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Memo, ‘Cockroach’ Kev, show some leadership on asylum

You can’t triangulate on race. It’s a lesson the Rudd government is learning all over again. There is no limit to how far a declared party of the Right will go, in search of a wedge: so the supposed “centre ground” simply moves further and further away from the comfort zone of a government still aspiring to hold together a “progressive” base of support.

Hence, the synthetic outrage of the coalition, over the arrival by boat of people seeking asylum from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, appears on the “national security” section of the Liberal Party website. It’s not enough, apparently, to portray them as the “bludgers” and “queue jumpers” of yore: they must now be construed as a threat.

Ministers have “lost control” of our borders, say their shadows. The facts bear the same relation to this specious claim as Kryptonite does to Superman. By far the biggest violation of Australia’s immigration procedures is the tens of thousands of over-stayers on work and tourist visas. The biggest groups of them are from the US and UK: so how come Tony Abbott and his mendacious men never mention them?

The inundation metaphors in which this “debate” is conducted — flow, flood, influx, wave — are a dead giveaway. Even well-intentioned radio interviewers struggle for polite ways to put it: what would happen, I have been asked this week, to Australia’s “cultural stability” if we let these people in? Decoded: they’re darkies, mate! Bloody darkies!

Australia’s share of asylum claims is, in global terms, minuscule. In 2008, the Edmund Rice Centre points out, we received fewer than 5000 out of a total worldwide of over 800,000. Nearly a quarter of them were in South Africa, as neighbouring Zimbabwe went into meltdown. Now there’s a country with a problem. Australia — huge, sparsely populated, outlandishly wealthy Australia — doesn’t have a problem.

The issue has been mired in a miasma of misconceptions and misrepresentations only to the extent that ministers themselves — starting with the Prime Minister — have offered no leadership, instead favouring the “cockroach response” — when the light comes on, find a place to hide, hoping to re-emerge when it goes dark.

And what an odd idea of leadership Kevin Rudd seems to have! If it’s true, as the usually well-informed Peter Hartcher told us the other day, that he planned to husband his personal popularity, saving it for health reform and ETS, it shows a fundamental misconception. Substantial sections of the PM’s support came from people who put their faith in him to challenge the certitudes of the Howard years, not go along with them.

The government’s ill-fated bid to defuse “controversy”, by suspending asylum claims for people arriving from Afghanistan and Sri Lanka, looks sicker still this week after a report from the International Crisis Group reminded us of the violations visited on the Tamils in the final months of the civil war, this time last year. Tens of thousands of civilians were killed, it says, citing witness testimony, satellite images, documents and other evidence: most from systematic army bombardments of areas that had been officially declared “safe”.

No wonder the Sri Lankan government is cracking down on journalists and NGOs: it has plenty to hide. More than 100,000 people are still interned, with reports trickling out of maltreatment, r-pes and the mysterious “disappearances” that have been the signature MO of the security forces there for decades.

If people arrive here from Sri Lanka, there is a good chance they have, indeed, fled out of a well-founded fear of persecution. They are not “illegal”, as politicians on all sides of the house well know. They deserve a helping hand: not a deaf ear.

*Jake Lynch is director of the Centre for Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Sydney, and co-convener of its Sri Lanka Human Rights Project

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  • 1
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 19 May 2010 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

    Bravo Jake, what a pack of nasty little cowards we have in train. And the RRT member here had clearly had a gutful of the lies and stupidity. It turns out that we have been paying the Taliban not to fight then gone back on our word and that is why they stopped Afghan applications.

    Too bad that not one word of what they said was the truth and has not a single basis in law.

    http://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/RRTA/2010/328.html

    The US Department of State’s report on human rights practices in Afghanistan for 2009 notes, at Section 2(c):

    Social discrimination against Shia Hazaras continued along class, race, and religious lines. Ethnic Hazaras reported occasionally being asked to pay additional bribes at border crossings where Pashtuns were allowed to pass freely.6

    Section 6 of the report states that Hazaras face economic oppression:
    Ethnic minorities continued to face oppression, including economic oppression. Dasht-i Barchi, one of Kabul’s poorest neighbourhoods, was home to a large Hazara population. Average earnings per day were 13 Afghanis (25 cents) per person, although the minimum wage was 63 Afghanis ($1.25) per day; average household size was nine to 10 persons. In Dasht-i Barchi, 60 percent of all families rented their homes and were therefore subject to landlord exploitation; 50 percent of families’ income went to cover rent, and families moved frequently.6

    More recently, an article published in The Australian on 13 April 2010 cited opinion from a “senior official” within Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency that Hazaras are being persecuted both in Pakistan and in Afghanistan. The article reports:
    The Rudd government’s claim that Afghanistan’s Hazara population is no longer at risk has been rejected in Pakistan.

