happened. It’s an oppressive thought bubble of an idea and I really hope it is overturned by the same government.
on Greenhouse gases made hottest year on record ‘2,000 times more likely’.30 Sep 2014 3:45am 14
Last year the met bureau had to extend their standard temperature reporting by a few degrees, into a range +50 degrees in many parts of inland Australia. For weeks we saw weather charts where the daily cycle kept developing a vast red blot in a horrible reddest-red colour.
Anyone who doesn’t think this is a clear and present danger has their head very firmly in the sand. In ten years time, I don’t think you will meet anyone claiming to be a climate skeptic, they will be too ashamed to speak.
on Clive Palmer rules out deal on welfare changes that deny under-30s the dole.30 Sep 2014 10:21pm 11
[Guardian moderators had not yet opened the reports of child sexual abuse to public discussion. Capnarg, resourceful and unabashed, found a way out]
On the same page there are reports of sexual abuse practices against children on Nauru. Mind if I break topic for just a second? The Nauru situation possibly is considered too difficult even for the moderators of these discussions.
Nauru is a death camp. Lets call a spade a grave-digging tool. Indefinite detention, inadequate water and no future but a forced “choice” of a life of indentured rural labour in Cambodia. A death industry employing monsters who perpetrate crimes against children, at Australia’s behest, against all international and local law.
I will no longer call it Australian law, it has been excised as surely as islands from the migration zone.
Why am I raising this here, in the vaguely related topic of political abuse of young people in Australia? I actually just want to say NOT IN MY NAME, nice and loud and obvious, so people notice.
Scott Morrison, you haven’t replied to my letter yet.
Michael Gordon Evans
on Eight migrants die every day trying to reach richer countries, study reveals.29 Sep 2014 10:32pm 3
The glaring economic disparity between western powers and the developing world is a blight on millions of lives. Africa and the Middle East have struggled and in many cases failed to find balanced paths to progress beyond the colonial era.
This is very old history now but secure progress does not happen all at once and these abuse-scarred nations continue to need our support. The west should be using their world-leading economic prosperity to massively support development and education/training in troubled countries.
The problem with demographic change for a racist minority is the demand on economic redistribution of resources. We want to keep it all, and have designed ownership, taxation and welfare rules accordingly.
There would be no problem if the wealthy nations, corporations and individuals saw their duty not to shareholders but to the planet and its people. Sounds idealistic, but what’s the alternative now but to be threatened by “hordes” of desperate people whose lives have been wrecked by the failure of the post-colonial world?
Give ’til it hurts, then you’ll know how it feels for millions of Africans. Increase aid budgets and write off debt. Rich white people, give it up and share it round for a better world.
02 October 2014 3:54am
To what progressive person, who believes in woman’s rights, is the burqa not confronting?
Capnarg Eli Barel
02 October 2014 4:56am
Me, for one. As a “progressive believer” in women’s rights, I have no problem at all with the burqa. As I understand it Islam literally means submission to God/Allah, and it is a central tenet of faith to do so gladly.
Women wear the burqa with pride and by choice. In Australia as far as I am aware there is no compulsion other than by choice of religious identification, to wear clothing or a full beard.
Compelling women NOT to wear what they choose to wear, for modesty and expression of faith, is abusive. Would you compel all women wear a bikini? I imagine for a devout Muslim woman it would be something like that.
I apologize for my presumption, as a male westerner, to put forward this view. I do as a “progressive person” challenged to answer an unfair question. My total respect to you, and if there are women of Islamic faith who want to reply I would defer completely to your position.
I believe in women’s rights, I have thought long and hard about this and I see no problem, not even a security problem, specific to wearing a burqa in Parliament House or anywhere else.
Eli Barel Capnarg
02 October 2014 5:33am
Who’s compelling women not to wear the Burqa?
By all means, please wear a Burqa.
However, to wear a Burqa is to be complicit with misogyny which may invite scrutiny.
If one’s briefs are so fragile they cannot withstand scrutiny, it would be hypocritical to require me to hide my opinion under a Burqa (had to throw that one in)
Burqa wearing women are entitled to their belief, however it is infantile to expect that such belief would not be confronting.
Perhaps you could enlighten me as to how women in Islamic states are better off than Western women? How has Islam advanced the cause women’s issues in the past century or 30 years?
Capnarg Eli Barel
02 October 2014 6:36am
YOU are compelling Islamic women not to wear a burqa. Or rather, the misanthropic government you support will now (latest news) compel women not to wear a burqa in Parliament House, with the apparent exception of the children’s gallery.
I said nothing about women’s rights in Islamic countries, so I really don’t get your question. YOU raised that one, and I have a feeling we wouldn’t agree on that either.
Eli Barel Capnarg
02 October 2014 7:28am
“YOU are compelling Islamic women not to wear a burqa”
Capnarg Eli Barel
02 October 2014 9:24am
Look it up in the dictionary.
Bad_Species Bgniess Capnarg
02 October 2014 4:56am
I rather pity them for their Stockholm syndrome.
02 October 2014 6:32am
It’s not Stockholm syndrome, they are not imprisoned or even bound other than by faith and choice. In Australia women freely choose to wear whatever they want.
I’m replying to you only because I note you identify “their” condition, so I know you are not an Islamic woman. Why is it even a matter of opinion to you?
02 October 2014 7:11am
Because I want live in a society were all women “freely choose to wear whatever they want”, without being pressured into hiding themselves until they themselves start to believe “it’s for their own protection” and “God’s will” (btw never mentioned in the Quran).
02 October 2014 10:34am
Until today, that’s the society you had.
You’re not listening. Muslim women WANT to wear a veil, often a full-face veil. By stopping them, you are substituting your own morality (fear, actually) to make them wear what YOU want them to wear.
And please, what “security risk” exactly? What are they going to hide behind their veil (it’s not a “mask”) that couldn’t be detected by electronic security in Parliament House of all places?
on Burqa wearers banned from Australian parliament’s public galleries.02 Oct 2014 8:16am 1
It’s not vale Australia, its hello “Australia”.
But Australia is not dead. She’s under a pillow being held down, but she is strong, ooh look out.
on Cambodia deal says refugees will be settled outside Phnom Penh.28 Sep 2014 8:11am 4
The settlement services for the integration of refugees into the Cambodian community under this MOU will be delivered at a location outside of Phnom Penh,” it says, but does not elaborate.
Does this mean refugees will not be free to choose to live in Phnom Penh? In what other ways will their lives be mandated and prescribed by the state? It makes “integration into the Cambodian community” sound like code words for indentured rural labour.
Would we treat homeless Australians this way? We might not put them up in fancy hotels, but we don’t send them off to pull a plough in a country where they don’t even speak the language.
on Cambodia deal says refugees will be settled outside Phnom Penh.28 Sep 2014 7:32am 1
Abbott came to power on the back of a dysfunctional government. His election promises were chained to the lies he told and do not represent progress towards any meaningful mandate that the voting public actually asked for.
Why is Australia the only developed nation in the world to have abandoned emissions control legislation and mining investment taxes? Why are we the only western country to be actively deterring refugees, against our own laws?
These are completely ridiculous policies given the current state of the world, the environment and the economy. They are dangerous, wasteful, wrong ideas which have no foundation other than groundless fear.
I don’t believe people voted for this party to form government, they voted against the ALP. Abbott has no mandate to destroy this country, but he will if this goes on.
on Scott Morrison champagne toast in Phnom Penh ‘crass, sickening’: Greens.27 Sep 2014 1:27pm 1
[in reply to Tealybook’s post blaming a minority of economic refugees]
And we punish all the others because…?
You do speak English?
on Australia signs controversial refugee transfer deal with Cambodia.27 Sep 2014 1:49pm 1
Times were much harder and more dangerous immediately following WWII and though the Cold War, yet we welcomed many thousands of refugees who are now valued citizens.
The only thing that has changed now is a failure of political leadership. The numbers of refugees have not gone beyond the typical range in previous waves of immigration. There is no reason to think that refugees from the Middle East are more dangerous than refugees from SE Asia or Eastern Europe at those times.
You have an unrealistic sense of entitlement yourself. Why should we not share what we have with people who have nothing and will soon (with our help) become productive members of society? Why should we punish them for the actions of a few economic migrants?
Lastly, if you want to save their lives, send the coast guard first, then immigration, then an introduction to Australian society and laws, then put their kids in school and train them for meaningful jobs. Detaining them indefinitely or sending them away to the nearest basket case failed state (ie Cambodia) is not saving them, it is punishing them, and it is WRONG.
on Australia signs controversial refugee transfer deal with Cambodia.27 Sep 2014 1:37pm
[Re sending a “signal” to refugees that the back door is open”]
We sent that signal about sixty years ago when we co-authored the international refugee convention. It’s not a back door to genuine refugees, for many refugees it’s the only door.
This policy punishes the many for the crimes of a few. The last time I heard that as a norm of law, it was the Germans and Japanese in their treatment of partisan townspeople and war prisoners.
on Wicked the musical: are you Team Oz or aren’t you?.27 Sep 2014 1:10pm 5
Old poster seen on a wall, around 2005:
All-new Australian production of
The Wizard of Oz!
Heartless Tin man……………..John Howard
Cowardly Lion…………………..Kim Beazley
Brainless Scarecrow………….Bob Brown
Wicked Witch of the North….Pauline Hanson
Munchkins………………………..The Australian People
Evil Monkeys……………………Racism, Fear, Stupidity
All singing! all Dancing!
“Somewhere, over the rainbow…!”
“Folla Folla Folla Folla Folla the yellow brick road!”
“Toto, I don’t think we’re in Kansas anymore…”
[actually my own poster!]
on Scott Morrison champagne toast in Phnom Penh ‘crass, sickening’: Greens.27 Sep 2014 12:16pm 4
[reply to TimofAltona’s string of three-word memes]
Abbottesque slogans (rhymes with grotesque bogans) followed by abuse. Thank you Tim.
These are not just asylum seekers, they are genuine refugees according to Australia’s determination process. They would have to be refugees! And this is the “protection” we offer them, to shunt them off to a corrupt hell-hole like Cambodia? That’s really sickening.
on Scott Morrison champagne toast in Phnom Penh ‘crass, sickening’: Greens.27 Sep 2014 11:56am 1
[re a post accusing refugee advocates of ignoring the problem of economic refugees]
No one is saying there are no economic refugees. But between 3 and 30%, averaging 20% historically, 5-10% in the early period of the first labour government term, are small proportions of economic refugees. The proportions of genuine refugees are correspondingly high, 80% long average, 97% maximum, 90-95% in the early labour years.
The proportions are still high now, but this government would not let you know that.
on Scott Morrison champagne toast in Phnom Penh ‘crass, sickening’: Greens.27 Sep 2014 11:09am 3
[re a post lauding the Abbott government’s cheerleaders, seeming to fluster that there weren’t many of them cheering anymore at least not in the Guardian)]
I get this chilly silence, like all those cheerleaders are holding a fixed, frightened grin. The few posters in support sound drunk, or deranged.
on Australia signs controversial refugee transfer deal with Cambodia.26 Sep 2014 11:58pm 9
[re a post conflating all Muslims with Islamist violence]
You are blaming the vast majority for a small proportion of violent extremists driven by historical grievances you don’t seem to have heard, read or cared about. I don’t condone the violence and I see no reason to condemn every Muslim for the actions of a few.
Muslims in Australia are like every other wave of immigration and arrival, they are integrating while retaining their own customs in the first generation. You should meet some of the Muslim Australians I know, great people, wholly welcome. Do you actually know any Muslim Australians? Why do you hate them so much when they’re just passing you in the street?
on Australia signs controversial refugee transfer deal with Cambodia.26 Sep 2014 11:47pm 9
[re a post gloating “no boats, problem solved”]
“The boats” are not the problem. The huge numbers of refugees worldwide is the problem. Sending them to Cambodia is not solving that problem, it is effectively guaranteeing they remain refugees in need of protection, which they will not find in Cambodia.
We are not saying bring them all to Australia, and given the difficulty of the journey it is not likely that more than the small numbers we saw even at the worst points in the “flood” will arrive by boat. We are asking that Australia treats with dignity and respect those that do arrive here, investigates their claims and sends back any that don’t match their story. It’s not hard and only about 5-10% typically fail that assessment. They are almost all refugees, not illegal immigrants, and we can send the actual illegals home. What the hell is the problem?
Australia should act like a “grown up” citizen of the world and undertake its responsibilities to fulfill the promises we made in co-authoring the refugee convention. If you want to save lives, prevent drownings and offer real hope, don’t give the job to Scott Morrison, he’s just in it for himself.
on Australia signs controversial refugee transfer deal with Cambodia.26 Sep 2014 11:21pm 4
[a rhetorical question gets out for some exercise]
What happens when countries start to exaggerate the “threat” posed by demographic change? We are witnessing one example in Australia, and we know of one other in Cambodia under Pol Pot.
Australia, your future, your choice. Change direction, or it’s straight on down. How will you know when to stop? Will you be able to?
on Australia signs controversial refugee transfer deal with Cambodia.26 Sep 2014 10:40pm 5
[re a friendly post asking what the security risk of refugees is]
Good question, I’ve looked very hard for national security assessments that actually highlight a risk under continuing to accept refugees, and there aren’t any. So whatt exactly is the problem that’s so terrible that we have trashed Australia role as a leading nation in human rights and become the exact opposite in one or two fraught and dysfunctional terms of government? Or does that answer the question?
on Australia signs controversial refugee transfer deal with Cambodia.26 Sep 2014 10:36pm 3
The numbers of boat arrivals are small compared to normal immigration or birth rate. Most of the refugees are genuine and have a case for our protection, which we continue to offer as full members of the UNHCR. There is actually no problem, risk or burden in continuing to welcome refugees exactly as we did, very calmly and with no fuss, pre-1996. The problem we have now is having turned this mole hill into a mountain, refugees and asylum seekers are suffering human rights abuses at Australia’s instigation. We have become the bad guys for no reason other than political posturing. Shame on all who support this stupid and very hurtful regime of fear and ignorance.
on Australia signs controversial refugee transfer deal with Cambodia.26 Sep 2014 10:28pm 3
UN Refugee Convention = Promise and Hope to Refugees and Asylum Seekers, co-authored by Australia and honored for half a century by governments of both persuasions through some of the most dangerous political challenges in history, ie the Cold War, discarded and broken (no surprises there) by the coalition government in heir one remaining term before ultimate political oblivion.
