The Liberal Party reaches for new lows

Judith Brett once wrote of Menzies’ Liberal Party that it sought to represent the “moral middle class”. Scott Morrison’s Liberal Party, led by Tony Abbott, must take its moral compass from the more fetid regions of talkback radio or right wing blog comments threads.

Grog’s Gamut, Jonathan Green and no doubt others have written many words on the Liberal calls for the grieving relatives of the Christmas Island dead to travel at their own expense to that island, rather than the refugees being flown to Sydney for the funerals.

But, really, this sort of statement doesn’t need too much analysis.

Update: Ken Parish at Troppo.


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331 responses to “The Liberal Party reaches for new lows”

  1. Lefty E

    And then top it all off with this dishonest, sleazy and cyncical act:

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/15/3139678.htm?section=justin

    “Mr Speaker, we’d like to table this important document… which we strongly condemn!”

  2. Lefty E

    I note it had 3 (count them, *3*) signatories.

  3. Fine

    Disgusting.

    At least Hockey has stood up and said the right thing. It’s not even as though the families would have had much choice about where the funerals occurred either.

  4. Fiona

    I’m guessing here, Fine, but given that quite a few of the deceased had family in Sydney then Sydney seems to be the best place for the funerals and, more importantly, the burials.

    As for Morrison and Abbott, words are inappropriate. The gag response is.

  5. CRAIGY

    Big joe is positioning himself, you wait an see.
    And also, i think he is genuine ,in what he says.

  6. joe2

    Oh yes, [email protected], once “Genuine” Big joe, Softly, softly, Julie or Magic Mal, take over, the liberals will return to there natural progressive nature and all will be well. Now can we get back to how crap the labor party is?

  7. CRAIGY

    As you wish Joe2
    People cant be blamed for thinking Julia is fake and un-trustable, when they saw her, standing behind Big Kev, nodding with solemn approval at everything he said.
    Backing her leader to the hilt.
    After all, she helped him formulate some/all of those policies.
    Any one who disagreed, to even a small detail, was morally bankrupt.

    Then she junked him and his policies.Lost their way , she said.

    And now?

    Kev thinks her policies and direction are “spot on”
    She’s the real Julia now.
    When’s the W/Bulldogs first game? She looks a bit underdone.

  8. Nick Caldwell

    Worst. Party. Ever.

    Seriously though, at what point are we going to wake up and notice Australia is in the grip of necrotising fascism?

  9. Lefty E

    Good metaphor Nick. Its like they’re now shagging Howard’s disinterred political corpse.

  10. CRAIGY

    I recon some countries would love to have our politicians.
    Maybe we could export some?
    Ex PMs first. Think of the savings.
    Theres a super profit idea.

  11. joe2

    The Coalition are just demons on saving taxpayer dollars.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/15/3139707.htm?site=newcastle

  12. joe2
  13. CRAIGY

    And this
    http://www.debtclock.com.au/

    Woh hooow , look at it go.

  14. Lefty E

    Yeah so scary Craigy!

    Oh hang on …. I found some actual FACTS, and it would appear we have 3/5ths of bugger-all debt.

    http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/BriefingBook43p/national-debt.htm

  15. joe2

    Oh and look, CRAIGY, how helpful the coalition have been in helping pay off that big scary debt by blocking great big new taxes.

    http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-big-miners-are-not-crying-poor-any-more-20110214-1atou.html

  16. CRAIGY

    Ha
    Wait till BoBs got the senate.
    We’ll catch em
    Wheeeeeeee.

  17. CRAIGY

    I agree Joe2. Tax the miners. Seriously.
    But can Labor do it.?
    Can they actually get something done?
    And don’t say health reform.

  18. joe2

    Actually the coalition is big on foreign aid. The money from all the stuff that is dug in Australia goes to offshore investors or local liberal party donors.

  19. Nickws

    I sure hope the OECD isn’t running debtclock.com.au, as it would be a very poor use of their time (pun intended).

    (Seriously guys, we think we can debunk this kind of low-info thinking, in 2011? This reminds me of Don Watson writing about how his tory parents were convinced the unions caused the Great Depression. It’s ingrained. It’s economics-as-identity-politics ingrained.)

  20. Mark Bahnisch

    Interesting to see, by now, that the story has morphed (cf Lateline) into a “Liberal party disunity” yarn, thus conveniently sweeping the horror of it all under the carpet.

  21. Mark Bahnisch

    Ps – can we stay on topic please?

  22. wbb

    Scott Morrison – a worthy heir to Ruddock.

  23. Lefty E

    Wait till BoBs got the senate.
    We’ll catch em
    Wheeeeeeee.

    ZOMG Another fact attack! This time Craigy learns the Senate can’t initiate money bills.

    Will those crazy RWDBs ever get ANYTHING right? Stay tuned!

    Meanwhile, I cant help noticing that interest rates are lower under Labor.

  24. Mark Bahnisch

    @23 – Lefty E, please see my previous comment. If we could ignore CRAIGY’s thread derail and stay on topic, that would be much appreciated.

  25. Paul Burns

    I couldn’t believe it when I saw Abbott saying that on TV. But then I thought, hell, this is the Liberal Party. I thought Howard was bad. But Abbott is, well, just beyond being evil. I don’t think there’s a word to describe this piece of scum.

  26. Patrickb

    @25
    I think you’ve found it Paul: “scum”. And I think the phrase “piece of scum” works even better. You know, the whole three word slogan thing and all …

  27. Patricia WA

    Why begrudge a few dollars
    Our government’s spent?
    Why not, this time,
    Refrain from comment?
    Why not just stand
    And listen, and hear
    The sobs and the grief
    From afar and near,
    Not just for ‘illegals’
    Who’ve been lost at sea.
    Fire and flood could have taken
    From you or from me.
    That great leveller, Death,
    Requires our respect.
    Surely today, even you,
    Can pause and reflect.

  28. Marilyn Shepherd

    Scott Morrison’s mentor is Ruddock and his chief of staff is Ann Duffield who used to work for Ruddock and was the excrement who wrote that Shayan Badraei had “bucklies’ chance of ever being released from detention – he was 6 and near death at the tim.

  29. joe2

    I will not link, but this comes from the Oz.

    The Liberal Party soul-searching continued as it was revealed One Nation had peppered MPs with emails opposing public spending on the funerals and also criticising foreign aid to Indonesian schools.

  30. joe2

    A vote for the Coalition is now a vote for One Nation.

  31. Wood Duck

    I think the Liberals are on a winner here. Have a look at the results of the (self-selecting) poll “The Australian” is running on its website. Some 98% of the so far 73,000 respondents think that the asylum seekers should have paid there own way to attend the funerals.

  32. Helen

    Speaking of the Australian, even the Opposition Organ has come out in criticism of Morrison, which is quite amazing.

  33. Liam

    Manufacturing a story about wasted government resources to coincide with funerals

    I didn’t see the Murdoch press hesitating at manufacturing a story when it was the Victoria Police’s security detail and Carl Williams. Just saying.

  34. CJ Morgan

    @ 28:

    Does One Nation still exist?

  35. joe2

    [email protected] and they are distancing themselves from the hard hearted attitude of Morrison and Abbott.

    http://www.nswonenation.com.au/news_2008.htm

  36. jules

    joe2 @29 what do you mean “now”. Howard stole One Nations racial politics a decade ago.

  37. rainbowdog

    Some things make me want to shout –

    They come here in boats
    they take their sea voyages
    they stop off in KL or Jakarta
    they’re all together, laughing and sailing along
    We pick them up
    we put them in our centres
    we secure them
    we give them beds & playrooms
    food
    bloody big TVs
    we keep them warm
    we give them lawyers and doctors
    we send them teachers and preachers
    we let them out
    we set them free
    if they crash and burn
    or drown
    we give them coffins
    we bury them
    we fly their bloody relos in
    to say goodbye
    in their own language

    We are great.

  38. Helen

    If we want to read that kind of crap, Rainbowdog, we have plenty of opportunity to wallow in comment threads on the Herald Sun or Tele.

  39. Lefty E

    This ghoulish funeral-chasing really is disgusting behaviour by the Libs – who always lacked moral clarity under Howard, but have now add “clumsy and stupid stunts” to their dog whistling.

    Why doesnt the ALP say so?

    *Cue uninspired droning on about opportunity*

  40. Katz

    This funeral imbroglio does serve to focus much attention on the dangers attending a voyage in a small boat from Indonesia to Australia.

    The Mad Monk could up the ante by taking a leaf out of the book of Petronius, who had one of his characters offering his vast inheritance to any who would eat his corpse.

    Thus any asylum seekers who consume the corpses in question might be offered TPVs.

    Think of the savings, Tone!

  41. joe2

    “Why doesnt the ALP say so?”

    Possibly because they think to do so would be seen as trying to make a political gain off the back of a tragedy. It would be respectful to at least wait till some time after the funeral to make such a point.

  42. joe2
  43. Helen

    Oops, sorry, Rainbowdog. * Takes irony tablet *

  44. Enemy Combatant

    The Ghost of Banton Past:

    For “pure of heart” politicians like Mr. Abbott, a Samaritan bypass is but an expression of his practical Christianity.

  45. tssk

    @31. I’m not surprised that 98% of respondants have voted that way. How many readers saw the poll and closed their broswer tab with the Oz on it in disgust? I know I would see a poll like that and think ‘why bother.’

    I don’t understand why the Libs have done this. Less than a week after Abbott was unfairly ambushed and slandered he and his party seem to have rushed in to see how much sympathy and goodwill they had. I think they just found out. Sympathy burnt out after a couple of days.

    Joe Hockey’s an interesting one. I remember he was thrown in charge of Workchoices as he was seen as trustworthy. Worked too well as he seemed to be ashamed of some of the policies he was presenting as fair. Be interesting to seee how far right the Libs would have to move for Joe to leave and become an Independent.

  46. adrian

    “Less than a week after Abbott was unfairly ambushed and slandered”

    Ha Ha Ha

  47. MassiveSpray

    Joe is laying the ground work for a tilt at the leadership/next chance at electoral failure.

    Here’s my rationale, amongst other things:

    http://sprayoftheday.wordpress.com/2011/02/16/opposition-shows-true-colours-again/

  48. MassiveSpray

    Less than a week after Abbott was unfairly ambushed and slandered

    You left out the part about his Thunderbird puppet impression…

  49. Patricia WA

    I voted in that poll yesterday – I think it was just under seven thousand for Morrison at that point with some 163 against. When I looked just now it was registering well over a thousand against, and over 7,300 for (Surely not 73,000, Wood Duck?)but still showing 97% agreeing with Morrison. I’m not good at sums, but surely even 1500 v 7,300 is more than 3%? Are their on-line polls rigged?****

    Maybe their Newspolls are fixed too? Now that would be great to learn! Perhaps that’s the dirt that Assange has on Murdoch’s empire that John Pilger says he’s holding back as ‘insurance’ – when is someone going to follow up on that comment on Q&A?

    ****By the way, out of curiosity I voted again and was not alerted to my having voted before. Some sites resist a second vote automatically.

  50. Pavlov's Cat

    Why doesnt the ALP say so?

    Probably because they want to look as little like the knee-jerk negative and carping Opposition as possible. Also, what Joe2 said at #43.

  51. sg

    I don’t think Howard would accept this kind of thing if he were in charge of the opposition.

  52. Christopher Pearson

    I can’t help thinking that when the federal Leader of the Opposition is dismissed as “scum” the hive-mind is running a temperature. Those who think the government’s behaviour in all this has been beyond reproach might care to have a look at Colman Ridge’s piece on The Drum this morning.

  53. Sam

    Patricia WA, online polls are meaningless. Not only are they totally unrepresentative of anything, if you want to vote twice, thrice, 1000 times, just clear your computer’s cache.

  54. David Irving (no relation)

    Few of us plugged into the LP Hive Mind would assert that the government was blameless, Christopher, but a fair few members of the opposition really have been quite shamelessly opportunistic over the reffos’ funerals (as with so many other things).

    I think “scum of the earth” is actually a quite fair comment on Scott Morrison.

  55. Fine

    Christopher, if you trawl through LP’s archives you’ll hardly find much support for Labor’s treatment of asylum seekers. Of course, that could be even more evidence of the hive-mind.

    Labor haven’t covered themselves in glory here either. But, as for Morrison’s intervention, coyly backed up by Abbott, “scum” isn’t a bad descriptor. Brutal, but fair.

  56. joe2

    How would you describe the behavior of Abbott and Morrison in politicizing the funeral of people who have died in such a tragic way, Christopher?

  57. adrian

    Good question joe2. A characteristic of the self-righteous right is generally their hypocrisy and pervasive double standards.
    Scum is quite mild under the circumstances, and I’d use the same word to describe anyone from any side of politics who indulged in the same antics.

  58. Katz

    The ALP has the very minor virtue of being slightly less beastly than the Coalition.

    As Kim Beazley demonstrated way back in 2001, the Labor Party are more interested in electoral victory than they are in humanitarianism or protecting the independence of the judiciary or defending a sane definition of Australian sovereignty.

    Therefore the ALP is always in danger of being sucked into the vortex of xenophobia stirred up by scum like Morrison because they want to stand as close as possible to it.

  59. Christopher Pearson

    DI (nr) and Fine
    To my mind, calling the leader of a major Australian political party scum is jejune. It suggests a failure of intellectual engagement with an ideology you find uncongenial and an acute case of what Michael Warby calls “moral vanity”.
    “Brutal but fair” reminds me of rock’s “vicious but fair”; both bordering(at least) on the oxymoronic.
    Surely some LP people understand there is a moral case for arguing that Government ought to use whatever levers it has available to dissuade people from unauthorised arrival in risky boats for their own good?

  60. sg

    by using people as political tools, Pearson? I think there’s a term for that in moral philosophy.

  61. Mercurius

    I think the Liberals are on a winner here.

    Wow, 97% supporting Scott Morrison in an online poll is only 2.9% lower than Saddam Hussein managed at his last election!

    With electoral appeal like that, they’re onto a winner fer shure!

  62. Katz

    How does climbing to near the top of the greasy pole of party factional politics prevent a person from being scum?

  63. joe2

    Not allowing grieving relatives to attend a funeral is a “lever”, now, is it Christopher? I think we now understand what your notion of “moral” is.

  64. tssk

    And to give the Libs credit…unlike the ALP they don’t hide their policies from the electorate.

    So while the ALP hold their nose and compare Abbott to Howard or One Nation they are silently and quietly following the same or similar policies.

  65. adrian

    Answer the question Mr Pearson. You know, the one @ 58.

  66. Fine

    Christopher, it’s meant to be oxymoronic in a humourous sort of way. If you don’t buy the humour, fair enough.

    It could also suggest that I’ve engaged sufficiently with an ideology to know when someone deserves to be labelled as “scum” for what they’v said. I don’t describe every right-winger, or every right-wing utterance in that way, either. You may note, that people such as Hockey, Troeth and Baird weren’t too happy either.

    What would you call it, Christopher?

  67. Katz

    Why did the Federal government pay to have corpses of victims of the Bali bombing flown to places of the choosing of their loved ones?

    Was this a waste of public money when these bodies could have been conveniently buried in Bali?

  68. jules

    Couldn’t care less about the “fairness” of calling Morrison scum.

    If you act like a scumbag don’t cry about it when people call you on it. End of story.

    Surely some LP people understand there is a moral case for arguing that Government ought to use whatever levers it has available to dissuade people from unauthorised arrival in risky boats for their own good?

    For their own good? Cos you don’t like boat people is more likely to be the reason.

