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[P]
The Australian Refugee Crisis: a possible long-term solution

By eric.t.f.bat in Culture
Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 02:38:57 PM EST
Tags: Politics (all tags)
Politics

I'm ashamed and annoyed at how cruel Australia and Australians have seemed, after the recent refugee crisis off Christmas Island. I think there has to be a compassionate solution, and inspired by Mike Roberto's comment elsewhere, I imagine something along these lines...


Mohammed and Fatima come from the Islamic Kingdom of Nastystan. They wish to leave, and they hear that Australia is a nice place - ie you don't get your genitals removed for stealing bread there. So they apply to the Australian embassy for permission to emigrate. What they are told surprises them.

"No one emigrates any more. There are no refugees, visas or anything else in Australia. Since the Hypothetical Party took government, this is how things work: you come to Australia whenever you like, and you are declared a Probationary Australian Citizen. After you survive your probation, you are Australian, and that's that. No exceptions, no discrimination."

And so it is. Mohammed and Fatima travel (somehow - by QANTAS Airlines or people smuggler, it matters not under this new scheme) to Australia, and arrive in Darwin (far north, the closest largish city to Indonesia). They are each met by a translator who speaks fluent Nastystani, and who explains their new status. If they agree, they will first be implanted with microwave responders, so they can be tracked by the new Department of Citizenship. They are informed that they will be moved to Brisbane, where they will begin compulsory training and their first work assignments. They will receive a subsistence wage and live in barracks outside the city, from which they can come and go as they please. If they have particular skills and training that may be of use in Australia, this will be taken into account in their job assignments. They are required to report to a DoC Probation Officer once a week, to discuss any problems they're having and fine tune their conditions. Failure to report (without a good reason) is a Deportable Offence. They have a permanent blood alcohol limit of 0.02 (the same as probationary drivers in Australia, but they don't have the right to drive vehicles so it applies all the time). They must not commit any crimes, even moderate ones like shoplifting. They must must apply for permission to have children, and can be penalised for not applying if Fatima gets pregnant, although the Department stops short of requiring chemical sterilisation or compulsory abortion. And they may not remove their transmitters. If they disobey these laws, they will be deported home to Nastystan and not permitted to return.

Mohammed and Fatima consider their position. If they say no to these conditions, they will be placed on a plane or boat back home. They will not be permitted to try again for five years. It's now or never.

They say yes. They are now Probationary Australian Citizens.

Obviously the situation is open to abuse. A corrupt police officer or an abusive employer can get a PAC into huge trouble, but it's hoped that PACs will develop a relationship with their Probationary Officer to minimize such conflicts. If necessary, PAC families can be shifted from one city to another - for example, six months after arriving, Fatima reports that she was sexually assaulted by her supervisor at the cannery, so she and Mohammed are promptly shifted to Perth, Western Australia, where their probation continues with no other penalty; meanwhile the supervisor is prosecuted under Australian law, as if he had assaulted an ordinary citizen.

In general, however, Fatima and Mohammed do not complain, despite being treated as second class citizens and having far fewer liberties than locally-born Australians. Regardless of what they go through as PACs, they could be suffering far worse, not only back home in Nastystan but also in the long-gone, unlamented Indonesian refugee camps.

The cost to Australia is significant, maintaining the PAC barracks and administering the influx of people. But the costs are offset by savings: the detention centres are a thing of the past, and the border patrols and immigration checkpoints are pretty much perfunctory now. And a year after Mohammed and Fatima arrive in Australia, they receive a special posting. Mohammed was a doctor back in Nastystan, and with a year's intensive english training he's now ready to go somewhere that no doctor has been before: the small New South Wales town of Dustiblah, to which no (Australian) doctor could bear to be posted. As Mohammed says, "I've been to places where they would call this paradise. I call it home!"

The work is tough, and poorly paid - PACs have enough to eat, and their accommodation is dormitory-style and not very exciting, but they're not much left for luxuries. But they have a chance, which they didn't before, and in five years - or three years for Mohammed, given his sterling work in his adopted community - they will go under the knife to remove those transmitters. They will be Australian.

---

So there you go. That's my idea, off the top of my head. I'm interested to read your comments.

: Fruitbat :

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The Australian Refugee Crisis: a possible long-term solution | 69 comments (68 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
Adding it up... (3.12 / 8) (#1)
by localroger on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 08:53:32 AM EST

Last time I looked at a globe I seem to recall Australia being about the same size as the continental USA, or maybe even a bit bigger. At the same time, last time I looked at population figures I seem to recall Australia having something like 1/10 the population of the USA. (I could look this stuff up, but I'm not in netwonk mode right now.)

Seems to me like this is pretty harsh reaction to a problem that doesn't really exist. Now, applying your solution to the situation at the US/Mexican border, I think what would happen is not much different than what is happening now. The aliens would still come and get their transmitters and work for dirt wages, so regular citizens would be pushed out of those jobs and the wages would go down, and the population would shift inexorably from there to here.

In other words, it would not give enough benefit to justify the karma of re-legalizing slavery.

I can haz blog!

The problem does very much exist (3.66 / 3) (#3)
by willie on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 09:40:34 AM EST

Seems to me like this is pretty harsh reaction to a problem that doesn't really exist.

I don't follow your logic. Why does population and land-mass change anything?

I assure you, that the problem does very much exist. Australia has a population of ~19 million, and much more coastline than the US, which is impossible to cover. The problem is immigrants coming in by boat. They get caught all the time. But how many get through? We have waaaaay too many refugees and illegal immigrants, which is why the Howard government has taken a stand on this occasion. We definitely need a solution, but accepting everyone who comes is definetly not it.

Oh, and Australia is about the same size as the US sans Alaska.



[ Parent ]
Population and Land-Mass (4.20 / 5) (#4)
by localroger on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 09:54:20 AM EST

I don't follow your logic. Why does population and land-mass change anything?

Because it means that Australia isn't over-populated. It isn't even close to being over-populated. (I realize a lot of Australia is desert, but so is a lot of the USA.)

I can't honestly believe that Australia would have a problem absorbing millions of immigrants. I'd love to hear what the problem would be. You've no shortage of space for them to live, land on which to grow their food and build the industries which they would need and for which they would provide labor.

The US doesn't have a coastline problem, it has a walk-over problem. In case you haven't seen it, the Rio Grande is a spectacularly unimpressive river. At its widest, you can throw a baseball across it; and of course it's dead dry or nonexistent over much of the border. And that's not to mention 3,000 miles of Canadian border. (Funny how nobody complains much about the difficulty of patrolling that.)

