Today’s comments come on a subject we’re not talking about enough, and one that’s arguably getting far too much attention. No prizes for guessing which is which!


On alternatives to immigration detention

Colin Edwards writes: I’m not holding my breath that the ALP will come up with a reasoned refugee policy. The toxic atmosphere of federal parliament seems to have resulted in the parliamentary ALP being terrified of changing from the current simplistic “stop the boats”. It assumes the people in the broader Australian electorate are unable to comprehend a more nuanced alternative.

Marilyn writes: The Refugee Convention, Convention on the Rights of the ChildConvention Against TortureInternational Covenant of Civil and Political Rights,  and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would be a good place to start instead of having people devise all sorts of weird plans.

Vasco writes: The CFMEU shutting down debate about this at the conference was a treat. No one can top Labor heavies in agenda control. It was just like the old Trade Hall shenanigans of my youth — made me quite nostalgic.

Mary Wood writes: It has become impossible to have a discussion of refugee policy. The government, in particular Dutton, egged on by other right wing hypocrites, is waiting to pounce on any deviation from the Labor Party on this matter, with the MSM waiting for the “gotcha” moment.

What the government is actually saying is that the present policy is perfect, as no deviation is possible, and no discussion will be entered into. Of course there are solutions — why can’t people be processed in Indonesia, for example, and flown here, thus avoiding the crocodile tears about deaths at sea. As if it was ever about that.

But since we have reached this toxic place we will continue to torture people in off-shore camps as an example to others until someone in a position to change this somehow manages to stop being emotionally blackmailed by the bullies.


On Barnaby’s love affair with the media

Robert Barnes writes: Barnaby Joyce, recently on deputy PM salary and perks and still receiving a handsome backbencher’s salary clearly does not need or deserve the $150k for selling his and Vicky Campion’s story to Channel 7. Shame on them for stooping so low for a story that is clearly not in the public interest.

It once again highlights the huge chasm between the privileged ruling class in our society and the battlers who would be lucky to see $150k balance in their super accounts after a lifetime of work. This is obscene, disgraceful and an insult to all Australians who struggle to survive on Newstart pensions, underemployment and the removal of penalty rates.

Jock Webb writes: I don’t blame the media too much actually. Joyce was elected on the basis of a lie, re-elected on the basis of another lie. His affair with a staffer in his own office, given the power imbalance, is a disgrace. Add in his family values claptrap, [he] deserved to come a cropper. 

MJM writes: I really don’t care much about Joyce and the media and the normal three ring circus whirling round both. I do care about the money aspect. Joyce was a senator between 2005 and 2013, then an MP from 2011 to 2017, all the while in breach of Section 44 of the Constitution.

On October 27, 2017 the High Court found that Joyce held dual citizenship. The writs for the by-election were issued the same day. A by-election cannot be held in under 33 days. The New England by-election was held 36 days after the HC decision. Joyce won and was sworn in four days later. For his 40 days and 40 nights in the political wilderness the National Party stumped up for Joyce’s lost salary. Now he will receive another $150,000. Sense of entitlement much?

Duncan Gilbey writes: I wouldn’t say that the media were hypocritical, I’d say that they were total failures for not following up with the even most basic of questions after the publication of rumours of Joyce’s infidelities (August 2017?) because the affair was “private and we don’t go there”.

Questions such as: who is the woman concerned? Does she still work for Joyce? If not where is she and how did the relocation come about? What was the nature of her so called “redundancy” payment? None of these were revealed until after the publication of “that photograph” of Joyce’s pregnant partner. 

Those gallant defenders of democracy and the holders of power to account totally squibbed any investigation of possible corruption or nepotism and appointed themselves as gatekeepers of what was in the public interest. When the story finally broke, they made it all a bit of a wheeze about the Bonking Beetroot and, get this, whether or not the story of his affair should have been published! The “story” became as much about the role of the media itself as it was about Joyce!

The MSM — flying around in ever decreasing circles until they ultimately disappear up their own fundamental orifices. And good riddance.



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Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey