In distress – Labor and asylum seekers

The dire straits of off-shore Australia
The dire straits of off-shore Australia

26 November 2012

DISTRESS CALL FROM H.M.A.S. BOWEN

This is Captain Chris Bowen, Immigration Minister speaking. We have made serious navigational errors and it seems to be internal polling that has wrecked our moral compass. The party engine room is philosophically defunct – it could not cope with the force of our sudden shift to the right.

Here we are, drifting aimlessly, lurching from side to side as the backlashes from our political opportunism rock us to our core.

Here we are, just a hull of our former glory.

Here we are, trying to heed polling, trying to be seen as trying to be tough in trying to stop refugees from trying to reach our shores. It’s a trying exercise.

Polling indicates that Australians don’t want us to be soft. They are afraid that the whole country will be overrun by hordes of asylum seekers who could threaten their way of life. Even worse – there could be terrorists amongst them. It’s all about fear (and racism, but we cannot ever admit that!)

Trouble is, the Coalition stirred up all this fear, and it’s us who have to deal with it. We have to look as if we’re more right wing than they are.

As you would expect, Amnesty International and refugee advocacy groups – even Malcolm Fraser – call us inhumane.

We know that most of these asylum seekers are desperate men, women and children fleeing persecution, torture, murder and war. But if we soften, we’re sunk.

We can’t go back on our policy of off-shore processing – that would make us the laughing stock of the nation.

Trouble is, we already are the laughing stock of the nation.

Talk about being caught between the devil and the deep blue sea!

It seems that nothing will deter asylum seekers from trying to get to Australia.

Would-be refugees won’t buy our propaganda that we don’t want them to drown by taking risky voyages in leaky boats at the hands of people smugglers. They know we don’t care about them. They see the way we treat them if they don’t drown. Many detainees wish they had drowned rather than be treated like animals.

And they know that this rhetoric is mainly intended for the ears of the Australian electorate. Unfortunately for us, they are not stupid and they are desperate.

We thought that the Houston Report would be the silver bullet. But that hasn’t worked, even with the ‘no advantage rule’. Fortunately, Mr Houston dismissed on-shore processing because that encourages people to get into boats. Bravo!

Now that we have moved to the ‘Pacific Solution Mark Two’, re-opened Nauru and opened Manus Island, we still can’t cope with the growing numbers. Sure, we are impressing the electorate by sending ‘economic refugees’ back, but they are the tip of the iceberg.

Now that the facilities are overflowing and we can’t cope, we have been forced to introduce on-shore processing using bridging visas, which are embarrassingly like Howard’s Temporary Protection Visas. What a back-down!

Now that we are being accused of creating a poverty stricken underclass in our own society, we are really looking vulnerable. We are locked into Houston’s ‘no advantage rule’ and there is no way out.

Now that emotive poll-changing terms are creeping into the media – terms like women and children, self-harm, hunger strikes, psychological disorders, inhumane conditions, suicide – we could be expected to soften. But we can’t. That would make us look poll-driven – even hypocritical.

This is a humanitarian disaster, which is a public relations disaster for us. Poor us!

Uhh ohh! We are lurching to the left. It’s our dissident Left convenor Doug Cameron who is asking what steps have been taken to implement a regional framework and “how we can fashion processing to ensure those without genuine claims are quickly sent home and those with genuine claims are treated with humanity.” He reckons, “Our policies are being determined on the basis of narrow domestic considerations, when this is a huge geopolitical issue” and “With the number of people that are looking to move around the world seeking refuge, you’re always going to have a situation that boats will come to Australia. I don’t think you can stop the boats. I think that’s rhetorical nonsense.”

That sort of wisdom could be the end of us!

Related items:

Sydney Morning Herald

ABC News

ABC Radio – PM

 

 

Climate change: Combet to sign ‘Son of Kyoto’. Why bother?

Combet backs feeble 'Son of Kyoti'
Combet backs feeble ‘Son of Kyoto’

 

9 November 2012

Yeah, yeah, OK! I’ve heard all this goddamn climate change negotiation crap before. Why don’t they just get over it?

Kyoto was a big fat failure and now Kyoto 2 – this ‘Son of Kyoto’ is doomed. It’s feeble. Only 2 of the world’s top 10 emitters are going to sign on, and we’re not one of them. Why should we? We Americans are number 2 on the list. China has beaten us. Damn it! They must be a real economic threat.

Let’s face facts. After the Copenhagen disaster, nothing but nothing was ever going to work. If there wasn’t agreement then, there never will be. So I say, just get over it and let us get on with our lives.