Of course there's a very simple way to discourage these people from coming into your country. Pass laws that require cutting off your genitals for small crimes and wreck the economy. I think the Bush administration is working on such a strategy for the USA, and like everything else he's done it's bound to be a smashing success.

I can haz blog!
[ Parent ]

Immigration woes (4.50 / 6) (#6)
by akharon on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 11:32:40 AM EST

And that's not to mention 3,000 miles of Canadian border. (Funny how nobody complains much about the difficulty of patrolling that.)

Yeah, I can't begin to describe the problem we have with all those friggin snowbacks running across the border at night. Honestly though, people don't realize that without illegal immigration, our (the US's) agriculture economy would go down the toilet. A buddy of mine's family owns one of the largest farms in the state where I live, and out of over 1500 workers picking cherries this year, and every year, they only can recall one non-mexican family coming to pick cherries, and the pay isn't bad mind you. It averages about $20/hr, but you have to work hard, and not many are willing to do that. Some even cleared $35/hr, not bad for unskilled labor.

I know I didn't propose any solutions, because it's a sticky problem, as this area also has many immigrant families on welfare, and that bugs everyone, because there are lots of opportunities here for people getting a start, just many find it easier to watch TV, which is what Oz is worried about.

[ Parent ]
It doesn't work like that (none / 0) (#35)
by willie on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 08:53:33 AM EST

I can't honestly believe that Australia would have a problem absorbing millions of immigrants. I'd love to hear what the problem would be.

Are you really that naive? The answer is money. Easy as that. Sure we have plenty of space, I'm not doubting that. But money doesn't grow on trees, and we don't have a lot of it. LESS population = LESS money. We simply can't afford to accept millions of these people, which is why we accept a small number but try to discourage too many.

There are also other economic and social problems associated with accepting large amounts of immigrants. Unemployment, cultural identity, etc.

Oh, and btw, ~25% of *all Australians* are forign or 1st generation forign. Which is over 4 million by my calculations. Just because you don't know of a problem, doesn't mean it exists.

I'm also not doubting that the US has an immigration problem, but I don't believe that it's overpopulation. Take japan which has about half the population of the US, but ~1/25th the land mass. There are many worse examples, but I'm not that aware of their population/landmass ratios.



[ Parent ]
US immigration "problem" (none / 0) (#44)
by ucblockhead on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 11:52:22 AM EST

The US does not have an immigration "problem".

It has a lot of immigration. That is not a "problem". It is, in fact, one of the roots of what made the US so strong in the twentieth century.

(Of course, there are a lot of idiot politicians who pander to anti-immigrant groups for votes.)

"Cultural identity" is just a way of saying "all those new ideas scare us". But then, new ideas are the source of strength.


-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

Food and Water (none / 0) (#47)
by gsl on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 10:00:42 PM EST

I can't honestly believe that Australia would have a problem absorbing millions of immigrants. I'd love to hear what the problem would be. You've no shortage of space for them to live, land on which to grow their food and build the industries which they would need and for which they would provide labor.

Pretty much all of Australia's arable land is farmed. It's been farmed so intensively that salinity and erosion are big problems. You could make more farm land by clearing trees but that wouldn't be popular (there aren't that many sizable forests left) and in the long term would probably make matters worse.

Australia exports a lot of its agricultural produce so obviously it does produce more food than it needs to feed its population, so sure, we could support a larger population. A lot of our beef/lamb/grain exports go to places like Japan (Australia's biggest trading partner) and the Middle East. Those countries rely on places like Australia, Canada, the US to provide food (in return for cars, oil, etc.).

Food might be life or death to an Afghani or Somali or whoever but to you and me and the rest of the Western world it's just a commodity to be traded.

Water in Australia is another matter. If I recall correctly, Australia is the second driest continent (after Antarctica). For instance, in Melbourne, where I live, we are in our third year of drought. There are some places in the state where dam capacities are at 10% or so. Of course, any refugees could be sent somewhere with plenty of water (like the tropics) but invariably they end up in established communities which are usually in Sydney and Melbourne.

Geoff.



[ Parent ]
Levels of immigration (4.25 / 4) (#5)
by ucblockhead on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 11:17:57 AM EST

In the US State of California, 25% of the population is a foreign-born immigrant. When you guys start getting that level of immigration, you might get some sympathy from me. (Though likely note even then, because California is a pretty nice place to live with 25% immigrants.)

(And that 25% does not include the 3-4 million people who are believed to be here illegally. Hearing about some country worrying about a lousy few hundred refugees just says to me that they don't even have a concept of real immigration.)
-----------------------
This is k5. We're all tools - duxup
[ Parent ]

here you go: (4.66 / 3) (#27)
by Hal9x on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 12:06:49 AM EST

"Nearly one in four of Australia's 18.6 million people was born overseas.... More than one third of Sydney's population was born overseas and almost one third speaks languages other than English."

from the nsw tourism government site.

Your sympathy is not necessary.

Australians generally have no problems with taking refugees. Them concern with this lot was that they were 'jumping the queue'. Another concern was that taking them would send more desperate refugees to the people smugglers.



[ Parent ]
If only the Aborigines had applied this logic. (3.80 / 5) (#26)
by jeremiah2 on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 10:45:49 PM EST

At their own level of technology, the continent was near the peak of the population it could support. They'd have been well in their rights to put a spear through every white devil they saw. Keep the delicate balance of nature and all that.

In fact, most of those whites were criminals who got kicked out of England for good reason. What were the odds they would improve the neighborhood?


Change isn't necessarily progress - Wesley J. Smith, Forced Exit
[ Parent ]

Land Mass isn't the only factor (5.00 / 3) (#9)
by John Milton on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 01:30:55 PM EST

A large part of Australia's land mass is desert. I don't think that can support as many people.


"When we consider that woman are treated as property, it is degrading to women that we should Treat our children as property to be disposed of as we see fit." -Elizabeth Cady Stanton


[ Parent ]
Let's see... (4.62 / 16) (#2)
by TheophileEscargot on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 09:15:07 AM EST

1. The main objection people have to immigrants is that they "take our jobs". Under your plan since they're still competing for low-skilled jobs. And they have government-arranged housing too.

2. Let's create an underclass of people without civil rights to do all the menial jobs. That sounds ethical, and would certainly not create any social tension. (Note: some sarcasm here).

3. In reality, immigrants don't "take our jobs", because they act as consumers as well as workers, thus stimulating the economy and creating more jobs... except under your system where they live in barracks, and presumably have little chance to spend their money.

4. I live in London. Half of the service industry jobs are taken by Australians. In my (programming) jobs, a large fraction of my colleagues have been Aussie or Kiwi. If Australians think immigration is so bad, why don't they keep their people at home? I detect a certain hypocrisy here.
----
Support the nascent Mad Open Science movement... when we talk about "hundreds of eyeballs," we really mean it. Lagged2Death

Response (3.66 / 3) (#22)
by Signal 11 on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 08:04:03 PM EST

In reality, immigrants don't "take our jobs", because they act as consumers as well as workers, thus stimulating the economy and creating more jobs

Please view this post I submitted earlier - it is true that they stimulate the economy, but large numbers of immigrants, as I note in my post in more detail - leads to a growing middle class, and a concentration of wealth amongst the very rich. . If Australians think immigration is so bad, why don't they keep their people at home? I detect a certain hypocrisy here.

The australian government can't control its citizens leaving any more than the United States can stop me from fleeing to Canada when Bush gets re-elected. There is no hypocricy because it's outside their control!


--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

Australians, immigration (3.50 / 2) (#33)
by Scrymarch on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 07:07:57 AM EST

1-3 ... yeah, if you wanted to destroy any sense of egalitarianism or a fair society, this would be a good way to do it. The article is wacky.

4 ... Australians and immigration attitudes. Australia takes IIRC ~12000 immigrants a year, including many refugees, asylum seekers, and illegal immigrants. The particular current issue is a distaste for being held to ransom by people who are pirates in the full sense of the word.

Australians working in London are doing so legally, and often for a few years only to take advantage of the difference between UK and Antipodean pay rates. They also fill a market need caused by (until recently) insufficient quantities of UK citizen programmers. Odds are your colleagues are middle-class pro-immigration liberals. No hypocrisy involved.

[ Parent ]

Why so repressive? (4.71 / 7) (#7)
by gbroiles on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 12:15:41 PM EST

I think it's a reasonable idea, but don't see why it's helpful or useful to impose special restrictions on people (like special blood alcohol limits, probation officers, **RF tracking gear**, restrictions on reproduction) - if normal Australians somehow manage to live reasonable lives without those restrictions, I'm sure the fine people from Repressakhstan will be able to do so, too.

Would you impose those restrictions on immigrants from the UK, or the US, or the EU? Or are they only for people whose skin is a funny color, who arrive on a boat instead of a plane?

Equality and repression for all! (3.75 / 4) (#18)
by eric.t.f.bat on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 05:58:36 PM EST

Yes, I'd apply it to everyone, wherever they're from. They either wait out the five years, or get sponsored early.

Of course, if they have the money to rent their own house, or the skills to get their own job, they're free to. It's only the ones who don't have those resources who would fall back on the Department of Citizenship's safety net of the Work For The Flag scheme and the PAC barracks.

Incidentally, we already have Work For The Dole (ie requirement to do menial work to be eligible for unemployment benefits) and the horrible detention centres, so this is less of a change than you'd think!

: Fruitbat :

[ Parent ]
The point is to keep them in their place. (2.60 / 5) (#23)
by jeremiah2 on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 10:12:13 PM EST

They're strictly probationary people. They're not to be trusted, and they can't be allowed to get too full of themselves. They're not full-fledged persons yet, after all.

It's the same reason Oliver Twist wasn't supposed to eat meat.

At least they're getting treated better than the slaves were in the antebellum South. Those folks didn't even have the option to become officially human.

Say, if you kill one of these immigrants, does that count as murder, euthanasia, or pest control?


Change isn't necessarily progress - Wesley J. Smith, Forced Exit
[ Parent ]

And so, it begins... (2.40 / 5) (#8)
by DoomHaven on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 12:22:48 PM EST

They must must apply for permission to have children, and can be penalised for not applying if Fatima gets pregnant, although the Department stops short of requiring chemical sterilisation or compulsory abortion.
Just remember, folks, you heard it here, first.

Don't hate me because I am right. Be afraid, instead.

P.S. +1 FP. Good article.

My bleeding edge comes from cutting myself on Occam's Razor.
it's a bit fascist, innit? (4.00 / 7) (#10)
by Arkady on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 01:53:51 PM EST

It would, however, be a quite efective way a guaranteeing a permanent underclass in the developed nations to service the nastier bits of their economies at a subsistance wage. I suppose if that's what you want, it'd probably be effective.

If, however, you're concerned about social cruelty, this seems to compound, rather than repair, the problem.

-robin

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere Anarchy is loosed upon the world.


Immigration myths (4.83 / 12) (#11)
by strlen on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 02:14:28 PM EST

First of all, I'd like to say I'm a bit biased towards the whole issue, since I'm an immigrant myself. But there's certainly a lot of myths's involved in immigration, that the mainstream doesn't often recognize:

* Immigrants take our jobs. Thing is, they also create jobs. I'm an immigrant, I work as a systems administrator. At the mean time I have a DSL ISP which I use at home, which requires a system administrator as well. I also own a car, which requires a car salesman and a mechanic. And we live in a house, which requires a real estate agent. And we also had an immigration lawyer when getting a green card. Immigrants act not only as producers, but also as consumers and they enhance economy.

* Immigrants work low paying menial jobs and compete with the local poor. I'm an exception to that, and so is my family, who are all high tech workers. And so are many of our friends. And we work for very decent wages, as back in our home country we still almost guaranteed jobs at research universities and guaranteed old-age pensions and health care. Thus, we won't go here if we were paid $5 a day. As for the poorer immigrations, when they take the low-paying menial jobs, others actually get promoted, rather than fired.

* Immigrants don't speak english. If we didn't speak English, we wouldn't make it here. I personally am proud to say that my English, at least when written, is better than that of USians. As for hispanically speaking immigrations (had to use a Dubya-word), there's a substantial hispanic minority (in many cases a majority), so that those who can't speak English, can learn and don't have to interact with English speakers 24/7.

Finally, keeping immigrants that face war and political repression, for the any of the above reasons, is plain cruel. And in many cases it's a human rights violations, a very substantial one.



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
Counter-points on myths (2.40 / 5) (#21)
by Signal 11 on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 08:00:11 PM EST

Immigrants take our jobs. Thing is, they also create jobs.

