bill shorten tanya plibersek

WHERE THE EFF IS THE OPPOSITION?

You would expect Bill Shorten to be all over what the Government has been doing on Manus Island. You’d expect his Deputy, Tanya Plibersek, to be demanding the centre be shut down.

You’d expect Richard Marles, the Shadow Immigration Minister, would be calling for Scott Morrison’s head. And yet, there’s been nothing.

bill shorten tanya plibersek

Actually, there’s been worse than nothing. There’s been complicity.

As of Wednesday, one asylum seeker held on Manus has died, scores have been injured, there are reports that the facility was stormed by vigilantes and there is a complete and utter refusal from the Government to honestly reveal what happened.

The Opposition (and ...

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190 Comments

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Tim the Beard

    Well said Corinne!
    Currently are democracy isn’t working too well, a democracy of course being defined by a free and functioning press coupled with an engaged populos who despite different points of view find common ground through compromise.

    How come there more interest and public debate about a convicted drug trafficker from a family of convicted drug offenders then there is about our plummeting international reputation?

    I know the answer, you don’t have to tell me…

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Dianne

    Well, what can the ALP say?

    Rudd reopened the joint and yammered on about a camp under canvas for 10,000. I seem to recall he handed over a stash of cash. Tony Bourke spoke about Manus as the solution to people smuggling problems. And it probably was.

    But at what cost?

    Putting vulnerable people, including a handful boys under 18, as claimed by refugee advocates, in hell-hole camps, is an abomination.

    Yet both our major parties have a bipartisanship position on the matter. If the polls are correct the majority of people in this country would punish the ALP at the polls if it softened its stance.

    Corinne, I share your despair. I can see no way out.

    • Reply February 20, 2014

      Marilyn

      Gillard started the bloody prison in September 2012, at least get that straight.

      • Reply February 20, 2014

        Anon E Mouse

        Thank you Marilyn for point that Gillard reopened Manus. She also instigated a review on how best to deal with asylum seekers drowning at sea due to people smugglers dodgy practices. Also worth remembering is that some of the review panel had a very reluctant change of heart and the panel agreed that off shore was the way to go.

        When Rudd put forward the notion of asylum seekers being resettled in PNG or a 3rd location, I didn’t like it but could see some real benefit for PNG and the refugees. Of course there was incentives to PNG, and the plan was for more community development type detention centres, where the refugees were able to interact with the community.

        Many of the refugees have skills and even resources that they could use to enhance PNG if they were granted residency.

        Rudd’s plan was also to help lift services for the people of PNG, our neighbors who helped us enormously during the 2nd world war. I began to think that maybe there was some merit in the PNG idea, especially if, as Rudd was negotiating, other pacific nations were looking at taking in refugees.

        Abbott of course got in and slashed funding to PNG, introduced measures designed to make asylum seekers lives more miserable – just to be nasty.

        But, like Corrine asks, where is the opposition in this – Where is Shorten?

      • Reply February 20, 2014

        Mariojn Wilson

        Gillard, on the specialised advice of three very thoughtful intelligent people tried to get a regional centre where asylum seekers would be processed, E. Timor agreed then backed off, Malaysia agreed but Abbott wouldn’t let it happen justifying his refusal was because Malaysia was not a signatory to the UN Convention and lawbreakers in Malaysia were caned. (Abbott now puts asylum seekers in boats and sends them to Indonesia which is not a signatory to the UN Convention and puts them in prisons in countries that are signatories but where they are attacked and murdered.) So much for the principles he so vehemently claimed.

        • Reply February 22, 2014

          Marilyn

          Those three so-called experts had no expertise in refugee laws at all. One was Houston who was in charge when hundreds of rapes and beatings in the defence forces were covered up and he covered up the murder of Afghan children by Australian soldiers.

          Paris Arisototle is a social worker who has been on the government tit for years raking in a fortune “”treating”” the victims of our refugee prisons and Michael LaStrange was a Howard advisor.

          They ignored every actual expert who put in submissions to give Gillard the racist answers she wanted.

          The high court ruled all this illegal, the two cowards Roxon and Gillard simply did new laws to pretend it is legal and still you rusted on Gillard fan girls don’t get that she is a racist.

      • Reply February 21, 2014

        MicheleS

        Mu understanding is that PM Gillard resurrected former PM Howard’s “Pacific Solution.”

    • Reply February 21, 2014

      MicheleS

      Dianne, the ALP should be shouting that it’s time to cease offshore processing and detention! They should also be working ferociously on drawing up a completely fresh plan to ethically and humanely accommodate Australia’s share of the world’s refugee situation.

      The Abbott government’s “Operation Sovereign Borders” has progressively backed them into an ever-decreasing corner. It has now failed. They know it, voters know it and the whole world knows it.

      It’s only a matter of time before the Abbott government will have to make some huge changes. The ALP had better be ready with its own plan.

      This week’s murder of detainee Reza Berati on Manus Island signals that the time for talking has ended.

      The Action stage has begun.

      Our politicians must participate. Too many voters will not conveniently forget this issue and each politician’s decision will reflect on them at the ballot box.

    • Reply February 22, 2014

      martha

      JG had wanted Malaysia from what I remember they AS would of been settled there after a little time NOT locked up,. abbott would NOT support this for political gain?
      when JG left office I read recently there was 300+ people on manus now I read well over 1000 the Labor Government from what I remember also intended to build good facilities for AS now morrison its tents and ship containers in that heat,.

      This morning I was told that Bill Shorten was speaking on the abc and was cut off, If this so we must protest about our abc may be they are NOT getting air time I read a tweet from MP Andrew Leigh this morning about ratio of alp in a certain outlet to others in the same outlet it up to us to tell the advertises on the tv stations we want watch tv if we do not get our stories out and our labor and green MP a country like France the people would now be on the streets abbott has said people will now retire at 70 they tried in France to raise it from 60to 65 people went out on to the streets and where seen aust are lazy and apathetic
      In march week end there is Marchinginmarch check out the face book and twitter Join twitter talk to people thanks wendy for this chance to write here but for goodness sake don’t just write be seen.
      Personally I think Anthony Albanese is the man Corine to take them on I think its time the alp where told to give us the MP we voted for, not the one some Mp voted 4 , Albo is out there is voice is enough to get your attention, its our only hope I think of being heard if u are member and agree or not member and agree say so, email the labor party phone or tweet, or slow mail leadership with strong voice is vital.

      • Reply February 26, 2014

        Hal tardy

        Sorry Martha, but you are talking out of your hat and spreading mistruths, You are wrong about Tony Abbott.

        Refugee lawyers asked the High Court to strike down the deal, arguing that the Immigration Minister did not have the power to send asylum seekers to a country that has no legal obligations to protect them.

        They also argued that sending unaccompanied minors to Malaysia would breach the minister’s duty of care as their legal guardian to act in their best interests.

        But Commonwealth Solicitor-General Stephen Gageler argued the government could lawfully declare Malaysia a safe third country even though it had no domestic nor international legal obligations to protect asylum seekers.

        A 6-1 majority of the full bench ruled Mr Bowen’s declaration that Malaysia was an appropriate country to which to send aslyum seekers was invalid.

        The court found that a country must be bound by international or domestic law to provide protection for asylum seekers to be an appropriate destination.

        Tony Abbott Blah, Blah, Blah!
        What message are you sending to our children in claiming lies to be facts? Have you no shame?

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Liz

    Labor can use this opportunity to say, ‘we got it wrong. We need to change’. It can be the fork in the road. But, they’re not brave enough.

    • Reply February 21, 2014

      jane

      Agree wholeheartedly, Liz. ALP should man up and admit Manus Island was and IS disgustingly wrong.

      They’ll only offend the rednecks who are rusted on Liars voters anyway.

      Is it worth sacrificing what used to be the fair go for all for very sordid political gain?

      Leave the Liars to be branded as the white trash and murdering monsters they are; Labor should be reclaiming its role as the party of the fair go and compassionate treatment of people fleeing violence and oppression.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Jodie

    Problem is we have 60% of the morons who vote saying they think that Abbott ‘stopping the boats’ is a good thing – they don’t care what the human cost is.
    Richard Marles, MAark Butler and Jason Clare have all made very good statements this week. Not a lot of press coverage though – from anywhere!

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Dianne

    Jodie – I have just had a quick look at the websites of the three gentlemen you mentioned.

    Butler and Clare have not given their ‘very good statements’ on Manus any coverage it seems.

    Marles provided a transcript of an ABC interview which was mildly critical of the running of the detention camp.

    No, the ALP are snookered, zippered up, in straitJackets, hogtied, tongue-tied by their own lack of fortitude.

    Ms Informal is looking good again as an election candidate.

    • Reply February 20, 2014

      Lynn

      Vote independent, Green or one of the many smaller parties. Check their web sites. Their must be someone out their who represents your value set. Just because you don’t like the two major parties, does mean you should throw in the towel.

      • Reply February 22, 2014

        Riddley Walker

        My view is your best bet is to vote Greens. You can find the policies here:

        http://greens.org.au/policy

        The ALP has long lost its integrity, and has succumbed to populism and spin doctoring. It’s a shame, and shameful.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    SVJ

    We had a majority of morons (as you call it) elect a party which weakened the borders and filled the camps (luring many to their deaths) so where is your indignation on that?

    Death is only bad it seams under Coalition watch.

    Stopping the boats saves lives, get it?

    • Reply February 20, 2014

      Annie Zon

      the death at sea vs death in camp issue is critical here. OK so people died at sea. They did that – they knew the risks. That’s a human tragedy and deserves our solemn observance and our best efforts to prevent. But the status changes once Australia takes charge and locks them up their care and safety becomes Australia’s responsibility. The status here is a death in custody, and violent assaults in custody pure and simple and must be investigated. Both major parties make me sick to the stomach.

      • Reply February 20, 2014

        leesa

        well said Annie

      • Reply February 26, 2014

        Hal tardy

        Well this might make you sick in the stomach too, Annie.
        If the poor bloke who died took no part in the riot he would still be alive today. They say that the squeaky bearing gets the most grease except this time it wasn’t grease.
        Just like Schapelle Corby knows, they do things differently in other countries.

    • Reply February 20, 2014

      Marilyn

      Rudd did not weaken our borders, we don’t have any borders to weaken. Christmas Island, Indonesia, Nauru and Manus Island are not our borders. OUr so called border is 12 nm from the coast line but that is entirely undefended for 60,000 km while we have the navy, army and airforce hunting and killing refugees in the international waters between Indonesia and Christmas Island which is 2600 km from Darwin.

      Honest to god, how do you brainwashed dimwits sleep.

      • Reply February 21, 2014

        jane

        The brainwashed dimwits sleep only too well, Marilyn safe in the “knowledge” that asylum seekers are illegal immigrants who rather enjoy the exhilaration of having their houses blown up and the joy of being tortured and murdered in their countries of origin.

        That the great brainwashed bleat about the deaths at sea rather than the reasons these desperate people try to reach Australia is a symptom of the disconnect fostered by our politicians as they race to the bottom of the cess pit in their desperation to destroy this country’s reputation as a safe haven.

        I guess if they’d asked the Indigenous population about that they wouldn’t bother trying to get here.

    • Reply February 20, 2014

      Mariojn Wilson

      The boats have not stopped as Abbott and Morrison claim. The boats are still leaving Indonesia and are being boarded by Australian navy, some of whom are not sympathetic of the plight of refugees. They are forced onto Australian boats and illegally towed back into Indonesian waters. There are not as many boats as mid 2013 because it is the monsoon season. Morrison talks about over 1000 deaths during Labor’s time in government but we are certain of 350 deaths during the Coalition’s time in Government – how many more there were we do not know – who would tell us?

      • Reply February 26, 2014

        Hal tardy

        Hmm, lets see. 1000+ deaths or ??? 350 deaths.
        I’ll take the 350, it’s so many less.
        Or we can go on forever over the unfortunate death of 1 who was in a group who started rioting.

        How many have drowned or died rioting while waiting in UN Refugee camps while being denied in being relocated to Australia thanks to Asylum seeker priority?

        Why doesn’t any one care about them, at least we know the UN Refugees aren’t country shoppers. As a matter of fact, most LNP supporters would prefer UN Refugees to come here but the ALP supporters don’t.
        Why is this so?

    • Reply February 21, 2014

      jane

      When you Liars barrackers acknowledge the horrendous toll during the Howard years, you may have some credibility.

      In the meantime, asylum seekers are being housed in disgraceful conditions, denied adequate medical treatment, denied adequate drinking water, have to queue for hours for food and are beaten, shot and murdered when they object to such treatment.

      And when the likes of China can criticise this country for human rights abuses, there is something very rotten in the state of Australia.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Marcus

    If either party *truly* cared about asylum seekers dying, then they’d be focussing far, far more resources into the processing & re-settlement of those asylum seekers currently residing in Indonesia & Malaysia. Only when these asylum seekers have genuine *hope* will they stop risking their lives on non-seaworthy boats. Instead, we’d rather piss away billions of dollars in ever more cruel & Kafka-esque methods of “detering” desperate people. Its pathetic.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Penny wheatley

    I have been on the planet over 50 years and have NEVER seen a labor party like the current crop. There is no direction, no fight, no idea…ashamed of ALP

    • Reply February 20, 2014

      Lawrence Winder

      Labor, pathetic. Liarbril, criminal. Australia, stuffed!

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Robyn

    “Surely no-one could still be buying the whole ‘we just don’t want to see people drown’ bullshit. If you care that much about them, why lump them in facilities where they get stoned to death and shot at?”

