Monday 24th of June 2024

Sorry Amanda

Sorry Amanda

Refugees told to go fly another kite

From the ABC

Lawyer sees agenda in asylum changes
A prominent refugee lawyer says the Federal Government's move to process offshore all asylum seekers who arrive by boat, appears to be a deliberate tactic to deny them access to the Australian legal system.

The Government has announced plans to excise the entire mainland from the migration zone after diplomatic tensions between Australia and Indonesia, which were sparked by the granting of visas to 42 Papuans.

Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone has indicated that any arrivals are most likely to be sent to Nauru while their claims for asylum are assessed.

David Manne, who is the co-ordinator of the Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, claims the Government has an obvious agenda.

"If people are dragged off to Nauru, they'll be subject to a system of fundamental unfairness where they'll completely be denied access to due legal processes in Australia," Mr Manne told ABC Radio's AM.

"They won't be able to put their case for protection under Australian law, they'll be denied any advice or assistance to apply for asylum and they'll be denied access to a proper independent review or scrutiny of their case.

"They'll also be denied any access to Australian courts."

Read more at the ABC

something to be proud of .....

Yes Gus.....

A carefully constructed nether-world like the one occupied by David Hicks.

Another demonstration of our nation's commitment to human rights, courtesy of the rodent, fishnets, darth & verandah. 

The deep voice of reason

From the SMH
Thompson takes aim on asylum policy

By Catharine Munro
April 30, 2006
VETERAN Australian actor Jack Thompson will lend his voice to a television commercial opposing the Federal Government's plan to send asylum seekers to offshore processing centres.

Thompson accepted an invitation by the media-savvy group GetUp, which uses television and the internet for its messages.

Its advertisement takes aim at the policy of deterring boat people by sending them to Nauru, Manus Island and Christmas Island, and accuses the Government of breaking a promise not to put children in detention.

Read more at the SMH


see cartoon at head of this line of blogs

The kite of hope

From the ABC

Most oppose offshore asylum seeker processing: poll
The majority of Australians are opposed to Federal Government plans to change the way some asylum seekers' applications are processed, a new poll shows.

The Newspoll quizzed 1,200 Australians about the plan to process offshore all asylum seekers who reach Australia by boat.

Seventy-four per cent of respondents said they preferred the current laws, while only 15 per cent support a law change.

The poll was commissioned by businessman Ian Melrose, who recently funded a similar survey about self-determination for Papuans and bankrolled TV ads attacking the Government's handling of oil and gas negotiations with East Timor.

The latest poll has been timed to coincide with the Government's attempt to pass its controversial legislation in this fortnight's sitting of Parliament.

A Senate inquiry is also due to report back tomorrow on the proposed changes.

Former NSW attorney-general and supreme court judge John Dowd heads the International Commission of Jurists in Australia, one of a coalition of refugee advocacy and church groups who say the poll bolsters their campaign against the tougher bill.

"It's a surprisingly high number of Australians that are conscious of the issue. People are not stupid, they know that this is to appease the Indonesians," he said.

Mr Dowd says good relations with Indonesia are important but that Australians have some serious misgivings.

"I think they don't like the laws being changed because they know our legal obligations are being watered down and they don't just appease Indonesia because there's no evidence that appeasing indonesia achieves anything at all," he said.

"They also don't want to discriminate against one particular group of people who are obviously in need of refugee protection as against people from other parts of the world."

read more at the ABC

a wretched bill .....


Yes Gus, a wretched bill ...

‘A lot of people spend a lot of
time preparing submissions for parliamentary committees. At last count, the
Senate committee inquiring into the provisions of the Migration Amendment
(Designated Unauthorised Arrivals) Bill 2006
had received 136 submissions.
Most of them are lengthy, painstakingly researched and comprehensive,
representing many hours of work by sincere and dedicated people.  

The submission from Sydney lawyer
Nicholas Poynder is different because of its brevity. Poynder, a prominent
barrister who has worked in the area of refugee and migration law for 16 years,
feels strongly about legislation that he believes "flouts our
international obligations, not only under the Refugees Convention, but also
under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the Convention
on the Rights of the Child, and the Convention Against Torture".’ 

