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Kevin Rudd and the boat people

Written By: - Date published: 2:10 pm, July 20th, 2013 - 165 comments
Categories: aid, australian politics, International - Tags: ,

Boat People

Yesterday there was a major political announcement across the ditch.  Kevin Rudd announced that Australia will no longer consider giving refugee status to people arriving illegally by boat and that Papua New Guinea has agreed to take in any boat person who subsequently establishes that they are eligible for refugee status.  In his words “[a]s of today, asylum seekers who come here by boat without a visa will never be settled in Australia”.

The proposal has been met with a variety of responses.  To show how reactionary and inhumane the policy is Tony Abbott has described it as promising.  The fact that Abbott is favourably inclined to support the policy should have Labor activists bowing their heads in shame.  Only the Australian Greens have the guts to describe it as it is, with Greens leader Christine Milne describing it as ruthless and repugnant and saying that it was absolutely immoral for a rich nation to “dump thousands of vulnerable people into an impoverished country“.  Milne aptly said that Rudd had managed to leap-frog Tony Abbott in terms of cruelty.

I have always struggled with the issue and the way that it has dominated recent Australian election campaigns.  Because it seems wrong that a country of immigrants who continue to mercilessly trash the indigenous people should be so up in arms at the thought of other people from overseas also becoming citizens of the lucky country.

In 2001 for instance the Tampa affair probably helped John Howard hold onto power after he refused to let the Norwegian ship the Tampa enter Australian waters because it held rescued boat people.  Conditions on the ship were worsening with reports of dehydration, malnutrition and  exhaustion but Howard still refused to allow the refugees to be taken off the ship.  Later claims made by Howard during the election campaign that year that other boat people had threatened to throw their children overboard if refused entry to Australia were determined to be untrue but only after Howard had regained power with an increased majority.

A major problem with Rudd’s proposal is that it breaches international law.  Under the United Nations Convention relating to the Status of Refugees a refugee is someone who “owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country”.  If a refugee presents at the boarder of another country then as long as they have acted in good faith they should not be subject to penalties, the primary one which is their return to their country of origin.  And most importantly refugees shall not be expelled or returned to territories where their life or freedom would be threatened on account of their race, religion, nationality, or membership of a particular social or political opinion.

The receiving country is obliged to not return refugees to their homeland unless and until they have been subject to a proper process.  The Australian High Court has recognised that Natural Justice must be observed when making a decision on a refugee status application.

The number of boat people reaching Australia each year is not huge.  Over the past couple of decades the numbers have mostly been under a thousand.  In 2001 there were 6,556 and last year there were over 17,000.  But Australia is a huge place.  And this scale of immigration into a country of 22 million people is figuratively and literally a drop in the bucket.

It is not as if Australia is a culturally homogenous place.  Its diversity is one of its most charming features, apart from its inability to treat and care for the indigenous people properly.

Rudd’s proposal could be considered to be politically astute in that it takes away from Abbott the ability to make boat people an election issue.  But it is inhumane, degrading and illegal.  Shame on him.

165 comments on “Kevin Rudd and the boat people”

  1. Tangled up 1

    Politically it’s genius. Morally it’s appalling.

    • North 1.1

      Yeah……..I can just feel lots of semi-xenophobic to majorly xenophobic racist sentiments being a tad vindicated in the national guts. I’m acknowledging that they feel keenly that it’s their country and I try to imagine myself in their shoes. Suffice to say I hope were I an Ozzie I’d entertain a different sense from that which is apparent. No disrespect but my mind’s eye sees a rather Garnerish demeanour in our cousins.

      For the moment I just gotta let it rest contemplating the lust for power in the bones of John Howard as to claim “they’re throwing their babies overboard…..”. Haven’t yet sorted out where I think Rudd is relatively but there are intimations of answering “stuff”.

      In an entirely churlish and irrelevant appraisal it wouldn’t be half bad to see the loathsome Abbot fucked over and disappear though.

  2. sockpuppet 2

    Vile, vile man. Abbott and Rudd almost manage to make Key look good.

  3. Bill 3

    Any explanation as to why it’s okay to ‘settle’ genuine refugees in Papua New Guinea, but not okay to ‘settle’ them in Australia? In the first link, Rudd seems to be making a big deal out of the fact that PNG is a signatory to the UN Refugees Convention (as is Australia), a country with an (apparently) robust democracy (like Australia) possessing an economy with ‘a strong future’ (like Australia).

    So, no difference between the two countries by Rudds measure of comparison. No mention of the comparative level of education/healthcare facilities…no mention of the institutional capacity that PNG possesses that might help it accomodate and assist refugees who will be exhibiting all manners of post traumatic stress disorders etc. But I’m sure that’s covered and these refugees aren’t really being ‘dumped’ into onerous existences out of both sight and mind.

    See, I’d have thought that people possessing the courage and the initiative to maneuvere themselves out of dire situations in the full aforethought that they could well die trying, would the very type of people an entrepeneurial country like Australia would fall over themselves to get a hold of.

    Anyway, just as well there is no savage racism involved and that the eminently sensible, civilised rationale behind this move will be outlined for us just presently.

  4. Macro 4

    “Seems that Rudd will do anything for power”

    Never a truer word! Yes a vile man, and the soul of the political left in Australia has just been given a very severe kicking… :(

    Add to the above his unscrupulous trashing of the Carbon tax
    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/17/world/asia/australian-leader-scraps-tax-on-carbon-emissions.html?emc=tnt&tntemail0=y&_r=0

    Welcome to “The Age of Stupid”.

  5. Populuxe1 5

    Except they aren’t assylum seekers under the UN convention, they are illegal economic migrants because they have refused available assylum in Pakistan, Iran, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Boat people also pose threats to biosecurity, not to mention the potential for extremism. And the bullshit about Australia being “big” – in case you hadn’t noticed much of that is desert and the cities suffer from water, employment and accomodation shortages. Try thinking with the brain and not the heart once in a while.

    • Jim J 5.1

      @populxel – Iran is the only one of these that is a signatory to the convention and not necessarily a point that refugees go through. And considering what is required by the convention and what Iran provides, I’d hardly consider them to be upholding the convention. So in this sense it is meaningless to say they’ve refused available asylum.

    • Draco T Bastard 5.2

      Except they aren’t assylum seekers under the UN convention, they are illegal economic migrants because they have refused available assylum in Pakistan, Iran, Malaysia, and Indonesia.

      Link?

      From what I can make out, boat people and a lot of other refugees are actually the result of what Malthus warned us about 200 years ago – massive over population.

      • Populuxe1 5.2.1

        http://www.unhcr.org/3b66c2aa10.html – the UNHRC convention
        It’s all there in black and white:

        Malthus is bollocks
        http://www.juliansimon.com/writings/Ultimate_Resource/
        http://www.henrygeorge.org/pchp7.htm

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1

          Can The Supply Of Natural Resources – Especially Energy – Really Be Infinite? Yes!

          LOL, you try to get an infinite amount of energy on Earth.

          • Populuxe1 5.2.1.1.1

            I doubt “infinite” was meant literally, but see that big burny hot yellow thing in the sky for example, or for all I know zero point energy. In case you hadn’t noticed there are seven billion reasons why Malthus was wrong.

