I really have exercised my mind about this and have been in many respects less a puritan about it than some, but my gut revolts now – as I tweeted:
Excision of the Australian mainland for immigration purposes — an abomination before 2007 and an abomination now. Labor hits rock bottom. 1 day ago
Chicanery, that in a nutshell is what “excision” is – even if “legal” – a variation on pea and thimble to save the government’s sorry arse in the electorate, or so they hope. Yes, there is the business of stopping poor buggers from drowning on their way here, and I grant that just as I also even granted there could be something to be said for aspects at least of the so-called Malaysian solution, but not this way, not this way.
You saw Clarke and Dawe last night?
BRYAN DAWE: Chris Bowen, thanks for being with us tonight.
JOHN CLARKE: Well it’s a pleasure to be here, Bryan, although technically I’m not actually being with you. Could I make that …
BRYAN DAWE: Yeah, you’re with us in the parliamentary studios of course though.
JOHN CLARKE: I’m in the parliamentary studio, but I’m not with you in the …
BRYAN DAWE: No, no, I understand that.
JOHN CLARKE: You’re not here, Bryan, and I’m not there. The point is that we’re not together and I don’t know what you mean by us. Perhaps we can come to that later.
BRYAN DAWE: Well thank you for being with us wherever we are.
JOHN CLARKE: Well thank you very much. It’s a pleasure to be where I am.
BRYAN DAWE: You’ve introduced legislation this week to excise Australia from Australia. That’s pretty impressive.
JOHN CLARKE: No, Bryan, that’s a bit simplistic. What we’ve done is …
BRYAN DAWE: Well that’s what you’ve done, Chris Bowen.
JOHN CLARKE: Bryan, the effect of the legislation will be to excise from Australia’s migratory zone, from its migration zone the continent of Australia…
Australian migration zone policy Howard/Ruddock and supercharged by Gillard
As Waleed Aly says in today’s Sydney Morning Herald, “the Gillard government has left the satirists with nothing to say. It’s excising the whole damn country.” What part of dishonest and immoral doesn’t apply in 2012 that didn’t apply before 2007? And the word: shades of “rendition” and other classic bits of doublespeak.
Excision means "removal by cutting".
See, we’re famous, we’re unique. Aren’t you so proud?
Let’s be honest. The aim here is to make staying in no man’s land the only option. We’re not providing any alternatives. We’re not hurriedly clearing the backlog of asylum seekers that haven’t been resettled since forever. We’re not, say, processing applications in the region within a year. The only message we’re sending is: don’t come. We’re not offering somewhere else to go. We’re offering nothing except delay and rejection. If that’s a better option, it’s mainly better for us. And that’s what really counts.
All this is obscured by the high moral rhetoric. ”We’re trying to save people’s lives here,” says Bowen. You see the effect. High stakes justify extreme measures, and how could the stakes be any higher than death? Now the moral script is flipped. To oppose this measure is to vote for the deaths of these tragic souls. It’s almost akin to murder. You’re a bleeding heart with blood on your hands.
But it’s a sleight of hand. If this is really all about saving people’s lives, if this is really about preventing people from drowning at sea, then send a fleet of cruise liners to Indonesia to pick up the people who have been stuck there for up to a decade. It’s much safer. Or if arrivals by plane are so superior, charter a bunch of Qantas flights to pick them up and bring them here for processing. That’s much safer, too. People smuggling will disappear instantly…
Kudos to John Dowd, a stalwart of the Liberal Party that once was.
AUSTRALIA has an obligation to show we respect and adhere to international human rights law.
The purpose of the Refugee Convention is to give protection to those who arrive in any manner. Refugee movement often involves illegal departure from the country of feared persecution and illegal entry to the country in which refuge is sought, and without documentation.
Excising Australia from Australia is not only absurd and morally repugnant, but represents a fundamental breach of Australia’s obligations and effectively marks Australia’s withdrawal from the convention. It may serve as a precedent for other countries and a signal that Australia can no longer be respected as an advocate for human rights. I call on MPs to oppose the bill now before parliament.
John Dowd, president, International Commission of Jurists, Sydney, NSW
Meanwhile Asylum seeker spins for Test prep! Of course he probably chose a more reliable and acceptable form of transport.
AS HE awaits word from Immigration Minister Chris Bowen about his claim for refugee protection, Pakistani asylum seeker Fawad Ahmed has emerged as a surprise figure in Australia’s preparation for the Test series against South Africa.
Ahmed has been plucked from Melbourne club cricket to help Australia’s batsmen prepare for the Proteas’ formidable bowling attack because of his resemblance to their leg-spinner Imran Tahir.
Ahmed impressed the Australians when he bowled to them in the MCG nets before last summer’s Boxing Day Test against India. In particular, he made a lasting impression on opening batsman Ed Cowan, who is a meticulous planner, and this week he sought out Ahmed on behalf of team management, which has arranged for him to fly to Brisbane as a net bowler before the first Test, which starts next Friday at the Gabba…