Abbott’s Magical Mystery Tour

Kids in Nauru

It has been reported that Tony Abbott had chartered a private jet to Nauru to discuss asylum-seeker policy. According to this morning’s Sydney Morning Herald, this is all-expenses-paid courtesy of Liberal Party donors. One cannot but wonder WHY. Why would Liberal Party donors go to the expense of hiring a private jet for their man, surely not because this tour is nothing more that has been labelled by The Refugee Action Coalition, a “cheap publicity stunt”.

The Refugee Action Coalition also stated that Nauru’s detention center was a “hell hole”. Of course while the Nauru center was operational most Coalition politicians were meticulous in their avoidance of the place.

Susan Metcalfe of the Brisbane Times provides the description:

Philip Ruddock was the only Howard government immigration minister to visit Nauru, in 2002. The mostly Afghani men, women and children who greeted Ruddock with their traditional hospitality still remember his harsh words as he told them to go back to their country because they had come through the window instead of the door. Many have since become proud Australian citizens.

When Amanda Vanstone took over as immigration minister in late 2003, she avoided travelling to Nauru altogether, as did the next minister, Kevin Andrews. Then foreign minister Alexander Downer did travel to Nauru more than once, but refugees in 2007 remember Downer walking through the gates, doing a round of the camp and walking out again.

The OO generously describes Abbott’s visit as: “OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott will meet with Nauru’s president to gauge the island nation’s willingness to reopen its asylum seeker detention centre”. Of course Nauru is willing, the place is bankrupt!

Over to you…

UPDATE: Below courtesy of Scott Prince

Where is it? It is a small island in the south pacific. It is one of the Marshall Islands with a population of only 13000. It is 21sq klm in size and can fit 3000 times into Tasmania. Health is the main concern of Nauru. The main probl…ems are the infliction of diseases such as tuberculosis and leprosy, vitamin deficiencies and diabetes. The result of switching the dietary habits to a westernised culture. The life expectancy of a healthy adult is 61yo and infant mortality is 10 in 1000. Nauru is a republic, one of the smallest democracies in the world. The unemployment rate is 90%. The temperature averages around 25c most of the year and is monsoonal nov to feb.

Now why don’t we use Nauru? the liberal party pretty much barged in and set up camp (the detention centre) which has not been endorsed or passed by the U.N. The Nauru detention centers will remain a brutal part of Australia’s chequered history toward refugees and immigrants. Immense suffering was caused to men, women and children as a direct and deliberate part of the liberal government. “The Labor government must be congratulated for putting an end to this abomination” from Democrat senator Andrew Bartlett. Under the coalitions policy, all new “illegal” boat arrivals will be sent to this tiny island nation to be processed. This is nothing more, nothing less than a political stunt, an attempt again to trick the Australian public into believing that somehow there is a quick and easy fix to asylum seeker issues.

202 comments on “Abbott’s Magical Mystery Tour

  1. Maybe Menzies House. I do not think it might be the mining industry, but I would not put it past Gina.

    Who ever it is, should be picking up his fares for the last couple of months criss crossing the country for photo ops.

  2. CU, you can bet your life that whoever it is figures that there are $$s to be made in supporting Abbott.

    Would refugee rights groups, the churches, welfare groups be supporting Abbott. The obvious answer being no, of course not. Is it someone concerned about Nauru, the nation..no of course not.

  3. Liberal donors are getting desperate, because of the heavy load, the robber barons had to charter an Airbus380.

  4. Interesting that Abbott’s trip to Nauru has already provoked more commentary on this site than did the Malaysian Solution of Gillard.

    Are priorities and motivations of government important here, or is it just barracking?

  5. ToM ‘more commentary’ on this site. Give us a break ToM I just put the topic up this morning…ruptured disc and all…

    No, I’m not going to go into self-justification. There is a topic up so go for it….

  6. No Min, I don’t really wish to argue the point here, as I think you have a site for the purpose of sharing similarly held views, and that’s your right (as you don’t seek to portray the site as something else).

    I’m only pointing out that there has been no thread about the Government’s Malaysian Solution, and the only commentary has been provoked by people with an interest in human rights (which some hold regardless of the party of government).

    It’s an observation.

  7. ToM, thank you for that. Your opinion is that “I” have a site for the purpose of similarly held views. So..challenge those views, with factual information and logical argument.

    This is an open blog and all views are welcome – but play the ball and not the man.

    I have said previously on other threads, as have other contributors notably Adrian that we are still waiting to see ‘how it works’. I believe that Gillard is correct in treating this as a Regional Problem which needs a regional solution and that this is something which just re-opening Nauru will not achieve.

    I don’t know that Malaysia is the absolute solution..but heaven help us, we are very unlikely to ever achieve cooperation from Indonesia.

  8. It is the same on this blog as on other Labor supporting blogs.

    Another post on the people not in govt. I really do not care what Abbot is up to. He is not in govt. What is Gillard doing??

    Nicely staged photo of kids. There are now hundreds of more kids in detention now than there ever was under Howard.

    Whatever you say about the Pacific Solution, nothing could be as bad as the current setup.

    Here is a photo of the usual outcome of ALP policy decesions

    http://www.news.com.au/national/authorities-knew-of-looming-riot-at-villawood-detention-centre/story-e6frfkvr-1226050817470

  9. Neil. I double dare you. You want to put up a topic then go for it. I’ll email you with my home email and you can send me your topic and I’ll put it up for you.

    As far as blogs go..perhaps the experience of putting up your own topic might serve you well.

    Clearly my pic was to illustrate the previous experience of Nauru.

  10. Abbott goes to Nauru.

    Here that’s NEWS worthy of a thread!

    The government –
    • Has 6000 people in detention.
    • Proposes to send children to a country with a poor human rights record
    • Plans to deny people seeking our protection, protection here
    • Oversees successive riots in detention centres
    • Is criticised by academics in international law and human rights, as well as by asylum seeker advocacy groups

    But all this doesn’t warrant a dedicated thread.

    Really Min, it is pointless to suggest that there is any sense of balance.

  11. Hi Min

    Got your e-mail.

    Thanks for your offer. But I think I will turn the offer down.

    Perhaps at a latter time.

  12. “Interesting that Abbott’s trip to Nauru has already provoked more commentary on this site than did the Malaysian Solution of Gillard.”

    Maybe TomM, it is because Mr. Abbott’s stunt is getting extensive media coverage.

    Maybe TomM, there are some who believe an Opposition should not embarrass or trash a government overseas. I know that the convention is a little old fashion.

    I believe that the stunt will back fire, as we are getting pictures of how bad the facilities are.

    TomM, Mr. Abbott is saying that PM Gillard should go there. Can you tell me if Mr. Howard ever visited the island?

    TomM, I assume you are aware that the High Court took away Mr. Howard’s reasoning in using the island. That was to keep them in isolation and prevent access to the legal system.

    Temporary visas of they had any value, it as only short term, as all were changed to permanent visas.

    The court ruled that these people do have access to the legal system.

    Therefore off shore processing holds no more benefits for th government than on shore.


  13. “The main probl…ems are the infliction of diseases such as tuberculosis and leprosy, vitamin deficiencies and diabetes. The result of switching the dietary habits to a westernised culture.”

    It seems that you don’t have to go beyond the Gillard government’s detention centres to find those conditions…

    Refugee crisis as leprosy found in Villawood detention centre

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-nsw/refugee-crisis-as-leprosyfound-in-villawood-detention-centre/story-e6freuzi-1226073287723

  14. Why are many frighten to see Mr. Abbott has the same scrutiny as the PM. The supporters of Abbott are very thin skinned.

