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The Christmas Island detention centre is so full that 30 illegal immigrants have transported to Melbourne. Another 35 have been taken from Christmas Island to Darwin.

When I was about 12, I asked my Mum what it meant to be grown-up. She thought for a minute as said ‘Taking responsibility for your actions.’

The importance of taking responsibility for one’s actions is probably the single principle that did most to move me away from the leftism of my university days.

It is a principle that seems completely to escape leftist politicians and activists.

For example, if you (this list from John Stone’s article ‘The Origins of the Crisis in Immigration Policy’ Quadrant December 2009):

  • Announce that illegal immigrants will not be subject to lengthy stays in detention, but will be allowed to live in the community.
  • Introduce a system of ‘Temporary Bridging Visas’ for people who have illegally overstayed the terms of their original visas.
  • Abolish Temporary Protection Visas and announce that anyone who is given refugee or Special Humanitarian Program status will be granted permannent residence, full access to welfare benefits, and the right to invite family members to live in Australia.
  • Weaken citizenship tests.
  • Announce a 24.5% increase in immigration.

Then it should come as no surprise that you have made Australia a much more attractive target for illegal immigrants and people smugglers.

There have been 54 boats this year, compared with a total of 18 in the previous six years.

The present Federal government told the world that people who arrived in Australia illegally would be treated more compassionately.

Some of those who have come to this country illegally this year have specifically said that they did so because they believed they would be more likely to succeed in obtaining permamnent residence than under the Howard government.

Yet Mr Rudd refuses to acknowledge that the massive increase in the number of illegal immigrants to Australia in the last twelve months has anything to do with the policies and announcements listed above.

This an outright refusal to accept responsibility for the consequences his actions.

Compassionate policies are those which result in a reduction of suffering. These ‘compassionate’ policies have resulted in a huge increase in suffering. And some deaths.

Genuine compassion, or even any concern whatever for the safety and well-being of others, would lead to acknowledgement that the policy changes have not worked, and the immediate implementation of plans to reduce the number of illegal immigrants.

But that would mean taking responsibility.

I guess we we can always hope.

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