Toward the end of last year, 150 asylum seekers drowned in a boat accident off the coast of Indonesia. It served as a stark reminder of the extreme risks vulnerable people often take in seeking a safer life and the often fatal consequences.

Pakistani activists pray for Malala. Pic: AFP

Twelve months later, the Australian Government has outsourced its obligation to protect such vulnerable people - re-establishing the Pacific Solution in the name of ending these dangerous boat journeys and saving lives. Under this policy, some of the world’s most vulnerable people are now languishing, on Nauru, in leaking tents, in repressive heat - with no end in sight.

What we are left with is a severe lack of accountability and a the clear threat that the human rights abuses which occurred on Nauru and Manus Island, only a matter of years ago, are set to repeat themselves.

Last month, a United Nations review of Sri Lanka’s human rights record revealed that post-civil war attempts to strengthen human rights have been marred by horrific cases of continued imprisonment, torture and persecution of its ethnic minorities.

Is it any wonder that when faced with such horrific circumstances, the choice to escape, even if it means a dangerous journey, is ironically the only viable option for survival?

So the boats have not stopped, lives continue to be at risk, and the government’s undeniably punitive refugee policy can no longer be legitimised as deterrence.

Instead, as the Government sends innocent children to Manus Island, quashing their most basic human rights, children in places like Pakistan are perceived as serious threats because of their defense of human rights.

This was the case of Malala Yousafzai – the 14 year old Pakistani girl who was shot by the Taliban for bravely and determinedly seeking an education.

It’s instances like these that remind us that it is too often the innocent and vulnerable who bear the brunt of policies and conflicts pursued for power retention or political point-scoring.

The extremely volatile situation between government forces and rebel groups in Syria has seen large scale assaults that have resulted in the deaths of over 28,000 civilians and children (according to latest figures by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights).

This, however, has made it more apparent that even where Governments have failed to ensure peace and security for their people, civilians refuse to be sidelined.

Thousands of Egyptian men and women, with the very same unrelenting spirit that helped the country witness its first civilian President elected while the world held its breath in solidarity, have taken to the streets again in protest of President Morsi’s decree granting himself expanded powers placing him above judicial scrutiny.

Indeed, the past year has introduced us to many faces, risking life and limb to fight for what they believe in - even when met with intimidation, imprisonment and violence.

Earlier this year, Iranian human rights activist and Executive Chairperson of the Centre for Human Rights Defenders, Narges Mohammadi, began serving a six-year prison sentence in Tehran’s Evin Prison. Imprisoned activists and dissidents are not only subject to mock executions, torture and sleep deprivation, but their family members are routinely threatened, insulted and tortured to discourage them from publicly talking about the ordeals of their loved ones.

Fellow human rights advocate and mother of two Nasrin Sotoudeh has also been locked up, mostly in solitary confinement, since 2010.

On 9 January 2011, she was convicted of ‘spreading propaganda against the system’ and ‘acting against national security’. She defended juveniles facing the death penalty, represented prisoners of conscience and human rights defenders on trial.

In Burma, despite the Government’s release of more than 500 political prisoners this year, the path to democracy and freedom remains a struggle as the overall number of political prisoners is again on the rise and the plight of the Rohingya minority remains unaddressed.

Whilst prisoners of conscience have been released, including U Myint Aye, Co-founder of the Human Right Defenders and Promoters network,and lawyer and human rights defender Saw Kyaw Kyaw Min, hundreds of mostly men and boys from the Rohingya community have been detained, with nearly all held incommunicado.

Countries like Burma and Malaysia, which recently announced a review of its use of the death penalty entailing a moratorium on executions for drug offenses, must go beyond merely commuting death sentences. They must follow in the footsteps of neighbouring Singapore and join the worldwide trend towards the complete abolition of the death penalty (for all offenses).

At a time of such unprecedented upheaval and change globally, Australia needs to take a leading role in addressing human rights issues on home soil, in the region and internationally. Our political leaders must uphold human rights obligations, or risk an international reputation for cruelty.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEDST.

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    • Shadow Minister Blues says:

      10:00am | 10/12/12

      Shadow immigration minister Scott Morrison has acknowledged turning back the boats and reinstating temporary protection visas will no longer be enough to end people smuggling

      Mr Morrison said the coalition would work with Indonesia to boost regional sea patrols and put more police on the ground.
      Despite Indonesia objecting to turning back boats, Mr Morrison said he would continue to pursue that line.
      He would also negotiate a deal to have Sri Lankan authorities turn around all boats. If any boats slipped past they would be intercepted and passengers sent back.

      Mr Morrison should “clarify whether the coalition had the guts to raise increased patrols with the Indonesian Government and what its response was, as they have repeatedly failed to raise their turn backs policy with Indonesia”.
      She said that for the coalition to turn boats back to Sri Lanka when it was not a signatory to the United Nations Refugee Convention but not support the Malaysia arrangement was “breathtaking hypocrisy”.

    • Bear says:

      12:28pm | 10/12/12

      From morrisons weasel words and refusal to say what they’ll do on Sky yesterday, I can only conclude they will have a malaysian solution of some kind. That’s why they won’t say what they’re plan is.

    • mikem says:

      01:00pm | 10/12/12

      Morrison assumes that the Indonesians will be happy to keep them there.  They might bt at a price and I wonder how big that price will be.  Something else Joe Hockey will have to find money for.

    • Bear says:

      01:02pm | 10/12/12

      Their plan I meant before the holier than I smart arses decend.

    • Achmed says:

      01:12pm | 10/12/12

      When asked about the legality of the Liberal plans Morrison stated “thats for the courts to sort out”.  He doesn’t even know if what Abbott and the LIberals are proposing is legal!!!

    • Gregg says:

      01:16pm | 10/12/12

      @Bear,
      A hundred thousand capacity refugee camp on the Tiwi Islands might be the go.
      Just tent city like all refugee camps and UN standard food handouts for self preparation.

    • Bear says:

      01:42pm | 10/12/12

      Never mind that most boats now are coming from Sri Lanka so the old chestnuts about them going through other countries and towing them back are void. What bs answer does he have to these boats? None of course.

    • PJ says:

      01:43pm | 10/12/12

      it’s good to see that the Coalition is staying flexible with it’s ideas and potential solutions in response to the changing circumstances of the illegal immigration problem.

      if you contrast this to the Gillard Government. Despite being the Government and therefore responsible for facilitating and finding a solution for policy, it just stuck with the High Courts rejected Malaysian camp solution. No compromise.

      Then people died.

