Refugees: A hypothetical

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blindboy started the topic in Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 1:07pm


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blindboy Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 1:08pm

Refugees: A hypothetical

Australia has been insulated from the refugee crisis. This has made it very easy to take the high moral ground since, so far, it costs us little. Our own policy of water tight borders has meant that we can pick and choose, vet if you prefer, the relatively few refugees we do take. We can mock Trump's wall without even noticing how closely it matches our own policy. If there is a balance between humanitarian considerations and the national interest Australia, since the days of the White Australia policy, has always erred on the side of the latter.

Europe, of course, does not have that luxury. So it is worth considering how we, individually and collectively, might respond to a similar situation. The scenario I propose is unlikely but far from impossible. Let us suppose that there was a very unpleasant civil war in a nearby, highly populated archipelago. In fear of their lives then, thousands of refugees a week were taking to their fishing boats and heading for our coast. Turning them back is a logistical impossibility, resettling such large numbers elsewhere is a long term difficult process. What should we do?

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Sheepdog Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 1:34pm

What would you do, BB?

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Sheepdog Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 1:45pm

BTW, I think your hypothetical deserves more than just a knee jerk thought bubble answer... So I'll take some time thinking on this one.

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GuySmiley Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 2:18pm

BB, good question.

But if I may say Australia, apart from the last decade, has had a long history of accepting refugees fleeing conflict. Melbourne has a large community of orthodox Jews who settled here in, at the time, large numbers. Melbourne is one of only a handful of cities around the world that has such a Jewish community. Equally, Melbourne is home to a large Maltese community its origins go back to the immediate aftermath of WW2. Australia has also accepted Poles and Hungarians after conflict and more recently Vietnamese and Chinese. I'm sure I have missed several nationalities off my list.

While I do not wish to reduce the validity of your question I think its reasonable to say that in the past we haven't been insulated from refugee crisis, quiet the opposite we have welcomed these people ... but not anymore.

Finally, your question could be equally asked about what will happen to all the nation states in the Pacific and Indian Oceans with sea level rising? There will be many nations looking to Australia for higher ground (as opposed to higher consciousness) under that scenario.

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happyasS Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 2:24pm

A. 1951 Refugee convention needs to fixed.
B. UNHCR needs to be beefed up massively financially, politically ....
C. UNHCR refugees need to be spread evenly divided to many countries
D. australia needs to take its share.

ive said before. refugees currently exist due to financial, political, race, religion wars etc. but the future of refugees in 70 or 80 years time could well be climate change. 5 million syrians will pale in comparison to 500 million africans. what then?

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indo-dreaming Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 3:41pm

I think the major problem with the whole refugee issue is many neighbouring countries don't do enough and it just becomes an excuse to seek a new and better life in a developed country.

It's quite obvious the refugee convention needs to be rewritten to only allow refugees to flee to the closest countries signed to the refugee convention or at the very least within a certain distance that the country signed up to agree upon.

If the world took a look after your neighbour or region approach it would work, but under the current model it will never work and things will only get worse.

In this way our responsibility lies with the South pacific region, PNG and Indonesia, distance should be a factor in who gains priority, for instance Sri Lankan refugees should gain priority over those from Sudan or the middle east, however if an issue broke out in PNG then priority should be given to those refugees.

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Sheepdog Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 5:48pm

"I think the major problem with the whole refugee issue is many neighbouring countries don't do enough and it just becomes an excuse to seek a new and better life in a developed country."

FFS, indo.....

"There are 2.8m Syrians currently registered in Turkey, over a million in Lebanon, and around 656,000 in Jordan."

So these neighbours aren't doing enough you say? Meanwhile your taxes just paid for another Australian bombing run over Syria......
If you are dropping the bombs, YOU should grant sanctuary to refugees under your bombs.... That's how it works...

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tonybarber Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 7:01pm

In such a hyperthetical you would fix or at least attempt to fix the issue before a scenario of 'thousands of refugees'. As is done in the past, present and the future. The fixers being the UN, and most likely neighbouring countries. It makes sense to fix the issue rather than have refugee crisis

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GuySmiley Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 8:39pm

I should add Australia welcomed muslim refugees from Afghanistan when Russia was raging war in the country (1979-89). I know a family who came here under those circumstances, their daughter is an honours law graduate working for a major law firm now.

