South Korea has dropped 3 million leaflets into North Korea. The leaflets are about pro-democracy protests in other parts of the world. South Korea has also been sending rice, medicines and radios in baskets attached to balloons.
But what really caught my eye was this complaint from North Korean authorities: ‘When such an incident took place in the past, people used to report their neighbours to the security forces, but now they’re covering for each other.’
Busy at work this morning, but had to stop to comment on the claim this morning from the legacy media that a survey by ‘leading universities’ (I guess as opposed to Australia’s other, less impressive universities) has found that as many as 50% of Australians are racists.
This survey was conducted for something called the ‘Challenging Racism Project.’
The claim that nearly 50% of Australians are racists is based on the fact that 48.6% of those surveyed had concerns about Islam, and the ability of Muslims to integrate successfully into Australian society.
But Islam is not a race. It is dishonest to claim that concerns about the willingness of a religious group to accept Australian law and values is racism.
If the owners of the Challenging Racism Project think these concerns are unfounded, then all they need to do is show that Muslims are no more prone to violence than other Australians, no more likely to commit crime, accept Australia’s laws and alliances (eg with Israel and the US), value women and women’s testimony as highly as mens, tolerate homosexuals, etc.
When influential Islamic groups like the Muslim Brotherhood have a strategy for turning Western democracies into islamic states ruled by sharia law, when a teacher can be brutally attacked on the streets of London for teaching a religious studies class, when islamic schools teach their students that Jews are pigs and monkeys, that Hindus have no intellect and drink cow’s piss, and that disbelievers are the worst of all people, when islamic leaders openly call for the destruction of Israel and anyone who supports it, and for the death of those who disagree with them, then yes, there is a problem.
It isn’t racist to acknowledge this.
Study co-author Dr Yin Paradies, from the University of Melbourne, said racism against minorities was most common in areas that were more highly populated by those minorities.
People who live in areas with high levels of some ethnic or religious groups are more concerned about the behaviour of some members of those groups than people who live in the leafy suburbs of Melbourne. People who know these groups and see them day to day are concerned. People who don’t are not. If prejudice is judging things you don’t know about, who is it who is prejudiced here?
I am not suggesting every concern is justified. But the way forward is not to condemn, but to respect those who have concerns enough to listen, and then either to acknowledge the concerns as justified and work towards a way to resolve them, or to explain carefully and reasonably why the concerns are not justified.
The study showed a darker layer often lies beneath people’s stated support for multiculturalism: while most supported cultural diversity, 24.1 per cent believed diversity could be equated with a ”weak nation”.
I am not sure why the belief that diversity of religious and political views could tend to weaken a nation should be considered evidence of a ‘darker side.’ That view is held unequivocally in most muslim countries. For example: Maldives is a self governed republic and very homogenous society, with one race, one language and one religion. This makes Maldives very peaceful community in terms of domestic violence and cultural problems.
It is not self-evidently true that a country whose citizens have many conflicting views about values, religion, political systems and alliances will be stronger than one whose citizens are in general agreement about those things. I am happy to be convinced. But I won’t be convinced by being called a racist.
One thing I forgot to note. The ‘Challenging Racism Project’ reported on differences in alleged racism between states. It did not report on differences in racism and anti-semitism between various religious and cultural groups.
Data is offered on anti-semitism and genuine racism as if that racism were the exclusive property of white Australians. ‘Challenging Racism’ says it is worried about Australian attitudes to ethnic groups, and to one religious group in particular.
A major factor in the concerns of many Australians about that religious group is that it is intolerant – of other religions and of particular races.
I wonder whether the survey data show that this concern is justified – that there are high rates of anti-semitism, for example, amongst members of that religious group.
In other words, most Australians are worried about that group for the same reasons that Challenging Racism says it is worried about most Australians.