    I suggest that those who are concerned, do as we who support the PM, explain why we disagree.

    TomM, there has been ongoing discussion on the PM’s scheme. I, for one, among others have written pages on the subject.

  15. Reb, re leprosy…

    Most cases of leprosy (Hansen’s Disease), which nowadays, in Australia, are very few, are presenting in Western Australia and Australia’s Northern Territory, the State Capital of which is Darwin

    ..and mostly confined to the Aboriginal population.

    But of course this is a “Refugee Crisis”….

  16. “Refugee crisis as leprosy found in Villawood detention centre”

    Reb, you do know that in this day and age, we are unlikely to catch leprosy and it can be treated.

    TB is another matter, but the testing can give a false negative. To catch TB, you need to have close contact. It is a worry, as TB is becoming harder to treat.

    Both diseases were obviously picked up at Villawood.

  17. “vitamin deficiencies and diabetes. The result of switching the dietary habits to a westernised culture.”

    I did not know that the food in the middle east was that different. Of course living in poverty, stranded in poor nations for years would not affect the health.

    They eat meat and vegetables. We eat meat and vegetables,

    The next allegation we will get is that they do not bath,

    Why do they have to be portrayed as inferior human beings.

    The illness that they are presenting with are the results of living in substandard conditions. The same people are being condemned for attempting to flee these conditions, conditions where they fear for the lives of their children.

  18. to all those people criticising the focus being on Tony Abbott – he has made himself the news story in a very cynical way. Taking a team of journalists to Nauru, broadcasting out of Nauru today. So he wants the attention but he doesn’t want scrutiny? It is becoming so frequent that any time some scrutiny comes on to Abbott all his supporters try to distract and cry foul. Do you think that you can scare people off? Abbott has only been doing the soft interviews (if you can call them that) lately, mostly with Sydney shock jocks who offer pats on the back rather than hard questions. An opposition leader presenting himself as a potential leader of this country has to be able to stand up to questioning and as soon as Abbott gets on a program like 7.30 he starts talking about gospel truths and bending truths. At the moment he and his supporters look very weak. And he asked for australian taxpayers to pay for his trip to nauru, thank goodness he was turned down and the mining companies or the tabacco industry have paid instead. I know Liberal voters who are so embarrassed that this guy has no credible policies and you get the feeling if you ask him about climate change he would tell you to call Nauru. For the past year Abbott has told us that Nauru could be ready to take asylum seekers within weeks but now he says he had to fly there to confirm with ministers if that was true. The foreign minister has dual australian/nauru citizenship and the nauruan govt spends lots of time in Brisbane (another story there). If people want our democracy to work both sides have to stand up and I can’t remember as much scrutiny as we are seeing every day being thrown at the Gillard policies in the media, from all sides. Tony Abbott has made himself the story today and there should be a lot of scrutiny given to the details he never talks about.

  19. Thank you fragile for saying it so clearly.

    The Opposition needs to learn if you throw punches, you must be capable of taking a few in return.

  20. Fragile, I think that’s it and precisely: “So he wants the attention but he doesn’t want scrutiny”.

  21. I think scrutiny should apply to both sides of politics, with perhaps more scrutiny of the party in power. They are the ones who control the purse strings after all.

    Tony Abbott can travel anywhere he likes for all I care. I really don’t the media is paying that much attention, because well basically, he’s not the one in power.

    The incumbent government’s policies demand greater scrutiny because it is those policies that will eventually take effect. Tony Abbott can say all he likes, but it’s really all talk and will remain so for another two years. (If he survives to the next electin which I doubt).

    What disturbs me, is that there are many Labor apologists, that protest that they’re prepared to “wait to see the detail” of the Government’s Malaysia Solution but in the same breath demand greater scrutiny of Abbott’s plans.

    Which all sounds a bit irrelevant for the reasons I have outlined above.

    Meanwhile Julia Gillard’s government has been found guilty of establishing a tax payer funded dirt digging unit specifically tasked with the job of search through financial records and personal details of opposition MPs in a covert manner deliberately designed to avoid Freedom of Information scrutiny….

    Will there be any sense of indignant outrage on this forum or at TPS….??

    I won’t hold my breath…

    http://guttertrash.wordpress.com/2011/06/12/gillard-government-dirt-unit-eposed/

  22. Reb, I honestly cannot offer you more than my opinion…I will have to wait and see. I feel quite inadequate saying this, but you know me..I need to see the data before voicing an opinion. OK so it’s probably an Aspie thing, but that’s just me.

  23. Why isn’t scrutiny being applied to Abbott to reveal his position on gay marriage? We’ve heard Gillard’s pathetic view where all she tried to do was wriggle her way out of giving a commitment. Maybe Abbott has the same opinion so is wisely keeping his mouth shut which is so unlike him.

    Frankly I’m tired of the refugee argument and it should have never been politicised in the first place.

  24. Hayward,

    Abbott says he feels “threatened” by homosexuals, so I doubt he’d be any more sympathetic towards “gay marriage” than Julia Gillard.


    “Frankly I’m tired of the refugee argument and it should have never been politicised in the first place.”

    I couldn’t agree more!

  25. Hayward..why are you tired of a issue that is yet to be resolved. Sorry to be mean, but isn’t that a cop-out..sorry but I’m sick of it.

    If you are “tired of the refugee argument” what chases your fancy…

  26. I don’t think Howard should have turned it into the issue as he did as now we have policies aimed at appeasing the morally low dregs of society. In the meantime not a damn thing has been advanced on gay marriage. Under Howard it was a non issue and I’m suspecting the same from Abbott. I expected better from Gillard and I’ve been disappointed. Perhaps that’s partly why I’m tired of hearing about refugees all the time while other important issues are put on the back burner to see what the party thinks of it.

  27. ‘I really don’t the media is paying that much attention, because well basically, he’s not the one in power.’

    Then why is the media paying so much attention?


  28. “I expected better from Gillard and I’ve been disappointed.”

    Me too, I like many other disaffected Labor voters expected Labor to “move forward” with progressive change with traditional Labor values of protecting the underclasses, ending discrimination against minorities and championing eulity for all.

    Instead Gillard has done the opposite, she’s announced her staunch opposition to same sex marriage, pandered to the conservative religious lobby and now attempted to “out-right” the far right of the Coalition with its abhorrent Malaysia Solution.

    But I’ve repeated these sentiments many times here and at GT and TPS…

    At least here and at GT some people are receptive to these criticisms. Over at TPS you’re just slandered as an “Abbott-lover” if you dare say anything negative about their beloved leader Julia Gillard.

  29. Slightly off topic, but relating to my last post, I noted with glee today when we stopped in at the shops on the way home, that, in a town with only one paper to buy on a Sunday, the shops were all giving away free copies of the Sunday Mail to anybody. I gladly obliged, as, with winter upon us, it is valuable fuel for the fire.

    They have finally hit upon their niche in the market lol

  30. “Then why is the media paying so much attention?”

    Is the media paying attention? I thought they were too preoccupied with trying to bring down the Gillard govt. 😉

  31. ‘I thought they were too preoccupied with trying to bring down the Gillard govt.’

    And isn’t providing air to an airless excursion like this just one more step in that preoccupation?

  32. Reb @5.12pm if you want my opinion then I think that Gillard is up shit creek minus a paddle for pandering to the think-tankers. Gillard will have to stamp her presence or be confined to the dusty pages of history under the title of ‘also ran’.