            • Draco T Bastard 5.2.1.1.1.1

              Actually, there’s between 5 and 6 billion reasons why Malthus was right. We just haven’t seen the consequences of the over population yet.

              • Colonial Viper

                We just haven’t seen the consequences of the over population yet.

                In fact, yes we have, but mostly in places a long way away from us. Bears to remember that we are living well within the global top 20%.

                Egypt for example, is permanently fucked. They cannot feed their people, period. Countries like India, China, Indonesia and Israel are only a couple of steps better.

            • Colonial Viper 5.2.1.1.1.2

              In case you hadn’t noticed there are seven billion reasons why Malthus was wrong.

              No, there are only three reasons why Malthus was (temporarily) wrong.

              1) Energy from coal was the first one.
              2) Energy from oil was the second one.
              3) Rich people having fewer children not more children, was the third one.

      • TheContrarian 5.2.2

        Draco, you have frequently mentioned closing our borders and stopping immigration. What do you think of Rudds refusal to accept boat people?

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.2.1

          Draco, you have frequently mentioned closing our borders and stopping immigration.

          Yep, I have. It’s a foregone conclusion to inescapable physical limits but even then I’ve mentioned it in two different contexts:
          1.) When AGW causes the equatorial regions to become uninhabitable by humanity then we will see several hundred million people trying to get here. At that point we will need to close the borders and possibly with force.
          2.) Stopping immigration temporarily while we sort out our economy so that no one is living in poverty. Once we’ve done that then we could open up immigration again – until we reach carrying capacity anyway (and, yes, we do have to determine what NZs carrying capacity is).

          What do you think of Rudds refusal to accept boat people?

          That would depend upon why he’s doing it. Is he doing because of those hard limits that Pop1 mentioned or purely as a political stunt? If the former and he has facts and figures to back it up then I don’t have a problem with it. Australia is a big place but it still has limits. If the latter then I’d say that it’s absolutely disgusting as it’s done for ulterior motives and not necessarily for the best of Australia.

          Either way, it really is up to the Australians if they let people in or not.

      • karol 5.2.3

        From what I can make out, boat people and a lot of other refugees are actually the result of what Malthus warned us about 200 years ago – massive over population.

        That and vast global inequalities between countries. If wealthier countries (or at least their governments) were really serious about stopping “boat people”, they’d work to decrease the inequalities between countries. But, instead, they want to maintain the internationally “competitive” advantage.

        “economic migrants” is a term used to downplay the significance of the impact of the poverty in some countries. I’d rather call them “economic asylum seekers”, because many of their lives will be damaged if they stay in their home countries.

        I recall seeing a movie on TV when I lived in the UK: The March (1990). It was about a massive uprising spurred by climate change. Large numbers of Africans marched on Europe, with the slogan, “We are poor because you are rich”.

        • Draco T Bastard 5.2.3.1

          But, instead, they want to maintain the internationally “competitive” advantage.

          What they want to do is maintain the wealth pumps that maintain the Western Empire. The structures and networks that keep raw resources going to the rich countries from poor countries which inevitably keeps the poor countries poor while impoverishing them even more as their resources are used up.

          Interestingly enough, NZ happens to be one of the countries that wealth is pumped out of while we tell ourselves that we’re rich and that the only thing we can do is be farmers (despite the fact that farming makes up less than 8% of the workforce).

        • Populuxe1 5.2.3.2

          Africa doesn’t need more money, it needs transparent government and double entry book keeping.

          • karol 5.2.3.2.1

            Ah, of course – that simple really.

            • Colonial Viper 5.2.3.2.1.1

              Reality is no obstacle to simplistic two dimensional solutions.

              • Populuxe1

                I’m sure it is perfectly obvious even to you that Africa holds enormous mineral wealth. Wouldn’t it be nice if instead of funneling international aid and blood diamond money into off-shore bank accounts, that money actually went to the people of Africa? Mugabe took back everything from the whites in Zimbabwe and is raping the country twice as bad. Ethiopia, the poster child of famine in the 1980s, was only ever briefly under Italian control under Mussolini – everything else was entirely their own doing. It would be ever so nice if well meaning liberals could stop painting Africans as victims of western greed and give them the dignity of recognising their ability to govern their own lives. You also might observe that countries like Nigeria and Botswana are flourishing largely because of capitalism and getting their shit together.

                • Colonial Viper

                  You seriously have no idea.

                  • Populuxe1

                    You are blinded by your arrogance and confirmation bias

                    • Colonial Viper

                      I’ll paraphrase Nikiforuk on petrostates: God never put oil in a bad place. But oil has turned plenty of good places into hell.

                  • Populuxe1

                    If you don’t think that transparent government and less corruption would go a long way to improvingv the lot of Africans and enabling them to better withstand exploitation, you are seriously a bigger dick than I realised

    • Deborah 5.3

      The countries you list are not convention countries. Therefore they have not been offered asylum there, as this is not a legal possibility. They have been waiting there, often in great danger.

    • North 5.4

      There is also the subliminal eugenics imperative which underlines and justifies racism – woe betide that in time they’ve thrown their seed around. I express extravagantly to illustrate what is there. NZ too.

    • Murray Olsen 5.5

      The Australian High Court disagrees with you. Every reasonable person I know disagrees with you. I’m unreasonable and even I disagree with you. Everything I’ve ever seen you post is reactionary rubbish. What exactly makes you think of yourself as left wing or progressive?

  6. Arfamo 6

    The biggest concern I hear from Aussies who want the traffic stopped is their justified fear of religious extremism arising from the clash of cultures. Freedom of religion is all very well but it also means if there’s a religion which is militant and capable of being exploited by violent fundamentalists, you can’t stop them until the violence happens. We don’t have the same problem here so I’m not prepared to criticise Aussies for wanting these people kept out.

    • Bill 6.1

      The biggest concern I hear from Aussies who want the traffic stopped..

      Nice piece of ill informed bigotry right there. It ain’t ‘trafficking’ when the people are genuine refugees And it is the genuine refugees Rudd is going to dump in PNG.

      ..if there’s a religion which is militant and capable of being exploited by violent fundamentalists

      And we’ll ignore the possibility that such ‘violent fundamentalists’ are the very people the refugees are on the run from? Anyway, rest easy on the question as to whether there might be a religion that such people can exploit. Christianity (Lebanon and Ireland etc), Islam (Saudi Arabia etc), Hinduism (India), Buddhism (Tibet, N. India, Burma)…Actually, you might find it more fruitful to come up with a religion that isn’t potentially militant and exploitable.

      Meanwhile, you do know, that for many years NZ was a bolt hole for IRA operatives, yes? I mean, I know they were ‘our’ type of people as opposed to being one of ‘them’ and that there are no religious extremists in NZ. Lots of right ugly minded fucktards though if your comments are representative of any proportion of the NZ populace.

      • Colonial Viper 6.1.1

        Nice piece of ill informed bigotry right there. It ain’t ‘trafficking’ when the people are genuine refugees And it is the genuine refugees Rudd is going to dump in PNG.

