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Overboard Children Exposed

By Robert S Gormley in News
Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 12:35:42 AM EST
Tags: Freedom (all tags)

One of the major election issues in Australia's recent federal election was that of the Tampa, a ship that picked up refugees bound for Australia whose boat had sunk, and sparked an international incident when Australia refused to let them, or the Tampa board. Another related issue was of a group of refugees who allegedly threw their children off of their boat in order to have them "rescued" by the Australian Navy. Scandalous? Desperate? Disgusting? Perhaps, were it true. It has now been shown that the images released to the public, and the claims made, were lies, or bungling by bureaucrats.

Letters leaked to the press, only one day after the captain of the Tampa alleged that he had reason to believe the Defense Signals Directorate were tapping his vessel's satellite phones during the previous incident, stated that photos which were captioned correctly (that they were photographs from a completely separate rescue nearly a year ago), had the text removed and were given to the press, along with scandalous horror over "what kind of people would do this to their children and how could we ever want them in this country", going along with - and probably encouraging - a groundswell anti-immigration sentiment.

The Immigration Minister at the time, Peter Reith, also claimed that a video existed of children being pushed into the water: "I am told ... it is an absolute fact, children were thrown into the water". Two weeks later, his press secretary was forced to admit that the Minister had not seen the video, and no decision had been taken on releasing it. Before the video was released, Brig. Michael Silverstone told the Minister publicly that "the video does not show a child being thrown into the water."

The Liberal Party was returned in the election a month after the event, quite possibly in no small part due to the "hard line" it took against such "inhumane elements". It has now claimed that it was bungling by bureaucrats that caused the "misunderstanding", and denied categorically any knowledge that the pictures were not of refugees in the situation with HMAS Adelaide and that it had acted in good faith, despite the Chief of Defence Forces reporting that it was "wrong to tell reporters the photographs showed children who had been thrown overboard", and that text accompanying photographs was deleted before being given to news organisations.

Given the importance of this issue and the huge media focus in Australia of it leading up to the election, to me at least, the plausible deniability of the government in this situation seems at best very limited.


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Overboard Children Exposed | 44 comments (40 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
What goes on in Australia anyway? (4.00 / 6) (#5)
by Hong Kong Phooey on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 08:57:41 PM EST

I used to have a pretty positive view of Australians, but lately it seems like the whole country has turned into a bunch of raving xenophobes. What is the deal?

Australians... (3.00 / 2) (#6)
by gsl on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 09:09:03 PM EST

...have a particular aversion to kung fu-fighting canine super-heroes so you'd best stay well clear, HKP.


[ Parent ]
A Lot Goes On (5.00 / 4) (#7)
by strepsil on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 09:26:03 PM EST

Your message has depressed me a great deal. It looks like perception of our country as a nation of assholes is going to become the norm. I think this is happening largely because it's true.


I have never been so ashamed of my country as I am these days. Our leader is a racist asshole and all his friends and coworkers are racist assholes too. They're treating human beings in need of help like dirt, and they're getting away with it. And why? They're getting away with it because most people in this country agree with what they're doing. We just had an election and people actually voted for these people! It's incomprehensible to me.

I used to think that we were a decent bunch, on the whole, but lately I've been developing a feeling that people like me and the folks I hang out with are a distinct minority. I thought people just didn't understand the difference between an "illegal immigrant" and a "refugee", but it seems that the fact is that most people don't care that there's a difference. They're the wrong color, and they probably smell funny. Send 'em back where they came from.

Australians suck. Does anyone know if there's a way to renounce one's citizenship? I don't think I want to be one any more.


[ Parent ]
Renounciing citizenship (2.66 / 3) (#9)
by gsl on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 10:02:37 PM EST

Australians suck. Does anyone know if there's a way to renounce one's citizenship? I don't think I want to be one any more.

Go to the Australian Citizenship website and get yourself a copy of Form 128. I think you need to have been accepted for citizenship in some other country which, if your whining tone is any indication, may be difficult for you. Good luck.


[ Parent ]
Citizenship (none / 0) (#12)
by FattMattP on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 12:01:49 AM EST

I think you need to have been accepted for citizenship in some other country
Is this an Australian thing or do most countries require this? Could one not become a citizen of no country?