    She has 6 months, she will do it or she won’t.

  33. I wouldn’t call discussion about Gillard’s aslum seeker “scheme” or conservative stance of equality for same -sex couples “an airless excursion”

    But I guess what is important to some people is either not important or blithely ignored deliberately or otherwise by others who shall remain nameless like Patricia for example, where discussion of such issues is deemed to be “not sensible”.

  34. “Then why is the media paying so much attention?”

    Why do left-wing blogs spend so much time talking about Tony Abbot?? I just looked at the titles of the “recent posts”

    There are two posts with Abbott’s name and none for anyone else.

  35. Min, I think that the once considered unelectable “Tony Abbott” is now in an election winning lead is a testament to Julia Gillard’s appauling performance as PM.

    Teh Left cab blame the media as much as they like, but I credit the Aus public with a bit more intelligence than that.

  36. “an airless excursion” was in reference to the little jaunt to Nauru reb

    As for Gillards ‘conservative stance of equality for same -sex couples’ piss poor pandering, but pandering is all it is. The other advances made by this government outweigh the bad for me, but yes, in this respect, they have let the country down

    ‘Gillard’s aslum seeker “scheme”’ to me has much merit, once you get past the ridiculous ‘caning’ claims and such

    ‘but I credit the Aus public with a bit more intelligence than that.’

    Unfortunately, most people are not as engaged as some, and simply have to go on what they hear. They watch the news for information, but get instead ‘stories’

  37. Reb, worthy of a topic in itself. WHY is Gillard’s performance so appalling. And with due respect to gay rights, I don’t think that this is it.

    In 2010 it was expected that Gillard would take over from Rudd, so what is it..

  38. I can’t comment on what’s said elsewhere but I do feel that this site is filled with bloggers who support gay marriage. That makes me feel comfortable here.

    I admit to being a Labor supporter but I will not take a backward step in voicing my disappointment in their refusal to address gay marriage. The people want it.

    On the same token I hold no hope in Abbott tackling the gay marriage either. Especially when he’s scared of gays.


  39. “an airless excursion” was in reference to the little jaunt to Nauru reb”

    Oh I see now, and agree! 🙂

    He visited a Catholic church apparently….

    I guess he’s got be seen as doing something inbetween the “pollies on pedals” bike rides I suppose….

  40. Hayward..probably it, no matter how disappointed we are in Gillard, and I certainly am…there is not much hope of going anywhere whatsoever on ANY issues should Abbott be in charge of proceedings.


  41. “WHY is Gillard’s performance so appalling”

    Oh come on Min, you know the answer to that question as well as I do…

  42. Reb..sneaky..always answer a question with a question…or a statement with an inference suggesting the necessity of a response.

    I’m not that silly.

  43. Bacchus, I get the feeling that Hayward is one of those blokes who will certainly voice his opinion.

  44. “The other advances made by this government outweigh the bad for me,”

    What advances???

    I think the main reason that Abbott is in the news is that the ALP has no success stories. They just lurch from one disaster to the next. Hence the media and left-wings blogs wonder what the Coalition leader would be doing.

    And how incompetent can you be. Announcing the Malaysian Solution before anything has been signed and may never be.

  45. Bacchus, I must apologise I was in a very sceptical frame of mind when you first put forward this link. Nothing ventured nothing gained.

  46. *** HOUSE KEEPING NOTE. As people know I’m a hearing impaired person but less well known I also have a visual impairment, plus scotopic sensitivity syndrome. I therefore find it very diffiicult to be able to scan back..therefore if people could say, X person at Y time it would be very useful for me.

  47. ‘What advances’

    Fair Work is the foremost in my mind

    Additions to Pensioners income

    Oh yea, that’s right, our strong economy in a sea of failed ones

    Just for a few 😉

  48. “Oh yea, that’s right, our strong economy in a sea of failed ones”

    Not for long if the ALP stays in power. As usual the Libs will be elected when Australians become scared at what Labor has been doing and have to bring in cuts to balance the budget. They will then be called uncaring etc. etc.

    I give no credit to Labor for 5% unemployment. No-one in the ALP knows how to create a job. Gough Whitlam doubled the unemployment rate and Hawke/Keating were handed unemployment at 8% and finished at 8% in 1996. They have no track record at reducing unemployment.

    All their policies are like the Malaysian Solution. Useless.

    Can you believe the stupidity of making the Malaysian Announcement when nothing may be signed. Why not keep quite until something is signed or at least close to signing??

    They are incompetent.

  49. Stay with me kids. I have a ruptured disc 6th vertebrae..therefore anything further on this would much appreciated. Even a hot water bottle would be appreciated.

  50. I used to work with a man who had persistent back problems which were fixed by chance after he went bungy jumping in Cairns while on holiday.

  51. Thanks Hayward…presumably you are going to take me bungy jumping in Cairns. Noo. we are talking ruptured disc here.

  52. Let me say Min, that you’re about the only person who could repeatedly delete a comment from me and not suffer the wrath.

    Hope you recover soon.

    (please delete after reading!)

  53. Talking of gay marraige, we should spend the winter parliamentary break finding out how our local MHRs’ consultations with their constituents are going. Must go into Andrew Robb’s website to see what he’s been doing. Haven’t noticed anything but you never know. Perhaps a timely email could flush him out. He’s very good at knowing what we think, without asking us.

  54. Mr Rennie that is a very sensible suggestion. Let’s take our fight to the politicians instead of each other.

  55. How true Kevin and Hayward..imagine if one spent all of this energy in something positive such as lobbying for gay rights instead of wasted energy nit-picking how much could be achieved.

  56. That’s not a smirk, the man’s in a catlik church on a tropical island, that’s restrained laughter.

    What’s Morrison doing there? Does he also take his orders from god’s representative on earth?

    The pope is not great, doesn’t believe in gay marriage and thinks global warming is real, which may indicate a communications problem with ‘she’ who must be obeyed.

    At the risk of eternal damnation I believe god is wrong about gentlemen and the weather.

  57. I’m almost not game to ask el gordo 😉 But what does god think about gentlemen and the weather….

  58. I think that this one by Malcolm Fraser is an excellent illustration of how far to the right Australian politics is today. Fraser sounds like a radical leftie!

    How many Australians realise that this destitution is a direct consequence of government policy begun in the Howard years and continued by the Labor government?…..

    We should reflect on this fact: community-based asylum seekers are forced into a life of destitution and despair in our great country. While they may not be enclosed behind barbed-wire fences, they too face a form of imprisonment in poverty and limbo.

    http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/asylum-seekers-go-from-nothing-to-zero-under-cruel-policy-20110612-1fz8s.html

  59. Thank you for that Gemma. I completely agree. Abbott is also yet to explain how reopening Nauru is going to ‘stop the boats’. As I’ve mentioned previously, Nauru is a very long way away…it’s a hugely expensive exercise to transport refugee applicants that distance.

  60. Mr Abbott what about the children?

    “A PRIMARY school with 400 children would have to be moved to enable the reopening of the refugee processing centre on Nauru, where locals have also taken away many portable accommodation buildings to use for housing.

    Finger paintings now fill the windows of most remaining buildings at the Statehouse camp, which was opened by the Howard government in 2003. ”There were actually a lot more buildings,” Nauruan Foreign Minister Kieren Keke told Opposition Leader Tony Abbott as he toured the site yesterday”

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/abbotts-nauru-resurrection-draws-jobhungry-disciples-20110612-1fzbv.html#ixzz1P79oztfw

    Ummm aaaaaaaaaaahh The kids, yep well they um Yes see Scott about that… Replies Mr Yabbott, you see he had a plane to catch. And that was a bit of a tough issue to fully address at this point and I the reporter should know better than try and get a gotcha.