You're right, but the problem is that immigrants do not target the entire workforce uniformly - most immigrants are slotted into jobs which essentially require warm bodies - retail, fast food, janitorial, etc. Or atleast, that's what is the common perception. But I've noticed, at least with the United States, a trend to attack markets with high labor costs - anything that is union controlled for example, or the technology sector. The H1-B visa debate, for example - if we were letting in a percentage of randomly chosen people from those who apply, there wouldn't be this economizing force in place... but capitalists know all too well how to manipulate government, so immigration has become a tool to bolster the wallets of a very small group of people - while pushing middle-class american citizens back down the ladder. Maybe they are creating jobs - but the new jobs that are created pay less, and mean that we're going to have a growing middle class - and the wealth is going to be less distributed.

You tell me - fair?

Eventually, over a long period of time, due to the miracles of globalization, and the spread of global marketplaces - people will be freely mobile, and every country will use the principles of comparative advantage, thus I won't have to worry about massive influxes of workers dramatically changing my economic circumstances - there won't be such a large imbalance. But if we just open the floodgates now, the social instability that would result could (probably would!) result in rioting, increased violence, crime, etc. - economic changes are the number one reason for political unrest - immigration has a substantive impact on the economy. It must be controlled!

Immigrants don't speak english.

No, they can speak english. They just choose to speak in their native language and irritate the hell out of us that were born here. We have a national language, it's called english. The reason for not having a large number of languages is answered way back in about 20 AD when the first bible was shipped out the door - specifically, the Tower of Babel story.

Finally, keeping immigrants that face war and political repression, for the any of the above reasons, is plain cruel.

Let's play devil's advocate - a bunch of gun-crazed $RELIGIOUS_GROUP apply for citizenship. And they're granted it so they can live in our country, because they're fleeing from a war-infested country. So they move in next door. Quick question - think they'll have some problems assimilating to the more peaceful climate? The answer, as any psychologist will tell you, is a resounding YES. It makes good sense to have these people kept away from the general population for awhile to allow them to adjust. It's the same way we deal with people who are behaviorally disturbed - limited doses, constant supervision, until the behaviors start to change.

People who advocate immigration unilaterally forget that there are powerful social dynamics to be accounted for - the australian government may simply believe that the culture clash would be too great, and may even lead to violence or problems for its existing citizens. The primary job of any government is safeguarding the lives of its citizens - not the rest of the world. That's strictly a job for the United States (*massive sarcasm*). Allowing immigration unilaterally would be socially irresponsible - regardless of whether or not you can prove economic incentive.




--
Society needs therapy. It's having
trouble accepting itself.
[ Parent ]

counter points on counter points (3.50 / 4) (#28)
by strlen on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 12:15:30 AM EST

fast food

Actually, I don't know a single person from any former USSR country (that's my background) that works in a fast-food chain. As for fast-food chains, because someone gets a job as a burger flipper, you may be promoted to a manager, or can use your existing skills and an education (available to most native USians) to get a job somewhere else. So basically immigrants from third-world countries without an education, can get a job at McD's and attend classes at a community college. While immigrants with an education (like my parents and my brother, i came here when i was 13) have jobs in a much more high paying market place.

parlez-vous USian? well, the thing is if two people choose to talk to thesemselves in their own people is just like two people choosing to talk to themselves in a language consistuing of "fuck" and "shit". its their right. its really their own business what language they speak in, unless they speak to you. i speak russian with other former USSRians in meatspace, because its the language i think in. english is also a very easy language to learn, trust me. much easier then any slavic language for sure, thus language barrier breaks very fastly. and california has a great system for people who don't speak english as their native language, and i can personally testify to you it works.



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
Few more things (3.75 / 4) (#30)
by strlen on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 12:25:18 AM EST

Also, yes, I will admit it, immigration will create problems, most of them temprorary problems. But so do things like free speech, and free sexuality. Free speech people are allowed to sell Mein Kampf, free sexuality means people are allowed to do what others find completely disgusting. All of that leads to hostilities, but that's something we have to deal with.

Also, globalisation is more of a challenge to your employment than immigration. Partly because its much easier to pay someone in a country with a lower standard of living. And that isn't always when it coems to making Nike's. There'a also the idea of off-shore software development. You can pay foreign programmers a very miserable salary (under 30k a year) by USian standards, while you have them develop in foreign, for what seems to be a great deal to them. They're happy, you're happy. You can't even call that exploitation. But the thing is, they aren't on a local job market, they don't create USian jobs, nor do they compete for USian (high) wages.

On the other hand, I'd like to see EUian-type transparent borders more. People should be able to travel from a country without the bureaucratic overhead. That kind of globalization is rather beneficial to society: basically people should be free to move, but countries should be able to create their own laws and maintain their own economies. But that's an entirely different topic.



--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
I'm all for immigrants who speak English. (2.60 / 10) (#24)
by jeremiah2 on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 10:20:06 PM EST

I've got a problem with the ones who never see fit to learn our language, however. I encountered a middle-aged woman from Canton province who'd immigrated to the U.S. 30 years previous. Did she speak English? No, not a blessed word. She could smile and nod with the best of them, but if she had anything to say, one of her kids would have to translate.

Who do these people think they are? What is their problem? Three decades in America, and all they can say is "no speek Engrish?" If I were going to their country, I'd at least try to learn the language.

And they call Americans arrogant.


Change isn't necessarily progress - Wesley J. Smith, Forced Exit
[ Parent ]

thing is (5.00 / 2) (#29)
by strlen on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 12:18:17 AM EST

There's no one forcing you to talk with them. If they can make use of their own community, it's fine. Also for someone beyond 50 years of age, a new language, especially in a completely different group, is a hard thing to learn, especially to speak. My father, for instance, can read, write and understand English without a single problem. But he can't always have an easy-going conversation, that's just a fact of nature.

--
[T]he strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone. - Henrik Ibsen.
[ Parent ]
arrogant? The very best usians rise to the top. (2.50 / 2) (#34)
by eLuddite on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 08:35:52 AM EST

I've got a problem with the ones who never see fit to learn our language, however.

Well then, dont elect them President.

"One of the interesting initiatives we've taken in Washington, D.C., is we've got these vampire-busting devices. A vampire is a--a cell deal you can plug in the wall to charge your cell phone."

