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Posts Tagged ‘asylum seekers’

Apparently negotiation = back down

December 22, 2011 10 comments

Watching the news this morning I heard a story that the government was prepared to negotiate with the Opposition to reinstate offshore processing by throwing Nauru back into the mix.

Did the media have a rational take on this, highlighting the pros and cons for both sides?  Like fuck did they!

It was wall-to-wall bleating about the Government backing down and Abbott victorious with a crushing defeat for Gillard.  Last time I checked, actually getting what you wanted i.e. the Malaysia deal for regional offshore processing being reinstated, was classed as a win.  Sure they have to concede ground on Nauru, but from what I have heard it will be used as a staging area until the Malaysia processes and facilities are up to scratch.  Only in their most vivid fantasies could the Coalition claim this as a win because Nauru will not be permanent, TPVs will not be re-established and the Howard era policy will not be reinstated.  Not much to smile about there really.

Of course all the media will do is throw around the word “Nauru”, conveniently neglecting to clarify the circumstances and context and this will be seen as a huge Abbott victory.

It’s amazing how well served we are by our media.  /sarc

 

Finally on a more uplifting note, I would like to wish any readers a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  See you back for more vitriol in 2012.

 

Worst. Opposition. Ever

October 14, 2011 19 comments

Opposition.  By itself the definition of the word is pretty straight forward.  But apply it to politics and capitalise it and it has a whole other meaning.

To mind, the Opposition has a vital role in the process of Government by highlighting policies that do not benefit the nation and working to amend or defeat those policies.  They also have a duty to the populace to be seen as a credible alternative Government…this doesn’t happen by flicking a switch when the election is won, it happens by showing that they have credible alternatives to Government policy.  Now all of this should be an absolute breeze in a minority government…with several unaffiliated Independents to work with it should be a doddle to convince some of them to support your alternatives…particularly if they are of a conservative bent themselves.

Which brings us to the current Coalition opposition.

To date they have not been able to stop a single piece of legislation going through the parliament of this supposedly “do nothing” government.

On top of this they have not clearly articulated any credible alternative to government policy.  The “pay polluters not to pollute” policy has been widely discredited by anyone with any knowledge of the sector to be laughably inadequate and in the long run massively more expensive than the government policy.  Couple this with the Green Army and tree planting (which will require more arable land than we currently possess) and it’s easy to see that the Opposition’s environmental credentials are a joke.  On economic matters (traditionally the Coalition strongpoint) they haven’t exactly covered themselves in glory either.  They would have delayed the stimulus packages (if they had bothered to stay awake to vote for them…I’m looking at you TA), leading us to a worse situation than we currently have.  And despite economic gurus the world over lauding us for the state of our economy, the Opposition and their media enablers (or is it the media and their political puppets) persist in telling us that the sky is falling in and we’ve never had it so bad.  No wonder the rest of the world looks at us and shakes their heads in disbelief.  And finally let’s look at technology.  Not content with slagging off the NBN as a white elephant and stating that “no-one needs to download movies that quick” and “I’m happy with my current speed”, these Luddites try to insist that fibre to the node couple with wireless is a better solution.  Well despite the fact that wireless will never be better than fibre IN THIS PHYSICAL UNIVERSE, this is the epitome of short-sightedness and shows their complete disinterest in nation building.

In short, this Opposition has “apparently” thrived on mindless negativity, fear-mongering, empty slogans and poisonous rhetoric and in conjunction with a fawning media pack have convinced the public that the Government are useless.

But when you strip away all the spin and emotive language and focus on the facts, what have they actually achieved?  No Government ministers have been stood down, no politicians have been sacked, no legislation has been amended in their favour, no legislation has been blocked and most importantly no early election has been called.  For all Abbott’s bluster and vitriol he has yet to do anything at all in this Parliament.

What he has done is show how completely unsuited the Opposition would be to being in charge.  They have no credible policies of any note…anything they do have is simply recycled Howard era policies or total bullshit.  Abbott will promise the world to get into power but cannot afford to fund all of his policy brain farts, hence the $70 billion funding shortfall.  He has a front bench completely devoid of any talent at all…can you imagine Julie Bishop giving a speech at the UN, or Joe Hockey at the G20…my eyes bleed just thinking about it.