      It’s a really positive thing to have a forward thinking flexible party that changes options to face changing challenges.

    • Andy says:

      02:25pm | 10/12/12

      You would think that the LNP were in government reading this. 1000 people dead under Labor policy, enough said. If you actually believe that the majority of these so called Asylum Seekers are not economic refugees,  I have a bridge that you may be interested in buying. You will probably believe that Slipper, Thomson and Gillard are all innocent too!

    • Leigh says:

      03:10pm | 10/12/12

      The rubbishing of Morrison is perverse indeed, given that it is the Gillard Socialist government that has encouraged the increase in illegal boats.

    • John A says:

      04:48pm | 10/12/12

      Cane some one please tell me why we must stop the boats?
      The fact is we will never stop the boats or at least in my life time, people have always moved to where they believe their life will be better.
      Half the population of this country are migrants or the offspring of migrants. The cost of trying to keep these people out is massive and is just throwing good money after bad.
      Our whole economy and way of life would improve with a larger population. The main reason our industries have failed is the lack of a home market.
      Sadly, stubborn, racist and religious views are killing this country.
      Asylum seekers are coming and they will keep coming and we will never stop them and that’s a fact.

    • PJ says:

      05:40pm | 10/12/12

      @John A

      There is a difference between emigrating to Australia on your own recognisance…..

      And paying Criminal Syndicates to ship you to Australia, where you enjoy the largesse of the Australian people, while you pretend to be a victim.

      Australia saw a 59% jump in it’s illegal immigrants even though the Gillard Government promised us ‘strong borders.’

      We are paying Billions we cannot afford to please the UNHRC, creating social housing issues and service issues at home.

      The Asylum process is being manipulated by ;
      - Criminal Syndicates, which are getting ever more powerful in our Region,
      - the economic migrant,
      - the Refugee Activists
      - and the big Legal companies.

      Last reported we were paying $300 Million a year to defend ourselves against law suits.

      We spent $1.7 Billion on 13000. We now have 30,000. Next year it could be 69,000. We cannot afford this in terms of servicing and paying.

      The European experience shows that some desperate nefarious characters use the Asylum system and we must protect our selves from these characters.

      We want Refugees that have been languishing in UNHRC camps in war torn areas, not young Low middle class men from Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. We have no idea who these boat people are?

    • john says:

      10:32am | 10/12/12

      @Shadow Minister Blues
      “the coalition would work with Indonesia to boost regional sea patrols and put more police on the ground.
      Despite Indonesia objecting to turning back boats, Mr Morrison said he would continue to pursue that line.”

      Doubt that alone would work either-why you may ask?

      Because its a regional & on some scale a global problem. Asking impoverished Indonesia to assist or turning back boats is futile. Its like asking the indigenous Australians to patrol Australia’s waters with their canoes.

      The UN has failed to address sufficiently resolutions by which all member states need to comply to deal with a global issue such as human trafficking.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_trafficking#United_Nations

      Governments concerned have failed to act in concert, that has resulted in misery of trafficked humans stranded in no-mans-land.

      Naval military’s globally have failed to arrest the piracy of trafficking of humans.

      Piracy of the high seas in terms of human trafficking is now out-of-control.

      Unfortunately Australia is ‘the toilet end’ of it- and as cruel as it may seem until the issue is addressed in concert with Asia to stamp out crime in human trafficking. It is going to continue.

      Concentration camp style of detainees overseas in conditions not seen since WW2 in 2012 is appalling and de-humanising.

      All countries concerned need to pull their weight this includes all of Asia where human trafficking is an issue. It needs to be a concerted & genuine effort by all law enforcement and naval departments world wide.

      A simple yacht full of cocaine and a dead body is tacked globally, yet piracy of the high seas containing human cargo is ignored.

      Strange contrast indeed. Law considered broken to me appears to be based on dollar value and not the scale of the atrocity.

    • Anjuli says:

      10:33am | 10/12/12

      Every thing that can be said has been said on this matter ,yet the situation is getting no better.

    • Colin says:

      02:14pm | 10/12/12

      Proof positive that actions speak louder than words…

      And if I could be bothered raising a finger to help someone else, I may well consider it…after the footy finishes, I’ve had a nap, washed the jet-ski, drunk another beer, and I’ve put some petrol in the ute…And after I get back from me holiday in Bali. You betcha.

    • George says:

      10:47am | 10/12/12

      It’s not our obligation to save the world from overpopulation. Especially because we will become overpopulated, and also because we have become overpopulated in Sydney.

    • OzTrucker says:

      11:10am | 10/12/12

      Would you help someone in the street or would you step around them?

      From your post I suspect you would look away and keep walking just like a lot of people. Maybe you could film it and stick it on u tube….

    • SZF says:

      12:56pm | 10/12/12

      George - Sydney is relatively crowded (by Western standards), but hardly overpopulated. A few thousand refugees arriving by boat or via one of the camps isn’t exactly going to break the joint.

      Still, lucky the nation has talking heads like you: able to excise Australia from the rest of the world, lest we drown in the frantically breeding yellow horde…

      Dial down the hyperbole, champ. We already have politicians and shock jocks for that.

    • Jaqui says:

      01:39pm | 10/12/12

      @SZF: You clearly haven’t been to the UK. There are entire places now where the natives are not allowed to go for fear of racial attack. Bradford for instance.
      Their entire public health system is on the brink, again from the major pressure placed by the open doors policy of New Labor and Tony Blair.
      The government there cannot afford to look after their elderly because they are so heavily weighed down by the faux refugees. There are stories every year of the elderly unable to turn on the heating or feed themselves.
      We won’t even touch on the spiraling rape, murder and general crime statistics.
      How are the crime statistics here versus country of birth or multiple citizenship? I hazard to guess that we will never see these for the same reason as is so obvious in the UK.

    • George says:

      02:17pm | 10/12/12

      @SZF you lot could lead by example by stop trying to constantly shut down debate by drawing our the race card, or insulting us by calling us a bunch of hillbillies.

      The left seems to think it’s never guilty of hyperbole. Ridiculous.

      Sydney is overpopulated in my opinion and most likely by the opinion of 70%+ of it’s inhabitants. Who get’s to measure what overpopulated is? Sounds like it’s fairly subjective.

      However it’s the mass immigration through the front door that is the main problem.

      But don’t worry, both Labor and Liberal love their immigrants for the labour and it because it’s the idiot’s way of increasing growth and gdp, note that gdp per capita remains the same. So you’ll get wish, better practice your rendition of kumbaya.

