Throwing out a policy that worked

June 27th, 2012 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

This graphic is from . It shows that the Howard Govt policy on deterring boat people was a stunning success, and the Labor Government’s changes entirely coincide with a massive explosion in boat people numbers. So when they drown at sea, it is because the previous policy of deterrence was dispensed with.

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87 Responses to “Throwing out a policy that worked”

  1. Wilbur (7 comments) says:

    What’s the data? Is it successful arrivals in Australia, or attempted arrivals in Australia?

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  2. kowtow (8,465 comments) says:

    wilbur

    go to Bolts site,bloody good value.

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  3. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    It shows that the Howard Govt policy on deterring boat people was a stunning success

    Depends how you choose to see things. Seems to be a marked correlation between the global economic climate and asylum seeker numbers.

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  4. calendar girl (1,232 comments) says:

    “So when they drown at sea, it is because the previous policy of deterrence was dispensed with.”

    That conclusion a little too simplistic for my liking. The drownings occur because the would-be refugees travel in unsafe, overloaded boats in dangerous seas – usually against all sensible advice.

    The policy change by the Labor Government of Australia certainly had serious downsides. From Australia’s perspective, it was unwise to remove significant deterrents to would-be illegal immigrant / refugee arrivals via unrecognised mercenary middlemen. Reasonable protection of Australian borders and the country’s wider interests is, after all, a legitimate Government concern.

    But drawing a direct cause-and-effect link between Labor’s policy change and “drown[ings] at sea” ignores significant levels of fault that lie elsewhere. The contention is not far removed from the Far Left saying that any tightening of solo mothers’ eligibility criteria for DPB payments causes deaths of babies. In my view, we simply can’t ignore the role of personal choice-making in these kinds of situations.

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  5. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Oh you big silly Scott, if you’re going to play the correlation=causation game the better correlation is when democrats are in the White House.

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  6. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    The drownings occur because the would-be refugees travel in unsafe, overloaded boats in dangerous seas – usually against all sensible advice.

    So were the boats better before the changes? Why has the quality of boat decreased?

    People would die prior to the Howard changes and during as well. The number of deaths is correlated with the number of people attempting the trip. Anything that increases the numbers of people attempting the trip, increases the likelihood of deaths.

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  7. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    RightNow you are reiterating the point I made whilst managing somehow to disagree with me.

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  8. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    There were 6.5 million asylum seekers in 2010?

    [DPF: The scale is quite clear - 6,500]

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  9. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    Seems to be a marked correlation between the global economic climate and asylum seeker numbers.

    Lets see what is more likely to have affected the number of boats:

    1. economic conditions in the 1st world that may eventually have negative impacts on the 3rd world (which is a pretty shtty place to live at the best of times)
    2. the likelihood of attempts to reach Australia being successful improves by several degrees of magnitude.

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  10. Tristan (63 comments) says:

    wow for someone who makes it their job to know stats and how they work you sure do like spinning wild conclusions DPF.

    Another way of reading that graph would be that lots more people drowned during the Howard years hence the lower number of ‘passengers’ I think my reading of that graph is as about as valid as yours… ie not very if at all.

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  11. tvb (4,421 comments) says:

    This and other reasons are why the Gillard Government is so unpopular. They will go down as the worst Federal Government since Whitlam. They are more economically literate than Whitlam but only just.

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  12. kowtow (8,465 comments) says:

    Illegal immigrants,not asylum seekers.

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  13. XavierG (34 comments) says:

    Those data look highly suspicious – 6.5million asylum seekers? Where did those data come from?

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  14. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    Another way of reading that graph would be that lots more people drowned during the Howard years hence the lower number of ‘passengers’

    Possible, but do you have ANY REASON AT ALL to assume that the proportion of people drowning was higher in the past?

    People are dying, and instead of admitting the fucking obvious and changing the stupid system that is luring them to their deaths, idiots like you are abusing reason to avoid losing your stupid game of politics.

    Those data look highly suspicious – 6.5million asylum seekers? Where did those data come from?

    The 000 is in relation to the y-axis, not the labels.

    LDO

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  15. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    Illegal immigrants,not asylum seekers.

    They are attempting to immigrate legally by seeking asylum.

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  16. Mark (496 comments) says:

    Lefties love killing men, women and children – socalism death count 260 million and counting. Makes Bush look like a piker.

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  17. Scott Chris (6,135 comments) says:

    Kimble are you suggesting that legislation works more effectively than market forces?

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  18. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    Kimble are you suggesting that legislation works more effectively than market forces?

    Where’s the market?

