A week to go, and what a mess!

I don’t know about you but my impression is that the Turnbull government is a chaotic mess! TAaron Patrick at the Fin Review says this week’s Newspoll, again 53-47 TPP to Labor, makes Malcolm Turnbull look like Julia Gillard in Liberal drag. That’s five Newspolls in a row.

    The Prime Minister is diligent, consensual and organised. But the government, without clear control of Parliament, struggles politically under a relentless attack from a ruthless Opposition Leader.

Sounds like 2013? It’s actually 2016.

I think that’s over-hyping both Malcolm Turnbull and Bill Shorten, but Turbull is certainly in choppy waters.

When Malcolm Turnbull returned from Chile, he was asked three times whether he supported Peter Dutton’s remarks about Lebanese migrants. Katherine Murphy reports Turnbull heard the question clearly but he wasn’t able to answer; he couldn’t support Dutton, he couldn’t condemn him:

    The prime minister just had to stand there, smiling, face fixed into a mask, pretending, as if the meaningless formulations coming out of his mouth had any meaning – and inviting assembled journalists to buy into this fiction, to validate nonsense.

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Murphy explains that Dutton is the most powerful figure on the conservative right, and as such can’t be criticized. Most commentators thought, like Fraser’s immigration minister Ian McPhee, thaht Dutton’s remarks were outrageous.

Then Turnbull praised him as a minister, Peter Dutton defended himself, saying he was just being honest, and it was Bill Shorten who was to blame for upsetting the Lebanese, who were clearly upset.

Labor MP and counter-terrorism expert Anne Aly, who was born in Egypt, says she’s received death threats since Dutton made his statement.

Greens immigration spokesman Nick McKim made a fair point:

    “Just because something is fact doesn’t mean that it’s reasonable or productive to talk about it”

In parliament Turnbull was laying into Shorten, saying it was all Bill’s fault.

Somehow the more Turnbull talks the less it means anything.

Which is why it is hard to take him seriously and deal with him.

Which brings me to the backpackers tax. This ABC piece gives the history. The tax of 32.5% from the first dollar earnt was announced without any stakeholder consultation in the 2015 budget, to be implemented from 1 July 2016. There was a riot on the land (it also affects tourism) and the Government delayed the implementation to January 2017, so that there could be consultations after the election. Meanwhile both Labor and the LNP counted the tax in their election budgeting; Labor demanded the LNP do away with it, but steadfastly refused to say what they would do.

Four months after the election, Barnaby Joyce came up with a 19% tax on backpackers’ earnings and a 95% tax on their superannuation.

Labor shunted the compromise plan to the Senate Economics Committee for review, who came back with 10.5%, which happens to be the same as New Zealand.

The ABC has generally represented the issue as one where both sides are being political and intransigent.

All their reporters should have a listen to the interview of Joel Fitzgibbon by Patricia Karvelas.

The Government had talked to Labor and asked them not to bring the matter to a vote, because they wanted to talk about a compromise. Fitzgibbon says Labor is ready to talk, but instead we’ve had foghorn blather from Joyce and company.

There is criticism that 10.5% would be unfair to Australian workers. Fitzgibbon says the average backpacker earns $13K which is under the tax-free threshold. He also says that there were other reasons why backpackers were starting to go cold on Australia. Anything more than 10.5% as a headline rate was not really viable. However, they were open to talking, when the LNP were ready.

Laura Tingle reckons that:

    the government has actually managed to get a more manageable Senate out of the DD than the old one, even if the horse-trading on the two bills – which extends from water policy to major breakthroughs on whistleblower legislation – displays the breadth of interests the government must accommodate.

However, they will need to get the ABCC legislation through to have any chance of looking like they are in control of the agenda. She gives them marks for having learnt something about senate management. Yet the deals they do gives so many of the crossbench a platform to spruik, the whole thing looks chaotic. As Gillard knows, your success in getting bills through does not necessarily make a government look competent.

Fitzgibbon says they are bound to come to talk about the backpackers tax. It is just not viable for them to go back to their electorates and tell them, sorry it’s 32.5%. They just had to get in a bit of politicking first.

90 thoughts on “A week to go, and what a mess!”

  1. Turnbull’s problem is that he is a lousy attack dog and looks stupid defending moves that the Turnbull we thought we knew would be opposed to.
    The LNP needs to admit that it was neither popular or respected when it was supporting the right wing extreme under Abbott and is not getting support while Turnbull is sprouting the same stuff. They need to do something about the substance of the message, not just the messenger boy.

  2. The latest moves on getting federal agencies to do with agriculture out of Canberra makes it look like the government is being run by the National Party – the move is one the NFF is opposed to and the APVMA the major agency involved is bleeding expert staff at an unsustainable rate

  3. JD I agree but think that it goes further. It seems to me that Government is now being seen as broken and no longer servicing voters. It has been that way for some time but now it is being understood by voters. Support for minor parties/candidates is I believe, proof of the change in perception (of government) and voter mood. Trump’s election is based upon the same disquiet about government in the US.

    I wondered if Bill Shorten was actually PM would it be different? I thought he would be subject to the same cynicism that is now pervading government – certainly Federal and perhaps some states like NSW.

  4. Just because something is fact doesn’t mean that it’s reasonable or productive to talk about it

    Wow, so there are discussable facts and non- discussable facts now. What other facts would the greens immigration spokesperson rule unspeakable ?

  5. Context Jumpy, didn’t I just remind you of this important concept for a decent argument and debate?

    context
    noun
    – the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood.
    “the proposals need to be considered in the context of new European directives”
    synonyms: circumstances, conditions, surroundings, factors, state of affairs;

    – the parts of something written or spoken that immediately precede and follow a word or passage and clarify its meaning.
    “skilled readers use context to construct meaning from words as they are read”

    Geoff, Geoff Davies over on the New Matilda in Disgoverning Australia: How To Pretend You’re In Charge While Promoting Anarchy agrees with you outlining a key component which has contributed to the cynicism in the electorate towards both parties.

    “”Lately the parties have become so inward-looking, so pre-occupied with gaining and holding power, so farcical in their machinations that their performance in government has been third rate.

    However there is also a new influence at work. Our governments are not just incompetent, not just corrupt, not just obsessed with power for personal gratification. Behind the farce is a simple agenda that is not commonly perceived, recognised or named.

