On people smugglers

John Richardson writes: Re.”Did Australia pay off people smugglers? Amnesty calls for royal commission” (Friday). Quelle horreur: how could Amnesty International think that the Australian government has paid people smugglers? Of course, while some might be surprised by allegations of dirty dealings involving Australia’s off-shore time-sharing ventures on Manus Island and Nauru, others will be less so given recent scandals such as the AWB  and Reserve Bank securency bribery affairs and the ASIS-abetted fraud perpetrated on Timor-Leste.

Just because the nefarious political and bureaucratic “keepers” of our nation’s moral and ethical standards spend their lives dragging the nation up and down dark and dirty alleys, doesn’t necessarily mean that our governments are possessed of the moral and ethical standards of alley cats, or worse … but maybe just that we need more snuff.

Terry Mills writes: The government’s position on neither confirming nor denying payments to people smugglers to turn back boats is accompanied by the bland statement that all actions by Australian authorities are compliant with Australian and international laws. Perhaps the senate committee needs to rephrase the question and ask the government representatives to point to the provisions within the law that would allow bribes to be paid to people smugglers should the circumstance arise.

Peter Matters writes: There will be no investigation of the rumour about bribing the people smugglers, but then, that’s not relevant. The point is, that this is the type of secretive (because incompetent) government, whose very actions simply cause rumours to spring up.

On US politics

Jock Webb writes: Re. “Rundle: this is how it ends for America’s Tony Abbott” (Friday). A pox on Jeb Bush. His chicanery probably won his brother the election when he deliberately disenfranchised African-Americans and Hispanics in 2000. No sympathy whatever for the crook who gave us Dubya.


Peter Fray

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