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  19. Ed Snack (1,872 comments) says:

    What utter desperation from some, trying to confuse the Axis labelling (look, it says 1, 2, 3, etc in thousands) with the actual numbers to clarify matters put in each bar. Bloody obvious if you use even half a brain (and apologies to Graeme Edgeler sort of because I’m sure that’s just a hurried mis-reading).

    Labor’s responsibility is because the number of drownings is directly related to the number who attempt the crossing, and their change in the rules tempted a great many more to make the trip because of the near certainty that if the arrive that regardless of their real circumstances that they will be granted entry to Australia. And for that matter, immediate access to welfare, housing, grants, and lawyers to make sure that they get their “entitlements”.

    But if you read the Age or SMH it’s all Tony Abbott’s fault as the Liberals won’t agree to support the “Malaysian Solution” ! I wonder why they don’t blame the greens for holding up (in the Senate) changes to the laws that would also open up the near useless Malaysian idea. Labor are simply playing politics, with peoples lives as usual, and the “usual suspects” are busy running interference and trying to blame the opposition. Funny, I thought that the point was that the government “governed”.

    Blood on the hands of Labor and the Greens.

    And here’s the latest, another boat with 150 on board has capsized in the Indian Ocean, more deaths, so when are Labor going to own this carnage ?

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  20. PleaseThinkOfTheCatapults (7 comments) says:

    Data from the Australian Immigration Department available here:

    http://www.immi.gov.au/managing-australias-borders/detention/_pdf/immigration-detention-statistics-20120531.pdf

    More here: http://www.immi.gov.au/media/statistics/

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  21. kowtow (8,465 comments) says:

    kimble@404

    please tell me you’re taking the piss…….

    “They are attempting to immigrate legally by seeking asylum”

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  22. F E Smith (3,305 comments) says:

    @ Scott Chris 3.30pm,

    So are you saying that the upsurge in asylum seekers since the ALP changed the laws is due to the GFC and the boat people are therefore economic migrants rather than people genuinely seeking political asylum?

    @ Kimble,

    But we know that your point re the number of deaths is not true, so why did you advance it.

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  23. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    “the boat people are therefore economic migrants rather than people genuinely seeking political asylum?”

    That’s what I thought he said too. Not sure he got it right on purpose though.

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  24. tom hunter (4,838 comments) says:

    Aside from the key point of what will be a practical solution – re-imposing the Howard approach – the emotive side of this should not be lost in the debate.

    The emotive side was the usual Left tactic of portraying the Right as uncaring monsters who did not care about little brown kids drowning at sea. Once in power the Left instituted a “caring” policy that would not be so mean to asylum seekers: nothing says you care than relaxing a “harsh” and “tough” border policy.

    Now – faced with the “unforeseen” consequences of a vastly increased number of immigrant deaths – the Left absolutely refuse to take any responsibility for their stupid policies. In fact I see Paul Keating has already begun to detect “racial undertones” to the debate. Quite ironic really, if the Australian Right was motivated by racism and hatred you’d expect them to fully support Labour immigration policies.

    Perhaps the left can spin the current deadlock in solving this problem as the Right wanting this godawful disaster to continue. That approach would fit perfectly.

    And of course the next time any argument comes up where the Left can pull the whole “we care” (implication – “you don’t”) crap on any subject you care to think about (education and AGW come to mind immediately), they will – in spades – with no sense of history, shame or embarrassment. Pricks!

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  25. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    please tell me you’re taking the piss…….

    Seeking asylum is a legal way to immigrate to a country. Regardless of the legitimacy of their appeal, if they are seeking asylum they are asylum seekers, and looking to legally immigrate.

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  26. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    But we know that your point re the number of deaths is not true, so why did you advance it.

    What point regarding the number of deaths is not true?

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  27. Alan Johnstone (1,087 comments) says:

    “Seeking asylum is a legal way to immigrate to a country. Regardless of the legitimacy of their appeal, if they are seeking asylum they are asylum seekers, and looking to legally immigrate.”

    That’s also my understanding of the law.

    An illegal immigrant on the other hand would seek to disappear into the black economy and not trouble the state with their presence.

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  28. lyndon (325 comments) says:

    Longer-term graph at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pacific_Solution

    No finding Bolt’s original. Just for complete clarity: did people picked up and shuffled away from Australia under the Pacific Solution actually count for this?

    kowtow@436 – Legal. Refugee convention. Look it up.

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  29. thor42 (971 comments) says:

    @kowtow – agreed. Andrew Bolt’s blog is bloody good! IMO, he’s a bit like the Aussie equivalent of Whaleoil. Not quite as blunt, but the general approach is similar.