    Well said Corinne. Whole damn thing is unbelievable.

    Labor’s problem is they have no “solution” to sell either and don’t want to find themselves holding this baby.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Peta

    If both sides of government have paid continuing lip service to Australia’s first people how do we honestly expect them to give a shit about a bunch of human beings fleeing war torn environments. If Governments have the power to convince the general public that a refugee is actually illegal they also have the power to show empathetic leadership and humanity,

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Heather

    Good point, Corinne. This “two” party blockade is a joke. If the important issues are too sensitive to have differing opinions on, what choice do electors have? Where is our representation?

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Clinton

    Corinne, come doorknocking with me in the western suburbs of Sydney and help me convince people that cruelty to refugees is not the answer. That’s where the real fight is, not with Labor. It is by no means a small percentage of people.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Iain Hall

    Corrine

    The one element that has been totally absent from this and other articles on this topic is any measure of the number of detainees who were involved in the rioting and the number of personnel who had to deal with the misbehavior. Now we have been told that there are seventy odd detainees who have been injured and its probably reasonable to assume that not every rioter has been hurt in the fracas so lets say that only one in three has any injury then its probably the case that more than 200 detainees were rioting/absconding so how many security staff had to face this mob?

    I somehow think that police and security would not have out numbered the rioters and in that situation who could blame them for using weapons against an angry mob? and when weapons are used people are going to get hurt. What it boils down to is if you have even a perfect police force can not be expected to be absolute gentleman if they are seriously outnumbered and under threat of violence.

    • Reply February 20, 2014

      emily

      Very dangerous to assume Iain. You’ve really just invented a whole narrative for the event which, as Corinne points out, the government are refusing to be transparent about.

    • Reply February 25, 2014

      LuluRT

      You have stated, almost word for word, my thoughts and feelings, Corinne, which have perturbed me during the past few weeks. Perturbed because I am a card-carrying member of the ALP, and have been wondering if I should resign The party’s stand on detention of asylum seekers does not meet mine, so I do not feel well represented by the current ALP leaders. Like most of the respondents to your article, I am disappointed by their lack of mettle on the issue. I strongly feel they should bite the bullet and reverse their support of detention centres. They should lead in showing true compassion and charity, rather than kowtowing to ill-informed, racist shock jock-brainwashed voters. For chrissakes, we taxpayers are forking out $73,000/day operating these centres, money that would be better meted out to charity, community and church organisations who would willingly resettle and help asylum seekers to become happy, productive future citizens, given that as much as 90% of them turn out to be genuine refugees anyway!

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Perthgirl28

    Ministerial advisers are bound by strict legislation and therefore accountable not only to the public and powerful parliamentary committees, corruption and crime commissions but also to law and strict penalties for misconduct. Agree 100% with your other comments but wanted to clarify your comments that advisers are accountable to nobody as that is false.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    RhodaD

    I’d like to see Shorten gone. He’s just more of the same. We need new blood in the Labor Party and a new stance that says unequivocally it stands for human rights and social justice.

    At the moment Shorten is just showing up for work. Another job. Another pay day. Follow this leader? Not likely.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Tim the Beard

    @ lain hall, that the guards where vastly out numbered is not in question. ABC 24 interviewed a G4S guard last and said as much, he then went on to say how the guards didn’t try to disperse the crowd but instead attacked it with angery intent.

    This is not the first time G4S has had incidents like this at one of their installations. There shonky operators that have their contract renewed under both governments despite their record. Antony Lowenstein reticent book Profits of Doom makes all that quiet clear, anyone wishing to understand how these centers are run would do well to read it.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Karen

    Abso-freaking-lutely! I am just as angry at Labor right now! I hadn’t heard about Tanya Plibersek defending the policy even now. That is so disappointing and, sickening, in the face of the cruelty being inflicted on those who most need our help, asylum seekers.
    Haven’t the ALP learned? Trying to imitate those on the ‘other side’ does not win you elections. Has it become a requirement now, when a member of the Government or Opposition, to be completely soulless

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Clare De Mayo

    I so agree with you Corrine. I have written to Shorten pleading that Labor abandon the PNG policy, and all off shore processing. Not a word. All to gain votes in western Sydney! it is absurd and disgusting. There is no opposition! this country is sinking into its own shit. I am totally disgusted.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Zac

    “The ALP has to change. It can earn itself some credibility by taking a stance, even if that means the short term pain of owning up to past mistakes and dodgy dealings.”

    Don’t hold your breath waiting for this to happen Corinne. There is not one person in Labor that is willing to acknowledge any of the mistakes they made whilst in Gov. Not on border protection, pink batts, BER or the NBN. And Labor’s current position on a royal commission into union corruption illustrates they have no intention of recognising, let alone changing the culture of corruption that exists.

    • Reply February 21, 2014

      jane

      Zac, BER, HIP, NBN, GONSKI & NDIS are all policies the ALP can be rightly proud of.

      The witch hunt into union “corruption” by the Liars is just the starters for the erosion of workers rights & conditions as they re-introduce the allegedly dead, buried and cremated SerfChoices.

      An independent inquiry into media ownership and corruption would be a far better use of resources.

      As has been pointed out, Labor will never out-cruel or lie better than the Liars Party.

      Best to stick to what they do best; genuinely look after the little people who are far more numerous than the big end of town.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Iain Hall

    Tim
    it is the role of guards to contain detainees in the facility not to disperse them

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Paul

    They’re too frightened of the polling backlash from suburban xenophobes. They engaged the Coalition in this race to the bottom to try and save their skins and now would look even more hypocritical opposing it.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Gaby

    Hi Corrine

    Your article was spot on and prompted me to send letters (again) to Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek and my rep Wayne Swan, I have something similar for the Greens because they are a bit quiet too!

    Here is my letter….

    This is a very interesting article that you and your Labor friends should read.
    http://thehoopla.com.au/eff-opposition/

    It poses an interesting question – one that I and many others would like answers too.

    One of the reasons (there were so many but this was the nail in the coffin) I didn’t vote for Labor this time around was Rudd’s abhorrent asylum seeker policy which was actually worse than the LNPs (if that’s possible) but clearly didn’t work as an election strategy and all that happened was LNP took the idea and ran with it.

    Now that Scott Morrison has more blood on his hands this would be a perfect time for Labor to rethink their policy on AS too if for no other reason but to win the next election but more to the point to stop some of the most serious human rights violations in this country. I am not sure in what universe it is OK to shove these poor people off to another developing country with its own social issues, political insecurity and completely different ethnic makeup and think what happened this week was a surprise.

    It’s interesting to me that you can bang on about lack of humanitarian aid from Australia for Syrian refugees but not about the current AS policy. I certainly agree with you about the lack of money to support Syrian refugees and other aid projects but one of the reasons we don’t have money for Syria is we are sinking so much into an expensive and unsustainable AS program.