I note in passing that it is the European nations, along with the USA, Australia, Canada and New Zealand, which have been most welcoming of migrants of diverse backgrounds, and most careful to ensure that migrants are treated as equals, regardless of race or creed. And it is those nations, the ones that have shown the least institutional racism of any on earth, which are most commonly accused of being racist.
So I can’t help but wonder what is the real agenda behind those accusations.
Who benefits from them?
The US Congress has voted to cut funding to the IPCC, the bloated and corrupt UN organisation charged with producing scary graphs about climate change.
Of course, the Republicans’ proposed changes to the budget won’t make it through the Senate.
But at least the enviro-crats are no longer having it all their own way.
More from Energy Probe:
In a major victory for American taxpayers, the House of Representatives today passed a budget amendment offered by U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-9) that would prohibit $13 million in taxpayer dollars from going to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), an organization fraught with waste and engaged in dubious science.
The amendment, which is identical to a separate bill sponsored by Luetkemeyer, was passed in a direct challenge to the president’s request to fund the IPCC, which has provided information that purports to support the administration’s call for job-killing cap-and-tax legislation.
Luetkemeyer’s amendment was one of 19 amendments highlighted this week by the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.
“The United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change is an entity that is fraught with waste and fraud, and engaged in dubious science, which is the last thing hard-working American taxpayers should be paying for at a time of out-of-control spending and historic debt, which is why I am extremely pleased that my amendment passed,” Luetkemeyer said. “It is time for Washington to combat this year’s record budget deficit and fast-growing national debt. This amendment is part of that effort.”
The IPCC advises governments around the world on climate change, and supporters of cap-and-tax legislation have used questionable findings by the IPCC as reason to support onerous legislation. Criticism of this science intensified over the last two years when emails publicly released from a university in England showed that leading global scientists intentionally manipulated climate data and suppressed legitimate arguments in peer-reviewed journals. Researchers were asked to delete and destroy emails so that a small number of climate alarmists could continue to advance their environmental agenda.
More than 700 acclaimed international scientists have challenged the claims made by the IPCC. These 700-plus dissenting scientists are affiliated with institutions like the U.S. Departments of Energy and Defense, the U.S. Air Force and Navy, NASA, and the Environmental Protection Agency.
The US ambassador to London, Louis Susman, made an implicit attack on the UK’s attempts to welcome Col Gaddafi back into the international diplomatic fold in recent years.
‘I would suggest that to deal with [Gaddafi] to give him greater stature, greater ability on the world front to look like he is a good citizen is a mistake.’
Right. That would be the same Gaddafi this guy is shaking hands with:
Denis McDonough, a White House official, said before the meal that Obama would not hesitate to greet Gaddafi. ”He doesn’t intend to choose which leaders he’ll shake hands with and which he won’t: he’ll be very happy to greet everyone he meets,” he said, adding: ”He wants to see cooperation with Libya continue in sectors such as Tripoli’s decision a few years ago to give up its nuclear program, an absolutely voluntary decision that we consider positive.”
Then Mona Rishmawi, legal adviser to the UN Commission on Human Rights suggested Britain’s decision to sell arms to Libya could make it “complicit” in human rights abuses.
She said: “Weapons that could lead to indiscriminate use of force against protesters is a problem.”
This would be the same UN that in 2003 elected Libya to be chair of its Human Rights Commission? The same Commission that employs Ms Rishwari?
The same UN that in 2010 gave Libya 155 votes out of 192 for a seat on the Human Rights Council?
From the quite often amusing (but sometimes crude, and definitely not daily) Daily Grind:
The Greens have greeted a left-wing think-tank’s report on ATM fees with a plan to ban the charges.
The idea is based on the Greens’ long-held belief that the banks are exploiting Australians by offering to exchange products and services for money.
“The amount of money Australian consumers pay in ATM fees is shocking and needs to stop,” Greens MP Adam Bandt was quoted as saying. Mr Bandt related dozens of stories of customers forced by unscrupulous banks to withdraw money from their competitors’ ATMs—sometimes for no better reason than that the customer was using a competitor’s ATM.
