tip off

Yes Alan, do think very seriously about student numbers

Yes, Alan Jones should think very seriously about international students, writes Meld editor-in-chief Karen Poh. And the damage his words do to our reputation overseas.

Oh, Alan Jones …

If it weren’t a stretch of the imagination enough to suggest that the Boston Marathon bombings were linked to “left-wing radical students”, he took it a step further, pointing an accusing finger at Australia’s international student community. Jones told Sunrise from his 2GB studio:

I think what we have to remember about Boston is that it’s a student city, you’ve got Harvard, MIT and a stack of other colleges. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was a conspiracy among students, left-wing radical students in Boston, and I think we have to think also very seriously here about our own student numbers. We are very keen to have foreign students pay the way of universities in this country without a lot of discernment about who comes in.”

Yes, we will need to think very seriously about our student numbers.

The international education sector represents Australia’s fourth-largest export industry. International education activities accounts for more than $15 billion of export income annually. This revenue supports more than 100,000 jobs. And with some 80% of international students hailing from Asia, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that Australia’s future in the Asian Century will be shaped by the way we think about and engage the international student community.

As we gauged the reactions yesterday in the wake of Jones’ embarrassing comments at Meld, the foreign students magazine I edit, I was reminded of the Chinese saying: “Good news stays at home, bad news spreads a thousand miles.” Would Jones’ words hurt Australia’s reputation as a study destination of choice?

A student told us his parents wouldn’t dream of shipping their children off to a country where they weren’t welcome. Just look at what happened after the spate of violent attacks against Indian students in Australia in 2009. Enrolments fell. Drastically.

I would say I’m personally insulted, but I don’t think people take what he says that seriously,” the student said. I’m glad to hear that. Common sense does prevail.

Seven has sought to downplay the incident. Speaking to The Australian, Seven spokesman Simon Francis said a range of views were regularly canvassed on the program and that Jones was but one of a number of independent commentators on Sunrise. But whose opinion is really worth seeking?

Not the opinion of someone who is known to speak before he thinks and takes no responsibility for what he says. Not the opinion of the man who is unable to grasp that people-to-people relationships form not just the fabric of society, but also drive economic outcomes in a globalised world.

If bad news travels a thousand miles, I’m grateful that in this digital age we have the unprecedented opportunity to redeem ourselves. New and emerging media, independent online news outlets, blogs and social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have not just opened up a true plethora of views, but also knocked down pedestals and given the public a chance to respond and show the rest of the world a glimpse of what we as a community really stand for.

The online backlash that Jones has faced is a reminder that his views are not representative of the majority of the Australian community and should simply be ignored.

33
  • 1
    rhwombat
    Posted Friday, 19 April 2013 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps Mr Jones would like to opine on who was responsible for the Reichstag arson? It would be as enlightening.

  • 2
    teecha
    Posted Friday, 19 April 2013 at 3:12 pm | Permalink

    … his views are not representative of the majority of the Australian community and should simply be ignored.”

    Like as in this article, for example?

  • 3
    rhwombat
    Posted Friday, 19 April 2013 at 4:27 pm | Permalink

    teecha: “You boy! Yes, you! Now do you see what sleeping through Mr Jones’ grammar classes does to you? And how do you spell teacher? Go and see Mr Jones after class! And this time knock first! Right! Which one of you reptiles taught the parrot to say “Pieces of hate”?.”

  • 4
    David Hand
    Posted Friday, 19 April 2013 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    As more shootings, explosions and arrests develop around the Massachusetts Istitute of Technology, it’s got to be dang awkward, doesn’t it Karen?

    Is the the Parrot’s first musing, that the Boston Marathon bombings might be perpetrated by students domiciled there, looking a bit likely? I think the words you used were “a stretch of the imagination”. It doesn’t look so stretched this afternoon.

  • 5
    Recalcitrant.Rick
    Posted Friday, 19 April 2013 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    David Hand…When it comes to American homegrown terrorism, from my understanding it’s the “Right Wing” nutjobs that cause the most damage. Were the Oklahoma bombings “Left Wing”? Was the Unabomber “Left Wing”? And in Norway of course you had Andre Brevik, a real nut but certainly not “Left Wing” Why don’t to try thinking instead of parroting your “Right Wing” Masters.

  • 6
    Sean Tisme
    Posted Friday, 19 April 2013 at 6:29 pm | Permalink

    Lefties shooting their mouths off too early perhaps?

    Watch tonights news. Alan Jones was right.

  • 7
    Recalcitrant.Rick
    Posted Friday, 19 April 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Once any of us found out that the search was focussed around MIT it doesn’t require to much intelligence to figure out that possibly someone involved with the Institute MAY be involved, but “Left Wing” is just a stupid guess! Of course if you believe that Alan Jones is always “Right” then your probably “Right” as well.
    But remember, two “Rights” can often be “WRONG”!