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blindboy Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 9:24pm

So far no-one has really addressed the issue. The point being this would be OUR problem. UN agencies and NGOs might assist but it would be very much up to us as a nation. I will post my views at some stage tomorrow.

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mcbain Saturday, 4 Feb 2017 at 11:49pm

By combining Trump's wall and refugees you are confusing the matter to some degree. I agree that the wall idea is not dissimilar to our 'moat', but the vast majority of mexicans crossing the US border are not refugees, rather, illegal immigrants that the US turns a partial blind eye to, due to the need for cheap labour. Our 457, and other Visa options are not dissimilar in some ways, and provide a source of cheap and easily taken advantage of labour.
Back to Refugees. Your hypothetical assumes a war on our doorstep which would likely have large strategic ramifications for Australia which would shape our approach to refeugees. No doubt, with a large war on our doorstep, the UN would be involved in a big way. I would think it likely that if people were fleeing a war on our doorstep that we would play a significant role in assisting and protecting refugees in that situation. East Timor provides a partial example.

...Or what fong said.

Also, adding the Europe example to the mix is confusing as it does not really relate to the hypothetical example you have set. A very large proportion (my guess is a majority) of refugees coming to Europe are not fleeing a war (in the sense that you have outlined in your hypothetical) in their country of origin.

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sypkan Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 6:55am

We take them they are actually fleeing a war zone and not just lifestyle shopping.

We take them all in, no quotas, no questions, as they're on our doorstep, if that's literally tens, to hundreds of thousands we adapt our policy to accomodate them. This means we provide basic food and accomodation, enough to keep them safe.

Basic food and accomodation in australian terms would be more than enough to please your average indo/png person fleeing danger, and they would be grateful they are safe.

This is in stark contrast to the wealthy people who seem to think 3 star accomidation far far away from any danger just isn't good enough.

Perhaps they're seeking more than safety....

Or someone is filling their heads with idealiatic bullshit...

Idealistic bullshit grounded in very dated legislation that advocates love to cite. whilst totally ignoring the changes in technology, transportation, ease of movement, and geopolitics over a more than 50 year period. A 50 year span of unprecedented change due to the developments in technology.

But hey it's just like 1930's....apparently...

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indo-dreaming Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 8:06am

@Sheep dog When your getting a flood into areas of Europe it's obvious neighbouring countries aren't doing enough, these issues need to be dealt with and solved in their own regions.

As others have pointed out a large percentage of those entering Europe are not fleeing war.

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indo-dreaming Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 8:36am

BTW. I think there is many instances where the wrong choices are being made even locally for instance quite a few years back now, but i believe we accepted some West Papuan refugees, this makes no sense at all PNG is signed to the refugee convention and obvious basically same people and culture and PNG doest accept these people so there is no reason why we should.

Same goes for example if there was religious conflict in an area of Indonesia and a minority group like Christians needed to flee an area, it shouldn't automatically mean they have the right to become accepted as refugees in Australia, as Indonesia has many provinces with Christian/Catholic majorities.

Same could be said for Sudanesse refugees, there is plenty of African countries with muslim majorities African states should absorb these refugees.

Again I've read articles where it's been suggested as sea levels rise we should accept Maldive refugees, this makes no sense at all when their history goes back to India and India is a stones throw away with plenty of high and dry land.

Again Sri Lanka, its quite obvious Tamil refugees should all be fleeing to India(as many do) not trying to go elsewhere, and we shouldn't be accepting them when they have options that are more suitable.

Our priority for our refugee intake should be given to those who's options have been exhausted, otherwise every refugee skips the regional option in hope of an upgrade to a developed country.

And give atheist refugees priority :P

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tonybarber Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 8:16am

If the problem is OURS (not sure why this has to be the case) then we would most likely do what we did in East Timor. Go in and fix it. It is essential to attemp to fix first for obvious reasons.

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GuySmiley Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 8:58am

The notion of "fixing the problem" at its source has merit so long as wealthy countries like Australia heavily invests in foreign aid to help people "at the source".

However, whenever I hear a radio discussion or read anything dealing with foreign aid in a newspaper the blowback is always there "we should look after people in the country first before sending money overseas". Unsurprisingly, these people complaining about the foreign aid budget are the very same people who complain the loudest about refugees coming to Australia.

Of course foreign aid can be linked to putting funds into regional processing and working more closely with the UN. But here in Australia the foreign aid budget has been cut under successive governments and the notion of working with our neighbours in a co-operative way seems very distant.

