Skip navigation

Daily Archives: October 23rd, 2012

Scott Morrison has made it plain that Indonesia has said that under no circumstances will they accept tow-back of asylum seekers .

Which means that should the LNP win the next election they will have nowhere to storehouse asylum-seekers since Nauru and Manus prison islands will be full. Therefore in my opinion, from early 2014, following the 2013 Federal election we will see the implementation, by whoever wins that election, of Gillard’s Malaysia Solution as a means of achieving the revolting policy objective of ‘stopping the boats’.

Here’s Scott Morrison on Q&A ‘Folk Music, Five Years and Funding’ last night spilling the beans:

TONY JONES: Did you get any sense at all from the Indonesian officials you spoke to, including the Foreign Minister, that they would allow you or even welcome towing back the boats to Indonesia?

SCOTT MORRISON: Well, as I’ve said on many ABC programs over the last week, I left confident that the relationship we’re building and the knowledge of our policies and how we intend to work with the Indonesians, which is not to push the problem back to them – see one of the key issues up in Indonesia is they want support and assistance to work in protecting their borders as well. So they know that we will respect their territorial integrity. Tony said that very clear in his public statements.

Morrison’s admission came in the midst of a fair barrage of bluster about how the LNP will engineer a magnificent relationship with Indonesia, the fruit of which is that the Indonesians will permit tow-back. For example:

TONY JONES: Don’t we have the right the ask whether the Indonesians will allow you to do it?

SCOTT MORRISON: And what I’m saying is we are building that relationship and I’m very confident about our ability to get the job done that we’ve promised the Australian people.

But Morrison’s slip was to admit that Indonesia had insisted that the LNP not push the problem back to them and that Indonesia has a determination equal to that of the LNP to protect their borders as well.

Game, Set and Match for tow-back. Hello Malaysia.

So, now the Coalition will attempt to keep the one-finger salute they have privately received from the Indonesians under wraps, despite the fact that the Indonesians are publicly stating that the Bali Process incorporating a regional framework for handling asylum-seekers is their preferred means of addressing the asylum seeker issue. Said Bali Process of course happens to be the ALPs preferred policy position.

To this end Abbott and Morrison are now attempting to conceal the fact that the Indonesians have explictly rejected tow-back stating reasons of diplomacy-in-confidence, despite the right of the Australian public to know that the proffered policy of tow-back is now a logical impossibility.

TONY JONES: So it’s a secret, is it?

SCOTT MORRISON: No, it’s a private discussion.

JULIA BAIRD: Yeah, right. I do think we do need to know what the situation is with the Indonesian Government and towing back the boats. If that’s a key part of your policy, we need to know if it’s feasible or not.

Scott, Tony: Julia Baird is correct. Your conversation is not only with the Indonesian government, its with the Australian electorate. If you have been making undertakings you can’t fulfil, that is your problem with the truth and not ours. (Hint: Democracy)

Enormously Expanded

Having been firmly told by Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natelegawa that tow-back is not an option, the Coalition returned from their meeting with an enormously expanded border protection policy.

They have now undertaken to prevent asylum-seekers entering the entire area of South-East Asia. Said Morrison on ABC’s 7:30 on 16 October.

SCOTT MORRISON: I mean, our policies aren’t about pushing problems back to Indonesia. Our policies are about dealing with a single-minded approach to deterrence, both on our borders, on Indonesia’s borders, on the region’s borders.

The only way of stopping refugees entering the entire region would be to achieve world peace, since it is war that drives refugee flows throughout the world. It would seem the Indonesians so firmly boxed Morrison and Abbott around the ears that they emerged somewhat punch-drunk. This appears to be a now permanent condition with Morrison repeating his Visualise World Peace policy three days later in The Australian

Mr Morrison said the Coalition did not oppose regional co-operation, per se, but Labor’s regional diplomacy had become too focused on harmonising the processing of asylum-seekers already in the region and shepherding them through the assessment and resettlement process.

Instead, all efforts should be directed towards stopping them from getting there in the first place.

Good luck with that one Scott, Tony. If its any consolation our disgusting new seat on the UN Security Council may be of assistance to you.


Getting back to last Monday’s Q&A, Amanda Vanstone repeated a common myth that brings a veneer of principled solace to the tow-back crew. That myth is the one that says ‘No Advantage Prevents Queue-Jumping’ or as Vanstone put it:

The Houston Committee, I think, came up with a reasonable notion of no advantage over others. Now, I’ve been, and others may well have, to some of the camps in Thailand where the Karen are, where you have third generation people living in camps and I’m prepared to say that I’m behind tough border policies that do not give advantage to people who can afford a people smuggler over some poor so and so who has been waiting for generations in a camp and hasn’t got the money for a people smuggler. I’m happy to stand up for that.

Vanstone champions the notion of ‘The Queue’ to state that wicked, cashed-up asylum seekers are preventing deserving third-generation refugees from getting selected in Australia’s v. generous Humanitarian Immigration quota. So NO DVANTAHGE RULEZ.

But, myth-busting here, if a person’s family has been in a refugee camp for two generations which is say 30 years then let’s face it, they are never going to be selected by anybody. They are not in a queue as much as permanent storage.

Vanstone may or may not know that TEH non-existent QUEUE is 135 years long with total world refugees at 10.4 million and 80,000 places made available each year by resettling nations such as Australia. Once in the predicament of a refugee camp there is precious little hope of getting out. Q.E.D I win the Internets agen.

Vanstone is a decent person. She has forgotten that the reality of persons fleeing war and persecution is that some are lucky enough to leave with money and/or papers and some are not. Our sense of fair play is indeed aroused by the thought of families sequestered in refugee camps to the third generation but the so-called queue does not exist as demonstrated by the very fact of those third generation refugees. Their childhoods have been robbed from them by circumstances beyond their control.

That fact is not made more palatable by then robbing the childhoods of other persons whose parents were fortunate enough to escape with money to pay a people smuggler, who indeed may himself be an impoverished fisherman trying to find some way to feed his family.

If indeed the queue did exist then Vanstone might have a point, but there is no queue.