    Let’s put it into perspective shall we? There are over 2.5million Syrian refugees displaced in surrounding countries at this moment. Can we really say that a few thousand ‘boat people’ is the same magnitude? Some figures quoted indicate a 4 year cost for the PNG solution is $1.1 BILLION! This figure is for less that 8000 boat arrivals per year.

    The Government was kind of correct in reducing media speculation on boat arrivals because it gave the public the wrong idea that we were being over run. Ask Syria’s neighbours what being over run is like. Ask most European countries or the US about levels of illegal immigration. What they need to do is be honest with the public about numbers and compare our levels with other countries so people can get a bit of perspective and not be scared into thinking we are being invaded by the Taliban. Because let’s be honest it is the colour of people’s skin that causes the most anxiety by the masses. No one complains about overstayers from the UK and Europe.

    What’s particularly concerning is the ridiculous economics. To cover the $1.1 BILLION, the LNP are paying for this by slashing costs elsewhere like medicare and propping it up with co-payments, slashing education funding in LSES schools, scrapping NBN, shutting down vital departments like climate change commission and so on. Meanwhile he and his cronies are skimming money for travel, paying their mate murdoch $880million in tax concessions, selling off public assets and goodness knows what else!

    The Dept of Immigration has a wealth of research that supporting boat people by assimilating them into the community over time is much more cost effective and these people will eventually become useful, taxpaying members of society rather than languishing in detention.

    Do we really what the ‘PNG and Pacific solutions’ to be synonymous with the ‘Final Solution’ in Australia’s history books? Because it is very much looking like that to me and I can write letters (so far 3 or 4 to Morrison have gone unanswered) and go to protests until I am blue in the face but in the end you and your colleagues have a real voice and it’s about time you stood up and used it.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Jenny

    Why would the Opposition be protesting about Manus etc? It was their policy and their set-up in the first place.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    reg

    Gillard’s regional agreement was the obvious (and correct) answer yet it got scuppered by #LNP for no good reason except to be contrary. Our political system is a crock. Two parties do not equal choice especially when they are both beholding to the same political donors. Adversarial politics is also shown to be a massive drain on Australia. Opposition members, ALL MPs whether #ALP or #LNP should be working FOR Australia not against the government of the day. I say ban political parties, bring on a completely *independent government.

    • Reply February 20, 2014

      Marilyn

      There was no regional solution by Gillard, she wanted to illegaly trade and traffic humans who didn’t drown to punish them for not drowning.

      The law is very clear, anyone who arrives here and claims asylum is entitled to be heard under the law. Why is there this constant whinge that the 0,0001% we deal with is onerous and the rest of the world must do it all.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Jacquelene

    Thank you Corrine.
    I am going to post this to Bill Shortens page or in of his posts.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    MadonnaofCoogee

    We need a third party to ‘keep the bastards honest’. We need some politicians with guts. Dear Lord or Lady, please bring back Don Chipp – or someone like him.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    RhodaD

    Well it’s all out in the open now. Both political parties have a racist policy on refugees full stop. Both are complicit in persuading those in the western suburbs and everywhere else that asylum seekers equal queue jumpers. They lie through their teeth. They astound me with their lying and black hearts.

    If our politicians can’t come up with a humane solution than it is on us to come up with one and promote it. Yesterday Mary gave us a link to Turkey’s answer to the Syrian refugee problem on its borders and I’d like us to discuss how that might be a better solution. It would certainly be a more humane one.

    BTW – thank you Mary. An eye-opener!

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    owlchimes

    Oh, Reg….”an independent government”…if only that was possible!!

    • Reply February 20, 2014

      reg

      I know, you may say I’m a dreamer . . . Imagine.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Cheryle Beattie

    The silence of the Opposition is deafening and frightening. Close ALL concentration camps and admit it was a bad policy. Then people might start to think the ALP has the backbone it used to have not the wishy washy party it has become. I am very ashamed of my country at the moment it makes me frightened for the future.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    RhodaD

    I also read but lost the link a very intelligent essay on African migration to Europe and how a solution might be found in having a revolving door open for refugees. Europe educating as well as providing temporary asylum and then returning them to their countries of origin when things have settled down. It wasn’t as simple as that of course and I’ve explained it very badly but wanted to point out that there are humane solutions to this problem which will benefit both the refugee and the country that gives that refugee asylum. We just need to find the most practical and humane solution.

    Labor and the Liberals can stick it.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    JJ

    I disagree Corinne. This news is big and damning. When the Gov. r shooting themselves in the foot, get out of the way. {Politics 101}

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Cameron

    Just because the opposition isn’t doing what YOU want, Corinne, you declare it’s an issue? If you stop and think about it, how big-headed do you have to be that, if a political party doesn’t follow your every whim, there’s something wrong? Something to ponder, at any rate… although I’m sure most of the lefties here will quickly attack this post. Oh well…!

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Kelly M

    Finally someone in the media has some guts to tell it like it is. Thank you Corinne for helping me vent my frustration and angst over this situation. I am disgusted and ashamed to be Australian under the Abbott government, and labor leaves me feeling no better. Bill Shorten has the personality of a wet mop and the spine of a sea cucumber!
    It’s time we stopped hiding behind our faux concern for ‘people drowning at sea’ and face the fact that we are a racist, xenophobic nation of little children who don’t want to share their part of the sandpit…
    Where’s Bob Brown when you need him!

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Kelly M

    Dear Cameron, I’m pretty sure it’s the job of the opposition to be, well… Oppositional. You know, to actually have an opposing opinion; to give us some choice. We are not asking them to act on our every whim, but just to do their job really.

    • Reply February 20, 2014

      Tim

      So Kelly, when Labor is in opposition, it’s their job to have an opposing opinion. But when the Liberals were in opposition they were constantly bagged and berated for being ‘oppositional’ . . . You can’t have your cake and eat it.

      By the way Kelly, Bob Brown has already left for the planet Xarthon 7 via an intergalactic camel train.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Kerri Watson

    Go Corinne! Right on the money there – where is real Labor when you really need them? Stuck in the mediocrity of so-called vote winning policies so similar to Liberals now that they may as well join forces with them. Shorten & co now look stupid & have sold out to right wing thinking. Pity human rights & the silent majority.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Tony

    Unfortunately Labor is caught between a rock and a hard place. Manus was their idea; they rushed it through pre-election despite protests to the contrary. Yes, the Govt has since supported the Manus solution but the ALP can hardly come out all guns blazing against something they set up. And given their track record on two terms, it would smell a little like pot calling kettle black. Their strategy is to wait until the Govt makes such a mess of it that there is no return. They can then come out all guns blazing.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Brendan

    Once again, brained it Corinne, what is happening in OUR NAME is nuthin short of criminally disgusting! Labor should NEVER have played these guys at their own game of bashing the impoverished, they never had that stiff upper lip stomach for belting the defenceless like the Libs do so time to RECALIBRATE !! Grow a spine and take em on.Here’s an idea for a throwaway slogan “DON’T MURDER REFUGEES”…it worked for Ape Bott.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Cameron

    Kelly M, how can Labor take opposition to a solution that was their own plan? They’d look highly hypocritical to do so, and that is likely the real reason they aren’t going hard after this; it was their concept! No matter how much people like Corinne think they should simply do everything she wants.