  69. Paul Burns

    I’ve got a really great idea, Christopher Pearson. Why don’t we just leave the dead to rot where they die? Then we wouldn’t have to worry about any such jejune matters as respect for the dead, respect and compassion for a family’s grief and all those other hallmarks of human decency that SCUM like Abbott so readily ditch overboard. Hisa party is irrelevant, bte, I would have said the same thing about any politician from any party who behaved like him.

  70. Christopher Pearson

    Katz @ 64
    Major parties in modern Australia are self-interested and professional enough to make sure their leaders can’t plausibly be characterised in that way.

    Joe2 @ 65
    I didn’t say that not allowing grieving relatives to attend a funeral was a suitable lever and nor do I think it. If you want to make judgements about my moral stances, they’re all on the public record, with my name attached to them, unlike so many of you “masked” people.

  71. David Irving (no relation)

    Christopher, the only reason I’m reasonably happy to describe Morrison (and, by extension, Abbott) as ‘scum’ is because the epthet I would prefer to apply to apply to them is unprintable, and would offend a lot more people. (As I’ve said at other times, in slightly different circumstances, 26 years in the Army is a coarsening experience.)

    Abbott (and Morrison) appear to have completely lost their moral compasses if, indeed, either of them had one to start with. Which I doubt.

  72. tssk

    Pearson shouldn’t need to answer the question at 58. Why spoil such a subtle thead derail?

    I’m guessing someone pointing out that the left is just as hopeless with dealing with refugees with decency is supposed to automatically either divert debate to examing the ALP’s failures in this area (which really could make a meaty post of it’s own) or shame us into holding back criticising the Lib’s so they can dogwhistle with impunity.

    If we’re going to be playing these game of ‘oh yeah but the ALP are as bad’ etc I may as well add this. Do you think if Julia had questioned the goovernment transporting these poor people to the funeral of their relatives that she’d last the week?

    She wouldn’t have lasted the week.

    Because we have a double standard.

    Going off topic for a moment.

    Mark Latham looking like he wants to punch out John Howard. Unfit for office.

    Toby Abbott looking like he wants to punch out Mark Riley. Bloody hero.

  73. sg

    that’s a nice tautology, Pearson. Good way to dodge the objective evidence of scumminess right in front of you.

  74. silkworm

    Those who defend scum are themselves scum.

  75. Fine

    @72 Christopher. What nonsense that a leader of a major Australian political party can’t be characterised in such a way. Walks like a duck… etc.

    “I didn’t say that not allowing grieving relatives to attend a funeral was a suitable lever and nor do I think it.”

    Then why bring the issue up? That certainly seemed to be your implication.

    If you don’t think it’s a suitable lever, then what is your opinion of Abbott’s and Morrison’s position?

  76. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Why are the refugees being flown to Sydney for the funerals, Christopher Pearson? I assume, but may be mistaken, that there were long standing procedures in place at the Department of Immigration for such contingencies. Perhaps they needed to be signed off by the Minister; perhaps not.

    Morrison’s calls to interfere with the Ministry’s procedures is just malicious micro-managing. In other words, “penny wise, pound toolish”. That’s why I think he’s unfit for government.

  77. adrian

    Surprise, surprise, joe2 – Pearson hasn’t answered your question. Can’t imagine why not.

  78. joe2

    “I didn’t say that not allowing grieving relatives to attend a funeral was a suitable lever and nor do I think it.”

    Christopher, I think that a very reasonable inference to make from your comments below (@61) and the subject at hand.

    Surely some LP people understand there is a moral case for arguing that Government ought to use whatever levers it has available to dissuade people from unauthorised arrival in risky boats for their own good?

    I notice you seem to have become blind to the question I asked @58…How would you describe the behavior of Abbott and Morrison in politicizing the funeral of people who have died in such a tragic way, Christopher?

  79. Christopher Pearson

    Thank you, silkworm @ 76
    Fine @ 77, I didn’t bring it up. I was talking about border protection policy generally.
    Morrison has apologised for “insensitivity”.I heard Abbott being asked about it on MTR and it was obviously a query in passing from him about it soundng a bit odd for the Commonwealth to fly “rellies” to funerals. I didn’t see the evening news and don’t know if he said anything further.

  80. tssk

    I’m cynical. In an alternate universe where the bodies were flown back to Christmas Islands for burial I would bet the Lib’s still would have criticised the government over the money spent.

    I’m working from assumptions here so tell me if I’m wrong on these two counts

    -it costs more to transport dead bodies than live ones.

    -Rookwood even in it’s currently crowed state has more spare room than the cemetries at Christmas Island. (Does Christmas Island even have a cemetry? I’m working from no knowledge here.)

  81. Katz

    Katz @ 64
    Major parties in modern Australia are self-interested and professional enough to make sure their leaders can’t plausibly be characterised in that way.

    Surely you jest.

    Move on folks, no crims, reprobates or scum to see here!

  82. Fine

    Such a weasel word “insensitive”. It’s Morrison saying it’s okay to hold this view, but I just should have kept my silly mouth shut.

    I love the “in passing”. Like it doesn’t really count. Abbott, in passing, could have replied something like; “I have no problem with the Commonwealth paying for the relatives to be flown to Sydney for the funeral”. Except that he was playing up to the MTR audience. Just doing a bit of hateful shit-stirring when he could have chosen to behave like a human being.

    And yes, you did bring it up in a post that was about quite a specific issue. No-one else had been talking broader policy.

  83. billie

    I wish I was a shareholder in Serco, the company that guards Christmas island and other detention centres. With Scott Morrison dog-whistling the Liberals into power just imagine all the profits to be made.

    The Christmas Island detention centre is an incredible drain on the Australian tax payer because it is so far from the Australian mainland and everything is flown in. Eggs cost $1 each. The Liberals are really cost conscious – it would be far cheaper to process refugees on the mainland, as well as infinitely more humane.

    A smart Labor Party campaign could be mounted against the Liberal Party return to the “White Australia Policy” which should shake the conservative vote amongst voters of Indo-Chinese, Turkish, Indian origin

  84. joe2

    “Surprise, surprise, joe2 – Pearson hasn’t answered your question. Can’t imagine why not.”

    Maybe he is due back for an in-house office lecture on the ethics of phone tapping in the modern age, Adrian.

    And yes, Fine, Christopher most definitely brought the subject up suggesting that there is “a moral case for arguing that Government ought to use whatever levers it has available”.

  85. Fine

    But, Kim you silly – usually those victims and families aren’t Muslims. The Libs are kicking the Islamophobia bucket hard these days.

  86. Lefty E

    I cant believe this needs to be justified.

    Of course the govt pays for them to attend the funerals. Even criminals sometimes get that for close family members – and these people are detained administratively – they havent been “charged” with anything, because if they sustain a refugee claim, then their behavior was perfectly lawful.

  87. Casey

    My dear Mr Pearson. It is with a heavy heart that I find I must agree with you regarding the Silkworm. And yet, I beg you take into consideration the matter of the small creature’s affliction. It’s the fermented mulberry leaf which affects his brain cell so and none can tell what odd eruption will come here and there. This would of course be alleviated if he shared his wine once in a while, and you may rest assured, I have often offered to take it off his hands for free, but to no avail. He is a solitary silkworm and the daemon leaf afflicts him so. Once I even offered him the red papal shoe – as a quid quo pro – but alack, he told me to frack off. We must forebear.

    Now, to the matter of Mr Morrison. Why Mr Pearson, perhaps you dream? Whilst this may appear a hive mind I assure you there are bees and there are bees dude. A little respect if you will. As to the statement, here:

    “The timing of my comments over the last 24 hours was insensitive and was inappropriate,” he told Macquarie Radio today.

    But Mr Morrison remains unrepentant about the comments themselves.

    “I know probably more than anyone how strongly people feel about this issue, how angry they get about the costs that are involved.

    “I share that anger and I want to see that changed but there is a time and a place.”

    Mr Morrison’s original comments caused ructions in the Liberal Party, with Mr Hockey calling for more compassion.

    “I have to show a little more compassion than I did yesterday, I am happy to admit that,” Mr Morrison said.

    Smh etc etc

    As you will note, it is his timing which he apologised for, not the statements. Indeed Mr Morrison admits to the insensitivity of the timing and then goes on to repeat the same offensive statements, you will note, saying he is, like, angry. Dog whistling here there and everywhere. Not much of an apology is it, Mr Pearson? No, not much of anything except a repetition of the original offense. It is no coarseness to to recoil from such a lack of compassion and utter lack of decency.

    I guess what concerns me is that he finishes this statement by suggesting that he “has” to “show” a little more compassion. As if it is something he must force himself to do and then, as if he has to perform it. Compassion is something you feel no? Or you don’t. And he doesn’t. Nor does that bulldog of an opposition leader. It is apparent by the many slippages in the comments Mr Pearson, a number of which I have dealt with here, and you do yourself a disservice by gliding over and minimising the wound Morrison has opened. It diminishes every Australian to have an opposition pleased to score points off human misery. It would be nice if the Liberal party stopped using the plight of the most helpless and the most voiceless to gain politically. Little babies were buried yesterday. It’s awful. And the man apologises only for his timing. Please. That’s just stomach turning.

  88. Sam

    I wish I was a shareholder in Serco, the company that guards Christmas island and other detention centres.

    So, buy some shares.

  89. paul of albury

    Mr Pearson could you please point out something the opposition has with which we could ‘intellectually engage’? Opposition policy seems to come down to ‘I don’t like it’.

    Although it’s possible that Julie and Joe may be ready to start articulating something more nuanced.

  90. Patricia WA

    Thanks, Casey. Yes, that was telling, wasn’t it?

    “I have to show a little more compassion than I did yesterday, I am happy to admit that,” Mr Morrison said.

    So his timing was wrong and his performance was not up to scratch either. At least we know he’s happy to admit to something.

    Throughout Joe’s Hockey’s emoting yesterday I thought he was very careful not to attack the premise of Morrison’s comments. So today he is free to pull back a bit and join the chorus for an explanation from the government. That’s rather more like the Joe Hockey I know. Yesterday’s Saint Joseph of North Sydney role didn’t sit well.

  91. Patricia WA

    Sorry, moderator. My bold should have been closed after the quote of Morrison’s comment. Indignation gets one a bit agitated at times.

  92. Patrickb

    “To my mind, calling the leader of a major Australian political party scum is jejune”
    I think you’re right in a way. It is simple, it is visceral, it is a gut reaction to the way the LNP have acted on this occasion, it is an expression of disgust.

    Tell us, are you happy with the way your friends and acquaintances have acted in this case? Would you treat Hockey’s remarks with disdain? You position isn’t very clear to me. Do you have any strong feelings regarding how the deaths of these people may have affected their close friends and relatives, perhaps you don’t care?

  93. Sam

    “To my mind, calling the leader of a major Australian political party scum is jejune”

    Probably. But if it’s objectively true …

  94. Fran Barlow

    Christopher Pearson said:

    Surely some LP people understand there is a moral case for arguing that Government ought to use whatever levers it has available to dissuade people from unauthorised arrival in risky boats for their own good?

    Although you specifically reject this interpretation this does seem in context to amount to the claim that the prospect of not getting a trip to the funeral of a close family member is a “lever” to discourage people from entry by irregular sea-going vessels. It’s hard to imagine that this would be uppermost in people’s minds at the decision point, putting aside the ethics involved.

    Given that this was the point at issue, why make this claim if not to invite this inference?

    On the broader point — that Government ought to use whatever levers it has available to dissuade people from unauthorised arrival in risky boats for their own good — this matter has been discussed here up hill and down dale. The terms in which this claim are posed are entirely spurious.

    1. It’s not for their own good. It’s for the good of governments wishing to appeal to/assuage ignorant xenophobes and/or prevent themselves being wedged in the issue. Lindsay rules OK!. Of course,that would be ugly and insensitive, so it is really important to say that it’s for their own good; you have to be cruel to be kind etc. As the aphorism goes, hypocrisy is the homage that vice pays to virtue.

    What is clear is that the asylum seekers — i.e those whose bodies are at maximum risk and who thus literally have their own skin in the game — think it’s in their own good to get onto fragile watercraft and make the trip, notwithstanding the serious prospect of dying and the certainty of being locked up and brutalised and perhaps being returned penniless to some brutal regime. I’d say their standing to declare their opinion about their best interests has far more standing than those of any politician or other loudmouth in this country. While the choice imposed upon them by circumstance is horrible, they are entitled to conclude that SIEVs were the lesser evil and I can certtainly see their point. Living in some squalid refugee camp for years after you’ve been assessed as qualifying for asylum with the prospect of being returned penniless and thus worse off than when you left, watching your kids adapt to camp life etc … Some things are worse than a brief flirtation with death.

    2.It is very clear that the “levers” available to the government are either never going to be adequate, are of a kind that no civilised society could endure or are politically the opposite of what ourneo-Hansonites would want. As things stand the state is paying large sums of money to brutalise large numbers of vulnerable people on an inadequate ethical warrant.

  95. billie

    Sam, irony is lost on you but Serco is listed on the UK stock exchange and I bet one of its 20 largest shareholders is Bank of England nominees AKA the monarch

  96. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    [email protected]: thanks for the info. That makes Morrison’s comments even more contemptible.

    The only objection I have to calling him ‘scum’ is that scum is often a necessary part of the ecosystem. For example, there’s a big hole near my place off Montague – dug and then abandoned by property developers, full of rainwater, and then deluged by Brisbane flood waters. The pool’s got a lot of scum on the surface, but at least it helps clean up the sewage in the water, and gives enough sustenance for ducks and starlings to feed.

    Stronger words are necessary to describe the man. How about “mine tailings”? Both useless and poisonous.

  97. Sam

    Billie, there’s nothing to stop you buying shares in companies listed overseas.

  98. billie

    Serco runs Immigration Detention Centres in Australia, the UK and elsewhere.

    Does Serco provide a solution to Australia’s asylum seeker issues or did they create and define the problem.

    Objectively it is cheaper to bring asylum seekers straight to the mainland and integrate them into the community because most of them are genuine but this would stop Serco getting their revenue and stop refugees getting mental health problems and allow their children to get educated so they can become effective members of the community.

  99. Christopher Pearson

    Fran B. @ 97
    Sorry to have taken a while to repy but I’ve been going through an edit of a chapter of a biography of Patrick Clune with the author over some yum cha.
    On the matter of paying for mourners’ airfares, I was talking about the Howard policies that stopped the boats and it didn’t occur to me that anyone would imagine otherwise.
    On the argument about whether it’s for their good or our comfort : boat people almost invariably travel in the first instance with passports and valid visas. They could all afford to come by air, with minimal risk to life and limb. I’m afraid the line that they know what’s best for them doesn’t persuade me. Unauthorised arrival by boat is a kind of emotional blackmail and confers no special standing.

  100. Lefty E

    “boat people almost invariably travel in the first instance with passports and valid visas.”

    No they don’t, Christopher.

    Movement of first instance from the Middle East is indeed almost always by plane, as you say, but to Indonesia or Malaysia – where persons arriving from ‘Muslim’ countries (broadly defined) routinely receive short term visas on arrival with no questions asked.

    Its much like us going to NZ.

    And as you know as well as I: that isn’t the case for the onward trip to Australia.

  101. David Irving (no relation)

    I think Christopher still wants to frame the debate on asylum seekers in terms of “queue jumpers” and “illegal arrivals”, which of course is just conscience-assuaging intellectual dishonesty.

  102. Fine

    Christopher, instead of opening up a whole discussion about asylum seekers, you could engage with the substance of this post, which is about Morrison and Abbott’s behaviour in relation to these funeral. I’m curious as to why, for instance, you haven’t chosen to engage with Casey’s post at 90. What is your opinion about this matter?