---
God hates human rights.
[ Parent ]

Of course, the kids did learn (none / 0) (#39)
by ariux on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 01:53:26 PM EST

And probably even read the same authors you do.

[ Parent ]

I'm not suprised they don't want to speak to you! (3.33 / 3) (#50)
by mmcc on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 12:18:18 AM EST

Guess what? People who don't speak English fluently are afraid to speak to those who do. They're afraid of getting their grammar or pronunication wrong. Why? Because the majority of English speakers are arrogant, monolingual and impatient.

Learning a second language is difficult. Maybe you've never tried, so you don't know. It requires patience on behalf of both the speaker and the listener.

I live in a foreign country, and i prefer to speak my language when possible... and i am lucky that a large number of people in this country speak English as a second language. I also make an effort to learn the local language, but it is very hard.

Next time you meet somebody who has a poor grasp of your language, try to encourage them rather than pointing out every single grammar, pronunciation or spelling error in their communication. Language is, after all, about communication.



[ Parent ]

You're no Johnathan Swift.... (3.83 / 6) (#12)
by SvnLyrBrto on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 02:15:17 PM EST

Forgive me, but that's all I could think about while reading this. If you're going to engage in satire of his type, you should make it a little less obvious.

I gather that you really, in fact, support open borders, free travel across those borders, and open immigration without the hassles now involved.... or at least a much more liberialized system than Australia has now.

Such a position has merit, even though I'm not 100% convinced. I would have much rathar read that position put forth, justified, and defended, instead of your own "Modest Proposal".


cya,
john

Imagine all the people...

The value of hypotheticals (even silly ones) (3.00 / 1) (#41)
by eric.t.f.bat on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 09:44:44 PM EST

There used to be a TV show in Australia called Geoffery Robertson's Hypotheticals, basically a panel discussion crossed with a Live Action Role Play game. In one episode, whimsically titled Does Dracula Have AIDS?, a politician (!) came up with the idea of providing free clean syringes for intravenous drug users, to reduce the reuse of infected syringes. Surprisingly, given the idea's origin, it very quickly got adopted and is, as far as I know, still policy. The effects have been quite worthwhile.

My little hypothetical on the subject of refugees is a similar sort of thing: I'm hoping that by temporarily ignoring stuff like propriety and social acceptibility, I might be able to inspire thinking about a new way to solve Australia's refugee problem. Obviously, creating a new slave underclass is not the final version of the solution, but it's better than "torpedo the boat and let the towel-head bastards drown", which seems to be the current front runner on talkback radio...

: Fruitbat :



[ Parent ]
you can't (3.00 / 1) (#66)
by crazycanuck on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 02:53:43 PM EST

you can't make it less obvious. People these days have no sense of humor. They would take you seriously and ask for your blood if they thought you were for real.

[ Parent ]
Australia for Australians (3.25 / 4) (#13)
by MSBob on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 02:51:01 PM EST

My plan for Australia is a simple one. I'm going to let Pauline Hanson have it her way. Presented with an opportunity to either go to Canada or Australia I chose Canada for their right wingers are less prominent. I will never go to Australia either as a worker or as a tourist. I encourage everyone here to do the same thing. In a few decades we'll see how they're doing. Australia like other big countries with small populations will struggle to maintain their population levels. Additionally living in a large country with a small population means that maintenance of roads infrastructure gets very expensive as there are many more kilometeres of roads per capita. This is quite visible in Canada too where roads are in a pretty bad condition.

If Australia doesn't want immigrants they shouldn't get them because they don't deserve to get them. I encourage those that are considering settling in Aus to give Canada a thought. I've been here for over a year and encountered no signs of prejudice.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

bad roads in Canada?! (none / 0) (#19)
by core10k on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 06:39:14 PM EST

Where do you live, Quebec?

[ Parent ]
NB (none / 0) (#20)
by MSBob on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 07:06:19 PM EST

New Brunswick but it's the same in Quebec and Nova Scotia and PEI and the parts of Ontario I've been to. The only place where roads were maintained well was Alberta but they're so rich it's no wonder really.
I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
yes (none / 0) (#65)
by crazycanuck on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 02:52:23 PM EST

I live in Montreal.

The roads suck.

[ Parent ]
Why keep up the population? (3.00 / 2) (#25)
by jeremiah2 on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 10:28:24 PM EST

Population is just people. And if people don't count as such, then ultimately the whole human race is expendable.

We are all terminally ill, and incurably so. Not one of us will live more than 120 years, and few of us will manage even eighty. All the money we spend on food, clothing and shelter is just to prolong a life where there is no hope of cure. All the money we spend on video games and porno mags is just an anesthetic for the pain of existing in such a state. Wouldn't it be cleaner and simpler just to wipe out the entire human race?

And what about other life forms? They have the same problem. Let's put nature red in tooth and claw out of its endless misery. Detonate all our remaining H-bombs in the atomosphere and soon our planet will be as free of suffering and hopelessness as the Moon.

Of course I'm kidding. But you've got to admit it all logically follows once you accept the hedonistic-nihilistic premise.


Change isn't necessarily progress - Wesley J. Smith, Forced Exit
[ Parent ]

Canada? They won't be able to get in... (4.00 / 1) (#31)
by Afty on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 04:31:49 AM EST

I'm a single, 22 year old professional, very well qualified male from the UK. I work in the IT industry, and have 2 years experience as well as a higher diploma, A levels and GCSEs with very good grades.

Under Canadas immigration laws, I do not total enough points to be allowed entry to the country. What chance does a non-english speaker with no formal qualifications have? None...



[ Parent ]
The law's changing (none / 0) (#37)
by MSBob on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 01:07:51 PM EST

As you are no doubt aware (sarcasm!) the House of Commons (here) already passed the new immigration law which puts to rest the NOC tables and some of the educational requirements. Instead emphasis will be placed on the prospective immigrant's adaptability and applicability of experience. I'm pretty sure that under the new immigration law you do qualify.

On the other hand I'd expect those Afghans to apply for a refugee status rather than skilled independent. Obtaining a refugee status is a different kettle of fish though and I'm sure Canada would not refuse a refuge to someone arriving from a place like Afghanistan.

I don't mind paying taxes, they buy me civilization.

[ Parent ]
eh? (none / 0) (#40)
by core10k on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 03:55:36 PM EST

Our government is desperate now, eh? They aren't meeting their immigration quotas, so in their great wisdom they're INCREASING the quotas by 50%. So if you want to come, try again soon - things are changing.