      The economy relies on morons knocking down houses and sticking up units, and the morons in suits providing the cash. How long can this go on for?

    • James1 says:

      02:57pm | 10/12/12

      “But don’t worry, both Labor and Liberal love their immigrants for the labour and it because it’s the idiot’s way of increasing growth and gdp, note that gdp per capita remains the same.”

      Not quite.  According to one method of calculating GDP per capita, Australia’s GDP per capita has gone from roughly $22 000 in 1999 to roughly 41 000 in 2011. Every other method of calculating it tracks a similar trend, but the method I have gone with here (purchasing power parity) is the most accurate.

    • SZF says:

      04:05pm | 10/12/12

      Fair comment George, though in my defence I’m not trying to shut down debate - you’d have to agree that an “online debate” is hardly going to get to the bottom of it all.

      My point is simply that, in many cases, the often hysterical backlash against asylum seekers has a very clear genesis in racism. If that’s not you, then great.

      Jaqui - I have been to the UK. Lived there for 2 years in fact. Suggest you go visit places like Ethiopia and Eretria like I have to see why your “faux refugees” want to get the hell out (and will do whatever it takes to do so). A little empathy never went astray…

      Finially, I don’t consider myself of “the left” or “the right”. I have opinions on both sides of the divide - and am happy to change them if a rational argument can be made to convince me.

    • A Concerned Citizen says:

      04:15pm | 10/12/12

      It definitely isn’t Australia’s job to insist countries change their punitive practices to suit Andrew Beswick’s personal morals; especially not at our own expense.

      And I can’t exactly contradict the claim that Sydney is too croweded, nor that our more recent refugee arrivals have been a profound detriment to the locals of the areas they are moved to (especially Western Sydney- where the majority of anti-refugee advocates coincidentally live).

    • Jaqui says:

      10:48am | 10/12/12

      I have a better solution, how about the Australian government hire marine security to protect our borders. There are plenty of heavily armed security companies who do work in Africa and the like that would happily assist in ensuring no boats get through international waters without authority.

      This will have a double-up impact of protecting the sharks that are regularly poached for shark fin soup in Australian waters.

      A triple up benefit is that we won’t have thousands of innocent people dying at the hands of people smugglers on the open seas.

      Win, win, win situation.

    • John says:

      11:33am | 10/12/12

      @jacui

      And what? Just shoot everyone?

    • Jaqui says:

      11:42am | 10/12/12

      @John: How these security companies handle security in international waters is their concern.

      I also feel they would be well used also to provide personal security for each and every whale in our region.

    • FeederFrenzy says:

      11:54am | 10/12/12

      “I also feel they would be well used also to provide personal security for each and every whale in our region. “
      Does that include you jaqui?

    • Jen says:

      12:13pm | 10/12/12

      @jacki “How these security companies handle security in international waters is their concern.”

      err ... no. There is something called International Law. Anyone who thinks you can “turn back the boats” is a fool.

    • SZF says:

      01:05pm | 10/12/12

      Wow Jaqui, I didn’t realise that sharks and whales rate higher than human life in your universe?

      What an interesting perspective you have…“personal security for whales” on one hand, and carte blanche to “handle security” for those shifty eyed asylum seekers on the other…

      Take off the clown shoes, you’re scaring the natives.

    • Jaqui says:

      01:34pm | 10/12/12

      Wow look at all the personal abuse the punch allows. Seems to me that the community agreement just doesn’t apply to people like “FeederFrenzy ” and “SZF”

      Did I say that they should shoot people? No!
      Did I say that “sharks and whales rate higher than human life” No! You disgustingly said that.
      As for feederfrenzy, well I understand that misogyny is probably what you are all about and that finding me outside of the kitchen is probably abhorrent to you and should be dealt with swiftly with some sort of infantile fat joke. You sir are pathetic!

    • expat says:

      01:44pm | 10/12/12

      @ Jen. International law is not worth the paper it is written on… Who is going to enforce it?

      Plenty of pirates still getting about the sea’s that this magical international law has not started to prosecute!

    • FeederFrenzy says:

      01:47pm | 10/12/12

      Jaqui
      Your a female?
      Well I never. Usually these right wings hate rants are written by men.
      I thought you might have been a male, like the poster who posts a JoniM when he really means John I am.


      Can a female be misogynist?

    • fml says:

      01:48pm | 10/12/12

      Jaqui,

      “I have a better solution, how about the Australian government hire marine security to protect our borders. There are plenty of heavily armed security companies who do work in Africa and the like that would happily assist in ensuring no boats get through international waters without authority.”

      I believe they would be called pirates..

    • TheRealDave says:

      01:53pm | 10/12/12

      “Did I say that they should shoot people? No!”

      No, but you did say “How these security companies handle security in international waters is their concern.”

      And given that the best examples of PMC’s or Private Security Companies include the likes of Blackwater et al who’s idea of security has seen them just brass the place up with gay abandon - then yes, thats exactly what you are saying Jacqui, or that you don’t care what the PMC’s do in internaitonal waters to ‘stop the boats’??

    • John says:

      02:19pm | 10/12/12

      @jaqui
      “Did I say that they should shoot people?”

      What else do you think “heavily armed security companies” you recommend do?

    • Jaqui says:

      02:25pm | 10/12/12

      @John: Deterrence, simple!

    • Jen says:

      02:39pm | 10/12/12

      @expat. Jacui’s post implied security specialists are above the law. Not if employed by the Aus Government they are not.

    • James1 says:

      02:42pm | 10/12/12

      For deterrence to be effective, it requires a credible threat.  Without this underlying credible threat, no one will be deterred.  How would you recommend that these “heavily armed security companies” establish to fishermen and asylum seekers that they pose a credible threat?

    • Jay2 says:

      03:19pm | 10/12/12

      In Jacqui’s defense here, she never said shoot anybody, but given some of the dangers in policing areas where piracy; poaching; smugglers (of human and drug cargo), what do you suggest security companies do in such situations, attempt to board potentially dangerous boats armed with a clipboard and ball point pen??

      I’m trying to figure out if what she said was offensive to some, or the fact she was a woman who said it was the problem.

      For a minute I thought I was listening to parliament with the name calling :
      To recap, aimed at Jacqui, there was: a whale reference; a clown reference; a hate rant reference and this from the supposed compassionate people…Oh the irony!

    • John says:

      03:49pm | 10/12/12

      @jacqui
      So what are these “heavily armed security companies” gonna do if people simply continue?