[ Parent ]
Airports I say! Airports! (none / 0) (#19)
by martingale on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 04:15:45 AM EST

There's probably a way to do it by playing one country's bureaucracy off of Australia's. People do this sort of thing in regard to taxes, too.

The bigger question is would you really want to? If you're not a citizen of any country, there's no legal place for you to go in the world. You don't have a passport, so cannot travel [legally] to another country, and if you're no longer Australian, you'll have to leave the place. If you wanted to stay, you'd have to be accepted on some country's immigration quota, or else be some humanitarian refugee. Assuming the latter is out, you wouldn't qualify for the former.

So where could you go? The only place I can think of is Sydney/Melbourne/Brisbane international airport, more precisely the duty free shopping/transit area on the other side of customs. That's AFAIK not part of Australia. If you've got lots of money, you might be able to buy a plane ticket (could be hard without a passport) and fly to the other international airports and go visit their transit areas. You'll never leave airports though.

[ Parent ]
Actually... (5.00 / 2) (#34)
by Rk on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 11:11:54 AM EST

I recall reading something about an Iranian refugee, expelled from Iran, who lived in Paris/CDG for more than 10 years. He refused French asylum status, he wanted to go to Britain, but he couldn't due to legal reasons, so he stayed at the airport, living there. He still lives there today, I believe.

See: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/news/nation-world/html98/airp_19990714.html, http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_454000/454680.stm or http://www.snopes2.com/travel/airline/airport.htm

[ Parent ]

upon rereading... (none / 0) (#21)
by martingale on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 04:19:13 AM EST

Could one not become a citizen of no country?

Oops, just noticed your double negative. Short answer: you already are ;-)

[ Parent ]
Prescience at work (3.50 / 2) (#10)
by gilmae on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 10:27:01 PM EST

Our leader is a racist

They're the wrong color (sic), and they probably smell funny. Send 'em back where they came from.

Those are some strong statements to be making. You can tell how the Australian Prime Minister would react if a boat load of asylum seekers from, say, Britain turned up off the Australian coast.

[ Parent ]
Strong statements, but ... (5.00 / 3) (#11)
by valeko on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 11:49:17 PM EST

... consistent with reality, unfortunately.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

Another clairvoyant (none / 0) (#27)
by gilmae on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 05:27:21 AM EST

When has he done anything racist? Let's see, you will pull out the usual two examples.
a) Won't say 'sorry': How is this racist? Just because the other side is another race doesn't mean it is racist. It may be insensitive, it may be penny-pinching and conservative, but it by no means proves racism.
b) The asylum seekers: Again, just because the other side is another race doesn't mean he is racist. Am I racist if i think drug dealers in Cabbramatta should be locked up? Am I racist if I think Feng Shui is a bit of a joke? If I think Robert Mugabe should be treated with all the contempt I can muster?

[ Parent ]
Incorrect inference. (5.00 / 2) (#28)
by valeko on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 05:34:21 AM EST

Oh, there's no question that my conclusion is conjectural.

However, it's perfectly valid nevertheless to ask, "what if a shipload of European Nordic/Germanic/Anglo-Saxon asylum-seekers showed up?" Contrast this with what happens when "dirty" and "brown" folk show up from Central Asia.

Yes. My point remains.

"Hey, what's sanity got going for it anyways?" -- infinitera, on matters of the heart
[ Parent ]

The British (4.60 / 5) (#13)
by strepsil on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 12:21:27 AM EST

Funny you should use the British as an example there ... I'll have to do some digging to find a source for this, but I read recently that Australia is currently playing host to about 50,000 illegal immigrants from Britain and the US. Nothing much is visibly done about these people, and yet our Prime Minister would have us believe the 300 refugees on the Tampa is a disaster.

For someone who sees illegal immigrants as such a problem, you'd think kicking out a fair portion of these people would be a priority.

Ah, here's something - not exactly what I was looking for though. More than 60,000 overstayers as at 30 June 2001. No statistics on origin are mentioned, but that figure I recall certainly isn't out of the question. Where's the public outcry over the "queue-jumpers" who arrive at our airports as opposed to washing ashore in leaky boats?