    Pakistani immigration and human rights officials say Hazaras faced life-threatening persecution on both sides of the border.
    A senior official with the human trafficking arm of the Federal Investigation Agency said yesterday Hazaras were regularly targeted in Pakistan’s Balochistan province, where most of its 500,000 Afghan Hazara refugees were based.

    Immigration Minister Chris Evans said last Friday “the Taliban’s fall, durable security in parts of the country, and constitutional and legal reform to protect minorities’ rights have improved the circumstances of Afghanistan’s minorities, including Afghan Hazaras”.
    But asked if the security situation fhttp://www.austlii.edu.au/au/cases/cth/RRTA/2010/328.html

    The US Department of State’s report on human rights practices in Afghanistan for 2009 notes, at Section 2(c):

    Social discrimination against Shia Hazaras continued along class, race, and religious lines. Ethnic Hazaras reported occasionally being asked to pay additional bribes at border crossings where Pashtuns were allowed to pass freely.6

    Section 6 of the report states that Hazaras face economic oppression:
    Ethnic minorities continued to face oppression, including economic oppression. Dasht-i Barchi, one of Kabul’s poorest neighbourhoods, was home to a large Hazara population. Average earnings per day were 13 Afghanis (25 cents) per person, although the minimum wage was 63 Afghanis ($1.25) per day; average household size was nine to 10 persons. In Dasht-i Barchi, 60 percent of all families rented their homes and were therefore subject to landlord exploitation; 50 percent of families’ income went to cover rent, and families moved frequently.6

    More recently, an article published in The Australian on 13 April 2010 cited opinion from a “senior official” within Pakistan’s Federal Investigation Agency that Hazaras are being persecuted both in Pakistan and in Afghanistan. The article reports:
    The Rudd government’s claim that Afghanistan’s Hazara population is no longer at risk has been rejected in Pakistan.
    or Hazaras in Afghanistan had improved sufficiently for them to return, the FIA official replied: “No, there’s no basis for saying this.”
    “Right now they’re being persecuted on both sides of the border. In Quetta (the capital of Balochistan), eight to 10 Hazaras are being murdered every week. If that’s happening just in Quetta, magnify this problem all the way to central Afghanistan.
    UNHCR Pakistan spokesman Killian Kleinschmidt said he had discussed the persecution of Hazaras in Balochistan with an Australian delegation, ahead of the government announcing the six month suspension on Friday.
    Laurent Saillard, the Kabul-based director for the Agency Co-ordinating Body for Afghan Relief, said while conditions had improved for Hazaras under the Karzai regime, there was no basis for suspending the visas.11

    In respect of the applicant’s claims that the authorities in Afghanistan cannot protect him because the authorities are often the cause of the problem because most of the Government officials are not Hazara, in view of the estimates that Hazaras constitute approximately 10 percent of the population and have not historically not been associated with central government, it is likely that most government officials are not Hazara. The previously mentioned report by DFAT on the situation of the Hazara minority in Afghanistan noted conversations with Hazara rights advocates who had observed that “Hazaras were denied employment opportunities in government agencies through administrative barriers such as requiring a record of past Government experience (which was impossible considering historical circumstances) or needing to be fluent in Pashto”.23 The DFAT report’s concluding comment, however, observed that:
    While unofficial discrimination still persists, there is no doubt that Hazaras are today very active in Afghan civil society, [and] are well represented in government institutions… They have been described, using an Iraq analogy, as the “Kurds of Afghanistan” in that they are making the most of the new dispensation but with a view to past grim history, remain anxious about the future.23

    The US Department of State’s most recent report on human rights practices in Afghanistan observes, at Section 2d, that “human rights problems persisted” in the police force and that:

    The formal justice system was relatively strong in the urban centers, where the central government was strongest, and weaker in the rural areas, where approximately 72 percent of the population lives. Nationwide, fully functioning courts, police forces, and prisons were rare.6

    Against this background of the limited resources available for offering protection, the following observations regarding the endemic nature of official corruption were made at Section 4 of the report:

    The law provides for criminal penalties for official corruption; however, the government did not always implement the law effectively, and officials frequently engaged in corrupt practices with impunity.
    Corruption was endemic throughout society… Prisoners and local NGOs reported that corruption was widespread across the justice system, particularly in relation to the prosecution of criminal cases and “buying” release from prison. Provincial police benefited financially from corruption at police checkpoints and from the narcotics industry.6