One Submission The
Government Should Read

Not surprised

From the ABC

Howard unmoved by immigration poll
Prime Minister John Howard says he is not surprised by an opinion poll showing most Australians would prefer the nation's immigration laws to remain unchanged.

The Federal Government's proposal to process all unauthorised boat arrivals offshore is scheduled for debate in Parliament this week.

Some members of the Coalition have expressed concern about the changes and a privately commissioned Newspoll shows 74 per cent of Australians would prefer the current laws.

Mr Howard says the poll will not sway the Government.


So in layman's lingo: get stuffed... Gus is not surprised.

awstralyens needed .....

Hmmmnn .... no hydro here apparently ....

Now where's that coterie of high profile, eminent awstralyens when their needed?

No doubt holidaying at Cronulla. 

the old trojan horse trick .....

The Editor,
Sydney Morning Herald.                                                 June 14, 2006.


John Howard says that Indonesia & Australia “should
respect the judicial processes of each other’s country, including the decision
about Abu Bakar Bashir” (‘Bali bombings: Bashir to go free’. Herald,
June 14. 

How is it then that the Howard government is pursuing
legislation to ensure that future processing of refugee claims for asylum will
take place outside Australia, so as to “repair” our relations with Indonesia. 

Or is “honest John” simply using our relations with
Indonesia as an excuse for pursuing his government’s preferred policy?

from the verandah .....

today’s Crikey …..

a disarmingly candid confession, the Immigration Minister says the Federal
Government has "taken into account the concerns of Indonesia" in its
proposed changes to Australian migration laws – "Yes, we are taking into
account what the Indonesians want because they're very helpful to us on border
protection," Senator Vanstone told last night's 7.30 Report. 

good to know, because it could provide a useful framework for understanding how
the concerns of interested parties are addressed in formulating other highly
sensitive Australian policies. Like:

  • Media ownership laws that increase concentration
    of ownership:
    "Yes, we are
    taking into account what Mr Murdoch wants because he's very helpful to us
    on government re-election strategies."
  • Refusal to acknowledge the threat of global
    "Yes, we are
    taking into account what the oil industry wants because it's very helpful
    to us on Coalition election funding when things get tight."
  • Decision to start a faux nuclear debate: "Yes, we are taking into account what the
    coal industry wants because they're very helpful to us on Coalition
    election funding when things get tight."
  • Snowy Hydro backflip: "Yes, we are taking into account what Alan
    Jones thinks because he's always very helpful to the Coalition."
  • Decision to go into Iraq: "Yes, we are taking into account what the
    Americans want because they're so helpful when the PM wants to be seen as
    a player on the world stage."
  • Government opposition to allowing advertising on
    the ABC:
    "Yes, we are
    taking into account what the Packer and Stokes families want because they
    are very helpful to us on election support policies."

Vanstone's public explanation of the subtext that sometimes drives important
Australian policy making formulation has been very helpful. Many thanks for
government transparency, Minister.

making veradah look good .....

‘A federal judge in Brooklyn
ruled yesterday that the government has wide latitude under immigration law to
detain noncitizens on the basis of religion, race or national origin, and to
hold them indefinitely without explanation. 

The ruling came in a class-action
lawsuit by Muslim immigrants detained after 9/11, and it dismissed several key
claims the detainees had made against the government. But the judge, John
Gleeson of United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York,
allowed the lawsuit to continue on other claims, mostly that the conditions of
confinement were abusive and unconstitutional. Judge Gleeson's decision
requires top federal officials, including former Attorney General John Ashcroft
and Robert S. Mueller III, the F.B.I. director, to answer to those accusations
under oath. 

This is the first time a federal
judge has addressed the issue of discrimination in the treatment of hundreds of
Muslim immigrants who were swept up in the weeks after the 2001 terror attacks
and held for months before they were cleared of links to terrorism and
deported. The roundups drew intense criticism, not only from immigrant rights
advocates, but also from the inspector general of the Justice Department, who
issued reports saying that the government had made little or no effort to
distinguish between genuine suspects and Muslim immigrants with minor visa

Lawyers in the suit, who vowed to
appeal yesterday's decision, said parts of the ruling could potentially be used
far more broadly, to detain any noncitizen in the United States for any reason. 