We promised, and it’s the right side of history to keep your promises.
on Asylum seekers: Morrison to sign resettlement deal with Cambodia.26 Sep 2014 3:06pm
That’s the Australian parliamentary library. Figures vary between 70-97% successful refugee determinations. During the second Rudd government it was 90-95%. Who knows what it is now, bloody Morrison won’t tell anyone.
on Cambodians protest Australia using country as refugee ‘dumping ground’.26 Sep 2014 7:30am 17
Australia’s history is of wave after wave off immigrants and refugees. In every period so far, within one generation the new arrivals have integrated and become Australians.
The ones who are starting this war are the fearful bigots and xenophobes who so despise the new that they never get to know them. Some of my best students are of Vietnamese and Lebanese descent. Broad Aussie kids, the nicest people. Get out and meet some refugees and stop being so fearful of them destroying your little world.
on Cambodians protest Australia using country as refugee ‘dumping ground’.26 Sep 2014 7:22am 4
[re a post warning of future refugee social meltdown]
Name one rich country that has been turned into a battleground by refugees. You mean Cronulla? Mate, it was white Australians who ran the riots that day. Or you mean the Lebanese bloke who punched a surf live saver? That what’s called an incident, not a battleground, surfers at Cronulla punch each other all the time. Where’s your imaginary refugee war, please!
on Asylum seekers: Morrison to sign resettlement deal with Cambodia.25 Sep 2014 8:48am
[re a post accusing boat arrivals of forcing Australia to reduce the refuge quota]
Having a quota on refugees, where you “trim” the numbers to correct for unforeseen arrivals, makes as much sense as having a quota on hospital emergency cases.
“Another accident, sorry, we’ve already done thirty this month, you’ll have to come lets see, next Tuesday. Goodbye, sorry, goodbye!”
Not illegal, and no carrot. What else have you imagined that you’ll never forgive us for?
on Asylum seekers: Morrison to sign resettlement deal with Cambodia.25 Sep 2014 8:38am
[re a slightly moronic post about a Cambodian guy at work who bought a dog, and they’re “keeping an eye on him”. I try to speak with respect to people who really are a bit dumb]
He bought the dog as a pet, right? Then I think the dog will be OK, the guy probably knows he doesn’t have to eat dog in Australia, he can get steak, kangaroo, whatever he wants. In Cambodia they eat dogs because they often can’t get any meat, not even goat. His girlfriend must be his wife, you’re allowed to bring family when you immigrate to Australia, and that’s fine too don’t you think? When we send refugees to Cambodia they will have to eat dog and won’t be able to bring their family with them, how about that, poor dogs hey?
on Asylum seekers: Morrison to sign resettlement deal with Cambodia.25 Sep 2014 8:24am
[re a post deploring the high cost of compassion]
Do you have any idea how much it has cost us running detention centres as opposed to community housing? I did the numbers on this ten years ago, and I’m not going to again, it was a shitload then and a lot more now.
Think about it you idiot, is it money you want? Or a country to live in? You’re losing both this way.
on Morrison looks set to get temporary protection visas for asylum seekers.25 Sep 2014 4:31am 8
[re a post hating the UN and all it represents to them]
Australia was a key author in the drafting of the UN refugee treaty. It is not some foreign bureaucrat telling you what to do, it is the voice of a wiser and more compassionate age in your own homeland, which are you are trying not to hear.
Go out and meet some refugees, hear their stories, understand their lives, and you will be proud of Australia for writing the convention, ashamed of Australia for trashing it, and determined for Australia’s sake to see it kept and honored by this and future governments.
on Asylum seekers: Morrison to sign resettlement deal with Cambodia.24 Sep 2014 10:32pm 3
[re a post blaming the ALP for people voting for LNP to do things to refugees]
Gillard / Rudd government were forced to adopt offshore processing by bloody-minded obstructionism of the Abbott opposition. Worst elements of Howard government were overturned and refugee flow was more or less normal given world events. Abbott ranted and raved as though it was an invasion. It is not, it is a rescue.
You’re so concerned to save lives, yet you’re happy for them to die in detention? Bullshit, in other words. Send the coast guard to save lives. Don’t put people behind bars, don’t send them to Cambodia, save lives don’t condemn them.
on Asylum seekers: Morrison to sign resettlement deal with Cambodia.24 Sep 2014 10:22pm 2
[re a post depicting refugees as radicals and economic opportunists]
90-95% of asylum seekers are found to be genuine refugees. The few economic migrants are easily detected and can be sent back.
Refugees include people of all ages. They are not radicalised, just homeless and desperate. They are not a threat.
Your obsessive refusal to hear these simple facts speaks to your political opinion, nothing else. You can have your opinion, but I don’t know how you can stand yourself.
on George Brandis claims Australia faces security threat greater than cold war.24 Sep 2014 1:27pm 3
[re a post painting George Brandis as worse than hitler]
“More dangerous than Adolf Hitler” isn’t saying much. He was most dangerous in his treatment of captives and civilians, and murdered many more than six million helpless people, but as a military strategist the threat he posed in retrospect is a bit laughable. He really didn’t stand a chance, a pathetic loser elevated beyond his capacity by the excess of his evil.
So in that sense, sure, Brandis is “more dangerous than Adolf Hitler”…[snigger :-)]
on George Brandis claims Australia faces security threat greater than cold war.24 Sep 2014 12:53pm 12
Hate speech is not free speech, it is speech designed to reduce freedom through escalating intolerance and prejudice, which effects people’s opportunities and restricts their freedoms.
There is no possible worse time to “strengthen freedom of speech” than in a time of war. Apart from convicted racists (Yes, I’m talking about the shock jock, whatever his bloody name is) and their ilk, no one in Australia actually wants the kind of public discussion that Bernardi and Brandis are advocating, but our enemies do.
on John Howard: there was no genocide against Indigenous Australians.22 Sep 2014 9:26am 23
Howard doesn’t believe in genocide. He also doesn’t believe in climate change. New Orleans dead, Pakistan half-drowned, record droughts in Australia, record floods everywhere, glaciers melting…or thousands of people stolen from their families, generations destroyed, entire tribes wiped out…all on the public historical record, but no, these things didn’t happen.
There’s hypocrisy, lies and stupidity, and then there’s John Winston Howard.
on Howard should be tried for ‘conspiracy to commit mass murder’, says Andrew Wilkie.22 Sep 2014 8:39am 11
Hundreds of thousands dead or displaced, the entire region destabilized, a new dark age on the horizon, and John Winston Howard says he’s “embarrassed”.
Any fool could tell that there were no WMD in Iraq. If you actually looked at the evidence, thought for a few seconds about the extent of UN inspections coupled with US satellite surveillance capability, those few grainy and ambiguous images were stupidly inadequate.
Worse, security analysts worldwide including Andrew Wilkie were saying that Iraq’s ingrained religious tribalism was an ungovernable mess, completely unready for democracy. Regardless, Bush, Howard and Blair went in like idiot schoolboys with big sticks to a bee hive. Or rather, they sent other people’s sons, and other people died in their possibly millions now.
Embarrassed? Howard’s admission shows he knows he has done something silly, but it does not come close to his actual stupidity and a few light years from his culpability. Wake up Howard, you are exactly the narrow-minded regressive rodent that your political opponents said you were, and your whole life has been a stubborn refusal to acknowledge your own inner blackness.
on Howard should be tried for ‘conspiracy to commit mass murder’, says Andrew Wilkie.22 Sep 2014 8:55am 7
[re a post calling the left “haters”, ie pot, kettle, black: my verbal revenge]
Everyone else who still believes John Howard was some kind of saintly uncle is deserving of as much abuse as normally patient fair-minded people can heap on them. I am a family man, a professional, a compassionate and caring person, and I normally keep my temper. But you and your ilk who still support this lying hypocritical throwback to the dark ages are not for me to pull my punches. So go back into the dark and join your dirty bloodstained demon hero, whatever his actual bloody name is, and take your scumbag stupid lies and bullshit with you.
Is that the kind of hate you mean? Man, you deserve a lot worse.
on Sydney dawn counter-terrorism raids: why now, and why so few answers?.19 Sep 2014 1:39pm 8
The main effect of our participation in the second Iraq war has been to increase the terrorist risk to Australians, and to make it almost impossible for us to stay out of this GWIII as it looks like becoming.
A secondary effect has been to greatly increase the refugee flux, which conservative governments seem determined to reject responsibility for, or worse, to blame it on the victims.
The risk falls disproportionally on the young and vulnerable. Has anyone noticed the spike in deaths of young Australians overseas? Do we want this for our kids?
on How to make Isis fall on its own sword.19 Sep 2014 12:39pm
Provide material support for the resistance (that’s you, Obama)
Counter their propaganda with demonstrable humanitarian successes (Abbott, I’m talking to you!)
Easy, sit back and watch the bastards crumble.
on How to make Isis fall on its own sword.19 Sep 2014 12:26pm
[re a friendly post with some great ideas]
This is exactly the answer, this is what we must do, regardless of the provocation and setbacks, and it is in fact the whole course of human history, proven time and time again to work, long term. Europe is the end product of this process. The Middle East, after so many setbacks, is still at the beginning, and it needs to be gradually brought in to the same eventual success.
We can’t do it by bombing them back to the Stone Age, as George W. Bush thought. Look what that’s left us with.
Chelsea Manning for President of the United States!
on How to make Isis fall on its own sword.19 Sep 2014 12:17pm
Total war against Germany worked for the sole reason that the Germans could only call on young German men (boys in the end) to keep fighting. With ISIS it’s different, they appeal to young men worldwide. You can’t win total war against insurgents, it just gets bigger.
And now we have the bomb. If we’d had nuclear weapons at the start of WWII, not the finish, Europe would now be largely uninhabitable. “Total war” in the 21st century could lead to the complete, permanent destruction of large parts of the Middle East. Some might think that’s a good idea, but they haven’t actually thought about it.
on How to make Isis fall on its own sword.19 Sep 2014 12:09pm 5
That’s the most sense I’ve heard from any strategist for a long time. Thank you Chelsea for your personal sacrifice and intelligent analysis.
on Christine Milne offers to pass Direct Action if renewable energy target stays.19 Sep 2014 1:58am 5
Dr No says NO NO NO YES
Christine Milne, better we get through the next few years with no climate policy than to see your party destroyed by collusion with fascists. Say No, No, No, NO.
on ‘Budget emergency’ denied by 63 leading Australian economists.18 Sep 2014 11:46pm
One thing you can say about the LNP, they’ve got some bloody good mass hypnotists working the crowd for them.
on ‘Budget emergency’ denied by 63 leading Australian economists.18 Sep 2014 11:45pm
There is no such thing as a “left wing economist”.
on Malcolm Turnbull: ABC can cut $200m from budget and still maintain quality.18 Sep 2014 5:32am 36
Sure, Malcolm, its just that you said that you wouldn’t. In an election campaign, that’s called a “promise”. Doing the exact opposite after you are elected turns it into a “lie”. So whether its a good thing or not, we didn’t elect you to do it, and we don’t care what you do or say to justify it, it’s still a LIE.
Next week’s kindergarten lesson is “share your things with other people who are in more need than you”, followed by “use words to explain yourself, don’t just punch people in the face”. Dear me!
on Scott Morrison says 12 asylum-seeker boats stopped under turnback policy.18 Sep 2014 3:39am 14
Asylum seekers and refugees are not a threat to Australia, either in their numbers or their motives. History shows that all past immigration and asylum waves have integrated into Australian society within one generation. Pretty much all of them are genuine in that they need and deserve protection. Why punish all for the easily detected few? How stupid/cruel is that?
Treating refugees like potential terrorists is a political tactic with no substance and disastrous consequences for already vulnerable people. Saying “we don’t care” is a nation’s way of telling the world we are no longer relevant in the wider solution, we are in fact part of the wider problem.
Morrison’s “success” is as though he has grabbed one tin of soup for himself while the whole pyramid falls down for everyone else. Walk away, Australia, the damage is done. Tragic for all concerned. Stupid and unnecessary too.
You’re happy with this? And you don’t care the damage it is doing? Actually you have no idea what the real dangers are but you’re willing to do anything to protect your way of life? Congratulations, you have already destroyed your way of life. It’s that easy.
on Scott Morrison says 12 asylum-seeker boats stopped under turnback policy.17 Sep 2014 10:50pm 65
[re a comment congratulating Scott Morrison on a “great job”.]
Doing a great job driving people including children to despair and mental illness. Great job breaking international law and asserting Australia’s deserved place in a long list of moronic human rights violators. Protecting Australia against small groups of homeless people by putting them at great risk in small lifeboats.
Yeah, great job Scott Morrison, you achieved your three-word slogan, never mind the 150,000-word humane tragedy it conceals.
[re some scuttlebutt about Julia Gillard’s appointment to a chair]
Gillard “sold out” to “globalists” in your words?
“Julia Gillard has been appointed to lead the Global Partnership for Education, which is working to get 57 Million children into schools.
“Established in 2002 the partnership has allocated over $3.1 billion in financial aid for quality education for children.”
That’s so different to your characterisation of Gillard as “selling out”! And the “globalists”, the monsters, educating millions of children!
How did you read that so wrong? Is it because you have an obvious bias fueled by failed attempts to demonize Julia Gillard? No!!…surely not…
[continuing the bizarre discussion with a disgruntled Gillard-hater re her appointment]
I’ve looked at all the information I can find on GPE (and there’s a lot, they seem to have nothing to hide) and I do not see where you are coming from that there this something wrong about Julia Gillard working for them, or anyone else. Do you think education can happen with no money involved? Are you expecting some miracle of altruism or we’re all hypocrites? Or are you just outta smear some more of your BS on Julia Gillard and this seems an easy target?
I’m not born every day, I can see straight through you. There’s a chip in your pocket. Your revenge is congealing. Yuck.
on Rising sea levels a ‘sleeping giant’ that could cost $226bn, report says.17 Sep 2014 7:45am 4
Ooh yes, the scientists are our mortal enemy. Witch hunt, witch hunt! I love a good witch hunt.
You can lead a mob to slaughter but you cannot make them think.
I discovered that phrase, a twisting of the old “lead a horse to water” saying, while buried in books in a library. It’s exactly what you’d expect a PhD in ecological economics, who had to deal with the sort of farmers who burnt the Murray-Darling Basin Water Sharing Plan and then spent years moronically abusing Julia Gillard because she’s a strong and effective woman, would say.
And you, apart from completely twisting the news you read so as to ineffectually sink daggers into the empty air where Gillard once stood, what would you say?
[same sad discussion]
Julia Gillard, among the strongest women this country has ever seen. For grovelling to the US and Israel, I think you have the leader you want and it’s not Julia Gillard!
[more… 😦 ]
Julia Gillard drove up unemployment? In the newspapers you read maybe. Meanwhile,in the real world…
That’s heroine, someoneiusedtoknow. Strong, female, but what does that mean to you?