    • Reply February 21, 2014

      jane

      Cameron, the ALP could stand up and admit their policy was WRONG, CRUEL and a knee jerk reaction to the Liars malicious propaganda.

      Who knows, after the tidal wave of lies, broken promises and vicious propaganda from the Liars Party, a spot of honest reflection and an admission that they got it wrong, might be the refreshing change we need.

      Admitting you’ve made a mistake and rectifying it takes a lot more guts than offering weasel words which people KNOW are insincere bullshit.

      No wonder politics and politicians are held in such low esteem.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Annie Also

    Thank you Corinne for writing how many of us feel.

    If only the Labor Party had the fire in the belly, the passion, the confidence and the compassion it had in 2007/008 Rudd Mk 1! That was the way to help asylum seekers.
    If we cannot ( are not ‘allowed’) to support a larger contingent of UNHCR personnel in Indonesia to process more and faster the asylum seekers then (like all around the world) the asylum seekers will try any way, any means to reach safety and a place to plan their future.
    We really have to stop this vilification, fear and hatred of asylum seekers. WE have a duty of care.
    How do we stop Australians ( like Iain Hall) being so selfish, cruel, flippant and pig headed when it comes to humans in despair.
    I agree; It is bullshit this ‘stop them dying at sea’ just as the term “people smugglers” is pure Orwellian bullshit.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    RhodaD

    Every whim, Cameron? Corinne isn’t discussing lipstick and heels or a trip to the Bahamas.

    There’s a concentration camp on Manus and we’re responsible for it. The Opposition should be making it loud and clear where they stand – either with Abbott or with those of us like Corinne who recognize evil when they see it. We’re circling the wagons. Haven’t you heard! Goodies versus baddies.

    • Reply February 20, 2014

      Ella

      Whatever else you think about Australia’s asylum seeker policy RhodaD, referring to it as a ‘concentration camp’ is not only ridiculously inaccurate, but worse it is also horribly disrespectful to the memory of the millions of people that were exterminated during the holocaust. Have some respect FFS !

      • Reply February 20, 2014

        Annem

        Ella, if you check the meaning Of “concentration camp” in the dictionary you will find it is perfectly legitimate to describe the Manus facility as one.
        The term has never applied exclusively to Nazi camps and its use here is in no way disrespectful.

      • Reply February 20, 2014

        Marilyn

        Ella the British invented concentration camps during the Boer war, why is the holocaust so sacred we must never compare anything to it?

      • Reply February 24, 2014

        Overit

        I don’t think there has been a more publicised event in history.
        The aim being, I thought, so that people never forget. Visited Elsternwick a month ago and it was being very much discussed, albeit worse conditions had been experienced but nevertheless……..
        What is wrong with YOU ?

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Joe201

    Admit off-shore processing was a bad policy? What, again? Rudd did that the first time he took office… That’s why we have this problem in the first place. If Rudd had kept Nauru, Labor would never have had a problem with aslyum seekers.

    Oh but no, it’s the monsoon season, it’s international factors, it’s… Never our policy that makes any difference… Despite the fact our policy is now making a difference in the numbers choosing to come here by boat.

    The political reality is, the only people upset at the treatment of asylum seekers are Green’s voters (or idiots who vote Labor thinking Labor have some kind of “moral compass” hiding out the back somewhere).

    But sure, Labor can come out and admit they got it wrong. I can imagine the slogan now: “Everything we ever do in Government is just one big f*** up.” I can see the ads, “You know, we here in Labor know it’s time to admit that we f***** it up. We f****** it up when Kevin decided to stop the Pacific Solution, re-creating a problem the Liberals had handled (rather humanely compared to what’s happening today too by the way). And we know we f***** it up when we tried to fix the problem that resulted. We know we had 6 years in Government which was just one big f*** up. So now, we’re admitting that if you vote for us again, everything will just get f***** up.

    We f***** up the live cattle trade. We f***** up our relationship with Indonesia by spying on them. We f***** up pink batts, we f****** up the leadership and yes, we f***** up the issue of asylum seekers. We admit, we just f***** up.”

    It would be a refreshing blast of honesty.

    No, Labor’s best hope is to keep their head in the sand, let the Liberals work through and fix it, and then hope everyone forgets about it.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    dominic

    Don’t forget the Abbott catch-all statement, “Shit Happens!”

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    BJ

    There is no doubt this policy is all wrong and the Opposition is now missing an opportunity to show us it can find a moral compass and admit its error.I don’t have much to add to article or to comments BUT the risk to all asylum seekers from the display of identifying details of every asylum seeker here cannot be quantified. Was it incompetence or was it a considered move to keep stopping boats? How will we ever know? Morrison said glibly that it was ‘only for five days’ –quite enough time for down loads. So now there is a potential risk not only to each of the people on that data list but also to their families still at home. It would be ironic if the ultimate outcome of this was that protection must be given to everyone. This is in my view a huge issue with bigger ramifications.
    Morrison is responsible Minister and as such should resign.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Cameron

    RhodaD, there’s a camp on Manus that’s doing its job, ie: deterring people from trying to come here illegally. And have you seen the latest results? We’ve got the bpat numbers in reverse, which is a good thing. Soon they’ll stop coming and then, guess what? Soon there’ll be no one to lock up! Talk about a win. What folk here don’t seem to realise is that someone who pays thousands to fly from Iran to Indo, then thousands more for the boar ride, doesn’t seem to be as poorly off as you want to make out. How many of us have a lazy 5000 – 10000 lying in their bank account to fund something like that? And yet you all sit there, thinking these are genuine refugees. How does a genuine refugee have 10 grand in the bank? How can they fly past, and boat past, multiple countries that they could apply for asylum in, before targeting us? So many questions, yet you folks on the left never seem to want to process the reality of them.

    • Reply February 21, 2014

      jane

      Cameron, asylum seekers are NOT illegal immigrants overstaying a visa. They are fleeing violence, civil unrest, persecution ad war in their country of origin.

      They do not have to apply for papers or asylum in the first country they come to. And fyi, the countries they transit in their effort to find a safe place to live are not signatories to the UN convention, unlike Australia.

      Peddling Liars propaganda and lies probably works with the brain dead followers of the Likes of Andrew Dolt, Alan Jones & Hadley, but it won’t wash with people who check facts and do the research.