    • Jaqui says:

      03:49pm | 10/12/12

      @Jen: Then perhaps it is up to the Australian people to pitch in and hire them ourselves since clearly and unsurprisingly, the government isn’t competent enough to hand the situation themselves.

    • John says:

      04:08pm | 10/12/12

      @jaquci

      Why don’t you should just grab a .22 and set off for International waters in a tinny yourself. You can shoot anyone you like there, right?

    • A Concerned Citizen says:

      04:27pm | 10/12/12

      A tempting offer- but will never be used.
      I think, if we want a real discouragement, we should make Australia look less attractive;
      Forget the empty threats of ‘we will send you to Nauru and then Australia’, we pretend Australia is an atheist country where children are taught to accept gay people as equals- that should scare most of them away.

    • OzTrucker says:

      11:02am | 10/12/12

      First thing first. These people must take responsibility for their choice to get on a boat rather than wait their turn.

      Second thing. What we see as a problem here pales into insignificance when compared to the experience of, say, Turkey and the numbers they receive.

      Third. Where is our compassion here. We can and we should take more refugees and settle them here. If we did this in an organised manner then perhaps more of them would not lose their documents. Really though these people are just trying to come to a place which is safe.

      It amazes me we get so bent out of shape over some cows in another country. It also amazes me that we are willing to interfere in the politics of other countries. But more amazing we are willing to stand by and see human beings treated this way.

      Some things make me ashamed of my country. This is on of them.

    • subotic says:

      11:25am | 10/12/12

      @OzTrucker, I agree fully that its about time we stop telling the rest of the damn world how they should live their lives.

      Every time we tell other countries how to live their lives, or get involved in their private business, we show the world once again how little Australians actually care for the rights of other countries. When do we finally accept that even if “our” way is the “right” way, that’s not the point?

      I appreciate the altruistic sentiment of not wanting to “stand by and see human beings treated this way”, but when will we ever learn to mind our own goddamn business?

      There’s got to be a point where, sure, what goes on is terrible, but it’s not our business to constantly interfere.

    • Gregg says:

      11:46am | 10/12/12

      The facts are OzTrucker that
      One - people prepared to use people smuggling means are not prepared to take responsibility or otherwise they would not be getting on boats and would likely not even be going as far as Indonesia.

      Two - what is going on with the Syrians and others in the middle east is deplorable and even the refugee numbers setting up in Turkey pale into insignificance when compared to the global situation - somewhere about 13-15 million refugees globally and double that in Internally Displaced Persons.
      There is also a big difference too in that most of the refugees in places like Turkey, Iran, Pakistan etc. and in Africa and elsewhere want to be able to return to their homelands as soon as they feel it is safe to do so and that is the very reason why refugee camps are established as close as possible to countries in turmoil and then the UN sponsored IDP camps.
      The ones using people smugglers obviously are much better off financially than most refugees and are looking as much at the welfare that a country like Australia can offer aside from safety and thus seeking permanent settlement outside of the accepted ways for it.

      Three - my compassion is with the poor desperate hungry to point of malnourishment sufferers who have often been subject to murderous attacks and rapes, stuck in a UNHCR camp for years after years and they are the people who really cannot help themselves.

      When you say we can and should take more refugees for permanent settlement, what is your basis for that when we already have many services and housing shortages in this country with many people in Australia already living in sheds, tents and caravans etc., even cars.
      Have a look at the Immigration Department web site and you will see that there is a very organised approach for all our immigration
      http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/
      It is people not prepared to have responsibility and prepared to bypass our accepted processes that are undermining our ability to manage the situation.

      There are many many matters that governments have to deal with in conjunction with other countries and cultural differences do not always make that so easy.

      But you stay ashamed if you so desire and I’ll still stick up for those refugees with little hope and wealth.

    • sarah says:

      01:33pm | 10/12/12

      +1 @ Gregg.

      The poor souls who are rotting away in the UN camps are the ones we need to be helping - plain and simple.

    • It's good nite from him says:

      03:01pm | 10/12/12

      @ Oz Trucker

      What a blinkered view of the world you have, and fancy throwing the ‘ashamed’ word in.

      Round one knock out by Gregg in the first round i’m afraid.

    • A Concerned Citizen says:

      04:33pm | 10/12/12

      Oztrucker, we are not compassionate to people that have zero compassion towards us; most of the people we receive these days are third-world religious fanatics who are hostile to westerners and only know how to live antagonistically toward others to survive. Why SHOULD we give a damn about them?

      And our problem ‘pales’ compared to countries who have it worse-
      Firstly, it’s not so ‘pale’ for the people who live in the suburbs and towns these refugees are sent to.
      Secondly, why WOULD we want to have problems as bad as them? It makes no sense

    • andye says:

      05:57pm | 10/12/12

      @A Concerned Citizen: “Oztrucker, we are not compassionate to people that have zero compassion towards us; most of the people we receive these days are third-world religious fanatics who are hostile to westerners and only know how to live antagonistically toward others to survive. Why SHOULD we give a damn about them?”

      It is quite valid to hold the conservative position on asylum seekers. This demonisation of them is a bit sickening, though. They are all bad people, so it is ok? They are automatically hostile to westerners? They only know how to live antagonistically against others to survive? Where do you get this sh**? Seriously?

      It is all a rationalisation. It justifies your position by making compassion foolish. Have the guts to hold your position without the rationalisation that everyone you are denying is a bad person who hates you first.

    • Rambo says:

      11:02am | 10/12/12

      What a pointless article. Everyone knows that there are many human rights abuses in the world. The authors solution is to open the doors and let everyone in the world in who is wronged.
      Reality is we can’t help all. We have quotas and let a lucky few in, giving hope to those rotting in camps. Now go tell those in the camps that their chance is gone because que jumpers are more worthy.

    • egg says:

      12:15pm | 10/12/12

      @Rambo, how long is the queue? How many people are on it? How long does it take to get to the “front” of the queue? How does the processing work for family members?

      Do you actually understand the issue you’re waffling on about, or just spouting generic terms you’ve heard other people use to deny human rights?

      Also, please stop using the line about open doors… unless you can point to where the author has asked for NO border security to be in place, you’re talking shit.

    • marley says:

      12:32pm | 10/12/12

      @egg - there are around 800,000 on the UNHCR’s list of persons deemed suitable for third country resettlement.  About 100,000 will be resettled in any calendar year.  Where you sit on the list doesn’t depend on how long you’ve been on it - it depends on whether you’re one of the nationalities being targeted for resettlement by the receiving countries (for us, Iraq, Myanmar, Afghanistan, and Bhutan top the list) and how urgent your own situation is.

