The ‘stop the boats’ mantra was never about saving lives

Crikey readers respond to "truths" about asylum seeker policy, as well as the political logic of Clive Palmer and Brian Burston.

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Crikey

Popular online news service.

Salim Peter Dutton

Bernard Keane’s list of “truths” for the Australian left provoked detailed responses in the comments section on asylum seeker policy, NIMBYism, 18C and more. Elsewhere, readers discussed the Clive Palmer Problem. Is Auspol really as random as it seems, or is there a method to the madness?

On the “truths” the left won’t admit

Metal Guru writes: I have to say that in regards to the first point, the left has been caught flat-footed but it is a long bow to draw to say that the “stop the boats” policy was a success in saving the lives of asylum seekers. Sure they don’t drown as much, if at all, but the “stop the boats” mantra was never about saving lives. I believe it is more about “go and die elsewhere”. That should be the motto for Australia: out of sight, out of mind.

I am aware that the issue is a lot more complicated than the left (and I am not sure which branch of the left is being referenced here) imagine. Certainly the Greens, SA and other communist ratbag elements have a simple view of things like asylum seeker policy as do the right, but it has to be said that the success is highly conditional and on shaky moral ground.

Marcus Hicks writes: [To say “stopping the boats” was a huge success in terms of preventing loss of life] is actually dead wrong. There were several significant tragedies involving SIEV’s (that we know of), SIEVX being the worst one documented. Operation Sovereign Borders did nothing to slow down the number of boats heading our way, it merely silenced the reporting of them. Also, push factors have historically had a larger impact on the number of boats than any Australian policies.

However, if you think driving asylum seekers slowly insane, at massive cost to the taxpayer, is worth a few lives saved (rather than, say, speeding up the processing of asylum seekers within Indonesia and flying them straight here at a fraction of the price) then your moral compass is seriously screwed up.

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Arky writes: We need a club for progressives/Laborites/Greenies who hate all the NIMBY crap regularly spewed from our own “side”. Truly, NIMBY is a bipartisan religion which unites Northcote hippies and Toorak toffs alike against that greatest of threats: other people who want to live in your neighbourhood.

 

On the great experiment of Auspol

RoRo writes: I’m not sure it’s that surprising that Clive Palmer is back in politics — the signs have been there. He’s literally had “make australia great” signs in key mid-outer suburbs of major Australian cities/regions. He’s also got that ironic Facebook presence where he takes the piss out of himself and mainstream/left politicians such as the Greens.

I guess he’s appealing to disaffected people who view the Greens as sanctimonious lefties and Labor and Liberal as the establishment, not very different from each other and ultimately self-serving. He’s appealing to people who feel left out, patronised or unrepresented by mainstream politics. The irony being that he probably only wants to get into parliament to get rid of some other tax that he doesn’t want Queensland Nickel to be paying. (None of this is to say that I’m some Clive Palmer fan but I can see exactly what he’s aiming for). 

Robert Smith writes: You have to wonder why Burston would go with Palmer after falling out with Hanson – swapping one oddball for another. My guess is the objective is re-election – this would be impossible as an independent but he hopes the Palmer name and money is his only hope. Hardly a bright outlook.

Andrew P Street writes: Is Lambie that safe a lock for the next election? Yes, the numbers are minuscule for Tasmania, but her party’s humiliating performance at the state election — and failure to even bother finish campaigning, for that matter — suggests that her name’s not quite the box office draw it was. I mean, unless her Senate run was positioned as part of her SEARCH FOR TRUE LOVE! In which case sure, she’s definitely back.

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