    That the dominant neoliberal ideology is failing has also been obvious for some time, though only to those with eyes to see. Unrestrained markets commonly malfunction. Deregulated financial markets brought us the Global Financial Crisis and the consequent Great Recession that mires much of the world. We avoided the latter fate through a rare episode of good governance in 2008, but the perpetrators have been pilloried ever since for deviating from the received doctrines.

    We can add political instability to the measure of neoliberalism’s incompetence. The inequality and the disempowerment generated by neoliberalism is generating reactionary political backlashes, such as the Brexit vote and support for Donald Trump and Pauline Hanson, along with the more constructive movements of Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn.

    Reagan and the Bushies in the US, the Tories in the UK and Howard, Abbott and his clone in Oz have, quietly or noisily, hacked away at the budgets of all these things. They employ a simple strategy to sell this approach politically: cut taxes on the rich, claiming this will generate “jobs and growth”, then cut public services under the imperative of “budget repair”.

    The sad and tragic thing is the nominally left parties, NZ Labour, Oz Labor, UK Labour, the US Democrats, joined in, even led the way. Brain dead. Thanks a lot Roger Douglas, Paul Keating, Tony Blair and Bill Clinton.””

  6. And besides context, if you are seriously concerned and interested in our National security and anti terror you’d remember we have been there before

    AUSTRALIA’S top spy chief Duncan Lewis has warned that fuelling a backlash against Muslims is a “dangerous’’ threat to­ ­national security and weakens his organisation’s ability to stop terrorist attacks.

    Frustrated intelligence chiefs and police are going public for the first time after delivering months of private advice that Muslim-bashing rhetoric could impact on the agency’s vital work with ­Islamic communities.

    “I think it behoves Australia and Australians to recognise that the backlash is something that is very, very dangerous,’’ Mr Lewis, a former SAS officer who commanded Australia’s Special Forces in Afghanistan, said.

  7. Not only alienating that section of the muslim community in a highly sensitive matter but also large section in the Liberal party not to mention smearing it’s history. Here is Hewson

    The attempt to “blame” Fraser is both farcical and grossly irresponsible — simply a cheap political shot.

    Surely, subsequent governments ran a similar, indeterminate risk — as is the Turnbull Government, even despite the thoroughness of its due diligence.

    Government today should not be seen merely as an extension of university politics. This issue is not just another opportunity to score cheap political points on opponents.

    It goes to the very heart of what we stand for, and believe in, as a nation — and how we wish to be seen by the rest of the world.””

    And elsewhere

    I am sure successive governments have made similar ‘mistakes’… and probably so too with the present government, that will emerge in the future.

    why make this point now? Is this a cheap attempt to appeal to the anti-immigration, anti-refugee movement?

    I think Mr Dutton is trying to distract from having some discussion about bagging a former Liberal prime minister.

    Time for forward-looking leadership – time to rise above the mire.

    It is unproductive divisive politics played by an actor who has a history of loose lips.

  8. ootz

    ,didn’t I just remind you..

    Academisplaining aside, what Dutton said is correct:

    “The advice I have is that out of the last 33 people who have been charged with terrorist-related offences in this country, 22 of those people are from second and third-generation Lebanese-Muslim background,”

    When there is disproportionate representation of offence in any area we need to recognise it. Just like domestic violence, Tax evasion or environmental vandalism.

    McKims words;

    “Just because something is fact doesn’t mean that it’s reasonable or productive to talk about it”

    are a call for ignorance.
    Not at all conducive to open free debate in a Democratic Country, something McKim usually pretends to support.

    I am well aware of the ” context ” thanks very much.

    There is a PDF of a Monash study (2002 ) looking at the difference between Lebanese christian migrants and Lebanese moslem migrants to Australia, I can’t seem to share it.
    Googleing,

    this paper finds that Lebanese Muslim households are large and much more likely to be poor than are all households, or than Lebanese Christian households. It also finds that Lebanese Muslim men have low levels of education, relatively high levels of unemployment, and a very high tendency not to be in paid work.

    Should get you there.

    Just between you, me and the lamppost, equating what I think to what someone else thinks is as unproductive to debate as McKims promoting of selective ignorance.

  9. If you want to have a go at the Greens how about this, found in Peter Dutton thinks he’s got magic touch to lead Liberal Party out of its hole

    “Senator Sarah Hanson-Young’s response was particularly visceral, bathed in red-hot anger. I’ve yet to see, however, any polling backing-up the assertion such displays of fury change a single vote.”

    However, the above article also brings me to an emerging theme, Peter Dutton is eyeing Tony Abbott’s role as far right leader
    If the Labor Party remains dominant in the opinion polls next year, with Mr Abbott and his cronies fomenting dissent and the PM seemingly incapable of stopping government MPs from running amok, the Liberals may again feel compelled to do the unthinkable, which is to switch leaders.

    With Mr Porter still on training wheels, Mr Dutton appears to be entertaining delusions that he is the man to step into the breach.

    And on Malcolm Turnbull’s predicament

    By failing to denounce Mr Dutton’s anti-immigration dog-whistling for what it is, the PM further fractures what little hope remains in Australian moderates and progressives that he will reconnect with his inner humanitarian.

    Yet if Mr Turnbull spoke of Mr Dutton in anything less than glowing terms, the PM would further alienate the Liberal arch conservatives and potentially strengthen their support for Mr Dutton as an alternative prime minister.

  10. Ootz
    With all due respect the below;

    Deregulated financial markets brought us the Global Financial Crisis and the consequent Great Recession that mires much of the world

    Is a nonsense without factoring in Government Debt guarantees, laws compelling banks to loan to the unloanable, the following bailouts and Freddy Mac/Fanny May.

  11. I’d rather stick to the topic of what Dutton said that raised this latest fake outrage that bashes conservatives please.
    Did you find that Monash study ?

  12. Jumpy, when you say something it is an act of communication within a social context. The communicator has to take some responsibility in relation to this context and the purpose of the communication. Geoff Davies in the excellent article linked by Ootz says that we should be tolerant, compassionate and considered in how we deal with each other and the world.

    If your wife had a new hairdo which you thought was awful, and she asked you how she looked five minutes before you were going to go out to a social event, what would you say?

    Dutton had no interest in a disinterested discussion on the topic. John Hewson thought he was arse-covering, and he probably was.

    The proper context for Peter Dutton to be discussing this is in the government security forums, whence I believe the information came, or more to the point, in how well we handle the resettlement of refugees and immigrants, which is Dutton’s portfolio.

    The last bit of the Hewson link goes:

    The comments came as a newly established parliamentary inquiry prepares to consider resettlement outcomes for migrants to Australia, including community services, the importance of English language skills and whether existing processes adequately assess resettlement prospects.

    Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he supported the inquiry but accused Mr Dutton of trying to distract from the Coalition’s own failures on migration.

    “Immigration has been part of the Australian development,” he said on Friday.

    “We’ve always got to make sure we get the balance right, we’ve got to get the right mix of skilled migrants and family reunion but I think Mr Dutton is trying to distract from having some discussion about [by] bagging a former Liberal prime minister.”

    I think Shorten was being kind. Dutton well knew what the reaction would be. He was stirring up hate and fear.

    There was a discussion about resettlement on NewsRadio yesterday. The opinion was that we don’t do as well as Canada does. Dutton should get his head down and get on with his job.

  13. If your wife had a new hairdo which you thought was awful, and she asked you how she looked five minutes before you were going to go out to a social event, what would you say?

    My Wife and I value honesty above all else. You and your wife ?

    I don’t trust John Hewsons, Paula Mathewsons, Nicholas Stewarts, Geoff Davies or Bill Shortens commentary and analysis to be my position. I’ll formulate my own given the facts.

    Dutton is correct about the third wave of Lebanese migrants offspring over representing in terrorism charges.

    Attacking Dutton doesn’t make that wrong, not discussing it doesn’t make that wrong.

    A solution needs to be found and accurate facts shouldn’t be demonised in the search.
    The christian Lebanese are assimilating just fine, why aren’t the moslems ?
    Can we get past this silly fog of protectionism of a religion to see things clearly please ?

  14. I can’t seem to link to the Monash study and shouldn’t paste it all here.

    In 1971, 14 per cent of the Lebanon- born population in Australia had been
    People and Place, vol. 14, no. 1, 2006, page 24
    Muslim; in 1981 the Muslim share had grown to 31 per cent.3 Though Muslims in Lebanon are disproportionately Shi’ite, Michael Humphrey (writing in 1988) estimated that Lebanese Muslims in Australia were about two thirds Sunni and one third Shi’ite.

  15. Jumpy, perhaps I should not have personalised it. My wife and I communicate in a context of respect and consideration, as I’m sure you do.

    The point here is that Dutton is not operating that way. He is suggesting that the wrong decisions were made in letting certain people in during the 1970s. I don’t think we can have a useful discussion about that.

    He’s deflecting from what we need to do to integrate people who are different. But Hewson’s right, he’s arse-covering by saying they shouldn’t be let in in the first place.

    There is a difference between who should be resettled, and how this resettlement should happen. Dutton is willfully confusing the two.

  16. Jumpy, I went Googling. I think it is Deakin 2006 rather than Monash 2002. Anyway try this.

    On page five it says Muslims from Lebanon are doing it tough, but so are Buddhists from Vietnam. The main difference seems to be that the Lebanese families are a bit bigger.

    The main reason? No work, no jobs, for people without skill, in both cases.

    “Residential concentration” amplifies the problems.

    The paper then looks at other considerations and what happens in the second generation, focussing mainly on Muslims. The second generation does better, but not as well as other groups and the national average.

    Obviously this sets up the conditions for gangs and radicalisation. But nowhere does it say that the people were bad when they came.

  17. I don’t trust John Hewsons, Paula Mathewsons, Nicholas Stewarts, Geoff Davies or Bill Shortens commentary and analysis to be my position. I’ll formulate my own given the facts.

    Seriously Jumpy, who do you trust and what are your facts without context?

    But more to the point what is your exact argument, what do you want us to debate, for what purpose?

  18. And you obviously did not see my link to senior Australian Security officials pointing out that for security reason the issue with muslim community should be handle with sensitivity (that is NOT saying in black and white terms one should not talk about THE FACTS at all, just at the right time and at the right place, particularly when you are a person of responsibility and power!

    Here it is again since you missed it first time … and it was printed in the Daily Tele, you you happen to “trust” them.

    AUSTRALIA’S top spy chief Duncan Lewis has warned that fuelling a backlash against Muslims is a “dangerous’’ threat to­ ­national security and weakens his organisation’s ability to stop terrorist attacks.

    Frustrated intelligence chiefs and police are going public for the first time after delivering months of private advice that Muslim-bashing rhetoric could impact on the agency’s vital work with ­Islamic communities.

    “I think it behoves Australia and Australians to recognise that the backlash is something that is very, very dangerous,’’ Mr Lewis, a former SAS officer who commanded Australia’s Special Forces in Afghanistan, said.

  19. Ootz

    But more to the point what is your exact argument, what do you want us to debate, for what purpose?

    My argument is there should not be a pile on of someone stating a fact.
    I was not aware that 22/33 charged with terrorism come from the same sub-community ( were you ? )
    I was also not aware that Italy is having a referendum.
    Thanks to both Brian and Dutton.

  20. Dutton’s right. We should pull up the drawbridge and cease all migration into this fine country until those bloody foreigners can prove they’re Australian to the core before they come here.

  21. That he never said, how is that in any way relevant ?
    Hearing things that aren’t said should concern those that hear them. Publishing them should concern all.

  22. Question, if a particular community, lest’s say 2nd and 3rd generation Germans that were charged with terrorism and all have a nazi belief system and culture, would Sarah Hanson-Young be attacked for letting us know the stats ?

  23. If that goose Fraser had refused to let in any Lebbos at all, we wouldn’t have those 22 terrorism charges to deal with.
    And who’s responsible for the other 11?
    They shouldn’t have been let in either.

    Bloody foreigners.

  24. My argument is there should not be a pile on of someone stating a fact.

    Is there any argument anywhere that 22/33 charged with terrorism come from the same sub-community is not a fact?

    If you go through the thread there is a repeatedly the argument made that there is a time and a place for a responsible and powerful person to say such “facts”. See my reference to the comments in that regards by senior Australian security officers. In your quotes as a trade do you always state sensitive “facts” which are detrimental to your aim?

    Further, I can’t see how both Hewson and Matthewson ” pile on of someone stating a fact. Show me where they denying your stated “fact”. Amongst other, they say the smear on Frazier was uncalled for and as an argument makes no sense unless … in a detailed and substantiated way, which you brush away as “Academisplainin“, what ever that is.

    It would be helpful if you could elaborate and substantiate what you mean by “should not be a pile on of someone stating a fact.” and how you relate that to Dutton stating “facts” in the wrong time wrong place given his position.

    Moreso, what do you think Dutton aimed to achieve with this stating of these “facts“?

