Christmas Island, asylum seekers, frustrations of blogging

One of the frustrations of blogging is that no matter how you might have hoped to put an issue to bed in any one post you can be sure that if the issue rises again any response you might make has to assume that great post hasn’t been read! So one is condemned to endlessly repetition! Or so it seems.

Take Antony Shen’s annoying comment on Christmas Island.

Dear Neil,
What are your words on today’s headline: expensive taxpayer funded facilities intentionally damaged by aggressive illegal immigrants in Christmas Island. You usually sided with illegal immigrants as well as defending them. I am extremely curious to know what are your words for this incident.

Oh, those illegal immigrants are good at calling UN for their so-called human rights, and yet smart enough to carry children as bargaining chips. I wonder if UN condone they violent actions.

As you will see, that pissed me off so much I simply refused to engage, and still do — except today’s news has given an occasion to maybe say something. But before all that let’s pause for a human:

Good. Now back to politics.

The current government have been total retards about Christmas Island. The fact is hardly anyone should be there, for several reasons. One very basic one I alluded to in On being too clever in November 2009.

Let me draw your attention to Recommendation 1 of the recent HREOC report on Christmas Island.


That and the rest of the report strikes just the right note as far as I am concerned. This piece of legalistic chicanery came via the Howard administration and is as shameful and Dickensian now as it was then. Repealing this and much more is what the Rudd government should have attempted from Day One. Instead Rudd was sucked in – no doubt for what he saw as clever political reasons – by the rhetoric of his predecessors – including, let it be said, that of the later Hawke and Keating administrations.

Life would have been a lot simpler all round, and the deepening mire of the Oceanic Viking avoided, if this had been done. The 78 Tamils could easily have been brought here for processing, and should be.

I am not an open borders romantic. We do have the right to determine who stays here, if not even the possibility of determining 100% who comes here. People forget in their obsession with boats that the majority actually fly in.

For more see immigration on this blog.

But we have been stupid enough to keep on stacking Christmas Island with people who don’t need to be there, so just as “stacks on the mill” never ended well so (oh amazing!) overcrowding on Christmas Island and frustration over interminable “processes” has led at last to riot and mayhem.

TOM IGGULDEN, REPORTER: Smoke rises again from the Christmas Island detention centre. Armed with homemade weapons, 200 detainees clashed with police last night in running battles across the centre…

TOM IGGULDEN: Christmas Island is holding 2,500 detainees tonight, some in tents, but it’s only built for 1,200. Five hundred have already been moved off the island in recent weeks.

CHRIS BOWEN: Clearly, as I say, this reduction now needs to be expedited. 105 detainees will leave Christmas Island today, more tomorrow. They will be spread throughout our existing detention facilities.

TOM IGGULDEN: ASIO has reportedly agreed to expedite security clearance bottlenecks adding to agitation amongst asylum seekers.

But the quicker they leave, the quicker they come. One hundred and forty five more asylum seekers are due on the island after another boat was intercepted off Ashmore Reef yesterday.

They’ll join 70 more Australian Federal Police officers on their way to the island tonight, who will join the 118 Federal Police officers already there controlling the facility.

And then the penny seems to drop! Today’s news: New visa category on table for asylum seekers.

THE government is exploring options to extend “community detention” for thousands of asylum seekers languishing in detention centres while their refugee claims are completed.

One option includes a new visa category for asylum seekers identified and judged to be genuine refugees but still waiting on a security clearance.

The Herald has been told that the Department of Immigration is working on the options that would transfer thousands of single men in detention facilities to a form of community detention with strict reporting requirements. The government already applies this policy to families and children.

Hundreds of recognised refugees are being held in detention for periods of eight months or more for ASIO checks, a factor identified behind the recent rioting at facilities in Darwin and Christmas Island.

In such cases refugees could be issued with either a form of temporary protection visa or a new category of visa. While the policy option is regarded as a logical step, the government regards it a hard sell politically at present. ASIO is committed to speeding up processing but this is yet to have an impact.

Government sources said recent history shows that in “99 per cent of these cases”, ASIO checks are positive and seldom if ever contradict what the Immigration Department has already established through its intelligence….

Oh my Lord! The point all along has been that most of these people should be here on the mainland doing their waiting in the community, subject of course to appropriate supervision. Christmas Island should be almost empty!

Everyone has freaked about “boat people” and thus created endless problems all round. Remember: Only 1% of the total immigration intake in Australia since 1976 has been from boat people.

See my posts on immigration.


While seeking an answer for Tikno (comment 1 below) I found a great post boats versus planes.

"Boat people" in perspective!

3 thoughts on “Christmas Island, asylum seekers, frustrations of blogging

    • Thank for the link, Neil.
      At least boat people was tagged as asylum seeker or humanity, not like smart-illegal-immigrants which is troublesome like Tom & Jerry.

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