And now finally the Government has employed some political judo and turned Abbott’s propensity to say No to everything against him in a spectacular manner.  By dropping the Migration Act amendment legislation they have in one swoop legitimised onshore processing and given themselves a handy stick to beat Abbott around the head with i.e. “he wouldn’t agree to the legislation so that’s why all the boats are coming”.

Personally I think it’s disgusting that asylum seeker’s lives can be used as a political football and that they should embrace onshore processing wholeheartedly, but can understand why they’ve gone this route.  The hate media and Coalition racists like the despicable Morrison have whipped up the inherent racism and xenophobia of the public to such a degree that it would be suicide to go that route.  Instead this way they get to blame Tony for all the new boat arrivals to appease the rednecks, but at the same time get to backdoor in onshore processing to appease the compassionate…they could pick up the votes from both sides.

Of course, this is all dependant on the facts being aired and going by the current state of what is laughingly called journalism in this country, it’s a big ask.  After all, what was the front page lead the day after the momentous passing of the carbon tax?  The Gillard -Rudd congratulatory peck and even more speculation about leadership changes.  Even after a journalist has admitted there is no actual indication that this is a potential, they still keep peddling it out.  Their desire to inject controversy and drama into even the most mundane of things to try to generate hits/sales/ratings does the public a massive disservice.

I believe the best thing to be done is to sack every Canberra press gallery journalist (particularly those so-called doyens of the press) and get a bunch of journalism graduates on the job.  You know they’ll be hungry and out to prove themselves so who best to try to get some decent information instead of rampant speculation.  As long as you give them a thorough warning about not writing crap it could be a winner…after all it can’t be any worse than the shit we currently get.

So in summary, channeling the Comic Book Guy, the Coalition are the WORST. OPPOSITION. EVER…and hopefully doomed to stay there for a long, long time.  After all, they do need the practice.

 

UPDATE:  Excellent summary of Abbott’s “abilities” by Jessica Irvine

Email to Chris Bowen

September 1, 2011 4 comments

Here is a copy of an email I have just sent to Chris Bowen:

 

Mr Bowen,

As a concerned citizen I’d like to pass on my opinions of the High Court
asylum seeker ruling.

I believe that this is a golden opportunity for the Government to get on the
front foot and take a giant stride forward on the treatment of asylum seekers
instead of following the descending spiral of xenophobia that the “Howard Way”
consists of.

Is there any reason why asylum seekers who arrive by boat can’t be treated in
the same manner as asylum seekers who arrive by plane?  What are the objections
to having asylum seekers live in the community while being processed?  I know
they cannot collect benefits from the Government so the whingeing about them
taking the taxpayers money is unfounded.

I understand that it is extremely difficult for the Government to get
positive coverage of their agenda with the media hell bent on regime change, but
you have stuck to your guns with the Carbon Tax…why can’t you do the right
thing with asylum seekers?  I know it is a hot button issue with some sectors of
the community, but frankly these types of people are not going to vote for you
any way having swallowed the Tony Abbott kool-aid…why not take a stand and be
more humanitarian about it?

The media are not going to give you a good time with it, but the public is
rapidly becoming aware of their failings and I think a wave of disenchantment is
starting to build with news coverage. If you stick to the facts and statistics
and keep hammering them day and night, eventually people will accept that the
boat arrivals are a small fraction of our asylum seeker intake.  If you also
keep hammering that it is not illegal to seek asylum it will eventually sink
in.

I firmly believe that now is the time to take a stand and reverse away from
the racist Howard ways of dealing with asylum seekers.  We should be processing
them onshore and doing so as rapidly as possible.  The racist, xenophobic, NIMBY
section of our society will not be happy with it, but you will bring a lot of
people back into the fold…people who would welcome your return to Labor
principles and cheerfully vote for you once more.

Seriously, at this point what do you have to lose?

Political soft-cocks

April 1, 2011 10 comments

While watching Sunrise (yes…I know) this morning I came across yet another example of political media fuckwittery that set my blood boiling.  To top this all off, it was compounded even further by the lamest of lame appearance by a politician on their “Big Guns of Politics” section.  Let me explain.