PS I have a PhD in ecological economics. University of New England. No kidding, look me up.
Cheap shots, yeah, easy too.
on Rising sea levels a ‘sleeping giant’ that could cost $226bn, report says.17 Sep 2014 7:42am 5
[re conspiracy theories about scientists rorting billions of dollars of climate research funds]
Why would scientists do this? You think they personally receive money from research grants? Do you think even an academic salary is sufficient motivation to sustain a global conspiracy over the last thirty years? That’s thirty years at least. You might have just woken up last week but the rest of us have known about this a long, long time. Awake is the new asleep.
on Tony Abbott: Military action against Isis will cost half a billion dollars a year.16 Sep 2014 12:31pm 3
[re a post oversimplifying democracy in favour of small-minded conservatives]
Wrong, we elect representatives, Christine Milne and Tony Abbott being equivalent as MPs and with equal say in parliament.
Unfortunately we also have a collective party-forming process whereby MPs collude as voting blocs that ultimately disenfranchise electors whose representatives are excluded by the successful party.
This is not democracy, its just the nearest thing we have managed to script in this country. You can’t justify war by the collective decision of one party. You definitely can’t justify it by one man’s decision.
on Voters approve Tony Abbott’s ‘relations with other countries’, says poll.16 Sep 2014 11:28am 3
[reply to a friendly post about despair after a life of believing in Australia]
These are the good old days!
History is full of backward and forward steps. The trend is forward, fairly self-evidently in the big picture, 50-100 year time frame.
IanCPurdie, hold your head up with pride AND optimism, or you miss the best half of what it is to be Australian.
on Clive Palmer has attended only 7.7% of votes in parliament.16 Sep 2014 2:53am 2
[re a post telling Clive Palmer in richly profane terms what to do with his latest thought bubble]
Translation for profanity-deficient persons
Dear Mr F…sorry, Palmer
Please F… Sorry, sorry, GO
and STAY GONE
on Jacqui Lambie ready to take DNA test to prove she is Indigenous.16 Sep 2014 2:41am
Aboriginality and Sharia Law, apparently all in one breath, are the key talking points for Senator Lambie this week.
Indigenous leaders, be very careful what you tell this woman in confidence or how you respond in public. Lambie is yet to prove she has heart or brain, to go with her loud mouth and her boss’s gut (neither of which indicate courage or anything else of substance).
on Leadership at last! But where will the Iraq war machine take Australia?.15 Sep 2014 4:10am 47
Field Marshall Tiny Winston Bishop Abbott shows resolute determination in his bold assertion that he cannot promise success in Iraq. Good show, once more into the breach dear friends and never mind that he hasn’t a clue how to win this, our bold leader is prepared to throw other people’s sons away for a principle he has sworn to defend somehow. Hip hip…
…er, Hip hip…
on Pakistan floods claim more lives as wedding party boat capsizes.15 Sep 2014 4:03am 2
“Pakistan, which has suffered a series of annual flood disasters since 2010, says as many as 2.3 million people have been affected.”
Off-topic I know, but this is more evidence of the immediate danger of climate change. Pakistan has had record floods before, but once a year is enough to destroy a country’s viability.
We need to stop arguing about it and agree that global emissions must be controlled to reduce the prospect that this becomes the new normal. Do you really want to destroy countries like Pakistan because you don’t personally “believe in climate change” despite the weight of evidence?
on Indigenous recognition: five things standing in the way.14 Sep 2014 5:54am
This is a generational failure and I fear there will be no progress until the likes of Andrew (shh…Bolt…) have well and truly moved on.
The right-wing shock-jock phenomenon has so skewed and biased the public view of racism that it may be only just possible to hang on to the gains we have made.
I’m glad that the gains have been substantial, worth celebrating just as they are. In the modern world, with the progress we have made, the contemptible ideas and words of these powerful racists are their own mockery.
They will again argue that they represent our supposed right to be bigots as though this is essential to freedom of speech. They seem to mean equal freedom of hate speech, but try to get them to see the problem with that.
on High court verdict spells the end for Australian immigration detention as we know it.14 Sep 2014 1:20am
[re a post having no idea of what it is to be a refugee]
They are in danger from the moment they become refugees. The boat trip is just the last danger they have to face, on the way to a hopefully safe place. You should talk to some refugees who have had to do this, you would not think you could have the courage to do what they had to do. Very few are just ordinary economic immigrants, because it takes a lot of fear behind you to make you take such a risk.
Your views on the parents is completely unfounded, just a glib way of demonising them as per Pauline Howard’s “children overboard” lie. You think refugee advocates are naive, Jesus take one look at your self, except your naïveté is mixed with cynicism so bad as to be a poison and completely wrong on every level.
on High court verdict spells the end for Australian immigration detention as we know it.14 Sep 2014 1:11am
[re a post wrongly asserting yet again that the “left” have no plan but to “let ’em all in”]
No one is saying we should let them all in. There is a refugee determination process that examines people’s claims, considers such thing as ethnicity and home town, compares the stories to known trouble spots, and in 90-95% of cases so far finds there is a match.
No one is saying they are all refugees – but the false claims are easy to spot and those people – the actual illegal immigrants – can then go through the deportation process.
Sending refugees or undetermined asylum seekers back is like putting abused children back in the same homes. A crime of the state in other words.
Refugees don’t seek asylum in the nearest safe state because many countries do not accept refugees. If they stay there it is often under false papers with the risk of identification by police and refoulement to where they came from , with a risk of torture, imprisonment or death.
As for your first comment about the childishness of children – this is beneath contempt in the context of an abused child lost in a stupid indefinite detention system. How heartless you must be. If you are referring to refugee advocates, sorry, you’re wrong, compassion and care for truth vs legal fiction is a sign of adulthood – how old are you, 14 and don’t give a rats? Or 97 and not all there anymore?
on High court verdict spells the end for Australian immigration detention as we know it.13 Sep 2014 3:09pm 6
It is illegal to actively deter refugees from seeking asylum. This is under the international refugee convention to which Australia is still signatory (and a leading original author) and I challenge the skeptics to look it up themselves if they don’t believe me.
Australian law incorporates the refugee convention. The same laws make separate provisions for illegal immigrants, that is those who come on economic visas and overstay or falsely seek asylum while just looking for a better job.
It is an error of law at best (or a complete lie at worst) to say that refugees or asylum seekers are illegal until they have been determined as such. The current debate is about releasing on appropriate visas people who have been determined to be refugees, and expediting the determination process for the rest.
on High court verdict spells the end for Australian immigration detention as we know it.13 Sep 2014 2:43pm 6
[re a post exaggerating the “threat” of refugees so as to justify extreme prejudice]
You are making a mountain out of a mole hill. The numbers of asylum seekers who have ever arrived has always been small and will almost certainly remain small even under worst case future scenarios. Compared to regular immigration numbers and birth rate, refugees are minuscule. We do not have the problems you describe because of refugees, they should not be blamed for it.
on High court verdict spells the end for Australian immigration detention as we know it.13 Sep 2014 12:12am 2
Provide Safe Passage
Send The Coastguard
Rescue the Asylum-seekers
Free the Refugees
Three-word slogans work both ways mate
on High court verdict spells the end for Australian immigration detention as we know it.12 Sep 2014 11:59pm 2
Transit countries don’t accept asylum seekers. In Indonesian it is actually illegal, that’s why they need fake passports that they discard before reaching Australia as possession of false documents doesn’t help an asylum application.
Sure this is working the system but the bottom line is 90-95% of asylum seekers are found to be genuine and their right to come here is protected by Australian law.
You’d better get used to it. Have an Afghani street party, get some delicious goat kebab or curry and something else you’ve never had before, you’ll love it!
on High court verdict spells the end for Australian immigration detention as we know it.12 Sep 2014 11:54pm
Hooray, more excellent neighbours in my street! No sarcasm whatsoever, I love people from other parts of the world, don’t you?
on High court verdict spells the end for Australian immigration detention as we know it.12 Sep 2014 11:50pm 5
[re a post querulously raising all sorts of frightening future scenarios which will not happen]
If, if, if. Answer your own question with a little Australian history, the widely valued fact that ALL previous immigration and refugee waves have successfully integrated into Australia and are making a great positive contribution. Some of my best medical students are of Asian heritage with the broadest most cheerful Aussie accent you have ever heard.
Don’t be afraid of the future, it won’t happen the way you fear, it’ll happen as a strange unintended consequence of your fear.
on Scott Morrison signals U-turn on offshore transfer for asylum seekers.12 Sep 2014 11:20pm
You want to save lives? Send the coast guard with UNHCR representatives, don’t let AusImmigration anywhere near them.
Had a nice rant? OK great, but still BULLSHIT
on High court verdict spells the end for Australian immigration detention as we know it.12 Sep 2014 10:53pm 1
[re a post citing section and paragraph number of the wrong ie irrelevant legislation]
You’ve overlooked the other section of the same act, that sets out the full suite of exceptions for asylum seekers. This is founded on the international refugee convention, that Australia was a major player in writing back in the aftermath of WWII.
To misapply the term illegal to people fleeing persecution is an error of law and an abuse of fundamental human rights. You’ve made a mistake and the government has cynically exploited the same wording, but in their case its not a mistake its a deliberate, criminal act
on High court verdict spells the end for Australian immigration detention as we know it.12 Sep 2014 10:40pm 4
[re a slogan-rich rant against just about everything]
Country is run by government AND courts.
Government uses opinion as well as courts.
Government is morons in suits.
Sorry, no respect for Abbott government, idiots.
Not an invasion, small numbers of legitimate refugees.
Not started by Rudd government, happening since prehistory, normal.
Not out of control, Abbott govt out of control, must be stopped.
on Asylum seeker can apply for permanent protection visa, high court rules.12 Sep 2014 2:22am 3
[re a post making a fair comment about the patently evident stupidity of some people]
Reminds me of a documentary I saw on the rise of One Nation, they interviewed a woman who hated her Chinese neighbours, how they cut down trees and lay concrete, how they hang their washing all over the street…then realizing she was on camera and the house was right behind her, with trees and grass and no washing lines, she said “oh well they haven’t, but you know they’re going to”…!!
I have never gotten over it.
As Tweedle Dum said to Tweedle Dee, “That’s Logic!”
on Asylum seeker can apply for permanent protection visa, high court rules.11 Sep 2014 11:35pm 7
Trying to reach out across the fractured divide of this country’s refugee policy, one nice thing I can think of about refugee skeptics is that they firmly believe they are defending the country from danger or abuse.
Has it occurred to them that draconian abuses of human rights are a danger in themselves, a slippery slope to totalitarian excess? You think that laughably unlikely? OK, so could it be about as unlikely as any significant fraction of the refugee population actually being the kind of threat that you fear?
Can we call a truce on this line, acknowledge that any policy has risks that we can manage, and not throw babies out with bath water, quite literally? Can we do the right thing, and do the thing right, just for once?
on Asylum seeker can apply for permanent protection visa, high court rules.11 Sep 2014 10:58pm 11
So now what, Morrison? Keep people and their kids locked up forever, or just as long as you hold the keys? What’s that going to achieve? And for how long?
For the millionth time, refugees are not “radicals criminals and dropouts”, they are not a threat or drain or Trojan horse, they are often outstanding people with a lot to offer. Talk to anyone who has met even a few refugees. Dispel your ignorance, drop your outrage, save lives and billions of dollars: release the children and families NOW.
on Scientists angry about Ian Macfarlane’s ‘precious petals’ remark.11 Sep 2014 2:30pm 7
“Apart from medicine, transportation, energy, big-bang cosmology, neuroscience, DNA and the tree of life, what has science ever done for us?”
“Oh well of course Wi-Fi! But apart from that…!”
Sorry, couldn’t resist.
on Scientists angry about Ian Macfarlane’s ‘precious petals’ remark.11 Sep 2014 2:19pm 10
[re a post preposterously highlighting scientist’s greed and ignorance]
How precious are you, petal?
on Villawood asylum seekers in solitary for more than 24 hours at a time.10 Sep 2014 3:11pm
[re a post claiming all refugees are migrants who throw away their passports and the “left” who respond out of some “guilt trip”]
Refugees don’t have passports. You can’t deter refugees from fleeing the threat of torture or imprisonment, unless you invent a worse torture or imprisonment. That is the inevitable endpoint of this policy, and it is wrong on every possible level.
Guilt trip? Who’s guilty, you?
on Scott Morrison signals U-turn on offshore transfer for asylum seekers.10 Sep 2014 2:07pm 7
[re a friendly post pointing out a common right-wing tactic of associating refugees with war…well d’uh…?]
Too true. All they have to do is keep associating refugees with terrorists and even the nicest, most well-meaning people who don’t care about politics will think it makes more sense to just believe him and hope it all goes away.
It’s a killer argument, but its still a LIE.
on Scott Morrison signals U-turn on offshore transfer for asylum seekers.10 Sep 2014 1:53pm
[light-hearted reply to a blatant lie]
Hahaha, pull the other one.
[and another one…]
Can we get some truth in here please?
on Scott Morrison signals U-turn on offshore transfer for asylum seekers.10 Sep 2014 1:41pm 7
[re a post by the notorious Tim of Altona doing his mightiest to change history]
Howard opened the camps. Abbott forced the ALP to reopen them in a hung parliament by blocking every other alternative.
You don’t seem to have thoughts so much as lying slogans, Tim of Altona. Be careful, I have a very compassionate maiden aunt who lives near you, she’ll chew your fucking ear off.
on Scott Morrison signals U-turn on offshore transfer for asylum seekers.10 Sep 2014 1:36pm 6
I’m not at all surprised that Scott Morrison has made this backflip. The same colossal backflip happened last time under Howard, but then as now, only after the damage had been done.
Get off the stage Morrison, history awaits you with your same cold and unwelcoming expression.
on Scott Morrison signals U-turn on offshore transfer for asylum seekers.10 Sep 2014 1:35pm 4
He’d so like us to move on. Forget it happened. We didn’t do kill and maim those people, did we, I mean, who, us?
The coalition’s policies caused exactly the same kind of human damage under John Howard. The same policies didn’t work then and they are definitely not working now. The whole stupid mess is a paltry domestic political stunt for the ignorant racist vote and the poor mass deceived by Rupert Murdoch.
Labor, for all their faults, had workable alternatives that were cynically trashed by Tony Abbott as though a few thousand of the millions of suffering people worldwide would “swamp” us. The lifeboat analogy (accept no more so as to prevent further death) simply does not work in a prosperous nation. It’s one of the biggest lies this country has ever fallen for.
If you want to save lives, send the coast guard, not the ghastly Ruddockated spooks of Australian immigration.
on Chris Bowen denies adviser asked for ‘youngest looking’ to be sent to Manus.10 Sep 2014 5:20am 1
[re a post sensibly arguing that refugees can always just go back to where they came from]
Wrong, refugees don’t have a home to safely return to. I know you’d like to believe that, but its a hard cruel world out there, and in here too it seems. Very hard, very cruel, and you’re OK with that so long as we’re the ones doing it to them.
on Villawood asylum seekers in solitary for more than 24 hours at a time.10 Sep 2014 5:02am 2
[re a post claiming refugee advocates wish to undermine due process]
Wrong, I believe in administrative processes and orderly immigration just like you. What I don’t believe in is following the process to an illogical extreme of indefinite arbitrary detention of all regardless of the validity of their claim.
That doesn’t mean let every one in, just the legitimate refugees, as was a matter of course under all Australian governments before it was politicized by the Howard government.
on Villawood asylum seekers in solitary for more than 24 hours at a time.10 Sep 2014 4:49am 5
[re a post arguing refugees are bad people who throw away their papers]
They don’t have any papers, they’re refugees.
(Yeah right, says you, there’s no such thing as a refugee)
They’re not bad people, they shouldn’t be in prison.
(Yeah right, all refugees are bad, even the ones that don’t exist, says you)
on Villawood asylum seekers in solitary for more than 24 hours at a time.10 Sep 2014 4:36am 2
It could all have been prevented if we had not created an unjust regime of arbitrary indefinite detention that snares refugee children, families and young people in the same net as illegal immigrants. This is stupid policy which failed under Howard and is failing again now.
on Villawood asylum seekers in solitary for more than 24 hours at a time.10 Sep 2014 4:27am 4
[re a post arguing that detention is necessary to prevent self-harm and anti-social behaviour among refugees]
You’ve got that in reverse. The actual causes of self-harm, anti-social behaviour, altercations and flight risk, are indefinite detention and solitary confinement.
How would you like to try staying sane and polite when you have been locked up for years having committed no actual crime – and we’re not talking about some crime against public opinion that you have been fooled into imagining.
on Villawood asylum seekers in solitary for more than 24 hours at a time.10 Sep 2014 4:21am 5
[re a post bullishly proud of Australia’s vigilant guard dog Scott Morrison]
It is actually illegal, in Australia, to punish refugees as a deterrent against others. Your guard dog analogy is actually more like a bull dog biting a child, and yes, that’s illegal in Australia too.
on Villawood asylum seekers in solitary for more than 24 hours at a time.10 Sep 2014 4:16am 3
[re a post asking why we can’t just send them all back where they came from]
Because that would be refoulement, to send refugees or asylum seekers back to places where they may be subject to imprisonment or torture…
Instead of being directly guilty of that international crime, it looks like we cut out the other state and do their hidden crimes for them, or would if we could hide them properly.
on Villawood asylum seekers in solitary for more than 24 hours at a time.09 Sep 2014 10:40pm 70
Solitary confinement is a firm of torture. Sensory deprivation with solitary confinement is known to send people insane. Australia is committing a crime.
on Chris Bowen denies adviser asked for ‘youngest looking’ to be sent to Manus.09 Sep 2014 11:45am 4
Until they actually change the law (and they haven’t, they’ve just made a huge political noise about it), asylum seekers and refugees are by law permitted to arrive in this country by any means, including by irregular maritime traffic, with or without documentation.
That’s the website of the Australian Law Reform Commission, a federal government department. It’s real law, and we (or our government) are breaking it.
This is not some legal nonsense or invasion by stealth, it’s a fair way of dealing with the real problem of refugees. They are not terrorists, or criminals of any kind. There are even relatively few economic immigrants among them, to whom the separate immigration act applies. This is the act that calls people “illegal” which is fair enough if they have no legal claim to be here, no actual danger they are running from. It’s not the same for refugees, and that’s an important difference you’re not hearing in the current controversy.
Any asylum seekers that are found to be economic refugees can be sent home. The refugees on the other hand can’t return home. They didn’t just rock up with an expectation of the dole, they are running from oppressive governments and war zones.
I too wouldn’t necessarily call Australia inhumane and cruel, but if the desperation of an asylum seek can be described as “unrealistic ambition”, I expect we will wear whatever exaggerated names the world and its human rights representatives will call us. And we will deserve it, because I tell you truly, we have got this all wrong.
on Chris Bowen denies adviser asked for ‘youngest looking’ to be sent to Manus.09 Sep 2014 11:13am 2
[re a post pre-emptively slinging mud at the new UNHCR chief]
The “new UNHCR Person” Zein bin Ra’ad was appointed as high commissioner because he has spoken out about his own country Jordan as much as any nation that abuses human rights.
This puts us in the same class as Jordan. I can see why you would wish to deny it, I totally agree, it’s bloody disgusting.
on Jacqui Lambie says Clive Palmer may be her party leader but he’s not her boss.08 Sep 2014 11:46am 1
How do you pronounce PUP, short as in arse-UP or BULLshit, or long as in DUPE or dogPOOP?
Or with a soft consonant sound as in PUKE?
on UN human rights chief to accuse Australia on asylum seeker policy.08 Sep 2014 5:26am 21
Refugees are not criminals. You don’t deter refugees by making their access to asylum harder to get, you just make it more dangerous for them.
Deterrence is specifically proscribed under the international refugee convention. This is why the government is so artful not to refer to detention explicitly as a deterrent, but its all so out there you wouldn’t know it.
So yes, deterrence is completely unacceptable. Deterrence by indefinite detention with the risk of a violent or preventable death is not just unacceptable, it is illegal at the far end of the criminal scale. Be careful how you support your government on this.
on Tony Abbott makes anniversary pledge to ‘protect the vulnerable’.08 Sep 2014 3:28am 3
Mad midnight theory #307: Tony Abbott is really a deep green progressive feminist and refugee sympathizer who has insinuated himself over thirty years into the leadership position of the major Australian political party that is most opposed to these fair principles, and is now unfolding his devious plan to destroy the LNP for good at the polls.
Makes as much sense as anything I suppose…
on Tony Abbott makes anniversary pledge to ‘protect the vulnerable’.08 Sep 2014 3:18am 3
[re more nonsense from the illustrious Tim of Altona]
Tim, your crystal ball is cracked. And your rear-view mirror. Or is it you?
on Tony Abbott one year on: how the trust was won and lost.05 Sep 2014 10:43am 1
Peace on Earth now. But Demonstrate!
on Tony Abbott one year on: how the trust was won and lost.05 Sep 2014 10:03am 22
Abbott’s idea of achievement is what I would call willful destruction. If he gets another two years, the damage he could do, oh help.
Actually I think PJK called it that yesterday. Thanks Paul, speak again soon.
on Asylum seeker on life support was given ‘outstanding’ care, says Scott Morrison.05 Sep 2014 7:30am 5
[ re a post arguing that an asylum seeker who died should not have taken the risk, then asks if we can hear a bleating noise?]
Sure, this man took a risk to save himself and his family from the rapacious islamofascist regime in Iran, but died instead at the hands of the ignorant mendocracy in Australia. He took his chances, and see what happens?
Hey you’re right – I started hearing a sheep bleating while I read your post. How’d you do that?!
on Asylum seeker in data breach case wins leave to appeal injunction rejection.04 Sep 2014 2:33pm 3
Leaking refugees’ details to anyone wishing to persecute them or their families is a sure way to see them dead if they are returned.
Is this the way a “grown-up” “government” (heavy irony both times) handles sensitive information? This is as detrimental to their own absurd position as it is to the safety of the individuals concerned.
Morrison, you’re a moron or a monster, and I don’t care which, will you get off the stage?
on Asylum seeker’s family mourn ‘sensitive, lovable’ son declared brain dead.04 Sep 2014 11:52am 8
How do we know he was not a genuine asylum seeker when we have stopped the refugee determination process in offshore camps and have not bothered to find out?
Say you’re from a totalitarian islamofascist state with religious proscription and state-based assassination of democracy advocates. You’re in a foreign country with no possible alternative to return “home”. What are you if not a refugee?
So the man has a family who love him, and he’s trying to find a way to save them, he’s not just a refugee, he’s a hero of our times.
Morrison will blame this on refugee advocates. He will pretend to agonise over moral choices. There is no moral choice in these circumstances. The ends ARE the means, what’s right is to save lives when you can.
What’s wrong is to pretend it’s all someone else’s problem and blame others for deaths caused by madly changing open and closed door policies and adding danger to the last remaining escape routes, as inflicted by conservative governments in this country for too long.
You might as well blame refugee advocates for the bad weather, or the wars that drove these people to seek refuge. Even John Howard couldn’t change the weather, but the wars? Now that’s a very different story.
on Asylum seeker’s family mourn ‘sensitive, lovable’ son declared brain dead.04 Sep 2014 11:39am 10
I am so sorry that this young man has lost his life in the Australian detention hell. It is so wrong and we feel powerless to prevent it.
on Asylum seeker’s family mourn ‘sensitive, lovable’ son declared brain dead.04 Sep 2014 11:03am
The means ARE the ends
on Superannuation delay an act of ‘wilful sabotage’, says Paul Keating.04 Sep 2014 10:55am
Unethical investments R us
on Superannuation delay an act of ‘wilful sabotage’, says Paul Keating.04 Sep 2014 9:00am
[re a post arguing that loss of superannuation is a small price to pay for vigilance (?)]
So the government takes $6.5 bn per year from our collective savings as a deal with Clive Palmer, who stands to make his own $6.5 bn out of it, and we should just stiff upper lip and self-sacrifice to survive it, is that what you’re saying?
So this is OK and anyone who disagrees is an ALP fool or liar or naive?
Take one look in the mirror mate, there stands a very naive lying fool.
on Science cuts ‘fiscally irresponsible’, Boyer lecture biologist says.04 Sep 2014 8:26am 6
Thank you Professors Cory and Chubb. It’s great to see widely respected scientists tackling this issue of the politicisation of science. Isn’t there some leverage we can apply to the government, something of their agenda we can hold up, to force them to take this more rationally? What have we got that they think they need?
Personally, I long ago refused to work with the farmers who burned the MDB water sharing plan, I got on with my life and don’t care if they damage their own livelihoods. But I admit this is not going to work in the long term. How can we make them see the connections?
How do we regain the good faith of politically-focused stakeholders? This has been lost I think because political association is something they understand, where science collaboration means something they play to “win”, meaning short-term gain.
It beats me. Please keep speaking out.
Michael Gordon Evans
on Carbon emissions from electricity grid rise after carbon price repeal.04 Sep 2014 7:39am 84
This whole issue is completely off the scale of credibility. There is no rational justification for this, not economic, environmental or even political. It is pure bloody-minded revenge for seven years out of power.
Add to that a visceral urge to destroy anything, any good thing especially, that their opponents might have achieved. There is no thought for any consequence, no concern for any harm, and no strategy other than to big-lie deny it through their teeth.
This country is in danger. This government will wreck whatever they can lay their hands on. What the hell is wrong with these people, are they sick?
on Joe Hockey: Coalition did not want seven-year superannuation freeze.03 Sep 2014 1:37am 12
This makes no economic sense. Every other developed nation charges resource rent or tax on mining. Limited natural resources need to be taken with an option for the future when they will be harder to find and less viable.
To repeal a mining tax and use workers’ superannuation as the replacement fund is a double whammy on the future viability of this country. It’s an enormous risk to say the least. Look at Nauru as one possible future.
And why? Unless it’s to continue Abbott’s core program, to reverse every good thing the labor government did and blame them for every problem so as to entrench his political side and insinuate his ideology into every aspect of our lives, there is no evident reason.
This government is a danger to the nation. If I was a wild animal I would tear these bastards to pieces for the threat they represent to my children. The political process has turned into a minefield. The only consolation is that the ignorant mass that voted for them will be worst hit, and that’s nothing to feel OK about. Poor fools led by bigoted fools, god help us.
on Mining tax repealed as legislation passes Senate after Palmer United deal.02 Sep 2014 1:07pm 2
Boom boom, very funny. Laugh, investors, all the way to the bank.
on Tensions remain high in Manus Island asylum seeker detention centre: report.02 Sep 2014 12:58pm 5
If the asylum seekers are free to leave and would be in no danger to return home, rather than rotting for years in a madhouse hellhole, why don’t they?
It’s a good question, and the answer is because they can’t. Home is a more dangerous and hellish place even than a razor-wire box on Manus Island. If they go home to Syria or Iraq or Sri Lanka or Burma, they will probably be killed. It happens all the time to the ones who do give up and go home. We know it happens, it’s one of many things the government doesn’t talk about.
This whole insanity is politically inspired not by events or threats in the real world but by the made-up concerns of bigots and the ignorant. Genuine refugees who survive this domesticated torture will eventually be brought to Australia by force of no alternative to the government of the day. They will eventually become part of the fabric of our society. They will carry scars like World War I diggers but they will survive and their children will prosper. Bigots who supported this will fade away, and future generations will be sorry for it. That’s the way we seem to work, sadly.
on Mining tax repealed as legislation passes Senate after Palmer United deal.02 Sep 2014 5:46am 13
6.5 Billion dollars… 6.5 BILLION DOLLARS… of OUR money, going to permit multinational and corporations to TAKE our LIMITED natural resources for NOTHING and send it OVERSEAS…
Now I understand how right-wing cranks feel about wasting taxpayers money.
So lets here it again, who voted for these bastards??
…crickets…dog barking…door slamming somewhere…
on I received an antisemitic leaflet in my letterbox – and yet I cherish free speech.02 Sep 2014 3:06am 14
[re a post feverishly listing the attributes of a left-winger…much like Lewis Carroll describing the Snark]
As a small-l liberal who knows many others, all I can say to you is Huh? Are you talking about me?
Authoritarian – no
Appease Muslim extremists – no
Rant about Israel – no
Idiot pal of Islamists – no
Loved Soviet Russia, or modern totalitarian Russia – no
Cosy with Islam – no
Hate white western people – no
Your experience with left-leaning types like me seems limited to a fevered imagination or a desire to blame someone else for the world’s problems.
Your own racism and cultural bias is very evident in your last statement. I know many people from third world countries who are educated, qualified and amazingly resourceful.
You think every refugee is an illiterate goat-herder? Are you serious? Are you stupid? I honestly can’t tell.
on United Nations predicts climate hell in 2050 with imagined weather forecasts.01 Sep 2014 10:31pm 19
We don’t know how bad it’s going to get. It’s like predicting a landslide, you don’t know which particular houses will get wiped.
We do know that it’s going to get pretty bad, so it makes sense to take action now to prevent the worst case.
