Facebook Google Menu Linkedin lock Pinterest Search Twitter



Feb 17, 2012

Recipe for a beat-up

Start with the headline, and work backwards. Pick a theme. In this case, riff off the idea of a game show giveaway.


Recipe for a beat up:

Start with the headline, and work backwards. Pick a theme. In this case, riff off the idea of a game show giveaway.

Welcome, asylum seekers — Chris Bowen and Julia Gillard’s ship of fortune

(Include optional sidebar headlines such as “Weapons found on asylum seekers” and “$1 billion to keep asylum seekers”.)

Add a photoshopped image (remember to tie in with your theme):

Hang the story off an itemised list of goods that asylum seekers in community detention are provided with, given to Senate estimates by the opposition.

Call the items “goodies” and use the terms “welcome gift packs” and “food hampers”, employ the term “up to” liberally as you refer to goods to the value of “up to $10,000 worth of furnishings and electronics”. Remind people three paragraphs in of how much they are hurting. Refer to the carbon tax:

“The revelation comes at a time when middle- and high-income families are struggling with cost of living pressures and bracing for cuts to private health rebates and the impact of the carbon tax.”

Add in a kicker quote from the opposition:

“‘The cost of Labor’s border protection failures is a slap in the face to every Australian family trying to cope with rising costs of living, made worse by Labor’s carbon tax and their abandonment of private health insurance,’ Mr Morrison said.”

Allow reader comments that include laments about paying tax, cheating pensioners, and a vague reference to assassinating the Prime Minister:

Bury this as the last line:

“They are basic supplies, we are not talking about luxury,” Red Cross spokesman Michael Raper said.

The last line.

canberra-calling.jpg Listen to yesterday’s Canberra Calling podcast! Also, head over to our iTunes page where you can download and subscribe to the latest Crikey podcasts …



We recommend

From around the web

Powered by Taboola


39 thoughts on “Recipe for a beat-up

  1. Meski

    Some of my fellow Australians disgust me.

  2. klewso

    That’s not a “beat up” – that’s a “beat-off” (all some “journo’s” seem to need is a mirror and a window of opportunity) isn’t it? “Telly-chubbies” again?
    And the none too subliminal reference to “boatload”?
    No wonder so many get mistaken for “germalists”?

  3. Down and Out of Sài Gòn

    I share your feeling, Meski. Sometimes it’s because they sound like horrible people, and sometimes it is because they are so easily scammed.

  4. Steve777

    The way that News Limited tabloids demonise asylum seekers to boost circulation and further the proprietors’ political agenda is an absolute disgrace. What do they want , for asylum seekers to be locked up in a black hole and kept on bread and water for the crime of seeking our protection from persecution? And I find at absolutely amazing that the Telegraph would link this story to the Health Insurance Rebate changes.

    I don’t know what we can do about this. In my opinion the Telegraph is coming close to inciting r-cial h-tred. At the very least it is attacking very vulnerable people who have committed no crime. We have to call these types of appeals to baser instincts and motives for for what they are. For a start we can boycott the publications that perpetrate this malevolent rubbish and let our families and friends know why.

    I tried to add this comment to the article on the Telegraph’s online edition this morning. Guess what? They didn’t publish it.

  5. Gareth

    Gemma Jones strikes again.

  6. Arty

    Truth emulates fiction and vice versa.

  7. graybul

    Do you not think Crikey . . It is overdue for you to go onto the front foot to redress the deluge of News Corp and Federal Opposition’s misleading, divisive innuendo, omission or outright vitriolic falsification of “news” as opposed to ‘comment’? In my view this Nation’s cohesiveness, identity and values are under attack on a level unparalleled in my 74 years. – Non member of any Political Party and disenfranchised by reality of no access to “comparative” Policy.

  8. Whistleblower

    I suppose is difficult for the intelligentsia (Crikey readers?) to listen to the hoi polloi objecting to their tax dollars being spent to fund Club Med type arrangements for so-called refugees with sufficient wherewithal to buy their way to the head of people smuggling queue, now receiving a bundle of household goods, free accommodation, and apparently free electricity, free medical care, etc as well as an ongoing living allowance while many Australians are doing it hard.

    While the “lotus eaters” are getting their rocks off by encouraging more of these freeloaders to come into the country, the ordinary people are suffering, workers are losing their jobs, the government can’t balance its budget, and the ship of fools running the country just ploughs on.

    Whilst the journalism may be tacky, the underlying message needs to be understood. The Victorian Herald Sun had a more balanced article this morning, but essentially delivering the same message.