In one particularly shocking case, a woman wanted to withdraw money from her Westpac account, but the only ATM nearby was owned by NAB. Rather than walking 350 metres to a nearby RediATM, the woman was made to voluntarily pay $2 in exchange for the convenience of immediate access to her money. As the woman later tearfully recounted, “this isn’t what I signed up for when I explicitly signed up for this.”
And yet it’s a nightmare scenario repeated every fortnight or so for millions of Australians.
“Competition has failed to bring down the cost of ATM fees,” lied thinktanker James Fear, pointing out that although fee-free banking with unlimited ATM withdrawals is available to anyone who wants it, that doesn’t matter for some reason.
Mr Bandt has also received evidence that businesses in other industries may be charging for products that should be free, among them food, whitegoods, holidays, motor vehicles, homewares, manchester, computer equipment, garden implements, toys, hair care products and everything else.
Based on this story from the Sydney Morning Herald:
Greens MP Adam Bandt is considering calling for the elimination of ATM fees on balance inquiries in his banking reform bill, following the release of a report that concluded Australians spent $750 million last year on third-party fees …
“The amount of money Australian consumers pay in ATM fees is shocking and needs to stop,” said Mr Bandt, Greens spokesman for banking. “Fees on bank balance inquiries from ATMs are almost 100 per cent pure profit and can’t be justified.” …
Australian Bankers’ Association chief Steven Munchenberg dismissed the need for further reforms to ATMs pricing.
“If you are the customer of a bank, and you use an ATM owned or networked by that bank, then the user fee is zero,” said Mr Munchenberg. “Banks typically do not charge their customers for using their own ATM and the majority of ATM transactions is free.”
The RBA’s 2009 reforms forced ATMs to charge consumers directly, rather than through financial institutions, in a bid to lower costs and increase transparency. ATMs were also required to display the fee to be charged before the customer confirmed the withdrawal.
People being given choices, and asked to pay for stuff they want… Disgraceful!
On the NPR (US public radio) website, Brian Reed writes condescendingly about the benighted residents of Kiribati.
Even in a place as vulnerable as Kiribati, there are skeptics.
“I’m not easily taken by global scientists prophesizing the future,” says Teburoro Tito, the country’s former president and now a member of Parliament.
“Saying we’re going to be under the water, that I don’t believe,” Tito says. “Because people belong to God, and God is not so silly to allow people to perish just like that.”
Tito is not alone in his views. Of the more than 90,000 people counted in Kiribati’s last census, a mere 23 said they did not belong to a church. According to the most recent census, some 55 percent of citizens are Roman Catholic, 36 percent are Protestant and 3 percent are Mormon.
As a result, many are torn between what they hear from scientists and what they read in the Bible.
Silly deniers! If only they’d listen to reason! Then they’d realise their whole country is going to be submerged.
Except that the faith-filled folk of Kiribati are the ones whose views are closer to reality.
This graph shows changes in sea level at Kiribati over the last twenty years:
This graph shows what the rise would look like if the alarmists’ claims were true:
Now a study by scientists in New Zealand and Fiji has found that not only are sea levels in Kiribati and Tuvalu not showing any dangerous long term rising trend, but the islands themselves are growing.
Professor Paul Kench, of Auckland University, who co-authored the study with Dr Arthur Webb, a Fiji-based expert on coastal processes, said the study challenged the view that the islands were sinking as a result of global warming.
“Eighty per cent of the islands we’ve looked at have either remained about the same or, in fact, got larger.
“Some have got dramatically larger,” he said.
“We’ve now got evidence the physical foundations of these islands will still be there in 100 years.”
There is a collision between faith and science. But it is the warmists’ faith, not the faith of Kiribati Christians, which distorts the facts and makes for bad policy.
This is Ezra’s number six – The Innocence Mission – God is Love. ‘Rain or shine, this street of mine is golden.’ What a great line!