[ Parent ]
stop smoking crack (none / 0) (#64)
by crazycanuck on Sat Sep 08, 2001 at 02:51:18 PM EST

As a UK citizen you probably wouldn't even need to apply for immigration to come and work here, just move here and get a job.

Anyway, we immigrated here from the ex communist block (romania) and didn't have many problems.

Should be very easy for you.

[ Parent ]
A bit militant (3.66 / 3) (#15)
by MicroBerto on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 03:46:30 PM EST

Well, seeing that this is a bit derived off of this comment of mine, I'd just have to say that I'm quite flattered! However, I think that this is a touch too militant. I'm the kind of person that feels that it'd be best to just throw them into the "market" of society. Possibly have a few jobs lined up, and some housing, but for the most part, let them act like citizens so that they aren't "herded" around.

Of course I wouldn't misbehave if there's a sensor on my ass - but what happens when I get that off? I might revert back to my free behavior!

I'm all for giving an honest chance, like any other Australian should get. Just a harsher reprocussion for making bad decisions in a country that you don't officially belong in (yet).

Bertoline - My Daily Comic
Berto
- GAIM: MicroBerto
Bertoline - My comic strip

South African apartheid refugees ... (3.00 / 2) (#16)
by joegee on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 03:57:49 PM EST

had to go somewhere.

<sig>I always learn something on K5, sometimes in spite of myself.</sig>
Militant (3.25 / 4) (#17)
by eric.t.f.bat on Sun Sep 02, 2001 at 04:38:30 PM EST

Quick additional soundbyte before I pop off to work:

It's certainly a militant idea, and the overtones of slavery and apartheid were intentional in the original posting. But consider the number of Australians who wanted those Afghani refugees thrown back on their sinking fishing boat, or shipped back to the loving arms of the Taliban. Is this so bad?

Oh, and regarding the land mass issue: water is the real scarcity. Australia has considerably more desert than the continental US, and can't grow nearly as much food. Imagine replacing Kansas and the other breadbasket states with Death Valley, and squeezing the entire population into coastal California and Florida, and you've got the right idea.

Good comments; thoughtful. Keep it up!

: Fruitbat :

Human rights abuses, freedom of moovement. (4.83 / 6) (#32)
by Tezcatlipoca on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 05:26:07 AM EST

Although by now it is obvious that some of the proposals are in "modus jocandi" (i.e. ironic, jokes) nevertheless it is worth to point out that you can't force anybody to stop having children, because that is considered a human right.

Also the limits in alcohol are not necesary, although I would tend to agree about criminality (if you are looking for asylum or to work and you are being provided for and granted a job in your scheme it is of course unacceptable to break the law).

Why should thes people need to live in barrack out of towns? I mean, they are electronicaly tagged, aren't they?

Anyway, all this boils down to the stupid 19th-20th century belief that borders are something natural, when in reality part of what makes human beings successful is our capacity to migrate and adapt.

When we try to stop other fellow humans from migrating we are denying our own nature, not to talk about human rights, international law and hypocratical horror of inequities happening in far away lands.

It is time that countries with the posibility of receiving foreign population fleeing poverty and prosecution organize themselves to make sure every country knows its responsibilities with precission (the current situation with the Norwegian vessel is absolut shambles).



------------------------------------
"They only think of me as a Mexican,
an Indian or a Mafia don"
Mexican born actor Anthony Quinn on
Hol
Point of order, request for a 'heads up' (4.33 / 3) (#36)
by MattGWU on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 10:32:59 AM EST

Point of order: Microwave is a point to point communications technology. Also, have you ever used a 'microwave oven'?

Is it just me, or does this plan sound really "Nazi-esque"? Reminds me of "Schindlers List", with the ghettos, and the lining up to get work assignments (or, failing that, a bullet in the head), travelling papers, and I'll bet you the Jews weren't allowed to drink much, either. Using religious names, a place called 'nasty'-stania, devices that would heat a burrito to track people? There something you're not telling us here?

Finally, if through some horrible tragidy of history you ever come into power in some nation, drop me a line so I can make a note not to attempt to become a citizen there. Thanks in advance.

More specifically (4.50 / 4) (#43)
by pwhysall on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 02:12:44 AM EST

Microwave is not only point-to-point, it's line-of-sight.
--
Peter
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
CheeseBurgerBrown
[ Parent ]
Not sure if you're joking (4.00 / 3) (#38)
by ariux on Mon Sep 03, 2001 at 01:47:50 PM EST

...but I'll answer as if you're not.

It's fiscally irresponsible; public spending per immigrant for such detailed surveillance would outweigh anything the people in question might produce.

It would corrupt Australia. The presence of a voteless legal underclass of labourers would prove too attractive a thing to give up; they would become permanent slaves.

Would it be better than leaving them in Afghanistan? A world in which weak nations are evil is bad, because even the weakest nation can cause great harm. But a world in which powerful nations are evil contains no hope for anyone.

Corruption Inevitable (1.85 / 7) (#42)
by cunt on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 02:08:17 AM EST

The system would become hopelessly corrupt, since, as we all know, Australia is peopled entirely by criminals.

Criminals R Us! (4.00 / 1) (#45)
by eric.t.f.bat on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 06:00:49 PM EST

I think it's funny how so much of the differences in the national character of Australians and Americans can be put down to the origins of settlement. Australia was settled by criminals (it was originally an English penal colony), whereas America was settled by religious nuts (the pilgrims on the Mayflower).

The result is that Oz gave Rupert Murdoch to the US, and the US gives George Dubya "Thank God For The Electric Chair" Bush to the world...

: Fruitbat :



[ Parent ]
I wish I'd spotted this in the queue. (3.50 / 2) (#46)
by static on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 09:26:24 PM EST

I might point out that Fruitbat's idea strikes me as ugly as what a lot of people outside Australia seem to have found the original issue with the Tampa. It seems to be well-intentioned, though.

However, it only addresses a symptom of the problem: oppressive and unstable regimes that people flee from. Where is the UN outcry against it? How can these counries get away with acting so selfishly and so carelessly of the global ramifications of their actions? The solution should be to fix the UN so it can address that.

It's easy to get all righteous sounding about the humane issues with the boat-people, and if it were only a humane problem, then there would be a lot less debate. Unfortunately, there are legal issues. The action Australia took was generally basically along the lines of "We are asserting the right to decide how many immigrants we accept." They were given humanitarian aid - please don't forget that. They just weren't allowed to land because that would create a new set of problems.