  61. Gemma, Mr. Abbott did describe himself as the alternate PM.

    Now I thought that the deputy PM performed this role when the PM is not available.

    How wrong can I be.

  62. ‘….what does god think about gentlemen and the weather?’

    I’m not qualified to say, but Abbott would be better served talking to Cardinal Pell more often.

    Min, this is how Jennifer Marohasy handles unruly mobs.

    ‘I’ve just deleted 9 comments in a row because they were either off topic (Gavin) or rude (all the others). Please try and be civil (polite and courteous) even when provoked. :-)’

    Hmmm…

  63. He even managed a bike ride with a police consort. It must have been a boring ride.

    Mr. Abbott is ignoring a pertinent fact, the asylum seekers now have access to our legal system. It was Mr. Howard’s aim to deny them access to the courts. That is no longer the case, as the high court ruled this illegal.

  64. CU, you see it’s like this. A HUGE bolt of lightening is going to descend (the God of Righteousness or similar, maybe an Archangel) and the whole of the Labor government is going to be smited, or is that smitten?

    Actually given a choice I would much rather be smitten than smited 😀

  65. “Mr Abbott what about the children?”

    Sue -yeah like you really care. You people are all the same. You use children, refugees, whatever for political purposes.

    It was nice to see that buildings built by the Australian govt were being put to good use.

    If CU is correct, Abbott will need to explain why Nauru will work again. It is not just Nauru, but TPV’s as well.

  66. Neil..yeah like we really do. Yes we people are all the same..we really do care.

    And as for TPV’s this has been proven to be the cause of women and children being brought on the boats because a TPV does not allow for family reunions….therefore it’s an encouragement for women and children to be brought on leaky boats.

  67. Well then how come the boats stopped coming?? We only had 6 boat people in detention in late 2007. We now have almost 7,000 with detention centers being burnt to the ground and hundreds of children locked up.

    Actually we need to talk about how many refugees we want to take. There are 20 million worldwide and they all would want to come here.

    And who knows what trouble the Malaysian solution will cause. The ALP is the party of the unintended stuff up. People smugglers with outsmart Gillard, something they could not do with Howard.

  68. Neil, you are correct. Mr. Abbott should be ask why and how it was and is better option. Saying it is, is not enough. This is 2011, not the 1990’s.

    Neil, we need not despair as the numbers are coming down. They have halved this year.

    It is a sad fact, that when a boat sinks with lost of life, of woman and children, the numbers decline. This happened after the Siev 10 and was repeated after the Christmas Island sinking.

  69. Reb @ 1.14pm, 12th, just a couple of points about the Samantha Maiden article. Hidden past the half-way mark she slips in the fact that the Coalition also had a ‘dirt unit’, with costs of ‘over $1.4 million.’

    In the last year of the Coalition government the then Government Members Secretariat had 15 staff with an annual salary and parliamentary staff allowance entitlements cost of over $1.4 million.

    This compares to the CCT annual salary and parliamentary staff allowance entitlements cost of about $620,000

    Maiden is a paid-up spruiker for ltd. news and the Coalition, and pretty sloppy at it most of the time. As far as she’s concerned the Coalition expenses of $1.4 million didn’t rate the kind of attention this government is getting with a much smaller budget for their ‘dirt digging’.

    This government budget ‘dirt unit’ is ‘over $600,000’…
    It is run by the Caucus Communications Team with an annual budget of over $600,000 and provides advice to more than 40 staffers known as Caucus Liaison Officers on ministers and MPs’ staff, including in the PM’s office.

  70. Neil. I am going to start with the supposition that you are correct – that the boats did stop coming because of the punitive actions taken against people who were in the vast majority, genuine refugees.

    Are punishments the way to go against genuine refugees..and when push comes to shove, these people are in the vast majority genuine refugees.

    Refugees do not want to ‘come here’ they want to live within their own communities within their own cultures, but war and dislocation make it impossible for them to do so. This is why any asylum seeker applicant MUST PROVE a genuine fear of death, persecution. Not just coming here because they ‘want to’.

    Oh dear, people smugglers versus John Howard. Nooo, Howard did not outsmart people smugglers. Howard would have been lucky to outsmart his running shoes. Given that he lost to Maxine McKew, he was most definitely not all that clever.

    I am most definitely NOT 100% about a Malaysian solution however as we are likely to get sweet ba cooperation from Indonesia, then Malaysia is our best bet. This is a Regional Problem and needs a regional solution.

  71. Heee Heeee Neil @ 12.21 bit. “You people”
    Anyway
    Great to see the people of Nauru also dismantled the useful bits from the Howard waiting rooms.

  72. Sue, I think that Neil was channeling his inner-bogan with his ‘yeah like’ comment. And don’t you dare get huffy Neil, it’s meant in good humor.

  73. “Are punishments the way to go against genuine refugees..and when push comes to shove, these people are in the vast majority genuine refugees.”

    Well if they have $10,000 to pay a people smuggler they could survive for many years on that money in Indonesia. But I am sure we have discussed this before.

    The other option is to open our borders, dismantle manditory detention which the ALP started and let anyone who wants to come, come.

  74. Neil, well that sum has been bandied about by the media but the sum is more like $800.00.

    The option is to have a regional processing center..to set up a queue where currently none exists.

  75. According to this article it is $13,000. Ten thousand to get to indonesia and another $3,000 to get from Indonesia to Australia.

    http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/8184408/malaysia-cracks-people-smuggling-ring/

    “Asylum seekers from Afghanistan would pay up to $10,000 to people smugglers based in Karachi in Pakistan and were given false passports for their flight to Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, where they would be instructed to go to a particular line in the immigration queue.

    Once their passports were stamped by a corrupt official, they would be met by a member of the crime syndicate who would then confiscate their passports, take them to a safe house where they would pay about $3000 for passage to Australia on a boat through the Malacca Straits.”

  76. ”the Coalition also had a ‘dirt unit’, with costs of ‘over $1.4 million.’

    That makes it all ok then doesn’t it?

    Some people just cannot “think straight”

  77. Neil, difficult to know whether or not this is factual information but one things is correct and this is the role of the Malacca Straits. The Australian government has been trying to put pressure on the Indonesian government to stop people smuggling at it’s source and one of the major sources is the Malacca Straits. However the Indonesian government is very reluctant to take any action as people smuggling has been a ‘tradition’ via the Malacca Straits for hundreds of years.

  78. In the short time I’ve been blogging one of the major annoyances occurs when a blogger puts words in the mouths of others, typically to discredit them or their message. One of the worst offenders has been quick to pounce on Pip because he/she pointed out something that was in an article. Is this the best you can do Tom of Melbourne?

    I’ve spent the morning touring blog sites linked here and I found one where someone suggested you might be an American. I would find that far more insulting that being thought of as gay and I hope your attack on that person is as nasty as the one you subjected that lady to.

  79. Re me @11.21 “what about the children” thanks to Neil @ 12.21 for contacting Abbott

    “He acknowledged that some of the buildings were being used — some as a school for 400 children — and alternative arrangements would have to be made

    Read more: http://www.theage.com.au/national/nauru-will-sign-un-refugee-convention-abbott-says-20110613-1fzsv.html#ixzz1P86SclOs

    Neil you must be in constant contact with Abbott’s spin doctors to come up with such a quick reply.