Sunrise started with Kochie’s “serious” voice declaiming that the government is going to send asylum seekers to a five star resort on the Gold Coast.  Now this statement has very little relation to the actual facts which are:

  1. The resort has been closed for years.
  2. The resort (Kooralbyn) is 1.5 hours from the coast so hardly counts as “on the Gold Coast”
  3. Any people there are unlikely to get maid service and play golf all day.

Of course reality doesn’t get eyes on screen or boost ratings so beat-up has become the method for any and all political stories on these shows…even though they are only going to be superficially covered.

Then the political douchery upped itself a notch when Joe Hockey and Tony Burke hit the screen.  Not missing an opportunity to push the talking points and wheel out a 3 word slogan, Joe hooked in to the asylum seeker debate with the tired old One Nation Liberal lines that Government has no clue, boats should be stopped, Nauru should be back on the agenda yada yada yada….basically everything we’ve ever heard before.

Now you’d think this would be easy stuff for Tony Burke to dispatch considering it’s all been heard before, but does he?  Pigs arse he does!  When Joe trotted out the tired old line that the boats stopped when Nauru was active, in the biggest display of soft-cockery I’ve ever seen Burke let’s him get away with it.  No rebuttal that world wide asylum seeker numbers had dropped at the same time, no recitation that Australian asylum seeker numbers are proportional to world numbers, and no reiteration that the percentage of asylum seekers arriving by boats is miniscule compared to the visa overstayers or those arriving by plane.

The Government should stop being scared of how they are portrayed in the media and use these live opportunities to savage these bullshit talking points of the Opposition.  They should be laughing off their crap assertions and countering with facts and figures at every chance instead of letting them drag the conversation into their own right-wing parallel universe.

You’d think they would have learnt by now that the Australian public doesn’t respect a pussy…show some guts and take the fight back, especially when you absolutely have the facts on your side.

Opposition shows true colours…AGAIN

February 16, 2011 2 comments

Once again the Opposition has shown that there is no measure to how low they will go in their attempts to force their way into Government.

Noted humanitarian Scott Morrison has been polluting the airwaves with his notion that the Government shouldn’t have “wasted” taxpayer dollars flying the families of those victims of the Christmas Island drownings to Sydney for the funerals..after all those refos are rolling in it, why couldn’t they pay for their own ticket.

Frankly this just turns my stomach.  The cost of the airfares would probably be substantially less than what this arsehole has for a stationery allowance in a year (especially toner 🙂 ) and he has the nerve to raise this.  Of course he’s attempting to pander to the Liberals’ loyal following of mouth-breathers and Alan Jones listeners, and has a really good go at it by conflating two of their main (only?) talking points:  refugees and Government waste.  Naturally not wanting to miss a media grab (especially as Mark Riley wasn’t around), Abbott jumps in as well, because as we all know the Independents are simply frothing at the mouth looking for a chance to dump the Government and by golly a few thousand bucks for flying refugees to a funeral sounds like the perfect opportunity.  Arseclown.

Daring to be different, Uncle Joe Hockey pops up with a faux-compassionate take in an attempt to differentiate himself from the raving lunatics in his own party.  Couple this with his attempts to get back on Sunrise on a regular basis and it looks like he’s laying the groundwork for his own tilt as the next big Liberal failure when Abbott get knifed/self-combusts/implodes/gets staked through the heart.

But before we all go into raptures at the thought of a “moderate” Liberal leader, we shouldn’t forget that Joe is the man who:

– was part of the chain of clueless that comprised the Opposition’s budget reply last year

– thinks that having an accounting firm check that your spreadsheet totals add up is an audit

– thinks that $11 billion of bullshit pre-election costings aren’t really that important

Luckily for the Opposition the media has their back and you can expect them to be fully covered by spin and FUD whenever their true incompetence comes to light.