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tonybarber Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 10:22am

GS, foreign aid is / was not mentioned and not relevant, I don't believe to the original question. The problem is the events that create 'refugees'. If you are talking about food to ease a famine event then yes but it's very short term. Fundamentally, I don't believe people wish to leave their society permanently if all is well.

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Sheepdog Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 12:05pm

To answer BB's question, one must ask themselves a question. "How would you want to be treated if it was happening here"? No add ons... No tricks or spin.... A horrific civil war is happening here, and you flee in a boat, for your life....

How do you want to be treated?

I'd be happy with non permanent residency, in a camp with my fellow Aussies, in a tent with my family, safe.... A simple 2 meals a day... access to water and a toilet, and some form of doctor. I'd pray for the war to be over, and that normality returns to my home country... I'd wanna go home. i'd also be forever grateful to the hospitality shown by whichever country I was able to escape to.

So.... that would be the basic view I'd take in regards to these "archipelago people" rocking up in NW Australia. Basic camps, run and managed by our defence forces in conjunction with international bodies and charities. If as "leader" I could do more, I would... I certainly would not stoke fear and hatred in the Australian underbelly..

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indo-dreaming Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 12:29pm

It should be noted the OP above scenario is not at all a similar comparison to current events.

If it happened on our door step every refugee would have the same or similar option to get to Australia.

We would be no different to a country bordering a country in conflict with refugee camps.

Only difference would be we are a developed country so people would be more happy to come here, however if we were a developing country, those that could afford too would by pass this option in favour of a developing country.

BTW I say this nicely but i call BS on your post Sheepdog, what you described is exactly what these people in Nauru and Manus receive.

If you got exactly what you posted, you would still not be happy and neither would many in camps, and there would still be all types of allegations of this and that and protest and hunger strikes, crazy refugee advocates etc except it would be 100 times worse with the bigger numbers.

I honestly don't know how Australia would or could handle it, just the quarantine breach risk could be devastating.

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indo-dreaming Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 12:36pm

If it was to happen in Indonesia maybe the most likely scenario would be radical islam taking over and Christian and Catholic and Hindu minority groups fleeing.

There is about 25 million people in Indonesia that call themselves Christian/Catholic and about 10 million Hindus and maybe 5 million other.

But then most people in Indonesia are very moderate muslims.

So it wouldn't be just a few fleeing it would be much more than the Australian population.

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Sheepdog Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 2:09pm

"What if this"..... "What if that" Indo...... "What if Maori what if white" Fong.....

Bb's hypothetical is pretty clear cut... It's interesting how people here wont answer a simple hypothetical, but have to ad "what if's" to defend a position they wont even really lay on the table..

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Sheepdog Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 3:14pm

Fong, you are evading. No more information is needed in regards to BB's hypothetical. He states INDIVIDUALLY, and collectively.....

But I suppose your posts do answer the question "in a way"..... Both of your posts you automatically threw in race and colour of skin. And you brought in the strawman "economic refugees" when BB's hypothetical directly mentions war..

So, for me anyway, you've already made your pov clear without saying it.

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happyasS Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 5:47pm

to put it simply BB, we'd have to look after them as we'd have no other choice. which is all the more reason to start now improving the UNHCR and related policy, right now, today. why fix it? well for one to support the argument for temporary protection (which I support strongly). unfortunately, the way its set up at the moment is that once your considered a refugee there is next to no ability of that country to return you home. to suggest that it would by necessity have to be OUR problem alone is only in the current context of how fucked up and antiquated the whole thing is at present.

and see below for how germany is currently dealing with their crisis.....the EC basically supports germany's policy to pay refugees to leave.

moral of that story. all the goodness of ones heart isnt enough.

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blindboy Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 5:58pm

Lots of interesting ideas there but I am not going to try and address them, just state my own view. I would support a "whatever it takes" policy to try and provide them with a standard of living acceptable in Australia. Camps would have to be set up in the first instance but, given significant numbers, these would have to be temporary processing facilities. In the areas they would be expected to reach there is insufficient infrastructure to support additional large populations.

Temporary accomodation would then have to be provided where the infrastructure is available; our larger towns and cities. I think this is where it gets interesting. Most reasonable people would be happy for the government to provide for the refugees but I wonder how many would be willing to make sacrifices themselves? I would like to think that we would offer up our spare room but how would people respond to significant numbers of refugees in their children's school? To longer waiting lists at public hospitals? To the construction of temporary housing on sporting fields and other areas? I would accept them all, not purely on humanitarian grounds, but also because it is in our own interest.