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  30. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    DPF draws a pretty stunning conclusion that asylum seekers drown when their unseaworthy boat duly sinks because a country abides by international law and the conventions it is a party to, instead of coming to perhaps the more reasonable conclusion that the people concerned are simply more desperate and increasingly willing to board such boats.

    But then, perhaps the waves of turmoil in far-off lands pass unnoticed to those with a political prejudice to support.

    Under either the Howard or Labour governments, the asylum seekers were not executed out of hand, they were generally housed, fed and watered, and eventually entered civil society (unless, in the very odd case, they were deemed not eligible for asylum and returned to their country of origin) and are accordingly still better off in Oz than at home, so it’s unlikely the change in government has had the influence the DPFs and Bolts of this world would claim. And as DPF often tells us, correlation is not evidence of causation, anyway.

    This is the list of countries of origin of asylum seekers currently in detention is Australia:

    Afghanistan
    Sri Lanka
    Iran
    Pakistan
    Indonesia
    Iraq
    China, Peoples Republic Of
    Vietnam
    Burma
    Palestinian Authority

    They are war/conflict zones and/or notably repressive regimes in every case, including those with a semblance of claim to being a democracy – democracy and human rights do not necessarily go hand-in-hand.

    so prima facie, every asylum seeker has a genuine case and should be dealt with accordingly ie innocent until proven guilty. The racist Howard government was a serial breacher of international law and conventions and no decent Australian (by such definition, Andrew Bolt is excluded) should want to return to the thuggery of that government.

    And using DPFs reasoning, when people now drown in our harbours it’s Steven Joyce’s fault?

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  31. kowtow (8,465 comments) says:

    kimble and lyndon

    bollocks. these people should be seeking “asylum” in the first safe country they come to.
    They take a plane to Indonesia or Malaya and then take to the boats.They destroy their documentation at that point anfd then lie like all hell. Well done Labor. More left wing treachery that seeks to destroy a nation.

    This is a scam of enormous proportions.

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  32. calendar girl (1,232 comments) says:

    “They are attempting to immigrate legally by seeking asylum.”

    If you believe that, you would expect their ferrymen to sail the boats into significant ports so that the refugees can present themselves to immigration officials. And any that don’t get accepted as refugees will dutifully return to their point of origin, paying their own way as they did on the outbound journey.

    None of that is going to happen. It’s fantasy.

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  33. tom hunter (4,838 comments) says:

    Ha! I make a point and in less than one hour, far-left nutter Luc Hansen is there to demonstrate it in all its glory.

    Let me put it in terms so simple even he will understand:
    – right wing conservatives want border policies restored that will stop people from dying.

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  34. kowtow (8,465 comments) says:

    Hey Luc why would any one want to flee the joys of your mates at the Palestinian Authority?

    10 countries,6 muslim,2 commie.Wow those systems work well then don’t they? FFS and why should the Aussie tax payer be burdened by their problems?

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  35. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Luc:
    “This is the list of countries of origin of asylum seekers currently in detention is Australia:

    Afghanistan
    Sri Lanka
    Iran
    Pakistan
    Indonesia
    Iraq
    China, Peoples Republic Of
    Vietnam
    Burma
    Palestinian Authority”

    Could you provide us with the source for that information please?

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  36. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    kowtow is struggling with the concept of ‘refugee’

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  37. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,903 comments) says:

    Come now, these people are not asylum seekers by any stretch of the imagination.

    They are illegal immigrants, fleeing their economic shit holes in the hope of jumping the queue for entry into Australia.

    Can someone please explain how all these Muslim immigrants somehow want to seek asylum in a non-Muslim country? Hell, you’d think they’d find Indonesia to be a paradise.

    And BTW, Sri Lanka has not been a ‘war zone’ for over three years.

    One of these poor hard done by wretches who was given a fast track viza turns out to be the owner of a chain of perfume shops in Malaysia. These are a front for his real occupation as a ‘people smuggler.’ Funny thing is the Australian authorities thought he was a fine chap but ABC television took just 48 hours to find out the real deal.

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  38. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    Come now, these people are not asylum seekers by any stretch of the imagination.

    Asylum seeker: one who seeks asylum.

    They meet the only definition there is.

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  39. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    @RN

    PleaseThinkOfTheCatapults(1) Says:

    June 27th, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    I followed the link (not the pdf).

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  40. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    @tom hunter

    Since almost all are eventually granted asylum under the UN convention, it’s reasonable to assume that they are escaping mortal peril at home – otherwise they would be sent back. By the way, it’s the government of the country in which they seek asylum who decides if they are genuine or not, not the UN and not bleeding heart leftie liberals.