Those Australians are such goodie-goodie green global citizens. That Greg Combet is going to sign on. Crazy! They are number 14 on the list, so why would they bother. They think they can help get the world get back on track on climate change. Who do they think they are?

We Republican voters like to quote our hero, George Bush Senior who said at the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, “The American way of life is not negotiable”. Damn right!

America is the leader of the free world and we are free to do whatever we want. We won’t bow to any international rules on greenhouse emissions. As leader of the free world, we make the rules. Rules that suit us!

What every American wants is prosperity and an affluent lifestyle. What has made this country great is the profit motive. Capitalism, economic might, consumerism, innovation, marketing brilliance – that’s us.

There is as much chance of changing the American way of life as there is of selling swimwear to Eskimos. Hey! There’s an idea!

The ice caps are melting as temperatures rise. This could be a brilliant business opportunity. I could make a killing here.

Lucky we’re not going to sign that ‘Son of Kyoto’ thing!

God bless you America – you always look after your citizens – like me.

Turn the TV off will you honey? I’ve had enough of the news – I’ve got some urgent business to attend to.

Just imagine how proud our grandkids are going to be of me!

CRIKEY related article

www.lifeonthinice.org

 

 

Rudd’s ruses for return as Prime Minister

Drop me off at The Lodge for my new incarnation ... please!
Drop me off at The Lodge for my new incarnation … please!

1 November 2012

Stork: So you want to go to The Lodge. Didn’t I drop you off there in 2007?

Baby: That was my last incarnation. I want to go there again. I am a new person as you might have noticed on my recent TV appearances. I’ve been making quite a splash.

Stork: But the nice couple who live there don’t want kids. Besides, the lady of the house helped you get there in the first place and she doesn’t want you back. She is staying put and not moving out for a baby-faced upstart like you.

Baby: I had so much faith in her, but she dumped me and then she moved in.

Stork: But you were very badly behaved weren’t you? All those tantrums!

Baby: Just a minute. Now I know who you are – you are her in disguise.

Stork: Gotcha! You thought you were pulling a swiftie on me. A sneaky way to get to The Lodge. Get ready for your second dumping – from a great height. It won’t be on TV but you will make quite a splash.

Baby: But you are supposed to be a giver of life, not a taker.

Stork: Look! I am just a mythical being disguising the truth about how prime ministers are really born. I also disguise the truth about how they are killed off. As you well know, I am an expert at both.

Baby: I am the rightful Prime Minister and I intend to be re-incarnated no matter what it takes. Could you drop me off in a cabbage patch?

Stork: You are delusional.

 The Drum – Robert Macklin: Can you forgive and forget, Kevin Rudd?

Swan’s budget surplus on the Wayne

 

It's my lucky day
It’s my lucky day

 

21 December 2012

CATCH 22. “It’s my lucky day”, says codswallop Tony as Wayne the turn-turtle-treasurer goes back on his promise of a budget surplus. Budget-surplus-Julia, an expert in political suicide, might be dead in the water anyway, so what is there to lose? If Tony takes the bait there will be no more codswallop. But his codswallop is the very thing that could save Julia. Tony might see through the plot – after all, a budget deficit is best for Australia, and devouring Julia would be a bad look. There again, his appetite for political victims might prove to be too much and be his downfall. Meanwhile, with Christmas coming on, Wayne can just go back into his shell and let it all wash over. Grubby politics!

Fraser on US-Australia relations in ‘Asian Century’

Fraser: Less Rush - more presidential wisdom please, Mr Obama
Fraser: Less Rush – more presidential wisdom please, Mr Obama

25 September 2012 

Here is a satirical interpretation of a speech by Malcolm Fraser to the University of Melbourne’s Asialink Centre on US-Australian relations in this ‘Asian Century’.

See that kid over there. His name is America and he is the schoolyard bully.

He loves to flex his muscles and pick fights. He is really sneaky because he makes out that he is doing this for the good of the whole playground by getting rid of the ‘bad’ kids. But everyone knows he has hidden agendas.

The trouble with America is that he is not very smart, like most bullies, and he hasn’t won many fights anyway.

Once, he took on North Vietnam, but when he knew he couldn’t win, he ran away.

He tried Iraq and Afghanistan but couldn’t win those fights either.

You would think he might have learnt his lesson by now, but he hasn’t. He is so obsessed with being the ruler of the whole playground that he has decided to pick on the biggest kid in the school – China – just because he is scared that China might get too big for his boots.

America has always known that he can’t win fights all on his own. He has always sucked in other kids to help him, using all sorts of tricks. He told everyone that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. That got kids scared so they decided to help America. But Iraq didn’t have any of those weapons. I reckon America wanted Iraq’s oil. That’s what you call a hidden agenda.