      You should try it some time.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Doc

    Thanks for writing this Corinne. Many of us are frustrated and disappointed in both the Manus situation and Labor’s poor response (to this and other issues as well).
    Hiding like mice does not help anything. Where is the roar from the Labor instead of the squeak of complicity and perhaps apathy?

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Ann Noyd

    I can see why there’s so much crime in this country — we’re just a bunch of softies feeling sorry for people who break the law — even weeping about them on tv. There’s a saying ‘if u can’t take the heat stay out of the kitchen.’ Abbott and Morrison r trying to bring back the concept of principles and the media r fighting them tooth and nail. The media would have this country in a state of confusion and fear. It’s pathetic. Wake up u lot!

    • Reply February 20, 2014

      JoanneH

      You always make me confused Annoyed – what law have those people broken?

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Annem

    Cameron, you have a poor understanding of what a refugee is.

    “A refugee is a person who is outside his or her country of origin or habitual residence because they have suffered (or fear) persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because they are a member of a persecuted ‘social group’ or because they are fleeing a war. Such a person may be called an ‘asylum seeker’ until recognized by the state where they make a claim”….Wikipedia definition.

    It has nothing to do with how much money they have or do not have.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Annem

    I should have added..this is pretty much word for word the UN definition of a refugee.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    David

    Spot on Corrine! If only main-stream journalists would refuse to play the spin game and just report it like it too. You’ll probably feel insulted if I say that it’s pretty amazing that one of the best journalists in this country at the moment is a comedian but I really mean it in the nicest way.

    I bemoaned the crap state of journalism in this country earlier this week in response to Samantha Thomas’s piece on the Food Health Star rating site fiasco and your essay, Corrine, just highlights how it should be done and what a vacuum exists in the MSM today.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Tim the Beard

    Lain hall, riots and protests are “dispersed” in the same way that a group of elephants is called a “heard”. You “contain” infections or contamination.

    My point is that G4S doesn’t provide proper training for its staff, whether there PNG locals or not. If the center was properly run this incident would not have turned out as bad as it did. That company is paid a lot of taxpayers money, much more then if the centers where on shore and run by the federal government.

    That’s not endorsement of the policy ether, community based processing coupled with closer work with our international neighbors and there refugee camps would be a cheaper, more effective and easier solution.

    Doesn’t let you hate people though…

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Robyne Seers

    I get the feeling the ALP wants to win back the rascist vote and be on the same footing as the LNP. After all, it worked for Abbott so maybe they think by being more like this disgraceful government they may be in with a chance! Fools, unless they get Murdoch and his hopeless journos on board it will never work anyhow. It seems to me it doesn’t matter what Bill and Tanya et al have to say, the MSM are not interested anyway. Best example I have at present is Senator Nash and her lobbyist staffer…. nothing to see here! *crickets*

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Bea

    Great letter Gaby, especially last paragraph! And as usual great article Corinne. I do think you’re a bit hard on the Greens on this, Gaby – they’ve been arguing the (human) case for years whenever they can get any sort of audience, and Sarah Hansen Young has been a lone voice, mostly on Facebook, calling for a decent refugee policy, visiting detention centres, collecting toys for kids there etc. If a few opposition members did what she has done we may have seen changes by now.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Ingrid

    I agree wholeheartedly Corrine. Last election we had a choice between a right wing narcissist or an even more right wing sociopath. Gee what a choice! Democracy needs a robust opposition to function effectively. Both sides of government need to admit they have right royally ballsed up our asylum seeker strategy, that they have breached Human Rights obligations and that they are no longer following the core Australian value of giving people “a fair go”.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Lee-Anne

    Excellent piece. Labor is doomed unless they take a stance and embrace…promote more humane and decent policies for asylum seekers (instead of languishing behind the Greens’ coat tails).
    They will never get the Telegraph readers anyway – they should stop trying. :)

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    RhodaD

    Cameron, can you link me up to the source for your claim that refugees are paying thousands for a boat ride to Australia.

    You do realize that when people are fleeing a war they take whatever route out they’re offered. There’s no signage up saying ‘Malayan refugee camp – this way’ and even if there was they still have to walk it or drive it. Most probably they are in a war zone or escaping in a hurry to avoid arrest with ‘police’ looking for them. Imagine yourself in their position and tell me how you’d quickly acquire a passport and visa or find someone who could smuggle you out of the country. Please read the real stories coming from out of the refugee camps. Don’t believe the spin coming from our political leaders. This will not end well.

    Do you want Australia to become as brutal as communist Russia or China? That’s where we’re heading. Australia is now part of a global community. We are run by global corporates. We trade globally. We are an island only in geographical terms. A locked door always has someone knocking on it.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    sapfu

    What we have now in Australia is one party. Its divided into two halves and the halves take turns at being in the sandpit.
    Other than that, there is no leadership, talent or anything of inspirational value to be had anywhere.
    Not to forget, they all have the same paymasters that they are obligated to.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    EO

    I’m in total agreement, Corinne. We have no opposition at the moment. What happened to the basic principles of Labor. There has been very little difference between the two major parties for some time.

    • Reply February 24, 2014

      FerralCheryl

      I don’t think labor is game to open their mouths on any subject. To me it seems like they are all trying to emulate Clark Kent, Mild Mannered Reporter. Even Albo seems to be very, very low key.
      Maybe Labor is trying to make all the imbeciles that voted Liberal suffer for their mistake. Maybe they are still hesitant after what the media did to them. Too lovey dovey for me .
      Why can’t we resurrect Keating.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Jess

    Great article. The issue is though that it is not a small percentage of the population that want this. It is much larger than most of us would like to admit. This is because the Australian population no longer sees asylum seekers for what they are – desperate, fleeing, vulnerable and desperate PEOPLE. Instead they have been branded as “illegal” “criminal” “cue-jumpers” and much much worse. We have become totally de-sensitised to them as human beings.

    And it can all be traced back to one very important event – the 2001 election. The children overboard scandal being the culmination of months of vilification and politicisation of these people by John Howard and by the media. The media has ALOT to answer for in regards to the way the Australian public now view asylum seekers. Howard Govt ministers were given a free ride to affectively change the discourse surrounding these people – all to win an election. Before this, the boats were not an issue. Howard and the media made them one (largely through lies and misleading information) and no government since has been able to shake it off. It has remained the issue that will win or lose the election. And that is the way the Australian public want it.

    Our refugee intake is miniscule compared to that of other countries. Boat people numbers are tiny in the scheme of our immigration numbers. The REAL “illegals” problem? Those that over-stay their tourist visas – namely the English and the Americans. Numbers FAR greater than so-called boat people. Simply here because they feel like it and not because their life is at risk if they aren’t. But noone is calling for them to be locked up now are they?