    Perhaps the relevant Minister concerned could give a public statement as to the the cost of the “package” being given to “asylum seekers” released into the community, (because the detention centres are overflowing as a consequence of Labor’s lax border control policies). The cost to the country, on a per capita basis, per household basis, and on an aggregate budgetary impact basis as well should be provided. Then we could examine the facts and have more balanced journalism.

    However I suspect the relevant Minister will run a mile because of the embarrassment associated with the disclosure of the substantial amounts involved as a consequence of the failure of Labor’s border control policy.

    It should also be noted that apparently the Red Cross is doing the government’s “dirty work” for it in distributing these resources, not the government agency Centrelink, and god knows what other backdoor mechanisms are being used to hide the financial impact of breakdown in border control.

    It should be noted that some of our indigenous community members cannot be housed because of housing shortages, and there are thousands of people sleeping rough in capital cities, yet we are finding housing for each of these so-called refugees. Not only are they jumping the refugee queue is to get into the country are also jumping the housing queues once they get here.

  9. shepherdmarilyn

    There is a depravity in this country that thinks it is great to persecute instead of protect.

    And still Gillard and Abbott bring it down to slogans of ‘stop the boats’ as if they have some fucking legal right to do such a thing.

    They also waited to state that the refugees don’t get to keep anything.

    They are in fact kicked out with zero when they become residents.

  10. Bill Hilliger

    Just watch, Gina Rinehart will bring to Australia’s the version of Fox News to the fore. The refugee item would make just the right fodder for such a news channel. Just imagine what Allan Jones the Bill O’reilly / Glenn Beck of Aussie Fox News would do with this sort of article. Believe it, there are plenty of Trev of Sydney wingnuts out there.

  11. zut alors

    A perfect example of why I haven’t read Australian newspapers for years nor alighted onto their cr@ppy websites.

  12. sickofitall

    All journalists should come via boat to Australia from Afghanistan, and spend a week in jail. Then give opinions. Perhaps Murdoch should. And rinehart.

  13. michael crook

    And ABC breakfast will happily quote from the Murdoch press as if it is somehow legitimate and fawn over any of the Murdoch editors who bestow their grace by appearing their show. If you legitimise them you give them credibility, if you ignore them or dismiss them you win.

  14. Meski

    Club Med, Whistle? You must be on some good stuff this afternoon. If you were attempting satire, my apologies, i’m too tired to get it this afternoon, and I don’t think you were.

  15. Steve777

    Whistleblower – ‘Club Med’? After all, the asylum seekers are not allowed to work. We need to provide some wherewithal to allow them to live decently while their claims are being sorted out.

    And my major objection to the story is the villification of vulnerable people – not so so much dog-whistling as blowing a vuvezela.

    Consider if the Daily Telegraph had decided to support means testing the Insurance Health Rebate. It could have published a picture of a supercilious looking millionaire couple sipping champaign on the patio of their harbourside mansion, with a caption that you (the Telegraph reader) are paying for their health insurance (it costs about $200+ per taxpayer to provide rebates to those earning over twice the average wage). The story might have been factually true but it would not have been fair reporting or fair comment. There would have been howls of outrage and cries of ‘class warfare’. Same goes for today’s asylum seeker story, except that it is far more vicious.

  16. geomac

    I had my say printed in the Hun but I doubt a lot of respondents actually read the article . They are not allowed to work . Something very weird when even food is a luxury that should be denied people who we also deny the opportunity to work for a wage .

    geomac of Gippsland Posted at 12:54 AM Today

    The red cross provides the packages .The government goods provided remain the property of the government for the next family to use . The asylum seekers are not allowed to work if or until they are accepted as genuine . All this seems sensible so why do we pay huge amounts for detention centres ?

    Comment 14 of 524

  17. Peter Ormonde

    Dreadful isn’t it … this business about helping foreigners … as if we cared.

    Fortunately these usually anonymous contemptibles spewing their selfishness behind a screen don’t represent a majority view. They do however crank out and spread lies and venom about refugees and these seep into the public discourse courtesy of lazy journalists looking for another scandalous headline.

    Not worth arguing folks … they aren’t actually at all interested in facts. That’s not what this is about at all.

    Anyone wanting to dispel a few of these myths and lies might want to have a squiz at this… facts about queues and why there aren’t none, how many, where from and how it all works. How boat arrivals don’t “steal places” from others who are waiting etc etc etc….


    Carry it in your back pocket. Wrap it around an iron bar. Liven up your next BBQ.