  103. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    Unauthorised arrival by boat is a kind of emotional blackmail…

    You poor petal. Did the refugees hurt you that bad by existing, Christopher? Here’s a world’s smallest violin… just for you.

  104. Fran Barlow

    Christopher Pearson said:

    Unauthorised arrival by boat is a kind of emotional blackmail and confers no special standing.

    This seems to grant my point though. If it is indeed a calculated plan to secure “special standing” then this seems to imply reason on the part of those undertaking it. They’ve thought about it and they think it’s feasible albeit with significant risks and preferable to the other options.

    That it doesn’t wash with you is neither here nor there. Personally, if someone thinks risking death at sea is preferable, I’m inclined to think that the alternative options must be very bad indeed.

    You also don’t specify what you’d have the government do. Trying to use the navy to sink the boats and putting the videos on youtube would be one option, for their own good of course. That might actually work. Of course, the regime would have to wear criticisms from bleeding hearts like me and perhaps even one or two others in that case. On balance, risky and I daresay the Navy folk wouldn’t be best pleased. They might not have the stomach for it and then where would you be?

    You could try shipping all those who had passed muster as refugees in on an orderly timeline but then the xenophobes would go nuts for a while until they realised that they weren’t all terrorists or threats to Australia. Also risky.

    Any ideas?

  105. Casey

    Fascinating: A fall and redemption narrative of manhood restored has developed within the Liberal Party.

    “Mr Abbott – who earlier said he believed the government’s decision was “unusual” – said Mr Morrison’s contrition showed guts.

    “I want to thank Scott for being man enough to accept that perhaps we did go a little bit too far yesterday,” he said.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/funeral-fallout-we-did-go-a-little-bit-too-far-says-abbott-20110216-1awaq.html

    Yes, I’d like to thank Scott for being a man too. It’s good to know that when you put em to the test, their manhood emerges, rawhide, roll em roll em roll em, etc, etc

  106. Cuppa

    Every time I think the Liberal Party cannot go lower, it never fails to surpass expectations.

  107. Kim

    Yet another narrative – the government remains unredeemed because Chris Bowen fails to show “compassion” according to Barrie Cassidy and Jon Faine’s “common sense”. Not that acting on advice from psychologists and other specialists about the most appropriate way of handling a distressed and traumatised 10 year old boy would be compassionate, you see.

    No, it’s bureaucrats v. common sense!

    Fo’ shizzle!

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/16/3140593.htm

  108. Christopher Pearson

    Lefty E : you may be right but I must say it’s news to me. I thought the point where refugees usually “lost” their passports and the capacity to obtain visas was when they deliberately destroyed them, sold them or surrendered them to people smugglers as part of the package deal.
    DI (nr) : you may think it’s assuaging a guilty conscience but I assure you I believe in effective border control for all the usual reasons and my withers are unwrung by your suggestion of intellectual dishonesty. To reprise an argument of Howard’s, he only got away with a massive and necessary increase in immigration because it was generally conceded that the government controlled the process.

  109. joe2

    I shall try again. Mr Pearson, how would you personally describe the behavior of Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison in politicizing the funeral of people who have died in such a tragic way?

  110. Christopher Pearson

    Fran B at 107
    No, it doesn’t grant your point to say that they’re engaging in emotional blackmail and (therefore) have no special moral standing. I’d say it just means they’re very badly advised by people-smugglers and the like.
    The point is not whether it washes with me or not, but how the general public feel about it and we know it doesn’t wash with most of them.
    The rest of your commentary is so OTT that I’m at something of a loss to respond. Perhaps I could ask, how many refugees — and in what categories — do you think it reasonable for Australia to absorb in the next five years?

  111. adrian

    joe2, the fax should have arrived from headquarters by now, so Mr Pearson would probably describe the comments and their behaviour as a little insensitive under the circumstances, but not to worry, they’ve both apologised so sincerely blah, blah, blah.

  112. Charlie

    Illegal aliens died in a shipwreck some 1600 kms from the Australian mainland – why are they being buried in Sydney?

  113. Christopher Pearson

    Joe2 at 112
    I’d have thought it was obvious. The decision to come here by boat, on the part of the adults, was reckless and wrong but their deaths were nonetheless tragic and tha deaths of the children moreso, untinged as they were by any degree of culpability.
    The funerals were always going to be politicised one way or another by the major parties, not to mention by refugee activists. Those who specialise in taking offence at “insensitivity” were always going to do so, however great or small the provocation. I think it rates about as high on the scale of offence as the PM junking the rule on bipartisan civility on the day of a military funeral on Monday.

  114. sg

    Unauthorised arrival by boat is a kind of emotional blackmail and confers no special standing.

    And denying relatives the chance to attend the funeral of their loved ones, in order to discourage others from attempting the same journey, is what…?

    You really have excelled yourself here Pearson. Do keep it up.

  115. adrian

    I was giving Mr Pearson far more credit than he deserves.

    Charlie, I realise that profound ignorance doesn’t prevent someone like you from having an opinion, but there is no such thing as an ‘illegal alien’ in refugee migration law. Of course if a refugee’s claims are shown to be spurious after due process then the will be deported and have no legal right to remain in Australia, which is an entirely different matter.

  116. Mercurius

    The funerals were always going to be politicised one way or another by the major parties, not to mention by refugee activists.

    Really Christopher? And whose fault is that? It couldn’t possibly be the fault of the party that actually, you know, politicised the whole boat people issue with all that tub-thumping around the Tampa, a tub they have tirelessly thumped for nigh-on a decade now?

    The issue could stop being politicised this instant if Abbott and Morrison stopped politicising it with their SCUMMY remarks.

    Those who specialise in taking offence at “insensitivity” were always going to do so, however great or small the provocation.

    Like, for example, all your pearl-clutching over the term SCUM?

  117. Pavlov's Cat

    “I want to thank Scott for being man enough to accept that perhaps we did go a little bit too far yesterday,” he said.”

    Yeah see because if you are only a woman, and therefore not“man enough” etc

    *pauses to throw up everything she’s eaten for the last week*

    , the chances are that you would never have said anything that unpleasant and stupid in the first place, and will therefore have no need to man up. QED.

  118. Katz

    I thought the point where refugees usually “lost” their passports and the capacity to obtain visas was when they deliberately destroyed them, sold them or surrendered them to people smugglers as part of the package deal.

    Gimme a break.

    During the last ten tears the vast majority of boat arrivals were from Sri Lanka, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

    I think it has even been mentioned in the Australian that these three countries were and/or are in a state of institutional collapse.

    Where the hell is an Hazara, a Tamil, or a Sunni Iraqi supposed to get a passport? To turn up at the passport office (if such an office even existed) would be to invite murder.

    All of these groups were and/or are subject to genocide at the hands of dominant groups in these countries.

    How many Iraqi Shiites, Afghan Pashtun, or Sinhalese have arrived by boat in Australia since 2003? The answer is very few, because they don’t suffer persecution.

  119. Chris W

    And waste like this …

    http://www.caradvice.com.au/104812/barnaby-joyce-drowns-his-government-toyota-landcruiser/

    … doesn’t get mentioned by the Liberal Party ninnies.

  120. Christopher Pearson

    sg at 118
    Let me say it a second time. I’ve never advocated denying mourning relatives access to funerals, to discourage unauthorised arrivals or for any other reason. Questioning whether the Commonwealth should have to pay for their transport was Abbott’s response and, though not prima facie unreasonable, was not mine.
    PC at 121
    In ordinary speech people talk all the time about males being “man enough” to do something difficult, as opposed to behaving in a juvenlile way.The fact that it has no direct equivalent doesn’t mean that it’s inherently sexist, patriarchal or demeaning to women. I tremble to think of your uncalled-for antiperistalsis and trust that you’re not fading away to a shadow. Remember, you’ve got a book to finish that many of us are dying to read.

  121. joe2

    “The funerals were always going to be politicised one way or another by the major parties, not to mention by refugee activists.”

    Weak effort Christopher. We are talking about this because Morrison and Abbott, by their own admission, have “gone too far”. The title of the thread is, indeed, “The Liberal Party reaches for new lows”. Now you reach for the tired old standby…’they are all the same’.

    Despite your claim of it being so “obvious” you have avoided a direct answer to my question. I think we can take it your moral compass is jammed so firmly up your orifice you are incapable of basic introspection.

  122. Steve at the Pub

    During the last ten tears the vast majority of boat arrivals were from Sri Lanka, Iraq, or Afghanistan.

    Where the hell is an Hazara, a Tamil, or a Sunni Iraqi supposed to get a passport? To turn up at the passport office (if such an office even existed) would be to invite murder.

    Tsk tsk tsk! Katz tells porkies again. There is no hope of boarding a flight in Columbo without a passport. Likewise nobody will be let out of the airport in KL without one.

    Just try it & see what happens.

    A liar or just stupid? Either way, it looks bad for Katz.

    1. tigtog

      There is no hope of boarding a flight in Columbo without a passport. Likewise nobody will be let out of the airport in KL without one.

      Fancy that – no way to get away from countries bounded by water than on an aircraft? Whodathunkit?

  123. Fine

    Christopher, who politicised the funerals? The Liberal Party. There’s no evidence for your counterfactual that it was going to happen anyway. Is that your response to bad behaviour? You’re just making excuses for your mates. And how was Abbott’s words “reasonable”? I love how your minimising, evading and just waving away any problems.

    I’m really glad that I’m jejune enough to call people out for acting scummily when I see it.

    “The fact that it has no direct equivalent doesn’t mean that it’s inherently sexist, patriarchal or demeaning to women.”

    Your casual, but deeply embedded, sexism is showing.

  124. Christopher Pearson

    Joe2 at 125
    I thought describing the adult boat people’s decisions as reckless and wrong but their deaths, like those of their blameless children, as tragic was quite direct. So was the sentence about the scale of offence, whether you agree with it or not.
    Your remark about the location of my moral compass is just low abuse and suggests that there’s little point in trying to engage with you.

  125. Pavlov's Cat

    In ordinary speech people talk all the time about males being “man enough” to do something difficult, as opposed to behaving in a juvenlile way.

    Well indeed, CP. That’s exactly what I’m complaining about.

    The fact that it has no direct equivalent doesn’t mean that it’s inherently sexist, patriarchal or demeaning to women.

    Who said anything about demeaning? It erases women.

    I tremble to think of your uncalled-for antiperistalsis and trust that you’re not fading away to a shadow.

    A chance would be a fine thing. *sighs, eats another chip*

    Remember, you’ve got a book to finish

    Yes, Mum. *sulks*

  126. Patrickb

    @112
    Look I don’t think Chris has time for this. He’s too busy consulting on the biography of the Catholic Lord Archbishop of Perth (1913 – 1935). I mean this is really important work.

  127. Peter Whiteford

    Has anyone seen any statistics on what proportion of people – even middle class people – in Afghanistan, Iraq or Sri Lanka actually have passports?

  128. hannah's dad

    I’ve just come home from three days incommunicado.

    Fuck me, what is wrong with Australians that we put up with these scum for a fraction of a second?
    What has happened to the common decency of so many of us?
    I was briefly over at Crikey reading the callers’ comments on the radio talk backs.

    I despair, I really do.

    I can’t even read the comments above at this site since I saw one near the top that attempted to justify Morrison’s nastiness by shifting the goal posts.
    Yeah Christopher Pearson, I’m looking at you.

    We’ve gone past a tipping point.
    I’m disgusted.

  129. KeiThy

    This is a LEADERSHIP ISSUE!

  130. FDB

    Yeah see because if you are only a woman, and therefore not“man enough” etc

    *pauses to throw up everything she’s eaten for the last week*

    , the chances are that you would never have said anything that unpleasant and stupid in the first place, and will therefore have no need to man up. QED.

    I just love that your urge to throw up was so urgent that you couldn’t even wait for the pause afforded by your comma.

    If the book to come features grammar jokes of that calibre, I’m positively gagging for it.

  131. Lefty E

    “There is no hope of boarding a flight in Columbo without a passport.”

    True: Thats why most of the Sri Lankans have gone the whole way by boat.

    Afghans usually fly to Malaysia or Indonesia, but not from Afghanistan, via a 3rd country which is normally Iran or Pakistan.: its frequently on a fake passport, since they ant get a real one without enormous risk.

    Seriously, Christopher, SATP etc: do you guys think the Australian Department of Immigration are all idiots, and you guys know better? I can assure you they have dialect experts in languages you havent even heard of, and all the resources of Australia’s security agencies at their disposal as well.

    These are the people who decide on an arrival’s refugee convention status: Australian experts.

    But YOU know better, do ya? Puhleaase. Give it up: 90% of arrivals are genuine refugees. Deal with it! And relax: far more qualified people than you are working out who’s who. Or dont you trust Australian border agencies?

    Bloody hell, Italy just got 5000 Tunsians -THIS WEEK. Why do you pretend this is a problem in AU when Blind Freddy can see it clearly isnt?

  132. Wozza's ghost

    “Scum, scumbags, crims, reprobates, disgusting, hateful.”

    And plenty of similar epithets. That’s LP describing the Libs.

    But there is no hate speech on the Left. I know that for sure, having had it drummed into me by anyone and everyone on the several Giffords threads.

    I am puzzled. But perhaps you just have funny way of expressing your love for all the world.

    Oh and Fine, I think the phrase “walks like a duck” should really be avoided by commenters on a blog that cheerleads for the ALP and its leader. Could be misconstrued, and you wouldn’t want anyone raining non-hate speech on you, would you?

  133. FDB

    HTMLoser.

  134. Wozza's ghost

    Patrickb @ 130. And you think this post represents important work then?

    I mean, there hasn’t been thread on asylum seekers since July according to Mercurius. Why is there one now? Because of a throwaway line which couldn’t be less central to immigration or refugee policy. I don’t attempt to defend that line, but for God’s this is supposed to be a blog which prides itself on its intellectual and policy content.

    Christopher Pearson has brought up a number of the actual policy issues. The rest of you are largely just screaming insults.

    The unaligned might even conclude that the prolonged silence on LP on refugee policy, broken now only by a thread of this itellectual standard, represents a tacit admission that LP’s general view of refugee policy is a nonsense and that it has nothing of substance to contribute on the subject.

  135. CRAIGY

    Abbott’s and Morrison’s comments were insensitive political cheap shots .
    And should be condemned
    Just as i condemned Bob Browns comments,whilst Brissy was counting their tragic loss of life.
    All morally insensitive.And badly timed.
    But i haven’t heard Bobs apology yet.

    Abbott only has “one forward gear” and finds reverse difficult to engage.
    NOT PM material.

  136. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    …represents a tacit admission that LP’s general view of refugee policy is a nonsense and that it has nothing of substance to contribute on the subject.

    You’re absolutely right, Wozza’s Ghost. All evidence indicates that the Liberal Party’s general view of refugee policy is a nonsense and that it has nothing of substance to contribute on the subject.

  137. Christopher Pearson

    Dear PC, I remember having a number of riotous phone conversations with your mum and if you feel like momentarily conflating me with her that’s fine by me. Still don’t really buy the notion of erasure though.
    Patrickb, no pontificate of 25 years is to be entirely dismissed. Besides, Clune, unlike most RC bishops, was neither a prude nor a philistine, built over 30 unusually beautiful churches, did wonderful things for parochial music and lay intellectual life and endowed many secondary scholarships, dividing the funds equally between male and female scholars decades before his brother bishops and built a ground-breaking home for kids with learning disabilities.
    Outside Australia he was eminent and trusted enough by both sides to be the leading negiator behind the scenes in the Anglo_Irish war too, and would have brought it to a far rapider conclusion if Lloyd George had been able to carry the hardliners in his cabinet.
    I mentioned the work mostly to explain my two hours’ absence and to suggest that I’ve got other things to do, unlike some LPers who strike me as having too much time on their hands.
    tigtog, the point STEVE ATP was making was not that refugees from islands often leave by plane but that they need papers to do so, papers that often vanish a bit later for various reasons.