    • Gregg says:

      12:43pm | 10/12/12

      @egg
      The queue will be indefinitely variable for on one hand you have refugee numbers globally continually varying as may the number in camps who apply for resettlement.

      To give you an idea, there have been in recent years some 13M or so refugees registered with UNHCR and other NGO organisations, mostly in camps dotted all about the globe and mainly Africa and the middle east / asia and then there are about double that number of IDPs, people in camps within their own countries, it being the UNHCR experience that the bulk of the refugees want to return to their own countries, not at all like those seeking welfare here via people smugglers.

      On the figure of 6000 for annual government sponsored refugees in recent years, there were apparently about 50,000 applying each years.
      Simple maths says about eight years might get you to the front of the queue on those figures but refugee numbers and applications will as I say likely be very variable.
      And then you have the remainder of the Humanitarian stream numbers which are usually for privately sponsored people but are currently being usurped by those using people smugglers and then becoming a further burden on our nation even though many may have some funds.

      Before you get to processing family members, it should first be shown that a person applying for asylum has a legitimate claim.
      Because of the economic flood, the government has or may be preparing to remove family reunion provisions and like one needs to ask if a persons family has been left somewhere safe enough that they could in time make a visa application why then did not the asylum seeker themself.
      You could always have a look at Immigration Department ibnfo to appraise yourself better of many facts http://www.immi.gov.au/media/fact-sheets/

    • Mr. Jordon says:

      11:23am | 10/12/12

      What que?

      And how does one get on it?

    • Gregg says:

      12:16pm | 10/12/12

      Your mates on Nauru could well google UNHCR for you and give you a few options on where there are refugee camps and UNHCR officers at which to apply for registration as a refugee and you might even be lucky in getting a tent asigned somewhere.
      Australia is not a refugee camp nor a refuge for economic immigrants seeking what would by their countries standards be generous welfare hand outs and we need to keep it that way.

      I hope you will enjoy seeing more of your taxpayer $$$$ being spent with a reduction in services you may need.

    • marley says:

      12:18pm | 10/12/12

      @Mr. Jordan - if you are an Afghan in Pakistan, you go to the UNHCR, ask for third country resettlement, and if the UN agrees that you are a suitable candidate for resettlement, they will submit your name to the Australian Embassy.  Of course, the UN may not feel you’re a high priority for resettlement and may place you fairly low on the list, and of course the Australian Embassy may have already filled this and next years’ quotas.  So, guess what, you’re in the queue.

    • Khazid says:

      12:34pm | 10/12/12

      marley
      last time I was in Pakistan on the Afghan border, I couldn’t find the UNHCR building. I asked a couple of scraggly looking guys in long robes and beards and they asked me If i was one of those whinging Hasaras.
      I ran away.Later I found a mall that had a UNHCR shop and a food court in it. After having a yummy Mc’halal burger I took a number. Not long after I was interviewed by an official looking chap who said, sure no problem what country would you like to go to.

      That was five years ago. I’m still sitting in a refugee camp on the Afghan border freezing my arse off waiting for Godot.

    • marley says:

      12:50pm | 10/12/12

      @Khalid - nice piece of fiction there.  The UNHCR is in Islamabad, and they have a sub-office in Quetta.  They’re not hard to find. 

      There aren’t any refugee camps in Pakistan any more, just refugee villages.  And over half the registered refugees live outside them, as you would know if you’d ever been there.  But of course you haven’t.  If you do ever get there, might I suggest that you join the rest of your kinfolk in Karachi or Lahore or Islamabad.

    • PJ says:

      01:51pm | 10/12/12

      You pay $10,000 to a Crime Syndicate.

      Although in Sri Lanka it’s down to $500 a head to crush the Gillard Government system.

    • PJ says:

      02:01pm | 10/12/12

      The Guardian.uk’s interview with the People Smugglers in Afghanistan highlights we are being duped by middle class economic migrants.

      “For a passage to Australia, another popular destination, the smuggler offered an all-expenses-included trip for $11,500. Like others in his trade he recommended Australia, promising it was a soft touch on granting asylum.

      “Australia gives citizenship if you have a good story,” he said. “I am 100% sure that after spending six months in a [processing centre] in Australia you will get citizenship if you do not lose your temper and have warning documents from the Taliban saying you can’t live in Kabul.”

      He also trains his clients to stick to their story: “They will know you are lying, but as long as you say the same thing whatever they ask you, you will be fine.”“

      what Mugs we turned out to be?

    • ramases says:

      11:44am | 10/12/12

      For a start lets get the facts right. Those “vulnerable people” people that you speak of have by passed several countries where they could have claim asylum from whatever prosecution they believed they were experiencing but choose instead to try and jump the cue, compliments of this Government failure to do something tangible to close our borders, like, hmm, lets see, oh yes, Offshore processing and TPV’s.
        Thats was the premise of the start of your article but then after trying to make everybody feel guilty you went on to other countries and their abuse of civil rights. We all know that other countries abuse the civil rights of their people so what is the real reason for this article, self flagellation or just trying to solicit support for these queue jumpers, what?

    • fml says:

      12:04pm | 10/12/12

      “For a start lets get the facts right. “

      hmmm. odd. for someone who asks for people to get their facts right, you havn’t got your facts, right.

      “Those “vulnerable people” people that you speak of have by passed several countries where they could have claim asylum from whatever prosecution they believed they were experiencing but choose instead to try and jump the cue”

      Only one country between here and Iran is signatory to the UN. convention. That is Cambodia. Maybe you can inform us what the other “several” countries they can claim asylum are?

    • #closeourborders! says:

      12:32pm | 10/12/12

      @fml - lets get the fact right shall we… FACT -  it is widely known that these “asylum seekers” pay huge amounts of money to come here and why not, we have such ineffective border control. FACT - these guys come here damage the things they have in detention centres ie: Villawood fires/riots, Christmas Island. FACT - These “asylum seekers” are given so much in the way of handouts that there might as well be a red carpet rolled out.
      I am so sick to death of seeing my hard earned tax dollars be thrown out to those who don’t want to follow the rules of immigration….

    • Knemon says:

      12:38pm | 10/12/12

      “jump the cue”

      Eddie Charlton taught me that trick…it’s a good one!

    • fml says:

      12:40pm | 10/12/12

      @closeourborders.

      #FACT: you do not know where your “hard earned tax dollars go” More than likely into some other government policy.

      #FACT: they do not get handouts until they are accepted as refugees, then they get the same benefits as everyone else.