"This decision is a green
light to racial profiling and prolonged detention of noncitizens at the whim of
the president," said Rachel Meeropol, a lawyer for the Center for
Constitutional Rights, which represented the detainees. "The decision is
profoundly disturbing because it legitimizes the fact that the Bush
administration rounded up and imprisoned our clients because of their religion
and race."’ 

Judge Rules That US Has
Broad Powers To Detain Non-Citizens Indefinitely

crunch time .....

It's crunch time. 

This week, Parliament is
scheduled to decide whether to throw out our existing refugee laws to suit
Indonesia or whether to stand firm for chidren and human rights. 

In a rare moment in Australian
politics, representatives from every major party in the country stood together
last Wednesday to receive your 32,000-strong GetUp petition to stop this
legislation. They have told us they urgently need more support to stand firm
in these final days. Can you help us get to 50,000 signatures before the final
vote this week?

The stakes are high. Remarkably, a Government-controlled Senate Committee has
recommended this law be rejected entirely, or at least seriously amended.
Politicians from all the major parties - including 10 Coalition backbenchers -
now have serious concerns. But in order for these decision-makers to stay
strong, they urgently need a groundswell display of public support.   

At this crucial moment, please
spread the word to friends, family and colleagues that our actions right now
will make a difference. You'll find a note below you can use if you like.

The GetUp team



I've just taken part in a national petition to stop Australia's refugee laws
from being changed for the worse, and we're now aiming for a target of 50,000
signatures before Parliament votes this week. 

The petition calls on Senators to
reject a new law that would send all asylum-seekers who arrive by boat,
including children, into detention overseas. Already more than 30,000
Australians have signed it. 

Politicians from every major
party have expressed deep concerns about this law. But for these
decision-makers to stay strong, and demand serious reforms or vote against it,
they urgently need our support. 

Please join me in taking a stand,
and sign the petition by clicking on the link below.

Many thanks, 

like dirt

From a letter in the Sydney Morning Herald

It's good to feel human, even when it hurts

Amanda Vanstone's statement that she may cry over the death of an animal but has never shed a tear over a refugee (Stay in Touch, June 28) almost makes me want to weep.

As a nurse, I know that members of the medical profession and others involved in occupations where sad and traumatic situations occur do occasionally shed a tear. It is a natural human response.

What a shame Vanstone and her Government colleagues do not allow feelings to be a factor in their jobs. If they did maybe we would have a more humane society.

Jill Hall Haberfield


Gus could not agree more... and might add that shedding a tear or not may be irrelevant even if we feel so inclined... A doctor or a nurse seeing suffering people will endeavour to treat them and save lives... While it seems the immigration ministerial instructions are to treat suffering people like dirt or bury them before they arrive...

rewriting his story...

Have you noticed that in his quiet, dogged way Philip Ruddock has embarked on a mission to reshape his legacy?

How does he wish to remembered? Nothing less than "the nation builder".

He told a Murdoch newspaper: "Restoring public confidence in immigration enables you to put in place the building blocks, and everything else follows."

Of course, rapid assistance to smooth the visas of a few urgers who have topped up the Liberal Party tin is part of the nation building process, along with Ruddock long denying any impropriety.

The man who unblushingly fine-tuned the "Pacific solution" and devised the plan to excise outlying chunks of the nation from access to legal redress for hapless and washed up souls has been a bit misunderestimated, as his one-time political lodestar, George Bush, once put it.


Read more of Richard Ackland at the SMH and see toon at top... Remember the protesters flying kites at the gates of the detention centres?

the works of the evil darth .....

The Australian government is investigating claims that up to 20 Afghan asylum seekers denied entry to Australia were killed by the Taleban after being sent home.  

Chris Evans, the country's Immigration Minister, has ordered an inquiry into claims that the murdered refugees were among 400 asylum refugees refused entry into Australia by John Howard's government.  

The claims, made in a documentary to be aired on Australian television next month, have been made by a social research group, the Edmund Rice Centre, whose director, Phil Glendenning, has spoken to many of the rejected asylum seekers.  

Mr Glendenning, who spent six years tracing the refugees, says he has documented the deaths of nine, but he believes the true figure is 20.  