  138. jane

    Christopher Pearson objects to labelling Scott Morrison as scum. I agree. Scum serves a useful purpose.

    Far from being scum, he is a mean spirited, mealy mouthed, penny pinching, small minded, contemptible hypocrite.

    He and Tony Abbott claim to be Christians. Both have conveniently forgotten or chosen to forget, that Christ was also an asylum seeker.

    Just as well Scott Morrison and Tony Abbott weren’t running Egypt when Jesus, Mary and Joseph turned up at the border.

    billie @101, you’re right, but it wouldn’t suit our fine Christian gentlemen’s agenda not to make political hay while this particular racist sun shines.

  139. Christopher Pearson

    Whoops, I meant that Clune was a lead negotiator, of course.

  140. joe2

    jane, Scott Morrison is a Hillsong happy clapper. I think Christopher pretends to be a christian, too. You can’t help thinking these folks are doing damage to the brand.

  141. Charlie

    [email protected]: “One man, for instance, who lost his wife and child, has a brother who has been resident in Sydney for ten years.”
    Do you think he knew they were coming? Was he anticipating their arrival? Did he approve of their transport arrangements, did he financially assist with their passage? .. makes you wonder!

    [email protected]: “I realise that profound ignorance doesn’t prevent someone like you from having an opinion”.
    Thanks for the patronising comment – its been a while.

    Q: what is the usual term for a person trying to enter a country illegally? I assume they are not a refugee, until they actually claim such status. So what is the appropriate terminology?

  142. The Feral Abacus

    “Sorry to have taken a while to repy but I’ve been going through an edit of a chapter of a biography of Patrick Clune with the author over some yum cha.”

    That’s quite some tin ear you have there, Mr Pearson.

    Can you imagine how that would sound to anyone who lost a friend or family member in that accident? That you couldn’t find time to address the matter of whether our politicians should treat distressed people decently, and whether those politicians should show respect for the dead and for those who are bereaved, because you were busy lunching over revisions to a biography of a decidedly minor quasi-literary figure?

    Apart from being too much detail—given the context—it comes across as epitomising much of the self-serving smugness that blights this city of ours.

    This is not a trifling ideological scuffle, nor some exercise in debating technique. We are talking here of an event that will scar people; that will—tragically—define the lives of some.

  143. FDB

    “what is the usual term for a person trying to enter a country illegally?”

    Asylum seeker. You may have heard it before. Certainly “illegal aliens” makes no sense whatsoever, as they never reached Australia.

    “I assume they are not a refugee, until they actually claim such status.”

    Well, I’d prefer to wait until their claim is favourably assessed by the properly constituted Australian Government body, personally. But my default assumption about someone who has risked their life on a crappy, overcrowded boat is that they ARE a refugee – and lo and behold, almost all such people are eventually assessed as such. The feel-good principle of giving people the benefit of the doubt is on my side, as are cold hard stats.

    What reason do you have for your default assumption? Sounds a little bit like prejudice to me.

    No wait. It sounds exactly like prejudice.

  144. The Feral Abacus

    “Remember, you’ve got a book to finish that many of us are dying to read.”

    Now there’s something we share, CP.

    But I object to your attempt—albeit expressed tongue in cheek—to use the book to quiet Dr Cat on this matter. For the Adelaide book—and forgive & correct me PC if I misconstrue or express your thesis crudely—is at least as much about the history of a public morality and how it developed in a society well-peppered with dissidents & non-conformists, as it is about the particulars of a provincial city perched on the edge of a desert. To me, it’s chief value will lie in what it tells us of how we got to where we are, and of where we are likely to be heading.

    Hence I posit Dr Cat’s place is to be putting the case here and now. Contracts be damned! the book can surely wait a few hours longer.

  145. The Feral Abacus

    PS It is not my custom to write book reviews sight unseen. But—I would argue—it is on occasion (almost) legitimate to do so.

  146. Christopher Pearson

    Feral Abacus, get a grip. I’d been commenting on the subject most of the morning. I took time off to eat and edit and made the point to excuse my absence. Inviting me to imagine how a friend or relative of the deceased might feel about me saying so suggests to me that you’ve lost all sense of proportion.
    BTW, I make no claims Clune was a “quasi-literary figure”, decidedly minor or otherwise, and neither would he have done. As I said at 142, in response to a snide remark by Patrickb, he was decades ahead of his time as a bishop and cut a figure on the world stage as a peace negotiator. Laments about “this smug city of hours” are also preposterous. Do you think that just because you’re feeling morally indignant “there shall be no more cakes and ale’ or, for that matter, yum cha?

  147. Mercurius

    He and Tony Abbott claim to be Christians. Both have conveniently forgotten or chosen to forget, that Christ was also an asylum seeker.

    Actually, if you think about the circumstances of Christ’s birth, Christ would fit the US Republican Right’s definition of an “anchor baby” quite admirably.

  148. The Feral Abacus

    “Inviting me to imagine how a friend or relative of the deceased might feel about me saying so suggests to me that you’ve lost all sense of proportion.”

    With all due respect CP, I’d suggest that your retort is indicative that someone other than myself is encountering difficulties in finding an appropriate perspective on this matter.

    For all you and I know—and recalling the unerring manner in which what goes around comes around in Adelaide—our words here will arrive at a friend or relative all too soon.

    Again, I invite you to imagine. I know you are capable: the choice is yours.

  149. Steve at the Pub

    Give it up: 90% of arrivals are genuine refugees. Deal with it!

    Misrepresenting some facts, Naughty naughty,.

    90% of arrivals are admitted because the story they tell is not able to be disproved within a certain time frame.

    “There is no hope of boarding a flight in Columbo without a passport.”

    True: Thats why most of the Sri Lankans have gone the whole way by boat.

    Selective quoting, dearie me. Perhaps you mean most of those who arrived yesterday or somesuch.
    Most of the Sri Lankan arrivals have first flown to KL on commercial flights.

  150. Pavlov's Cat

    forgive & correct me PC if I misconstrue or express your thesis crudely—is at least as much about the history of a public morality and how it developed in a society well-peppered with dissidents & non-conformists, as it is about the particulars of a provincial city perched on the edge of a desert. To me, it’s chief value will lie in what it tells us of how we got to where we are, and of where we are likely to be heading.

    TFA, you are readily forgiven but I must indeed correct you. For what you describe, I would have needed a great deal more time, at least twice the word length allowance, and a quite different brief from the publisher. As it is, the books are classified as ‘travel/memoir’ and that is what we have been asked to write. I don’t know if you’ve seen Delia Falconer’s Sydney (or the books on Hobart and Brisbane, which are also out) but that’s the series.

    I don’t have a thesis as such (unless you count ‘Things are not what they seem’), because any one thesis would have to pull so much material out of shape to fit it. There are however some bits and pieces that indirectly suggest how we got where we are. I would never presume to suggest where we might be heading, though.

    Re ‘self-serving smugness’, my mini-thesis is that some of it is exactly that, some of it is the inevitable preponderance of the Peter Principle in a small city, and some of it is just lotus-eating happiness.

    /derail, sorry

  151. jane

    @115, because the bodies of the victims were in Australia and have been repatriated to destinations nominated by their next of kin. Some nominated Sydney.

    Regarding Seena, I guess before the government hands him over to his relatives, they have to check them out. Hopefully, this will be resolved quickly and this poor child will be with a loving family.

    Because of a throwaway line which couldn’t be less central to immigration or refugee policy.

    A throwaway line? And just where did our great and compassionate Christian throw it?

    Spare us the bull, Wozza. It was a dog whistle to all the xenophobic bigots who infest the LNP support base like lice in a starling’s nest.

    He and that reprehensible creature Abbott were campaigning, shoring up the bigot vote and looking for converts to their vile cause.

    Unfortunately for them and despite Emperor Rupert’s best efforts, there are still too many people in this country who find this sort of thing abhorrent; hence the insulting “apology”.

    They are unrepentant; Morrison only apologised for the timing of his spiteful diatribe, not its content.

  152. The Feral Abacus

    Dr Cat – thanks for the clarification & correction. I’ve only seen snippets of Delia Falconer’s Sydney: enough to get the gist perhaps, but no more.

    As for ‘Things are not what they seem’, hmmmm yes.

  153. Charlie

    [email protected] I think you may have assumed I had a default assumption! Perhaps the term is illegal entrant – given that the person actually enters the country. But I’m not sure of the terminology. Would it be fair to assume – that not every illegal entrant is an asylum seeker?

    Without wanting to diminish the anguish and trauma associated with the loss of life in this incident, one thing that has stuck out like the proverbial to me has been the apparent and media-reported connections between those in passage on the incoming boat and persons already on Christmas Island or on the mainland, particularly on the mainland. It does appear – to me, a humble punter – that a familial migration (intentionally under the radar) has been attempted. With tragic unintended outcomes.

    Talking of assumptions, from the comfort of my chair writing this, I cannot imagine what is involved in making the decision to risk your family on such a journey. At the same time, I believe there are some who would think the risk is warranted whether legitimately seeking asylum or not.

    By way of non-relevant background, when the Tampa matter was happening, I sent a cheque to local Melbourne semi-shock-jock Neil Mitchell suggesting he gets his callers (as he does raise a lot of money sometimes) to hire a 747 and fly all the folks down the Australia. The cheque was never cashed, and he never did follow that up – but at least most of the people involved have ended up in NZ or West-NZ, I believe.

  154. silkworm

    Clune, unlike most RC bishops, was neither a prude nor a philistine, built over 30 unusually beautiful churches, did wonderful things for parochial music and lay intellectual life and endowed many secondary scholarships, dividing the funds equally between male and female scholars decades before his brother bishops and built a ground-breaking home for kids with learning disabilities…. he was decades ahead of his time as a bishop and cut a figure on the world stage as a peace negotiator.

    How would this peace negotiator have described the behavior of Abbott and Morrison in politicizing the funeral of people who have died in such a tragic way?

  155. Christopher Pearson

    Silkworm, I can only assume that your question is addressed to me,but I’m not in the habit of responding to people whose idea of discourse is to describe me as scum. Life’s too short.

  156. Lefty E

    Speaking of new lows- this time the ALP: apparently the mining companies will be now paying LESS tax than they did under the old regime.

    Not less than Rudd’s proposal – we’re talking less than under Howard.

    What a pathetic bunch of failures.

  157. FDB

    Sorry if I got it wrong Charlie, but when you said that you “assume they [illegal entrants, if you will] are not a refugee, until they actually claim such status”, I in turn assumed you were discussing unauthorised boat arrivals (and you were).

    This seemed to indicate a very muddled view, but in its most basic form one where boat arrivals were assumed not to be genuine refugees. And given that (to my knowledge) nobody has ever attempted unauthorised entry to Australia by boat without at least claiming refugee status, I also assumed that you meant “…until they are found to BE refugees”.

    Sorry for assuming so much, but were any of my assumtions actually wrong?

    “Would it be fair to assume – that not every illegal entrant is an asylum seeker?”

    I don’t know about “fair to assume”. “Reasonable to suggest” though, definitely.

    And if we forget about illegal entry, and substitute ‘illegal residency’ or somesuch, then the VAST majority in that category are not asylum seekers, let alone genuine refugees. Being mostly white people overstaying their tourist visas though, nobody gives much of a shit.

  158. Paul Burns

    Re subjects of books chosen by authors.
    It is ridiculous for criticise a writer because they’ve chosen to write a book about a subject that you may or may not disapprove of. I for one will be reading both PC’s and Christopher’s books when they come out.

  159. The Feral Abacus

    Paul Burns @ 162: I’m not sure if your comment is directed at me. If so, I’d be grateful if you could expand on that.

  160. jane

    @160. Lefty E I think you’re referring to this report.

    They won’t be collecting less tax, but they will be collecting significantly less resource rent tax than they would have under the RSPT proposed by Kevin Rudd.

    However, considering the obscene leap in mining profits in the last six months, the miners and their bedfellows the LNP might find it difficult to prove they’ll be rooned if they pay tax on their super profits.

    Over at Café Whispers this post reveals the enormous leap in Rio Tinto and other mining company profits.

  161. Katz

    Tsk tsk tsk! Katz tells porkies again. There is no hope of boarding a flight in Columbo without a passport. Likewise nobody will be let out of the airport in KL without one.

    Learn some facts before you accuse anyone of lying.

    The overwhelming majority of Tamils didn’t leave Sri Lanka via any airport. They crossed borders without authority since the beginning of their journeys. Most began their journey by crossing to India.

    And please enlighten the world with the information you may have about how many Iraqi Sunni and Afghan Hazaris passed through Colombo Airport en route to KL.

    Oh, wait. Don’t bother. The answer is zero.

  162. sg

    Keep it up Pearson, you’re covering yourself in glory.

  163. Patrickb

    @139
    I asked CP a few, what I thought were, salient questions regarding his defense of of Morrison’s comments. But he couldn’t reply as he was partaking of a Chinese lunch over which he added his, admittedly imperfect but nonetheless valuable, insights into the life and times of the late Lord Archbishop. You’re right of course, my interrogatory was sadly impecunious in the intellectual sense. I withdraw, forelock tuggingly.

  164. FDB

    That’s all very well PC, but will there be grammar jokes?

    Pulteney references won’t qualify, I’m afraid, however hilarious.

  165. The Feral Abacus

    Christopher Pearson said @102:

    “boat people almost invariably travel in the first instance with passports and valid visas. They could all afford to come by air, with minimal risk to life and limb.”

    Accidents of history seem unsually common in Adelaide. One of those accidents is that you and I grew up in the same city at about the same time. Another is that we shared certain persons among our circles of acquaintance: I know that for a fact.

    So I’m reasonably confident that you would have been privy to the first-hand testimony of more than a few wartime refugees from Eastern Europe. That you would be aware that very few refugees would be able to acquire much in the way of documentation. Indeed, that the chaos and anarchy of societies riven by war would subvert documentation. That wealth and privilege could be fleeting, and that criminality was often a prerequisite for survival. That the notion of an orderly queue was nonsense.

    And if my confidence is not misplaced, you would then be aware of the inaccuracies and misleading thrust in your statement @102.

    My question to you is this: why do you persist in promulgating these assertions when you know they likely lack veracity?

    Supplementary question: both you and Rann were closely associated with men whose public lives stood or fell on their adherence to principle. Neither you nor Rann—it seems—elected to adhere to the principles espoused by your mentors.

    How did this come to be?

  166. sg

    Looks like the opposition have fucked it up. Lost the battle and lost the war. Good job, Abbott, you stupid bigoted little shit.

  167. Patrickb

    @142
    “I mentioned the work mostly to explain my two hours’ absence and to suggest that I’ve got other things to do, unlike some LPers who strike me as having too much time on their hands.”
    Well I think spending two hours at a Chinese restaurant discussing an obscure cleric can be fairly characterised as having too much time on your hands as well. Perhaps if you’d spend a bit more time on considering the question at hand and less time on the pork buns we’d have a basis for discussion.

  168. Pavlov's Cat

    Pulteney references won’t qualify, I’m afraid, however hilarious.

    You know not what you say. I am however pleased to see that someone appreciates a carefully placed comma and I will try to put in a grammar joke somewhere just for you.