  • 8
    AR
    Posted Friday, 19 April 2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

    Ms Poh, there was NO “spate of violent attacks against indian students”. It was a tabloid beat-up, utilising what you cited, “bad news travels” despite/because lacking veracity.
    Interesting that Crikey has only noted his TV vapourings when his radio audience, aka Eternity’s Waiting Room, cops this krap, daily. Somehjow it is the PM’s fault that O/S students clamour to enroll at our tertiary institutions.

  • 9
    Easy Monet
    Posted Friday, 19 April 2013 at 8:37 pm | Permalink

    It looks like Alan was correct about it being radical students. So he was at least 2/3 correct, their political leanings are yet to determined.
    I think his point was that large numbers of international students are the problem regardless of whether you call the left or right or whatever.
    Karen Poh should admit that Alan had a valid point.

  • 10
    Sean Tisme
    Posted Friday, 19 April 2013 at 9:39 pm | Permalink

    All Alan Jones said(if you actually watch the video) was that they were most likely foreign students and Australia needs to be very careful who they let in on student visas(aka double check for terrorist links).

    Nothing wrong with that in my opinion.

  • 11
    nasking
    Posted Saturday, 20 April 2013 at 12:17 am | Permalink

    Allan Jones was irresponsible…as have been many Americans on social media who named the wrong people…particularly hard on one family of missing young man:

    http://www.ndtv.com/article/world/sunil-tripathi-missing-student-wrongly-identified-as-boston-marathon-bombing-suspect-356334

  • 12
    nasking
    Posted Saturday, 20 April 2013 at 12:18 am | Permalink

    Rachel Maddow gets stuck into NY Post:

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/04/19/rachel-maddow-ny-post-disaster-front-page_n_3115601.html?ncid=txtlnkushpmg00000037&ir=Politics

  • 13
    David Smith
    Posted Saturday, 20 April 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    So Karen Poh, how do you feel, now that the world knows for a fact that it was “left-wing radical students?” I cannot understand the left-wing mentality. It’s the 19th. The same day that the FBI and other law enforcement agencies in America proved Alan correct. Why would you post this article now?

  • 14
    David Smith
    Posted Saturday, 20 April 2013 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Recalcitrant.Rick, if you look at history, you will see that the “homegrown terrorism” is left-wing nutjobs. “Were the Oklahoma bombings “Left Wing”?” YES! “Was the Unabomber “Left Wing”?” YES! Next time do some research. Almost all terrorist acts inside of the United States (and out, for that matter) have been left-wing or Muslim. - Why don’t you try thinking, instead of parroting your “Left Wing” Masters?

  • 15
    David Hand
    Posted Saturday, 20 April 2013 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Karen!
    So Jones is substantialy correct. All that is questionable is whether or not student terrorists who came to the USA from Chechnya via Pakistan could be described as left wing.

    Is that egg I see on your face?
    Can I send over some tissues?

    As you said, modern technology gives you an unparalleled opportunity to redeem yourself. I’m not holding my breath.

  • 16
    Achmed
    Posted Saturday, 20 April 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

    David - I work in prisons. In 1991 we opened a new prison. In conversation with on officer he would say “we are going to have a riot”. After 8 years he got it right -we did have a riot.

    If you repeat the same rant often enough and for long enough eventually you could be right. Not through clear headed analysis but through persistence. Jones didn’t get it right, circumstances just fell in place for him

  • 17
    seriously?
    Posted Saturday, 20 April 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    What aspect of the bombing suspects background or motives is “left wing”? Sure they are students, but they have spent adound half of their lives in the US and are citizens. Looks like an other example of home-grown “terrorism”, although I use that word cautiously. Just because you use a bomb to kill doesn’t make that terrorism. I would think the minimum you need is some announced objective for the killings. None of this detracts though from the senseless loss of life and terrible injuries.

  • 18
    klewso
    Posted Sunday, 21 April 2013 at 12:04 am | Permalink

    A decade in the US, with the rest of their family, at least one of the brothers had taken US citizenship, and frustrated at not being “accepted”?

    Didn’t a couple of Murdoch op-eds try to apologise/defend Breivik’s “circumstance/motivation” (July 24 last)?
    Was Timothy McVeigh a Lefty? David Koresh?

  • 19
    Achmed
    Posted Sunday, 21 April 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

    Well it looks like AJ was wrong. They were not international students. They moved to the USA aged 8yr and 15yr.

  • 20
    David Hand
    Posted Sunday, 21 April 2013 at 11:01 am | Permalink

    You’re clutching at straws, Achmed. When you are in a hole it’s smart to stop digging.

    On the Telegraph London website this morning-

    The FBI confirmed yesterday it had interviewed Tamerlan in 2011, at the request of an unidentified foreign government — later reported to be Russia — over suspected ties to an extremist group.”