    For the sake of not “Academisplainin” again, i won’t bring up science 101 .. correlation is not equal to cause ..re your ” 22/33 charged with terrorism come from the same sub-community”. But what are you getting out of above “fact” and what do you suggest ought to be done about it?

  25. Oh yeah and there was this

    The immigration minister, Peter Dutton, has apologised for calling the political editor of the Sunday Telegraph, Samantha Maiden, “a mad fucking witch” in a text message that he accidentally sent to the journalist herself.

    Dutton intended to send the text to the ousted former minister Jamie Briggs, News Corp reported.

    Briggs last week resigned from the ministry over allegedly inappropriate conduct with a female diplomatic staffer while on official business in Hong Kong.

    Fact or no “fact”, appropriate or not appropriate?

  26. And there was Boomgate too

    Peter Dutton has apologised to “anyone who’s taken offence” to his apparent joke about rising sea levels inundating the homes of Pacific islanders as Papua New Guinea’s Prime Minister joined the chorus of those condemning the immigration minister.

    Indigenous and Pacific Island leaders have lined up to criticise Mr Dutton, whose gaffe was caught on camera on Friday ahead of a meeting with ethnic and religious leaders about refugee resettlement, describing it as “vulgar” and something that espoused “soft bigotry”.

    PNG leader Peter O’Neill today described Mr Dutton’s comments as “most unfortunate”.

    “People are being forced off the land where their families have lived for thousands of years,” he said.

    “Connection to the land is very important for Pacific people so having to leave their land is heartbreaking for many people.”

    Mr Dutton said he was “disappointed” it had distracted from a “very good” policy announcement – Australia’s decision to permanently resettle 12,000 refugees fleeing conflict in Syria and Iraq.

    Fact or no “fact”, appropriate or not appropriate?

  27. If you wish Peter Dutton as your conservative leader, by all means, you are welcome 🙂

    So let’s move on to that other Queensland cultural warrior Senator Brandis and his predicament.

  28. Jumpy, Sarah Hanson-Young will never be minister for immigration. That analogy simply doesn’t work.

    Communication is done with a purpose and within a context. People with power have to communicate responsibly, because their words will have real effects in the real world.

    And Dutton has not demonstrated at all that the people admitted in the 1970s were not deserving. He’s implying it because of what a very small percentage of their progeny have done.

    It’s a low blow. Basically, you are trying to defend the indefensible.

    I’m a bit sick of this. I’m wondering whether there was anything else in the post, or in the world (it’s an open thread), that’s worth talking about.

    On the issue of moving the departmental functions dealing with agricultural chemicals, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority, to Tamworth, I believe only 2% of expert staff are willing to move, 13% are thinking about it, and 85% won’t go.

    Farmers, staff and the chemicals industry are against it.

    I’ve been through Tamworth a number of times, and stayed there a few times overnight. It seems a long way from anywhere, and the surrounding country seems unlike anywhere else in Australia. There don’t seem to be any rational reasons in favour.

  29. My wife checked the figures and wrote this:

    Our esteemed Immigration minister is frantically concerned that 22 people of Lebanese Muslim descent have been charged with terrorism offences.

    Since there are now some 96,500 Muslims of Lebanese descent in Australia, 22 bad guys (not even yet convicted) doesn’t seem like a dangerously dramatic proportion to me.

    Time for a Bex, a cup of tea and a good lie down, I think, Peter.

    Work it out as a percentage Jumpy.
    This is the link on which the figures are based.

  30. Brian: A key point is transport. The Dept has to serve all of Aus, not just Barnaby’s electorate. It needs to be near a major airport. In these days of dual career families it is best if they don’t have to move and the move needs to be somewhere where the partner has some chance continuing their career. (Pumpkin scone cooker is no longer considered a good career.)
    Malcolm really should do something about at least Dutton, Brandis and Barnaby now.

  31. Yes, John, some of Malcolm’s mob are out of control, and I think the Nationals are very much enjoying Barnaby’s ascendancy.

    Good work by your good wife. A Muslim rep on the news tonight said it was less than one per cent. Seems he was right.

  32. Getting back to the Backpacker Tax. When are we going to wake up that giving government-guarantees to a tiny weeny handful of backpacker/457-visa businesses is doing tremendous social and long-term economic harm to Australia.

    I’m all for young travelers coming to Australia and working their way around. I’m also all for bringing in skilled personnel – ones with REAL skills – to plug GENUINE temporary gaps in our labour market until sufficient Australians can be trained up to fill those slots. However, I cannot see where creating artificial barriers to the employment of locals just so that a handful of HR shysters can live in luxury will ever do us any good. Besides, as more and more labour-hire rackets here get world-wide exposure, Australia’s reputation as a fair work destination goes further down the gurgler. Don’t you think backpackers know about social media? Whenever a bad news story about labour abuse pops up in our news media, it is weeks and months after the story has done the rounds on social media. Time for a complete overhaul of the whole rotten mess before we lose a valuable market – one with the potential for lots of repeat business as the former backbackers turn into up-market tourists.

  33. Ootz, that Geoff Davies character is worth a look. I didn’t agree with everything he said. For example, having five major retailers instead of two (or three with Aldi) will not improve the lot of farmers. However, he does seem to penetrate the fog of neoliberalism.

    He has a blog at his site and not everyone can boast testamonials from professors Steve Keen and Frank Stilwell, and Professor emeritus Hugh Stretton, now sadly departed.

    He now has a post up We Need to Move Beyond Free Markets.

    Genuinely refreshing.

  34. Graham, there is really bad stuff going on with overseas workers, threatening three industries – horticulture, tourism and tertiary education.

    Joel Fitzgibbon said there were other reasons why backpackers were starting to go cold on Australia. I imagine that is what he meant.

  35. You are right, Brian, The fools have learnt nothing from the get-rich-quick changes inflicted on higher education some years back, when universities and trade training were turned into cash-cows and to hell with standards of excellence. Australia destroyed the terrific reputation it had built up, especially during the Colombo Plan years, so that now we have to resort to side-show barking just to attract the rejects from the U.S., Canadian, E.U. and British systems.

    Thanks for that link to the Geoff Davies blog. Twenty-five years of uninterrupted growth …. just so that we can show the world what a Communist satellite state would look like if 1989 had never happened: The nomenklatura have all the power and wealth (as before) – and the proletariat have a gloriously high standard of living and ongoing wonderful joy, not to mention increasingly high levels of production and efficiency.

    I could be mistaken but he seems to share my belief that we have political factions rather than political parties.