Refugee camps breed discontent and a range of other problems all of which are avoided by getting them into the community. Creating camps in isolated areas, even if was possible to service them, is a poor solution and creates community hostility. It can be hard to hate or resent an entire category of people once you have met a few. As long as they are a distant, unknown entity it is easy to demonise them. Sad as it may be we have to assume that elements in our society would react with hostility to the situation. Placing refugees into communities disempowers the haters.

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happyasS Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 6:26pm

" our own interest".

can you elaborate on that BB?

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indo-dreaming Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 6:49pm

I think it would just be like Germanys situation, starting off with good intentions thinking you can save the world but then realising its out of control and you need to close the door.

To put things in perspective Indonesia's population is pushing over 260 million now, Jakarta city area has ten million alone, and if you add the surrounding satellite regions that are really just big suburbs of Jakarta and part of the mass sprawl ( Bogor, Depok, Bekasi, Tangerang ) known generally as Jabodetabek, it adds up to about 30 million (This is only in an area of roughly 100km x 100km)

Even if it was 1% that became refugees that would be 2.6 million if 10% 26 million, the Australian population is not even 25 million.

And Syrias population is/was about 20 million.

Imagine all the problems, housing, water, food, infrastructure.

Luckily my Bahasa Indonesia is not too bad.

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Sheepdog Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 7:48pm

So what are you saying, Indo? You gonna blow the boats out of the water? Turn them back to a certain death? And when peace does come again to Indonesia, and it would, how are you going to manage local country relationships, when other nations like Malaysia, Thailand, philipines, Brunei, Vietnam, Cambodia took in refugees but we didn't?
Way to go.... Set up a very uncomfortable 50 to 100 years....

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indo-dreaming Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 7:58pm

Not saying we wouldn't take in refugees, when it's in our region i think thats when we need to take more responsibility, but it sure would be chaos.

Im just pointing out how crazy it would be from a numbers perspective.

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tonybarber Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 8:47pm

BB, I suggest read up on how Aus handled the refugees immediately after the Second World War, from 1945-1950 and various times after that. Yes, accomodation was provided at various locations around the country, a job was provided regardless of the refugees qualifications. Certain conditions were required. Happy to say, as a product of this process, it worked well and would say it could or should be used again. Again, note we have done this for East Timor, refugees included and again done well.
Your assumptions that refugee camps 'breed discontent' is hyperthetical and certainly not the norm in a managed refugee intake.
If your hyperthetical is a major event in Indo with millions of refugees then temporary tent camps would be setup and handled as in the past major events such as 1945. I suggest you are wrong 'problems' in creating camps in 'isolated' or country areas. The past proves you wrong - Cooma, Riverina, Bathurst just in NsW. You can add other state country areas. There are many great success stories in these refugees. Good for all, including Aus.

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talkingturkey Sunday, 5 Feb 2017 at 11:51pm

Australia, you're standing in it.

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sypkan Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 12:11am

"I suggest you are wrong 'problems' in creating camps in 'isolated' or country areas. The past proves you wrong - Cooma, Riverina, Bathurst just in NsW."

Woomera, villawood, baxter, port headland, etc.?


Maybe the prerequisite for success is a ban on idealistic moron advocates?

Or is just that that time of innocence has passed?

A nice detention centre in the adelaide hills won over the hostile redneck maybe it can still be a nice warm fuzzy experience.

don't know how 'successful' it was for the detainees

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tonybarber Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 7:18am

Sypkan, you might want to check your dates. Aus did a great job post Second World War regarding regarding refugees. Check BB's question. In a major event of war or such we have come to the party. As we did in East Timor. not only help fix it but provided refugee facilities. If BB is talking about a major war in Indo then I'm sure we would come to the party.
Let's be real here the manus island refos have got a great opportunity to go to the US, most likely the preferred country.

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indo-dreaming Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 8:16am

A little bit off topic:

But remember when we use to process refugees in Australia?

We kind of forget all the incidents that happened, i was just reading back about that time and really it was no different to offshore detention and all the allegations and problems, self harm, suicides, riots, hunger strikes etc

Refugee advocates where still causing trouble, as were refugees remember the hunger strikes and those that sewed there lips together, riots, countless suicide attempts, self harm, Villawood got set alight by refugees, even had a break out at Woomera.