      #FACT: NO people sneak through, ALL asylum seekers are caught therefore we have VERY effective border control. Our capability to effectively control people who over stay their visas is poor. That we do not address.

      #FACT: They are frustrated for being detained in a prison for committing no crime at all. NO, seeking asylum is not a crime.

      I am sick and tired of my hard earned tax dollars going into trying to debunk the myths which are perpetuated by people like you.

    • KazD says:

      12:47pm | 10/12/12

      If you can’t even spell the word (its queue, btw), perhaps you should refrain from commenting.  No word yet on the fact that the overwhelming majority of queue jumpers are of NZ and UK extraction.
      Hmm….

    • Gregg says:

      12:55pm | 10/12/12

      @fml
      Why not go and have a look at some UNHCR data and you will find out more about where the UNHCR operates
      http://www.unhcr.org/pages/49e4876d6.html just for starters and a lot of people deciding to sit it out in Indonesia do register with the UNHCR.

      Registering is one thing and then being approved and selected by a resettlement country is another.

    • marley says:

      01:05pm | 10/12/12

      @KazD - “No word yet on the fact that the overwhelming majority of queue jumpers are of NZ and UK extraction.”

      I suspect there’s no word yet because very few Kiwis or Brits are in the refugee queue.  There is, after all, a rather big difference between refugees applying abroad for resettlement and tourists overstaying their tourist visas.  In any case, the Kiwis for the most part have a right to come here under the Trans-Tasman agreement.  And the Brits not only do not constitute the overwhelming majority of overstayers - they in fact rank only fourth on the list, far, far behind the Chinese.

    • Gregg says:

      01:14pm | 10/12/12

      @fml
      A few more nonmyths you may want to ignore:
      . a government has only X$$$$ in general revenue to which all taxpayers contribute and the percentage of general revenue being spent on handling irregular arrivals as the government decrees to describe those using people smugglers is continually growing as budgetted thus our taxpayer money is diverted away from other services.
      . the numbers using people smugglers have reached a level where reliable management of vetting/approval is just less existent, it already being next to impossible to disprove claims being made via practised tales of persecution etc.
      It is no secret that offices exist in Afghanistan where Taliban death threat letters can be prepared and you would have to be a fool not to think dodgy preparation is occurring in other countries.
      End result is that people will be getting passed rather quickly with minimal scrutiny, there being afterall only so many people available to work on assessments as difficult as they are to be accomplished.
      . Welfare payments in Australia that the government has decided on whilst putting people on bridging visas are not only likely extremely generous compared to what exists in other countries and they are likely non-existent in many countries
      Welcome to a life on welfare, we’ll look out for you has to be a huge drawcard.
      . If we are having to use up so many immigration resources in facing the people smuggling outworkings, it is no small surprise that less is going to be achieved re overstayers and though Australia is far from a police state, there are still efforts made to track down overstayers, not always an easy task! but what has that got to do with people smuggler arrivals.
      . There are many asylum seekers no doubt with belligerent attitudes who feel they have every right to use people smugglers to gain an irregular entry to Australia.
      Hopefully, they will get used to the fact that their bullying tactics will not help them and we have standards to be upheld.

      I am sorry you get sick and tired but if you face some reality you may feel a tad better.

    • fml says:

      01:38pm | 10/12/12

      gregg,

      That is true. Most people say there are many “safe” countries in which they can resettle, and that is not true. There is only cambodia which adheres to a level of treatment for refugees.

      “I am sorry you get sick and tired but if you face some reality you may feel a tad better. ” I don’t get sick and tired, i was just repeating what close our borders was saying.

      Most of what you wrote as widely known is not fact. It’s here say. Do fake death threats occur? Maybe, Do they pay for the travel? yes. how much? no body knows and no body can give a definitive answer. There is the figure of $10,000 thrown around but nobody knows for sure. When there are such wildly fluctuating “facts” being bandied around it is normal to doubt their veracity.

      What you are saying does indeed happen, but to what extent? I think that part is being exaggerated.

    • PJ says:

      01:48pm | 10/12/12

      fml

      “NO people sneak through”

      Captain Emad.

      Pretended to be a persecuted individual. Was believed and give a Refugee visa.
      Continued PeopleSmuggling INSIDE Australia as a liaison for the Syndicate.
      An Informant blue his cover. He was not detected by police.
      Captain Emad LEFT through Australian borders undetected.

      So care to revise your statement:

      “NO people sneak through”

    • fml says:

      02:04pm | 10/12/12

      PJ,

      Captain Emad was vetted. I am not saying the wrong people do not get through. I am saying that the vetting process needs to be more thorough.  This does not equate to letting no one in. Nor does one captain emad getting through mean that they are all captain emads. You found one person. And? what else needs to be done other than more stringent checks? who is saying not to check them?

    • fml says:

      02:49pm | 10/12/12

      PJ,

      So you have found a single instance of this happening in the UK. What has this to do with australia? and what do you propose happens? What do you propose the government do?

      Once again, you are exaggerating an aberration. So, what should the government do about it?

    • OverIt says:

      03:21pm | 10/12/12

      It actually never ceases to amaze me how those who want to let everybody in don’t see the need for caution, based on what’s been happening in the UK and Europe.  Do they actually want to go down that track, then say in a few years time “Maybe we should have learnt from other nations’ experience”? when we have massive no-go areas, massive amounts of refugees still on welfare, massive increase in violent crime, etc etc.  Unfortunately, I think some people, although well-meaning, are just slower to see the bigger picture.  Either that or they somehow believe that here in Australia it will be different!

    • A Concerned Citizen says:

      04:54pm | 10/12/12

      Afghanistan is bordered by four signatory countries
      Iraq bordered by two- and a stone-throw away from about 7 more.
      Iran is bordered by five.
      Africa is almost entirely composed of signatory countries
      Sri Lanka is closer to the Philippines and Cambodia than us.

      The argument that asylum seekers have more immediate options is plain to see. None of these people have an excuse that Australia was their closest refuge.

    • it's goodnite from him says:

      12:02pm | 10/12/12

      Does the punch publish anything anymore, we are getting an awful lot of moderating on this site these days!!!

      It is still an opinion site, or is it now just “someones’ opinion!!!!

      Soft PUnch very soft!!

    • Andrew B says:

      12:22pm | 10/12/12

      Post on Bolt’s blog
      It’s hardly moderated at all.

    • A Dolt says:

      01:07pm | 10/12/12

      As long as you agree with Bolt. Why would they moderate it? The moron knows everything!