  18. Alfonse

    Regardless of how the story is presented, or indeed which colourful clichés are used in its production, the actual issue of newly arrived foreigners, aka asylum seekers, aka boat people, visualising streets paved with plasmas and washing machines or even free Crikey subscriptions, will not do anything to DETER people from making their ‘perilous’ journey. Indeed it only serves to encourage those with enough foresight but no political threat, to make the journey because Australia is better than their cardboard box. Sadly the perception within the Australian community is that the Government attempts this gratuitous act of benevolence at the expense of pensioners, homeless and indigenous folk who have struggled for years and waited in queues for such things as housing and healthcare. They ask “Is it not unreasonable to put the fire out in your own yard first” ? Yes, it is humane, generous and downright decent to supply such services to these newly arrived folks but it is prudent to expect a substantial increase in arrivals of their colleagues if the perception of the free ‘pot of gold’ (apologies to B. King), is not addressed. There is legitimate concern within the broader community that we cannot afford, socially or economically to continue to do so. If the Government is going to persist with its current policy, then it needs to address this concern with facts, figures and projections and then ride out the storm. To those of you who sit at home lamenting that the axial tilt of 23.5 degrees is simply not left enough for you, stop and think that a little effort in addressing ‘perception’ may do away with such newspaper articles altogether.

  19. Daemon

    Fortunately, the telegraph “journalists” don’t read Crikey, because the Crikey Commentariat use big words that the type of “person” used to provide “news” to Sydney West’s stinking masses cannot hope to understand, even if their mummies give them a dictionary. We however, are forced to feel responsible as mere intellectuals reduced to discussing the rubbish that these people serve up as their daily output, to feed the brain-dead, west of Parramatta.

  20. Mal White

    There is a lot more to come, that is more boats and over the top journalism.

    As the weather improves in the Timor Sea the people smugglers will start doing a lot more business.
    The feathers will start flying in Canberra, there will be another mass loss of life, the newspapers will give it all a good stir and the Australian people will end up angry.

    Same as last year except the numbers will be greater.

  21. AR

    WitlessBlowhard – I feel soiled reading your spewings, let alone replying, as I am a card carrying member of the DNFtT club.
    If you try to use them hi falutin’ foranee words, at least try to get them writghte – οἱ πολλοί means “THE many” so please do not duplicate the definite article.
    Now, down to your base level, which gives me (and I imagine most sentients) a headache, are you truly as ignorant, arrogant and evil as you pretend?
    I doubt it.
    Such a simulacrum would have difficulty walking (highly complex, that one foot after tuther stuff, as well as breathing simultaneously, shoorly – hic! – beyond the bathos to which you pretend) let alone typing so I will assume that you are simply a pathetic attempt by the BtR types, paid or forelock tugging, to obfuscate any rational discussion.
    Have you no shame? BTW, that’s rhetorical – another greekisch term that is clearly beyond your meagre understanding.
    Do you even know the origin/meaning of the term Club Med?

  22. Peter Ormonde

    An excellent contribution Alfonse. Worth a serious response.

    This situation was allowed to go running off the rails by successive governments and so-called “community leaders” since 1991 and before actually. It is a recent phenomenon – or to be more precise, it is the reappearance of a very old tradition in Australia. A nostalgia for the White Australia we grew up in.

    Anti-refugee sentiment was not particularly evident in the 70s and 80s as we accepted Vietnamese, Chinese, Lebanese and others in significant numbers. The ratbag fringe might have moaned and ACA would probably have tried to whip up some envy or resentment – but by and large there was little resistance and certainly no hostility.

    Mandatory detention did that. Introduced by Gerry Hand to deal with a short term issue with Cambodian refugees … mandatory detention and the implicit – well explicit – assumption that these people were doing something illegal fuelled a climate of fear, anger and suspicion. Where allegations, assumptions and selfishness were permitted to run rampant.

    Howard bowed to both his natural instincts and in the face of Hanson and ramped up the xenophobia … blew the issue into one of strength and national security. Al Quaeda didn’t help.

    By the time Rudd and Gillard got their the polls were showing such deep seated hostility – not towards refugees but to boat arrivals – that they too bowed and buckled. To be seen to be “soft” on border protection is politically toxic. Focus groups and polling was showing a consistent 70% hostility to boat arrivals.

    Labor’s response has been deeply deeply wrong. And gutless. And amoral. And futile. Canute territory.

    This is a tiny problem on the global scale – at the interface between the third world and the first… It is a piddling trickle. Not like the Mexican tide in the USA, or the African torrent pouring into Italy and France.

    Our responses have been disgraceful and ineffectual. Our rhetoric has been ignorant and aimed at pandering to the deeply irrational fears of the ignorant and self-absorbed.

    But it is irrational. And facts and reasonable arguments will not convince everyone. But they will convince the vast bulk of Australians I believe – because they are decent, reasonable people and have a lot of common sense. But we must give them an opportunity to exercise it.