And this is one that is not on his list, but is definitely on mine – Gangstagrass – Long Hard Times To Come. This is the theme song from from the brilliant TV series Justified.
And it is right to be.
Mohammed ElBaradei says that Israel signed a treaty with Mubarak, not Egypt.
Not one of the parties or movements which could potentially form part of a new Egyptian government is friendly, or even neutral, towards Israel and the West.
Said Abdel-Khalek, former editor in chief of the Wafd Party’s Al-Wafd, said that the conflict with the Jewish state will be renewed because “there isn’t a house in Egypt that doesn’t have a martyr, killed in one of our wars with Israel. There are too many open wounds. I was an officer in the 1973 war and I can’t put my hand in an Israeli’s. And the vast majority of the people share this feeling.”
Let’s be clear: The 1973 Yom Kippur War was an unprovoked attack on Israel by three much larger countries, a war which those countries lost, and an officer for one of the aggressor nations says this was such an offence against the Arab people that it can never be forgiven.
We shouldn’t be surprised by this. Arab national leaders, and leaders of popular movements like the Muslim Brotherhood, have said with absolute consistency that the existence of Israel is an offence that cannot and must not be tolerated.
This means that any attempt by Israel to defend its people or borders is perceived by the Arab world as an unforgiveable act of violence – Israel has no right to exist, so it has no right to defend itself.
Iranian influence is growing in the North, fueled by Amadinejad’s relentless and continuing calls for the destruction of Israel.
In the South, Bahrain’s monarchy is weak, detested by the 70% of the population who are Shi’ite, many of whom will look to Iran for leadership.
After the US abandonment of long time ally Mubarak, the Saudis know that they cannot rely on America for support if the going gets tough. They cannot afford to be isolated. Of necessity, they will now value the US alliance less than the friendship of their neighbours.
Israel too, must now doubt the support it can expect from the US or the UK in the event of any conflict.
From the US, because the US seems to lack the political will to get out of bed in the morning, let alone come to the aid of a friend.
From the UK, because any assistance from the UK in an Arab/Israel conflict would cause a wave of hostility and violence to be stirred up by the UK’s powerful and radical imams.
So Israel is now surrounded by unstable regimes looking for a diversion from their problems, or by states which openly declare their intention to destroy Israel as soon as possible, while its two strongest allies look like they are ducking for cover.
And then there is this – a million Egyptians shouting, ‘To Jeruslaem we go, to be martyrs for the millions.’
Israel is right to be worried.
Sydney beats New York for Gatsby – a thumb in the eye for New York. Great news for New South Wales and a $120 million boost for the Australian film industry.
Luhrmann has a chance with Gatsby to recover the credibility and fans he lost with the appalling Australia.
It is a film he could do well.
But Leonardo diCaprio as Jay Gatsby? I cannot see how that will be believeable – especially after Robert Redford’s performance in Jack Clayton’s 1974 version.
Robert Redford’s portrayal was not perfect – Redford doesn’t do enigmatic. And Mia Farrow, who was superb in The Purple Rose of Cairo and Hannah Her Sisters, was simply dismal as Daisy. She looked as if she had wandered off another stage where she was playing a reprise of Blanche DuBois.
Jude Law or Daniel Day Lewis might have been better choices for Gatsby, with diCaprio as Nick Carraway.
But it is a great book – one of my all time favourites – and if Lurhmann can get his act together again, it will be a wonderful film.
There are many people for whom that ruling by a judge in Austria will come as a great comfort.
There are many more for whom it be a source of astonished dismay.
Elizabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff, a critic of islamic activism in Europe, has been on trial in Austria for inciting hatred and denigrating religious teachings.
The judge began the delivery of his verdict by pointing out that the integration of Muslims into the community is a question of public interest, that it is acceptable to ask questions, and even to be critical. It is not acceptable to incite hatred. The judge found that Elizabeth’s remarks had not done so.