Can any climate denier say what’s wrong in their view with a precautionary approach, to take reasonable steps at limiting pollution and funding new low-pollution technology/industry? Even if the world doesn’t need saving, we will eventually need to move beyond fossil fuels because they are finite. It makes sense to do that now with this verifiable risk facing us, whether you believe in it or not.
Do you really want to one of those who allowed us to mistakenly destroy our planet just because it violates your economic theory? Not business as usual? And if that’s not it, then what???
on March in August: thousands rally against Tony Abbott by taking to streets.31 Aug 2014 11:57pm 3
[re a post sneering at fools who march for who knows what reason this time]
That’s right. So you don’t see anything to protest about? You’re fine with criminal abuse of children in refugee camps, the destruction of opportunities for renewable energy, degradation of the Great Barrier Reef, the reduction of unemployed youth to serfs or slaves, war-mongering, inequality, secrecy, bigotry, religious hypocrisy, and fundamentally racism against the first people of this continent?
If your fine with that you’re definitely ignorant and probably racist. Sorry, if the shoe fits, why does it hurt so much?
on Tony Abbott’s white settlement remarks offend Indigenous leaders.31 Aug 2014 1:45pm 4
My defining moment in Australian history: Tiny Abbott is charged with human rights abuses in the International Criminal Court, for months he steadily ignores it as his media mates crow as if this is some high honor, then stunned silence as he is hauled off by the GG…mid-2015, hopeful earliest.
on Manus Island asylum seeker in critical condition.28 Aug 2014 10:09pm 7
According to Scott Morrison if this man dies it will be the fault of refugee advocates who encouraged him to attempt the journey to Australia. Nothing to do with the (illegal) deterrent value of his indefinite detention on a remote tropical island, or the extreme neglect of Morrison’s duty of care to people trapped by his policy failures.
Ignorant Australia, your fault. Morrison is just the pointy end of your weapon, which you seem to operate with your eyes shut.
on Global warming is already here and could be irreversible, UN panel says.27 Aug 2014 11:28am 10
It is not too late. Don’t give up because you think it won’t make any difference. The more control we place on emissions now, the better this will turn out.
Take action! Write to your rep in government, change your own life. Turn down your hot water system, choose energy efficient appliances and lighting, wear suitable clothes for the weather. Fly less, walk more.
It is not too late.
And to the ugly trolls who will delight in our fearing that it’s too late so we will now give up, sorry, we’re smarter and more focussed on this than you can even imagine. We will not give up.
on Global warming is already here and could be irreversible, UN panel says.28 Aug 2014 11:16am
[re a post wishing to promote the idea that it is too late to prevent climate change, presumably so protestors will give up]
I think you must have missed my point. I do agree with the IPCC about the risk of irreversibility, I agree we may have passed one or two thresholds. But it is not too late to take action, there are other thresholds we may still avoid if we continue taking personal action, changing our own lives and applying pressure on our political representatives.
I repeat my message to the trolls, WE WILL NOT GIVE UP. They are on some cynical ego trip or are a bit hopeless at judging the evidence, and will probably struggle to abandon their flat-earth dream even when the evidence is overwhelming, and by then it may be too late, but even then we will not give up.
Message for the not-so-ugly trolls? All climate denial trolls seem fairly ugly on the inside from an environmental scientists perspective (mine)
on Christopher Pyne: changes to university funding are a ‘fair go’ for students.28 Aug 2014 10:55am 3
Just for once I don’t mind resorting to name calling. I can’t help feeling this is a level the man gets quite well.
Hissey-Chrissy, Whiney-Piney, Minister for Kidneys, Danger Mouse, will you please take your incredible twisted bias and opinionism back to your sainted Aunt and let her soothing vinegary words wash over you once again, I say please again you bloody fool before you do some serious damage to the nation?
on Christopher Pyne: changes to university funding are a ‘fair go’ for students.28 Aug 2014 10:48am 4
[re a post sneering at “Mickey Mouse” university degrees]
By Mickey Mouse you mean something you hold in contempt, right? I’m guessing this is either your own experience or something you feel out of either resentment or cynicism. Actually that’s not a guess, it’s not hard to work out from your words.
So you’re applying your anecdotal or narrow and embittered viewpoint to an issue of national importance, dismissing what you don’t understand or have not yourself been successful in.
Sorry, I reject your opinion as objectively wrong, pathologically biased and detrimental in effect. Piss off for goodness sake, go read the telegraph or something.
on Global warming is already here and could be irreversible, UN panel says.27 Aug 2014 11:39am
Climate change induced by human activity is new and difficult to predict. Our best understanding of it is that it could be disastrous. It makes a lot of sense to control this so as to avoid the worst possible (actually quite feasible) outcomes.
If you keep assuming it’s natural, so it’s fine, you’re making a big mistake.
on Tony Abbott under pressure over Melbourne travel expenses.27 Aug 2014 10:06am 18
This man is a liar. If he says he didn’t do it, you know for a fact that he did.
One day, Tiny Abbott, liars will be welcomed in the ranks of decent society. I know you work every day to break down that last barrier of social exclusion.
I sympathize with your struggle, but the fact remains: you are a dirty fucking liar and the sooner you are hauled off to prison the better. Excuse my language, I REALLY couldn’t help it.
on Global warming is already here and could be irreversible, UN panel says.27 Aug 2014 4:04am 3
Some people seem to be confusing “irreversible” with “irrefutable”.
Refute it all you like. Kick a stone and refute it loudly. Good luck to your grandchildren, and mine.
on Tony Abbott says counter-terrorism measures are not aimed at Muslims.27 Aug 2014 3:35am 2
You can take Abbott’s words by their exact opposite. He still has the dog-whistle he inherited from Pauline Howard. Hear it loud and clear, Muslim community members, I totally understand your concern.
I too would boycott anything Tony Abbott proposed. He would have to rewrite his entire life story to change the well-known fact even by his own admission that he is a professional liar.
on Joe Hockey is Australia’s least popular recent treasurer, poll suggests.26 Aug 2014 9:45am 29
Abbot says that his party’s “mission” is to ensure that the years 2007 to 2013 are “not the new normal – just a passing phase”.
He could still be in opposition, still living in that period, if this is all he is about. His obstructionism then was legendary and harmful.
Abbott’s reactionary overturning everything, every good and decent thing the last government did, has to be the product of a very warped and regressive mind.
How did they do this? How do you turn the actions of a socially responsible government, building schools, insulating houses, welcoming refugees, enacting Kyoto, saying sorry and everything else, into the pile of bullshit we now face each day in the papers? It is beyond me.
on Higher education changes must pass before December, Coalition warns.26 Aug 2014 7:25am 5
Ordinarily I don’t like to get personal but his say Chrissy is just the most awful contemptible speck of a person, only Tony Abbott would think to appoint him as education minister and only because he wants to damage university education as much as possible, and why? Because dumb people will vote for his politics. That’s it.
Sorry Pyney-whiney, we call your bluff, scorn your threats, if I was your boss I’d sack you. I am your boss. PYNE, YOU’RE SACKED!! If only…
on Christopher Pyne: no university reform could mean research funding cuts.25 Aug 2014 3:49am 9
Hissy Chrissie, minister for kidneys, unemployable except in a political capacity, likes to kick heads except he always misses!
on Christopher Pyne: no university reform could mean research funding cuts.25 Aug 2014 3:33am 8
Why would an education minister know the value of a kidney?
Why would an education minister know the value of an education?
Ans: there is no minister for kidneys, and no minister for education.
Hello Christopher Pyne, hello…this way, over here….hello…?
on Global warming slowdown answer lies in depths of Atlantic, study finds.22 Aug 2014 11:16pm 10
Denial: a state of shock following bad news about your health or imminent death. Sometimes implicated in cancer patients failing to take action soon enough to beat their disease. Possibly implicated in the demise of the tightly interconnected global civilization on planet Earth in the 21st century.
on Erin Molan says don’t be afraid to walk after quitting Sandilands show.22 Aug 2014 10:50pm 35
Kyle Sandilands is about the standard expected of bogans these days. Liberated of “political correctness”, they revert instantly to verbal forms of sexual and racial abuse. Sandilands and his liberator John Howard are the worst examples of male “intellect” this country has ever seen. Rat cunning and an innate instinct for getting the mindless ugly mob on their side.
on Global warming slowdown answer lies in depths of Atlantic, study finds.22 Aug 2014 11:11pm 1
[re a post suspiciously asking why scientists didn’t mention these new research findings before]
There are lag times, delays between when one effect starts and another effect kicks in to compensate or adjust for the first effect. It often means that the new effect has a threshold, and that once it starts working it has considerable leverage ie effectiveness. Ocean currents have all the hall marks, in that they didn’t kick in for about a century but when they did they brought the atmospheric warming to a relative halt. This is complex systems theory applied to climate/oceanography, the world is still warming and has several other thresholds to go through. It may or may not be too late to stop it.
on Global warming slowdown answer lies in depths of Atlantic, study finds.22 Aug 2014 2:46am 31
[re the same depressingly familiar refrain against the scientists]
You seem to have no idea how science works. Are we supposed to know everything right from the start and never learn from new facts?
Science is not like a new toy, you can’t complain if there are bits missing. Sorry, its not a perfect world. Why are you treating it like a game of Simon says? You do realise we are talking about worsening global catastrophe of the sort we’ve seen since Katrina?
And you want to play childish I-told-you-so with your ignorance as your only claim to be annoyed that you don’t understand the debate? Please, grow up soon.
on Tamil asylum-seeker court case may see UN intervene.21 Aug 2014 11:41pm 1
The United Nations is the best hope we have of a civilized world and fair international legal system. It’s not perfect but it finds a balance and moves forward slowly.
Australia’s actions against asylum seekers have placed the government outside of that system of laws for too long. The whole country is split down the middle. We have lost our sense of what’s right or wrong.
This is not a case of self-defense or an assertion of our own rights to border protection. It is bloody-minded domestic politics, appealing to the uninformed majority who have no idea about international realities and are fearful of what they don’t understand.
The UN has no specific power to punish states for human rights transgressions, for good reasons. UN sanction means a talking to after class. The bullies among us think that means it’s nothing, and swagger around like skinheads with some kind of impunity.
They’re wrong. It makes a big difference to countries that violate international law. Governments of both persuasions have shamed and dirtied our hands. Morrison and Abbott are just the latest crop of swaggering bullies. It won’t hurt them, it hurts us, Australians who care.
History again will be the judge. Don’t expect any glowing legacy from these bastards. We have lost the race to the bottom, and these damned fools are so smug it makes you wonder how they can feed themselves.
on Clive Palmer suffers double setback in court battle over iron ore port.21 Aug 2014 6:18am 2
The conflict of interest in Clive Palmer’s political career is so obvious, how is it even possible for this man to be a senator?
Someone, please lookup the rule book where its says politicians cannot own resources on the scale of the state, to the extent that their private dealings become international political crises.
What rule book you say…WHAT RULE BOOK?!
on Australia going to ‘unthinkable’ lengths to return Syria detainees, emails show.19 Aug 2014 11:36am 5
There’s a basic misunderstanding about “releasing” refugees into the community. They are not just dumped in a suburb and left to themselves. For a long period refugees remain in contact with government agencies, often learning English, the basics of Australian law and the rights of Australian citizenship as they do so.
Without this basic function of the immigration department there would be some risk that refugees will turn into a danger to society, an economic burden or criminal or worse. With this amount of care in place, the risk of individuals (who agency officers get to know quite well) absconding or being terrorists is so small as to be negligible, and we can take good care of people at the same time.
Our present government has had very little experience of this level of care, having adopted a policy of not releasing asylum seekers at all. They have run down the capacity of the department to provide this level of care, have in fact by all accounts radically changed the culture of the department so it is very hard to work there with these views. Government agents, for so they must be called, are pressuring people to return to a war zone.
These are two very different ideas of what it means to run an immigration department! Me, and people like me, we love the idea of being nice to people, it even makes the world a safer place. Bugger your stupid “lock ’em up and throw away the key”, it doesn’t work.
on Australia going to ‘unthinkable’ lengths to return Syria detainees, emails show.19 Aug 2014 10:36am 6
[re a post suggesting that nothing Scott Morrison does will change lefty’s minds]
Morrison would change my mind by immediately releasing ALL children with their families into the Australian community while their claims are processed, as we are supposed to do under our own laws and the international refugee convention. That includes ALL those in offshore detention, and it means right now.
No? Mind not changed yet, sorry.
on Australia going to ‘unthinkable’ lengths to return Syria detainees, emails show.19 Aug 2014 10:31am 7
That this government hates refugees has no bearing on their rights as refugees…that citizens of this country hate refugees has no bearing on their rights as refugees…in their home countries there are people who hate them so much they will and do kill them, THAT’S what makes them refugees.
on Scott Morrison announces release of 150 children before facing detention inquiry.19 Aug 2014 4:47am 9
Morrison will sneer his way through the commission of inquiry. Six months later, maybe, some of the children he says will be released, may be released, or maybe not. And hundreds of others will continue to be destroyed in detention centres.
I’m not cynical, but I have zero faith in Morrison’s humanity. Too little, too late and probably not at all if he can get away with it.
on Scott Morrison announces release of 150 children before facing detention inquiry.19 Aug 2014 4:42am 9
Morrison makes this announcement days before he is due to be grilled at a a commission of inquiry. That’s a cynical act of coldly calculated timing, but when someone asks why, his reply is “That’s a cynical question”.
It sure is! Mr Morrison, we wouldn’t be so cynical if your entire policy was not immersed in cynicism right from the start.
Blaming labor and the greens for liberal policy policy and this abusive mistreatment of children, is worse than any childish bully saying “she started it”! I have watched this whole thing unfold from the late 1990s and the LNP have at me very step queered and distorted Labor’s basically humanitarian policies and turned them into the laws of a gulag state.
If people are thanking Morrison for fixing Labor’s mess they must be very keen to blame someone else for the LNP’s heartlessness. I feel sorry for such people, they have been fooled by the political party they trust and they will probably never learn.
on Global warming denial rears its ugly head around the world, in English.19 Aug 2014 1:20am 9
Hard-nosed economists will understand the main principle of risk analysis, that if a future event has a high uncertainty and a large impact, you take it very seriously.
Scientists don’t have a crystal ball. No theory is complete, no model exact. But over centuries we have seen how it works. Science is usually right. So the uncertainty that these risks will unfold as the models suggest, has to be read with the understanding that science is the best way to estimate them.
A big problem is that people interpret scientific uncertainty as a sign that scientists are unsure of what they’re talking about. It’s only one step from there to the idea that scientists don’t know, and one more step to “they must be wrong”.