  36. zoot at 7.50pm

    What about the boatloads of convicted criminals and their guards arriving by boat – by boat, I say, circa 1788?

    Actual criminals. First generation criminals.

    You’d reckon their descendants would be a thoroughly rotten lot, eh? Thieves, rapists, murderers…… no bloody wall to keep them out, eh? (Where’s The Donald when he’s really needed?)

    And from what I hear, some of the deluded descendants actually celebrate the arrival of those scum.

    The world’s gone mad, I tell you!

  37. And Arthur Calwell as post-war Immigration Minister, was chief people smuggler of his time. Boat people, reffos.

  38. Jumpy, simply no. But everyone knows there is a time and place to say things. Why can’t you see that Dutton was not a disinterested bystander having an academic discussion, but was essentially throwing petrol on a fire?

    Ambigulous there is a Richard Fidler conversation with Mark Tedeschi on the Myall Creek massacres. The real miscreants in the early white settlement were not the convicts!

    He tells how a fearless Irish lawyer, not from the upper class, brought justice and much else that was descent in public life, like schools and hospitals, to the colony.

  39. Why can’t you see that Dutton was not a disinterested bystander having an academic discussion, but was essentially throwing petrol on a fire?

    Dutton is just a man. If what he said broke a Law, have him charged, if not, all’s fair.

    The ” context ” was integration. There are those that don’t so identifying them is vital in that discussion.
    I disagree Fraser shouldn’t have let them in, to me that’s serves not purpose or suggests any answers at all.
    The facts are that christian Lebanese integrated well, far better than moslem Lebanese. It’s not a race issue ( as stupid S.H-Y tweets)
    Why and what to do ?
    McKim has no clue that a problem with integration is even possible, such is his fingers in ears about it. I don’t want his fingers in my ears.

  40. I disagree Fraser shouldn’t have let them in, to me that’s serves not purpose or suggests any answers at all.

    So what is your answer?
    (I’m looking for an exchange of ideas here)

  41. So what is your answer?
    (I’m looking for an exchange of ideas here)

    OK then 🙂

    Good old self interest I recon.
    Who will suffer most from if this anomaly continues = who is best placed to influence this behaviour.
    How can we LET them fix it is the real question.
    Education is a good start, honestly expressing the pros and con of both paths, condemn the undesireable and praise the desirable.
    Careful not to trip the general publics bullshit meter, thats on a hair trigger lately.

  42. The Courier Mail says that the Turnbull government is talking about adding questions that citizenship applicants have to answer to include things like whether English is spoken at home, whether the spouse is attending English lessons, whether they support Sharia Law, whether they have been working.

    The new test would attempt to stop the problem of radical immigrants who subscribe to Sharia laws and speak their own language at home.

    Add all these together and the sound of dog whistling is becoming a bit deafening.

  43. Thank you Jumpy. I was serious about exchanging ideas.
    My ideas are based on observation of the wogs of the 50s and 60s, and the chinks of the 70s, none of whom integrated, all of whom congregated in ghettos, just like the moozies of today.
    Within a few generations all of them (with a few exceptions) became true blue Aussies (unlike a large proportion of the ten pound Poms who, after 50 years, still huddle in enclaves – Safety Bay, south of Perth is one – and dream of England).
    My answer is to vet all immigrants for immediate security concerns (which we’ve been doing at least since WWII) then let them in. Don’t try to predict how their grandchildren and great grandchildren will behave. And if a tiny percentage of their grandchildren and great grandchildren do go off the rails don’t blame them.
    We need to accept the fact that Australia has been a multicultural nation for decades (at least). We were never the white man’s refuge that people like Pauline Hanson seem to yearn for. If we welcome immigrants and accept their differences we will all benefit.
    And I agree we must not trip the general public bullshit meter. It would help if people like Dutton stopped trying to bullshit us that there is something fundamentally different about Lebanese Muslims.
    It’s anecdata, but my neighbours on one side are the patriarch and matriarch of a Muslim family from Lebanon. There are frequent large family gatherings at their house and it is obvious their family is just like my family – the same hopes, dreams and fears. Couldn’t ask for better neighbours.
    By comparison the neighbours on the other side are true blue Skips and they are a pain in the bum.
    If we stop cowering in fear because the terrorists are coming to kill us (there’s a greater risk we will die falling out of bed) and start accepting that there is not one “Australian culture” that immigrants must adhere to (my Australia is very different to yours Jumpy) we’ll all sleep better.

  44. John, dog whistling has great appeal to the anxious jumpy voters out there who love the reassuring pussy grabbing (it is not what you think) and belly thumping big man politician. You know, the kind of leader who has a fibula through his nose and shrink heads on his belt in the old days. Trump’s election win has our lot gone all copy cat. The trouble is, for the conservatives that is, Dutton is no Trump nor is Turnbull. Both are not equip for a race to the bottom, Dutton is to flaky and Turnbull can’t fake away the silver spoon. Pauline runs rings around both of them in therms of telling the truth and facts about the rag heads, the corrupt science and the elitist chardonnay set. Neither are large sections of Australians as ignorant or disadvantaged as in the US.

  45. Yeah zoot, it has become a veritable cacophony of outrage. It’s what you do when you are in Government and can’t govern apparently.

    Do you remember the former prime minister John Howard says he was “embarrassed” intelligence he used to take Australia to war in Iraq was inaccurate and denies it was a “deliberate deception”.? . Well as it happens history seems repeat itself, if Dutton relies on the dated research jumpy referred to. No surprise the intelligence community is concerned about what has been said by “conservative” politicians. I remind you with exert from my link at NOVEMBER 26, 2016 AT 5:57 PM

    Frustrated intelligence chiefs and police are going public for the first time after delivering months of private advice that Muslim-bashing rhetoric could impact on the agency’s vital work with ­Islamic communities.

    Well I’d really would like to know what those frustrated intelligence chiefs and police are thinking of Duttons anti terror efforts and National security concerns.

    Recent research states

    Thus, it is important to differentiate between the small percentage of jihadist and the whole Muslims community as it is a way to separate the jihadist and countering them. So what are the others reasons that lead young Australian to join terrorists group?
    In general, there are many reasons which could fuel the desire to join the jihadist group against Australia; the most important one is the war on Iraq and Afghanistan.