However, Elizabeth had also said that by today’s standards, Mohammed was a paedophile. I have said the same thing. He was also a mass murder, torturer and rapist.
I do not see how it is possible for a fifty-four year old man having sex with a nine year old girl not to fit the definition of paedophilia.
The judge disagreed. A person is only a paedophile, he said, if that person’s primary sexual interest is in children. Mohammed did not fit that description because he had other, adult wives, and because he continued to have sex with Aisha after she was eighteen.
Elizabeth was found guilty of denigrating religious teachings, and fined €480.00.
By the judge’s line of reasoning, if someone has sex with children, he is not a paedophile if he continues to have sex with them when they are adults, or if he has more sex with adult women than with children.
That is just plainly idiotic.
It may well be the case that Mohammed’s behaviour, which included raping women captured in war, was acceptable in his time and culture.
But that is not what Elizabeth was concerned about.
There would be no problem if Muslims acknowledged that some of Mohammed’s actions might have been acceptable then but are not acceptable now, and therefore that he cannot be taken as a moral exemplar.
But they cannot do this. For Muslims Mohammed is the highest moral exemplar of all humanity. His actions and the teachings of the Quran apply everywhere and at all times.
If Mohammed did something, no court or law can forbid it. If the Quran commands or even permits something, no court or law can forbid it.
Just as one example, the Quran provides for rules for waiting periods after intercourse before a man can divorce a wife. It includes a rule to cover the prescribed waiting period if a man wishes to divorce a wife with whom he has had intercourse, but who has not yet started to menstruate.
Elizabeth is right. The judge is wrong.
It has been estimated that 160 people die every minute from malaria or its complications. Malaria is a disease we could eradicate.
Many chemotherapy drugs for treating cancer have highly unpleasant side effects – hair loss, vomiting, intense joint pain, liver damage and fetal defects, to name just a few. But anyone trying to ban the drugs would be tarred, feathered and run out of town. And rightly so.
The drugs’ benefits vastly outweigh their risks. They save lives. We need to use chemo drugs carefully, but we need to use them.
The same commonsense reasoning should apply to the Third World equivalent of chemotherapy drugs: DDT and other insecticides to combat malaria. Up to half a billion people are infected annually by this vicious disease, nearly a million die, countless survivors are left with permanent brain damage, and 90% of this carnage is in sub-Saharan Africa, the most impoverished region on Earth.
These chemicals don’t cure malaria – they prevent it. Used properly, they are effective, and safe. DDT is particularly important. Sprayed once or twice a year on the inside walls of homes, DDT keeps 80% of mosquitoes from entering, irritates those that do enter, so they leave without biting, and kills any that land. No other chemical, at any price, can do this.
Even better, DDT has few adverse side effects – except minor, speculative and imaginary “risks” that are trumpeted on anti-pesticide websites …
Anti-DDT fanaticism built the environmental movement, and gave it funding, power and stature it never had before. No matter how many people get sick and die because health agencies are pressured not to use DDT, or it is totally banned, Environmental Defense, Sierra Club, Greenpeace, Pesticide Action Network, US Environmental Protection Agency and allied activist groups are unlikely to reform or recant.
Worse, they have now been joined by the United Nations Environment Program, Global Environment Facility and even World Health Organization Environmental Division – all of whom share the avowed goal of ending all DDT production by 2017, and banning all use of DDT in disease control by 2020.
More people have died as a result of the fraudulent research leading to bans on the use of DDT than were killed by Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot combined. Yet the UN, governments and environmental organisations continue to support this monstrous policy, and the lies that feed it. And millions of people die as a result.
Cold and wet again this weekend on Kangaroo Island. So wet the race club’s major meet for the year had to be cancelled. I guess this proves global warming.
Strange, after all the predictions of drought and heat, you’d think the climate alarmists would at least have the deceny to say ‘Oops. Got that wrong. Sorry. Maybe we ought to look at those figures again.’
But no, Al Gore pops up and says ‘No, really, that’s what we’ve been saying all along.’