    At section 6 of the report, it was noted that:

    Claims of social discrimination against Hazaras and other Shias continued.
    .. Soldiers also reportedly discriminated along ethnic lines when harassing drivers at checkpoints.
    … Discrimination continued in some areas, in the form of extortion of money through illegal taxation, forced recruitment and forced labor, physical abuse, and detention.6

  • 2
    Jeremy Williams
    Posted Wednesday, 19 May 2010 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    yeah its a funny thing, by rudd continuing to move to the right I’m not sure it has helped him politically anyway. Is the red neck vote that he’s chasing going to come back to labour just because he’s promising to be as racist as the coalition? I don’t think so.
    I think rudd would have endeared more respect from both sides if he had of stuck to his principles on this and the ets.

  • 3
    Ian
    Posted Wednesday, 19 May 2010 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I probably should read this article. However if you believe calling the Prime Minister of this country a cockroach is going to help Sri Lankans gain empathy and help from the Australian public;.. you just blew it…. big time.

    Myself, and I suspect many, many others just turned on our deaf ears.

  • 4
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 19 May 2010 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

    Yeah Ian, we know that many are also cockroaches hiding in the dark and pretending the world doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t make it acceptable.

  • 5
    Ian
    Posted Wednesday, 19 May 2010 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

    shepherdmarilyn;
    Over time I have noted many of your posts. In general
    you lambaste and insult any person or organisation who questions, quite honestly, the bonafides and means of transport of some asylum seekers. In the main part, Andrew Bolt, Ackerman et al excepted of course, these are quite reasonable questions…. deserving of answers.
    By insulting the Prime Minister of the nation, and,by default, the Australian people. Do you honestly believe you are helping the cause of those you so dearly wish to help?
    Or;
    Are you doing it to appease your own ego? It has been said that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Are your intentions honourable Marilyn?

  • 6
    shepherdmarilyn
    Posted Wednesday, 19 May 2010 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

    Here is the thing Ian, “Everyone has the right to seek asylum from persecution in other countries’.

    The rest is hogwash. How people travel, who they pay for transport - all irrelevant.

    Always has been and after all these years it is time people got that simple point.

  • 7
    Liz45
    Posted Wednesday, 19 May 2010 at 11:44 pm | Permalink

    Well said Jake and Shepherdmarilyn!

    @IAN-What part of the UN Declaration of Human rights, or the Declaration on the Rights of the Child, plus the Migration Act, plus other aspects of International Law or Australia’s commitment( boasts ad nauseum I might add) to the dignity and rights of others blah blah. Why do successive govts just keep uttering bloody lies on less than 4% of the total number, who seek asylum in this country. As others have pointed out here and on many other occasions, why do successive govts and the media remain silent about the 96% who seek asylum but who’ve travelled here by plane?

    What part of the opposition and media attention is not racist? Those who come by plane usually are white and speak english -surely this could not be the only reason that they are not locked up; in fact, as they’re on the mainland when they submit their application, they’re eligible to use every legal avenue available to me, a person who was born here? Tell me what part of justice do we uphold, knowing that such discrimination is condoned by govts and the media?

    IAN - Just because you can’t understand, that people like SHEPHERDMARILYN(and myself for that matter) have an inate sense of justice and decency doesn’t entitle you to question her genuineness? I take it that the only things you speak out about are aspects of your life that influence your rights or standard of living.

    The UN Declaration clearly states, as ShepherdMarilyn pointed out, that people have the right to seek asylum, and they should not be treated by their mode of travel. Go and look for it! Stop abusing people either because of your racist prejudices or political agenda. This issue is one of human rights and should be treated as such!

    As to your “deaf ears”? Don’t insult my intelligence. Your ears were closed a bloody long time ago - don’t hang your hat on one comment on this site - it’s offensive! Racists are despicable regardless of where they are or what topic they choose to spew forth their irrational and destructive lies re the safety of vulnerable people! One can only hope……………………
    I understand her frustration, as I too just feel like screaming, when govts, the media and people like yourself know bloody well what the law is, or if you don’t, you should educate yourself, but continue to keep on spruiking lying bullshit on a regular basis. What part of seek the truth don’t you understand? Your ignorance is no longer an excuse. The information is available to those who aren’t too racist or bombastic to find it!