[ Parent ]

Overstaying (4.50 / 2) (#17)
by gsl on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 01:24:18 AM EST

Two points about people who overstay their visa:

  • They entered the country legally, having obtained a visa.
  • They are not seeking asylum, hence are not jumping the "queue" for refugees.

There's a difference between illegal immigrant and illegal entrant. A more useful figure would be how many overstayers who have been detected have been sent to a detention centre (claiming asylum) and how many have been deported or granted an extension to their visa. I suspect that an overstaying Briton will be happy enough go home (though I'm just guessing -- perhaps things are really bad in Britain now).

My understanding is that illegal entrants (who wash up in "leaky boats") are detained until they have satisfied criteria for entering Australia -- in effect, satisfying the requirements for a visa. One of these is proving your identity. These are things that an overstayer has already done.


[ Parent ]
but why prison for several years? (4.00 / 1) (#22)
by martingale on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 04:37:45 AM EST

My understanding is that illegal entrants (who wash up in "leaky boats") are detained until they have satisfied criteria for entering Australia -- in effect, satisfying the requirements for a visa. One of these is proving your identity. These are things that an overstayer has already done.
What I'm wondering about is really why the detention in the first place. Forgetting for a moment that countries such as the UK do not detain prospective immigrants/asylum seekers in prisons while processing, what exactly is the liberal government trying to achieve? Are they afraid that these people will skip and hide in the bush? How is that any worse than having people overstay their visit? In both cases, these people can't take advantage of any public services since they would have to prove their identity and would be found out and dealt with. Similarly with almost any activity I can think of. In fact, since the visa overstayers do have a valid passport, they can take advantage of any mutual agreements between Australia and their country of origin.

[ Parent ]
Proof of identity. (none / 0) (#23)
by supine on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 04:40:36 AM EST

So by that rationale, you would support release of asylum seekers into the community as soon as their identity is established and confirmed. I am sure such a policy would greatly reduce the detention durations for a large majority of those people who currently endure six months or more in detention awaiting processing.

I don't understand why we feel the need to lock these people up until we decide if they can stay or not. Once we have progressed through the preliminaries, it would be much better for the welfare of all concerned that they are released into the community while their full application is processed.

Or at least introduce maximum detention periods, something of the ilk of comparable European countries. (I tried to find a reference that summarised the various policies but google drew a blank.)

BTW: This brochure made for some interesting reading. It is prepared by a refugee action group, so keep that in mind while reviewing the facts.


"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant
[ Parent ]
another point... (4.00 / 1) (#26)
by gilmae on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 05:18:06 AM EST

It is also easier to find the asylum seekers. They're right there, in the boat. The only way to find British and American tourists who overstay their travel visa is to throw a rock in any direction on Bondi beach.

[ Parent ]
So? (none / 0) (#32)
by spiralx on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 09:45:13 AM EST

Funny you should use the British as an example there ... I'll have to do some digging to find a source for this, but I read recently that Australia is currently playing host to about 50,000 illegal immigrants from Britain and the US.

There are an estimated 40,000 illegal immigrants in the UK from Australia alone, what with the fact that so many Australians come over here because they can earn more here than at home.

You're doomed, I'm doomed, we're all doomed for ice cream. - Bob Aboey
[ Parent ]

Missed the Point (4.00 / 1) (#37)
by strepsil on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 04:36:00 PM EST

I'm not particularly concerned about the Britons or Americans in Australia or our people over there. My point was that I find it interesting that for someone who would have us belive that 300 people arriving on a boat is a national disaster, Mr Howard is awfully complacent about the huge numbers of illegal immigrants who are already in the country.

There's a distinct double-standard here.

[ Parent ]
Some figures (5.00 / 1) (#39)
by gsl on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 05:47:20 PM EST

From the same site you can find a breakdown of overstayer numbers by origin. Of the 60,103 overstayers at 30 June 2001:

  • 6,273 were from the UK
  • 5,142 were from the USA
  • 3,898 were from China
  • 3,795 were from the Philipines
  • 3,555 were from Indonesia

It should be fairly clear (I hope) that 6,273+5,142<50000. Given that UK arrivals are second only to those from Japan, it's hardly surprising that they top the list of overstayers. Based on these figures, someone from the Philipines is 9 times more likely to overstay than a Briton. Perhaps you should start accusing Filipinos.