  80. Mr Abbott said he could confidently say reopening the facility would not cost millions because it essentially needed only a coat of paint, some air conditioners and some windows repaired. And another desal plant and electricity and…and…and…

  81. Hayward @ 2.56pm, thank you for coming to my defence.

    Tom of Melbourne @ 1.40pm, you chose to attack my comments rather than own the fact that the Coalition spent much more on their ‘dirt file’ in their last year in office, and I did not say it was ok so please don’t verbal me for something you made up to suit your agenda.
    You obviously weren’t ‘thinking straight’ when you wrote that.

  82. “Let’s forget about Malaysia,” (Tony Abbott) told ABC radio.

    “Let’s pick up the phone to the president of Nauru and get this centre open as quickly as we can, which should be a matter of weeks rather than months.”

    Brilliant politics!

  83. From: http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/13/3242612.htm

    The director of the Catholic Church’s Edmund Rice Centre, Phil Glendenning, says because Nauru is beyond the reach of Australian law, asylum seekers were sent back into danger and some were killed.

    “There were no checks and balances, there were no judicial reviews, it was outside the reach of Australian law,” Mr Glendenning said…..

    “Terrible atrocities were done to people out of Nauru that I would be staggered to think that Nauru would be a solution. It was never a solution in the past and it is certainly not in the future.”

  84. “The second camp closer to the town is a fully functioning primary school and it is there because the other primary school burned down.

    “That’s the one Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison were in, and you can see the kids’ paintings hanging in the window on the [video], so you’d have to rehouse a primary school.

    “I think it is a bit rich to go over there and say the infrastructure is sound if it requires doing kids out of a school.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/13/3242612.htm

    Kick the kids out. I suppose this is what Abbott means about “alternative arrangements”.

  85. “Kick the kids out.”

    Still using children for political purposes.

    You people never change.

  86. Neil, it’s a factual statement. Of the old detention centers, the only one habitable is now being used as a Primary School.

  87. Still using kids to bash Abbott this time instead of Howard.

    If it was Labor moving the kids you would find a way to spin it in a nice way. Perhaps the kids will be getting new and better facilities blah blah blah.

    Also you can say whatever you like but anything the ALP does is worse than what Howard put in place re: refugees.

    And the malaysian solution will be a disaster. The smugglers are too smart for Gillard.

  88. Neil, perhaps that is Abbott’s plan but to date he hasn’t said so. The only thing said is that the old detention centre/primary school is ready for occupation.

    I don’t quite get what you mean about smugglers being “too smart for Gillard”..she doesn’t run and chase them, that’s the job of the patrol boats.

  89. Neil @5.05 Still using children for political purposes

    I am sure you have not forgotten Howard rushing to the cameras with his infamous “Children overboard” but then ” we people” were not thinking of an election.

    The Nauruan children (that is real children) are using the former Howard waiting rooms, because the other primary school burned down. Abbott could have shown leadership and told the journalists that as some of the rooms were being used by the children they were unavailable. But no, Abbott hasn’t room for anything else than his own political campaign.

  90. please don’t verbal me for something you made up to suit your agenda.

    Really? You were justifying current practice on the basis of comparison to past practice. “Relative ethics” is hilarious.

    If only you “could think straight”.

  91. I cannot believe you people. You want all the details about Nauru. However Abbot is not in govt.

    What about the malaysian Solution. Which 800 will go?? How are they going to be tagged?? What if they refuse to go back?? And hundreds of other questions.

    And the smugglers will find a way around the Malaysian Solution. They might just fill the boats with kids with a couple of adults. Will the ALP send them back to Malaysia??

  92. Not at all Min.

    I’d never argue the point with you. I don’t even argue the point when you delete inoffensive comments I make.

    Though if someone else makes successive mean spirited remarks to me, they’re entitled to expect a reply.

  93. ToM only problem with that theory is that there is a list of authors over there. Could have been any one of us, and I’m not sayin’ 😉 I honestly think that it’s zen out time. I’ve put some chakra balancing music up just for you.

  94. Agreed Neil, the Malaysian regional plan should be receiving as much publicity as Abbott’s Nauru plan..then we would have something to scrutinise.

  95. “Also you can say whatever you like but anything the ALP does is worse than what Howard put in place re: refugees.”

    Neil, I do not think Labor does it as badly as Mr. Howard did. At the same time, Labor has nothing to be proud of in how it is deals with the complicated problem of asylum-seekers.

    I say this, because Labor was too scared of the backlash and took the easy way out by attempting to look as tough as Mr. Howard.

    Labor has during the last couple of years has taken action that Mr. Howard would have been proud of.

    They suspended assessments for, I think three or more months. This has led to the massive overcrowding. Stupid action on the part of Labor.
    Labor, contrary to popular belief has not changed much that the liberals did.

    This is something they should be ashamed of.

    If you look at the history of the so called boat people, the numbers swing up and down over time.

    This year the numbers have halved.

    Mr. Howard’s scheme was based on keeping people from having access to the legal system. The High Court has declared this action illegal.

    Yes, PM Keating did introduce mandatory detention. I do not believe he meant it to be used as PM Howard used it. It was PM|Howard that took these centres off shore, with the intention of isolating them from support systems in Australia. It was PM Howard that kept them in detention indefinitely.

    The government is faced with two alternatives.

    One is to assessed the people onshore as quickly as possible and grant them visas. This is cheaper and fairer than the present system.

    The second is to create a regional assessment centre, if possible in other countries and take the major part of our refugee intake from this region. In other words, create that invisible queue that many talk about.

    The problem that asylum seekers face when they approached this country, is that it has become highly political. This has led to unjust and highly expensive ways of dealing with asylum-seekers.

    It is Labor’s lack of backbone with asylum-seekers and the ETS which has led to them being so unpopular.

    PM Gillard is attempting, much to her credit, to create a regional assessing centre which may create a fairer and more humane system of dealing with theses people. It is not the best solution as far as Australia is concerned but politically possible.

    Remember, no matter how many gain entry, the numbers of refugees we take overall does not increase. I have no problem with this. We cannot take all that apply but I feel we should be responsible for those in our own regions.

    Yes, they can survive in Indonesia, but survival is all it is. They cannot get on with their lives there. They cannot educate their children there or the other countries they come through.

    Some say if they have the money to pay the boat smugglers, they have the money to stay in Indonesia I suggest if after years of being stranded, that money was starting to run out, what would you do? I suggest you might just take the risk on the boats.

    We as Australians have little to be proud of. The governments have shown lack of a spine, in caving into what they believe to be public opinion, which I believe to be a noisy and selfish minority. At least PM Fraser when faced with a similar problems did what was right, not what the noisy minority demanded. We had nothing to be ashamed of with PM Fraser’s solution.

  96. CU, a very insightful assessment.

    Re “Mr. Howard’s scheme was based on keeping people from having access to the legal system.”. Howard in this one was following the lead of JW Bush – Howard saw the ‘success’ at least politically of Gitmo and denying people access to the court system and so Howard thought that he would try the same trick with our version of “terrorists”..boat people.

  97. “Labor has during the last couple of years has taken action that Mr. Howard would have been proud of.”

    I would be very surprised if Howard was proud of anything Labor has done.

    Whatever the ALP does will fail. They have no idea what to do. maybe we should just open our borders and allow everyone to come.

    I think Labor should offer Howard an apology. All they did was whinge and moan about the Pacific Solution. It is easy to condemn in Opposition. Now in govt they are finding it is not so easy.

  98. “We had nothing to be ashamed of with PM Fraser’s solution.