For more information, here's a discussion elsewhere where I posted a range of links from Australian media sites, et al.

Wade.



Stop being so Bloody ignorant (3.33 / 3) (#48)
by beynos on Tue Sep 04, 2001 at 11:08:32 PM EST

This was originally intended as a reply to Fruitbats post, Criminals 'r' us, but I realised they are the author of this document...

I think it's funny how so much of the differences in the national character of Australians and Americans can be put down to the origins of settlement. Australia was settled by criminals (it was originally an English penal colony), whereas America was settled by religious nuts (the pilgrims on the Mayflower).

Actually, only the eastern coasts were populated with convicts. South Australia belonged to the Dutch for quite a while. North and West were settled after most of the convict migration had ceased.

It was not originally an English Penal colony. It was an island consisting of six individual colonies. Also, Australia's first name was New Holland... Why would the Brits say that??? Of these, Victoria, NSW and Tasmania were the main centers for convict settlements.

The convicts were brought here, because they could not house them in Britain, and they were a good source of cheap labour.

I think that it is interesting that the US was settled by religious nuts... I now understand why Americans are so ignorant of anything that is "UnAmerican". It also explains why you can't see how arrogant you really are.

What would you define as the national character of Australians... From an American PoV?

I am sorry, but too many Americans refer to Australia as a "Penal Colony" and such racism hurts me... I am not a criminal, and there are very few Australians who have descended from the first Migrants to come to Australia.

When I look around my neighbourhood, I don't see anglo-saxon Convicts. I see Asian People, African People, European People, Australian People.... you still don't get that every person that settles in Australia is Australian... Regardless of their skin color.

You don't view the world this way, and it makes me sad... You would have me tag my friend like a dog and put him in a kennel to enjoy a sub-standard career and a sub-standard life.

You tell me that you are disgusted at how cruel the Australian people have been regarding this? But who have you spoken to? Did you ask an Australian how they feel before you made that comment? Or did you just read about our government's decision in the news?

It is clear to me that you have no idea about Australia, or its people, you did not even have the decency to find the name of a real Australian town for your plan. Your 0.02 Alcohol limit is wrong too! If you are on your P's (that means Probationary License Dumb Americans) you have to have a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of 0.0.

*Pats the fruitbat lightly on the head*

You might think these small details. But it makes you look stupid!

Yes, our immigration system is not working, yes it could be better. But it's not... So instead of picking at My Country's immigration system and calling us names, why don't you spend some time trying to fix your country's problems... Like the racial divide, the wealth gap, your appalling legal system, and your psychotic prez.

Better yet, why don't you go and read about the history of my country and its people before you go around calling us a bunch of convicts.

I could go on forever, but I know it would do no good. An american will always be an american

Correction (none / 0) (#49)
by gsl on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 12:08:56 AM EST

Actually, only the eastern coasts were populated with convicts. South Australia belonged to the Dutch for quite a while. North and West were settled after most of the convict migration had ceased.

It was not originally an English Penal colony. It was an island consisting of six individual colonies. Also, Australia's first name was New Holland... Why would the Brits say that??? Of these, Victoria, NSW and Tasmania were the main centers for convict settlements.

Actually Victoria is the only state that wasn't used as a penal colony. N.S.W., Queensland, Tasmania, South Australia and West Australia all had penal settlements and I imagine most, if not all of them started as penal settlements. As far as I know, the British were still transporting convicts to W.A. until the 1860s.

Australia was still referred to as New Holland when the First Fleet arrived. Not sure when the name Australia was applied.

Sure it's a convenient stereotype to label Australians a bunch of convicts but I imagine the population of the colonies only really took off when gold was discovered (sometime in the 1800s, not sure when).

Geoff.



[ Parent ]
Minor Correction (none / 0) (#59)
by iwnbap on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 08:01:28 PM EST

<EMPH>South Australia</EMPH> is the only colony never to have convicts. Victoria was origincally part of New South Wales, btu split off at roughly the sam time as convict importation was stopped.

[ Parent ]
Convicts (none / 0) (#60)
by gsl on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 08:20:40 PM EST

You are, of course, right. Don't know why I was convinced of SA's involvement. We can quibble that because Victoria wasn't formed until the 1850s, it never had any penal colonies. But the same might be said of Queensland if Moreton Bay wasn't taking convicts by the 1850s (when I think Queensland split from NSW too).

Certainly there weren't any significant penal colonies like Port Jackson, Port Arthur or Moreton Bay, in Victoria. I think there was briefly a settlement on Western Port Bay (in the 1820s when it was part of NSW) which had convicts in the population but I think they were indentured labourers as opposed to prisoners.

Needless to say, I am not a historian...

Geoff.



[ Parent ]
Racism (5.00 / 1) (#51)
by eric.t.f.bat on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 01:22:09 AM EST

Click on the "eric.t.f.bat" link on this reply to see what some of my previous comments have been on other topics. You may discover something unexpected about my national origins. Mate.

: Fruitbat :


[ Parent ]
Correction Number 2 (4.00 / 1) (#52)
by SnowBlind on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 01:33:26 AM EST

An old proverb says "Better to keep one's mouth shut and be thought a fool, rather than open it and remove all doubt."
You just removed all doubt.
The US of A was settled by:
Dutch (New York)
Spanish (Florida, St. Augustine is oldest city in US)
English
French (Lousinana Territory)
Germany,
and probably a few more I have missed. Certianly more if you include Canada and Central/South America. Those "Religious nuts" are a relative few, but did form one of the most influential group.
Better yet, why don't you go read about the history of my country (USA) and its people before you go around calling us a bunch of Religious Nuts.
P.S. I am amazed at the number of ex patriots I meet from Australia. They are to 5 9's the brightest and most intellegent people I know. Make's me wonder what is wrong with Australia that it is suffering such a brain drain. (Oh yeah, it's the ridiculus cost of living and the increadable tax rate, and socialist government.)


There is but One Kernel, and root is His Prophet.
[ Parent ]
Socialist (none / 0) (#56)
by Scrymarch on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 06:20:07 AM EST

Make's me wonder what is wrong with Australia that it is suffering such a brain drain. (Oh yeah, it's the ridiculus cost of living and the increadable tax rate, and socialist government.)

You may or may not be surprised to find out that Australia has (easily) the lowest tax burden in the the developed world after the US. People leave in my experience because it's a small country and they want to live in the big smoke. That's why I am currently expatriate, though not intending to be so permanently.