I suggest you find some other "fact" to support you argument.


[ Parent ]
I'm not accusing anyone (none / 0) (#41)
by strepsil on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 10:39:55 PM EST

I apologise if it seemed that I was saying I had a problem with the British and American overstayers. I really don't care that much. My point was that there is an obvious double standard in play when there's so much fuss about a few hundred people washing ashore when we have tens of thousands of people here illegally who happen to be able to afford a plane ticket to get here. Where's the public outcry to get rid of these people?

Thanks for finding the correct statistics. I was working from memory and didn't have time to do much digging yesterday.

[ Parent ]
Another apology (none / 0) (#42)
by gsl on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 11:04:10 PM EST

And I apologize for the offensive tone of my replies (to you). It's really not my style but I've had this argument before elsewhere and it's beginning to irritate me. If you want to criticize the government for its handling of asylum seekers, I just think there are better angles than "overstayers".

I think I'll take a few days off from K5...


[ Parent ]
Bah ... (none / 0) (#43)
by strepsil on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 11:28:38 PM EST

Hell, I just enjoy a good debate. Not often that one of those comes up. :)

The "overstayers" angle was one that I've only bumped into relatively recently, so it was fresh in my mind when the discussion got going. It's far from being the cornerstone of my feelings on the matter, but I do find it indicative of there being something very rotten going on out there. I'd love to take the time to sit down and write a good article on my perceptions of the whole issue in detail, but I'm not likely to find the time in the near future.

You don't need a few days off, just because you're expressing how you feel. Arguing in a forum like this probably quite healthy, or at least I find it is. It's a lot better for me than sitting in front of the TV getting madder and madder, at least.

[ Parent ]
Get up, get up -- don't give up the fight. (none / 0) (#33)
by jolly st nick on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 10:27:03 AM EST

People are predisposed to judge things on the information they have, and not to consider the information they don't have. A lie can go around the world and back while the truth is lacing up its boots. Truth doesn't stand a chance if its champions won't stand up and be counted.

I have no respect for the purists whose first instinct is wash their hands of the struggle to avoid being contaminated by association with evil. If you are in the habit of giving up when confronted with evil, then evil will be in your face all the time. Giving up your citizenship, is exactly what the racists want you to do, because it leaves the field clear for them to define what it means to be an Australian.

People are entirely capable of wanting to deny entrance to economic migrants but be willing to do something for hardship cases -- even though these are are exactly the same thing. The Nazis and crypto-nazis of the world understand one thing that their small-l liberal opponents don't: once you have power, you can lead the public where you want it to go. If you let lies open the door to subtle racism, then overt racism will become respectable, and chaos and brutality aren't going to be far behind.

So they can't be allowed to lie with impunity. They can't be allowed to sieze power by subterfuge. They can't be ignored. They must be fought.

In the words of Bob Marley:

Stand up, Stand up!
Stand up for your rights.
Get up, Get up!
Don't give up the fight.

[ Parent ]

Raging Xenophones (none / 0) (#35)
by karb on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 12:51:01 PM EST

I don't believe there any societies that don't have a fair share of raging xenophobes. It is perhaps far more apalling in countries like the U.S., or Australia, that consist mostly of descendants of immigrants of the last few hundred years, but hardly lacking elsewhere.

It's hard to put the australians against the wall because I don't think there's another country in the world that wouldn't do the same thing.
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]

Not a typo (4.00 / 1) (#36)
by karb on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 12:54:04 PM EST

My message title is correct, and deliberately refers to 'raging xenophones', which are furious telecommunications devices used to talk to aliens, and a serious social problem the world over.
Who is the geek who would risk his neck for his brother geek?
[ Parent ]
And what really shits me is... (4.60 / 5) (#8)
by awful on Wed Feb 13, 2002 at 09:27:27 PM EST

... that nothing will happen to Reith, Ruddock, or Howard.