    But since you seem to know something about Adelaide schools, here’s one you might get:

    It’s the Head of the River and there’s an elderly woman standing on the bank watching the rowers. Nearby there’s a Woodville High boy, a PAC boy and a Saints boy.

    The PAC boy asks the woman if she would like a chair, but doesn’t do anything.

    The Woodville High boy doesn’t say anything, but goes and gets a chair.

    The Saints boy sits down in the chair.

  169. Pavlov's Cat

    sg at #170, thanks for that link. Excellent timing.

    Is it just me, or do both Bowen and Stephen Smith appear to be emerging as persons of some force and principle? Bowen toughed out the rabble at Inverbrackie quite courageously, I thought.

  170. Lefty E

    Great link, SG: it looks like the ALP has finally decided to stand up for something and take the Lib Ghouls head on.

    Alright!
    http://www.smh.com.au/national/labors-call-fear-extremists-not-migrants-20110216-1awmn.html

    My prediction: complete victory. Stand up more often – youll find the Libs got nuthin but bluster, bluff, and media apologists.

  171. Lefty E

    Thanks Jane, I must confess I wuz only half-listening to lateline at the time.

  172. wbb

    yes, I agree, PC – Bowen has always impressed me (once I got over his chin.) Where’s he from?

  173. Patrickb

    “As I said at 142, in response to a snide remark by Patrickb”
    I suppose I could have said that my absence was due to the fact that I was reviewing my photographs of churches built by Mons. Hawes in the Geraldton diocese taken in the late 1990s at the request of my late mother (she wasn’t late then). But then I’d be lying, I was drinking beer and watching MKR. I mean in the end, do we need gratuitous yum chum references? Where’s the actual defense of the “Morrison is scum” thesis?

  174. wbb

    “do we need gratuitous yum cha references?”

    I think that in order to stay true to character that, and depending upon who we are*, we actually do, Patrickb.

    Nevertheless, nobody, no matter who, should refer to their lunch (nor, and neither, any other digestive matters) more than once per thread.

    * eg CP is clearly a culinarist. And he should never be overly despised for it.

  175. Lefty E

    Am I dreaming, or did the ALP just return fire on a Liberal wedge issue?

    FFS COME ON ALP!! The Libs are RUBBISH, when are you going to learn its only your cowardice that makes them look competitive.

    When you dont disagree – people assume
    a. the Libs must’ve been correct after all, even though they just looked nutty
    or

    b. the Libs are wrong, but youre too pissweak to say it. Either way they wont vote for ya.

    I like Bowen’s form here. Stop cowering and call the charge! The Libs’ll split like nine-pins.

  176. terangeree

    May I take this opportunity to apologise for my absence from this thread until now? I’m afraid that I went for a drive to Onomichi and back, after which I bought the beloved an engagement ring and then proceeded to get trounced in a 10-pin bowling contest (even the four-year-old future-stepdaughter got a higher score than I did).

    No yum cha was consumed, and no early 20th-century Australian clergymen were discussed at any time during the day — but yesterday’s snowman was mourned and a sandcastle was built.

    As for the outpourings of Morrison & co, about the only apt reference to those supposed Christians is John 11:35.

  177. Paul Burns

    Feral Abacus,
    No. Just an observation on it general zeitgeist re what writers choose to write, but especially CP as he is apparently writing a bio of a Catholic bishop.
    Now, whatever my differences with Christopher on the ideological/political level, I think its unfair to citicise any writer for the subject they have chosen to write a book on. Picking a topic to write a book about is not as easy as it looks. Apart from having to take into consideration whether people might buy it, there is the problem of finding a subject that interests, intrigues and fascinates you for years, because if its a biography, as Christopher’s book sems to be, or a history, that is how long its going to take. Unless you’ve been commissioned to write the work, where the contract keeps you going, your own interest in the topic has to be sustained throughout the time it takes to write the book, so youi finish it. Many a work lies fallow or unrevised in the bottom drawer because an author lost interest.

  178. Mercurius

    @169…

    So I’m reasonably confident that you would have been privy to the first-hand testimony of more than a few wartime refugees from Eastern Europe. That you would be aware that very few refugees would be able to acquire much in the way of documentation. Indeed, that the chaos and anarchy of societies riven by war would subvert documentation. That wealth and privilege could be fleeting, and that criminality was often a prerequisite for survival. That the notion of an orderly queue was nonsense.

    Yep, Feral Abacus, that pretty much describes my grandparents. Overnight, they went from being basically bourgeois, assimilated, urbane, Austrian Jews — to boatpeople. Stateless, with incomplete or missing papers, and they escaped Vienna, and thence to England, by both fair means and foul, after my grandfather was abducted (and, incredibly, found again after 6 months). He wore long-sleeved shirts with high collars until his dying day, to hide the scars on his neck, back and arms.

    When I hear the Pearsons and Charlies and others of this world, who throw around terms like ‘illegal’ with gay abandon — well I can’t print the thoughts that go through my head — but suffice to say that anyone who seeks to impugn my grandparents in this fashion, if they said it to my face, would probably be on the receiving end of a bit of ‘illegal’ action themselves…

    They are not ‘cases’. They are not ‘illegals’. They are, first, foremost and always, people FFS. And as soon as I hear the sort of language that seeks to depersonalise and dehumanise them, well, I know exactly what and who I’m dealing with at that point…

  179. Mr Denmore

    Five dollars each from 60,000 Australians would pay for the funeral and shut the politicians up.

    See The Failed Estate: This is Australia?,

  180. Katz

    Re “illegal”.

    These folks are perfectly within their rights under Australian law to seek political asylum.

    Only after their claims to refugee status have been investigated and found inadequate can their status in Australia be deemed “illegal”.

    Even Howard recognised this fact. The vast majority of the people he shunted off to Nauru were eventually found to be legitimate asylum seekers.

    Charlie may have an excuse for his ignorance. Christopher Pearson, as a shaper of public opinion (god help us) does not.

  181. Christopher Pearson

    Katz @ 184
    I think you’ll find I use the term unauthorised arrivals, not illegals.
    Mercurious @ 182
    Threats of violence may be cathartic but don’t assist debate.
    Paul Burns @ 181
    I’m not writing the book, just editing it.
    terangeree @ 180
    I was the main target of questions and attacks at the time and I thought it ordinary courtesy to explain my absence.
    patrickb @ 177
    You’re getting snider. Has it occurred to you that Clune was and remains far less obscure than you are?
    Feral Abacus @ 169
    There are vast differences between the varying circumstances of contemporary boat people and refugees from Eastern Europe in the 1940s, so I don’t accept the premiss of your first question.The second question is just impertinent and I’ve no intention of responding to it.

  182. Wantok

    The real question to me is for how long will the Liberal party allow their franchise to be trashed by Abbott, Morrison, silly Sophie et al.
    Joe Hockey is coming through as a moderate in this climate and is starting to look like a statesman. Ultimately the Liberal stalwarts will dump Abbott as he is ahowing no signs of leadership or character and is, in the final crucial analysis, unelectable.
    Malcolm has stayed in politics because he has been assured that his day will come, when the time is right and that time is rapidly approaching.
    My guess is Hockey as the next leader with Turnbull as deputy and treasurer;forget about Robb that’s just too silly for words.
    Timing is important and late 2011 is about right.

  183. wbb

    Too harsh, Katz.

    Public opinion shapers need to take time out too, occasionally. They cannot be expected to remain abreast of all the latest developments in obscure international conventions and protocols.

    If CP has made an honest mistake over yum cha, then it would behoove us all, as gentlemen, to gloss over his embarrassment and change the subject.

  184. sg

    There are vast differences between the varying circumstances of contemporary boat people and refugees from Eastern Europe in the 1940s

    Yes, contemporary boat people are muslims.

  185. Lefty E

    Yes, its quite lawful – under the Australian Migration Act, – to arrive onshore, without a visa, and seek asylum.

    If it was “illegal” they would be charged.

    I ask several people on this thread to contemplate that: why aren’t they EVER CHARGED if this activity is “illegal”? Under Howard, under Rudd, under Gillard – asylum seekers were not charged with offences.

    Answer: becuase its not an illegal activity.

    Christopher is right to use the term “unauthorized arrivals”. Obviously, if you dont have a visa, your arrival is ‘unauthorised’.

    That doesn’t make it “illegal” – as Australian law provides an exception for asylum seekers found to be genuine refugees.

    This confusion is heightened by detention: asylum are not in jail. They haven’t been charged with anything. They are in administrative detention. This means there has been no judicial process, they are there on executive order, for a certain purpose (assessment for convention status).

    We have this old thing called Habeas Corpus which prevents the King locking up subjects arbitrarily without due judicial process.

    Thats why ‘Administrative detention’ is never described as a punishment – even though it kinda is one. The whole notion of ‘administrative detention’ is deeply foreign to 800-year old, fundamental precepts of English common law. Ut exists in the realm of “exceptions” – albeit increasingly common ones. Thats why it will always remain controversial to some degree – though the High Court has found the practice lawful.

  186. Charlie

    My understanding now is that ANY person can arrive and seek asylum. An asylum seeker is different to a refugee. Both are subject to due process of investigation of their claims…under UN stuff etc… and neither really relate to immigration, as such. Had always put most in the same boat before – so to speak – nice to clarify the distinctions.

  187. Christopher Pearson

    wbb @ 187
    I replied to Katz at 185 pointing out that there was no “honest mistake” to gloss over. The term I habitually use, in the light of the conventions, is unauthorised arrivals, not illegals. There’s a word for this kind of ganging up. It’s called verballing.
    sg @ 188
    Some are Muslims. Some, like the Tamils, are not. But the differences I was alluding to have nothing to do with race and a lot to do with relative ease of access to transport and safe first ports of call.

  188. adrian

    An asylum seeker end up being a refugee if their claims for asylum are found to be genuine.

  189. FDB

    Charlie, it’s simpler than that.

    Seeking asylum and claiming refugee status are one and the same.

    If you are found to be a genuine refugee, then asylum can be granted on that basis.

  190. adrian

    ends…

  191. adrian

    snap!

  192. Lefty E

    That’s right:

    “Asylum seekers” are not doing something ‘illegal’. (as opposed to people smuggling, which is most definitely illegal – thats why they get charged and asylum seekers don’t)

    Moreover, most asylum seekers in Australia aren’t even “unauthorized arrivals” – as the vast majority arrive by plane with some sort of valid visa. These people live in the community while processing takes place, they are never detained.

    I might add, the 10-12% of asylum seekers who do not meet the convention test are not charged with anything either. however, if you’re unsuccessful youll be deported, asap, as you have no valid visa nor valid claim to one.

  193. billie

    Aren’t the conditions in immigration centres worse than those in gaol? As well as being expensive to run detention centres the people incarcerated within them generally turn out to be genuine refugees. Australia says its safe for them to return home yet has travel warnings against Australians visiting those countries.

    Are Liberals concerned about reducing government spending or about reducing size of the government budget. If reducing government spending is the aim, then paying Serco to run immigration detention centres works, but if the aim is to reduce the governmnet budget then releasing asylum seekers into the community is cheaper. It used to cost more to gaol a prisoner than keep them in a Hilton hotel – and Christmas Island is so remote the costs of flying in prison staff, flying in food, shipping in building material, vehicles would easily double or treble incarceration costs.

    I grew up with a Mr Denmore vision of Australia so I would like to see all have the opportunity to be the best they can, rather than engineer 15% unemployment rates to reduce wages, working conditions and the financial security to plan for the future.

    Why is Christopher Pearson spouting his claptrap here, if we wanted to know what he thinks we would buy The Australian. There are limited places to hear a non-News Corp world view without NewsCorp hacks invading this space.

  194. FDB

    “Why is Christopher Pearson spouting his claptrap here, if we wanted to know what he thinks we would buy The Australian. There are limited places to hear a non-News Corp world view without NewsCorp hacks invading this space.”

    I disagree completely. LP regularly calls attention in posts to what’s going on in the MSM, and for an MSM practitioner to come here and engage politely with his detractors is evidence of actually giving a shit. While I usually disagree with his views (and partly because I do), his presence here is less pernicious than that of someone who thinks dissenters should STFU.

  195. jane

    Mercurious @182, hear! hear! I’m heartily sick of seeing and hearing asylum seekers referred to as “illegals”, a term used to dog whistle the ignorant and politically disgusting, all for the sake of cheap political capital.

  196. Mercurius

    Mercurious @ 182
    Threats of violence may be cathartic but don’t assist debate.

    Oh for goodness sake, Christopher, will you un-clutch those pearls for half a second and get it into your head that the term ‘illegal’ is false, misleading and innacurate?

    And don’t you dare repeat it about boat-people — that’s my grandparents you’re talking about. Catharsis be damned — who the hell are you to impugn their memory with your false, misleading, innacurate labels? You’re the one throwing around verbal punches, and you want to get all precious about the response — well, you said it, you can damn well wear it. Typical chickenhawk conservative can dish it out but can’t take it.

    And you if you wilfully continue to repeat falsehoods, inaccuracies and make misleading statements, then you are in no position to lecture me about what doesn’t and doesn’t assist debate.

  197. adrian

    Yes indeed jane, the continued use of the term ‘illegals’ is either a display of gross ignorance or gross dog whistling – either way it’s pretty contemptuous, and symptomatic of a sickness in our society.

    Of course Christopher Pearson is welcome to ‘invade this space’ – I actually think it’s quite elightening to have his point of view subject to intelligent criticism and to appreciate the disengenuousness that lies at its foundation.

  198. adrian

    “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” ???

  199. CJ Morgan

    I for one appreciate CP’s willingness to explain himself here, even if he does so disingenuously. Also, the fact that he’s a well-known trencherman shouldn’t be held against him.

    That doesn’t mean I don’t think he’s an odious and gluttonous toad who functions as a shill for the forces of darkness – but at least he’s an engaging toad.

  200. Fine

    Mercurius, the pearl clutching is obviously one of Christopher’s strategies for avoiding debate. He gets to say hideous things such as Abbott’s response was “reasonable”. You don’t get to speak the truth ‘cos it’s all too shocking. OMG – someone threatened violence! OMG, someone said “Scum”.

    But of course, spreading misleading information does assist debate.

  201. jane

    Christopher Pearson @185, perhaps you’re unaware that there was a war raging in Europe in the 1940s with millions of displaced people fleeing persecution and searching for refuge.

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but there isn’t a war in Europe at the moment and a dearth of European refugees.

    In the here and now, Iraq, Afghanistan, the horn of Africa and Sri Lanka are the contemporary hot spots with millions of displaced people fleeing persecution and searching for refuge.

    Watch this space for more refugees from Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen, Iran and Egypt.

    Same horse, different rider.

  202. Christopher Pearson

    FDB at 199,
    Thank You
    Mercurious at 201,
    That’s the second time you’ve invoked the clutching of pearls, as though I were a character out of Little Britain. I wouldn’t mind if it were true but…
    As to getting it into my head that asylum-seeking is not illegal, I refer you to all my comments on this thread, where I talk about unauthorised arrivals and specifically to 185 and 192. How much clearer can I be?
    The only particular accusation you make against me is demonstrably wrong and the rest of your comment seems to me more of a rant than an argument.

  203. Fine

    Christopher, I agree that some of the invective flung your way has been rude and unnecessary.

    It’s obvious that you don’t know a great deal about the issue of asylum seekers. Lefty E @ 103, 136 and 190 and Katz at @122 have been kind enough to supply information. You could also talk to the people at the Asylum Seekers Resource Centre, assuming you haven’t done so already.

    After that, would you write an opinion column in the Oz, that is actually factual and sets a few people straight, rather than continue on repeating the same tired, old lies? (They destroy their papers etc).