So OK, you hard-nosed types, just do the math: if a risk with 50% probability in the next hundred years would cost the Earth say 100 trillion dollars (estimated gross world production in today’s terms) what is the opportunity cost of not doing something drastic to prevent it with proposed taxation measures today?
I think you’ll find that not doing anything is fancifully silly. Anyway have a think about it…
on Kids behind bars in Nauru: letters from children in immigration detention.17 Aug 2014 12:50am
There’s some classic LNP tactics in play at the moment, great crowd-foolers every time, lets study the form:
“Blame the victim”. These kids should not have been born in failed states to families decimated by violence, it’s their fault for being orphaned or just old enough to be their family’s last hope. Or it’s their parents fault for dying or being unable to find them in the rout, or for giving them their last savings in the hope they survive. Oh yeah, and some of them are economic migrants, I’ll give you that, but not many or even a large percentage.
“Don’t talk about the unintended consequences: these are not mistakes but unfortunate necessities”. We need to remember to hide our shame, so our relaxed and comfortable culture can endure. It’s only other places that make terrible mistakes. Australians don’t abuse children, and if they do it’s obviously for good political reasons.
“The other side in politics uses human tragedies for political purposes”. This explains why refugee advocates are actually cold-hearted manipulators of the situation, political operatives from way back, a mouthpiece of lies about child abuse and so on.
Or worse, they pass on terrible stories they have heard from the mouths of mere children to a gullible press who still hold to these failed bleeding heart ideas, like accepting the small numbers of refugees who come here by any means and just give them a chance at life. Really, I ask you.
on Kids behind bars in Nauru: letters from children in immigration detention.17 Aug 2014 12:32am
[re another post fervently wishing refugee advocates would go away]
You’d like this issue to just “go away” now? You’re so proud of this signature policy success that you want us not to talk about it, not celebrate the ingenious disincentives our great leader has found?
Children are suffering terribly, that must mean the policy is working, and now you want to go all quiet about it?
on Kids behind bars in Nauru: letters from children in immigration detention.15 Aug 2014 11:22pm 5
[re a post incoherently arguing that children self-harming in detention are politicising the issue]
Youre talking about the sadness and anger of children and teenagers. it is not a political statement, people that age are not political. If they hate Australia it is because we have made ourselves hateful.
These children need a chance at life and as you can read for yourself, they can’t go home to countries torn by war.
on Kids behind bars in Nauru: letters from children in immigration detention.15 Aug 2014 11:07pm 2
Write to your federal member. The one who represents your electorate. Ask him or her clearly why Australia is doing this. Remain polite but be true to your feelings of anger or shame or what you feel is wrong. Refer to these submissions to the inquiry.
Send it by snail mail with a stamped return-addressed envelope. If you are not satisfied with the reply or there is no reply, write again in the same way and refer to your earlier correspondence.
Keep this up relentlessly for as long as you do not get the answer you want. Be strong for our kids on Nauru.
NOT IN MY NAME.
on Tony Abbott adviser warns of threat of ‘global cooling’.14 Aug 2014 11:04pm 3
If Newman was actually articulating a call to action, possibly we could take him seriously. Climate change as we now understand it could in fact trigger a new ice age as the system compensates for polar circulation reversals. This is one of the recognised threats of AGW, not a nutty professor idea at all.
But the fact is, he’s not calling for action, he’s playing classic LNP politics to confuse the issue and attack his “enemies” with nonsense that only LNP voters could understand.
“If you can’t blind them with brilliance, baffle ’em with bull”
“Tell the public what they think they want to hear, then do whatever you want to do”,
“If they call you a liar, call them a liar and tell more lies. If they call you a religious nut, call their science religion and make them look like high priests of some scary cult”
These guys are not living in the “real” world, they’re living in the “hard-nosed” economic world, and they don’t know that there is a difference or that there’s danger in such ignorance.
So come on Newman, push the issue like you really believe it. Global warming or global cooling, it’s still global climate change and it is still happening. The evidence is in climate events worldwide since about 15 years ago. What was it that destroyed New Orleans and drowned 40% of Pakistan, a communist plot?
on As the blunders grow in number, can anyone actually challenge Abbott?.14 Aug 2014 9:07am 23
Abbott’s only “successes” have been to inflict more harm on asylum seekers and cause more damage to the future of this planet’s environment.
Well, it’s all over now but still its depressing to think of the worse damage and prolonged trauma Abbott will inflict with his one term.
Cynical, selfish and easy to do if you have no brain, no heart and no courage. Abbott’s use by date with the wizard of Oz awaits him.
on Child asylum seekers’ rights on Nauru ‘systematically violated’, inquiry told.14 Aug 2014 6:03am 6
The immigration minister declines to comment.
The immigration minister can be compelled to comment, but not this time. He knows this is life or death for his party. He wouldn’t speak if you threw every book in the state law library at him.
He’s mincemeat and he knows it. I’m not going to feel sorry for him. His comment is irrelevant.
on Australia close to refugee resettlement deal with Cambodia, reports claim.12 Aug 2014 11:17pm 5
What I find funny is how different our ideas are of what it means to be proud.
Me, I’m proud of a country that was once instrumental in the writing of the refugee protocol, a champion of human rights that for decades steadily overcame its racist origins and “grew up”.
You, you’re proud of a country that defends the abstract ideas of “sovereign borders” and “integrity of the immigration process”, in the process damaging thousands of lives or using their deaths as an excuse to do worse.
Your pride, to me, is puffed-up ignorance. To you, my pride is an echo of some embarrassing “bleeding heart” period in Australian history. This is still just more of your ignorance.
Be careful what you are proud of. Like Pauline Hanson’s biography, “unashamed”, I ask you, what does she have to be ashamed of if she says she’s unashamed?
on Australia close to refugee resettlement deal with Cambodia, reports claim.12 Aug 2014 10:37pm 3
[re a post making the analogy of Australia’s schizophrenia as two camps]
Two camps. One camp thinks it’s all right to label asylum seekers as criminals and laugh at people who care.
Asylum seekers are not criminals or a threat. This is fear and hysteria whipped up by the most unprincipled political sect this country has ever seen, the “modern” LNP in the shadow of Pauline Howard.
Punishing people to prevent drownings at sea is wrong and stupid and only reveals your true motives, to keep people out who you have demonized with fear and criminal labeling.
Two camps, but only one of them knows how to pitch a tent. The other camp have their fires under the canvas.
on Australia close to refugee resettlement deal with Cambodia, reports claim.12 Aug 2014 9:58am 4
[re a post repeating lies about deterring refugees from their abuse of our system]
There is no disincentive to a refugee, only death behind and uncertainty in front. There is no rort, it’s Australian and international law. You’re just repeating the lies you have been told by the criminals you voted for and the newspapers that print their rubbish.
on Australia close to refugee resettlement deal with Cambodia, reports claim.12 Aug 2014 8:48am 3
An overwhelming majority of Australians who think and care about it are opposed to everything the LNP have done to refugees ever since John Howard.
A dangerous minority of ignorant, scared, selfish or belligerent creeps have been fooled or titillated by a corrupt, treacherous media empire with a blatant bias towards racist trickle-down theories. Oh, and the LNP their sock-puppet government of choice.
ALP were outmaneuvered and out-lied by corrupt and vicious creeps. Australian people were suckered and will one day, without any doubt at all, seriously regret it.
on Wait for the dole for 113,000 under-30s will have ‘deeply disturbing’ effect.11 Aug 2014 12:59pm 4
[re a post earthily dismissing concerns about a six-month wait for social security]
So anyone who literally cannot find a job in a retreating market like the one these idiots are starting will just have to starve for six months?
You’d be happy with that? Maybe you just don’t believe in this kind of hard-nosed real-world fact, that many people through no fault of their own cannot find a job?
You seem like a pretty down-to-earth person, but you’re a bit out of touch or in your own reality somehow.
on Australia’s national security proposals will criminalise journalists, says union.11 Aug 2014 12:36pm 15
Whistleblowers beware, these bastards mean business.
Journalists, think Peter Greste, Egypt.
Tony Abbott, you are a threat to democracy. You have destroyed our faith in the whole system and who the hell knows what you will do next.
But whatever, because you are bound to fail. You just don’t have it. We look into your eyes and there’s nothing there, just some badly weighted calculation.
on Up to 65,000 students may have to repay loans sooner.11 Aug 2014 3:39am 12
Has anyone ever seen a photo of Chris Pyne where he isn’t sneering, angrily leering, or looking utterly gormless like a schoolboy with pooh-pants?
Seriously, he must be a nice person among friends and smart enough to get a job, but education minister? I wouldn’t hire him to count boxes.
on Up to 65,000 students may have to repay loans sooner.11 Aug 2014 3:33am 11
This is a government of extreme absolutes to the exception of everything else. The Westminster system is moderate, meaning it does not hold any principle to be higher than any other.
So if economy violates equity, we have to find a balance. If sovereignty violates human rights, we have to find a balance. If efficiency violate amenity…etc etc.
Good government is not about finding the most extreme expression of your ideological principles, it means finding a balance between your principles and all the other principles, so that it actually works and does not destroy people or the system as a whole.
The Abbott government is so extreme, so ideological, and in fact so utterly unprincipled, as to be a threat to democracy. Be afraid, Australia, these guys are sick puppies and they will ruin your life if they are not stopped.
So hands up now, who actually voted for them?…hello?
on Tony Abbott under pressure to put climate change on G20 meeting agenda.10 Aug 2014 10:49pm 6
Lets hope the G20 insist on climate change being on the agenda. If other countries have not hamstrung their lead scientists for political reasons, they will see it as obviously important. Tony Abbott can then sit and sulk as the only one in the room without even a science minister, and won’t he look stupid then?
Trouble is, Abbott’s core voting public applaud stupidity, or believe that any plumber can do the job of science minister. You can’t be too stupid for these people. Lets face it folks – Pauline Hanson IS prime minister.
on Wait for the dole for 113,000 under-30s will have ‘deeply disturbing’ effect.10 Aug 2014 11:17am 35
“A stronger incentive”
6 months extreme poverty is not an incentive, it is a stick with nails in it punish young people for being unable to find a job. The incentive is much like threatening people with something like a choice with death itself as one of the alternatives.
What are young people supposed to do for six months to feed and clothe themselves, to be able to afford a safe place to live?
Expect to see a massive increase in homelessness and mental illness, pathetic destroyed young men and women begging on filthy blankets outside railway stations.
Expect a sudden dramatic increase in petty crime, domestic abuse, gambling and child abuse. Expect more major crime, more disaffected Islamist militants, more illegal importation and firearms offences.
Get ready for the end of the nice Australia you once loved.
Actually no,I think its going to be defeated in the senate and then the Abbott government will be beaten at the polls next time around. Isn’t it great how the bad stuff inevitably extinguishes itself? Thank you, ineffable law of nature.
on Australia’s ‘cruel’ asylum regime must end, say 190 experts.09 Aug 2014 12:21pm 2
Bleeding heart do-gooder, and proud!
on Australia’s ‘cruel’ asylum regime must end, say 190 experts.09 Aug 2014 12:19pm 2
Nauru is persecution.
It’s worse, because we’re pretending it’s not, and that could get really, really bad before anyone even knows it.
on Australia’s ‘cruel’ asylum regime must end, say 190 experts.09 Aug 2014 11:57am 2
[re a post with charming candour admitting it’s all about stopping other people from getting our wealth and activists are under a “guise of compassion”]
A democracy can not commit human rights abuses and still call itself a democracy.
No majority has any right to abuse a minority. Of the people, by the people, for the people, ALL the people.
This is not the guise of compassion, this is the guts of it. No one is ignoring the drownings, least of all refugee advocates who actually have compassion as a motive, rather then refugee sceptics who seem to use it as an excuse.
Subjecting asylum seekers to further cruelty so as to prevent drownings is wrong and unnecessary. This is not a naval defense operation, it is a rescue, and we were doing a pretty good job of it until all this insanity started under the Howard government.
So you admit it’s about preventing poor people consuming the wealth of rich nations. And that’s what you call the higher moral ground!
You’re right, I disagree, and I’m doing something about it. What are you doing except venting your awful spleen?
on Australia’s ‘cruel’ asylum regime must end, say 190 experts.09 Aug 2014 4:11am 8
[re a post repeating Scott Morrison’s vicious lie that refugee advoacates caused the deaths of drowned refugees]
Refugee advocates are not to blame for 1200 deaths at sea. Australia as a whole is responsible for 1400+ deaths following changes to refugee policy under the Howard government.
Deterrence does not work when desperate people have literally only one chance left at any kind of life, not the limbo of a refugee camp.
People smugglers react to deterrence by providing boats that are less safe, with crew (if any) who they don’t mind losing.
The return to humanitarian refugee policies under the Rudd government was an attempt to correct the incredible damage that indefinite detention was by then known to inflict.
The refugee numbers that came with that decision were not much larger than those under the later years of the Howard governnment, and not large at all in global terms. But the boats were crap, the crews unseaworthy, and the conditions terrible.
People died because the people-smuggling industry had been destabilized and made more dangerous.
Refugee advocates do not encourage people to make dangerous journeys, they advocate decent treatment when they arrive. It is not the same thing, and the moral imperative of protection vastly outweighs the idea of punitive deterrence as an alternative policy, which would be complete nonsense if grown men had not conceived it as a political tool
Not in my name.
on Australia’s ‘cruel’ asylum regime must end, say 190 experts.09 Aug 2014 3:54am 1
The correct channels are not a queue but a lottery. Would you spend your entire life waiting in a refugee camp for someone to help, or would you go out on your own and seek help?
This violates no Australians rights, in fact it protects our rights under international treaties. Sovereignty is not a right that extends to the abuse of asylum seekers who come to Australia under the protection of international and Australian law. Look it up if you don’t believe me. http://www.unhcr.org
on Australia’s ‘cruel’ asylum regime must end, say 190 experts.09 Aug 2014 3:43am 2
So you’re saying that because they have money they must be doing all right and can’t be living under oppressive regimes in their home country.
What if this is all the money they have, their life savings? And how do you know for sure that your opinion is right, when they tell us that this was their last option and they cannot go home because they are in danger, they have no more money and are desperate?
Is it just your word against theirs? How do you know so much that you’re willing to risk throwing their lives away?
Look it up and take it seriously, it really matters that we get this right. They are asylum seekers until they are found to be refugees, or not. You’re saying we shouldn’t even bother to ask. You’re wrong, so wrong.
on Asylum: my 157 clients’ ordeal highlights Scott Morrison’s hypocrisy.08 Aug 2014 6:53am 9
Abusing refugees and asylum seekers is not democratic no matter how many people claim to support it.