This guy a refugee who previously had a good job in the oil industry in Iran, managed to even get a pay out of AUD $800,000 after being settled in Australia

From Wikipedia on woomera detention centre

"The detention centre was a source of much controversy during its time of operation. There were a number of riots and escapes, as well as accusations of human rights abuses from groups as diverse as refugee advocates, Amnesty International, the Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, ChilOut, Human Rights Watch, and the United Nations, although no charges have ever been laid against any person against such public accusations."

And on Villawood: "In 2001 it was the subject of controversy when 40 asylum seekers escaped. A month later, a Four Corners documentary, "The Inside Story", revealed the plight of six-year-old Iranian refugee Shayan Bedraie, who had been refusing to speak or eat.[3] Shayan and his family had been detained at Woomera IRPC for 11 months and Villawood IDC for at least 6 months, and had witnessed a number of riots and self-harm incidents. He was periodically taken to hospital to be drip-fed and rehydrated, and then returned to detention.

In January 2008, the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) said the high-security section of Villawood Detention Centre was the "most prison like" of all Australia's immigration detention centres, and demanded it be closed immediately. The HREOC described the infrastructure as dilapidated, and conditions inside the detention centre as "harsh and inhospitable". [4]

In December 2010, a 29-year-old British man wanted for a number of criminal offences in the UK, and was due to be deported, was believed to have committed suicide at Villawood IDC. His death was the third suicide at the Villawood centre since September 2010 [5]

Early in the morning of Thursday 21 April 2011, the centre was set alight by detainees.[6]"

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sypkan Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 9:00am

Advocates have a lot to answer for.

Not least the public's attitude towards refugees.

I can't decide if it's ironic or tragic that well intentioned people who want to help people experiencing hardship have only hardened the public's attitude towards refugees.

This combined with too much gaming of the system, from both sides, makes me think tonybarbers suggestions and examples are a little rose coloured and not really do-able in the modern context.

Back to trump and the 'dumb deal'. I agree with your comments above indod. The deal may well be a 'developement' and a step in the right direction from turnball. Its become such a nasty stalemate something had to give, but of all the countries in the world I think america was a dumb deal.

Europe may have been better, but really I think a second world country would have been a better idea. Offering third world options clearly doesn't work and is full of all sorts of wrongness.

America is too close to the chalice. And, it really is a dumb deal for america to take our problems to make a struggling government look better. There's got to be better, more sustainable solutions.

Its actually decades of dumb deals that have us here, all parties need to temper their expectations. But it doesn't really matter now, trump is fixing everything (sarcasm) and the do gooders have lost lost lost..on every front.

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tonybarber Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 9:16am

You are off the mark, Sypkan. Advocates did not even exist in the post war period of the refugee intake. Advocates only really started when the Vietnam war was on and there was a movement to take in children and others. Again if you remember there were boats coming from Vietnam and that was handled well although not totally managed as such. Fact, I am not wearing 'rose coloured' glasses. I am an actually product of the process - first hand and certainly not thru any media. If you don't think the deal for the Manus people is good one then you just don't understand what the refugees actually want. You also got to understand, the US is the preferred country most refugees want to go to. We have in the past and the present (with East Timor) handled significant refugees intake. There is no reason why we cant in the future. The bottom line is, it has to be managed.

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stunet Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 9:20am

"Europe may have been better, but really I think a second world country would have been a better idea."

The Second World pretty much doesn't exist anymore. Collapsed with the Berlin Wall. Unless you mean send them to China or North Korea.

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sypkan Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 10:17am

Advocates not existing was half of my point, as well meaning as they are, they just seem to have pushed public concern away and isolated the cause to the die hards for and against.

I agree tonybarber we have had good success with refugees in the past. But you must appreciate the unique post war boom period.

And yes its a great deal for the manus crew, that was my point also, if you head for oz and end up in US you haven't done so bad. So while its changed the game a little, it probably will encourage the people smugglers business plan again to a degree at least.

"The bottom line is, it has to be managed."

And that seems to be the point of contention. That shuts down all debate.

