This past week saw Scott Morrison descend further into the sewer in relation to asylum-seekers, calling for Mandatory Behavioural Protocols to be applied to asylum-seekers housed in the general community while their security assessments are being completed.
Morrison took the opportunity to call for such protocols as a result of an indecent assault on a university student allegedly perpetrated by an asylum-seeker. Morrison saw this as a magnificent opportunity to further evoke fear in the community and ride further on the crest of xenophobia toward an increasingly likely looking electoral victory in September this year.
Morrison’s colleagues were appalled by his comments as shown by their distate in having to defend them to the press and public. Senator Eric Abetz looked decidely queasy as he stood before a press crew in front of Parliament House and Julie Bishop became tongue-tied to the point of almost complete stuttering incoherence as she tried to recast Morrison’s bile into something resembling reason in front of the general public during a broadcast of ABC’s Q&A.
Mind you, while Abetz and Bishop both nervously attempted to make Morrison’s comments mean something different to what Morrison plainly intended, Abetz further fouled the air by failing to make a distinction between asylum-seekers and sexual predators saying he would not necessarily put them in the same category.
SAMANTHA HAWLEY: Eric Abetz was also questioned whether the idea was akin to treating asylum seekers like convicted paedophiles.
ERIC ABETZ: I wouldn’t put the two in the same category necessarily.
SAMANTHA HAWLEY: In a transcript released by his office later, the word necessarily was missing.
Abbott, as usual, was shifty on the whole thing, saying that he had not seen Abetz’s comments, but neither did he repudiate the conflation of asylum-seekers with sexual predators
Mandatory Behavioural Protocols
Julie Bishop directly lied to the public on Q&A when she said that Morrison’s protocols were only meant to cover notifications to police, council and public that asylum-seekers had moved into the area.
Morrison plainly stated, and you can watch him say so here, that these protocols should apply to the asylum-seekers personally and that they should have an incident-reporting mechanism attached to them so that infractions can be reported. In addition Morrison has proposed a dob-in-an-asylum-seeker mechanism whereby members of the public can complain to the government about misbehaving asylum seekers, obviously so that miscreants can be immediately deported
Under the regime of Nicolae Ceaușescu, the Securitate employed some 11,000 agents and had a half-million informers
Here’s Julie Bishop lying on Q&A about what Morrison meant by Mandatory Behavioural Protocols:
TONY JONES: What are behavioural protocols because no one’s explained this yet.
JULIE BISHOP: [..] So we are rightly asking the question that the Parramatta Council asked. Why weren’t they told that people were moving…
TONY JONES: But hang on a sec, what are behavioural protocols?
JULIE BISHOP: Telling the Parramatta Council, for example, that a large number of people are going to be moving into accommodation. In this case…
TONY JONES: Sorry, one second. Behavioural protocols are to be imposed upon the people themselves, the asylum seekers, so the question is what are they?
JULIE BISHOP: Well, I believe he was talking about reporting requirements.
TONY JONES: Well, he’s talking about that, as well as behaviour protocols were imposed on the actual asylum seekers.
JULIE BISHOP: Well, I see it as a reporting requirement.
Not The First Time
This is not the first time that Morrison has appalled his own Shadow Cabinet colleagues, let alone small-l liberal backbenchers like Mal Washer and Russell Broadbent. At a strategy meeting in late 2010 Morrison advocated pursuing an anti-Islamic strategy as part of Coalition tactics to generate voter support among xenophobes.
Morrison’s proposal was rejected at that time by Julie Bishop (chairing the meeting in Abbott’s absence) and leaked, perhaps by Malcom Turnbull. Morrison denies he ever proposed an anti-Islamic strategy but the leak was reported by some of Australia’s most respected journalists such as Lenore Taylor, David Marr and Peter Hartcher, whose reputations have been too long- and too hard-earned to fritter away on mere gossip. Hence I conclude the reports that Morrison proposed an anti-Islamic strategy are true.
The scary thing is that Tony Abbott is not troubled by Morrison’s venom at all. In fact he encourages it. The sum total of Morrison’s remarks on asylum-seekers are that asylum seekers are diseased, cunning (because Document Destroyers), parasitical criminals who cause social discohesion and who do not deserve to attend the funerals of their parents; who are poised to swamp Australia and who will cause an overload, if admitted, on essential services thus causing a breakdown in the general amenity and comfort of society.
To this end they require extra policing and conformity to Mandatory Behavioural Protocols to be supported by the vigilance of decent citizens.
Morrison does not contradict those colleagues. Nor does he contradict radio hosts who say, in so many words, that asylum seekers come here merely to sponge off welfare payments. On the contrary Morrison is an honoured and welcome guest on such programs and is treated by those hosts as a like mind.
On Insiders George Megalogenis pointed out that the report rate (not the conviction rate) of criminal activity for asylum-seekers this year is 5 reports for 12000 asylum seekers. That’s 0.41%. The corresponding statistic for Federal Politicians this year is three reports for 226 persons. That’s 1.32%.
Thus, Federal Politicians are 33 times more likely to be reported for crime than asylum-seekers.
Scott, please explain to me again, why are Mandatory Behavioural Protocols necessary ?
What Motivates Morrison ?
Morrison is highly intelligent. He’s no redneck shooting his mouth off in the pub. He can count. He can understand law. But he misrepresents both law and statistics and deliberately vilifies vulnerable persons. Why ?
Morrison states that he is a committed Christian, a member of the Pentecostal Shire-Live Church in Sutherland. When I found this out I asked him directly by email if he was behaving this way to prevent the Islamisation of Australia. In other words I thought maybe he allows himself the sins of misrepresentation, distortion and vilification in order to serve a Higher Truth, namely to prevent Australia from becoming Islamic.
He said no. He said the reason he does it is for security concerns, to regain protection of our borders.
I say that’s rubbish.
Because there is no security issue.
The Australian Navy has indicated unambiguously through unofficial channels (as they cannot officially state a desire to refuse orders or potential orders) that they do not support TowBack. This is a clear indication that there is no security issue with asylum-seekers. If there was a true security issue the Navy, as always, would professionally respond. Who could doubt otherwise ? If the Navy does not think there is a security issue, there isn’t one.
Secondly, does Morrison really think that Gillard cannot prevent Indonesian fishing vessels from landing in Northern Australia ? This page describes the armaments currently operated by the Australian Armed Forces. One well-placed shell from the M102 Howitzer attached to any of the S-70A Blackhawks should ensure border security for some time at minimal taxpayer expense.
Any grimy, sodden, Hazaran refugees who enter Northern Australia on the floating death traps that labour across the Timor Sea with faulty engines do so because they are tolerated to do so.
Border Security? Porous Borders? That’s just Morrison invoking the deeply resonant Invasion Myth so beloved of the latent Australian xenophobic mind.
So its not Border Security motivating Morrison. And if not’s that then my bets are back on the anti-Islamisation horse. And if it’s not that, then Morrison is inflaming xenophobia simply to win a nice job for himself.
Which would be reprehensible.