“MOST aren't genuine refugees,” so say prime ministers Tony Abbott and Peter O’Neill – voicing publicly their view that most asylum seekers detained in concentration camp conditions on Manus Island will not be found to be fair dinkum.
And how do they know this, since none of the asylum seekers (or transferees in the Orwellian language of the Australian government) has yet been processed?
How do they even presume this, since the vast majority of asylum seekers processed in the past have been found to be genuine refugees?
There can only be an other-worldly explanation.
O'Neill said yesterday he believes “a good majority” of asylum seekers will not pass muster as being genuine.
Abbott agrees with him, hinting with casuistry that he suspects most will be found to be economic refugees rather than in fear of persecution.
“I think there's a lot that we've seen that justifies that suspicion,” Mr Abbott told reporters in Port Moresby.
Well, what exactly has Mr Abbott seen? Since he has not even left the environs of Port Moresby, he can’t have seen much more than the inside of a room.
Of course it suits both Abbott and O’Neill to demonise asylum seekers.
Despite his earlier indications, O’Neill doesn’t want them in PNG.
And Abbott wants them anywhere but Australia.
Abbott said after his discussions with O’Neill he was confident there would be “swift processing, swift repatriation and swift resettlement.”