    Facts. Obligations. A “Fair Go” … all the above. And the results… the benefits of clever capable eager people wanting to come here. Imagine living in Egypt where all the clever, capable and talented people want to leave.

    We are trying to have a discussion but the climate here at the moment is hostile to facts – to different views. The government can change the turf on which this issue is being determined – slowly, carefully and with facts.

    But that takes guts. Bit light-on lately.

  23. Alfonse

    Yes, Whistleblower leaves me feeling somewhat soiled as well. Imagine having the gall to refer to Crikey readers as being perhaps part of some higher intelligence. At least the trash regularly posted by some of you morons guarantees each asylum seeker a hearty laugh. (Providing they get free Crikey subscriptions with their taxpayer fries).

  24. Savonrepus

    Looks like a great life. Wonder if I could exit the country and come back to claim a luxury room. Maybe we should be getting Hoges back to do a few catchy advertisements as well.

  25. shepherdmarilyn

    There are no fucking people smugglers.

    Why are the public in this country so deranged and brainwashed they refuse to understand that simple fact?

    As people have the right under the law to arrive and claim asylum they ARE NOT BEING FUCKING SMUGGLED.

    WEST Australian Chief Justice Wayne Martin has become the most senior judicial figure to condemn the mandatory sentences for people-smuggling imposed on illiterate fishermen.
    The chairman of the National Judicial College of Australia called on the Gillard government to review the five- to 10-year sentences and blasted the spiralling costs of prosecuting “impoverished and illiterate” Indonesian crew. The imposition of mandatory sentences had not deterred people-smuggling and was now affecting the general administration of justice, Chief Justice Martin told a meeting of senior judges on Saturday.
    The 12th judge to slam the mandatory five-year sentences for first-time offenders, he told the closed Federal Crime and Sentencing Conference in Canberra it was time courts raised their concerns with the government. “It is appropriate for the courts to draw the attention of the legislature to the fact that there is good reason to think that the terms of imprisonment which courts are required to impose are often considered to be disproportionate to the culpability of the low-level offenders who come before the courts,” he says in a copy of the speech obtained by The Australian.

    “It is also clear that the imposition of these penalties is having significant practical and cost implications for the administration of justice generally.”
    +++++++++He derided the term “people-smuggling”, saying there was nothing surreptitious or covert about asylum boats, which usually alerted authorities on arrival.+++++++++++
    Mandatory sentencing also contributed to overcrowding. “When the offenders are found guilty and the mandatory minimum terms of imprisonment imposed, state and territory prison systems that are already over-crowded must find accommodation and provide interpretation facilities for these prisoners.”
    Of the 493 people arrested for people-smuggling as of October last year, only 10 had been identified as “organisers”, he said “Those (crewmen) that remain (on the boat) and are arrested and brought before Australian courts are often impoverished and illiterate.” It was neither “inappropriate or undesirable” for a court or judge to “observe in measured and moderate terms” cases of mandatory sentencing that have given rise to injustice.
    “On at least 11 occasions, at the time of writing, judges imposing the mandatory minimum sentence of five years’ imprisonment for people-smuggling have made observations critical of the mandatory minimum,” he said.
    If crew were aware of Australia’s harsh penalties, it was unlikely they would agree to set sail because they earned typically between $300-$500 for the trip.
    Ballooning costs of prosecuting crew has blown the budget of the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Senate estimates heard yesterday. Since 2009-10, trial costs of prosecuting mostly Indonesian crew had risen from $1.5 million to a projected $14m this financial year, DPP Christopher Craigie SC told the legal and constitutional affairs committee. Since September 2008, courts had heard 255 cases involving people-smuggling resulting in 163 guilty pleas. A total of 59 defendants were convicted, 33 acquitted and 66 released when the DPP withdrew charges.


  26. Mellar Jude

    Whether or not boat people come by boat or plane is not connected with the carbon tax or Newspaper ownership that might be a cause of reader interest. So before you comment further on I suggest you read more the news elsewhere that confirms much of what people realise is non-existent. The Prime minister is doing a job at least as good as many of us might do with advice from office people trained in the art of translation from opinions to happenings. That is the lesson to be learnt here! It is not only of game shows on television that spin wheels of fortune.

  27. deft descender

    Labor supporters are completely responsible for the utter debacle the boat issue has become. You are responsible for all the deaths since Rudd and Gillard changed policy and softened the laws. The billions spent on the problem and the angst instilled within the community is all the fault of those that voted Rudd in.

    As a consequence of your foolish actions you have forfeited ANY right to comment on the matter, so just STFU.