  46. Interesting that the snipped of research jumpy refers to Monash research is dated 2002. I got some more recent stuff from there and lo and behold

    Most studies found that Western jihadists usually did not grow up particularly religious, and some were converts
    ….
    most of those travelling to engage in jihad in Lebanon and Somalia are of Lebanese or Somali origin themselves. Many appear more motivated by global events, such as a perceived Western war on Islam. Members of both the Pendennis cells and the Neath cell spoke of attacking Australia to take revenge for its support of the US in Iraq and Afghanistan.

    The young age, often irreligious childhoods and relatively low socio-economic position of Australian radicals require little explaining as they are common features among jihadists throughout the West. They are consistent with Scott Atran‟s (2008: 3) argument that “since the invasion of Iraq, with the rapid spread of internet access, the world has witnessed a more egalitarian, less-educated and materially well of, and more socially marginalised wave of would-be jihadi martyrs.”

    I herewith apologise for my following message to those politically ‘correct’ (to jumpy voters) pussies sowing outrage to save their arses and thereby endangering our national security. And because the intelligence and security community can’t say it for political correct purposes:

    FUCK OFF DUTTON AND ABBOTT

  47. Here the link to
    FUCK OFF DUTTON AND ABBOTT

    If you want me to dig further to support my thesis I am happy to oblige, because I trust our national intelligence community when they are concerned and am sure THEY rely on valid and reliable research of which they are capable to draw relevant conclusions, unlike phony or sociopathic politicians.

  48. Forget about me “Academisplaining” jumpy, as I have not completed high school, if I can do it then you can do it. So try to comprehend this, it is the latest i can find, from the researcher you originally quoted.

    This paper has shown that there are significant Australia-Lebanon jihadist connections, demonstrated both by Australians being arrested in Lebanon and in the disproportionate level of Lebanese-Australian involvement in jihadism here. This is unique to Australia, as there are few cases of people of Lebanese descent engaging in jihadist activity in other Western countries.

    One explanation that proved useful was the disadvantage and marginalisation of Lebanese- Australian Muslims. This finding is significant because there are ongoing disputes among terrorism scholars over whether disadvantage and marginalisation act as radicalising factors, this paper provides support for the argument that they do. Disadvantage and marginalisation are far from the full story; extremist ideology itself is crucial. Disadvantage among Muslims in the West can act as a radicalising factor precisely because the ideology holds that the West is at war with Islam.

  49. Brian
    I wasn’t aware that Hugh Stretton (who was still lecturing in history when I was at Adelaide Uni many years ago) had died. Wonderful man! He and Professor George Rudé at Adelaide were both great lecturers.

    Sad that the death of such a person seems to have passed with little fanfare.

    On the general subject of Dutton, I can’t politely express what I think of that man. Sometimes I think people like him are deliberately sowing discord because they want conflict and terrorism, not just for political ends but because of some sort of psychological reason (they like demonising people). Queensland police don’t have a very good reputation historically and Dutton does nothing to help it.

  50. Val, I worked at Adelaide uni in the late 1960s, and Stretton was professor of history then. I didn’t have anything directly to do with him, but he had a fine reputation then

    Qld police have improved, but very simply Dutton is a grub and should not be in public life. Jumpy wants to support him because he wants to pay out on Muslims.

  51. I knew of Stretton as a wonderful historian and I am saddened by his passing. Especially at a time when we really need the perspective that historians can cast upon a situation. Right now we use some insights into what is ahead of us from the historians pen.

    Jumpy, I have always liked the way you throw out your opinion for us to see. And I am amazed at your resilience when you get pummeled mercilessly… and then you ask for more!

  52. I have Mark here until the new year. He says Stretton, Frank Stilwell, Steve Keen et al were fine and good in their prime. He says, however, that none of them have had a new idea in the last 20 years and their concepts and formulations do not speak to the situation we find ourselves in.

    That’s not to devalue the good work they have done.

    Whether I will have the time and opportunity to pick his brains about what he thinks could make a difference remains to be seen.

  53. And I am amazed at your resilience when you get pummeled mercilessly

    Yea, it does appear that a pile on happened unfortunately.
    Sadly any progress on the issue halted.
    Happens a lot when majority hive mind clubs that form happen upon someone ” not like them “.
    I understand the phenomena so i doesn’t bother me.
    ——————————————————————————-
    Now, to soldier on.

    Ootz provided some some interesting links that were more help than his commentary.

    Australian jihadists are more likely to be homegrown, more likely to be married and have children, are disproportionately poorly educated, and are predominantly of Lebanese origin.

    ( page 11 of his FODAA link )

    Now, i don’t think ” married with children ” are contributing factors so discussing the others I’m up for if we want to progress maturely.

  54. Jumpy, it is pointless to say Dutton is just a man. You seem to think that words just hang in the air and have an independent existence.

    Talking is a human action, has a source, a target and a context. Words can be damaging and the truth can be very damaging depending how it is used. Unless you understand and accept that we can’t have a meaningful conversation.

    I hesitate to mention this because of how you might use it.

    Robert Manne, for whom I have respect, told Andrew West on The Religion and Ethics Report that Islamic State was rooted in a particularly toxic strain of Muslim theology, and if you like ‘scholarship’:

    the self-styled Islamic State, is guided by a coherent ideology. It’s brutal, to be sure, but it grows out of the writing of an Egyptian Muslim ideologue, Sayyid Qutb . It’s been turned into action by a Jordanian zealot, Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi.

    That doesn’t tar all Muslims everywhere, however, in any way whatsoever. On John’s wife’s figures it is one in every 4,386 of Lebanese Muslims who are the bad guys (not yet convicted), and we’ve established that their main difficulty is that they were unskilled and poor.

  55. Jumpy, I’ve just seen your last comment.

    In the research you originally linked to, remember size of family was a factor, making it tougher for Lebanese than for Vietnamese.

  56. I think it would help discussion if we recognise (sorry Catallaxy commenters) all terrorists are not Muslim.
    Leaving aside the Irish terrorists (on both sides) of the 20th century, there are Christian terrorists in the USA, the first act of modern terrorism was performed by Zionist Jews and the suicide vest was invented by Hindu terrorists.
    The shorthand that Islam=terrorism, propagated by Dutton and his sympathisers is not only counter productive (it tends to radicalise vulnerable people), it is simply untrue.

  57. I don’t want to tar ALL moslems !
    Or jews or christians or Irish or germans or budists or Australians or wogs, chinks or eskimos for any broad group.
    I just don’t want to quarantine any facts relevant to any issue.

    The only reason Duttons words are still a ” thing ” is the media and ALP/greens want them to be.

  58. Oh Brian, I checked out some of Steve Keens stuff.
    Thank you, what a fascinating thinker.
    Some is spot on with my current thinking, some waaay different. I’ll be viewing more of his work when time permits.