        It is trafficking if those on the boat have been promised better economic lives by the people arranging the boat trips, whom they may also be paying big money too.

        • Bill 6.1.1.1

          I’ve no doubt their desperation is such that even when they know they are being taken to the cleaners, they continue to make arrangements in the hope against hope that they aren’t in fact being taken to the cleaners.

          Insofar as they are coming from second countries having fled their homelands, well, possible economic improvement is a no brainer. Ever tried living in a country where you have no access to work or education or medical treatment? That’s one very fucked up state of limbo these people are coming from. And it’s not one they would choose lightly.

          Face it CV. These people aren’t motivated by greed or images of streets paved with gold. They are fucking absolutely desperate and probably experiencing very deep levels of fear and anxiety. They know that what they are doing could result in their death. Think about that for a second. You seriously suggesting they’re taking that punt on the basis of gaining a bit of material traction in some culturally and geographically foreign land?! I mean, maybe they’re just bringing their kids along for the ride, cause, you know, it’ll be a blast…an adventure?

          • Colonial Viper 6.1.1.1.1

            You know where all this is going. Nationalism, feudalism and fascism is on the return globally.

            That Oz is taking this attitude to boat people is perfectly expected. This is a country which won’t even spend a single cent on unemployed Kiwis, and for the most part Kiwis are literate, English speaking and the same colour as them. They just don’t give a fuck.

          • Populuxe1 6.1.1.1.2

            That’s quite a fantasy you have concocted there. In those secondary countries there are Muslim charitable organisations that help them out, certainly long enough for them to *legally* apply for refugee status somewhere. Hardly limbo, or at least not any moreso limbo than being an illegal alien in Australia (ask the kiwis living under bridges over there).

            And a suicide bomberknows that what they are doing could result in their death – dosn’t mean I should condone it.

            • Arfamo 6.1.1.1.2.1

              Meanwhile, you do know, that for many years NZ was a bolt hole for IRA operatives, yes? I mean, I know they were ‘our’ type of people as opposed to being one of ‘them’ and that there are no religious extremists in NZ. Lots of right ugly minded fucktards though if your comments are representative of any proportion of the NZ populace.

              Rubbish. The IRA are not even Catholics. Protestantism and Catholicism are simply the religions of the population living in N. Ireland of English, Welsh and Scottish ancestry, and of Irish ancestry. That’s a political struggle not a religious one. The religious angle is played up by the media and UK government and only works on dupes.

              • Bill

                Oh, I know it was a political struggle – but it got subsumed by religious bigotry. Would you have wanted to be a protestant in a catholic area of Belfast or visa versa? No. You wouldn’t. And as for NZ being a bolt hole, that ain’t rubbish – if that’s what you were suggesting. Anyways…

                • Arfamo

                  I have no idea whether NZ was a bolt hole for IRA operatives or how long ago it was that you are talking about. I’d love to see a link on that. But either way, both sides – the Irish nationalists and the British nationalists had their own terrorist organisations. The only truly religious bigot I can recall regularly hearing from was that spittle-flecked psychotic retard, Ian Paisley. The issue has always been about discrimination, civil rights, and, to a lesser extent these days, unification with Eire which I believe has been abandoned as an objective by Sinn Fein. Our UK-influenced media has always pushed the BS line that it’s religiously motivated and obviously some dupes still believe it. The thickest British nationalist boofheads are still needlessly stirring up trouble provoking the Irish-ancestored every freaking Orangemen’s Day.

      • Arfamo 6.1.2

        Actually, you might find it more fruitful to come up with a religion that isn’t potentially militant and exploitable.

        They all are. And they’re all bullshit. Certainly anybody who reads the Bible or the Koran from cover to cover and actually believes they’re looking at the word of god is an idiot.

    • Murray Olsen 6.2

      The Australian Christian Lobby already runs Queensland. I expect to see abortion facilities blown up before too long. The Aussies I know are far more worried about them, and they are prepared to criticise the bogans and the racist fuckwits like Rudd who pander to them.

  7. clifford wright 7

    Kevin Rudd has finally had a relatively inspired idea. I guess it beats sinking all the boats in the Torres strait!
    All you “bleeding hearts” out there obviously have no children or grandchildren and don’t care what sort of world you leave behind you.
    OK so there are some genuine refugees. Like NZ’s interpreters in Aghanistan and their families.
    But EVERY one of these illegals Australia or NZ lets in means that either a genuine refugee is left
    to suffer, or we end up like parts of Europe, practically swamped by the social problems created by
    uncontrolled immigration.
    Until the “third world” gets its population under control and gives women a proper place in their society they are ALWAYS as big a threat as a nuclear war (or even worse).
    I am very much a “green” person. I drive my own electric car and have a solar powered house. But I will never support the Greens in Australia or NZ because of their totally illogical ignoring of the”
    Elephant in the room” overpopulation!

    • Bill 7.1

      But EVERY one of these illegals Australia or NZ lets in means that either a genuine refugee is left to suffer

      Nice one. It’s the genuine refugees Kevin Rudd is referring to you fuck wit.

      • clifford wright 7.1.1

        Well mono adjectival Bill!
        If they are “legal” and approved immigrants, then why are they crowded on to that shonky boat
        that look as though a 1 metre swell would sink it?
        How do you explain your “friends” the people smugglers also? At least since you apparently give tacit approval to their activities then you can hardly be their sworn enemy?
        As approved migrants they would fly here like most others do.
        One of these days it just might sink in that Free breeding = miserable Death and let us hope that we can bring that day closer by sensible action.

    • mickysavage 7.2

      But Clifford which ones are the genuine refugees? Rudd’s definition seems to be that if they arrive by boat they will never be a genuine refugee. And what about the rule of law? If Australia signs up to an international treaty don’t you think they should abide by it?

      • Populuxe1 7.2.1

        It is quite clear from the convention that none of the definitions apply to illegal economic migrants. Read it very carefully. They’re not just jumping on a boat straight to Sydney Harbour, they are island hopping all the way down through Malaysia and Indonesia, sometimes halting in one place or another for as much as a couple of years.

      • clifford wright 7.2.2

        Genuine refugees are approved BEFORE leaving to come to Australia or New Zealand.
        Kevin Rudd is generally quite correct in assuming that if you come by boat you are at least a “queue
        jumper” if not some sort of criminal. No country has any reason to accept any person except by consent of the existing residents.
        If Third world countries are exploited in such a way as to degrade their environment or corrupt their
        government then the corrupt Monetarists who created the problems should be made to pay to fix it.
        That’s why NZ and Australia should get out of all the international monetarist organisations and
        restore some of their own sovereignty.
        Simply put, their mess, whether from loony religion, free breeding via the subjugation of women, or exploitation by other “colonial” powers is no concern of ours.
        I don’t intend for my grandchildren to be swamped by the “Starving Billions”. Just like the book that “Soylent Green” was based on, even a nuclear war is better than that.
        If you can’t face the moral choices, then tough!
        The universe is the way it is, NOT they way we want it to be.

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    Rudd knows this policy is a vote winner.

