>So today Tony Abbott went to the Adelaide Hills to
fan the flames of hate meet with community groups and talk about detention centres.
He had a look around and decided he didn’t like what he saw. It was too pretty. How dare a nice part of Australia be used to house those stinking asylum seekers:
“Bringing asylum seekers to a place like this is hardly sending the right message to the tens of thousands of potential boat people in our region,”
“[It] is basically saying to the people smugglers and their customers that the welcome mat is out, that the red-carpet treatment is available.
“You do not send idyllic picture postcards from Australia to the people smugglers and their customers.”
What is attractive to asylum seekers is Australia. They don’t give a damn about our detention centres, they give a damn about Australia. If Abbott really wants to get rid of the “pull factor” he should come up with some policies that make Australia a horrible place to live in. Make it a place less inviting than Indonesia.
There is a fair bit of crap being represented about the Inverbrackie detention centre. For a start it is not in Woodside. From my home town to Adelaide I would drive through Woodside (an oft made trip). I only once saw the Inverbrackie barracks and that was when I was about 10 and wanted to be join the army, and so Dad took me to the barracks to see what it was like.
And here’s the view across the road:
Yep – there goes the neighbourhood.
But let’s get back to Abbott and his message. What message does he want us to send? If being tough on detainees is what he thinks works, then lets get out the razor wire, and get the kids behind it. Let’s reduce the rations and see if we can’t weed out a few through natural attrition.
All in the interests of sending a message, mind.
We don’t want to be subtle about it – because you just know those infidels don’t grasp subtlety, so let’s make sure the message that gets sent is of a decent camp were people are treated indecently. Last thing we want is anyone to think Australia is a place of compassion.
But hell, the asylum seekers who are here most likely are terrorists so we can’t be too careful. If they are found to be “genuine” refugees why not let them out in the public, but make sure they are known to all. Look they’re all Muslims so let’s get them to wear a crescent moon on their clothes so we know who they are. That will send the right message to those wishing to come here that Australia isn’t the place for them.
Geez… the bile it rises.
This sending a message crap needs to get stomped on for the utter stupidity it is. Abbott and Morrison if they knew anything about asylum seeker policy would realise that the only way (the ONLY way) to any long term solution is through a regional solution.
The whole objective of the proposed East Timor centre is that getting sent there is not a fast track to Australia. The problem of course is it requires the region to agree to the process.
That is bloody hard.
Indonesia quite frankly doesn’t give a damn about asylum seekers coming to Australia, and truth be known most likely thinks the whole attention our media and parts of the electorate gives to it is rather humorous. But Gillard’s visit to Jakarta was a good start. Any media reporting that it was a negative outcome because President Yudhoyono didn’t give the East Timor idea a ringing endorsement really needs to be taken with a bucket load of salt.
No one expected an endorsement. Naomi Woodley got it spot on yesterday when she reported:
NAOMI WOODLEY: Mark he’s spoken in positive terms of the Government’s attempts to put in place a regional framework to deal with people smuggling and asylum seekers. He’s pointed to the fact that there are already two different forums looking at those sorts of questions.
And like Julia Gillard he thinks the talks known as the Bali Process are the right place for these discussions. He says that should happen next year and that is the timetable that the Federal Government was already working towards.
On the specific question of a processing centre you know proposed for East Timor he hasn’t given it the Indonesian government’s endorsement. But Julia Gillard would have been encouraged by his response.
Exactly – it’s encouraging. It’s just a start. This is going to be a long process – but one worth following. (Or should Gillard only bother with policies that can be sorted within the 24 hour news’ cycle?).
The ALP needs to hold firm on this. They have got to abandon the attempt to appear tougher than the Libs. It doesn’t work with the asylum seekers, and it doesn’t with the voters. Do you think anyone who wants a tougher asylum seeker policy is still with the ALP?
Chris Bowen has got the response spot on when he said:
Mr Bowen says detention centres are not meant to be punitive or send a message of deterrence to asylum seekers.
“I don’t think, for example, that children and families should be located in remote locations in high-security facilities which is what Mr Abbott seems to be implying.
It’s time the ALP stuck to its guns and not worry about the asylum seeker dilemma. We are at a point in the electoral cycle where the polls are almost irrelevant (one of the reason why I haven’t bothered to report on Newspolls etc since the election).
If they think they are right; if they think their policy is the best for Australia – then be bold and argue it – explain it (God, please explain it, because I bet 95% of the electorate don’t understand it yet) – convince the voters as best they can, but not worry if they don’t convince a majority (because they won’t). If they think it is right then do it. Don’t do it because they think it is the least worst way to tackle the issue politically.
Peter Brent is right when he says people thinking the ALP Government doesn’t stand for anything is hardly stunning news – people thought that of Hawke and Keating (I certainly did as an angry-young man at university). But that doesn’t mean the party shouldn’t stand for things.
This is one issue on which the ALP needs to make a stand.