Christmas – the time for giving

December 17, 2010 Leave a comment

With the Yule season traditionally being a time for giving and goodwill towards all, let’s recap some of the recent “gifts” we’ve received:

 

  1. Milking tragedy for political purposes. The old standard raises its ugly head once again with the recent tragedy at Christmas Island (how apt).  Long a favourite of both sides of politics, this time it was the political class playing a straight bat and the talking heads jumping in with both feet.  Everyone’s favourite flogger Bolt didn’t wait for the bodies to cool down before leaping in, salivating with gusto at his opportunity to sheet all blame for this and every other asylum seeker issue to the current Government, in complete defiance of any reasoned analysis.  Of course we all know reasoned analysis is not his stock in trade (see his climate change denialist posts for examples of that), but he went for jugular with unseemly haste.  I think it even shocked his rabid supporters and he was back-pedalling furiously trying to cover his arse and make out he didn’t cast the first stone.  Frankly, the man is a raving lunatic and virulent scumbag of the highest order.  His vitriol should only be reserved for those closet sociopaths who get their jollies from the suffering of other humans, content in their little “I’m all right Jack, screw everyone else” bubble.
  2. Subverting the rule of law. The good old USA and their bent-over lackeys in Sweden once again proved to us that the law is only good as long as it does what the US wants it to…anything else is bad.  As we’ve seen with the Assange dealings, it looks like there is no length they will go to in an attempt to draw attention from their own internal problems.  As we have all seen, Assange may be a bit of a prick when it comes to women, but neither of the two involved initially wanted to press charges and the case was actually dropped and Assange given express permission to leave Sweden.  It has repeatedly been stated that he has not actually been charged but is only required as part of the investigation, but why does this require extradition to Sweden and why can’t the investigators talk to him in London, as has been repeatedly offered?   I suspect if they do actually get their hands on him, not long after the case being rapidly dropped in Sweden Julian will find himself in a large box with a black bag on his head on his way to disappearing.
  3. A cricket team full of suck. It’s not that I’m a fan of the Poms at all…it’s just that the Aussie team is way overdue for renewal yet CA will not bite the bullet and make the required changes, probably because of their need to generate revenue as opposed to improve the sport in our country.  As such we have a team of players past their prime mixed with NSW grade cricketers, combining to produce the wonderful displays we saw yesterday.  They need to bite the bullet and sack the coach, Ponting, Clarke, Hussey, Haddin, bring in some fresh blood and stick with them!!  They should either bring White in as captain, make Watson captain and probably build up Paine as the captain in waiting, but only if his form warrants him being in the team.  As for these calls for Ponting to stand down as captain to focus on his batting…his current form wouldn’t keep him in the team as a batsman at all.  Oh well, it’s nice to have a dream isn’t it?

 

So any other lovely “gifts” we should look forward to this Christmas?

The race to the bottom

July 7, 2010 8 comments

Isn’t it great to be an Australian?  When both of your potential governing parties are shamelessly catering to the most narrow-minded and ignorant section of the public?  When Pauline Hanson agrees with both of them?

Choosing between the alternative asylum seeker policies is like choosing between the electric chair or firing squad as your preferred method of execution.

On the one hand we have “Pacific Solution lite”, now with added input from the UNHCR.  It may work out, but it would be entirely dependent on the speed of processing the claims, and if it dragged on and on like Howard’s efforts then it is worse than useless.

Then we have the complete bastard package of the opposition, where boats will be towed “if possible” (i.e. never), people not allowed in if they deliberately destroyed identification (because every asylum seeker boat has a papers monitor who ensures that no-one destroys their passport), and back to good old Nauru.  Plus all the simple minded catch phrases you can possibly want…tow them back indeed.

On the plus side, it was heartening to read that Julia Gillard explicitly stated the actual ratios of boat arrivals to other immigrants…not that you heard on the news or anything.  Once again the media was very sure to keep their narrative going full steam ahead in their determination to make us the small minded bigot nation of choice.

They even brought it up on Melon Coshie this morning several times, even when interviewing arse-clown Abbott (no representative from the Government to balance that I noticed).  I got my hopes up a little bit when he drilled about my all the fuss considering the small numbers involved, then Abbott brought up the biggest crock of shit I’ve heard in my life.  He said…and I kid you not…that this was all for the safety of the asylum seekers, because the big emphasis is that it is an unsafe journey and they might drown.  And he said this with a straight face!!

So it’s game over ladies and gents…the Liberals are now being small-minded racist bigots with their asylum seeker policy purely for their own protection, so they won’t drown in leaky boats.  Aren’t you proud of them?

Some links to other related stories from the ‘webs:

The asylum seeker dilemma

Almost as bad as the Liberals

Gillard chases the redneck vote

Maybe because its not in the Pacific Ocean

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