The asylum seekers were detained on Nauru Island under the Howard government's controversial Pacific Solution, which ordered all asylum seekers to be held on islands in the Pacific to prevent them from setting foot on Australian soil.  

According to many interviewed by Mr Glendenning, they were told by immigration officials it was safe to go home, and that if they refused, they would remain in detention forever.  

Immigration officials offered them Au$2,000 (£780) to return "voluntarily". They said if he turned their offer down, they would face indefinite detention.

Philip Ruddock, who was Immigration Minister at the time the refugees were sent back to Afghanistan, defended the policy.  

He said the United Nations Refugee Convention did not prevent asylum seekers from being returned to dangerous places, and added: "The fact that somebody might tragically die may well be as tragic as a road accident in Sydney."  

Afghan Asylum Seekers Sent Home By Australia 'Killed By Taleban' 

only the evil darth would claim that deliberately lying to refugees to put them in harm’s way is akin to a car accident in Sydney ….  

Whilst hypocritically parading his amnesty badge, in an obscene pontius pilate routine, the man has made himself a caricature, with his unconscionable behavior a canker on our society. 

It is to our country’s shame that Australians living in the electorate of Berowra have permitted him to remain in our nation’s parliament.

Amanda is wrong...


A contributing factor to Labor's difficulties is the uncertainty of minority government. One interpretation of how we ended up in this position is that many people just didn't want either Julia or Tony. Certainly, an increasing number of people can be heard saying, "a pox on both their houses". My worst nightmare is that this line of thinking continues and more, not fewer, people vote for independents at the next election.

Australia needs stable and strong government. Minority government means the opposite.


Read more:


Er... I beg to differ here... So far, Julia has managed some extraordinary feat... Her "minority government" is still pushing along with some massive agenda items, including a pricing on carbon — albeit a small step but one in the right direction for the future of the planet. No Aussie government has ever succeeded before on this issue.... The only thing of gross annoying importance imposed on the Australian public by Rattus-the-first was the GST and some "bash-the-workers" legislation which was a return to 1950s values with a taxed white picket fence. Of course Amanda sees things from her liberal (conservative) point of view and it's all down hill from there...

The only thing I would agree with Amanda is that the libs (conservatives) are full of loose cannon — but I can't see how Tony, himself the worse of the stupid lot on starboard, could fix the loopiness....

dealing with people...