  • 8
    Ian
    Posted Thursday, 20 May 2010 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

    LIZ45 and Shepherdmarilyn; What part of PEOPLE SMUGGLERS dont you understand?

  • 9
    Liz45
    Posted Thursday, 20 May 2010 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    IAN - What part of the relevant acts and International Law don’t you understand? During ww2 people bravely hid Jews and others and moved them to safety. The Resistance were involved in what these days would be considered as “terrorist acts” or actions of “insurgents” - those involved in these brave actions during ww2 were in many cases, at least acknowledged?

    If it is not illegal to seek asylum in any country on the planet(or at least those countries, like Australia who’ve made a commitment to the Declaration on Human Rights and the Declaration on the Rights of the Child, plus International Laws that relate to traumatized and tortured people) - this country has never disagreed with Article 14 of the UN Declaration on Human Rights? If this is so, then those who bring them here(or anywhere else for that matter) should be classified as heroes not criminals!

    Less than 4% of asylum seekers arrive by boat - the rest come by plane. Why hasn’t QANTAS been charged with ‘people smuggling’ crimes? Or Virgin or whoever? If Australia gives a dot about the plight of terrorised people, how about we stop killing their family members; stop allowing chn to be locked up and tortured(Iraq and probably Afghanistan too) and cease selling arms and other assistance to Sri Lanka or Papua New Guinea or ?????

    Over 92% of chn from Iran and 98% of chn from Iraq have been found to be ‘genuine asylum seekers’ and in need of our protection - it stands to reason, that their parents are too! Read ‘As a Last Resort’? Go and look for speeches and statements made by Julian Burnside QC, who, PRIOR to taking up the cause of those on the Tampa thought the law pertaining to asylum seekers was OK too! He’s been speaking out about the legal rights of asylum seekers since he availed himself of the Law/s and is more than happy to say he was wrong! The overwhelming number of people who arrive by boat are usually found to be ‘genuine’ in need of our protection. Those who come by PLANE are usually WHITE(UK or US) and speak ENGLISH as their first language. They are entitled to explore every legal avenue as they arrive on Australian soil - they are usually not locked up while their application/s are processed - couldn’t be a case of racism could it? No, surely not!

    SHEPHERDMARILYN - has lots of information that relates to asylum seekers and their LEGAL rights!
    In the meantime, you may like to access this site - ‘Asylum seekers, the facts in figures’ on Crikey!

  • 10
    Ian
    Posted Thursday, 20 May 2010 at 11:29 pm | Permalink

    Liz45;
    What I am saying is quite simple. So i will endeavour to explain it to you and Marilyn in the most simplistic of terms…eg..those you may or, perhaps, not understand.

    The United Nations can enact whatever laws,protocols, International treatises’ that they like. They will never be worth the paper that they are written on. Because if they were;

    Palestine would be a free and independent country, as would Tibet.
    Zimbabwe would still be the food bowl of Africa.
    Need I go on?

    I come from the era of English migration{ 10 pound poms), Yugoslav, Italian, Greek immigration. I even went to school with Latvian kids. I lived the Vietnam war era and saw the the boats arriving.

    Where are all these people now?

    Their children are living and working next to my children and yours. I don’t see any reason why the children of the current asylum seekers will be any different.

    I question three things:

    1.
    Is it acceptable to engage criminals to circumvent the laws of a sovereign nation?
    2.
    Why Australia? Is India, South Africa, both democratic nations, not closer to their homelands?
    3.
    Do you really believe that by calling the Prime Minister of the country a cockroach you have advanced your argument one iota?

    IMO, both of you are dillentantes and should leave reasoned debate to those who have a capacity to open their minds.

  • 11
    Liz45
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    IAN - Again blokes like you resort to the patronising and paternalistic crap that so permeates your terms of reference. many other men have become aware of this trait and endeavour to rise above it, but not blokes like you. It shows how inadequate you are, when you find it impossible to relate to women as people - we’re just objects of your disdain? It’s boring now!

    You failed to even respond to the realities I raised re a comparison to the “heroes” of ww2 who came to the aid of oppressed peoples and virtually saved them from certain torture and death? Why do you insist on ignoring the examples given? They are relevant indeed!

    You also ignore the fact, that Australia via Howard(and now Rudd) went to great, sickening and descriptive lengths(even during hours when kids could hear) of the tortures etc of Saddam Hussein. Not only were we warned of the content of his accusations, but as has been proved, he showed even less consideration for the innocents of Iraq. Now there’s 1.6 million dead, 4 million displaced people, malnutrition and psychological damage to every surviving child is evident and birth defects and child cancers are once again on the rise. In the midst of all this, are the secret jails run by the US in both Iraq & Afghanistan. Women line up each day in a vain attempt to find missing husbands and sons above a certain height? When those lucky enough to survive these horrors believe they have no hope but to leave, they are then locked up in jails, sometimes longer than people who commit armed robbery or kidnapping?