Right Al. Right Tim. Sure David.
Then, as if on cue, a study is published in Nature demonstrating a connection between use of fossil fuels and global increases in rain, snow and ice. Based on modelling of selected data. With the assumption that what cannot be explained by what we think we know about natural variation must be caused by us. Roger Pielke Jr has more on why the Nature articles don’t demonstrate any connection between AGW and a purported increase in natural disasters.
But what is really happening? And why?
Mexican geo-physicist Víctor Manuel Velasco has been saying for years that there is no correlation between human activity and global climate change. Based on observations of solar activity, and records of past correlation between solar activity and climate, Dr Velasco says the change we need to be preparing for is an extended period of cold.
Piers Corbyn says the same thing. And his predictions have been uncannily accurate. Predictions from Al Gore/Tim Flannery/David Suzuki and the whole global warming cabal have not.
That is not a small point. Science advances step by step by saying ‘On the basis of the evidence, if this theory is true, then this should happen.’ Then checking to see if it does happen.
If the prediction is not accurate, the scientist looks at the evidence again, and considers whether it matches the theory, and if not, whether the theory might be wrong.
Evidence, facts, observation, trump theory every time. If the theory doesn’t fit reality, it isn’t reality that is wrong.
That is not the way of the alarmists. Their response is to do more computer modelling, to pretend they said something else, to state their views ever more stridently, and if all else fails (and it has) to discredit, abuse and belittle anyone who disagrees with them.
Billions of dollars have been wasted on the global warming scam, and the Australian government is still determined to introduce a carbon tax. A tax designed to slow down the economy, to reduce farming and maufacturing output, to increase the cost of transport. A tax that will increase the cost of every basic commodity.
My school motto was ‘Truth will prevail.’ Even as a teen I thought that was probably wishful thinking.
But in science, truth does prevail. Eventually. Because societies that prefer ideology to science cannot compete in the real world. The USSR discovered this (after immense cost to its people) with Lysenkoism.
The similarities between warming alarmism and Lysenkoism have previously been noted by Australian geologist and paleo-climatologist Bob Carter.
Lysenko, incidentally, denounced real biologists as ‘wreckers’ and ‘people haters.’ He would have called them denialists if he’d thought of it.
Piers Corbyn can have the last word:
Footballers are not chosen for their moral principles. They do not go into a national draft for budding philanthropists. They can run and catch and kick a ball. What are the clubs thinking when they send them to schools to give guidance on life skills? Any right-thinking parent would quake with fear to hear that footballers were coming to their daughter’s school to give a little bit of inspiration.
Costello refers to a story about a young woman who claims to have had sex with two St Kilda players she met at a school skills clinic, got pregnant, and posted naked pictures of the footballers on the internet to prove it. Except there’s no evidence she was pregnant, and the photos were stolen.
The real story there was the eagerness with which the legacy media take up and publish anything which belittles high profile people or organisations, and the lack of fact checking that takes place before publication. But I guess that’s not news to anyone.
It makes as much sense to say the moral of the St Kilda story is that footballers ought to quake with fear any time they are required to have anything to do with teenage girls as to say that parents should be worried about footballers running a life skills clinic.
Costello says that footballers are not chosen for their moral principles. Well, no. Neither are politicians. If a few sports stars misuse their standing for sexual or financial rewards, that is no reason to suggest that the lot of them are hooligans with nothing useful to say, just as the fact that a few pollies do the same thing is no reason to make assumptions about the morals or effectiveness of the rest.
Star footballers, or people who have reached the top in any field of endeavour, are indeed likely to have useful life skills to teach:
Talent alone will not guarantee success, hard work counts, you make your own luck, teamwork is important, you reach your goals when you have priorities and stick to them, you have to sacrifice some things you might like in order to achieve others.
However, Costello is right about most of this, from the same column:
Whatever else you think of Warne, he ranks as one of the greatest cricketers of all time. Judged as a sportsman, he is simply the best of his generation. But if he aspires to be more than that, he has a problem.