Pro-bono lawyers and refugee advocates are not “traitors”, they are trying to find a solution to a complex problem without destroying more lives.
This government has abused their role of guardianship and proven they cannot be trusted with the lives of defenseless people. They are a threat to democracy and as much a danger to refugees as the rocks of Christmas Island.
I know I am among millions of Australians who are utterly appalled by the farce of Australian politics and can no longer accept the damage to human lives as part of this system of lies and abuses.
Wake up, ignorant Australia. Crisis, right now, your call, wake up!!
on Australia’s ‘cruel’ asylum regime must end, say 190 experts.08 Aug 2014 4:30am 5
Yes, thank you Mr Abbott, good luck, NEXT!!
No not you either Mr Morrison, we said NEXT!!!
NOT IN MY NAME
MICHAEL GORDON EVANS
on Academic argues racial vilification laws put radical Islamists above criticism.07 Aug 2014 11:43pm 1
“The law is an ass”
Its not surprising anymore that you conservatives want to break or reform laws for the governance of a multicultural, multiracial society. Like the laws regarding asylum seekers, which the libs have been blatantly breaking for decades now.
You do realise that breaking these laws is unravelling our multiracial state and driving deep divisions through our society? Do you want to see our country break up into racial factions like the Balkans? Then shut up and get used to the country you were born in, stop trying to fuck it up so you can get back your feeling of pride and superiority, or whatever the hell it is that you really want.
on Australia’s detention regime sets out to make asylum seekers suffer, says chief immigration psychiatrist.07 Aug 2014 2:50pm
Both international and Australian law as they are written establish beyond any doubt the right of anyone in need of protection from systematic cruelty and oppression in their own country to seek asylum in countries that a signatory to the treaty. That’s us. The law says the exact opposite of what you just said, the exact opposite of what our government is doing. The government is breaking the law. How can you even begin to think that this awful long-term and indefinite imprisonment of people, even the economic refugees and queue jumpers you seem to hate so much, could be legal? You think the borders are that important? Our borders are a few thousand miles of open ocean, we don’t need anyone protecting our borders and definitely not these fascist crooks that you call the government. Wake up, moron.
on Australia’s detention regime sets out to make asylum seekers suffer, says chief immigration psychiatrist.07 Aug 2014 2:41pm
They can’t go home, they are at risk of torture or worse if they return “home”. They are not economic immigrants, or queue jumpers, or terrorists, they are ordinary people who very much need our help and we are literally torturing them into mental illness to try to force them to go back into worse danger.
I met Philip Ruddock in 2004 and he made it quite clear in his own weasel words that they were playing a waiting game with asylum seekers, to see how long they can stand the pressure of indefinite detention while he fiddled with ways to rubber stamp their applications back into their faces. Under his watch some twenty or thirty asylums seekers repatriated to Afghanistan and Iraq were killed by revenge militants or caught in the violence and killed.
Morrison is far worse than Ruddock if that’s at all possible (incredibly it seems so) and he would be happy to see more of them die right here under our noses if that proved a better deterrent.
The next generation of LNP politicians at this rate will have a final solution ready to go, all smoothly explained in their banal evil ideology.
Wake up, ignorant Australian! They are doing this not for you but for themselves, and it is brutal bullshit.
on Free Speech 2014: Dreyfus calls Brandis ‘walking disaster’ as attorney general – the day’s events.07 Aug 2014 4:41am 17
Free speech my ears. Section 18c is about hate speech.
People have the right to be bigots? And the rest of us have the hopeless task of talking bigots around to better understanding and hopefully social harmony? It won’t work. Haters don’t talk, they just keep spouting their bile and we suffer for it.
Brandis and Wilson are the dumb and dumber of Australian law. How did we get these idiots in such positions of responsibility? How do we deserve this? Is this the best Abbott can do to stack his deck? Phhtthhh (disgust, incredulity in equal measure, shock beyond speech of any kind)
on Australia’s detention regime sets out to make asylum seekers suffer, says chief immigration psychiatrist.07 Aug 2014 2:58am 2
[re a post kindly suggesting if I don’t like it, I should leave]
No way, I’m staying here to teach my children right from wrong and correct the mistakes of previous generations. YOU pack your bags.
on Australia’s detention regime sets out to make asylum seekers suffer, says chief immigration psychiatrist.07 Aug 2014 2:53am
Is this the five minute argument or the full half hour?
on Australia’s detention regime sets out to make asylum seekers suffer, says chief immigration psychiatrist.07 Aug 2014 2:42am 5
[re a post conflating Tamil refugees with Middle-eastern terrorists]
Since when is Sri Lanka a part of the Middle East?
But OK, so you say you don’t like the results of past middle eastern refugee movements. Help me understand you by answering one question: Apart from the Cronulla riots, which was a large-scale viral attack of white-Anglo citizens on Lebanese (or middle-eastern-looking) citizens, name ONE major civil problem that has actually arisen from middle eastern refugees.
I’m not talking about individuals you personally don’t like or incidents such as the punch by a Lebanese man on a white lifeguard that started the Cronulla riot, I’m asking for actual civil problems that are widespread enough to justify our concentration-camp approach to managing such a problem.
Such as those fucked-up nut-jobs in Iraq, the Ozzie terrorists working for al-Qaeda? Mate, they’re white guys from priveleged backgrounds. They aren’t refugees.
OK, so what im saying is, and you know what you really mean is, you don’t like Lebanese, or people with dark skin and funny accents generally, walking down the street. Right?
OK, so that’s why I say, you can’t treat refugees that way and think that its right. You’re wrong as a matter of factual evidence, wrong on the ethical moral issues, and wrong in that it won’t work and will not make Australia a safer place.
So good luck with your wrong attitude to the wrong ideas, and lets hope your wrong outcomes don’t come back to bite us all for being such ignorant bastards as we presently are.
on Beaten and spied on, asylum seekers reveal oppression of being returned.06 Aug 2014 1:10pm 6
Almost immediately, do you notice the LNP trolls step up their “it was all started by the ALP” mantra. Aren’t they so proud of the policies their great leader has implemented, that they want to attribute them to someone else?
I’m no ALP stooge I assure you, but any serious historical examination of the human rights records of these two parties in the last 15 years is nothing short of damning of the conservatives in this country.
I started my political observations a few years before Howard came along, and in my innocence I gave both sides a fair clean slate to start on. Now, fifteen years later, it’s all red, like blood red, all down the LNP side of the ledger.
The ALP, for all their faults, don’t go in for head kicking the way the libs seem to love to, and no, Julia Gillard did not start this. This is the work of narrow-minded reactionary fools who think they doing great things restoring the country’s pride and asserting our sovereignty as if that’s all that matters in the world.
God help us for the poison in the waterhole that seems to be these bastards’ lifeblood.
on Peter Young praised for revealing detention’s toll on asylum seekers.06 Aug 2014 1:06am 11
Thank you Dr Young for speaking out on this issue. Australia needs a psychiatrist of your standing, the whole thing has turned into a bizarre national schizophrenia.
It doesn’t have to be this way. People have been taught to fear boat people as though it is literally an invasion of our country, or an abuse of our generosity, or a subversion of our orderly immigration process, or a threat to our future social cohesion. It is none of these.
Most asylum seekers are found to be refugees, that is people with no home fleeing for their lives. Some of them are economic refugees. None of them, so far and for good reason, are terrorists or fanatical militarists.
We can filter out the economic refugees, their stories are usually pretty obvious. We almost don’t need to worry about the terrorist element, they do not come by boat. There is no sane reason why we should punish all refugees on the off-chance that they are a threat.
Refugees are generally fit young people, often with children, not because they are abusers or blackmailers but because they are trying to save their lives. There are actually not many of them coming to Australia by world standards.
So here’s the solution: We use the navy to locate asylum seeker boats to prevent drownings and deter illegal fishing. We release the asylum seekers into the community after health and security checks. We send back the economic migrants on the next plane. We inform the Australian public through sane and sympathetic government-media that asylum seekers are no threat and are not a significant population pressure compared to ordinary immigration figures.
Lastly, we accept the numbers of refugees we can expect in even a dangerous future, which will not be a great number given our isolation by distance. We understand that our country will change socially as it always has done and that the road to social harmony is a generous and welcoming attitude.
The road we are now on leads directly to a future I think we all fear, and it is a road of our own bizarre invention. The sooner we get off it, the better.
on Australia’s detention regime sets out to make asylum seekers suffer, says chief immigration psychiatrist.04 Aug 2014 11:57pm 11
They can’t go home, they are fleeing the fear of persecution or worse. Are we trying to be worse than their torturers? We are allowing ourselves to degenerate until we’re as bad as the bad guys, until they fear Australia worse than trousers and murderers in their own country. And what would that say about us? Do you care? Apparently not.
on Australia’s detention regime sets out to make asylum seekers suffer, says chief immigration psychiatrist.04 Aug 2014 10:43pm 31
So where is the evidence that asylum seekers will change Australia for the worse, or at all? Do you understand that these people are not the Taliban, they are not radicalized revolutionaries, they are not Islamic fanatics or terrorists. They are generally young people or people with families, chosen by their wider family or community as their best hope for the future if they can make it to a safe place.
To justify any level of brutality to ward off a threat is wrong and ignorant. Your fear is completely unjustified. It is mixed with racism and loathing of other cultures. It is a misplacement of fear of a dangerous world, but THESE PEOPLE ARE NOT A THREAT. They are fleeing the threat. They are not our enemy, they are our enemies victims. In persecuting them we become as bad as the bad guys.
NOT IN MY NAME
on Tamil asylum seekers were taught how to ‘pilot lifeboats back to India’.04 Aug 2014 3:31am 2
[re a post gleefully noticing how many people are uselessly upset by refugee policies]
Useless to prevent your heroic PM destroying everything I believe in….oh how juicy for you, psychopath that you are, to see us decent people suffer and cry with shame and despair.
on Tamil asylum seekers were taught how to ‘pilot lifeboats back to India’.04 Aug 2014 3:23am 1
[re a post dimly noticing the disconnect between imprisoning people and saving their lives]
Fair enough, but a more appropriate use of the navy would be to intercept asylum seekers and bring them to Australia to be processed as refugees. To actually plan to put people back into the water in a lifeboat, which may or may not ever reach the shore, would make us not just responsible but actually culpable for their deaths. To send them back to Sri Lanka would be to put them at risk of persecution by the anti-Tamil government there. To abandon them on Nauru, a desert island by anybody’s standards, is uselessly and callously throwing their lives away.
We’re in agreement on the need to save people’s lives, no question. But the government have not thought of the best way to do that, instead they’ve worked out the simplest way to appease an ignorant voting public, which I’m afraid appears to include you, Markis, so what are YOU going to do about it?
on Treatment of asylum-seeker children is akin to abuse, say church leaders.30 Jul 2014 3:52am 6
No decent Australian voted for the abuse of children. This is another lie they told and are going to keep telling.
Democracy in Australia seems to consist of periodically getting rid of the corruption that appears at the top. In this particular cycle, the alternative was already corrupt before we voted them in. Hopefully it should be a one-term non-event, except for the damage they will do with their one chance.
Actually “corrupt” doesn’t quite fit the description with these bastards. As notorious religious types, the right word would be “evil”. So go back to hell, Abbott, your cover is blown and we know you miss all your little friends down there.
on Christmas Island asylum families feeling ‘despair and helplessness’.24 Jul 2014 3:17am 12
Where did this idea come from, that refugees with legitimate claims of persecution in their homelands are just economic migrants and “illegals”?
People who with the complete sanction of international and Australian law come to Australia for help, why should they be treated like common criminals with their children in prison with them until they beg to be released or want to die?
What threat do they represent? I don’t fear a future where Australia represents many cultures of people whose lives we have saved.
This grim future you fear so much, enough to want to destroy innocent people, maybe you’re making that happen by living this kind of lie.
Is it just so you can be the one who does it to them first? As though we’re already in the end-of-days war to end it all, kill or be killed?
I don’t live in that world. This is not what I or any decent Australian voted for.
NOT IN MY NAME
MICHAEL GORDON EVANS
on The carbon tax is dead. Wrong way, Australia – go back.18 Jul 2014 11:49pm 6
Climate change denialists seem to think their political opinion is as valid as scientific evidence, and that their idea of the kind of world world they want in the future is all the extrapolation they need.
They had better hope they’re right about this, because the tipping point, if there is one, is right now, and if so they will have succeeded in making our mitigation response too late.
If they’re wrong, in fifteen years time being an influential climate denialist will be equivalent to being a fugitive nazi.
I also hope you’re right, because its too late to do anything else.
on Clive Palmer’s changes may doom proposed emissions trading scheme.15 Jul 2014 2:35am 7
That’s it, I’m moving to Florida…glub…or the Seychelles…gasp glub
on There’s no evidence to prove asylum seeker advocates ‘coach’ how to self harm – because we don’t.14 Jul 2014 9:08am 2
The strategy seems to be “blame the victim”, and the victim’s supporters.
You blame us for self-harm and label it political action. I have written many letters of hope and support to asylum seekers, who are mostly smart but desperate young people, and the thought of suggesting they self-harm is weird and disgusting. They self-harm out of despair, not some calculated political strategy. To think of it in political terms can only reveal the twisted opinions of the accuser.
You blame us for 1000+ deaths by drowning, but you don’t mention that half that many happened under Howard, and half as many again after Abbott’s unprincipled opposition to Labor’s regional solutions. You also don’t understand that the deaths were caused by destabilising the criminal organisations behind people smuggling by the crude noisy populism of the LNP.
If refugee advocates and asylum seekers are to become public enemies, you can read all about what happens next in the history books. Just google Europe, 1938-1945…
Capnarg commented on Asylum secrecy on the high seas is designed to foil the enemy within – the law.09 Jul 2014 11:22am 11
You say refugee advocates have no plan or policy. We actually do, it’s the system we had when the refugee convention was written, and it still works.
90% of asylum seekers are found to be genuine refugees, not economic migrants. There are relatively few “ordinary” people who will risk the journey just for a better life or social security.
There are relatively small numbers, in the thousands per year at most, who arrive by boat, and there is no indication that this will drastically increase, even in worst case climate change scenarios. It is an extremely difficult journey and there just aren’t that many boats for the “millions” that people fear.
The asylum seekers themselves are not a threat to our economy, culture or security. They are usually smart young people with the nouse and guts to escape. They are of small ethnic groups and the mainstream churches, not jihadists or madrasah scholars. And they are usually fleeing the regimes we should oppose, from Saddam’s Iraq to the militarist regime of Sri Lanka. They are not the enemy, they are the enemy’s victims.