    Successive govt leaders, both state and federal, pride themselves on their fair go behaviours. They resort to reminding us of the reasons for wars blah blah; they preach to our young people about the respect due to others; they make wonderful speeches about being members of the world community, of our high ideals to peace and harmony, how we should all respect the views of others, and the care and nurturing of chn are seen as one of our greatest achievements, either here or anywhere else we may be - even in military uniform. Too many of us have known for many yrs, that this is just tripe! Bullshit! A nonsense! We make much of our participation in the United Nations - we have an Ambassador there; politicians go there to receive ‘hands on’ experience of how it works, and the Rudd govt wants a permanent seat at the ‘table’?

    But, you say, Declarations that we are committed to(because the govt boasts of same) and in fact, it was during the latter days of the Howard govt, we re-committed ourselves to the Declaration on the Rights of the child. Nowhere have I heard or read, either via any elected person, or someone employed to oversee human rights issues, such as the Human Rights Commissioner of Aust. that this country has rescinded its commitment to either this or the more general Declaration on Human Rights! Until that time comes Ian, I’m assuming that our adherence to human rights is SUPPOSED to mean something, not just words. We’ve also pledged to uphold the rights of Indigenous Peoples, but with the removing of the 1975 Racial Discrimination Act, we’ve shown how ‘fair dinkum’ we are about that too!

    The relevant Migration Act/s and International Laws and principles we’ve pledged to abide by states, that people who seek refuge from tyranny and are afraid for their lives, or the lives of those people they’re responsible for(their children) should not be treated any differently because of their mode of transport - this means, that if they arrive by plane, boat, cruise liner or parachute, they’re to be treated in the same manner - this is not happening. The very small number who arrive by boat(less than 4%) are treated in a very different manner by mainstream media and the federal govt.

    The fact that there’s Legislation passed by the Aust govt that is in contravention of other agreements that they’ve entered into, doesn’t make those laws right. Bad laws should be argued against, rallied against and protested about. This is what I and I’m sure ShepherdMarilyn are doing!

    I didn’t write the above article, however, the role that Rudd is taking after making such a case for compassion and blah blah, is worse than one bloody word! He’s gone to ground because he didn’t have the guts to stand up to the Murdoch press - pure and simple. all he had to do, was make an Address to the Nation; give the facts re boat arrivals v/s plane arrivals; speak of the horrors these people are facing each day; tell the people that they’re no threat to our safety(as terrorists arrive legally by plane prior to their activities - alleged 9/11 perpetrators?) and we have an obligation to treat them with dignity and respect, and uphold our allegiance to the commitments we’ve made and taken pride in!

    At any time, there can be up to 50-60,000 people who’ve overstayed their visa/s. Some are never found. some make a claim for asylum and are allowed to live in the community until it’s processed; some fall in love and want to marry etc; some just love the place and want to stay. I don’t hear hysterical outbursts of shock jocks or coalition members or pauline bloody hansen or read about them via piers ackerman and the like! This is pure and simple racist crap that reduces human beings, (some of whom we’ve been culpable in their plight) to treatment that the RSPCA would take legal action about if they were dogs! History has shown many people, adults and shamefully, children, who are traumatized and will be for life maybe, due to the extra trauma inflicted on them by us!

    Now Ian, if you can live with yourself, knowing that your govt and the shameful and disgraceful mainstream media is doing this to people, then good for you. I can’t! I resent your patronising response to people who excercise a right to passionately uphold the rights and freedoms of human beings - many caused by us!

    Cockroach’ is a pretty accurate description. when I put my cockroach baits around, I don’t see any cockroaches for months. That’s what Rudd has done to traumatized people from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. May I suggest you avail yourself of some information/books etc. Start with the Edmond Rice/Justice & Peace info, or read some of the accounts of the asylum seekers. I have assisted at least 2 people to stay here - both were escaping certain death; both ended up requiring psychiatric treatment due to the further detention by this country, and both are young men that I would ‘adopt’ as extra ‘sons’ if I had room in my home to care for them while they gain their University education. A friend of mine is doing just that! An amazing woman with more humanity in her little finger than in all of your patronising and paternalistic body!