Now America is using stand-over tactics on Australia to get control of the Western Pacific and South East Asia region. That’s where Australia is in the schoolyard and it’s the best place to be to pick a fight with China.

America said to Australia, “If you don’t do what I say, I won’t help you when China attacks you.” That’s what you call a stand-over tactic. So Australia agreed, even though Australia has excellent trade relations with China, and China had no intention of attacking him – but now it might if America starts a fight. Australia could get hurt.

How stupid is Australia? He was safe in the first place and had nothing to worry about. Now he isn’t safe and has got plenty to worry about.

Guess America must be smarter than I thought!

Click here for an edited extract with a link to the full speech in text and video on the Asialink site

 

Turnbull firms as preferred leader over Abbott

A matter of time? Time bomb Tony. Minute by minute Malcolm
A matter of time? Time bomb Tony. Minute by minute Malcolm

 

17 September 2012

Turnbull firms as preferred leader – SMH 17 September 2012

Excerpts ~ with some satire added:

Malcolm Turnbull has stretched his lead over Tony Abbott as the preferred Liberal leader and for the first time has majority support among Coalition voters.

~ That doesn’t seem right. Tony is a real man – he’s a Speedo wearing, truck driving, fire fighter from way back. Malcolm is just a multi-millionaire republican climate change believer from some cushy eastern Sydney suburb – you could even call him a bloody Leftie.

Among Labor voters, Mr Turnbull remains very popular, with 73 per cent support compared with 19 per cent for Mr Abbott.

~ How stupid is that! If they’re going to vote Labor any way, who cares what they think.

The poll of 1400 voters was taken from Thursday night to Saturday night and followed a rugged week for Mr Abbott in which he was subject to claims he physically intimidated a female political rival 35 years ago.

~ Bet those 1400 were all left wing, new age gays and lesbians from Paddington.

Mr Abbott deposed Mr Turnbull as the Opposition Leader in December 2009. Liberals say the party would never return to Mr Turnbull because he is unpopular among many colleagues, especially the right-wingers … Only if Labor became competitive in the polls would there be pressure on Mr Abbott’s leadership.

~ Labor haven’t got a hope, especially when we have Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt and Rupert Murdoch on our side. So just keep up the good work Tony and forget about Malcolm – he couldn’t bullshit the way you do. You’ve got it made!

 

Queenslanders rejoice – it’s Barnaby Joyce!

It's all in the packaging of politics
It’s all in the packaging of politics

 

5 September 2012

Just because I opposed the sale of Cubby Station to the Chinese, it doesn’t mean that I don’t like Chinese people.

Just because I oppose foreign investment, it doesn’t mean that I am xenophobic.

Just because I oppose same-sex marriage, it doesn’t mean that I am homophobic.

Just because I am opposed to the Greens’ policies, it doesn’t mean that I don’t like environmentalists.

Just because I crossed the floor 19 times under the Howard Government, it doesn’t mean that I don’t like my Liberal counterparts.

Just because I have fiercely conservative views, it doesn’t mean that I don’t like people who disagree with me.

I know I have a prickly exterior and I admit to more than occasionally giving people the rough end of the pineapple. But on the inside, I’m as sweet as sweet.

Don’t you believe me?

Just ask my Chinese friend Duno Wong. He is homosexual. He is a member of the Liberal Party. He is an environmental campaigner. He doesn’t agree with all my views, but gets upset when people refer to me as ‘anti-China‘.

He runs the local Chinese restaurant. For some reason, some of my pineapple-growing-National Party-Barnaby Joyce-faithful friends won’t sell their pineapples to him.

I dare not scold them. I can’t afford to disappoint my supporters.

 

 

Rinehart’s un-Australian lament – drinking, smoking, socialising

It's her! Aiding and abetting drinking, smoking and socialising
It’s her! Aiding and abetting drinking, smoking and socialising

30 August 2012 

This piece is derived from an  ABC News article which begins:

Australia’s richest person Gina Rinehart has urged Australians to work harder and cut down on drinking, smoking and socialising if they want to become wealthy.

In her regular column in a mining industry magazine, the controversial magnate says billionaires and millionaires are doing more than anyone to help the poor by investing their money and creating jobs. The article is titled Let’s get back to our roots.

Is that Gina Rinehart behind the bar pulling beers?

Sure is! This is my second job – to make ends meet.

What happened to your $20 billion?

It has all gone. Socialist policies, high taxes and excessive regulation wiped me out. But I’m not so badly off. No, those who hurt the most when investments are killed off by taxes, green tape and socialist policies that are not friendly to business or conducive to investment, are those who usually vote for the anti-business socialist parties. And for them, the price is very high. It’s a job lost, when they have few savings, a mortgage to meet and children to clothe and feed.