It is common these days for successful sports people to establish philanthropic foundations. Ricky Ponting has one, as does Steve Waugh. And, of course, there is the Shane Warne Foundation “which raises funds to enrich the lives of seriously ill and underprivileged children”. Helping underprivileged children is admirable, but I can’t help thinking that one of those clever publicists has convinced cricketers that charity work will enhance their image and their brand.
When a person takes naming rights on a charity, they are putting their character forward to the public as a reason to make a donation. They are asking people to trust them on the basis of their reputation. They cannot complain if people decide to carefully scrutinise that reputation.
That last paragraph is spot on. But even sleazy blighters can have genuine concern for people in need. Cynicism about good works done by others just makes the cynic look ungenerous.
The Daily Mail reports that residents of villages in Surrey and Kent have been told to remove wire mesh from their windows, because the mesh could pose a risk to burglars, and the burglars could claim compensation if they were injured.
This is one of the comments at the end of the Daily Mail article:
Don’t leave bottles of brown-coloured bottles of pesticides in your shed – burglars might think you have left them some beer. Don’t leave a supply of bird nuts – burglars might get food poisoning – thinking you were leaving them some munchies to go with the previous item. Don’t put pitch forks in your sheds – burglars might stab themselves on them as they clamber through the window. Don’t put glass in the window frame – burglars might get a scratch followed by blood poisoning. Make sure there is adequate lighting – in case burglars accidentally step on a rake and whack themselves in the gob. Please provide an adequate seating arrangement – so that weary burglars can take a rest, before taking the rest of your stuff.
I could understand the police being concerned if residents were setting up bear traps on their lawns, or digging pits filled with sharpened spikes. But putting security mesh on windows?
I’d be outraged too.
If you break into someone else’s home, accidents you have while there are your fault, not theirs.
Some interesting facts in an article by Paul Sheehan in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald.
The Department of Immigration … is busy spending an unprecedented amount delivering an ineffective program on the scale of waste comparable to Labor’s national roof insulation scheme or school building program. This time the failure is destroying lives and inviting more of the same on a greater scale.
Last Thursday, the Gillard government asked for another $290 million to fund its border protection program. The opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, responded: ”In 2010-11 the government will spend more than $760 million on people arriving illegally in Australia. This compares to less than $100 million in annual expenditure when the Howard government left office in 2007.”
At this rate of spending, the cost of keeping each detainee has rocketed to $150,000 a year …
No wonder there is a backlog of 6000 humanitarian cases clogging the scrutiny and review system. No wonder the Labor government, which railed against the Howard government’s detention policies, is opening more and more detention centres …
More than 2000 violent incidents are happening every year in the centres. Last week, in the latest known incident, about 40 detainees were involved in scuffles at the Darwin Airport Lodge detention centre. Six people were hospitalised.
All because this government is achieving the worst of both worlds: encourage the people-smuggler trade then lock up the arrivals.
While the majority of the electorate appear to believe that the last people who should be allowed permanently into the country are those who try to come in illegally, the Gillard government does not even forcibly return people it has ordered to be deported …
The combination of more arrivals, more detentions and slow processes means the average time spent in detention has risen to 183 days. Six months. Two years ago the figure was 25 days.
The Labor government’s ‘compassionate’ immigration policies are monstrous and inhumane.
The people who are conned into coming by Labor and the people smugglers are not the only ones who are hurt.
As John Howard’s Minister for Immigration Amanda Vanstone pointed out several years ago, the more resources we are forced to spend on people who jump the queue, the less we are able to do for people, often in much greater need, who are waiting around the world in refugee camps.
We need to return people who are here illegally to their countries of origin. No questions, no excuses.
That would stop the boats, and it would mean that the extraordinary amount of money now spent keeping illegal immigrants in motels could instead be spent supporting and finding homes for a greater number and broader range of immigrants and refugees.