    • Gregg says:

      12:03pm | 10/12/12

      There are numerous countries throughout the greater asian continent and Africa where humans rights abuses and outright murders, disfigurement, dismembering and rapes etc. occur and they all ought to make us all the more thankful for calling a place like Australia home.

      Even areas in the Latin and South Americas can be very horrendous too and I suppose Australia has a lot in common with the more developed nations where a more orderly and lawful democratic society has been established.
      Generally, we respect our laws for it is united adherence to them that is one thing that gives us our quality of life and allows peaceful development.

      That said, we also as a nation have limitations on just how many and the rate of absorbing many of the global needy and we expect our governments through government departments to have a handle on management figures and approaches to be adopted, not that it always works and the revoking of the initial Pacific Solution is an example of a poor decision with no back up plan if matters took a turn for the worse which they quickly did.

      Our major river system is under threat and could be even more so as the century progresses and there is adverse climate changes re rainfall and little done in respect to water harvesting.
      Our power costs are soaring and yet we are not building any new power stations to replace those getting very old.
      A lot of our services like education, health and housing are under extreme pressure and so governments must do more to have some control on external fluences than they have ever had.

      People making comments like we have not stopped the boats are eithe just foolish or kidding themselves for even when the Pacific Solution was first put in place, it took a couple of years to dry up the numbers and now we have something like ten fold the numbers and it will take a committed longer term approach to deterrent action than ever before.
      I’d suggest an apprioach something like tent city refugee camps on the Tiwi Islands for a hundred thousand may even be necessary and the same model as used for the type of refugee camps we see in Pakistan, Turkey or Africa should be used, all to UNHCR standards and then let the UNHCR figure on what to do next.

      This easy road into Australia we have now is destroying the morale of those who still wonder about the plight of the really poor refugees.

    • PJ says:

      02:19pm | 10/12/12

      The UNHCR doesn’t give a toss what happens to the Refugees or the countries that it coerces into taking them.

      Here in Melbourne African Refugees are 5 times more likely to commit a crime. The crimes are physical violence with robbery. Thats a cry for help from people that are supposedly saved. This issue is now buried.

      What the UNHCR offers is clearly not a complete solution and very few actually make it work, unless they get substantial assistance. The rest just become the host authorities issue it seems.

      Berham Ahmed notes:
      “There is a huge difference between the way people of African backgrounds think and approach life and the way that mainstream culture operates, especially mainstream employment culture.

      This is also why so many employment and participation strategies aimed at African youth don’t work.”

      http://www.theage.com.au/victoria/no-one-is-getting-off-youth-gangs-train-rampage-20120322-1vl6v.html

      Maybe we’re not helping these people, ever thought of that?

    • Gregg says:

      04:56pm | 10/12/12

      @PJ
      That incident has been aired a few times.
      ” Maybe we’re not helping these people, ever thought of that? “
      You could be quite right and it’d be all the more reason to be more closely assessing who we might like to try and help.

    • Bear says:

      01:12pm | 10/12/12

      This issue is why Howard was an a hole! The politicization of it is his gift to Australia.

    • franklin says:

      01:23pm | 10/12/12

      Of the asylum seekers arriving via people smugglers 68% are single males, while only 1% are single females. Asylum seekers pay $10,000 to $15,000 to travel via criminal gangs of people smugglers from Afghanistan to Indonesia to Christmas Island. For perspective note that the yearly per capita income of Afghanistan is around $800 per year or less than $3 per day. Also note that there are four countries that border Afghanistan that are United Nations member states AND signatories to the UN Refugee Convention, AND four more such countries that are only one country away. Therefore, the clients of the people smugglers can be seen to be very affluent by the standards of the region that they originate from, and by bypassing member UN member states and signatory countries to the refugee convention it seems that their aim is more to settle in an affluent western country than to escape persecution.

      In contrast, the most desperate refugees in the world are single women and children living in squalid refugee camps in Africa and Asia. They live in abject poverty and are forced to deal with hostile locals, an almost total lack of economic opportunities, frequent gender based violence, high rates of crime and food shortages. They are obviously unable to pay many thousands of dollars to people smugglers, it is a constant struggle for them just to provide their daily meals. It is refugees such as these that we need to put a human face on.


      A question for Andrew Beswick –  should the very limited number of places available in Australia’s refugee resettlement program be allocated to those most in need, or should affluent asylum seekers with many thousands of dollars to pay criminal gangs of people smugglers automatically take precedence in Australia’s refugee resettlement program ahead of those in much greater need.

    • PJ says:

      02:36pm | 10/12/12

      The other issue is, with our slowing economy maybe we cannot afford the problem?

      Just to process 13000 illegal immigrants was reported to cost $1.7 Billion.

      We’re spending $2.1 Billion fixing Nauru that the Government let rot.

      We spend $30 Million per year defending ourselves against law suits form illegals using free legal aid. Crazy. Take about biting the hand that feeds. I blame the Lawyers for that. Part of the Feeders in the flawed Asylum process.

      I think there is now 30,000 illegals this year? So is the bill now $3.92 Billion?

      And next year will it be 69,000 at a cost of $9 Billion?

      what? of course I’m speculating, but once the doors are open the flood could come in. the Herald Sun Reported;

      “ASYLUM seekers in Indonesia have swung into party mode and labelled Julia Gillard a “hero” after learning they will receive welfare payments and rent assistance should they make it to Australia by boat.”

      We’ve got a Government that cannot find monies for it’s promises, $4 Billion for a Dental scheme for poor families, $1.3 Billion for Asst Child Care. Yet we easily blow billions on this political hot potato.

      Oh for a Leader with balls.

    • PJ says:

      03:42pm | 10/12/12

      Recent figures released by the UNHCR show Australia continues to buck the global trend on illegal immigrants.

      compared to 44 industrialised countries Australia had 59% more asylum applications in the first 6 months of this year than in 2011.

      So the question I have is, has Julia Gillard let us down again?

      “I am full of understanding of the perspective of the Australian people that they want strong management of our borders and I will provide it”
      Julia Gillard, June 24, 2010

      Julia Gillard used the lack of Border control to assassinate Rudd, but she has 2,000 people arriving by illegal boat every month since July.

      Since she stormed out to solve the problem In the second half of 2012 overall arrivals are more than double the first half of the year, with average monthly arrivals up by 130%.

      is that ‘strong management of our borders’......