    Meanwhile, PNG is a country where soldiers went on a rampage in the country’s main medical university

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-07-18/an-former-png-commanders-blame-army-ill-discipline-on-civilian-/4828956

    • Rosetinted 8.1

      CV
      It’s a worry that these people are being sent to an unstable place like PNG. They seem to be mired down already in problems. I don’t see anything good coming from this decision. This is what anti Rudd people were afraid of. Australia is just making bad press for itself.

      And we will be tainted with this bad press too. Do you remember years ago we were so keen to get rid of an Iranian man that we deported him with an attendant policeman. I wonder what happened to the Iranian? Also to the little Sri Lankan girl that we couldn’t allow to stay here with her aunt and be educated here. We can welcome people from overseas if they have money.

      • Colonial Viper 8.1.1

        Rudd announced this deal but it must have been in the works for many months now, under Gillard.

      • Chooky 8.1.2

        Rosetinted

        Single instances of worthy refugees eg. Algerian Ahmed Zaoui ( who after a struggle was allowed to stay), the little Sri Lankan girl living with her aunt and the Iranian man (who were unfortunately sent back home), are cases of genuine refugees from political/cultural oppression and probable persecution and they should have been treated with compassion and allowed to stay ….

        But don’t confuse these single cases with the issue of boat loads of economic refugees, who have been sold a story about arriving in ‘a land of milk and honey’ and who have been able to pay considerable amounts to businessmen for a passage to arrive here illegally. This is quite another issue.

        Agreed we welcome too many people here on the basis of money!…less of these and more of the genuine worthy refugees

        • Rosetinted 8.1.2.1

          Chooky
          You’re right – we do have to be concerned about numbers coming here. We are small and the oligarchy running us is increasingly badly managing our country, and its resources and the potential for people to gain a standard of living in a working economy.

          Treasury was just talking on Radionz about the research they do and the papers they present, and of course they are very well paid. But one of their concerns is not the best way to assist the economy towards full employment, encourage useful jobs, ie not just selling houses and booze, both good earners, but all the time they have been working away and all the data they have gathered up has not produced the functioning, thriving, happy society that one would expect from the combination of huge expense, wonderful brains and machinery.

          Probably what will happen here is that we will eventually be overwhelmed by busy hard working entrepreneurs who will drive themselves and their employees so that they can improve their status, and the rest of us stay in the lower 50% of the 99%. People who feel they must leave bad situations are very motivated and self-reliant. So we are at a disadvantage because we haven’t been forced by dire circumstances to evolve in that way, though we might have to in future. It is inevitable because of the forces of overpopulation, political and religious disturbances, climate etc. and all we can do is try and limit numbers to manageable levels.

  9. muzza 9

    People don’t just have a right (man given or otherwise, under the current structures) to arrive somewhere, claim they are some such status (proof?), then expect that nation will cater to/form them. You take that risk, if it does not work out, that simply the way it has to be at times!

    Rudd, or any other so called leaders, have responsibility to those who are already inside the boarders, and as much as I ‘m for freedom of movement, under certain circumstances, I’m not!

    The world is not fair, and while I repeat the boat peoples desire to seek a change, I also support Australia’s decision, to turn them away!

    I’ve no problem with this position!

    • That to me is a sad position to take. These people need HELP – it is as simple as that. No one undertakes the type of journey they are undertaking – leaving their homeland and everything they know because it is a bit of a lark. Rudd is a foul beast for doing this and it won’t work anyway because it hasn’t worked in the past and as the Queensland people say, the border is ‘porous’. The numbers are not that big and the argument that swamping or such like will occur are bogus in my view. Looking after number one is straight out of the neo-whatevers handbook. These people can be given a place to live but only if they are actually considered people not pawns in a political game.

      • Populuxe1 9.1.1

        Bullshit. Some of them have lived long enough in Pakistan (a year is all it needs) for that to be legally their country of residence. They choose to go all the way to Australia for economic reasons. If you can afford to put up the money for a people smuggler in Pakistan, Malaysia or Indonesia, you can certainly afford to legally apply for refugee status.

        • Bill 9.1.1.1

          Being able to afford a passport is one thing. Obtaining one when you live in genuine fear of the very people you’d have to apply to for the passport, quite another.

          As for ‘a year is all it takes’ to be a Pakistani resident – you got a reliable source for that haven’t you?

          • Populuxe1 9.1.1.1.1

            If they fit the category of assylum seeker as defined by the convention they can go to the embassy of their preferred country and apply for a visa as an assylum seeker.
            And no, I can’t be arsed explaining to you the legal definitions of Habitual Residence (not residency) because I am not Google.

            • Bill 9.1.1.1.1.1

              You honestly can’t see the catch22 there? Like the necessity of having a passport perhaps? The one you couldn’t get from the authorities in your homeland because…sigh… been through this one.

              And habitual residence is a mechanism whereby people are forced back to the country they recently exited. It’s up to the asylum seeker to convince the authorities that return to the previous country is not an option. So ‘best’ scenario is that they wind up as a permanent resident in a refugee camp in a country that borders their homeland after being knocked back through however many countries.

              • Colonial Viper

                Would NZ voluntarily choose to accept up to 20% or 25% of the boat people who wondered into Australian territorial waters? Perhaps the ones vetted as being true asylum seekers?

              • Populuxe1

                Sigh. They don’t actually need a passport if they have been issued with an IRO certificate of eligability or this
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certificate_of_identity
                or this
                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Refugee_travel_document

                Permanent resident in a refugee camp is better than being shot at – it is assylum. No country is under any obligation to provide more than that despite how much custard you heart may pump.

                If it were me I would be putting the rights and interests of my own citizens first too. I don’t understand fools who think we should be saving the whole bloody world when we should save ourselves first.

                • Bill

                  The whole world? Nah. Just those who need help and who we are in a position to help.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    We’ve got minimal interest even in helping our own people Bill. You’ve got heart, that’s for sure.

                    • Bill

                      I guess you took ‘we’ as referring to NZers or whatever? But I was actually referring to everyone everywhere. It’s the kind of internationalist approach to identity that the left used to adopt quite naturally. Now, it seems, only some – and far, far fewer than in the past – do. Shame really, given the ascendancy of racism and various hues of xenophobia.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      The global “Left” has allowed most of its power centres to be disabled or hijacked. Labour unions are dead in the water, universities filled up with right wing think tanks, the media now fully corporate owned and reluctant to speak truth to power, except in occasional whispers. “Left wing” parties are nothing of the sort and usually range from being partially to totally complicit with the neoliberal agenda, currently morphing into the next phase, the total surveillance state.

                      The international debt based monetary system has left most developed nations in deficit even as poorer nations go completely under. There is no prosperous middle class taking an active interest in humanitarian issues, any more. Those who remain seem infected with the cult of self centred individualism.

                      Shame really, given the ascendancy of racism and various hues of xenophobia.

                      Its all very much connected. The neo Nazi Golden Dawn Party would not have so much support in Greece if it weren’t for the crushing austerity being inflicted on the Greek people in order to pay off the bankers, for instance.