    I know this doesn’t suit your prejudices or your xenophobia and islamophobia, but thems the facts.

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  41. Other_Andy (2,676 comments) says:

    kowtow

    Hey Luc why would any one want to flee the joys of your mates at the Palestinian Authority?
    10 countries,6 muslim,2 commie.Wow those systems work well then don’t they?

    Well that is obvious kowtow.
    It is the fault of the Jews Zionists, former- and Neo-Colonialist western countries and especialy of countries such as the US, Christians and white people. They have caused all these problems in the first place.
    Jeez, when will you learn….?

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  42. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Adolf, Tamils in Sri Lanka still suffer from violence, repression and discrimination. You just don’t hear about it.

    Kowtow, the PA is well known to be corrupt and acts as an enforcer of the illegal Israeli occupation at the behest of both the US and Israel.

    And since you, too, suffer from islamophobia, shouldn’t you welcome these potential converts as proof that Islam sucks?

    Also, long term studies show that these migrants well and truly repay the early assistance and benefit society in many ways. You just don’t want to know about that aspect. See my comment to Tom, above and apply it to yourself, too.

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  43. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    OA

    You may well say that, but I couldn’t possibly comment.

    Well, except to say you may have a point.

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  44. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Interesting. Pakistan and Iran are the top two countries for hosting refugees (absolute numbers, 2010 http://www.refugeecouncil.org.au/r/stat-int.php)

    I wonder why they feature so highly in the Australian asylum seeker figures.

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  45. kowtow (8,465 comments) says:

    And the Ceylonese ones I’m guessing are Tamils. There’s a very short body of water they can cross back to India where one presumes they’d be welcome?

    Milkey
    I don’t struggle with “refugee”. No problem there. These people are illegal immigrants. And just cos there’s a flawed system allowing all of them t stay in Oz doesn’t make em any more worthy of protection than the human rights abuses that Britain labours under etither.
    In other words this scam is now world wide an dis bringing the whole refugee thing into disrepute.

    Luc hasn’t answered why people have to flee his mates at the Palestinian Authority. Are they persecuted Christians? There’s a quiet ethnic cleansing of Christians from their indigenous homelands in the middle east.You know by the adherents of the religion of peace.

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  46. tom hunter (4,838 comments) says:

    I know this doesn’t suit your prejudices or your xenophobia and islamophobia, but thems the facts.

    Heh, heh, heh. More! More!

    You just can’t help yourself can you? Still, I should not be surprised by someone who once claimed that they had never done anything in their life to be ashamed of.

    Which reminds me – for you this must be bringing the memories flooding back of the hundreds of thousands of “boat people” escaping the communist insanity in Vietnam after 1975, unknown numbers of whom fell prey to shoddy boats and pirates in getting away from the regime and policies to which you gave aid and comfort for so many years.

    Luc’s caring kills – again.

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  47. Joseph Carpenter (214 comments) says:

    Mr Hansen is talking complete crap. Most “asylum seekers” are not granted asylum, from the Australian Government Department of Immigration and Citizenship, March 2012 Quarterly Asylum Statistics, for 2010-11 year, Table 16: “Primary Protection Visa grant rate to IMA’s (Top 5 source countries of citizenship)”
    Afghanistan = 37.7%
    Iran = 28.4%
    Iraq = 39.6%
    Sri Lanka = 36.4%
    Stateless = 42.0%
    Total Primary Protection grant rate (all) = 37.9%.
    Note: IMA = Irregular Marine Arrival
    Primary Protection Visa = positive refugee status determination by Departmental official (note: may be subsequently overturned at Final Protection visa determination).

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  48. edhunter (546 comments) says:

    Simply put this is terrorism, pure & simple. These boats full of “refugees” have no intention of ever reaching Australia, distance from Christmas Island to Indonesia is less than 240 miles, distance from Christmas Island to Australian mainland 970miles these boats are basically going on a day trip they’re not even reaching Australian territorial waters before they literally pull the plug & issue a distress signal & the Australians being from a western civilized country respond why isn’t the media beating up on the Indonesian govt? I apologize in advance for lifting from Wikipedia but..
    The Tampa crisis had an enormous effect on Australia both at home and abroad.Internationally, Australia was criticised by many countries, particularly Norway, who accused it of evading its human rights responsibilities.[14]
    Domestically, the government’s line attracted strong support, especially in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks. The Australian government’s popularity rating rose throughout the crisis.[15] In the federal election following the arrival of the Tampa, the Liberal Party campaigned vigorously on the issue, with John Howard’s statement “we decide who comes into this country and the circumstances in which they come.”
    Meanwhile, the Australian electorate largely supported its Government, though there was a comparatively smaller element of dissidents. Television news polls in Australia showed up to 90 percent support for the Australian government’s actions.[15] Many viewed the asylum seekers as “queue-jumpers”, falsely claiming to be refugees in order to gain illegal entry into the country. There were concerns of a security risk, involving a “floodgates” situation where people smugglers would deliberately target Australia as a perceived “soft target”. Some public commentators, including then-Minister for Defence Peter Reith, suggested that groups of asylum seekers arriving by boat could harbour terrorists.[16]
    The issue also divided the Labor Party internally, with the Left faction of the party arguing strongly in favour of a “softer” approach, including the abolition of mandatory detention. The party leadership’s compromise stance was pilloried by the Liberals as being wishy-washy and uncertain.
    So basically a Labor govt ignores the wishes of 90% of the population rescinds a law that was definitely working & hey presto the fiasco we now see unfolding on a scarily monotonous regularity.

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  49. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    Thankfully Labor removed their “instant citizenship voucher dangling from a string above a one-rope’ ‘bridge’ suspended across the crater of a live volcano” paragraph from the final draft of their legislation to overturn mean Mr Howard’s people saving policies.

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  50. hj (7,011 comments) says:

    They are illegal immigrants, fleeing their economic shit holes in the hope of jumping the queue for entry into Australia.
    ……
    if the Greens got into government they would head here.

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  51. hj (7,011 comments) says:

    Motivation is a function of the value of the goal and probability of achieving it [someones law]. The political climate is part of the probability of achieving it.

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  52. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    I usually enjoy reading the rubbish you guys put up on here. However I find it particularly amusing when you all talk about things you seem to know absolutely nothing about!

    HOWARD’S POLICY WAS ILLEGAL:
    To start with, the Howard Government’s solution looks good on paper but was in fact an illegal and unsustainable position that breached Australia’s obligations under the United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugee. It was illegal for two reasons:

    The first reason was it involved the contrived use of Temporary Protection Visas (TPV). Temporary Protection Visas were introduced to provide short-term relief as a temporary ‘safe haven’ for people from countries where war had erupted, the idea being that once hostilities had settled down, they might return. The Howard Government then turned around and started using them as a way of hosting asylum seekers for a short time in Australia before chucking them back out into the market. It was a way of dismissing refugee’s asylum claims out-of-hand and it was ILLEGAL. TPVs breech other articles of the Refugee Convention including those dealing with family reunification and access to social services.

    The second aspect of Howard Government policy which broke international law, and is a policy you will hear reiterated by opposition leader Tony Rabbit, is to ‘turn back the boats where it is safe to do so’. This is a clear breech of the principle of non-refoulement. The principal reads like this:

    “No Contracting State shall expel or return (‘refouler’) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social or political opinion” (Article 33(1))

    Now, I understand that the policy involved turning the boats back to Indonesia and that the asylum seekers tend to be from countries other than Indonesia but Indonesia is not a signatory to the UNCRSR and have no obligations to the asylum seekers. ‘Turning back the boats’ means returning refugees to the frontiers of the country they are escaping and is ILLEGAL.

    However. There was a solution to this. It was called the Malaysian People Swap solution. Basically what it involved was Australia swapping 800 refugees with Malaysia. This was designed to act as a similar deterrent to Howard’s solution but fit within the framework of the convention. It was a thing of beauty but the High Court found it illegal under Australian law saying it was illegal to send refugees to a country (Malaysia) that was not a signatory to the UNCRSR. This is more of a technicality as Malaysia is a signatory and participant in the Bali Process which enjoys the backing of the UNHCR. All that would be required is a law change but that was voted down in the house by Tony Rabbit’s Coalition.

    The beauty of the Malaysian Solution was that it set the annual level at 800. Opponents to the plan said it would be overwhelmed in the first month because Australia has already had +4000 irregular marine arrivals. This is disingenous. Asylum seekers are paying big money to go on these boats and they are simply not going to do it if they know they will be carted off to Malaysia and be resettled god knows were. Noone is going to pay $15,000 to be part of the first 800. The market never gets off the ground.

    So who’s right politically in all of this?

    Green Party.
    You could say that the Greens are the ones who are messing it all up. Their opposition to offshore processing is well-known and they have been very up-front about it.

    The Coalition.
    However, the Coalition could also assist. If they were really as compassionate towards asylum seekers as they say, they would join the Government and help with the law change to enable the Malaysian Solution. Instead, they keep banging on about their own Howard-based policy and blaming the Government (I hear it every day) and, to be frank, it is in the Coalition’s interest that boats keep arriving because it gives them a stick to beat the Government with.