  59. Jumpy, I’ve found Steve Keen consistently interesting too.

    The only reason Dutton’s words are still a ” thing ” here (I think the rest of the world has moved on) is because you want them to be.

    With “different”, hive mind” and “soldier on” you’ve taken a neat little leap to the moral high ground. We, it seems, are just a benighted bunch of lefties, limited in our understanding of the ‘truth’.

    I’m afraid the problem is that you seem to be constitutionally unable to grasp the nature of human speech communication. And thus, what Dutton was really up to. I’ve had a couple of goes, but don’t want to write an essay.

  60. This is what Bernard Keane at Crikey thinks was happening with Dutton:

    Decisive action is what many, mainly in Labor, demanded of Turnbull over Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s attack on all Lebanese Muslims. Repeatedly asked to comment on Dutton’s vilification last week, Turnbull declined to condemn, but failed to enthusiastically support, his Immigration Minister’s comments, although he did describe the ex-Queensland copper as “thoughtful and committed and compassionate”, a rare example of a Prime Minister uttering a statement that literally no one, anywhere, believes, including himself and the subject of the remark.

    This could be dressed up as Dutton doing Turnbull’s dirty work of appealing to the racist One Nation vote, just as the Nationals — who resolutely faced down One Nation in the 1990s — are now racing to ape Hanson. But Dutton engaged in the same vilification during the election campaign, before Brexit, Hanson and Trump. If Turnbull thinks Dutton is working for him, he might have the wrong impression: Dutton is working very much for himself, on the basis that he could be the next leader, with the backing of the far right of his party, cashing in on the race hatred that One Nation is now effectively exploiting, trashing his own party’s legacy in a quest to stir up the kind of sentiment that is fueling far-right populism in the US and the UK. As John Howard famously said, “the times will suit me”. It seems Dutton feels the same — and given how monstrously absurd Western politics is currently, who can confidently contradict him?

    Keane then goes on to talk about how Dutton is driving the security community mad:

    Dutton’s ongoing demonisation of immigration and particularly Lebanese Muslims infuriates security agencies, who rely, as a core part of their job, on effective relations with Australia’s Muslim communities to identify and monitor potential terrorists. But to the extent that vilification by a government minister pushes, say, an impressionable, radicalised or mentally ill teenager into attempting or succeeding at an act of violence, or prevents ASIO, the AFP and our state police forces from detecting a threat, that’s all the better for Dutton and the far right, who will exploit such an act to whip up further hatred and justify further legislative attacks on basic rights. Ditto the tabloid media, which revels in “terrorism” coverage — bearing in mind, of course, that only Muslims can be terrorists, and the same acts by white people get only a brief mention on page 6.

  61. “”Now, i don’t think ” married with children ” are contributing factors so discussing the others I’m up for if we want to progress maturely.“”

    Thanks jumpy, I like your tone and will reply.

    I gather it would be the Lebanese part that you would be predominantly interested in and I am happy to oblige. However, i do also disagree with your assertion that “married with children” is not relevant in that context. In essence there is no sole cause for home grown terrorism. Nor is just a simple “fact” to cause home grown terrorism, otherwise all “married with children” could equally be the cause as being “Lebanese”. Along those lines, how do you explain the fact of practically non existent Lebanese immigrant terrorists in the UK, despite being a much larger population? Is that because Frazer did not pick Lebos for the Poms? Is that Dutton’s argument … really?

    To find out what causes someone to be a home grown terrorist is much more complex than simply attributing a “fact” to it. A single fact is also useless intelligence to determine friend or foe. According to research I linked to, the “married with children” is quite crucial in Australian context. As it happens quite a few would be terrorists have been dobbed in by their Lebanese family members. What better intelligence could you get than from concerned Lebanese family member. You don’t have to be Einstein to realise, that to single out the Lebanese community and alienate their families is not helpful when trying to identify and eliminate terrorists nor prevent their radicalisation, to the contrary. And as an ex cop Dutton would know that. Again I ask you, why do you think the intelligence and security community is so concerned about the unproductive muslim bashing, that they have to go to the Daily Tele to voice it?

  62. Again I ask you, why do you think the intelligence and security community is so concerned about the unproductive muslim bashing statement of fact that is already on the public record , that they have to go to the Daily Tele to voice it?

    ( I unloaded your question a bit, hope you don’t mind )

    Maybe they’re still reeling from the WOMD thing ?
    But maybe their going public in weak exasperation has empowered the jihadists more than Dutton repeating known facts.
    Truth is I don’t know what the spooks are up too, that’s how it’s spowsta be, init ?

  63. Jumpy, which “statement of fact” are you referring to? This one?

    The reality is Malcolm Fraser did make mistakes in bringing some people in, in the 1970s, and we’re seeing that today. We need to be honest in having that discussion. There was a mistake made.

  64. zoot (today 7.09pm)

    That indeed was the key statement.
    The Opposition then asked which were the ‘some people’ Mr Dutton had been referring to.

    Turned out it wasn’t the “Vietnamese Boat People” fleeing the Hanoi/Ho Chi Minh City government from 1975 onwards. PM Fraser’s efforts for them are widely known.

    No, it was a lot of Lebanese in the 1970s, as the Minister helpfully explained.

    So Jumpy, putting the two statements together: the claim that PM Fraser made ‘mistakes’, and the Minister’s subsequent clarification of his meaning; that constitutes a “fact” doesn’t it?

    I agree with Ootz that factors which may lead an individual to commit a terrorist act (alone or in an organised group) are many. If they were few factors, the counter-terrorist task would be simpler.

    If you look at zoot’s list (7.30pm, 28th Nov) of terrorists in many countries, it seems there were countless different campaigns, movements, …

    The ANC took up arms and the Treason Trial (Mandela and others) in the early 1960s condemned a group of ANC leaders on terrorism charges. It was an armed rebellion. Very few Lebanese Muslims involved, as far as I know.

    Sept. 11 hijackers: many Saudis but not all Saudis.

    How did Indira Gandhi die?
    And her PM son?

    Was the Hilton Hotel bombing in Sydney an act of terrorism? I think it was, targetting a meeting of national leaders.

    Brighton hotel bombing, targetting Mrs Thatcher and senior Ministers? I think so.

    These bring to mind “the propaganda of the deed”: assassination of political leaders in Europe by anarchists around 1890 – 1920. Acts of murderous violence in pursuit of political ends.

