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« A society that perpetuates women living a death-row sentence | Main | The issue Canberra doesn’t want you to discuss: Nauru »

12 August 2018


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I thought I'd try this out as a speculative piece to see what sort of reaction it might get.

It's easy to rattle some people's chains but beyond that I get the impression that most people are suffering overload when it comes to Manus and Nauru and the people interred there.

You can see this with other issues, like energy policy. The general consensus seems to be 'just do something, anything, so we can forget about it'. Whether this is a deliberate strategy on the part of the government is hard to tell.

What it does mean, however, is that the issue has to be sensationalised to a much higher degree to keep it on people's minds.

I think we can all agree that offshore detention was a bad idea. It was, after all, born out of the desperate attempt by a prime minister on the ropes and facing an imminent election.

Using Manus and Nauru as detention centres, instead of say Christmas Island, was probably more about symbolism that practicality. The problems both of those places would create was clearly never thought through, as is the case with most quick fixes.

We are now stuck in a mire created by rhetoric, specifically that the asylum seekers would never be allowed into Australia. That rhetoric is now standing in the way of a resolution.

Peter Dutton is a master of rhetoric, like his mate Tony Abbott, the slogan is king. I'd suggest that he is the worst possible choice to be overseeing this issue. It clearly needs someone who is a lot smarter and less driven by ideology.

If the processing of asylum seekers had been done quickly and efficiently there might have been a chance of it succeeding but it's been five years now and it still goes on.

At the end, if there ever is an end, it will be interesting to see how much this has cost Australia, both in financial and reputation terms.

Just how the pussy footing around this issue can be ended is beyond me but I'd suggest that whoever can achieve it will need to be pretty special.

At the very least I think it requires a re-calibration of our asylum seeker policies.

I was immediately a bit wary when I saw Phil’s silly title about Manus alleged asylum seekers.
‘The HEROES of Manus……’

Phil surely heroes never run away from anything. Certainly your hero Behrouz Boochani, never got into a leaky boat and paddled it past the huge Islamic nations of Pakistan, then sneaking past India with the 3rd biggest number of Muslims at 190 million before leaving behind the 4th Islamic nation of Bangladesh. Then for some unknown reason he decided Islamic Malaysia was not fit for him before bypassing the world’s largest Islamic state Indonesia so as to reach a nation run by the limp-wristed brigade in Canberra and elsewhere who purport to be leaders in the Christian majority nation of Oz. If ever there was an economic migrant he must be after avoiding all those safe Islamic havens.

I smiled at the media attempts to show Manus as the worst possible place to be held. Quite a few complained of heat..for God’s sake the temperature in Boochani’s homeland can reach 40C!
They complained of malaria though they all had mosquito nets but not enough fly screen doors. Of course every PNG citizen has a fly-screen door on his hut!
The water was not very nice to drink even though it came out of a tap unlike lots of PNG citizens getting it from lagoons or even the muddy Aramia.
Wonder what your Aussie survivors of death camps during WW2 think of mostly economic migrant whingers complaining of the lack of fly-screen doors on their dongas.

Phil what countries have unrestricted open doors policy for economic migrants? Even poor old Germany has baulked at Merkel’s - “All are welcome!” policy she tried to sell to the other sheepy nations of the EU but now wants Italy, Greece, Spain to handle them. Why because they were often the 1st Nation of safety reached unlike Boochani longing to reach his chosen land - not safety.

Those genuine asylum seekers who fled their homelands fearing death have surely been sorted out from the other mob who in time will not generally want to live in a 3rd World nation like PNG. I believe several hundred have opted for going home which included a Aus$20000 inducement.

The Kurdish people internationally have had a bad time of it since the fall of the Ottoman Empire and the four major nation controlling their homelands will have nothing to do with talk of allowing a nation for the 30 – 45 million Kurds despite their young heroic men and women fighting valiantly in Iraq & Syria against ISIL and other loony fanatics. They make up what is alleged to be the largest unrecognised national group in the world and it doesn’t look as if that will change any time soon. Never the less isn’t Boochani able to return now to autonomous Kurdistan in Iraq not too far across the border from Ilam, his home province, in Iran?

"Freedom is always and exclusively freedom for those who think differently' - Rosa Luxemburg

First they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a socialist.

Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out – Because I was not a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out –
Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.

Martin Niemöller (1892-1984)

The people being detained on Manus must by now have been assessed as to whether they are simply economic migrants or genuine asylum seekers.

In the case of the latter group at least, it makes sense to now recognise their status and grant them Temporary Protection Visas and allow them into Australia (or New Zealand). At least the conversation would then be about what to do with people who are manifestly not refugees.

However, its seems that the inexorable logic of past statements that these people will never set foot in Australia has resulted in such an outcome being deemed a political impossibility.

Not even a change in government seems likely to alter this situation very much. The politics of this thing have become a veritable Gordian Knot with no Alexander the Great on the horizon yet.

Eventually, some degree of common sense must prevail but I have no idea how or when this will occur.

I hope I live long enough to see Dutton dragged up before the International Criminal Court.

I think I now understand why "Loony" is so often associated with the virulent Left.

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