                    • Bill

                      I think the demise of the ‘global left’s’ centers of power was inevitable given that their structures mirrored the heirarchies of the powers they sought to challenge. It’s been my opinion for many years now that the left you refer to was doomed from the moment the Bolshevics hi-jacked the Russian revolution condemning the democratic left, both there and in the west, to the fringes and/or the wilderness.

                      So, I don’t mourn the loss of power experienced by authoritarian expressions of leftist values. They were always (to be nice about it) a contradiction. What I mourn is the lack of any sustained resurgence of the democratic left tradition. I mean, that party celebrating the end of the USSR wasn’t exactly well attended by leftists. And too many who did attend were about to become sad sack proponents for ‘capitalism with a human face’ or/and to underscore the TINA mantra.

                    • Arfamo

                      I don’t mourn the loss of power experienced by authoritarian expressions of leftist values. They were always (to be nice about it) a contradiction. What I mourn is the lack of any sustained resurgence of the democratic left tradition.

                      +1. Those failed communist authoritarian regimes have been misrepresented for too long as the equivalent of social democracies, which is utter nonsense and must be one of the most long-running successful con jobs in history.

                    • Bill

                      Given that the essential structures of power in Social Democracies are the same as those of Democratic Centralism – a cross in a box every few years having some potential to undercut a hermetically sealed selection process…they’re equivalent enough. Not much of a con there. One is merely less undemocratic than the other. Neither are or were democratic.

                      The fact that Social Democracy is sold to us as being democratic. Well, there’s the con right there that you might want to focus on.

                    • Arfamo

                      I could disagree Bill, because there seem to be more than one definitions of social democracy, but I too don’t think our current parliamentary system is democratic enough, and don’t think I’d gain much insight by debating definitions of SD with you.

                      I am interested though in what democratic system you’re advocating?

                    • Bill

                      There is no singular ‘democratic system’. There are multiple possible systems for decisions that embody democratic principles/values. So as long as those affected by a proposal have a direct input to forming the final decision…and as long as any and all structures used for decision making are formulated in such a way as to avoid ‘capture’, then what eventuates is democracy.

                      The ‘leap of faith’ is that complexity will naturally arise from simple initial conditions as happens in the natural world…ie, that democracy ‘scales up’ without any order having to be imposed from above. If that ‘leap of faith’ is baseless…leads nowhere…then democracy can never be anything beyond a flight of fancy because order imposed from above sits in direct opposition to democracy.

                      The details of each and every transient decision making body will, of course, vary according to a number of factors…the percieved importance of the decision, numbers of people involved and so on.

                    • Arfamo

                      Ok. My question probably should have been what system of government do you advocate. Because representative democracies have been captured by our representatives – who’ve themselves been incorporated into and captured by Right wing economic theory – so they’re now part of the problem, not the solution. I’ll leave it at this. I’ve taken this discussion way off the thread topic. Thanks for your thoughts.

                    • Bill

                      Systems of self governance, not representative ones, ie – empowering democratic modes of governance as opposed to disempowering undemocratic/authoritarian ones.

                    • Arfamo

                      Which country’s got a model of such a system that’s working? And how does it fund and deliver health, education, policing, housing, welfare safety net, jobs, defence etc?

                    • Bill

                      The question doesn’t make sense. Countries or nation states require centralisation of power/control and as such work against any realisation of democracy.

                      As for how the services mentioned would be delivered (the applicable ones anyway…) in a democracy…probably much better than now as there would/could be no market restraints (it also requires that power be concentrated)

                    • Arfamo

                      The question doesn’t make sense.

                      Lol. Not to worry. Neither did your answer. :)

                    • Bill

                      Does ‘without corporate or bureaucratic intermediaries’ – while leaving you to figure out the logical implications and consequences of that, make better sense?

                    • Arfamo

                      Only in theory. I don’t know any current working model of what you’re talking about. Meantime I’m more interested in how best to put the brakes on the current mess we’re heading for within the crappy system we have and try to reverse at least some of the negative impacts. Our government bureaucracy is thoroughly rooted now as well, but Labour contributed to that too.

                    • Bill

                      yup. Nothing wrong in working within what we’ve got. Doesn’t mean we have to lose sight of the bigger picture or give up on any visions we might have for a better future beyond all this though, eh? ;-)

                    • Arfamo

                      Agreed. But the prospect of a more participatory democracy seems some way away from being a) designed b) informed c) practical d) economically viable as a system of government if online news polls and Twitter are anything to go by. My guess is that things will have to get a lot worse for a lot more people in the low and middle income brackets before people will start to demand more meaningful information from msm, more informed debate, and more accountability from their representatives in the current system.

        • marty mars 9.1.1.2

          Your big blanket statements don’t fit everyone least of all all of these people you condemn as able to afford to allow themselves to be people smuggled to get to aussie for economic reasons. btw when they ‘lived’ in Pakistan were they refugees there or just having a holiday?

          • Populuxe1 9.1.1.2.1

            Boo hoo – it doesn’t actually matter where they happen to be refugees – they have found refuge. They are not looking for asylum in Australia, they are looking for economic opportunity illegally. And who are you too be talking blanket statements anyway? Your bleeding heart is dribbling generalisations everywhere.
            Jeez, you are going to ball your eyes out when you see what happens when global warming and peak oil kick in properly.

            • Bill 9.1.1.2.1.1

              ..they are looking for economic opportunity illegally

              According to who? Maybe the likes of the Australian government that had “been dismissing Sri Lankans as “economic migrants” after perfunctory five-minute interviews, with the outcome determined in advance.” While, when people arriving from Sri Lanka were actually allowed to make an application “seventy per cent of (them) were found to be refugees on their initial assessment in 2011-12, with 82% of the rejections overturned on appeal.”

              http://www.crikey.com.au/2012/12/11/rintoul-challenging-bipartisan-myths-on-asylum-seekers/

              • Populuxe1

                Do you realise you’ve just admitted that if they had applied legally they would almost all have been granted asylum.

              • Populuxe1

                Do you realise you’ve just admitted that if they had applied legally they would almost all have been granted asylum.

                • QoT

                  Do you realise you’ve just admitted you didn’t even bother to read the linked article?

                  Until last week none of those deported had any access to lawyers or independent advice. The first time lawyers and refugee advocates did get access the government was forced to back down and agree not to deport 56 Tamil arrivals. The key issue is not whether Sri Lankans are “automatically entitled” to asylum. It is that the government is refusing to even let them make asylum claims.

                  I mean, it doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone here, I assure you.

                  • Populuxe1

                    And I do not give a flying fuck because I believe in the sovereign rights of a nation to determine who may enter it and live there

            • marty mars 9.1.1.2.1.2

              Bullshit but please pray tell how did you manage to interview all of those people that you make blanket statements about? At least you’ve finally learned to spell asylum correctly. Personally I find crying to be very helpful in releasing emotion so your dim insult is really a compliment ta.

      • Bill 9.1.2

        What also gets me is that these people don’t seem to be afforded any identity whatsoever. Apart from knowing that it was people from Afghanistan on the Tampa, it appears that everyone else (since?) is completely ‘anonomysed’.