    If you think there’s a lot of asylum seekers now, wait until climate change starts threatening to drown our neighbours? This will look like nothing by comparison. What do you suggest we do then? Bring out the military and use tanks and automatic weapons?

  • 12
    Ian
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink

    Liz45

    You can waffle and rant as much as you like. Your still not answering the question I posed?

    Do you believe that by insulting the Prime Minister of the country, and by default, the large majority of Australian people, you advance the cause of asylum seekers.?

    Call me what you will! But how about a bit of honesty? Or, do you believe that asking for an honest answer is being to patronising?

  • 13
    Liz45
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    IAN - You asked for my opinion then call it a “waffle” and a “rant”?
    I didn’t call the PM a cockroach, and you haven’t answered my questions either, but of course, that doesn’t count as your opinion and stance is so superior to mine?

    I don’t think Rudd could care less about name calling! In fact, if reports are true, he can give back as good as he gets - good for him! I don’t think he’s entitled to any more respect due to his position - no more than I am or indeed traumatized people are entitled to respect! This is Australia not the US - we don’t worship politicians here, thank goodness! I believe that what he’s doing is wrong, against the Law, inhumane and gutless! I’m not moving from that position. I think it’s against his so-called christian principles too! How they go to church, knowing that innocent people are being slaughtered is beyond my comprehension? Out of sight, out of mind perhaps?

    I’m not interested in whether my opinion is the same as yours, the PM’s or the rest of the country for that matter. One out of 5 people think that shouting abuse at a woman isn’t domestic violence(recent report Victorian survey) a similar number think that women exaggerate rape and violence claims - I don’t agree with them either. The judge in a recent rape case didn’t think a woman was raped as the alleged rapist couldn’t have removed her “skinny jeans” without her help - therefore giving consent. I think that is appalling! What hope would a tiny person like that have against a bloke? My 2 eldest boys could pick me up chair and all, and move me to another part of the room when they were 10 and 11 or so?

    It was only 20 or so yrs ago when a husband could legally rape his wife in NSW, probably in the other states as well - I didn’t agree with that then or now. We’ve come a long way since then - we will on this human rights issue too! There are heaps of issues that I disagree with this federal govt about, more of the last one and possibly the next one - that’s my right! It’s also my right to passionately defend my position.

    How many books or articles or personal accounts of asylum seekers have you read?

    I object to our military killing people in Afghanistan and Iraq too - not everyone agrees with me - that doesn’t lessen my right to my opinion, or my firm belief that it’s wrong and against the Geneva Conventions - have you even read them? Have you read anything about asylum seekers and the Law? Read the history of the White Australia Policy and some of the ridiculous and horrific injustices metered out over the years!

  • 14
    Ian
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Liz45;

    You still haven’t answered? Once again.

    Do you believe that by insulting the Prime Minister of the country, and by default, the large majority of Australian people, you advance the cause of asylum seekers.?

  • 15
    Liz45
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    IAN - You’re not my bloody father, and I’m not in the witness box. I’ve answered your question - you just don’t like the answer. Answer some of mine! Or, go to hell!

    I don’t think it matters about insulting Rudd - he deserves to be insulted - shake him out of his gutless behaviour. It certainly isn’t as big a crime as locking up innocent people - and that’s what you and those like you omit to acknowledge - these people are not criminals; they’ve not been charged with any crime. You justify locking them up!

  • 16
    Ian
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

    Liz45;

    Presumably, I will travel to hell via the road paved with your good intentions. And you still haven’t furnished a cogent or coherent answer.

  • 17
    Liz45
    Posted Friday, 21 May 2010 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

    IAN - Only by your sexist and paternalistic guidelines. It would never occur to someone like you, that it’s really the action of a person who believes that they have the right to always ‘call the shots’; always set the benchmarks, and of course, always have the last word. You know what? I don’t give a s**t? How about them apples? I’ve given sufficient information that a reasonable and ‘open’ person would recognise as answering the question/s. That I haven’t ‘dotted they i’s and crossed the t’s as per your sexist prequisites doesn’t have any effect on me. You’re obviously a controlling person, particularly of women, but that is your problem, not mine!

    A further example of your self opinionated attitude to your own superior place in the world is your inability to answer ANY of my questions. Know why? Because you have contempt for me and don’t think you have any obligation to comply with the same rules you’ve decided that I should follow. Just try to answer 2 of my questions! Then I may look at you in a different light. At present, you just disappoint me, and prove your inadequacy to engage with a woman, without resorting to a ‘big brother’ persona!

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