    • Geko says:

      02:30pm | 10/12/12

      Gregg wrote “Our power costs are soaring ” thanks to green-dazed Labor and it’s “send-electricity-prices-through-the-roof” policies to “fight” “yet-to-be-realised-but-coming-soon-trust-us” rampant global warming, also known as the ““cash-grab-for-hard-up-third-world-dictators”!!

    • Liberal Donkey says:

      03:05pm | 10/12/12

      Funny that prices went up about 200% before the carbon tax but now history is revised (which they do so often) and its ALL about the carbon tax.

    • Geko says:

      03:32pm | 10/12/12

      Liberal Donkey wrote “Funny that prices went up about 200% before the carbon tax “

      Before the pointless carbon DIOXIDE tax there was massive political hysteria over mythical AGW thanks to Flannery’s “permanent drought” et al, so the pollies decided to send electricity prices up 200% before the tax reared its ugly head!

      Thank you greenies NOT.

    • Leigh says:

      03:05pm | 10/12/12

      “… a stark reminder of the extreme risks vulnerable people often take in seeking a safer life and the often fatal consequences.”

      Anyone who takes stupid risks is vulnerable. Whether people coming to Australia illegally deserve our sympathy –when they might be coming for a ‘safer life’ or just for a better life on the dole – is entirely up to individuals. It seems that most Australians do not sympathise with them. We already know the ‘human face’ rhetoric; they are humans, but they are very stupid, sneaky humans who are not wanted in our country – except by a few anarchists who seem to think it would be nice to change the face of Australia to something they imagine it should be.

      The people “languishing, on Nauru, in leaking tents, in repressive heat – with no end in sight” are NOT “some of the world’s most vulnerable”. If we listen to the rubbish they tell us they are escaping from, being alive on Nauru is a good deal for them.

      The old “basic human rights” mantra is chucked about again in this article. What ‘rights’ would they be, one wonders. Anything like the legal rights Australia has to maintain an orderly immigration policy? Of course not! The author is referring to non-legal ‘rights’ he and his cronies believe should apply to any Tom, Dick or Harry who decides that Australia owes them a better life at Australia’s expense.

      Previous Australian governments agreed to accept a certain number of UN-processed refugees. There was no agreement to accept people arriving illegally, and during the last Coalition term, the illegals were pretty much stopped.

      Since we have had a full-blown socialist government, (even die-hard Labor supporters must be embarrassed) that socialist government has, by default, encouraged more and more illegals to believe ( thanks to Rudd’s and Gillard’s continual criticism of the Pacific Solution) that they are welcome to come here any way they wish, without papers and without prior processing by the UN. The socialists have done nothing to disabuse them, and they keep coming, boat after boat.

      The bad governments in other countries the author refers to, and their atrocities have nothing to do with Australia.

      It’s strange how those wanting world government never blame the UN, which aspires to world government; they always pick on Australia.

    • Geko says:

      03:34pm | 10/12/12

      Good one Leigh.
      My thoughts exactly!

    • Bear says:

      03:59pm | 10/12/12

      How are they socialist when they mostly copy the dead arse Liberals? You should all be pleased to have things you way. If only they really were socialist, imagine the screeching then!!

    • Mick S says:

      03:33pm | 10/12/12

      Why are these desperate people so often referred to as “illegals” - nothing they do is illegal, and they are never charged with any act of illegality.  On the contrary, they are detained without trial.
      It is sickening to see the two major parties in a awful race for the bottom, in what is only a pathetic attempt to gain the votes of the most ignorant and most racist.
      And don’t try ro tell me it is to save the refugees from perilous voyages or to “break the people smugglers business model” -  if that was the objective yopu would simply run a ferry service from indonesia to Australia, charging less than the smugglers - simple and profitable.

    • the cynic says:

      06:12pm | 10/12/12

      Mick S says:03:33pm ” if that was the objective you would simply run a ferry service from indonesia to Australia ” We do it is called the RANi.

    • Utopia Boy says:

      03:45pm | 10/12/12

      Screw it, just open the doors and let them all in. Every single one of them. And we’ll let insist they live in Andrew Beswick’s suburb.

      It seems it doesn’t matter what the government does, Liberal or Labor, someone’s gotta have a bitch about it. The public’s sick of it.

      Make a decision. Follow it through. Explain it to the electorate. Let the electorate decide if the decision is correct at the next election.

      Labor could have had this off the table from the beginning. It’s irrelevant anyway, they won’t be worrying about it after the next vote. And we know what the Libs will do, so why all the bloody fuss??????

    • mikem says:

      03:55pm | 10/12/12

      It will be put up or shut up up time for Mr Abbott and Mr Morrison if the Liberals win the next election.  Mouthing off is easy.  Delivering is a tad more difficult.

    • Gavin M says:

      05:02pm | 10/12/12

      Spin, spin, spin.You are playing a game called let’s humanise the issue and try and play on people’s emotions. Or how about let’s be objective and get serious about the issue - and the issue is that we have a porous border where any one from the middle east that is cashed up, can hop on a jet to SE Asia and then pay for passage to Australia, then claim asylum and rely on our naivety to welcome them in. Just because we signed a UN convention after the second world war to resettle homeless refugees from Europe in the 1950’s doesn’t mean we reinterpret it to suit modern times. It’s past it’s use by date and certainly no longer relevant. Spineless politicians shedding tears in parliament in order to hide the issue brings me to tears myself, in frustration.

    • hammy says:

      05:17pm | 10/12/12

      The hypocrisy from the Australian media is simply breath taking…arrogantly so.

    • TC says:

      05:26pm | 10/12/12

      I vote we have a referendum on this issue. Do you agree to open borders where anybody may turn up and claim asylum? All those who vote yes can then have the refugees live in their house. I am sure all the yes people won’t mind at all….surely?

    • stephen says:

      06:01pm | 10/12/12

      Well perhaps the Arab Spring has run out of puff because all unhappy people from those country have decided to run, and come here, rather than stay and fight and chamge things.
      At any rate, why is it our resonsibility and why are we made to feel guilty when those closet dissidents who would just love to change their governments but instead have raided their bank accounts, paid a couple of smugglers to boat themselves over here, then complain when they end up in the heat, under a tent ?
      Their predicament is surely unfortunate, yet their decibels of complaint can be explained if we assume - rightly, too I think - that they expected much better conditions here and feel, not so much angry at us, but that they paid so much money to crooks.
      (They must be angry at someone, right ?)

      But are these the best Iran, Pakistan, Iraq, and Afghanistan can send us ?


      They should stay and fight for their country - but they are over here and you can bet your last dollar that they will never be fighting for us.

 

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