  28. deft descender

    And further, you are rsponsible for the headlines you so constantly whinge about. You reap what you sow.

  29. deft descender

    And further, you are obviously completely responsible for the utter farce of politics in this country. Your credibilty is equal in measure to the shambolic situation of the federal government. FFS you and your lot are pathetic.

  30. David Hand

    Peter O’s comment, “…. deep seated hostility – not towards refugees but to boat arrivals……” points to the heart of the issue.

    Many, many Australians don’t believe that identity-free asylum seekers arriving by boat from Indonesia are genuine refugees. Both major parties recognise this view in the electorate, hence both their policies are aimed at stopping the boats. The whole “evil people smuggling” charade is an attempt, and not a particularly good one in my view, at stopping the flow.

    The tactic by would-be migrants who can’t get a visa seems obvious. Plant an unaccompanied minor by boat into Australia and then bring the rest of the family in by plane on family re-union visas.

    Middle Australia sees straight through this ploy.

    Bring in more of those Burmese refugees, I say.

  31. Meski

    @Deft: Rudd and Gillard, as far as immigration policy goes, are the lesser of two evils. Howard was making a dogs breakfast of it with Ruddock, and IIRC, Andrews. For you to make the claims you are, Deft, makes you far from deft, and closer to daft.

    Many here are not supporters of the Labor party, rather, they are opposers of the Coalition.

  32. Filth Dimension

    @ Daft Descender. Less feelings more facts please.

  33. burnside

    Hey Whistleblower,
    You ask for an idea of how much this costs the taxpayer.
    Well the 10,000 dollars for all asylum seekers in the community works out at about one dollar per head for each Australian. This is once off. Not really a lot to get a name for decency.
    If we hold the same people in detention it costs about 40 dollars per head per year for each Australian. More expensive, and it makes us look bad.
    What you need to understand is that holding a person in detention in a place like Christmas Island is fantastically expensive: about 1650 dollars per day per person. Do the maths.

    Julian Burnside

  34. Mal White


    “Well the 10,000 dollars for all asylum seekers in the community works out at about one dollar per head for each Australian. This is once off.”

    This is typical of the dangerously naive statements that are so often used by refugee advocates.
    It is NOT a once off!
    It assumes that the numbers coming to Australia remain static despite the fact that there are 15 million asylum seekers around the world. Who really knows how much the numbers would increase if the policies of refugee advocates are implemented.

    Is just 5% of the 15 million possible? If the death rate of 40 people per 1000 remains how many more will perish at sea? You do the maths.

  35. John Peak

    (Headline) Australian middle class begrudge the world’s troubled peoples a comfortable life.

    Who are these middle class Australians?

    • Australians are among the world’s most obese people.
    • Australians are the world’s wealthiest people.
    • Middle-class Australians live in the world’s biggest houses.
    • Australia has one of the highest per capita car ownership rates in the world.

    And what do they do?

    • The quality of life of Australia’s Aboriginal people is the second worst in the world.
    • Australia unable to provide proper mental health care in its immigration detention centres. http://www.mhca.org.au/index.php/mediareleases/download-file?…2011/...


  36. Peter Ormonde



  37. David Hand

    Hey John,
    One of the quaint phenomena we get from the left elites is this self righteous condemnation of lesser people who clearly “don’t understand or care about the real issues”, etc, etc. This attitude diminishes the potency of your argument because as you criticise the rest of us for being evil and stupid, we stop listening to what you are trying to say.

  38. Alfonse

    Mr Peak, great references but methinks you will find there are substantial numbers of so-called “lower class” Australians as well as substantial numbers of “upper class” Australians who hold a similar view to your carefully selected “middle class”. Hell, I’m sure some of these people are nowhere near obese and may also herald from lands far away and contribute daily to the delightful ethnic mix that this fine nation so publicly trumpets. I even get the impression that some of their views have more to do with a simple wish that their hard-payed tax is not wasted by an incompetent Government on a failed policy. I suspect these people may hold the view that whilst it would be nice to host every downtrodden, poor or persecuted person in the world here in Australia, ultimately it would be both socially and economically problematic. Their views may even stretch as far as wanting border-protection policies to actually have something to do with protecting the Australian borders, at the same time ensuring a vibrant and much needed immigration policy which will work to benefit the Country in years to come. And I am dam sure (although I hate starting a sentence with And), that these same people would like to see the money spent on indigenous communities and healthcare instead. See you at the car-yard !

  39. Meski

    @David: The quaintness exists on both sides, as near as I can determine. Both sides have fruitcakes, sorry, elitists.


Telling you what the others don't. FREE for 21 days.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.