    Australia and other countries have a particular problem right now: jihadi terrorism. Minister Dutton can’t be serious in sheeting home a heap of blame to the late PM Malcolm Fraser. The circumstances don’t justify his criticism of Mr Fraser.

    Unless, of course, Mr Fraser helped plan 9/11, invaded Iraq, sent troops to Afghanistan, and owned the largest falafel factory in NSW before his untimely passing.

  65. Jumpy, these are the the Daily Tele’s words not mine, which I quoted and linked above:

    Frustrated intelligence chiefs and police are going public for the first time after delivering months of private advice that Muslim-bashing rhetoric could impact on the agency’s vital work with ­Islamic communities.

    If you want to have an adult discussion, as you expressed above, then it is common curtesy to read and acknowledge other participants contribution. It is a FACT that you habitually indulge in neglecting to acknowledge relevant points we bring up and constantly divert the discussion, only to toss a ball which has repeatedly been whacked out of the stadium. It is tedious to play cricket in such circumstances, even if you repeatedly ‘win’ the game. If one has to constantly repeat oneself in a discussion, then it is either the other is not interested in being serious and playing immature games or has comprehension problems.

  66. Jumpy, should the later apply then I refer you to the ‘fact’ of your stated intension to learn over on the abortion trolling thread. From personal experience I can highly recommend it. There is no shame in loosing an argument, discussion or cricket game if one uses the opertunity to learn to bowl or bat better, not only for self improvement but the beauty of the game.

  67. ootz

    Jumpy, these are the the Daily Tele’s words not mine, which I quoted and linked above:

    Right, the Daily Tele’s words, ” muslim bashing ” was never used by the man interviewed.
    I have lost nothing, I said this on his Fraser comment;

    I disagree Fraser shouldn’t have let them in, to me that’s serves not purpose or suggests any answers at all.

    Now, if your a stickler for acknowledging others, go at it.
    As for your constant adjudication of mystyle of blog interaction, try looking a your own and those that agree with you.
    If or when I could be bothered I’ll list a few examples on this very thread that breach your ” code “

  68. How about I save myself time and you go back through the thread and identify instances of people putting words in my mouth, personalising the issue against me ( jumpy voter ?), obvious untruths and ignoring my relevant points and questions ?

    Your Umpiring, using your Cricket analogy, is blind to your sides indiscretions.

  69. If we use the zoot statistics, the main outrage is Dutton has raised the chance of being killed falling out of bed to the chance of being murdered in your mothers womb before lunch on any Thursday in Townsville.
    Except the latter is a far bigger number.

  70. zoot may be able to make sense, but the last comment is struggling for coherence to my brain.

    What I do understand is that you’ve brought up abortion again. Please desist.

  71. Oh, sorry, taboo in the circles that most advocated it, strange.

    To clarify, the threat of dying from islamic terrorism is less than falling out of bed, according to zoot ( and noone contradicted so it must be true )
    The outrage over Duttons comments raise that risk ( according to our intelligence and security community that ootz trusts very much) to a little closer to the ” falling out of bed ” risk.

    Big deal right ?

  72. Right, the Daily Tele’s words, ” muslim bashing ” was never used by the man interviewed.
    I have lost nothing, I said this on his Fraser comment;

    Jumpy, sorry I am puzzled, could you please explain how this relates to my reply to your “unloaded your question a bit, hope you don’t mind“?

    What have you not lost?

    In cricket terms your two sentences above have neither line nor length.

  73. I disagree Fraser shouldn’t have let them in, to me that’s serves not purpose or suggests any answers at all.

    Jumpy i am sorry, I can’t make head or tail out of this, could you please reformulate that sentence for me.

    Who or what are you disagreeing with?

    Is “I disagree Fraser shouldn’t have .. ” the same as “I agree, Frazer should have ..”?

    What “serves no(t) purpose suggests any answers at all“?

    In cricket terms that sentence is a definite wide ball delivery, how do you expect me to get a bat to it?

  74. Oh, sorry, taboo in the circles that most advocated it, strange.

    Wide of the mark, Jumpy. I’ve explained why I don’t want the topic discussed here, and you are testing my patience.

  75. ..putting words in my mouth, personalising the issue against me ( jumpy voter ?),

    I actually intended to refer to jumpy people who are being threatened by gays who want to marry, by indigenous and other minority people who want to stop being abused, by women who want a free choice, by people who want something done about the massive risk of climate change, by Lebanese immigrants and so forth. I you consider yourself not to be threatened by any of those then you are not a jumpy voter.

    However, in hindsight I do agree that it is a somewhat ambiguous term under the circumstances and I will henceforth desist in using it, since you feel personally offended by it.

    In the spirit of the good game I am happy for it to be declared a no ball too.

  76. Relax zoot, no one could think you compiled those statistics.
    I was attributing their appearance on this blog to you, that’s all.

    That being cleared up, what do you think the risk level is now after the media sprayed Duttons comments all over the place ?

  77. Jumpy, I’ ve got a better question, see if you can get a bat onto this one.

    Why are you still talking about?

  78. Zoot: I had no objection to the Fraser Government bringing in those Vietnamese and Lebanese facing real persecution – and who were not out-and-out criminals and migration fraudsters – but what I found so obnoxious was the distinct possibility that this was done primarily to boost the party’s funds and not for any noble humanitarian reasons.

    Perhaps, even today, the decisions to admit this or that particular group of asylum seekers, and to exclude others, may be determined by money and covert influence than by real humanitarian needs.

    I feel that there is tokenism and hypocrisy in the system in that some South Sudanese and some of those refugees from central African conflicts, who don’t have two coins to rub together, are admitted so as to distract public attention away from those so-called asylum seekers who may have used their ill-gotten wealth to buy their way into Australia. And no, I shall not mention the specific groups I have in mind and thereby risk prosecution under some of our rather creative anti-racism laws, (and yes, I look forward to the day when open and frank and well- informed debate on these issues can be held).

    ((Sorry about the delay in responding, Zoot; the internet here in the Other Australia is a bit like rain, some days you have it, some days you don’t. Cheers)).

  79. GB in 1969 I knew a person who worked in the Immigration Department. This person was most disgusted because the department would block the entry into Australia of very dodgy people (known to have links to organised crime etc) only to have the decision overturned by the minister. The implication was that said minister could be favourably swayed by donations to the party. Apparently this behaviour was typical of more than one minister.
    There was similar scuttlebutt about Montgomery Burns Ruddock during his tenure.
    Of course, it’s all just rumours.

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