        Given that 25% of the refugees in the world are from Afghanistan and then given the likelyhood that a goodly proportion are from Iraq and Pakistan and that the numbers from Syria are probably increasing, it’s a bit fucking rich that politicians and msm focus on the ‘evils’ of people smugglers.

        Syria aside, I guess it’s just fine for western governments these days to bomb the shit out people, immiserate them and riddle them with fear and anxiety in the name of ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom’ and leave them no option but to flee by any possible means and then, for final good measure, pack those that survive onto an impoverished island to be forgotten.

        So who’s really more ‘evil’ in the scheme of things? The smugglers ripping people for their life savings? Or the politicians who order their soldiers to participate in the violent creation of a living hell for people; and who then renege on any moral obligation towards the numerous victims flowing from the decisions and actions they’ve taken and ordered to be taken?

        And remind me again why it is that we give these people, who possess such degenerated expressions of humanity, authority over us?

        • marty mars 9.1.2.1

          Yes Bill for some, these people are just ‘economic refugees’ and that euphemism means they don’t deserve shit from us. Under that view (where people are judged through the lens of money) the people smugglers are just trying to run their businesses without the red tape. Sending any of these ‘economic refugees’ over to PNG is part of their ‘resettlement’ and any downside is ‘collateral damage’. For me the dehumanisation of these people through the language used to describe them is Orwellian and so long as these ‘economic refugees’ have the potential to disturb our happy tranquil privileged positions they must be banished in word and deed. They don’t really exist, they are shunned and left because they aren’t really people at all, not really, not like us. I oppose this view.

      • muzza 9.1.3

        Hey Marty, don’t get me wrong, it would be great if all people who genuinely needed help, received it, globally, regardless of where they originate or are fleeing from.

        Problem is, thats simply not possible, and as the worlds resources thin even further, are nations going to be expected to screw themselves trying to save people, many of who are not even close to refugee status. Given its western nations that have done some screwing, of course that would be appropriate, but frankly Marty, charity begins at home, and its going to get tight, thats the reality, and its going to be hard luck for many people.

        The other option is that western nations take any/every individual who decides they fancy a move, regardless of the back story, and those countries implode into civil rioting etc anyway, as the scrap of resources intensifies, which is what I think is going to happen.

        Its nothing to do with number one, its about the 20m people in Oz which the country needs to support, first and foremost!

        So again, at face value, I support the Australian position!

        • marty mars 9.1.3.1

          Hard luck? Screw themselves to save people? Charity begins at home? Don’t get you wrong? Oh no I have got you right mate and are you down to your last loaf of bread? Nah didn’t think so.

          • muzza 9.1.3.1.1

            Marty, get off your high horse bro, and relax.

            Unfortunately, everyone can’t be saved, thats the cold hard facts of the matter, and before you leap all over that statement, I would prefer it was not this way, but it is, and its going to become even worse, in coming years!

            Also, keep your pre conceived ideas about other peoples lives/backgrounds out of it, you have no idea my situation, any more than I do yours!

            Hard as it is for people to understand, there are people around who can see situations objectively, and in context, without letting their life, or potential bias creating experiences, from clouding opinions.

            Peace

            • marty mars 9.1.3.1.1.1

              Well I’m not interested in bashing this around with you but

              I wasn’t talking about saving everyone – people die, that’s life. It is not the fact that people die that is important it is how they live. In my view trying to help others is a valuable and meaningful way to live.

              I don’t care about your personal situation – you were triggered – deal with your stuff mate and don’t project it on to me.

              Your last paragraph is a doozy – anyone who says that is showing imo that they still have a lot of learning to do – put the ego to one side mate it is not really helping.

              In regards to the actual issue – I believe that if people can be helped they should be helped to the best of our capacity. There are many reasons why I have got to that view but the simplest is, that is what I would want someone to do for me and my whānau.

              • Chooky

                Marty mars

                Tell that to the Tibetans who have been flooded with economic refugees from Han China and had their spirituality, culture ,countries’ resources(.timber, minerals ) and people devastated, pillaged, raped.and murdered ….also tell that to the Palestinians……suggest you get your back pack on and get some real life experience …

                • Bill

                  That the same Tibetans who had the yolk of a particularly nasty state of feudalsim lifted from them? Who began to experience the joys of even basic health care and education and a modicum of freedom? Who experienced the novel sensation of no longer being just a dispensible chattel of the ruling monks?

                  Or are you talking about the elites who resided in the monastries and who lost their privileges? (Not that they did too badly out of it mind if the Dalai Lama is anything to go by)

                  Not quite sure what your mention of Palestinians is supposed to suggest in that context though.

                  • That the same Tibetans who had the yolk of a particularly nasty state of feudalsim lifted from them?

                    Awesome. Locals saved by heroic intervention of colonising superpower! You must have been an enormous fan of the Iraqis having the yoke (no eggs were involved) of a particularly nasty state of totalitarian dictatorship lifted from them back in 2003. Actually, on second thoughts, maybe not – the Americans didn’t colonise Iraq, so their efforts fell well short of China’s in Tibet.

                    • Bill

                      No psycho. Just that the Tibetan peasantry quite welcomed an end to their sufferings under the lama’s and monestaries. That’s not to say that post 51 has been a bed of roses or whatever, just an acknowledgement of the facts.

                      But yeah, the eggs…

                  • Chooky

                    Reply to Bill

                    Actually Tibetans and Maori have a lot in common….probably why the Maori love the Dali Lama….Both old Maori and old Tibetans were eco-centric environmentalists. They did not overpopulate their land which was sacred to them ….Women had standing and rights and respect. Some of their most important Gods were female and inherent in nature.

                    Both Maori and the Tibetans ( with their native Bon religion) were polytheistic… as opposed to male- centred anthropocentric societies and monotheistic male God dominated societies .

                    ..It is these so called ‘civilised’, ‘sophisticated’, ‘ materialistic’ male anthropocentric , male- dominated societies…. which have led to the suppression and subjugation of women , the degradation of nature and womens’ rights ……and the world threatening over-population!

                    Your contempt for Tibetan culture is contempt for Maori culture …

                    Tibetan Buddhism is actually at the very at the forefront of spiritual thinking eg joint conferences held by the Dali Lama and Western neuro and brain specialists on issues of spirituality and mind/brain problems.

                    Bill we dont need your brand of ‘civilisation’ or your over-population.

                    • Bill

                      People the world over have things in common Chooky. So do our various and often otherwise widely divergent cultures. But anyway, why not go read “Friendly Feudalism: The Tibet Myth’ by Michael Parenti (google search it) and see what impact, if any, it has on your delusional and idealistic vision of pre-51 Tibet.

                      edit. Your religious/spiritual perspectives are…well they’re yours.

                • I’m talking about here and I’m talking about within capacity and believe it or not I have had some experience of the devastation due to oppressors arriving and taking over everything their fucken greedy little hands could grab.

                  • Chooky

                    Marty Mars

                    Actually most NZers have Maori ancestry, myself included, and I dont think most real Maori whanau would agree with your line of argument…we cannot have unrestricted boat loads of economic refugees, especially as many NZers are in dire need of economic help themselves, especially the Maori.

                    Bill

                    Your real angle, bias, interests…. and lack of humanity and ignorance will be evident to all, in those comments.