    However, recall that their policy was ILLEGAL and that the difference between the two policies, in terms of deterrence, is relatively minor.

    Tony Rabbit needs to pull his head in.

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  53. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    So boredboy, what you’re saying is it’s ok for Labor to do something illegal under UNCRSR but it wasn’t ok for Howard’s government.

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  54. tom hunter (4,838 comments) says:

    Ha 2.0! Earlier I said that: Perhaps the left can spin the current deadlock in solving this problem as the Right wanting this godawful disaster to continue. That approach would fit perfectly.

    And following Luc, here’s boredboy for the win:

    .. to be frank, it is in the Coalition’s interest that boats keep arriving because it gives them a stick to beat the Government with.

    Just.
    Cannot.
    Help.
    Themselves.

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  55. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    EN
    I think what he was saying was the the Coalition could support a law change that would make the ‘Malaysian’ solution perfectly legal, but that they prefer the status quo.

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  56. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    “So boredboy, what you’re saying is it’s ok for Labor to do something illegal under UNCRSR but it wasn’t ok for Howard’s government.”

    First of all, what Labor is proposing is ‘less illegal’ than the Coalition’s policy. It is less illegal becuase Malaysia is signatory to the UNHCR-backed Bali Process. It is also less illegal than the Coalition policy because of the blatant unlawfulness of their application of TPVs and the ‘turn back the boats’ policy.

    The point I should have made last night (well, this morning at 2:30am!) was that the Coalition is picking the fights with the wrong people. They really should be going after the Green Party over this but that doesn’t score them any political points. They are targeting the Labor Party because they are trying to bleed support from them.

    I just heard Malcolm Turnbull bleeding his heart out on the radio about how he cannot support the Malaysian Solution because he doesn’t feel it is just. How he can say that with a straight face when his party’s doctrine breaks several tennants of the Convention on Refugees is just beyond me. It is just BS for him to say that and then stand in the way of policy that would eliminate the loss of life at sea. It is going to the Senate today and the Coalition have said they will block the solution passed in the lower hosue last night. It is just bullshit and confirms to any neutral observer that the Coalition simply wants this disaster to continue for the purpose of scoring political points off the Government at whatever cost. Scum.

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  57. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    MM, the ‘Malaysian’ solution will only be ‘perfectly legal’ when Malaysia becomes a signatory to the UNCRSR.
    People like boredboy try to perpetuate the story that Abbot and the coalition would rather see more deaths than support Gillard’s proposals (which could be passed without the coalition if the Greens supported them BTW).
    In reality coalition members have objections such as this:

    Joe Hockey said: ”I will never, ever support a people swap, where you can send a 13-year-old child unaccompanied to a country without supervision. It will be over my dead body.”

    http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/political-news/our-politicians-fail-again-20120627-21332.html

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  58. tom hunter (4,838 comments) says:

    It is just bullshit and confirms to any neutral observer that the Coalition simply wants this disaster to continue for the purpose of scoring political points off the Government at whatever cost. Scum.

    Shorter boredboy:
    my compassionate policy is actually killing lots of people, but I still hold the moral high ground in my own mind and nothing – absolutely nothing – will change that.

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  59. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    concise boredboy

    “AbbottAbbottAbbott. Scum.”

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  60. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    Tom Hunter there is no policy at the moment so you can hardly call it compassionate. There is policy in the house right now, it is going through the Senate today but the Coalition has said they will block it. Malcolm Turnbull cried and said he is not going to support it because he has to follow his heart. It’s a load of crap.

    It’s not about me holding the moral high ground, it’s about the Coalition blocking policy which is superior to their own simply because they are trying to save face. It is more lawful and for reasons I explained in an earlier post, will be just as effective as the dodgy illegal practices that were in place previously.

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  61. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    Joe Hockey said: ”I will never, ever support a people swap, where you can send a 13-year-old child unaccompanied to a country without supervision. It will be over my dead body.”

    yes because that is better than sending them back, unsupervised, to Indonesia; or continue allowing them to drown enroute. It tugs at the heartstrings but its a load of crap.

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  62. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    concise boredboy

    “AbbottAbbottAbbott. Scum.”

    Yes. Despite your confidence in him he regularly polls lower than ‘the worst prime minister in Australian history’.

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  63. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    You’re dancing around the main problem boredboy, and that is that thousands of people get into unsafe boats and head for Australia in the first place under the current system. For some reason, that you and others like you pretend you don’t know, that didn’t happen for seven years.