  204. Charlie

    From a little further reading it would seem that refugees are ‘off-shore’, whilst asylum seekers are ‘on-shore’….nothing illegal about either.

    But, as with any system, there are always those who will try to rort it. And I guess that is what the ‘administrative detention’ process is all about – trying to weed out such people.

  205. The Feral Abacus

    Christopher Pearson

    First you instruct me to get a grip, now you declare me impertinent. In doing so, you reveal something of yourself, I think.

    You came here initially criticising the language some commenters directed at the Leader of the Opposition. Fair enough. Since then you’ve become mired in a debate to which you have responded with some very limp Howard-era rhetoric. You repeatedly ignored Joe2’s salient question, and you have become dismissive and condescending, raising all manner of trivial objection to avoid engaging with the guts of the argument.

    Like a number of other commenters, I normally enjoy your presence at LP. Reasoned argument well expressed: I don’t need to share your politics to appreciate your contributions and your willingness to engage with a contrary view. On this occasion, however, you disappoint.

    I’d hazard a guess that the explanation is that no reasoned defence of Morrison’s remarks exists, that Abbott’s venal opportunism cannot be convincingly explained away. And that you have no grounds upon which to justify your position.

  206. FDB

    CP – no worries. We all know what Voltaire didn’t say on the matter, but might have had it occurred to him.

    Also, as Jesus probably didn’t say, let him who is without douchebaggery cast the first stone.

  207. Trevor

    CP. I have been following this post with great interest waiting for you to provide a response to the core point. I.E. The politicisation of the funerals by Abbott and Morrison. It is disappointing that you instead selectively chose posts which you could feign indignation, then chastise those contributors. Perhaps to then use this indignation to rationalise dismissal of the entire topic.

    Do we have to go to the confines of a Quadrant meeting to get these views? Are they so sensitive that they cannot be spoken outside of a forum of committed fellow travelers.

  208. Christopher Pearson

    Feral Abacus, I’m sure you understand why I find the second, highly personal, question and its derogatory suggestion about not adhering to principle impertinent.Not to mention the comparison with Rann. If not, I daresay Dr Cat could explain it for you.
    The tone of the rest of your comment wobbles uncertainly between an attempt at fair-mindedness (I’m all in favour of that) and de haut en bas dismissal out of hand of my arguments… limp Howard-era rhetoric…trivial objections…no reasoned defence exists..no grounds to justify a position.
    I answered Joe 2’s question, after the monstrous-even-to-mention yum cha which so upset you, even if you don’t like the answer I gave.Most of the thread seems to me an exercise in moral vanity, in the form of confected indignation. Much ado about not much, certainly nothing to warrant cries of “scum”.

  209. terangeree

    How did this all metamorphose into a discussion of Christopher Pearson’s pearls? I thought it all started off with Scott Morrison’s comments…

  210. Christopher Pearson

    Trevor, I said in response to what you call the core point, that the funerals were inevitably going to be politicised by both major parties and the refugee lobby. This was greeted with much disdain and low marks out of ten for yours truly. (BTW, am I right in thinking a lot of LP people are part-time tutors and underemployed sociology graduates?)
    As a prime example of ALP politicising the funerals, take Chris Bowen’s hard-line insistence on sending the orphaned boy back to Christmas Island with the insistence that procedures must be followed, even if it means the boy’s reunion with his remaining family is needlessly delayed and he has to make two 5000k flights. Are we really expected to believe that no consideration of releasing him into his uncle’s care took place in the intervening two months? Are you convinced that Bowen’s stance was innocent of any attempt to appeal to One Nation’s former heartland?

  211. joe2

    My question @112 framed for the third time after it had been studiously avoided….

    Mr Pearson, how would you personally describe the behavior of Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison in politicizing the funeral of people who have died in such a tragic way?

    Christopher’s long awaited non [email protected]

    I think it rates about as high on the scale of offence as the PM junking the rule on bipartisan civility on the day of a military funeral on Monday.

    Sheer obfuscation and it is obvious to everyone except Chris.

  212. David Irving (no relation)

    Particularly, joe2 @ 217, as Abbott ditched bipartisan civilty last year sometime.

  213. billie

    Across at ABC Unleashed Asylum Policy debate Marilyn Shepherd says its takes 18 hours to process the paperwork so I see no reason why the Department of Immigration couldn’t get their skates on to complete processing of the 9 year old orphans application so he could remain in Sydney. Or for that matter the other funeral attendees applications – unless they are going to be returned to their homelands countries of origin

  214. Trevor

    Sorry CP I was having trouble identifying which of your posts you gave your view on Abbott & Morrison’s treatment of the funerals. Is this it?

    “The funerals were always going to be politicised one way or another by the major parties, not to mention by refugee activists. Those who specialise in taking offence at “insensitivity” were always going to do so, however great or small the provocation. I think it rates about as high on the scale of offence as the PM junking the rule on bipartisan civility on the day of a military funeral on Monday.”

    So that’s it? When Morrison & Abbott take advantage of something as sensitive as the funerals of children we have to accept that, oh well it was always going to be politicised. It reminds me of the old footy line of “get your retaliation in first” to justify going the biff.

    I will withdraw now shaking my head at the shallowness of this justification. Before I do though, for what it is worth. I do not believe it was a given the event would be politicised. There probably would have been some comments from advocacy groups but they would have been just that, comments by advocates, not comments by the leaders of a major political party reflecting the views of the alternate government.

  215. adrian

    “(BTW, am I right in thinking a lot of LP people are part-time tutors and underemployed sociology graduates?)”

    No, but it’s always good to get these suggestions out there when you’re intent on dealing with anything but the subject of the post.

  216. Katz

    Christopher Pearson @ 192:

    Some [asylum seekers] are Muslims. Some, like the Tamils, are not. But the differences I was alluding to have nothing to do with race and a lot to do with relative ease of access to transport and safe first ports of call. [My emphasis]

    Another example of “opinion-shaper” ignorance.

    Under the relevant international conventions, to which Australia is a signatory, a refugee is entitled to achieve asylum only in nations that have subscribed to the relevant conventions.

    No nations in South and South East Asia are signatories to those conventions. If these refugees had passed through at least one signatory nation en route to Australia, then Australia would not be required to entertain their applications for asylum. For example, if Indonesia were a signatory, Australia would be well with its rights to ship asylum seekers back to Indonesia. Sadly, however, this is not the case. And it is not the case for Iran, Pakistan, India, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, or Singapore.

    Alone among the nations of or broad region, Australia made a commitment to honour refugee conventions. And these conventions can be honoured only by ascertaining whether or not asylum seekers have passed through a signatory nation. If they have not, then Australia is committed to assessing their status as persecuted individuals.

    Thus CP’s term “safe ports of call” can only mean a nation whose government has committed itself to honouring international conventions on refugees. Australia is the only nation in this region that has committed to honour the commitment not to ship persecuted persons back to their countries of origin.

    Nations that have not honoured those conventions may without breaching their own laws simply ship refugees back to places of perhaps mortal danger. Such a place cannot by any stretch of the imagination be described accurately as a “safe port of call”.

    In our region only Australia is a “safe port of call”.

  217. joe2

    “No, but it’s always good to get these suggestions out there when you’re intent on dealing with anything but the subject of the post.”

    Indeed, adrian, notice also how Christopher eagerly grabs hold of the Barrie Cassidy and Jon Faine inspired escape hatch that handily draws attention away from the nasty little liberal turds that he seeks to defend.

  218. Trevor

    “(BTW, am I right in thinking a lot of LP people are part-time tutors and underemployed sociology graduates?)”

    Cant speak for the rest Chris but I employed full time as a consultant in satellite communications. I just have the luxury of working from home when not traveling.

    Your disparaging comment seems to reflect the view that you consider those who disagree with you as not worthy of being taken seriously. Or is it that you are more comfortable with an audience that has trouble stringing sentences together?

  219. Katz

    (BTW, am I right in thinking a lot of LP people are part-time tutors and underemployed sociology graduates?)

    I guess that you would no more correct in thinking that than I would be correct in thinking that the Australian’s columnists are a pack of self-righteous, intellectually lazy, adipose lunchalots.

    I, for one, cannot be described as a “part-time tutor and/or underemployed sociology graduate”.

  220. Fine

    Christopher, Katz @ 222 has just given you some more education. So, I ask again – are you going to write a column in the Oz about the facts relating to asylum seekers?

  221. Christopher Pearson

    Katz at 222,
    When I say safe first ports of call, that’s exactly what I mean. THe context of the sentence was the East European diaspora and places like Beirut or Harbin, compared to today’s conditions, and no amount of logic-chopping on your part can turn first safe ports (eg Djakarta) into signatory nations to the refugee conventions , thanks all the same.
    Trevor at 220,
    Sorry to disappoint, but you don’t seem to have taken on board my example of ALP politicising, which to my mind is far more egregious in terms of gratuitous human suffering. In the insensitivity stakes, isn’t that the real benchmark?

  222. sg

    Pearson, with that sociology graduate comment you’ve passed from idiot to troll. Who’d have thunk it? A right-wing columnist who’s also a troll…

  223. Fine

    You actually didn’t understand Katz, did you, Christopher? Djakarta isn’t a safe port of call precisely because it hasn’t signed the relevant UN convention. Jesus wept. Is it that hard to understand?

  224. The Feral Abacus

    No Fine, not hard to understand, but impossible to concede.

  225. Trevor

    CP I am trying to withdraw but you keep baiting me back. You may note the title of this topic “The Liberal Party reaches for new lows” . I would be happy to engage on the topic of ALP behavior elsewhere. There is certainly no lack them on News Ltd sites. I am equally comfortable with being critical of the ALP.

    But this topic is specifically about the behavior of Abbott & Morrison in politicising the funerals. You should give up on trying to hijack it on to something that you are more comfortable with. If you dont like reading the views of people you don’t agree with why bother getting involved?

  226. Katz

    CP:

    When I say safe first ports of call, that’s exactly what I mean. THe context of the sentence was the East European diaspora and places like Beirut or Harbin, compared to today’s conditions, and no amount of logic-chopping on your part can turn first safe ports (eg Djakarta) into signatory nations to the refugee conventions , thanks all the same.

    This paragraph is opaque.

    1. Your only reference to “safe ports of call” was @ 192 where you mention Tamils and Muslim, but nothing about any “East European diaspora”.

    2. Tamils and Iraqi Sunni seek refuge in the era after the Refugee Conventions. Why even mention Beirut or Harbin, whose refugee heydays were in an era devoid of the institutional arrangements that arose after WWII.

    3. Your reference to “Djakarta” makes no sense at all. What point are you trying to make?

    I haven’t ignored your ALP remark. I don’t believe it is pertinent to our present discussion.

    I note, however, that you have not acknowledged my repudiation of your claim @ 102 that a large number of asylum seekers have chosen to destroy perfectly legal travel documents acquired in their own nations.

  227. Charlie

    (BTW, am I right in thinking a lot of LP people are part-time tutors and underemployed sociology graduates?)

    I think that’s funny. Sort of a 6th grade level attempt at an insult … but its funny.

  228. Razor

    @69 – maybe because Travel Insurance has an exclusion clause for Acts of War and civil disobedience including terrorism and therefore the Government stepped in just as it does, for example, to get all those dual nationality Lebanese Australians out of Beirut when things get tense.

    Also, the major difference is that the AUSTRALIAN citizens killed in Bali are AUSTRALIANS and the illegal entrants on Christmas Island are not.

  229. sg

    “illegal entrants”… wow Razor you’re really keeping up, aren’t you?

  230. adrian

    Either Razor’s a slow learner or he can’t read. Or maybe both.

  231. Trevor

    “Also, the major difference is that the AUSTRALIAN citizens killed in Bali are AUSTRALIANS and the illegal entrants on Christmas Island are not.”

    Where do you start with this nonsense? I suppose Razor you were out there on Australia day rejoicing in our spirit of fair play and a fair go for all. Just forgot to put the caveats on it eh. Dont you find it amazing that once a victim is a different colour your empathy bypass cuts in.

  232. Razor

    Katz @ 222 says “No nations in South and South East Asia are signatories to those conventions.”

    What happened to East Timor, Cambodia, Phillipines and PNG? Have they pulled out? Good on them if they have.

  233. Fine

    Yes, Razor. Because it’s absolutely fine for third world countries to take responsibility for asylum seekers, but not us.

  234. Razor

    @235 – so change the term to whatever you think best. This isn’t a formal legal document.

  235. Razor

    @239 – Your comment just shows how ridiculously out of date, ineffectual and misguided the current international and domestic arrangements are. Australia should withdraw from the 1959 Convention and amend it’s Migration Act to reflect. That would stop the boats, quick smart.

  236. jules

    Right now we have a Liberal Party that has just tabled a petition to limit Muslim immigration, and that still hasn’t completely distanced itself from the comments of Scott Morrison.

    This is the same Scott Morrison who allegedly promoted a political strategy of exploiting “the electorate’s growing concerns about “Muslim immigration”, “Muslims in Australia” and the “inability” of Muslim migrants to integrate.”

    It seems it was actually Scott Morrison that Lou reed wrote that song (on Street Hassle) about.

    By the way there seems to be a suggestion that some humans are, by definition, illegal. No human being is illegal.

  237. tssk

    I wrote a screed supporting CP criticising the ALP for being worse than the Libs on this. (The Libs are making words while it’s the ALP cruelly ripping the orphened boy away from his family) that seems to have been eaten by the post monster.

    Fortunate then as from another thread it was pointed out that he will be in his aunt’s care. While it’s unclear what the arrangements are (does she have to go to Christmas Island or does he get to stay in Sydney) either way is better than the alternatives.

    If Bowan was dog whistling to One Nation supporters he would have released footage of the crying child being dragged into custody while talking about being ‘tough on illegals.’ Instead of talking about foreigners not being the enemy. If Bowen is trying to get the One Nation and the ‘we grew here you flew here punch on” vote then he’s doing it wrong.

    Oh and Razor at 234.

    Also, the major difference is that the AUSTRALIAN citizens killed in Bali are AUSTRALIANS and the illegal entrants on Christmas Island are not.

    Thankyou. We now know exactly where you stand. I mean, wow. Just wow.

  238. Fine

    Razor, you do understand that calling someone’s actions illegal when they’re not, isn’t just a matter of semantics? That’s quite easy for you to understand, isn’t it?

    But, entering into your very fresh and freewheeling attitude to meaning, I’ll change the term into “people we welcome with open arms, because they need help and we’re responsible international citizens and they’ll become great citizens over time”. There – is that better?

  239. Fine

    @241 – STOP THE BOOOOOOOOOOATS. Poor selfish little petal.

  240. Razor

    Fine @ 241 – so, you are quite happy about the people risking their lives and those of others and costing us billions to try and polic their actions? i doubt you will admit to that, but you do not offer a solution that both allows Australia to regulate who and how many gain entry.

  241. Katz

    Razor @ 241

    Australia should withdraw from the 1959 Convention and amend it’s Migration Act to reflect. That would stop the boats, quick smart.

    So, Razor, the corollary of this statement is that while Australia is a signatory to the Conventions, it is legally bound to adhere to those conventions.

    Thank you for conceding this point.

    Australia is a democracy. You are quite free to mount a campaign aimed at repudiation of the Conventions.

    Good luck with that.

    The kin who requested that the deceased be buried in Sydney are Australian citizens. Shouldn’t their wishes be respected? The deceased died in an attempt to be closer to them in life.

  242. adrian

    But the question is, are the AUSTRALIAN citizens?