[ Parent ]

Gah? (none / 0) (#57)
by ajf on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 07:20:11 AM EST

An old proverb says "Better to keep one's mouth shut and be thought a fool, rather than open it and remove all doubt."

How true.

(Oh yeah, it's the ridiculus cost of living and the increadable tax rate, and socialist government.)

I doubt any of the Australians TheophileEscargot mentioned are in London because of the cost of living. Although I'm sure most people would like to pay less tax, I'd be very surprised if many were willing to move to another country over it. And I've got no idea why you think the "socialist government" would be driving people away.



"I have no idea if it is true or not, but given what you read on the Web, it seems to be a valid concern." -jjayson
[ Parent ]
You must have very few drivers then... (none / 0) (#53)
by Obvious Pseudonym on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 03:08:01 AM EST

Your 0.02 Alcohol limit is wrong too! If you are on your P's (that means Probationary License Dumb Americans) you have to have a BAC (Blood Alcohol Concentration) of 0.0.

Given that everyone naturally has some alcohol in their bloodstreams as a natural byproduct of digestion and metabolism (even teetotallers like me...) then this must really cut down on the number of people driving in Australia...

Obvious Pseudonym

I am obviously right, and as you disagree with me, then logically you must be wrong.
[ Parent ]

Few quick points (none / 0) (#54)
by moosh on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 04:26:29 AM EST

Why is it as a young child we're told, "stick and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me." - yet as you grow older they do seem to provoke, anger and hurt. Mmmmmm.
Also being Australian I too used to get annoyed at the constant convict referral, but now I just don't care :). Before you point the finger have a think about your own bias and stereotypes towards other races and cultures around the world, perhaps when you can think of each from all angles and not truely misrepresent them you can begin to judge. Being human, I doubt this will ever happen ;-) (or is possible?).

I don't know where you got the 0.0 BAC from, I'm staring at the law for Probationary drivers right now and it says 0.02. This might be West Australian specific though, perhaps its different for the state you live in (assuming you live in a diff state) ?

[ Parent ]
Australian Chronology (5.00 / 1) (#55)
by Scrymarch on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 06:16:50 AM EST

I am amused to note a general vagueness and ignorance of Australian history among (presumably well educated) Australian posters. An Australian chronology can be found here after one minute on Google. I didn't attempt to search further.

To clear up a few points muddied below, Australia was very much founded as an English penal colony - Australia Day commemorates it, for goodness sake. The later colonies of Victoria and Queensland split directly off NSW. Also, the largest wave of immigration in Australia was post WWII. Freaked by how close we came to being invaded, an immigration policy was started that (IIRC) doubled the population from the ~7 million it was at the time. This immigration has continued at a less frenzied pace since then and stopped being racially determined around the '60s.

Interestingly, this lack of knowledge about Australian history (including my own vagueness above) is very much an Australian trait. It's a little shameful really, and leads to much muddy-water chest-beating like that seen above in the local political sphere. For the best quick summary of Australian culture I can think of, track down the Foster's commercial "I believe". That it advertises a beer rarely drunk at home by ripping off a Canadian commercial further underlines the fragile and fleeting nature of modern Australian culture.

[ Parent ]

Its about policy (2.00 / 1) (#58)
by mikelee on Wed Sep 05, 2001 at 07:25:25 AM EST

This is more or less about your first sentence. I am an Australian, and while I feel sorry for the refugees what the Australian government have done have no doubt in my believe is right.

You see it's all about policy, if we keep allowing boat people to drift to our waters and take them in, they will just keep doing it. A easy way into Australia, forgeting about other refugees 'legally' queuing up to come to Australia.

Like with friends, if you never said 'no' to their request they will just keep asking thinking your fine with it. Does one earn the right to steal because they want or even need to goods?

hey (5.00 / 4) (#63)
by streetlawyer on Fri Sep 07, 2001 at 09:07:17 AM EST

You see it's all about policy, if we keep allowing boat people to drift to our waters and take them in, they will just keep doing it.

I bet the aborigines wish they'd thought of that.

--
Just because things have been nonergodic so far, doesn't mean that they'll be nonergodic forever
[ Parent ]

ho (none / 0) (#67)
by gsl on Sun Sep 09, 2001 at 05:25:16 PM EST

I bet the aborigines wish they'd thought of that.

Maybe they were thinking "Here comes a benevolent civilization to lead us out of the Stone Age.". Or maybe not...

Geoff.



[ Parent ]
Batty (none / 0) (#61)
by RandomUsername on Fri Sep 07, 2001 at 02:26:23 AM EST

Dear Eric,

I followed your link through to your home page, which was very interesting. Please update it because you are no longer a member of SUMS.

PS You are a Nazi

Fuhrer Batty (none / 0) (#62)
by eric.t.f.bat on Fri Sep 07, 2001 at 03:41:15 AM EST

Yep, my web page is woefully out of date. When I get Blurb working, I'll fix it. Bit busy now.

BTW, I don't like the word "nazi". I prefer to think of myself as a totally evil satanic baby-harp-seal-buggering bastard. "Nazi" has too many connotations of attractive blondeness and devotion to a cause, whereas I am mentally twisted and physically deformed. But thank you anyway - see you at IV, no doubt. I can only assume that, whoever you are, you sing tenor.

: Fruitbat :

[ Parent ]
Of course.... (none / 0) (#68)
by Mostly Harmless on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 04:09:53 AM EST

Sure, the point the Oz government keeps bringing up is immigration. Fair enough as well.

But what about having unloaded the people from the boat when it tried to dock and then sorting out what to do with them? I'm sure leaving them huddled on a boat did no good for anyone, and certainly caused Austrailia enough embaressment.

However it did give those of us sitting down in New Zealand a chance to get one up. ;-)



The Reason they were left on the boat... (none / 0) (#69)
by Maxlex on Tue Sep 11, 2001 at 10:13:38 PM EST

Was that once they were on Australian soil, they had the legal right to apply for refugee status. Which most of them would probably have got (They seem to be mostly Afgans, and we take refugees from Afganistan) Basically, the Australian government saw that while the refugees were offshore there was a chance to turn them back and still be (barely) within international law. What the government would like to do is turn back all immigrants who don't come through proper channels. Fortunately we have international treaties which prevent this.

[ Parent ]
The Australian Refugee Crisis: a possible long-term solution | 69 comments (68 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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