    Fraser was Minister for the Army, and sent Australian youth to Vietnam. Over 1000 dead. Conscripts too.

    Fraser has blood on his hands, for this and for the manner in which he became Prime Minister. He is a thoroughly duplicitous and self serving prick.

    He has spent the last 30 years attempting to wallpaper over his tainted, dishonest (but deserved) reputation.

    You’ve fallen for it.

  99. Min, denying people their rights by not allowing them access to the legal system, can only end in disaster. It is this right that protects our democracy.

  100. CU, and as you point out the High Court has now ruled such actions illegal via being denied procedural fairness. So therefore the original aim of Nauru, that being to act as a deterrent by denying access to the courts no longer exists.


  101. “I’ve put some chakra balancing music up just for you.”

    That’s all very well, but it’s no substitute for a well-considered poem.

  102. Min, you cannot win. I condemn both and Neil is still not happy.

    Neil does not seem to understand, we are taking all comers, even under Mr. Howard’s regime.

    No Labor does not own Mr. Howard an apology. Labor should be ashamed because the attempted to go down the same path.

    I notice the favourite words such as moan and whinge are appearing, as if on clue.

    Did not Mr. Fraser come after Mr. Whitlam. If so, how did Mr. Fraser send Australian youth to Vietnam. Mr. Whitlam pulled the troops out.

    I believe it was Mr. Menzies that left us with that legacy. It was his parting gift to Australia, along with an order for some expensive planes.
    Earlier, I think it was Pip that was pulled up for saying the Coalition had a dirt department and accused of double standards. The comments on Mr. Fraser is in the same department.

  103. Sorry, min, I was thinking of when he became PM. My mistake. It was the Menzies government if my memory is correct that took the troops in.

  104. Fraser knifed Gorton. Knifed Whitlam. Minister for Army under Holt. Minister for Defence under Gorton. Supported conscription at the height of the Vietnam War. Sent the conscripted youth of Australia to be slaughtered in civil war.

    But of course Fraser has spent the past 30 years glossing over his tainted history and it is amazing how many have fallen for it.

  105. TomM, I had no time for Mr. Fraser when he was PM. At least he has the decency to say in hindsight, that he is not proud of everything he did.

    Yes he has spent the intervening years in doing good as you say. Only Mr. Fraser knows whether if is because he has aguilty conscience or he genuinelly wants to good.

    None of us a perfect.

  106. I had to look that one up, Fraser was Minister for the Army 1966 and was Minister for Defence 1969-71.

  107. Fortunately human beings are a bit like that..imagine if we were the same as we were 20-30yrs ago!

  108. Once again, I am sorry for the mistake, it is one I should not have made.

    In my mind, I see PM being responsible for taking us into war, not the defence minister at the time.

    TomM, thanks for reminding us that the Coalition have a long history of knifing one another. It is a trait that Labor does not share on it;s own.

  109. CU, you are perfectly correct. Just the same as Turnbull is not responsible for Abbott’s policy on the NBN nor was Fraser responsible for conscription. As a Minister clearly you are given a job to do and you do it.

  110. Min. Mr Hunt is an perfect example. A man that has to sell something that is the complete opposite of what he believes in.

  111. Indeed an excellent example.

    Here is one that I missed from Friday..

    A prominent Papua New Guinean politician says he will go to court to stop Australia from sending asylum seekers to his country.

    The PNG government is still considering Australia’s proposal to establish a processing centre for asylum seekers on Manus Island in the country’s far north.

    The governor of the National Capital District, Powes Parkop, told Lateline the proposal is unconstitutional.

    “The law in Papua New Guinea is very clear, that we cannot keep people in detention without charging them,” he said.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/10/3240539.htm

  112. Nauru is a wonderful solution.

    “Having been to Nauru myself … I would much rather see people taken to Nauru than I would to any of the other alternative places that Julia Gillard’s come up with,” she said.

    But Mr Glendenning says anyone calling for Nauru to be reopened has forgotten its history.

    “Besides the fact that those who stayed there formerly were resettled in Australia, there were others who were forced back, particularly to Afghanistan,” he said.

    “There were 42 unaccompanied minors – children – were sent back into the war zone that was Afghanistan.

    “Others were sent back to the danger they sought to flee. We know that 11 of those people were killed and I believe that number is far higher – well in advance of 20 – including children.”

    “He says the Edmund Rice Centre has documented those cases and taken them to the United Nations.

    “Some of those people are now resettled in other countries,” he said.

    “The situation on Nauru, frankly, has sent people crazy. Those who were returned to danger faced absolute, utter, total peril.”

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2011/06/13/3242612.htm

  113. Another one that has come up in the news is that Nauru is ‘now ready’ to sign the UN Convention on Refugees…they were likewise ‘ready’ in 2007.

  114. Yes, we Australians have much to be proud of under the Coalition and Labor.

    “AT 12 Batman Street, West Melbourne, about 10 minutes from my office in the heart of the central business district, the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre rents rooms from St James Old Cathedral and assists more than 1000 destitute asylum seekers. It is extreme poverty at the heart of great affluence.

    These are asylum seekers who came here by air and whom the policies of this and the previous federal government seek to punish for so doing. These asylum seekers are denied any access to welfare, to Centrelink, to social services, to government housing or to healthcare.

    The resource centre, through a network of volunteers, seeks to fill that gap and relieve the total destitution of these forgotten people. They provide food, advice, legal aid, medical services, language training and general assistance of many kinds………….
    ,,,,,,,,,,,,,,How many Australians realise that this destitution is a direct consequence of government policy begun in the Howard years and continued by the Labor government?

    The people supported by the centre are a forgotten community – asylum seekers who have arrived in Australia by plane seeking protection. We all too easily forget about this group of people, as our government has done……

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/asylum-seekers-go-from-nothing-to-zero-under-cruel-policy-20110612-1fz8s.html#ixzz1P9Y0JqxN

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/asylum-seekers-go-from-nothing-to-zero-under-cruel-policy-20110612-1fz8s.html#ixzz1P9XfdpHM

  115. As a newcomer I’m probably speaking out of line but it is my observation that Tom of Melbourne would have to be the worst blogger I’ve encountered. He rants on that people need to be held to account while distorting their very words yet avoids any accountability himself. It’s just righteous waffle and is very off-putting to this blog site.


  116. “He rants on that people need to be held to account while distorting their very words yet avoids any accountability himself. It’s just righteous waffle and is very off-putting to this blog site”

    Hear Hear!

    If I wanted to listen to “righteous waffle” I’d just head over to The Political Sword!

  117. Tom of Melbourne @ 7.40pm, you are still deliberately misrepresenting what I wrote. Unless you are seriously unable to see straight, you would understand that I was pointing put the failings of Ms Samantha Maiden, who made a meal of the story about Labor having a dirt file, and barely mentioned the Coalition ‘dirt file’. I’ve re-read what I wrote earlier and there is nothing in it to indicate that I think it’s ok for either Party to run a ‘dirt file’.

    The only conclusion to draw from your argument is that you are just a troll, therefore I won’t bother answering you again.

  118. Examples of the ‘evil’ people smugglers…

    THREE boys snatched by people smugglers from a poor Indonesian village have been held for months in an Australian jail with hardened criminals.

    Federal police have ignored Immigration Department assessments and extracts of birth certificates showing the boys are under 18, contravening federal government policy to return children apprehended on asylum seeker boats.

    Instead, the boys – aged 15 and 16 who were cooks and deck hands on an asylum-seeker boat – face five years’ jail in a high security adult jail under harsh mandatory sentencing laws.