  243. Trevor

    “Australia should withdraw from the 1959 Convention and amend it’s Migration Act to reflect.”

    Thanks for this valuable insight Razor. I am sure Scott Morrison will pick up on this if you can muster a few more to email HQ on One Nation letter head. However I don’t like the chances of that getting up, even in the current poisonous environment of the Libs. I think even they would run scared of withdrawing from the 1959 convention.

    So in the mean time, while we remain signatories and there are still people in this country who do have a sense of common decency. Any other ideas?

  244. Razor

    Katz @ 246 – Australia is legally bound by it’s Migration Act. As to the ‘Legal’ Status of International Agreements – that generally depends on how the Government of the day and the Courts of the land sees the politics of complying.

    “The kin who requested that the deceased be buried in Sydney are Australian citizens. Shouldn’t their wishes be respected?” – No. I have rellies all over the place and the Government doesn’t fly me to the funerals.

    Ever tried getting flowers from a Government Department for an employee who has suffered a personal loss? Blood from a stone and yet non-Australians have hundreds of thousands of dollars spent on their grieving.

  245. Kim

    FWIW, I addressed the Chris Bowen claim way up thread:

    http://larvatusprodeo.net/2011/02/15/the-liberal-party-reaches-for-new-lows/#comment-262834

    And Bowen certainly didn’t sound to me as if he were answering questions about the boy with any relish.

  246. Patricia WA

    Malcolm Fraser has made a fine contribution to the multicultural debate over at Crikey. I have long maintained my rage, long after Gough had forgiven him, I imagine. Well today, I recant. He is no longer Kerr’s cur for me. He is an example of a politician who is prepared to stand up and be counted, against the tide of opinion in his party. As he was quite a while ago, when he resigned, I guess. Somehow the things he is saying about multiculturalism today are even more powerful, given the depths to which the Liberal Party has sunk.

  247. Trevor

    Bob Carr has also made a contribution on The Drum at:

    link

  248. Mercurius

    “(BTW, am I right in thinking a lot of LP people are part-time tutors and underemployed sociology graduates?)”

    Former marketing executive in telcos and finance clients, now full-time high-school teacher. When I’m not gardening, or singing, or working on the thesis, or caring for disabled family members, or studying more languages, or…

    Next straw man, next deflection, next Oh! Look over there!…?

  249. Fine

    ““The kin who requested that the deceased be buried in Sydney are Australian citizens. Shouldn’t their wishes be respected?” – No. I have rellies all over the place and the Government doesn’t fly me to the funerals.”

    More ignorance from Razor. The government has a specific disaster fund that flies relatives to the funerals of disaster victims.

    But, let me pick your next line. “They weren’t Australian citizens”. Spare me your crocodile tears about asylum seekers and how you want to STOP THE BOATS to prevent more tragedy.

  250. Katz

    “The kin who requested that the deceased be buried in Sydney are Australian citizens. Shouldn’t their wishes be respected?” – No. I have rellies all over the place and the Government doesn’t fly me to the funerals.

    Pay attention Razor. The remains were flown to the Australian relatives.

    Let me clarify this point for you:

    The Australian relatives live in Sydney. The remains were flown from Christmas Is. to Sydney.

    Get it?

  251. Joe

    Our politicians should perhaps in the interest of good governance discuss the boundaries of political speech.

    In particular, why isn’t their a discussion about not so much the meanness or pettiness of the Liberal Party position on this but as well what this kind of politics says about the Lib’s ability to actual govern the country. Can you imagine these people actually being in charge of the country?

    This whole method of having a couple of loose cannons, firing away on the fringes of the parties only to hide them behind individual ‘initiative’ is really becoming tiresome. This has to end. Yes, it was to some extent ever thus, but Howard really perfected it with people like Mr Rabbits, Iron Bar etc. The so-called “attack dogs” (I’m sure this was very ingratiating to Mr Rabbits’ crusading personae.) Well, this is not part of the democratic process– the media is responsible for tarring and feathering these politicians for what they put on the public record. The issue isn’t dealt with or over, when the leader of the party says, “maybe we went a bit too far this time…”

    But, this kind of “drama” sells newspapers and is ideally suited to the media cycle. It’s easy to report and has a short lifespan, but it makes actually governing the country very difficult.

    It doesn’t hurt to remind yourself every now and again of Howard’s objection to “political correctness.” Political correctness is an unfortunate-sounding description of the limits and responsibilities of official political speech. Political correctness is important because it makes politicians concentrate on political issues which have to do with governing the country. Howard, publicly at least, took a flat-earther view of this– “blokes can talk about whatvea they wanna”, while also playing the, government-knows-stuff-which’d-really-scare-yous-card. The visual cue was the shrunken akubra.

    Anyway, lost my train of thought there 😉

    (Someone here should also have a crack at answering the question, Why the nation should pay for the travel costs of the relatives of the deceased and survivors of the Christmas boat sinking to go to the funeral? Shouldn’t be that hard.)


    su, I was too slow replying on the other thread. But you’re right, I flounced out and now I’m slinking back in. Youtube link was fun. What is it with these death metal bands?

  252. Christopher Pearson

    Katz, I can’t tell whether you’re being wilfully blind or just regard our argument as a strenuous version of tennis. Plainly, I was comparing the different circumstances of the European diaspora and present-day boat people and declining to accept the premiss of Feral Abacus’s first question at 170.
    If you go back, you’ll see there’s nothing opaque about the distinction between safe first port of calls then and now and no surprise in invoking somewhere like Harbin as an example of the former, in the same way Indonesia is today. IE, a place to stay where you won’t be in grave danger but not a permanent home.
    I remain unpersuaded by your other attempts at correction too.

  253. Katz

    CP, you are either unacquainted with the provisions of the two major conventions relating to the status of refugees, both of which Australia has subscribed to, or you recognise that thet do your argument no good at all.

    I remain unpersuaded by your other attempts at correction too.

    Seeing as we are having a public conversation, I’ll treat this fact as a victory as well.

  254. Fine

    Christopher, are you being wilfully stupid now? Indonesia hasn’t signed the relevant UN convention, therefore Indonesia, legally, is not a safe port.

    You may think it is. But to do that means a wilful ignorance about the legal framework surrounding asylum seekers which Australia has signed. What is so difficult about this?

  255. The Feral Abacus

    Christopher Pearson, obviously the circumstances and specifics of each diaspora can not be expected to be identical. But to my mind the similarities greatly outweigh the differences.

    In its focus on the details, your argument recalls the parable of the mote and the beam, ie IMO you are overlooking the obvious and essential aspects of the situation.

  256. terangeree

    “(BTW, am I right in thinking a lot of LP people are part-time tutors and underemployed sociology graduates?)”

    Former Commonwealth Public Servant.
    Former publisher.
    MEAA- and IFJ-accredited journalist.
    Currently driver of trains in SE Qld (a job that pays a lot better than journalism).

    Never tutored, never even considered studying sociology.

  257. Mindy

    @CP – how is somewhere where, as a genuine refugee, you can be sent back to an unsafe place with no right of appeal in any sense a safe port?

  258. Joe

    Christopher,

    You arguments are in the neo-conservative manner, which on a high-level of abstraction is problematic, because neo-conservative arguments are non humanist.

    Neo-conservatism is always to be found in the following constellation:
    1. Nationalism
    2. Religion
    3. Debt-based economy
    3.1 Corporations
    4. micro-management of domestic political issues
    5. reactionary/ small target political strategy

    And generally in that order. (You see the attraction for private media corporations!) I’m not going to discuss the Nationalist and Religious aspects of neo-conservatism, although, the story actually begins there.

    Privatisation has resulted in an explosion of private sector debt and ironically an increase in personal insecurity. People now buy all manner of things on credit, but they don’t own them — this means living with the prospect of having them removed. That makes people anxious about the future.

    Corporations are, contrary to popular opinion, not capitalist entities. Corporations have actually more in common with governments than being actors in a market. There very reason for existence is in fact to obscure the action of markets as they incorporate or agglomerate individual entities into one structure to avoid market interaction. Corporations are about control and they do that by restricting external access to the different component entities of their business(es). Historically the dangers inherent in corporations were a lot clearer than they are today and that’s why corporation law includes gestures of democracy wrt. corporate governance. Nevertheless corporate governance is predisposed to hierarchical command structures so that what we have now is a high concentration of corporate power in few people and market opacity. Does that sound familiar? Corporations rule the economic landscape and pay a lot of the taxes which keep the government in business. That’s why corporations own the government.

    This is another incentive to privatise public assets — at least you get taxes from the services they now supply. But you restrict the ability of governments to actually change things in the societies which they are supposed to govern. The ability of people to decide their future as a political group has been sold.

    A chicken and egg issue is the reduced role of the government. The less willing the government is to govern the easier it is not to. That’s why micro-management is so attractive to conservative governments.

    Join that up with a reactionary small target approach, which practically means having no real policies, just criticisms of the opposition and you have neo-conservatism.

    This boat people episode is a classical example. A signature piece, symbolic, of no real import other than to exclude people and further destroy social cohesion.

  259. joe2

    [email protected] Heather Ewart was further beating the drum on this tonight on the 7.30 Report. Clearly all these sensitive matters should be handed over to ABC Media Staff because they have a natural handle on how to deal with all trauma victims. It must something they pickup from drinking from the collective water cooler.

  260. rainbowdog

    Getting back to first principles. They count with some of us at least.

    Think King Lear, the old king about to be thrown into the storm, legalistically questioned on the cost of his housings:
    O, reason not the need!
    Our basest beggars
    Are in the poorest thing superfluous,
    Allow not nature more than nature needs,
    Man’s life is cheap as beast’s.

    In our modern world the value of a ‘beast’ has been recast (Singer et al) but the old metaphor is still cogent.

    Leaders should rise to the occasion to bring out the best. Not bring us all down, even with the most sophisticated arguments and language.

  261. Baraholka

    Interesting to see Christopher Pearson so active on this thread.

    The embarassment of being associated with Abbott’s rank xenophobia expressed via Morrison has driven CP to strenuous efforts of justification.

    It is rare that exoneration requires more than one Papal Indulgence but CP provided about twenty-five.

    Some stains are harder to get out than others.

  262. Chris

    Kim @ 251 – With the news that the boy will no be brought back to Australia I think Bowen’s comments have now been shown to be just spin. He talks about broad advice to keep the refugees together, but that is specifically within the context of compulsory detention. If that was removed – and there is no reason to keep a 6 year old in detention after health checks – he’s no terrorism threat – I can’t believe the medical advice would be to force the group together for such a long period of time – imagine it was tourist boat rather than a refugee boat.

    I’m not attributing malice to his first reactions, probably no one in his department considered releasing the boy into the community to be a priority prior to the public protests.

    It is however good to see the government respond fairly quickly to the protests about him remaining in detention.

  263. wbb

    Chris Bowen has yet to disappoint in his handling of this matter. Kudos. (Heather Ewart wasn’t listening to any answers.)

  264. jane

    Has the Smuggles Set or any of their lickspittles in the MSM acknowledged their responsibility for the flow of refugees to this country from Iraq and Afghanistan?

    If any of these great “Christians” contained even a scintilla of moral fibre, they would have refused to back Howard’s sycophantic illegal invasion of Iraq.

    If Christopher Pearson wants to talk about illegal, he should look no further than that monstrous act. But like all dingbats, accepting responsibility for their actions isn’t very high on the list of priorities.

  265. wbb

    All the fine distinctions being drawn between illegals and unauthoriseds, first ports and last ports etc – is flimsy cover for pushing our respective views on providing political and religious asylum.

    Those who wish we’d never signed up for the job should just come out and say so. Most countries do not offer asylum protection. Maybe, if we voted on it, Australia wouldn’t either.

    But quit with the bush beating.

    As it stands we have signed a legal instrument that requires that we offer asylum to all who legitimately fear or suffer persecution.

    Our demonisation of those who skipper the boats is couched as concern for the safety of the passengers. Why then do we stop caring about their welfare once they are locked behind razor wire in detention camps. People die in detention camps too.

  266. Mercurius

    On second thought, I don’t think this anti-Muslim shit-stirring is a new low for the Liberal Party at all.

    It’s more like a comfortable groove — a favourite armchair — they’ve settled into since 9/11 and the Tampa.

    It’s funny how strenuously, and often, the Libs have to state they don’t have a problem with Muslims.

    Remember in the dying days of the 2007 campaign, those Liberal trogs — one of the them the husband of a Federal candidate — caught in Sydney distributing fraudulent electoral material that sought to portray a fictional “radical Islam” group as supporting the ALP?

    Their expulsion from the Howard-led Liberal party was swift and summary. But in the Abbott-led Liberal Party of today, their actions seem quite consistent with the views and attitudes of front-bench opposition figures.

    How times change.

    I suspect we’re nowhere near the bottom of the barrel just yet…

  267. Katz

    Their expulsion from the Howard-led Liberal party was swift and summary. But in the Abbott-led Liberal Party of today, their actions seem quite consistent with the views and attitudes of front-bench opposition figures.

    Nice perspective, Merc.

    Let’s not forget that Howard, that maestro of the dog-whistle, began his prime-ministership with an attack on orientals, specifically Chinese, in a play for the xenophobe vote.

    Ironically, Howard’s argument in that case was that the Chinese were integrating too well. That is, through hard work, astuteness and dedication to the ethos of materialism, these Chinese folk were defeating and replacing their lazy, stupid round-eyed neighbours in the plush neighbourhoods, in the respected professions, and in the profitable businesses of the nation.

    Howard was in effect telling Australia’s xenophobes that they should not be expected to overcome their laziness and to educate themselves out of stupidity. Instead, the Howard government would turn Australia into a vast nature reserve to protect and to perpetuate the habitat of the Great Round-Eyed Dodo.

    Now, with “the Muslims”, Liberal rhetoric of hate is inverted. But now, at least, the Libs are back in familiar territory. Everything they now allege about Muslims they used to allege about Aborigines. For proof, recall Howard’s response to the Native Titles Act.

    In short, time’s caravan moves on. And for the Liberal Party the targets of hatred and the rationale for that hatred change. But unchanging since Howard is the willingness of the Liberal Party to whip up a cross-burning mob in the cause of electoral victory.

    Malcolm Fraser understands this political pathology and despairs of the Liberal Party.

    And so should every person of decency.

  268. Paul Burns

    Since I’ve already been a bit blunt on this issue, to CP’s horror:
    Looks like the shit’s hit the fan in the Liberal Party over this/
    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/bs.nsf/Article/Immigration-controversy-rocks-Coalition-report-pd20110217-E6QZL?opendocument&src=rss

    And might I add, along with FDB and others I’m delighted Christopher Pearson comes on to LP to contribute to debate on articles he has written in the MSM. I don’t agree with his political stance at all, but I enjoy his eruditely written responses, even when they’re wrong-headed or just plain wrong. Keep it up. Christopher P.

  269. jane

    @271 Agree, Mercurious. They’re calling in an excavator to find ever more subterranean depths of squalid xenophobia and racist sentiment, hoping no doubt to link up with that other like-minded set of psuedo Christians the Westboro Baptists.

  270. Lefty E

    Yeah, I 2nd or 3rd that. Christopher is polite in his disagreements as well.

    Wbb: I agree with your wider point, but would note that the level of misunderstanding about the legal situation is really quite alarming. I reckon we’d need to clear a lot of that up before any “honest discussion” about the politics could even take place – there’s so much misinfo around.

  271. Fine

    But Lefty E, one of the problems is that Christopher had his “misunderstandings” pointed out to him and the facts explained to him. But, he’s supremely uninterested in this. For instance, his belief that Djakarta is a safe port. It’s just depressing, really.