That’s sad. You used to be the world’s richest woman. And you claimed to care so much about the poor.

That’s right. I always insisted that it was billionaires such as myself who were doing more than anyone to help the poor by investing our money and creating jobs. The millionaires and billionaires who choose to invest in Australia are actually those who most help the poor and our young. And you had the cheek to talk about class warfare. You didn’t help matters at all.

Well actually, I objected to you urging Australians to work harder and cut down on drinking, smoking and socialising if they want to become wealthy. I thought that was an insult to the millions of Australian workers who go to work and slog it out to feed the kids and pay the bills. Besides, I believe that the fruits of economic growth should reach everyone.

And what brings you here Mr Swan, you socialist pig?

Well, I was paralysed by my own red tape and became unemployable.

Guess we have both gotten back to our roots.

I’ll have another beer. No, not that one … PULL THE OTHER ONE!


 

Wayne Springsteen – working class hero

Born to run for parliament
Born to run for parliament

 

1 August 2012

MUSINGS OF WAYNE SWAN

I really do have an image problem. People see me as a stuffy politician with a perfect suit, perfect hair and I really do look and sound like a party-line-script-reading robot. Just boring old Wayne the Treasurer, that’s who I am.

And the other problem: just because I have taken on Rinehart, Palmer and Forrest, the Libs say I am playing the ‘class warfare card’ – and the media is buying it. But the fruits of economic growth should reach everyone. The gap between the rich and poor is widening. I hate this inequality, but Labor has lost its working class base. Talk about being caught between a rock and a hard place!

What can I do?

I need to convince the working class that I’m just like them, not boring, and that I really do care about them. Well, one truth out of three ain’t bad!

How can I sell that message? We in Labor couldn’t sell fish on Good Friday.

I know!

I’ll align myself with a real-live working class hero, then people will think I’m just like him. I could even pretend to be him – no, that’s going a bit too far – I’ll leave that for the cartoonists.

Who can I use?

The only Australian working class hero I can think of is Paul Hogan, but the Taxation Office wouldn’t like that.

Got it!

The man who inspired my political values and the man whose music I still love  – Bruce Springsteen – ‘The Boss’. His songs talk about economic inequality being the seeds of class warfare. He saw the signs of the decline of middle America long before the economists did. Bingo!

So, what I’ll do is get a video done and put it on YouTube. I’ll wear a T shirt and jeans and I’ll look like a real cool dude.

And for my speech at the John Button Memorial Lecture I’ll use ‘The Boss’ as my theme and I’ll run the video too.

That should stop all this ‘class warfare card’ crap, should win back the working class, and should make me look like a real human being after all. Problems solved! Trifecta!

Besides, Julia is on holidays so this is my chance to steal the limelight. The media is bound to give me great coverage.

This is going to do wonders for my image.

Related article and video

 

 

Beazley’s bombshell on Labor’s hopes

They don't call me Bomber Beazley for nothing
They don’t call me Bomber Beazley for nothing

 

31 July 2012

May I introduce myself? I’m Kim Beazley and as Australia’s Ambassador to the United States, I don’t comment on Australian politics, but since you asked, I would say that Labor has as much chance of winning the next election as I do of shooting an elephant in my pyjamas. I couldn’t imagine why an elephant would be wearing my pyjamas, but I’m sure they would fit OK.

And speaking of unlikely escapades, would you believe that I was once, well twice actually, the Leader of the Australian Labor Party?

I lost two elections and never got to be Prime Minister, so I am an expert on Labor doom and gloom.

I was going really well coming up to my third election campaign, until I got some names mixed up. I referred to Rove McManus, a TV host whose wife had just died, as Karl Rove, your President’s advisor at the time. Simple enough mistake to make, but Labor didn’t see it that way, so they dumped me. And that was the second time!

Err …where was I? Oh yes. I would say that it would not matter whether Labor was led by Julia Rudd or Kevin Gillard – Labor will get trounced either way. They are doomed.

A leadership change won’t make any difference. It doesn’t matter who leads the party, just like it didn’t matter who led the party when they dumped me in 2006. I had led the party to near oblivion and that little Kevin fella thought he could turn things around. Boy, was he full of himself!

And if you think I’m kicking a man when he’s down, bad luck, they did it to me. They put the party before the great Kim Beazley – twice!

So a truck-load of bombshells is what they need from me. They don’t call me Bomber Beazley for nothing!

I’m not fazed if my comments become an electorally damaging, self-fulfilling propheshy back home. Stiff chips.

Speaking of truck-loads and chips, have my fish and chips arrived?

(With apologies to Groucho Marx for the elephant gag)

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