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/tricked-boys-languish-in-adult-prison-20110613-1g0k0.html#ixzz1PC7sU8VR

  119. It appears that Mr. Fox lent him his plane.

    Surely the Liberal Party is not so broke that thye could not paid themselves.

  120. How nice of the ALP

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/national-affairs/kids-get-place-to-play-before-deportation/story-fn59niix-1226074522226

    “CHILDREN slated for deportation under the Gillard government’s proposed deal with Malaysia are enjoying relative freedom on Christmas Island after being moved out of a high-security compound into a family camp with a playground nearby.

    Wearing green identification badges and under heavy guard, the children played on a slide and swings at the island’s cricket club.”

  121. He rants on that people need to be held to account while distorting their very words yet avoids any accountability himself. It’s just righteous waffle and is very off-putting to this blog site.

    Hayward, we all know TomM is a bit of a blowhard who struggles with the rational and reasonable.
    When challenged he rapidly falls back into his default states of misrepresentation, selective quoting, ad-hom attacks, and talking point regurgitation, followed by a well worn use of his catchphrase “I blame Swan”.

    He’s actually being quite precious on here with his minor tantrum about deleted comments. I’m surprised any of them actually got through at all as they in no way contribute to the discussion.

  122. I think Tony Abbott had a hide contacting the RAAF regarding an available plane and then asking the government to approve his request for taxpayers to fund his trip to Nauru on said RAAF plane.

    Dear Tony.

    Plese let me point out to you that you are not the PM, and you are not the Government. Therefore please stop acting as though you are.

  123. Shane, my understanding is that the sole commercial flight didn’t fit into Tony’s schedule and so he requested an RAAF plane with this request being refused because the PM believed that he was on party-political business. Quite right, Abbott wasn’t on Nauru for any reason other than to knock the government’s asylum seeker policy…therefore it’s party-political.

  124. Interestingly Min deleted several of my comments that were far less personal than those here.

  125. ToM…noo, I’m not going through that again. Come on..give it another try. I’m certain that you’ll remember what you said 😉

  126. Min

    You are correct, but I still think Tony had a hide in expecting a flight be provided by the RAAF. He should have waited for the commercial flight and organised himself around it just like any other australian that is not the Government would need to do.

  127. Shane, clearly if Abbott is an expert on all things Nauruan, then he would have known that there is only 1 commercial flight per week.

    The whole thing seems very badly organised..but fortunately for Abbott Lindsay Fox came to the rescue.

  128. What I would like to know, who would have paid the air fare if a flight was available.

    I would also like to know who has been paying his air fares for the last couple of months.

  129. Thank you massivespray. I have found Tom of Melbourne is only happy in disrupting blog sites where opinions run counter to his. I have learnt this after only being involved in blogging for a few days. If he has had comments deleted then this can only be a good thing.

  130. Hayward..ToM has been given a second chance to repeat what he thinks was deleted. As he is yet to take up the offer I can but assume that he doesn’t care to repeat his statements. This therefore should be the end of the story. One can live in hope anyway ;).

  131. Am about to throw a brick at the tellie..Abbott on Question Time..send them to Nauru where they have been treated humanely…

    Abbott’s only excuse is complete and utter ignorance – the other option being callous cynicism.

  132. Min, I don’t keep copies of my comments.

    But you deleted 4. I think you’ll find that the last 2 you deleted were far less personal that those here.

    I don’t object to the comments here. Perhaps I’m more thick skinned than others. I’m only pointing to the application your standards. But that’s entirely up to you.

    I suspect Hayward is a sock puppet. Come clean Hayward.

  133. No ToM. I have already pointed out that there is a list of authors and the action could have been taken by any one of us. Let’s just say it wasn’t me, however as this blog is a co-operative, then I will stand by the decision of the other author/s.

  134. Min, please put the brick down, especially now the other bright one is talking. I am amazed that we have asylum seekers with leprosy and TB. Complaints I believe you get when you live in extreme deprived conditions. They are all over the place.

    I am sure there is enough rope being put out to rope a dope. Time will tell.

  135. CU..don’t worry, I wasn’t aiming it at ToM 🙄

    We have Aboriginal people with leprosy and TB….

  136. What it has to do with the question, I do not know. These people were not let out in the community with the complaints.

    Mr. Abbott still has not explained why Nauru is better.

  137. Mr. Abbott has still not explained why they have to be assessed off shore. He still has not said what happens when they are on Nauru. Do they stay there for ever.

  138. CU, plus Abbott is still yet to explain why Nauru will act as a deterrent. But then maybe we’re expecting too much, that is for Abbott to provide any explanations whatsoever.

  139. CU, as the High Court has made the ruling that those processed off shore have access to Australian courts, it will be the same as always – most will be assessed as genuine refugees and be granted residency status. Those who are rejected will go through the appeals system.

    Howard’s idea of off shore processing was to deny refugee applicants access to the Australian court system. That reason no longer exists due to the High Court ruling.

    Why no journo is yet to question Abbott about this is beyond me….

  140. That’s fine with me Min.

    So who I can only speculate as to the identity off the author who deleted my entirely inoffensive comments. But I won’t now.

    Apologies for suggesting any blame in your direction.

    (I think you’re doing a great job)

  141. Re self and “Instead, the boys – aged 15 and 16 who were cooks and deck hands on an asylum-seeker boat – face five years’ jail in a high security adult jail under harsh mandatory sentencing laws.”

    Which is what is so wrong about mandatory sentencing laws, these boys are people smugglers even though they were kidnapped from their village. That’s what mandatory sentencing is about..regardless of the circumstances, you do the crime you do the time.

  142. Coming back to the topic (yes, I apologise in advance for the inconvenience), I just think it’s hilarious the way Abbott is flying off to Nauru, to inspect premises, that don’t have a hope in hell of re-opening, meeting with people that he has no authority to enter into any formal arrangements with, and then playing up to the cameras as if he’s already the Prime Minister!

    I think we can all safely assume that Abbott loves a photo opp perhaps more than any other Federal politician, with the shit-shovelling phot of yesterday, the salmon filleting, of a few months ago and now this.

    Listening to question time today, it is becoming increasingly clear (to me at least, so this may well be misguided and foolish), that Tony Abbott’s political future relies on the Malaysia Solution failing and the carbon tax being canned.

    Conversely, Gillard’s political future relies on both being passed. A prospect that now seems increasingly likely with details of “protections” being put in place for asylum seekers destined for Malaysian shores, and a growing sentiment that the Malaysia Solution may in fact work, in the sense of ending the people smuggling trade.

    Abbott has been out-maneuvered on both issues, and his behaviour in QT suggests that this reality is beginning to sink in.

    He cannot insist that an Abbott Government would revoke the carbion tax without also revoking the compensation that will be offered to low-income earners and the elderly.

    And we all know the elderly are the last bastion of support for the Coalition.

    Abbott is on a hiding to nothing, and the more shrill he gets the more obvious it becomes.

    No amount of photo opportunities are going to counter a governemnt that is quietly progressing with these two key policy areas.

    While the polls may not be all that crash hot for either Abbott or Gillard at the moment, I suspect that as soon as the carbon tax is passed and the Malaysia deal sealed, the polls are likely to return in Gillard’s favour and Abbott will fulfill his own self-confessed prediction of becoming political roadkill.

    Of course, I could well be wrong…….

  143. Reb..sounds about right. As I mentioned earlier in this topic, this is Abbott’s swan song as his interest factor plummets to zero once the Greens take over the Senate.