  272. KeiTHy

    Mark @ 20, we have a racist media because racism keeps everyone divided and angry!

    Wars can be ‘morally’ fought if people are racist enough!

  273. Trevor

    Fine, I think the term may be cognitive dissonance. He cannot acknowledge the flaws in his argument as this would tear away so much he has been part of promoting. How could he join the crowd around the drink cooler with Andrew Bolt, Piers and Janet if he publicly went against their orthodoxy? No more invites to speak at Quadrant, gosh even cardinal Pell may not return calls, let alone Tony.

  274. Fine

    Probably true, Trevor.

  275. jane

    How could he join the crowd around the drink cooler with Andrew Bolt, Piers and Janet if he publicly went against their orthodoxy? No more invites to speak at Quadrant, gosh even cardinal Pell may not return calls, let alone Tony.

    And that’s a negative, Trevor?

  276. joe2

    We all just need to come to terms liberal manliness goddamit….grrrrrr

    http://newmatilda.com/2011/02/17/you-cant-keep-good-man-down

  277. The Feral Abacus

    Paul Burns, I owe you a thankyou for your reply way upthread @182. Having spent a fair chunk of my life in research I can relate to your comments there.

    Just so there’s no confusion, I wasn’t attacking CP re the book’s subject. It was more that his sentence could be read as placing discussion of the tragedy being of less consequence than doing a bit of work while dining out. I don’t for a moment think CP intended to give that impression, but I felt it was worth stating.

    And as it happens, I thought CP was referring to another Patrick Clune….

  278. Pollytickedoff
  279. Pollytickedoff

    The Rabbit never seems to have trouble finding time for sport so why is he having such trouble keeping this committment?

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/the-diary/the-hills-alive-with-hotels-20110220-1b145.html

  280. Mercurius

    Christopher is polite in his disagreements as well.

    Lefty E, you are way more charitable than I.

    I don’t give a **** how f****** politely a monstrous ideology is phrased — it’s still monstrous, and the people who promote it deserve the bucketing they get.

  281. PeterTB

    Fine: Djakarta isn’t a safe port of call precisely because it hasn’t signed the relevant UN convention

    You are clearly not using the phrase “safe port of call” in its normal sense. We know that many refugees spend years in Indonesia awaiting a suitable berth on a people smuggler’s boat. Mustn’t it be reasonably safe?

  282. Fine

    PeterTB, I’m using in the legal sense which reflects Australia’s responsibilities under the UN refugee convention which we’ve signed. Indonesia hasn’t signed this which means refugees can be sent back from Indonesia without due process at any time. Under UN conventions, refugees have to settle in the first safe port they come to, which means a country which has signed this convention. Indonesia is not one of these countries.

  283. Katz

    Are you being deliberately obtuse PeterTB? Or is being obtuse an unavoidable affliction?

    The asylum seekers are seeking ASYLUM.

    Because Indonesia is not a signatory to the requisite conventions it is not a safe port of call for their purposes of self-preservation.

    No one from the xenophobe side of this argument has explained why only Tamils, non Shiite Iraqis and non-Pashtun Afghans find their way to Australia as refugees. Surely there must be SOME Sinhalese, SOME Iraqi Shiites, and SOME Pashtun who wish to become “economic migrants” in Australia. These folks can’t ALL be rich and lazy!

    C’mon xenophobes. Be brave. Answer my question.

  284. PeterTB

    xenophobe

    That’s the opposite of a homophobe, isn’t it?

    SOME Sinhalese, SOME Iraqi Shiites, and SOME Pashtun

    For clarity. Are you asserting as fact that none of these groups have sought the services of people smugglers?

  285. PeterTB

    Because Indonesia is not a signatory to the requisite conventions it is not a safe port of call for their purposes of self-preservation.

    The Indonesians are unable to grant asylum? How odd.

    I bet they could if they wanted to.

  286. joe2

    And what Mercurius [email protected]

    I’ve often noticed the particularly nasty work that comes out of the mouth of some who maintain an excellent facade of civility.

  287. Katz

    Of course they could. So what?

    The subject of discussion here is the state of mind of refugees, not the state of mind of the governing elites of Indonesia.

    If you were a refugee, would you suspect that Indonesia would be more likely than Australia to send you back to the horrors that you fled?

    And what about the Sinhalese, Iraqi Shiites and Pashtuns? You don’t acre to discuss their absence from refugee boats?

  288. PeterTB

    You don’t acre to discuss their absence from refugee boats?

    There are many potential refugee groups absent (if your assertion is correct) from people smuggler boats. Make your point.

  289. Katz

    The point is that members of those groups aren’t seeking refuge anywhere because they are not being politically persecuted, even though many of them are poor.

    It is no coincidence that the refugees are members of subjugated and politically persecuted groups in their own home nations. And further this is one reason why so few of them have valid travel documents.

    This puts the lie to the myth propagated by xenophobes that the refugees are really “economic migrants”.

  290. Katz

    “Media Watch” this evening quoted some twerp Sydney shock jock opining that Australians were never put up at public expense in hotels at government expense like CI the mourners were. And when will the government ever do the like for Australians?

    Well, here is a solution:

    Any Australian who wants to be treated as well as refugees can leave the country, burn her travel documents and board a boat in Indonesia bound for CI. Maybe then she’ll get what she wished for.

  291. PeterTB

    What an intriguing thought. And yet up until 2003 Shiites were certainly the oppressed group in Iraq, weren’t they?

  292. PeterTB

    Sorry Katz – gotta go

  293. Katz

    Yes, and a few Shiites did find their ways to Australia before 2003, though not as many as the torrent of Sunni refugees who fled Iraq after Bush’s “liberation” of the country. About 5,000,000 Iraqi Sunni were displaced, forced to flee or were killed since 2003. On a per capita basis it is comparable with the experience of Europe’s Jews during WWII.

  294. Razor

    @296 – funny you should mention that. At a briefing for the 2011 Fremantle to Bali race two weeks ago the Customs guy said if we stop off at Roley Shoals before putting into Broome to do Customs Clearance we would end up on Christmas Island.

  295. Lefty E

    Well, I dont like to piss in my own pocket, but as predicted at 175 and 180 – the Libs have lost all semblance of discipline, and immediately split in two now Gillard and the ALP are returning fire over wedge issues.

    Charge! Its really time to put these gutter-dwellers to the political sword. Their politics have simply become indecent, an offence to our nation – and its time to nail them for it.

    http://www.theage.com.au/national/one-nation-writes-liberal-policy-20110221-1b2hg.html

  296. Lefty E

    And ….a 2% swing back to ALP in Newspoll. Back to 50-50.

    Im tellin ya ALP – Abbott has put his political goolies out half a mile with his ridiculous flood levy rubbish, his stupid nods to 3-person petitions, his obscene apologies for that funeral-chasing ghoul Morrison, and his bankrupt googling of defunct One nation sites for ideas.

    Chop-chop time. Gillard’s the woman for the job.

    Go in hard Julia. Give us something to vote for.

    (And leave that “im a boring state Premier talking slowly and repetitively about opp-or-tyoon-ni-ty” t-shirt at the door.)

  297. Baraholka

    In the semi-great LP tradition of ponderous verse:

    A bespectacled chef named Scott
    Said “I’ll Cook up an odious pot
    Of Dogwhistles and bile,
    Throw in an insincere smile”
    And Smuggles ate up the lot!

  298. Fine

    Quite right, Lefty E. I watched Q&A last night, which I rarely do and it was entertaining to see the One Nation guy saying he was happy for the Libs to be using their policies. This from a direct question from Tony Jones. Barnaby was there, insulting Tim Flannery, who sadly just had to suck it up.

    As I said above (I’ll do my little bit of boasting), be clear, assertive and don’t back down, even when you cop flack. Run the agenda, instead of responding to the Libs.

  299. Helen

    Lefty E, I’m not rejoicing, because really, if Labor can only get 50-50 with the Libs performing as disastrously as they are doing now, it really says something about the popularity of the Libs’ noxious policies and culture. (And/or the success of the MSM / Liberal framing of everything Labor does as wrong.) All the Liberals seem to have to do is keep breathing in and out and they’ll still be preferred by the oz population.

  300. Trevor

    Was it just me or did Barnaby look a bit depressed on Q&A last night. I got the feeling he could see a strategy unraveling, his normal reflex responses were, to a large part being suppressed. While he could not resist launching abuse on Tim Flannery, he probably new it wasnt going to wash. Perhaps he was just hoping his demographic, whatever that is would watch and clap. Trouble is the same demographic is now suffering from exactly what Tim Flannery can explain and has predicted. Anna Bligh also did a nice job of pricking some of his balloons.

    I especially liked his defense of politicians in that we must be careful who we vote for or we could end up with buffoons in parliament. Somehow I think it is too late.

  301. via collins

    Barnaby unravels in a similar way each time he’s in that situation.

    He starts off smiling and willing, plays his hand, is cut to shreds, and winds up a little sweaty and frustrated on the sidelines. He’s extremely entertaining to watch, and I thank him for being big enough to go through the process, and to take what he does on the chin.

    One Nation guy to audience member Muslim “We have a religion in this country.” We do? That’s news to me, my family, and everyone I know….

  302. Paul Burns

    One nation. Gawd! Where do you Queenslanders get these prople from? 🙂
    But, seriously, Bligh was fantastic, Flannery got his point across despite Barnaby’s idiocy, the Aboriginal woman from the Cape was great, etc, etc.
    Now all the Labor Party has to do is get Rudd to shut up about everything except foreign affairs. At a time he must have known Federal Labor was going up in the polls, and had some vague idea the Libs were tearing themsrelves apart, he spends all his time all day trying to put a spoke in Gillard’s wheel.
    He’s a bloody disgrace and clearly cannot be trusted by his comrades. And he wasn’t as subtle as he thought, either.

  303. Lefty E

    True Helen – early days, but if you look at that latest Newspoll its a 2% swing from a fortnight ago, with a much larger swing to Gillard herself as perferred PM, over the same period (up 5%)

    The latter at least is a very signficant movement – and I for one would expect to see it continue if the ALP puts the foot on the throat at this point.

  304. Nabakov

    “(BTW, am I right in thinking a lot of LP people are part-time tutors and underemployed sociology graduates?)”

    I’ve worked as a salvage diver, tennis pro and copywriter and am currently an interspecies gigolo.

  305. adrian

    PB, do you have any actual evidence to back up your assessment of Rudd as a ‘bloody disgrace’ etc etc?

    I don’t know the feasibility of continuing to blame Rudd for the current predicament in which Labor finds itself where a 50/50 Newspoll is apparently cause for celebration.

  306. terangeree

    PB @ 309:

    …all the Labor Party has to do is get Rudd to shut up about everything except foreign affairs…

    All that I can find that my local MHR (Rudd) has said lately was a vague criticism of the ALP factional system.

  307. David Irving (no relation)

    I reckon Sen Joist was depressed because he’s off the piss. He wasn’t as red-faced as usual, and he wasn’t sputtering quite as incoherently as usual either. (Then again, I only watched about 5 minutes of it, so he may have lit up later.)

  308. Paul Burns

    He did several interviews on the factional thing, but it doesn’t appear to have taken, thank goodness. IMHO, it was yet another bit of petty revenge. And Anthony Albanese wasn’t too happy.

  309. joe2

    Let’s stoop from one Tony Tory low to another. Apparently, we true Aussies do not give a stuff, when disaster hits “foreigners”, because they just aren’t “family”.

    Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says the Coalition supports the measures Ms Gillard has announced, including the donation. “As the Prime MInister has said, New Zealanders are family. They are not foreigners and that’s why this disaster has especially touched the hearts of every Australian,” he said.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/02/23/3146580.htm?section=justin

  310. adrian

    Shit a brick – that’s friggin’ unbelievable joe2!

  311. Trevor

    STOP THE WASTE STOP THE WASTE. How can we be sure the money will be spent wisely.

  312. Lefty E

    Im surprised Tony didn’t come out against the WASTE of sending support to Christchurch, when there’s still flood-affected OSTRAYANS to, erm, deny levied funds to.

    or something. What a twisted clown.

  313. joe2

    Tony almost always stays at the right pitch when the whistle is out.

    I wonder how many people consider what he just said in circumstances like this. You just would not expect an opposition leader to be so creepy. It’s so unexpected and therefore a bit subliminal.

    And you can be guaranteed there was no one from the media pack to ask a follow up question on that; even if they listened hard enough. He has them intimidated.

  314. adrian

    Trouble is 25% of the population agree with him, 25% think a pox on both their houses (notice how the meeja turns any coalition problem into a negative for Labor as well, running this meme), 25% couldn’t care less and the remaining 25% wouldn’t vote for the turd anyway.

  315. CRAIGY

    Lefty e

    “””Im surprised Tony didn’t come out against the WASTE of sending support to Christchurch, when there’s still flood-affected OSTRAYANS to, erm, deny levied funds to.

    or something. What a twisted clown.”””

    So, your upset at something he didn’t say?
    Or he didn’t say what you wanted him to say?

  316. joe2

    CRAIGY= FAIL

  317. GregM

    Im surprised Tony didn’t come out against the WASTE of sending support to Christchurch, when there’s still flood-affected OSTRAYANS to, erm, deny levied funds to.

    Give him time. If he thinks there is a vote in it for him he will.

  318. CRAIGY

    Joe

    Nice one.

    Greg m

    You just did what lefty e did. I expect it from lefty, but you normally don’t resort to that sort of rubbish.

    Eg. “He’s the sort of idiot that would usually say, blar blar blar , so thats proof he’s an idiot.
    OR soon that idiot will say, blar blar blar , so thats proof he’s an idiot.

    It’s a comment that says more about the commenter than subject.

  319. GregM

    CRAIGY it is clear that I have more faith in Tony Abbott than you do. He is not an idiot. He is a supreme opportunist.

  320. CRAIGY

    I agree GregM, and i don’t like him, but to put words in his mouth and then criticise him for those words? If i did the same with Gillard or Brown ,i’d cop a stoning.

    Eg . I’m surprised BoB Brown didn’t say ” the coal companies should pay for the earthquake etc. etc.

  321. Lefty E

    I believe I was pointing out the evident internal inconsistencies it Tony’s approach to disaster and disaster relief using a tool called irony, Craigy.

    I agree with GregM: one thing you can rely on, Tony’s always looking for the angle in these situations. Which one cant *completely* blame a pollie for – but sometimes, its just isnt appropriate.

    He really doesn’t know when to hold em and fold em.

  322. CRAIGY

    “””He really doesn’t know when to hold em and fold em.”””
    True
    He is more a ” sergeant at arms” not a leader.

    As for Gillard, well, she’s a ball watcher,and she’s going to get run out.

  323. Katz

    Abbott with dog whistle welded permanently to his teeth:

    They are not foreigners and that’s why this disaster has especially touched the hearts of every Australian,”

    Shorter Abbott: New Zealand passports aren’t legal documents.

  324. Trevor

    Adrian @321. While you are obviously generalising, the point about the meeja linking the ALP in with the libs woes is valid. There now seems to be a theme running that “both sides have to tone down the rhetoric on refugees”. For goodness sake! The only party which has sought to make this an issue is the Libs through their opportunistic exploitation of xenophobia. The ALP score some points by pointing out the idiocy of Morrison and Abbott’s statements, so now both party’s are equally at fault and should tone it down??

    The ALP do not have a great record in this area recently. They have been cowed into adopting some of the libs draconian approaches to refugees. They can be criticised for weakness but they have not sought to exploit the issue by whipping up fear in the community by demonising a powerless minority. It is only coalition members who have done this and the deserve to be condemned.