I was using second world in an economic sense because I cannot resist being politically incorrect...sorry, its childish. So a middle tier country in terms of economy and developement. I guess falls into 'developing' in our new scale of developed - developing - undeveloped

Something like brazil or poland, who could probably benefit from a bit of australian sponsorship

But they probably said that about narau

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GuySmiley Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 2:59pm

"advocates", "lefties", "elites" .... all labels and more that seek to disarm an argument.

I remember plenty of members of the Liberal Party, including sitting members like Petro Georgiou who were very vocal about Howard's refugee policy before they either gave up or were pushed out .... you see, the Liberal Party that people like to fondly remember as the party Menzies started was in fact that, Liberal, not the neo-conservative party it now is.

Its all there to read how Howard flushed out the "wets" to form the party that is imploding on itself today .... and Cori Bernardi set to announce he will be leaving it to form a "conservative party".

Anyway, I digress. Labels. Its very interesting to note who uses them and for what issues .......

A good friend of mine (with honours degrees in politics and philosophy) recently wrote to me on the subject of Brexit, Trump and the rise of nationalism. He said "Man has created God in his own likeness. In the same way, the religious right, nationalists and dictators always create a common enemy whom we have to unite against. The fear they stoke gives them the licence to do whatever they wish. It is the story of mankind and I see no reason why it should not continue. People are fools if they think that this could not happen in western democracies".

Now lets all get back to demonising those refugees.

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Sheepdog Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 11:39am

Guy.... Both sides of the political spectrum have been using the "divide and conquer" tactic now for nearly 2 decades.. But for every action there is a reaction. The populace is now dividing and conquering the 2 major parties.... Monkey see monkey do...
In fact, the parties are even using the tactic on themselves, as we are witnessing today.

It's a long way back to "normality" from here, mate....

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sypkan Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 12:01pm

Well I thought advocate was a polite term

There's many advocates that do good work, and I should have said so, good on them. But there appears to be some that do their work a little too well, a little too professional, a little too political.

The result is a rather toxic debate. A long running toxic debate for the enthusiasts, where neither side seem willing to listen to the other's concerns. While the public float in the perfectly reasonable middle. That little balance seems to have shifted

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truebluebasher Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 2:05pm

0n 26/8/2001 Australia (RCC) coordinated the largest ever sea rescue by directing Capt' Rinnan to 438 stranded mariners. Tampa was given permission by Australia to berth at nearest 'sizeable port' being Australia's Christmas Island.
Australian Liberal Goverment went on to sabotage the most difficult ever ocean rescue by waging war on the worlds most heroic rescuers.

Australia was now denying entry and refusing to assist ill-equipped rescuers.

Behind the bravado PM's tugging on apron strings of Ms Clarke then NZ PM.
Ansett handlers meanwhile have''blockaded" Ms Clarkes NZ Flight (not related)

PM-"NO ONE COMES HERE"... or until Ms Clark phones me.... OK!

The rest is history....
Captain Rinnan is the most awarded King of the Sea & his crew Likewise.
Yours truly nominated the captain for Oz postage day soon!

PM Howard won largest ever invasion on stricken unarmed peacetime vessel &...
Later wins..( Butcher's wartime IOU) + No.1 Coalition of willing back-stab traitor.

August 26 marks- Australia's role in biggest bravest rescue on the seven seas.
August 26 marks- Australia's biggest ever cowardly invasion of the seven seas.

Simple as that....Your choice!

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GuySmiley Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 3:11pm

Sheepdog, agree its not just the right that uses labels but the right are experts at it e.g. any criticism of current non-policy on housing affordability or education funding by Labor is immediately "labelled" the "politics of envy by the right". Label it to defend the unequal status quo.

Your comment about "normality" is very interesting ... my friend also said in regard to Brexit, Trump and the rise of nationalism "Since the end of WW2 the western world has enjoyed a long period of peace and prosperity. That is a historical aberration and I suspect we (and especially Europe) are about to return to the long term norm". Normal is not good Sheepdog.

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Blowin Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 4:39pm

So the west hasn't been at war since 1945 ?

I'm sure a few countries that have had the shit bombed, shot and butchered out of them by the US , UK , France and its merry bunch of Allies will be suprised to hear that.

PS How does a philosopher pay the bills ?

And why is Italy shaped like a boot ?

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GuySmiley Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 4:46pm

why are you so angry?

Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog's picture
Sheepdog Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 4:49pm

I suppose it depends on your interpretation of what "normal" is, guy. I get your point. And yeah over a long term your right. But i was referring to "the art of politics". Where reasonable debate is had. Where labelling smaller groups for quick political gain and "trending" is only practiced by the fringe and not mainstream.
Now, the left can't hold their heads high when it comes to "divide and conquer" tactics. Yes the right are the architects of this insidious form of opinion manipulation, but the left run with it , too... 2 examples come to mind straight away - Rudds "malaysian solution", and Gillard demonizing single mums then whacking them all on the dole.

Take any group. Most people in that group are good people. But there will always be a small bunch of ratbags... From bogans to mechanics, doctors to muslims, Baby boomers to unions, surfers to priests... Any group you can name.... I myself have been guilty of ranting at a particular group. i'm sure we all have. But political parties have turned it into an art form. "A current affair" meets "Today tonight" meets Canberra.
So lets start a list of groups that have been the target of government smeer, keeping in mind what i said earlier, that most folk are good folk;
Aged pensioners
Gen Y
obese people
single mums
alt rights
baby boomers
Gen x
moderate drinkers
night club goers
gun enthusiasts
people with mortgages or debt
Have too many kids
have no kids
civil libertarians
the poor
the rich
"bad" parents

I'm sure I've missed some.....

But looking at this list, to NOT have been picked on or targetted by both political parties on MORE than one occasion from that list, theoretically you'd need to be 50yo, white, non smoker, non drinker (or very VERY light drinker), full time employed, own your own home outright, happily married, fit and healthy, 2 well adjusted well behaved teenagers, and have enough savings to NEVER have to rely on the aged pension when you retire.

Now, I dont think i even know anyone like that..... So we've almost reached "divide and conquer saturation point".. And the political parties can't figure out why people are jacked off???? Why people are turning on them? They've demonized nearly everyone, with a plethora of accusations and "you're to blame" for the "economy".

The party that wakes up to this will perhaps guarantee their existence for the next 20 years.
If neither party does, then we are in for one helluva ride.

GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley's picture
GuySmiley Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 4:53pm

too true sheepdog, good points

happyasS's picture
happyasS's picture
happyasS Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 7:50pm

and yet I haven't seen barely one comment about whats going on in germany. you want hypotheticals?......why not just start with reality....and start analysing that. where is BB? starts a discussion thread and then just pisses off. :)

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 8:27pm

Stop the Boats! (more a slogan than label)
Element of truth about this.

Rich people spread diseases like norovirus.
1 in 10 Cruise Ships arriving in Sydney are infected. ( about 3 ships/month)
Norovirus spreads quickly and easily through the larger host cities.
We have no cure for highly infectious populous.
Surely Norovirus presents as most costly bio security threat to modern Australia.

It matters not because we're so certain 'boat people' pose more danger !

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 9:10pm

Guy - I'm angry cause I sold the last two years of my life to an unaccountable yet omnipotent US corporate nightmare .

I turned into an unhealthy and spiritually impoverished piece of shit through poor diet, lack of adequate mental and physical stimulation , evil dehumanising environs and the perpetual idea that all of it was enriching and empowering heartless scum.

Stare long enough into the abyss etc etc.

But Its 3 weeks since I walked away from that fucked up situation .

At first I thought I'd bounce back into my previous happy self. Unfortunately , though I've always been cynical , it seems I face a conscious battle to become someone apart from the bitter fuck I've been turned into.

It'll happen, I hope , but it may take some time. Positioning myself in fuckwit free environments is the first step . But it seems I always bring a bit of fuckwit with me - and he's never alone for long.

Can't externalise the locus of hate and expect to thrive in modern society though. Got to work on managing my disappointment at humanity.

Very happy right now though - Staring out my 12th storey window at Marina Bay Sands hotel as the sun sets in Singapore with a Singapore Sling in my hand. The lights of the art display coming on soon and I'll go for a stroll to check them out and grab a bite of tasty Asian street food.

Doesn't make what I said about the perpetual state of war any less true though does it ?

And I'm still in the dark as to how a philosopher turns a dollar.

Love that joke about Italy being shaped like a boot nothing at all against Italians. It just works so well.

You know the punchline ?

Edit - Self analysis end game ( The one with Bad Motherfucker on it )https://m.

blindboy's picture
blindboy's picture
blindboy Monday, 6 Feb 2017 at 8:53pm

Sometimes the local version of reality gets in the way! I will try to post tomorrow.