So the solution is, we patrol our waters for asylum seeker boats to prevent their loss or drowning at sea and to turn back illegal fishing boats. We process all asylum seekers for obvious health and security risks, then release them into the community while the refugee determination process goes ahead over 4-6 months, which is achievable with a well resourced bureau. Housing could be in council or state owned housing with reporting requirements met by attendance at training or work. At the end of the determination process, we deport the failures and give the refugees residency. End of story and really no problem.
So really, what is the problem?
on Returned asylum seekers will face court in Sri Lanka, says envoy.08 Jul 2014 3:20am 5
Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil…
Sounds wise, but remember, they’re monkeys! (and they look just like our last three liberal PMs…)
on Australia accused of breaking law after returning asylum seekers to Sri Lanka.08 Jul 2014 2:28am 2
Or “rendition”, a lovely word meaning “be sent to a place where torture is practiced against dissidents and ethnic groups”
As in “rendition unto Saddam those who are Saddam’s” … Or insert your favorite totalitarian monster such as the current Sri Lankan regime.
on Australia accused of breaking law after returning asylum seekers to Sri Lanka.08 Jul 2014 2:10am 9
Asylum seekers are not economic migrants seeking to sponge off Australia. Some of them may be, but on past numbers it’s less than 10%
Asylum seekers are not a threat to Australia. They are fleeing the kinds of sharia-law war-torn regimes that we stand against. We should welcome refugees to isolate and diminish the tyrannies we oppose. It worked in the Cold War.
Tamil refugees are not terrorists or revolutionaries, they are an ethnic group whose homeland has failed and who now have no home. We can assume they are lying and send them home to be imprisoned, or we can hear/check their claims and give them a chance. If they fail a reasonable test, THEN we can send them back.
Do you really want Australia to become like the tyrannies of the 30s and 40s, just on the off-chance these people are lying? I ask on the assumption you actually care that we don’t drift into totalitarian brutality by default on broad-brush assumptions about what actually happened to mostly genuine refugees.
on Scott Morrison putting himself ‘above high court’ on asylum, says Labor.07 Jul 2014 2:41am
Labor’s efforts to re-humanize our asylum seeker policies were continually queered and sledged by Abbott in opposition, to the point where it became politically impossible to do anything but revert to offshore processing.
Labor has a responsibility to keep trying to reassert the humanity of the the international convention. I applaud Bill Shorten’s criticisms of the Abbott government’s above-the-law refoulement and rendition policies. Keep it up Bill!
Asylum seekers represent no threat to Australia. They are fleeing the same sharia-law madness that people fear. We should welcome them, to highlight the injustice of those regimes. It worked in the Cold War. Communist countries in the end could not sustain the loss of human capital as refugees, and could not find investment in a world that loudly refused to play their game.
Abbott and Morrison have created their own form of Sharia law, no less brutal and just as far “above” natural law. Australians are suckers to fall for it, or hateful types that we should fear among us.
on Yes, Tony Abbott has ‘stopped the boats’. But the cost is catastrophic.05 Jul 2014 2:09pm
How many people were killed under the coalitions’ refoulement policy, where refugees were returned to dangerous places like Iraq and Afghanistan? I counted more than thirty. These were genuine refugees who were murdered because we sent them back to these dangerous places. These are deaths we are not just responsible for, but culpable of, ie we as good as pulled the trigger. That’s what your Abbott policies will lead to again, and in much larger numbers if in fact ALL refugees are to be treated this way. In comparison, the deaths at sea were the fault of uncertainty in a marginal industry, the locally legal Indonesian small business of people smuggling, which Australian policies largely driven by the conservative agenda only succeeded in destabilizing, ie making more dangerous, not stopping the boats but effectively sinking them. That’s what we should be working against, and it is wrong to think any policy no matter how severe is justified by the drownings. You don’t get what’s happening and you are falling for a big lie. That’s the truth of it and God help us if we don’t fix up the damage we’ve done.
on Yes, Tony Abbott has ‘stopped the boats’. But the cost is catastrophic.05 Jul 2014 1:58pm 4
Your analogy about “crashing” a country being like moving on welfare to a new suburb is wrong. It’s nothing like that.
Your other idea, that people should fix their own country and then they wouldn’t have to be refugees, is also very wrong. Individuals cannot alter the long-term fortunes of their home country (unless we’re all supposed to be great hearts like Mandela or Gandhi) and can’t be blamed or treated as illegitimate because of it.
Your analogies are frankly nutty, but no worse than the whole mad schizophrenia the whole country now suffers from for the morally inconsistent policies of Australian governments. I feel sorry for you, your gullibility and moral weakness must be a serious disadvantage in making genuine friends.
on Tony Abbott says he is ‘best friend that workers of Australia have ever had’.24 Jun 2014 6:20am 6
Tony Abbott, you are no friend of mine, and I have worked hard all my life.
on At-risk asylum seekers given only 14 days to put their case to stay.08 Jun 2014 9:33am 39
My name is Michael Gordon Evans, I am an Australian, and Scott Morrison does not represent me. I reject utterly everything he represents, and tell him straight: Morrison, you are wrong
on At-risk asylum seekers given only 14 days to put their case to stay.08 Jun 2014 9:31am 19
Scott Morrison has 14 days to prove he is not secretly the head of a nazi pogrom, or I will personally citizen-arrest him at his next media strut.
on First Dog on the Moon on … shooting fish in a barrel.06 Jun 2014 12:47pm 1
[re a political cartoon in the Guardian, “First Dog on the Moon”]
First dog you are so on the moon.
on The life and awful death of a Tamil asylum seeker in Australia.05 Jun 2014 5:19am 187
The disastrous human consequences of Australia’s asylum seeker policy are the reason why refugee advocates want a return to the relatively moderate policies of the pre-Howard years.
Yes, we do have a solution, and its not hard, if only Australians can find their way back from the mountain of mainly false propaganda about asylum seekers and refugees, most of it for vary base political purposes. A difficult ask, but here’s how it works:
- Short-term detention in well-managed (meaning good medical care and social support) metropolitan centers for health and basic security checks ONLY.
- Community housing with a bridging visa and work rights while a refugee claim is assessed.
- Detention as a last resort only for those who fail health, security or refugee assessment and deemed a flight risk. Detention only with a limited time frame, no indefinite detention.
- No detention for longer than a week for children or families with children.
- Border security for humanitarian purposes only. Navy to locate asylum seeker boats and prevent drownings, police to locate abscondees and prevent harm to child asylum seekers.
This is what a modern refugee immigration scheme looks like, and it’s exactly what we had before Howard and Hanson poisoned the water. By “modern” I mean twentieth century, as I’m not sure now just how “modern” the twenty-first century is going to be.
on Abbott deserves to be punished relentlessly for his broken promises.03 Jun 2014 12:35am 3
Julia Gillard did not lie. Yes she said “no carbon tax” but in her next breath she said “but I am determined to put a price on carbon.”
The lie was Abbott’s, to relentlessly mis-quote and demonise a policy at the centre of politics, a key labor promise (to put a price on carbon) and at that stage a key electoral preference, to do something about carbon emissions. Abbott lied to everyone, including his own supporters, and a compliant media reported it and perpetuated the mis-quote.
Wayne Swan was one of this country’s most successful treasurers. He steered us through the GFC and we are or were one of the best-performing economies in the world, until the big cigar turned up. He can come and manage my household budget any time, thank you.
And you, Sir, are either a liar or a fool to repeat this stupidity. Shame on you. Wake up to yourself.
on Abbott deserves to be punished relentlessly for his broken promises.03 Jun 2014 12:54am
Julia Gillard did not lie. She said “no carbon tax” but in her next breath, same speech, she said “but I am determined to put a price on carbon.” Look it up yourself. There was no lie.
The lie was Abbott’s, to relentlessly mis-quote and partial-quote her, and the Murdoch media who gleefully repeated the mis-quote every day for about two years. A carbon price (emission trading scheme) was core labor party policy and a key electoral preference at the time, to do something about emissions. The eventual carbon price was not the full ETS but it was NOT A TAX, it was a price attached to carbon emission which polluters paid and taxpayers were compensated for price rises. It was not a tax, Abbott lied that it was a tax, Gillard didn’t bother to argue with his nonsense and the Murdoch media, again, gleeful shouted TAX TAX TAX when it wasn’t one.
So yes, I do “somehow” argue that labor did not lie or break any promises about the carbon price we now thankfully have and which Tony Abbott hopefully cannot change.
on Abbott deserves to be punished relentlessly for his broken promises.02 Jun 2014 11:48pm 8
Rudd didn’t lie, he failed. Abbott’s strident noise about governments that lie, followed immediately by the biggest pack of lies in Australian history, is not failure but grand fraud. He should be prosecuted.
on My home is being swallowed by the sea. Will Australia do nothing?.30 May 2014 10:43am 3
Totally agree, the current government will not last and Australians will eventually realise they have made two mistakes:
- Climate change is very real and a direct threat not just to low-lying pacific islands but to all the most important parts of Australia, ie the coastline.
- Refugees are people who can help us as much as we help them. They are not criminals or a threat, now or in the future.
Australia is a basket case right now, but those refugees are coming here and we are going to help them. That’s the good news…
on My home is being swallowed by the sea. Will Australia do nothing?.30 May 2014 10:15am 6
It’s not just Australia that needs to cut down emissions, the whole world needs to, including Australia. We have no benefit whatsoever to stay out of a global effort. Less than none, because its going to hurt us more and the market for our coal is going to fall off anyway.
As the world goes tidal, geothermal and solar, Australia will just look stupid for not being there in the lead, because we’ve got all those resources in larger quantities than almost any other country on the planet.
I say again, it would be stupid not to. And in the end we will, but at this rate it will be too late.
on My home is being swallowed by the sea. Will Australia do nothing?.30 May 2014 7:05am 6
It is not denying reality to acknowledge a global threat in which we are involved and which will hurt us more than most. Per capita Australia is the highest greenhouse gas emitter of all nations. We are not a small population, in fact compared to any pacific island we are a giant, and obviously not a gentle one.
on There’s some good news for progressive Australia.29 May 2014 5:46am 1
The Guardian’s recent discussions on pride and optimism (or the converse) in this rapidly changing nation have been very thought-provoking. Thank you.
I think the concern is more about where we are going than where we are now. Human progress and our gradual enlightenment through history has always happened in waves of progress and partial regress, and just now we’re in an ebb cycle.
So be happy, the tired old ideologues on both sides will get their pension soon enough and we’ll still have moved forward despite the worst they can do.
Thanks also to the person who posted to remind us that multiculturalism is always the best option. In the long run it’s the only option that can last.
on Has Sydney’s Daily Telegraph lost touch with its readers?.28 May 2014 3:37pm
Once upon a time there were three happy demons in hell preparing for their first mission on earth. As is customary they were busy choosing their names (demons in hell have no names) and could not agree whether they liked names evocative of murder, or bloody dismemberment, of French rude words, better than ones about strangling people, or telling great lies. “What about ‘Murdock’?” said one, “or Rudock?” cried another. “Or Abbot?” whimpered the third. But it was too late. Their master, wonder of wonders, knocked their silly heads brainless and sent them tumbling down to earth with these names, so emblematic of evil, still whistling on their lips.
on Australia’s asylum seeker obsession puts democracy at risk.11 May 2014 11:46pm
The politicization of small numbers of refugees arriving by boat has driven a divisive wedge through Australian society. The gap, now verging on a national schizophrenia, is far more serious than any disruption the refugees themselves might ever have caused.
The human cost of this politically motivated polarisation is far worse than any monetary cost, real or political-hypothetical. Millions of lives wasted, and Australia a proto-fascist basket case. Thanks Pauline Howard, small-minded self-protectionist and wedge politician par excellence.
on Why I chose to become a security officer on Manus Island.30 Apr 2014 11:34pm
Save us from the ignorant and bigoted
on Why I chose to become a security officer on Manus Island.30 Apr 2014 11:16pm 1
Rudd-Gillard government overturned Howard cruelty and attempted to re-establish humanitarian provisions of refugee convention, to which we are still legally bound. Libs under Abbott kicked up stink about boat arrivals and refused to negotiate regional solutions while boats sank and people drowned. People smugglers responded to heightened political rhetoric in Australia by sending only their worst boats, with no crew, which then sank and killed people. Gillard government forced by rabid opposition and murderous tactics with no regional alternatives to reopen offshore detention. Abbott takes this solution as nothing but a deterrent, and ramps up the risk to asylum seekers, one dead, scores injured. Summary: Abbott destroyed Australia’s hopes of peaceful regional solutions that might have offered hope to asylum seekers, and now presides over a system of death camps. History, read it and weep.
on Why I chose to become a security officer on Manus Island.30 Apr 2014 11:05pm
This issue is no reflection on your grandparents, so don’t worry. Most asylum seekers (about 90%) are found to be genuine refugees so their arrival by boat in Australia is legal and you shouldn’t worry about the other 10% who are identified and returned home.
Boat people are invariably by the lifeguard. I doubt that there is a single case of a boat arriving and not being detected (of course, how would I know – but think of the problems – you arrive on the Northern Australian mainland and then what? Spread out? Walk to the nearest centrelink and ask for a top-up on your rent?) so don’t worry about them “sneaking in” – it doesn’t happen that way.
In fact, I would ask why you worry at all. Look at the lies politicians have told you, and think: is that what I’m worried about? Stuff which in your next breath you would probably refuse to believe in anyway because its just more Polly lies?
Do you WANT to be taken for a sucker?
on For Australia to deport refugees to Cambodia would be absurd.09 Apr 2014 3:29pm 5
Australia will learn again the hard way the meaning of moral compass. Hopefully not too late.
Regarding the idea that asylum seekers become immigrants once they reach a safe third country and try to travel anywhere else, this too is completely false. Indonesia and most SE Asian countries have no recognition of refugees’ rights, who must remain illegal residents until they move or are moved on, or back. By coming to Australia in many cases it is their last chance at any kind of life.
The right have gone exhaustively through so many lies on this issue it’s clear the whole country has lost direction and could fall off a cliff for all it seems to care about people needing help, life or death at the bottom line. What is wrong with you?
on A ‘refugee’ pub crawl? Let’s hope these students never become politicians.07 Apr 2014 12:31am 1
Brown shirt Hitler youth used to love the teasing of Jews as they were dispossessed and then murdered. Much hilarity now as they sink into frightful old age and contemplate hell if it exists.
Oz Young libs have no idea how much they resemble early generations of misguided fascist bullies at the thin edge of their wedge. I feel sorry for them, and for every one else who has fallen for the dumb anti-humanitarian reactionary politics in “modern” Australia.
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