                    • Bill

                      Chooky. You really do need to go and read informed pieces about the conditions in Tibet prior to 1951 – the plight of ordinary Tibetan peasants was fucking horrendous. As such, they weren’t exactly against the demise of their former masters.

                    • Chooky you still seem to be missing the word ‘capacity’ that I have used – do you know what it means – hint it doesn’t mean unrestricted access. As for your assertion regarding “real Maori whanau” I disagree. The reason Māori earn less and die younger in this country is ultimately political. The capacity for equality for both treaty partners is there but the political will to live up to the guarantee of equality signed by the Crown in 1840 isn’t. Open your eyes mate and see the truth – you don’t have to go to Tibet for that one.

              • muzza

                Well I’m not interested in bashing this around with you but

                I’ll let that speak for itself!

                I don’t care about your personal situation – you were triggered – deal with your stuff mate and don’t project it on to me

                You don’t care about my personal situation, but you claim to care about the boat people, hmmm.

                And as for being triggered, no, it was a response to your statement below where it reads like you were pretending to, know me. Let me know if your intent was actually something other than a poorly conceived judgement.

                Oh no I have got you right mate and are you down to your last loaf of bread? Nah didn’t think so.

                Reads like a judgement…

                Your last paragraph is a doozy – anyone who says that is showing imo that they still have a lot of learning to do – put the ego to one side mate it is not really helping.

                This from the guy who says in one response, “I don’t care about your personal situation”, yet is fighting for the boat people, while making a judgement about my personal position – Poorly projected ego, Marty, I agree, yours!

                We are at different phases of life’s learnings, that much is clear, as long as we are learning, thats what is important.

                • Grow up mate and don’t tell me what I’m supposedly doing or caring about – you wouldn’t have a clue! My response about the bread was responding to what you wrote – it wasn’t even personal let alone judgmental! Can’t you even get that??? Talk about projection!!! Your response was personal because you were triggered – that is okay, we all get triggered but don’t try to dress it up, okay? Take your ego out for a walk you’ll feel calmer and more able to discuss things without getting all worked up, but don’t bother on this thread.

                  • muzza

                    Oh no I have got you right mate and are you down to your last loaf of bread? Nah didn’t think so.

                    Marty, can you explain what you meant by the above then, so we are both aware of the statements intent.

                    FYI, the intent of my original comment, re, loaf of bread, was simply this – I would look after my family over a stranger, should I be forced to make that unfortunate choice. The analogy I was trying to make, is that Oz, is responsible for Oz, not the rest of the worlds people, who decide that want to pitch up. And if they do not take a firm stance, then they are going to have a terrible problem!

                    Again, stop trying to tell me what my space is, or what my reactions were, you are making up things which are not there, on my part!

                    • Let it go mate – move onward and upward towards love, light and laughter.

                    • muzza

                      Focus on your own game, Marty, its a long journey you have in front of you, keep at it!

                    • Think about and grow into your own journey and stop focusing on others – you are you just accept it!

                    • muzza

                      Marty, if you and I were to ever meet in person, and be able to discuss subject matter, without the limitations of digital, and being able to fully engage with visual and aural senses, with reasonable assurance, we would find ourselves on the same page, most, if not all of the time!

                    • I’d imagine we have a lot more in common than we do differences. Check out Bob at the bottom of the thread – it is a great song and the sentiment is aligned with mine. Kia kaha.

                      PS I do say sorry for being a bit of a smartarse – it can be fun (for me at least)…

                    • muzza

                      I’m a big fan of Bob, who was a prophet.

                      Nice one Marty,

                      Peace

    • Rosetinted 9.2

      “who are already inside the boarders,” – most Australians started off jumping overboard so I guess you could call them boarders. We also. If we want to go to other countries making war and assisting with destabilising and displacing people then we should be prepared to help some of those people when they are forced out of their homes and lives.

      • Rosetinted 9.2.1

        I didn’t get my comment in the right place, and now can’t find the one I was responding to. So if anyone can’t make the connection that’s the reason.

  10. Rosetinted 10

    I was trying to fix the HTML directions on a comment of mine here and with 4 mins still to go I got the pink bar refusing me edit access. So I have deleted it. I had left the page to check info on using HTML and was going to amend my comment but was barred.

    Does anyone know why?

    • karol 10.1

      Do you get an edit function for your comments? Because I don’t. Can only edit my comments that are under my own posts.

      • Rosetinted 10.1.1

        karol
        Yes I do get my edit (idiot) box which is available for about 7 minutes. And sometimes I go away and get a link and bring it back and insert it after I have submitted and that’s worked through the edit box I think.

        micky savage – Thanks. I did take a copy of it before and then got annoyed, so if I get time I’ll try again and see what I can learn from it, if anything.

        Bill
        Thanks I’ll remember that. This time I think I just went to the bottom and started a new number of my own.

      • lprent 10.1.2

        Ah that makes sense at last… You’re an AUTHOR. The edit functions do not match. You can use the admin edit on your own post’s comments. However the reedit plugin thinks that authors have access to directly edit ALL comments – which is what the permissions used to do.

        Will look at that tomorrow, and send a patch to the plugin author.

    • mickysavage 10.2

      Don’t know but I can edit your comment if that helps.

    • Bill 10.3

      If another comment has come in below yours on the ‘stack’, (eg you are 9.1 and a 9.1.1 comes in) then you can’t edit. I think.

      • lprent 10.3.1

        Umm bill,there is an option for that. But it is meant to be off.

        • Bill 10.3.1.1

          Oh. Hit me the other day…maybe last week. (wasn’t signed in) I just thought something along the lines of ‘bugger’. Maybe it was ‘on’ then and is ‘off’ now?

    • lprent 10.4

      Rose.. Will check based on their advice.

  11. Cantabrian 11

    It is realpolitik – Rudd would have no chance to be elected if he didn’t have a strong refugee policy. The Gillard government was incompetent (as are the state Liberal governments at the moment) and disadvantaged many of the poor in Australia.
    Rudd is still a much better choice than Abbot!

    • Tamati 11.1

      Correct.

      Anyone who says that Rudd is just as bad as Tony Abbott, clearly doesn’t know anything about Tony Abbott.

  12. Mary 12

    “A major problem with Rudd’s proposal is that it breaches international law.”

    Gillard’s attempt at shunting people off to Malaysia failed because of this. What makes Rudd so confident he can do the same thing but somewhere else?

    Gillard also had a crack with East Timor. Only trouble was that she announced the policy publicly eight months before talking to the Timorese government. Timor rejected the plan before Gillard finally approached them. Has Rudd talked to PNG? My bet’s he hasn’t.

    In any case all talk about PNG is moot because it won’t happen. Just way too controversial to send refugees to an already impoverished country. Rudd’s announcement is to help push Labor over the line on election day, then the policy will die a natural death.

    • dumrse 12.1

      Rudd’s announcement is to help push Labor over the line on election day, then the policy will die a natural death.

      Correct. It’s how Labour plays the game.

      • Mary 12.1.1

        How ever much I despise the current Labour Party for it’s neo-liberal attacks on the poor you can’t accuse it of this. But it’s certainly what Labor’s doing at the moment.