    • Reply February 25, 2014

      Lullu RT

      Spot on, @Jess -before the ‘children overboard’ vilification of asylum seekers, Australians in general had a compassionate attitude to asylum seekers. There was bipartisan support of immigration policy and treatment of refugees. Howard,Rieth and the rest of the conservative Coalition destroyed that humane part of our national psyche by demonising refugees and asylum seekers.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Karen James

    It’s time for all of who are still relatively sane to stand up against these inhumane policies, including the Labor opposition. I sent emails to my local member, Warren Snowden, Tanya Plibersek and Scott Morrison. Drop in the ocean, but it’s a start.
    PNG solution= final? I hope not.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    JoanneH

    I totally agree with you Tony. The Government’s starting to attract criticism here and internationally. Defence must feel embarrassed and annoyed at having to accept the blame for Morrison’s reckless and intrusive ‘turn back’ policy.
    Labor should not interrupt.

    If all fails, Clive Palmer has controversial solution – let all asylum seekers fly here without visas, and over a few days do the refugee checking in special assessment facilities at the airport. Families can be kept together, and non-refugees returned on the next plane.

    It would certainly be a lot cheaper than chasing boats around the Indian Ocean, and the drownings would stop.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    lydia

    I’m not really sure what the role of an Opposition actually is nowadays in a Westminster system that is corrupted by the media (including social media) and lobbyists and so on, as well as the complete and utter failure of any concept of ministerial responsibility. Even in the UK, the Minister for Immigration recently resigned over… (wait for it!) accidentally employing an ‘illegal’ immigrant on his staff. But do you think the good Mr Morrison will fall on his sword? Don’t hold your breath! The so-called Opposition is the one who should be calling for his immediate resignation. AND an independent inquiry (not some guff done by the Department who is charged with bloody sending them there and deciding AS’s visa applications). However, the constant negativity (and lack of bipartisanship on serious issues such as these) spewed out by the LNP when they were in Opposition was also breaking down our whole parliamentary system.

    I think that you’re right, Corinne, in that Labor cannot really say anything because they started this mess with asylum seekers – the only sane and compassionate thing they can do now is to completely renege – say they were wrong – that offshore ‘processing’ (no one is actually being processed) is just wrong, wrong, wrong – people smugglers are a different issue and it must be dealt with differently. I think it’s the only way to turn the so-called ‘debate’ (pretty one sided when the government doesn’t answer questions!) right around.

    HOWEVER… Labor (and especially Bill Shorten) have been absent for months. Clarke and Dawe did a very funny thing on 7:30 several weeks ago about this issue i.e. before all of this horror on Manus. Now, they did have many, many issues that they could have – and bloody well should have – been making comments on. BUT it might not be entirely their fault – The Australian and our newspaper here in WA (The West Australian) never seem to report anything that any Labor pollie has said (or a Green or Independent for that matter!). Yesterday, there was a startling piece on the Guardian about which way WA will go in the repeat Senate election – and they didn’t mention Labor at all or even the Greens’ Scott Ludlam! He’s the main one who was affected and challenged the result. The article just kept going on and on about the PUP and how they will ‘punish’ the LNP etc etc next time around. It’s like no other parties even exist.

    I don’t know what is to be done. It feels like we’ve really reached the tipping point here, with an Opposition that is just so ineffective. This should be a no brainer, you dozy bloody Labor whallahs!

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    lydia

    My apologies for all the cussing in my comment – just SO over it!

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Alex

    Much as I dislike the current border control policies,I dont see alot of great solutions coming out of the teminally outraged responses here.
    Tanya Plibersek gave a balanced, honest and realistic response yesterday,and yes unlike the coalition,I do believe she wants to avoid more deaths at sea.I wish she was Leader of the Opposition – Bill Shorten is hopeless.
    This is a complex problem and there is no easy answers.Not all asylum seekers are the same and it irritates me no end to hear them all lumped into the same basket.While none deserve their current predicament,they knew the risks and many,especially from the middle east chose Australia over a closer “safe haven”.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Trish

    I voted for the Greens in the last election, despite being a lifelong ALP voter and far more familiar with the ALP policy platform. I didn’t bother reading the Greens’ website, I voted for them on this single issue – the treatment of asylum seekers.

    We’ve never had such a weak, pathetic man leading this country. I’d like someone to stand up to him in the same way that Julia Gillard did in Parliament with her misogyny speech. Come on, Christine Milne – GET ANGRY.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Johnny

    Corinne, BRAVO, BRAVO! I nearly choked on my chewy on my way to work Wed. morning listening to the cynical insincerity of T. Pliberseck. Bill is still trapped in the headlights, opposition? leader? opposition?…Do what? (He asks) Oh dear dear dear. A word of advice Bill – ask your mother-in-law what to do. She knows, trust me, I know these things.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Gail

    Bill is looking more and more like Stan Laurel every day. (Apologies to all those too young to remember Oliver & Hardy) Meanwhile Ms Pliberslick for all her media nous really is more style than substance. Tragically (for her personally) she would know a great deal about the savagery of PNG and the very real likelihood of an event like this taking place. Sad days these for the true believers.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    my say

    who is looking after the poor desperate asylum seekers ,sure as hell not the government,or opposition,they are treating them like animals,all for a few votes,where is the UNHCR,
    their have been so many reports coming from manis ,
    of what happened but no one is listening,
    when questioned on abc24 last night all morrison could say he has no knowledge of any thing that hasbeen reported as fact,then went on to say all incidents happened in the dark ,
    isn’t that enough to msake the alarm bells ring,why were they in the dark.
    we need an independent inquiry ,now ,we have to make enough noise so this can happen

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Sandy

    Labor won’t complain because their treatment of asylum seekers is virtually the same (except for the nazi-like secrecy policy on all things boats and boat people and the turning back the boats in international waters bullshit so we have no idea in reality how many people have died at sea since this foul government came into power. Oh, and the unlawful and uninvited entry by our naval vessels and border security staff into Indonesian territory). Apart from that, no difference.

    What are there, around 1100 people in prison on Manus? Jesus wept, they’re sure to take our jobs and rape our wimminz. It’s scary.

    Why don’t we start by turning the camp into a livable facility. Provide doors and windows, and air conditioning and washing machines and water. Provide food that might be like food from home that people can prepare themselves in a large mess hall. Provide a place where people can grow vegetables and fruit. Provide communication facilities so that the secrecy is terminated. Get all women and children out of there and into Australia immediately. Get all men accompanying children into Australia immediately. Provide teachers for basic English. Then move it all onto mainland Australia. Build a city! Build something. Grow hemp and manufacture it – farm animals – grow food – install a desalination plant – manufacture green cars – wind turbines, jet skis – pet rocks – whatever! People can go and work and earn and living and participate in a community and feel human. Modern Australian cities were built from population and necessity. Fuck, if we’re impotent to stop these disgusting oppressive regimes where a huge number of people like YOU and ME feel the need to escape with their lives then let’s come up with other ideas. Because “turn back the boats” is just rubbish.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    meg

    Well said Corrine. I am sick of both parties and what they are doing to Australia in my name.
    I wonder if anyone calculated what it would have cost to fly these asylum seekers to Australia and give them temporary visas and allow them to work and pay taxes vs the cost of “saving them from drowning’
    by putting them in gulags indefinitely and paying for their upkeep and guards.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Marilyn

    It was Gillard who set the prisons up again, it was Gillard who signed 15 and 20 year leases on Nauru and PNG, it was Gillard who trafficked women to Manus, sick kids, it was Gillard in charge when the first male rapes were reported on Manus and Gillard in charge when 3 trafficked women miscarried.