Slowly but surely, at the cost of people disbelieving in the worth of what she is doing, Julia Gillard, PM, plods on with the problem of refugees and boats... She wants to stop the boats. She wants to be humanitarian. She does not want this country to be swamped with Muslim extremism.
She is not the first one with the same conundrum. 
Since the end to the Vietnam war when "boat people" were tramping through south east Asia, they had one hope: reach Australia and live well. There, was the continuation of a migration/refugee story... When I arrived in this country, the Serbs and the Croats were killing each others in Villawood, every night. 
White Australia was finished despite a great proportion of red necks still fighting for it, in various guises from illiterates  to Liberals (conservatives)... Most of the migrants from Vietnam (and I know a few) have enriched this country. Eventually they have participated in cultural improvements as well as developing new ideas, new exciting things, including food. Let not sneeze at food. Food is an essential part of life and the rituals, the tastes and the flavours of food are important to our manipulated stylistic desires. 
Then Malcolm Fraser did the silly mistake of getting some "Lebanese mafia" into the country on first class tickets... He knows it... Philip Ruddock knows it... Sure, there were problems with the Vietnamese, including having some extortion rackets going on, but the police slowly got the Vietnamese onside to stop it and though there are still a few problems they are not different from ordinary "white folks'. Whenever one goes in say Marrickville's Vietnamese restaurants, the owners want you to experience the best like local Vietnamese too. The want to share with pride. men and women are equal and forthcoming... 
Whenever one talks about Al Grasby, there is a hush in the room. Al was one of my good friends and I can say I never saw any corruption of sorts except to say he often got a discount for Yum-Cha in Sydney's Chinatown when he paid for his large group of trusted friends — including Chinese friends. The only things that were borderline were the chicken feet that I never liked... But that's it. 
Grasby was of SPANISH descent. He never had anything to do with the mafia that was supposed to be going on in Griffith. But pollies on the right loved to dunk him in it. Al Grasby was the "father" of multiculturalism. And this did not include much religion nor laws, but an inspired sharing of glorious times, of equality and exchange of ideas without impediments. Many Chinese Australians are seven generation Australians. They love different things, but they LOVE LIFE and most want you to share in that love. 
Most Boat People that have come here in recent times have been Muslims... Most of these Muslims are impregnated with a traditionalism that is 'extremist". Fact. That is the way they were in their war-torn country... That is the way they want to live. Sharia, Burqa... This means that from the onset apart from a generous hand to which we can offer, the rest of multiculturalism becomes shut down or becomes a one way street... Many come here with their views fully set in a framework of religious straight-jacket and nothing can make them budge. Fair enough. I have (private) recordings of "refugees" from Afghanistan (male) promising to change the status of ALL women in this country (Australia)  from one of freedom and equality for women (as much as it is a furphy at the moment) to one of "being respected" as long as they (women) are submissive to the MEN sharia law. This includes wearing the burqa. And this meant all women, including your wife. It won't happen overnight but that's the long term plan. Anyone who has seen a few things in Europe is aware of this. 
I don't mean that there is violence involved but there is a wall beyond which communications are severed. No interactions with women are allowed. Try to talk to a women in a burqa.  In the land of the free, this is hard to understand. Hard to accept, though some people are prepared to go half way — but there is no half-way.
Mind you, the Muslim women will often strongly argue that it is their choice to submit, but it has been their choice since day one of their brainwashing... Non-stop. Non-stop... No adventure, no curiosity allowed and often no education allowed outside the narrow frame. I mean it. 
There is to say, as well, that because of this caginess there is little trust afforded and little love apart from superficialities. Not that there is violence but there is basically little interaction, unless it is mostly done on sharia terms. 
This has been the conundrum for our leaders. Phillip Ruddock, though I often bagged him, knew this well and was torn by the dilemma. As well some more extreme dangerous riff-raff (yes they do exists in "those" countries as they exist here as well in various white colour) pass through the net of "scrutiny" and problem are bound to develop unless one is vigilant without having to be a vigilante... 
Despite all our humanitarian efforts and willingness, all this is not going to go away instantly. We have to make the effort but so do "they". I know people who have been in this country for fifty years and still can put two words of English together, even when ordering a banana from the grocer... And this is not laziness, nor is it an inability to learn — but it is a desire NOT TO LEARN. They simply don't want to communicate in the language of this country. Full stop...
Julia Gillard atrocious "Malaysia" solution is actually the best to deal to stop the rickety boats. In a way, it's also the best in terms of humanitarian acceptance by taking MORE refugees from a country that is not well-known for treating refugees well (whether it's truth or fiction). The alternative, as I have already mentioned, is to run a ferry service or as some people have sugested, organise flights between countries dedicated to refugees. Letting the refugees come on ricketty boats is lunacy.
In the long terms, no mater what, refugees have to do the extra mile... So far, many Muslims are not doing it, except they ask us to do it on their own terms only.
When Channel 31 was shut sown, I suspect that it was done discreetly because a lot of imams were using it at a platform to do some mighty extremist brainwashing ((I saw the ramblings)) and restrict women's access to 'education" outside the sharia. Proselytism plus with no redemption but physical punishment. 
I hope I am wrong, but I don't think I am..
And if I have offended anyone for being wrong, please accept my apologies. Meanwhile Julia would know this too... Many aspect to a complex problem and no easy solution and problems galore mounting in the future... One thing to say, Julia is patient and not fussed by the controversies. She has a knack at letting things find their own grooves and levels at which the best compromises and understanding can be achieved... I will be sexist here, Trust me: it's a woman thing.

The Imams and the Muslim will have to start making serious concessions and smooth a path towards a more open and free society... If Islam can evolve for the best, it may have to be in Australia. In Saudi Arabia, they will have to wait another 1000 years before waking up to the horrors of the old sharia laws. 

Meanwhile the most urgent problem is to deal with global warming. The rest will be but chicken feed by 2032...