    • karol 12.2

      Nope. The Guardian article linked to in the post says it has already been agreed with PNG:

      Under the new agreement between Australia and PNG, asylum seekers who arrive from Friday will have health checks and immunisations on Christmas Island and then, within weeks, will be transferred to Manus Island and “other centres” in PNG as yet unspecified.

      […]

      Rudd said there was no cap or limit on the number of asylum seekers PNG had agreed to take, but he expected over time as people smugglers “got the message” the rate of arrivals would slow.

      Rudd also announced a new international conference of immigration transit countries and said, as boat arrivals slowed, Labor would consider increasing the humanitarian intake from 20,000 to 27,000.

      Papua New Guinea’s prime minister, Peter O’Neill, was with Rudd at the Brisbane announcement and was later briefing Abbott and the Coalition foreign affairs spokeswoman, Julie Bishop.

    • Murray Olsen 12.3

      The Prime Minister of PNG was standing beside Rudd when he announced his filthy idea.

  13. Santi 13

    Has anyone asked: what do the boat people bring to Australia? Rudd is correct in his decision to keep them away as long as possible. If permanently, better.

    • Rosetinted 13.1

      Santi
      The Boat people bring bravery, they bring commitment to living life, they bring stoicism in difficult times, they bring a natural industry and willingness to take risks, etc. They bring hope for a better life, and willingness to give their all to get to a place fit for decent human beings. Possibly they could find that in Australia if they were allowed in and able to get started on their lives and their work and business ethic which is likely to be prodigious.

      • Murray Olsen 13.1.1

        They bring a lot which seems to be missing among today’s commentators here. While a large proportion of Standardistas are slapping Rudd on the back, many of my Australian friends in Brisbane were protesting against this rubbish in the middle of town. They are disgusted and I am fucking disgusted that it’s easier to find Australians opposed to this than it is to find Kiwis. I did not expect to see such xenophobia and apologetics for the state of the world in a post following one where many of the same people were arguing so passionately against poverty and inequality.

        Socialism for the first world and death by hunger for anyone born in the wrong place? Not while I’m drawing breath. I feel sicker than usual. Some of you are an absolute bloody disgrace. So many of you.

        • Santi 13.1.1.1

          Sorry Murray, but I do not share your feelings of outrage. A perfectly good decision by Rudd.

  14. infused 14

    Good.

  15. Murray Olsen 15

    People arrive by boat. They do not arrive illegally by boat.

    • Chooky 15.1

      Murray

      How many of these ‘economic refugees’ are women and children?. I wouldn’t mind betting the overwhelming number are young male…and by a long margin…. They are certainly not the most oppressed or destitute from their patriarchal dominated societies, where there is over-breeding, women often do most of the work and women are often not even allowed an education….These would be better off staying at home and fighting for women’s rights…as would you…..

  16. Chooky 16

    (By the way ….edit function does not work)

    Murray

    I had a lot more to add about who actually is benefited by unrestricted ‘economic refugee’ boat people……especially into a country where the working class are struggling to find employment and well paid employment, as well as affordable housing.

    Under Capitalist globalisation the main beneficiaries are the Capitalist Class with very cheap labour and competition for the lowest paid jobs….as well as housing and grossly inflated cost of rental properties.

    There is often a downside for the host country in terms of racism ( due to working class competition for scarce resources)… and sexism towards young women. Women and workers in the west have fought long and hard for their rights….Please make sure you are not an agent of the Capitalist class in undermining these hard fought for rights.

    • Murray Olsen 16.1

      I know exactly what I am. The right to be privileged and condemn people to malaria infested swamps is indeed one I would be interested in undermining. The working class doesn’t keep refugees out. The governments do. Globalisation is about the free movement of capital and capitalists, not workers. Workers have to stay where they’re told.

      • Santi 16.1.1

        Brave words, Murray, but what re you doing to deliver on them?
        Channel your outrage, man.

        • Murray Olsen 16.1.1.1

          I would rather partially deliver on brave words than be a cheerleader for the cringing cowardice of Rudd, who spent years undermining Gillard and has now adopted two of Abbott’s policies.

  17. In this life, in this life, in this life,
    In this, oh sweet life: We’re (we’re coming in from the cold); We’re coming in (coming in), coming in (coming in), coming in (coming in), coming in (coming in), Coming in from the cold.

    It’s you – it’s you – it’s you I’m talkin’ to – Well, you (it’s you) – you (it’s you) – you I’m talking to now.

    Why do you look so sad and forsaken? When one door is closed, don’t you know other is open?

    Would you let the system make you kill your brotherman? No, no, no, no, no, no! No, Dread, no!

    Would you make the system make you kill your brotherman? (No, Dread, no!) Would you make the system get on top of your head again? (No, Dread, no!) Well, the biggest man you ever did see was – was just a baby.

    In this life (in this life), In this (in this life, oh sweet life): Coming in from the cold; We’re coming in (coming in), coming in-a (coming in), coming in (coming in), ooh! (coming in) Coming in from the cold!

    It’s life (it’s life), it’s life (it’s life), it’s life (it’s life): it’s – wa – well! – coming in from the cold! We’re coming in (coming in), coming in (coming in) – ooh (coming in), hey! (coming in), Coming in from the cold!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SYgmnSgZg9Y

  18. Murray Olsen 18

    How many of the commentators here were around when Muldoon mounted his dawn raids, and supported the raids? After all, we all know Samoa is patriarchal, they look different, they were taking our jobs, the young men were sexist, they were illegal economic migrants,……….
    Try to give honest answers, please. I was around and I welcomed Samoans as my brothers and sisters. Sometimes we had sibling squabbles, but I never wanted to send them home.

  19. Chooky 19

    Actually I was against the dawn raids and I supported the rights of the so-called “over-stayers” because they had been brought in to do a job and they had become part of the community and they should not have been turfed out when the job was done….

    This is a different issue than mass influxes of uninvited “economic refugee ‘ boat people, fleeing from overpopulation …. when we already have high unemployment, poor wages and conditions and scarce over priced housing resources.

  20. Sable 20

    Kevin Rudd is caught between a rock and a hard place. He was not in favour of this solution but it was forced on him by his own party and public opinion. Australians do not favour immigration/reguees and whilst a lot of people are ranting and raving calling them racists they have had to put up with a lot.

    When I lived in Sydney there was a of originally foreign crime generated by crime gangs who imported their business model into Sydney. Many of the restaurants are run by crime syndicates (even today) along with prostitution and drugs. One scandal involved supposedly legitimate businesses bringing in off shore labour to work in restaurants who were in fact ex army and were to be used as enforcers.

    We have not experienced this to the same degree here but I have seen it first hand. My first month alone I remember seeing a gang of young kids clearly not locals threatening to shoot a taxi driver over a cab fare. There are some places in Sydney you are wise not to go because they are run by foreign crime syndicates. A friends brother who I had dinner with is a Kiwi and now a Sydney cop, he told me the stories of places where even he is afraid to go armed or otherwise.

    I’m still not in favour of this solution but I can certainly understand where your average Aussie is coming from.

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