    Despite all your tugging at the heartstrings, Labor threw out a policy that worked and since then hundreds of people have died because of that.

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  64. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    It was illegal and unsustainable. As people smugglers began to realise that +70% of refugees settled under that policy either ended up in Australia or New Zealand (with access to Australia) anyway, the numbers were going to ramp-up regardless.

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  65. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Do you recognise irony at all boredboy?

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  66. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    Yes I do. What I find more despicable though is for Joe Hockey (whoops!) to stand up and pretend to cry over a theoretical 13-year-old asylum seeker when he himself is standing in the way of policy that would solve the problem.

    Don’t you see the hypocracy? You are crying over spilt milk. Hockey and the Coalition are either going to be part of the solution or part of the problem. Currently they are part of the problem.

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  67. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    It would be nice if either of the main parties in Australia simply said that they would stand behind their country’s commitments to inrternational law.

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  68. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    For all the posturing about this being the fault of Abbott and the Coalition, isn’t it true that if the Greens supported Gillard she could get her solution through?

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  69. RRM (9,919 comments) says:

    So when they drown at sea, it is because the previous policy of deterrence was dispensed with.

    The Political Right – all about personal responsibility since 2003 :-)

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  70. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    Yep agree with you 100%. However, the posturing is also coming from Abbott and the Coalition when they beat up the Government over the issue. They should be beating up the Greens but there are no points to be scored in that doing that. The fact is the Greens have said they won’t support this style of policy.

    The Greens are going on a completly separate track with their policy. The Green’s idea is along the lines of actually providing boats for asylum seekers to come across on to avoid the loss of life at sea. I haven’t looked too closely at it because it’s basically loopy as I’m sure you’d agree.

    The Coalition however are completly hypocritical. The Government has basically capitulated to their requirements. They are allowing offshore processing on Nauru as well as Malaysia. The fact that the Coalition are going to block what is essentially a bill they created goes to show how little they are interested in actually solving the problem compared with scoring political points off Labor.

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  71. tom hunter (4,838 comments) says:

    However, the posturing is also coming from Abbott and the Coalition …

    It’s good to know that we righties are apparently now needed to “solve” the problem that Labor created. I thought we were just a bunch of ignorant, mindless, xenophobic, racists who serve no useful purpose to society. But I read boredboy as actually saying:

    this facts-based criticism of our failed policy is killing us. However, rather than go back to the successful one that we brainlessly demonised to help win an election, we’re going to shut you up by any means possible. Right now that means pushing the talking point through the media that you’re being totally negative.

    You said something about “scum”?

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  72. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    The government’s plan is to send 800 boat people (less than 10% of actual attempted arrivals) to Malaysia in return for taking 4000 refugees from Malaysia, and exempts unaccompanied minors. I don’t see that being any deterrent at all, so how will it reduce the deaths?

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  73. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    Do you read anything I write? I said that policy was ILLEGAL and becoming more and more ineffective because the majority of asylum seekers settled in Australia and New Zealand anyway.

    It’s being debated in about 20 minutes. Click on the link for live coverage:

    http://www.aph.gov.au/Parliamentary_Business/Chamber_documents/Chamber_Detail_Order_of_Business?obId=chamber%2forderofbusiness%2f20120628_SR099

    THURSDAY, 28 JUNE 2012
    AT 9.30 am
    1.
    Prayers and acknowledgement of country
    2.
    Message from the House of Representatives transmitting the following bill for concurrence
    Migration Legislation Amendment (The Bali Process) Bill

    I’ve got work to do. Bye.

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  74. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    I’ve already explained this.

    It is a deterrant because if the first 800 marine arrivals for the year are automatically sent offshore, noone is going to come in the first place. You’re not going to pay $15,000 if you know you’re going to be in that first group.

    Lol you’re not going to win.

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  75. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Joseph Carpenter (154) Says:
    June 27th, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    Mr Hansen is talking complete crap. Most “asylum seekers” are not granted asylum

    And the problem with your carefully selected statistics is that they only reflect the first stage of the process. I saw a report somewhere that up to 90% of disapprovals are overturned on appeal. And while the process is ongoing, they remain in detention of one form or another.

    What I was talking about is the end result of the process ie how many “boat people” have actually been sent back? From what I can see the answer is, some but not many. I welcome actual figures if they can be found.

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  76. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    Here I was thinking asylum seekers just wanted to get away from something terrible. I didn’t realise they’d rather stay with the terrible than be resettled via Malaysia, surely that must mean Malaysia is even more terrible than the terrible thing. And yet, Malaysia is apparently ok because they are a participant of the Bali Process, even though they’re still not technically legal according to the UNCRSR.
    How confusing. Is it ok to send people to Malaysia or not? Apparently it’s worse than their worst nightmare. But I though Gillard’s government were the only really compassionate ones in this whole mess, so surely that can’t be right?

