Aug 14, 2012

Pacific Solution #2 sparks humanitarian concerns

However much the debate over irregular boat arrivals has been refocused by the shocking loss of life at sea, it is plain that domestic politics continue to motivate the main players, write Mary Crock, Daniel Ghezelbash and Jane McAdam.

However much the debate over irregular boat arrivals has been refocused by the shocking loss of life at sea, it is plain that domestic politics continue to motivate the main players.

Australians’ paroxysmal concern with refugee boats is potent electoral poison. The report by the expert panel on asylum seekers has provided the government with a face-saving measure to renege on its electoral promise not to re-open processing centres on Nauru or PNG, while encouraging the opposition to smugly assert that its policies have been given the green light. It just remains to be seen whether the opposition really does want to "stop the boats":  for it, the boats are an electoral blessing that facilitates a discourse on government neglect and incompetence.

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8 thoughts on “Pacific Solution #2 sparks humanitarian concerns

  1. Rui Santos

    Surely with due respect, when it is all said and done wasn’t the whole point of establishing an ‘expert” panel to provide the government with a mechanism to deliver the regressive and absurd policy ‘solution” it has been seeking for years to enable it to compete against the opposition for the hearts and minds of the moronic majority that scream loudest to “stop the boats”? I mean Crikey …. disappointed? really?

  2. CML

    Maybe I’m cynical, but I think there is a medium term agenda here.
    Do the maths – there have been more than 7,000 arrivals in the first
    seven months of this year. Nauru and Manus combined will accommodate
    just under two thousand. By years end, both of these places will be full
    and then Tony the rAbbott will be laughing on the other side of his face.
    Failure +++. The Pacific solution did not, and will not, work in this day
    and age.
    The government and Julia Gillard will have the last laugh. Because all
    that will be left is the Malaysian solution. That is the only thing that
    will work in the current circumstances. You can go on all you like about
    on-shore processing etc. etc., but in the end the Australian public demand
    that we have some kind of order in this process. Personally, I also
    demand some kind of equity – one boat person for one refugee camp
    inmate to gain entry to Oz.
    And another thing – why are we giving these boat people “permanent
    residency” in our country, when the Refugee Convention does not say
    anywhere that I can find that we need to do that?? Surely some form of
    interim protection would be less appealing???

  3. CML

    Moderated again!
    Get a life Crikey – I have just about had a gut full of this nonsense.

  4. klewso

    This is “The Ultimate Solution”?
    Again – “Arbeit macht frei” – “Labor sets (you) free”.

  5. Andybob

    A welcome analysis. We do not have an immigration crisis. We have a crisis of leadership. Malcolm Fraser dealt with a far greater influx of refugees humanely and sensibly. The problem is that the conservatives cannot help but use xenophobia to wedge Labour. This needs to be repeatedly identified and the perpetrators shamed. The Federal govern,ent should also be doing more to help the States properly manage incoming people. There is going to be a lot more of them, especially when Bangladesh becomes inhabitable.

  6. Andybob

    Moderated for xenophobia ?

  7. Andybob

    Nup, must have been something else.

  8. Steve777

    AndyBob – you are right. We should always call this sort of dogwhistling for what it is. The problem is, most of the main Coalition players, especially Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison, are beyond shame.

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