    The NBN will go through – the carbon tax will go through – Gillard will have a regional processing centre. This is purely from a political perspective without weighing up the merits of any of these, but these are Abbott’s ONLY policies. Once these go through where should Abbott hang his hat? The mining tax? Maybe but this will be countered by a WorkChoices scare campaign about what is Abbott really up to.

    Precisely. Gillard has been laying the ground work..


  144. “Reb..sounds about right”

    I know. I was just feigning a modicum of modesty about possibly being wrong…

    😉

  145. ‘with details of “protections” being put in place for asylum seekers destined for Malaysian shores’

    WHAT!!!

    No caning??

    What can we be outraged about now?

    Yes, Julia is Cassius Clay, and yabot is the dope

  146. Julia may solve the asylum seekers problem, but I can’t see Labor winning with a CO2 tax.
    Baby boomers are climate change sceptics.

    Who best to replace Abbott?

  147. Tony will go for sure because doesn’t know how to sell a policy. When Julia and the Greens get to play together in July you might see the press treating Julia a little differently.

    The only feasible replacement for Tony is Hockey, then Turnbull will be deputy and shadow treasurer.

  148. “What can we be outraged about now?”

    We can be outraged that we got rid of the Pacific Solution which worked and now have hundreds of millions of dollars in extra costs looking after 6,000 boat people.

    Labors track record is to stuff up programs. It would not surprise me if the only good Federal govt programs going as those they inherited from Howard.

    Even if they sign the Malaysian Solution, based on previous history something will come up which Labor never thought would happen to make the malaysian Solution useless

  149. I love Mr. Albanese’s quip along the lines that Mr. Abbott broke the record for long distance photo ops.

  150. Pingback: 761a Vitamin Solution

  151. “Tony will go for sure because doesn’t know how to sell a policy.”

    Worse than that, he is incapable of forming a policy.

  152. ‘At least we all agree that Tony and Julia must both be replaced before Xmas, but by whom.’

    I’ve so far only agreed on yabot

    ‘We can be outraged that we got rid of the Pacific Solution which worked’

    How well does it work now the High Court ruled that those processed off shore have access to Australian courts (thanks Min 😉 )

    (Why don’t the meeja ask these curly ones?)

  153. My pleasure Tom 🙂 The Pacific Solution only ‘worked’ if it is considered as a deterrent, but of course this would be contra to our international obligations under the Refugee Convention – it being against the Convention to try to ‘deter’ anyone from seeking asylum.

    Then there is the cost to Australia’s reputation internationally, the cost to individuals regarding their mental health and the future cost which is likely to run into millions.

    Australian taxpayers will be forking out multi-million dollar compensation payouts to current and former asylum seekers who are preparing claims in courts that they suffered trauma and psychological damage while in detention.

  154. The trouble is Labor is also marketting the Malaysia solution is also as a deterrent, when they should be selling it as a feasible solution to a dangerous journey

    Go through Malaysia, and we will process you there.

    Perhaps that is the long term goal, but presently, they are pandering still to the lowest denominator.

  155. I would have to agree there. Unfortunately with Abbott receiving the lion’s share of the publicity, what has been put forward by the government is receiving little attention. This is just what I have been able to gleen – a regional solution to a regional problem – that one gets a BIG tick.

    The people smugglers put their paws out for their money BECAUSE they are are to promise a Ticket to Australia. This was stated as another reason why Abbott’s Nauru Solution is no solution at all because the people smugglers will still be able to promise a Ticket to Australia..just with a side-trip to Nauru first. And as we know due to the High Court judgement, this is indeed what will happen.

    If people are processed in Malaysia it lops off the people smugglers because all that the smugglers will be able to promise is a trip to Malaysia. Irrespective of the right of people to claim asylum, one thing we do not want is the encouragement of people smuggling and people risking their lives at sea.

    And that is about where I am with this issue at present.

  156. ‘what has been put forward by the government is receiving little attention. ‘

    What is more depressing is focussing on issues (such as caning) which the government has stated these centers will come under the auspices of UNHCR, when there is no final outcome either way, and people were making their stand on the fear, rather than seeing where the negotiations led.

    Sure, it’s not an iseal solution, but, short of world peace, is there ANY ideal solution?

  157. I think Hockey might be the man to replace Yabot (as TomR suggested) but he has his detractors.

    Joe was originally a Nick Geiner staffer and In November of 2009 he advised Joe not to run for the leadership and Turnbull made the assertion that ‘if Hockey ran and won he would be the creature of the climate change deniers and sceptics.’

    Okay, Hockey is a logical choice for leader with Turnbull as treasurer.

  158. “Sure, it’s not an ideal solution, but, short of world peace, is there ANY ideal solution”

    There is another solution, the one we would be adopting if we were a fair and just country.

    Because of the political climate in this country, the Malaysia solution is the only one that is feasible.

    At the end of the day, politics is the art of the possible.

  159. Tom, it was a fair-enough criticism of the way that asylum seekers are treated in Malaysia. But with it as you say coming under the auspices of the UNHR, it will be highly scrutinsed..which again compares with Nauru where the Human Rights Commissioner was repeatedly refused access.

  160. “Hockey is a logical choice for leader with Turnbull as treasurer.”

    I disagree, purely out of the fact that Hockey is a dumb ass. His last two press club lunch appearances were disastrous.

    If Abbott goes, I’d expect Robb, Hockey and Turnbull to throw their hats into the ring.

    Hockey thought he was on to a sure win last time and came out the least favourite.

    My money would still be on Turnbull, Abbott only won by one vote against Turnbull.

    Little has changed during Abbott’s tenure to convince me that Hockey has improve to any great extent. If anything he’s become even more of a bumbling goose.

  161. I agree that Turnbull would seem the likely choice, and one that would worry Labor the most.

    I still think yabot is there solely to harm the government, not as an actual contender, in which case, he is doing very well.

  162. Reb, it just goes to show how shallow is the Liberal Party if those are the choices. Hockey is a hopeless shadow treasurer and the job obviously should be Turnbull’s..but then of course Abbott would never let Turnbull within a bull’s roar of the leadership by making him treasurer.

    Hockey had a certain style when it was the Hockey/Rudd show but once he tried to get ‘serious’ he became a characterture..an Angry Shrek.


  163. “I still think yabot is there solely to harm the government, not as an actual contender, in which case, he is doing very well.”

    True. However he’s a one horse pony trick (or whatever that expression is).

    He’s already alienated Joe Hockey (left hanging in the wind) and Julie Bishop (when he tried to axe her overseas aid budget).

    I agree that Turnbull is Abbott’s biggest threat. Turnbull seems to be quietly biding his time until the right moment emerges for a challenge.

    Oddly enough, as John Howard once said “the times will suit him.”

  164. “the times will suit him.”

    The times just might pass him by if Gillard can get the Carbon Tax through AND we see results in lower emmissions

    A big ask

    ‘he’s a one horse pony trick (or whatever that expression is).’

    I had to do it 🙂

    Who’d have thought a movie about a Wrestler would bring tears to the eyes?

  165. El gorgo..but on the other hand Turnbull will bring in new blood, something Abbott has shown himself completely unwilling to do.

    Abbott is the supreme egotist, all attention is to be focussed on himself and anyone who might steal a little of the limelight will never be promoted.

  166. If Turnbull makes his move and splits the Coalition then Labor should win the election.

    To avoid this, the junior partner should now be looking for a compromise candidate among their ranks.

    Otherwise….

  167. El gordo..the Coalition will not split, they will scurry like little hampsters behind which-ever leader.

Leave a Comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s