The legalistic Dickensian voice of The Cadaver, who I guess now must be The Living Dead, has uttered the words one might expect: ‘Pacific solution’ to thank for relaxed detention rules.
This is an issue I ranted about at some length, my position being that what the then government was really doing was pandering to xenophobia, a ploy that proved even more effective, for a while, as an election winner than it may or may not have as a reasonable and ethical — especially ethical — approach to refugee issues. There were noble voices on the government’s own side opposing the policy all along the line; those voices were amply vindicated, in my view, and deserve honour. There was little honour at the top on the Howard government side, from the Gnome himself down through The Cadaver to the last occupant of The Cadaver’s portfolio, the Po-Faced (Dr Haneef is Eeeevill and I know it but can’t say why) Plonker, whose name I have temporarily forgotten…
Now my collected rant on this is a page over on Floating Life 04/06 ~ 11/07: Rants and raves — 1: “Massaging the Asylum Seekers” — Howard government and border protection.
As for what The Cadaver is saying now, the first comment on the ABC story linked in paragraph one sums up my feelings pretty well.
The sad thing is that Phillip Ruddock seems to actually believe the nonsense that comes out of his mouth. Hitler and Stalin probably thought they did a good job of “solving” ethnic migration issues too (a long term historic view suggests their bloody efforts did not achieve their original goals, however).
Like it or not, we live in a globalized world nowadays, and that should mean that national borders everywhere become more porous. Anyone who has traveled to Europe in the past few decades will know what I am talking about: not only do EU citizens travel freely from one member state to another, but citizens from northern Africa, the Middle East and other non-EU countries are increasingly represented.
Sure, this creates some social tensions and even economic challenges. But you cannot have free movement of trade without free movement of people, and the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
Kevin Rudd’s decision to issue special work visas for Pacific Islanders is a step in the right direction. When we get similar deals in place with Indonesia, Malaysia and other northern neighbours, our economy will benefit and we’ll have no excuse not to slash the bloated “Defense” budget.
— Gary Lord
Though the Hitler/Stalin comparison is a cliche, and possibly offensive, and is not one I would resort to.
As even The Oz opines today, it is well and truly time the policy changed, and one would hope the Senate would put no obstacles in the way of such necessary reform. To me it is a matter of national honour. Mind you, The Oz gives the Gnome, The Cadaver, and The Plonker more credit than I would.
THE federal Government’s relaxation of Australia’s mandatory detention rules is appropriate for current circumstances. In welcoming the changes as humane and decent, The Australian recognises that such reforms would not have been in the nation’s interest when more than 8000 boatpeople arrived from 1999 to 2001, mostly from the Middle East and Afghanistan, via people-smugglers running unseaworthy vessels out of Indonesia.
The measures announced by Immigration Minister Chris Evans mean that asylum-seekers and those caught overstaying their visas, who mostly arrive by air, will be detained in centres only if they pose a risk. As a deterrent, the Government will retain mandatory detention for all unauthorised arrivals to allow health, identity and security checks. Unless they pose a threat, however, they will then be held in the community until their cases are finalised. Children, and if possible, their families, will not be held in detention centres. Despite criticism from human rights groups, the Government has decided that boatpeople will continue to be detained on Christmas Island, with their cases to be resolved as quickly as possible. This is a prudent deterrent against a resumption of people-smuggling.
The changes are no surprise. On election eve, Kevin Rudd made it clear in this newspaper that his Government would pursue an “orderly” policy on asylum-seekers, using detention as a last, rather than a first, resort. He also pledged to retain the Christmas Island facility…
Arthur has a good post on this.