It seems pretty clear to me that Reith was quite happy to go ahead and at worst lie, or at best ignore the clarifications made to the Department of the Prime Minister, because he could see a clear political advantage in doing so, and because he was retiring after the election, hence he didn't need to worry about his political credibility.

Ruddock and Howard were more careful, hedging most of their comments along the lines of "if that allegation is true, then clearly we don't want people like that here"...

"Plausible deniability" is an ugly phrase, but that's clearly what happened in this instance.

And nothing can be done about it - the only thing that can be done is for the opposition party to move a censure motion or no-confidence motion in Parliament, and that motion would simply fail along party lines.

This sort of crap is why politicians get such a bad rep...

what would mad max do? (none / 0) (#14)
by turmeric on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 12:47:04 AM EST

so where are the refugees now?

Not Here (4.33 / 3) (#15)
by JeffWilkins on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 01:11:03 AM EST

The Government has bribed a bunch of small pacific islands as well as New Zealand to allow them to stay there while being processed. Most likely so that they cannot say that being on Australian soil they have a right to claim refugee status. (As under international law).

[ Parent ]
And the irony being... (5.00 / 3) (#16)
by Robert S Gormley on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 01:16:46 AM EST

... that once most of them are processed, they'll be brought to Australia anyway. But no-one'll care, least of all John Howard, because he's won the election and has three years til the next.

[ Parent ]
indeed. (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by martingale on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 04:43:10 AM EST

Well he's supposed to retire in two. Then it's Costello's problem, most likely. I suppose if he refuses to retire, we'll get another Hawke-Keating deathmatch.

[ Parent ]
Sad day for Australia (4.66 / 6) (#18)
by agapow on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 03:50:11 AM EST

I've never been patriotic, but living away from Australia for these last 4 years has made me appreciate that there is (or was) a lot of good things about my native country: 100 years of peaceful democracy, an easy-going attitude, and welcoming towards other cultures. Both sides of my family are from migrants, one of my brothers has married a Samoan, and this is something no one has ever derided or shown the slightest prejudice about.

When the news from Oz started turning ugly, at first I assumed it was misreporting. It just didn't fit. Then came a dawning realisation that Australia had changed, rapidly and for the worse. A friend of mine who works for the Australian diplomat service reported that when he met workers from other embassies, they'd frequently confide: "What you people are doing down there - that's really fucking evil."

It's heartbreaking. Australia is on it's way to becoming the new South Africa. The country I was born into doesn't exist any longer.

Where still here... (5.00 / 1) (#20)
by supine on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 04:17:10 AM EST

The country I was born into doesn't exist any longer.

Well, some of us still remaining would remind you of the country and culture you remember.

I fail to see how the federal poll of last year was any statement on the attitudes of Australians towards asylum seekers given that both major parties toed the same line. The Labour opposition made no attempt to distance themselves from the approach taken by the Liberals and hence were not seen as an alternative, just more of the same old, same old.

It is only now that members of the Labour cacus are starting to oppose their parties stance and try to be more compassionate to asylum seekers.[Lawrence blasts boatpeople policy at rally; Labor to shift away from detention: Lawrence]

Having said all that, though not representative of the general population's opinions, letters to the two major Sydney papers were split on the issue: the Sydney Morning Herald (stereotyped as a high brow broadsheet) seemed to have letters mainly in support of the asylum seekers; the Daily Telegraph (stereotyped as a worker's tabloid) seemed to have letters mainly in favour of the tough government stance.

It seems some us would still break your heart.


"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant
[ Parent ]
...and what have you been doing? (5.00 / 2) (#25)
by martingale on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 04:57:22 AM EST

This is not meant as a flame. What I'd like to know is how the outgoing, Asia focused Keating years so quickly turned into the xenophobic, US centric Howard years we have now. I've just recently been back in Australia and wow, what a change! Obviously, the majority of Australians agrees with the current outlook, there have been plenty of voting opportunities since the mid nineties to prove otherwise. So I repeat, how?