  • 21
    rhwombat
    Posted Sunday, 21 April 2013 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of straw clutching Hand, you are aware of the who, how and why of the creation of the Taliban (by the CIA out of Soviet imperialism), aren’t you? Being a stopped clock doesn’t excuse the underlying enuretic xenophobia of Jones or the rest of you Right wing acolytes. You are all so relieved that it wasn’t another McVeigh or Breivik (this time), that you’ll clutch at anything that damps that annoying whine of self-disgust that runs through your me-first philosophy. As usual it was the salaried public servants of an essentially Liberal (in the US sense) City, State and Government who tracked down the private murderers of students & children, stopped the threat and treated the casualties (as it was in Norway). So much for Thatcher’s comments on the non-existance of society. Ding dong, the witch is dead. Stop fellating the corpse.

  • 22
    Recalcitrant.Rick
    Posted Sunday, 21 April 2013 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    David Hand I bow to your superior intellect, can you explain (using your superior intellect) how this is in any way “left Wing” …….. “The chief conspirators, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols, met in 1988 at Fort Benning during basic training for the U.S. Army.[17] Michael Fortier, McVeigh’s accomplice, was his Army roommate.[18] The three shared interests in survivalism and opposed gun control.[19][20] They expressed anger at the federal government’s handling of the 1992 Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) standoff with Randy Weaver at Ruby Ridge as well as the Waco Siege—a 1993 51-day standoff between the FBI and Branch Davidian members which began with a botched ATF attempt to execute a search warrant leading to a fire fight (it is unknown whether ATF agents or Branch Davidians fired the first shot) and ended with the burning and shooting deaths of David Koresh and 75 others.[21] In March 1993, McVeigh visited the Waco site during the standoff, and then again after its conclusion.[22] McVeigh later decided to bomb a federal building as a response to the raids.
    YOU’RE A MORON!

  • 23
    Recalcitrant.Rick
    Posted Sunday, 21 April 2013 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

    So Gun freaks and suvivalists are now “Left Wing”?
    YOU’RE A MORON!

  • 24
    David Hand
    Posted Sunday, 21 April 2013 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

    Hey Rick,
    Re-read my comment 13 and reconsider what you said.

  • 25
    Recalcitrant.Rick
    Posted Sunday, 21 April 2013 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    They were Migrants! they didn’t come as foriegn students and they aren’t Left Wing! So what part of that don’t you and Jones understand?

  • 26
    rhwombat
    Posted Sunday, 21 April 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of straw clutching Hand, you are aware of the who, how and why of the creation of the Taliban (by the CIA out of Soviet imperialism), aren’t you? Being a stopped clock doesn’t excuse the underlying enuretic xenophobia of Jones or the rest of you Right wing acolytes. You are all so relieved that it wasn’t another McVeigh or Breivik (this time), that you’ll clutch at anything that damps that annoying whine of self-disgust that runs through your me-first philosophy. As usual it was the salaried public servants of an essentially Liberal (in the US sense) City, State and Government who tracked down the private murderers of students & children, stopped the threat and treated the casualties (as it was in Norway). So much for Thatcher’s comments on the non-existance of society. Ding dong, the witch is dead.

  • 27
    Edward James
    Posted Monday, 22 April 2013 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    So many worthless no name opinions. Alan Jones was almost spot on. So many opinions would carry much more weight if people those signed their birth names. Edward James

  • 28
    Recalcitrant.Rick
    Posted Monday, 22 April 2013 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    Alan Jones was almost spot on? Really! Given that when they came to the U.S. they were 8 and 15, at some point in the future they wer bound to be students like nearly everyone at that age, so he was right there, WOW, genius! Radical? Maybe, but more likely demented. Left Wing, no proof at all. If that’s all it takes to convince you that we should demonise our Intenational student body, you need to get back on your medication!

  • 29
    Recalcitrant.Rick
    Posted Monday, 22 April 2013 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Richard Leggatt!

  • 30
    Student T
    Posted Monday, 22 April 2013 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    Just look at what happened after the spate of violent attacks against Indian students in Australia in 2009.” Yes, but the attacks were actually not by neo-nazi Aussies and were not statistically higher than other groups. The whole thing was a press beat-up. If the Indian press want to get hold of Jones’ comment and pillory the whole nation, there is stuff all we can do about it.

  • 31
    David Hand
    Posted Monday, 22 April 2013 at 2:22 pm | Permalink

    So with all this hyperventilating about Alan Jones’ comments being ignorant and xenephobic, is anyone here willing to categorically state that his underlying point - that it is important to verify the credentials of foreign students - is not valid?

  • 32
    Achmed
    Posted Monday, 22 April 2013 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    David - that investigation had nothing what so ever to do with Jones’ comment that students need to be more closely checked.

  • 33
    Madison
    Posted Monday, 22 April 2013 at 9:23 pm | Permalink

    He hangs around dunnies. What do you expect ?

Womens Agenda

loading...

Smart Company

loading...

StartupSmart

loading...

Property Observer

loading...