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  77. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    It’s not that simple. People are seeking asylum from all sorts of things.

    Who’s to say they aren’t perfectly happy to go to Malaysia in the first place? Australia would be a first choice for obvious reasons (I’d say you’d do exactly the same thing) but, at a pinch, Malaysia not so bad.

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  78. tom hunter (4,838 comments) says:

    ILLEGAL

    Ah yes, I recall all those fantastically successful cases where the Howard government was hauled before an Australian court and forced to recant its policy before Labor won in 2007.

    Or not.

    I’ve got work to do. Bye.

    Consequences to unforsee. Tree bark to examine amidst the forest fire – and best of all – right-wingers to demonise. Home again, home again, jiggety jig.

    RN

    No he does not get irony.

    boredboy really is a case study. You can imagine what he’s like on issues where the consequences of his caring ideology are not so clear cut – or so final, where his manicheanism does not so obviously blow up in his own face.

    Arrogant on facts, on policy, on smarts, on understanding human nature, on morality, on ethics – even unto death. For all the talk from today’s left-wingers about the gulf that lies between them and the worst left-wing regimes, you really can draw a very clear line between them and the necessary contribution of thousands of little boredboys.

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  79. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    “but, at a pinch, Malaysia not so bad.”
    So again, what is the deterrent value of Gillard’s policy.

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  80. boredboy (250 comments) says:

    Yes I have work to do. It involves listening to, and writing about, both sides of this arument all day. I do it all day every day. You have no idea.

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  81. tom hunter (4,838 comments) says:

    Fairly devastating clip of the “substantive author of the policies”.

    Oh wait – only of the policy paper. What was that other line of Gillard’s again:

    Another boat. Another policy failure.

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  82. RightNow (6,994 comments) says:

    I’m still unsure of how Gillard’s solution is going to eliminate loss of life at sea.

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  83. KevinH (1,227 comments) says:

    Gillard has no option but to toughen up, the refugee problem is a UNCRSR problem, they are the body that is charged with the responsibility of sorting the issue out.
    If Gillard prevaricates the flow of refugee’s will increase creating more problems for the Australian government.
    Howards policy of turning the boats back to their port of origin worked and stemmed the flow, as per the graph, so a return to that policy is the only sensible decision for the Australian government.

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  84. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    Under the Pacific Solution 30% failed to find refuge either in Australia or elsewhere. FFS, how much is each returnee costing the government in housing and care over years, legal fees etc? This whole fuss is just Salem-Down-Under in the 21st century!

    And there is this little fact to help interpret Bolt’s bar graph:

    Worldwide refugee applications peaked on a 20 year high in 2001, and fell by around 50% by 2006. This period coincided with the Pacific Solution implementation and makes it difficult to judge the true efficacy of the program.

    Wikipedia on the Pacific Solution. And it’s entirely possible that the jump in Afghan refugees under Labour was related to Iran stepping up its expulsion of Afghans working in Iran. But Bolt doesn’t do nuance, especially when it contradicts his favourite prejudices.

    Every single asylum seeker deserves refugee status if found to be genuine and to be returned home if not. All Australia needs to do is abide by international law and UN conventions, and put all the wasted money into developing the very best practice methods of processing the asylum seekers and welcome all those granted residency with open arms.

    There is no need for this hysteria over what is such a tiny segment of the annual immigration total in Australia.

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  85. mikenmild (11,247 comments) says:

    It’s a classic dog whistle issue, like getting ‘tough’ on crime.

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  86. lyndon (325 comments) says:

    BTW I’m pretty satisfied the graph does not reflect the number of people who go in boats heading for Australia.

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  87. Kimble (4,438 comments) says:

    Every single asylum seeker deserves refugee status if found to be genuine and to be returned home if not.

    Then the question is, why do asylum seekers pay thousands of dollars to get on shitty boats, when the airfare is much safer and cheaper?

    Because you need to have a passport to get on a plane. And it is easier to reject applicants when you know who they are.

    If you want to argue for a greater refugee intake, thats fine, but its a separate issue. If you think the criteria for taking refugees is wrong, thats fine too, but also a separate issue.

    The issue, in case you have somehow managed to overlook it despite it being the point of the original post and every second comment, is that the current system is killing people and that is a bad thing. (Bad because people are dying, not bad because it makes a leftist government look selfish and stupid.)

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