[ Parent ]
Spineless Labour (4.00 / 1) (#30)
by supine on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 08:00:34 AM EST

The short answer is Labour hasn't provided enough of an attractive alternative to lure the vote they need in marginal seats.

Newcastle will always be Labour. The north shore of Sydney will always be Liberal. But it is the marginal seats that count.

Consider the situation two polls ago when Labour actually attracted a higher primary vote then Liberal nationwide, only to lose the election because they didn't win the marginal seats required to gain power in the lower house. And that was when they had a GST to campaign against.

This time around they could have easily differeniated themseleves on the asylum seeker issue but they toed the line and hence turned a "certain win" into a "terrible loss". The Liberals didn't win the last election playing the race card, Labour lost it by not trumping it with the "fair go" card.

Getting back to my point, it doesn't seem to matter so much what the majority of Australians think when visiting the polls so much as the distribution of particular mindsets in the arbitrary seats. The majority can be overruled if they don't happen to live in the right places.

And that is assuming that the alternative is any better then what we have...


"No GUI for you! Use lynx!!!, Come back, One year!" -- /avant
[ Parent ]
The Liberal Party (none / 0) (#38)
by Robert S Gormley on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 05:41:09 PM EST

... was much more decisive in its moves though. Whilst the Labour Party was "mmm, well, yes, we agree...", John Howard et al were angrily beating desks, actively exhorting people to see these people as "evil".

Whilst agreed that the issue of immigration in itself might not have changed the result, the earlier exposure of such a deception may well have been.

[ Parent ]

Get a grip (none / 0) (#40)
by gsl on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 07:15:25 PM EST

Perhaps what we are seeing is the fallout from the rise and demise of One Nation. Too extreme to be a force in their own right but the major parties couldn't really ignore the percentages they were polling. I'm not surprised that the government would milk the immigration issue in order to avoid debate on things like taxation and privatization, which would have favoured Labor.

But has there been a major change to immigration policy now that the government is re-elected, aside from their farcical handling of the boat people (immigration zone changes, "Pacific Solution" and so forth)? Last year the refugee intake was set at 12,000 (they accepted close to 13,000), this year, as far as I know, it is still 12,000. Likewise there doesn't seem to be a radical change to overall immigration.

From where I'm sitting, Australian society is not significantly different from how it was when I last read one of your Postviews in aus.sf (1996? 1997?). Perhaps I'm just blind to the change, perhaps you have a far better perspective from wherever you are now. Is you brother now subject to prejudice because the Howard government was re-elected?


[ Parent ]
"Gotcha" stories (none / 0) (#29)
by gregholmes on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 07:24:41 AM EST

I agree! Outrageous things are outrageous!

On the other hand, "gotcha" stories do not make the real problems and costs of immigration go away. They don't make it's benefits go away either, but a story like this shouldn't change any fundamental positions on the issues.

you're missing the point (5.00 / 2) (#31)
by martingale on Thu Feb 14, 2002 at 08:20:03 AM EST

You're missing the point of the article. While it does foster the old discussions about immigration and asylum seekers in Australia, as any story with this title would, the point here is to discuss the position of the Australian government, who misled the Australian public and used fabricated evidence to manipulate people's opinions. Never mind the election, there are independent issues of accountability and abuse of power which need to be cleared up. We've just had allegations of inappropriate spying on Australian people to the government's benefit, and it's supposed to be bureaucratic bungling? It would be great if it was, but I for one am suspicious. Here's a link for you and others to ponder.

[ Parent ]
Political Fooey (none / 0) (#44)
by lzcd on Fri Feb 15, 2002 at 10:19:00 PM EST

I don't think it's really that much of a news item.

It's not the first time politicians have got it wrong (either by fault or design). It won't be the last.

Given that, much akin to the US elections, it was a chocie between tweedledum and tweedledee, I have serious doubts that the 'refugee crisis' did anything more than increase media sales.

As for the refugees themseleves... I view manditory detention as a sensible thing, the location and length of it as a bad thing.

If somebody's trying to kill you, we'll try and do everything we can to make sure you safe.
If you want to live here, how about doing it legally?

Overboard Children Exposed | 44 comments (40 topical, 4 editorial, 0 hidden)
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