    For god’s sake, it was not Rudd, he had a torture porn ad campaign that our lazy racist media thought was a law because he said so.

    Plibersek was worse than depraved yesterday, it was the ALP who convinced Indonesia to be complicit in the genocide of Kurds and Christian Iranians by claiming they were economic migrants and getting Indonesia to stop issuing visas. There are now daily mass hangings in Iran.

    A story of Gillard I often tell and get abused for was about my second meeting with her – one of the Woomera lawyers asked her to intervene with Ruddock over a homosexual from Iran whose mother had been sent a death sentence in his absence, he was to be buried to the waist and stoned if he went back to Iran.

    Her response was being murdered didn’t make him a refugee and he could go home.

    The third time she was giggling on red neck radio about how marvellous it would be to force refugees at sea back to Indonesia – that was 12 yrs ago and the racist coward did not change one jot.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    miranda

    Good question Corinne. Surely someone in the ALP with the gift of the gab can actually grab the punters attention and convince everyone we need to stop what’s happening in our name at detention centres and at sea. Had hoped Shorten but expected Plibersek would have it in her.

    The longer they stay silent the more complicit they become and it’s hard to vote for anyone who condones torture – and keeping anyone in detention under these conditions is torture.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Ann Noyd

    Joanne H, u r kidding me right? These people have broken the law by coming here ILLEGALLY. No visa, no permit nothing. By the grace of this good country they r being fed, have a roof over their head and a bed. And medical care. ANd they r complaining!!! What a bout the thousands of good people who are trying to settle here LEGALLY!! They have to wait! Do u think that’s fair? If u don’t understand this there must b others like u. Better get up o speed on this Joanne.

    • Reply February 20, 2014

      Marilyn

      Why do people like Ann Noyd think there is a crime connected to coming without a visa? The fact is under our own law there is no such offence and hasn’t been since 1992, which Ann is why not one person has ever been charged for coming without a visa.

      The irony to your ignorant position is that we are trafficking them to Nauru and PNG without visas and against their wills.

      • Reply February 20, 2014

        Sandy

        Annoyd is, more than likely, a white middle aged bloke living comfortably in Australia who has never been directly affected by any asylum seeker in his life. He’s never met one. He’s never talked to one. He’s never lost a job to one. He’s never been threatened by one, yet he’s bloody terrified because the government via the media told him he should be.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    RhodaD

    Ella I meant no disrespect. I realize that the term ‘concentration camp’ is loaded with the memory of holocaust victims but that’s exactly why I’m so frightened of this policy of offshore detention. We’re on such a slippery slope. Those murdered in the Nazi concentration camps would be applauding our stance here. And I was really referring to the Russian gulag and China’s and all the camps all over the world that are referred to as ‘detention centres’. Where the spirit of these people are broken – deliberately – as punishment for fleeing persecution in a boat.

    My apologies if I upset you or anyone else.

    Marilyn, have you read about the trial of Ali al Jenabi? It does not put Rudd in a good light. He is just as culpable as Gillard and Abbott.

    http://www.abc.net.au/7.30/content/2011/s3295023.htm

    Those locked up on Manus have no access to legal representation. They may be charged with a crime but are given no legal defence to that charge. So how does that work if some are now charged with rioting and wilful damage?

    One – just one asylum seeker has been processed since 2012. Doesn’t this indicate our government’s real intention?
    Would this make you desperate if you were in that position?

    They are being detained on a remote island. Out of sight. Out of mind of most Australians watching the 6 o’clock news. Shades of Siberia.

    The ‘detainees’ the politically correct term for ‘inmates’ or ‘prisoners’ are guarded by men hired by G4S, a global security service which has been criticized more than once for its handling of problems within a camps like this. Won’t go there right now but it’s all bad.

    Health facilities are such that doctors have felt obligated to protest yet we have children there. Is there a school – something for them to do? And what of their parents? How do they keep them safe? What hope can they offer them? What food and water is being offered? What clothing and shelter from a tropical sun? The Turks run their camps better than this.

    Our government has one aim and that is to break their spirit. Destroy hope. Hold them as an example to all others fleeing the same way on boats.

    And it will end badly.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Susie

    Why isn’t this issue on the front page of every Australian newspaper? Apparently Craig Thompson is more significant than death and injury in our detention facility. I seem to recall that Rudd was elected overwhelmingly on a platform that included acceptance of asylum seekers who made it to Australia by boat. The hung Parliament and deaths by drowning led to the Malaysian solution, which the High Court overturned. Where are the appeals to the High Court over the Pacific solution?

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Clare

    Where is the Opposition? Trying to chase the same votes as the coalition. That is, working class Australians that used to be rusted on Labor voters but vote according to an increasingly socially conservative world view formed in the context of 40 years of being buffeted by globalisation and with the all too willing help of a neo conservative commercial media. This has been playing out since Howard.

    The labor party can always count on the preferences of left wing middle/professional classes. Who else would they preference to? The coalition? That is why they do not provide an opposition to this issue. The votes of the people who care about it are already in the bag.

    That is how the Labor Party thinks of me. My opinion is irrelevant because they represent the next to worst choice as opposed to the worst.

    There is something corrosive in this. You can see it on the faces of Shorten and Plibersek. They are the looks of people who wished to lead but found out that leadership was not the game anymore. The game was to, instead, follow opinion polls. Slavishly. On every issue. And to nod and agree and be polite to loud mouth right wing shock jocks who influence opinion (and hence the polls). No wonder they look so harried and depressed.

    You know what? Its time for someone in the Labor party to try and lead. Speak from the heart and the head.

    Not from the prepared speech.
    Not with the opinion poll in mind.

    Or have they become too conservative themselves for this?

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Dell

    “No wonder they look so harried and depressed” – That’s funny Clare, because that’s not a recent image and has nothing to do with this story. It was taken from an October 2013 press conference where Shorten announced Plibersek was the deputy leader. It is used to good effect by Corinne though as they both look pretty beaten down. Which is odd considering it’s true context.

    • Reply February 20, 2014

      Clare

      Which proves my point. They’ve been looking harried and depressed for years!

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    RhodaD

    Clare – ‘The votes of the people who care about it are already in the bag.’

    Not any more it’s not. I can’t be the only Labor voter that’s been left with no choice but to seek out the Greens. My only option is to protest the leadership.

    I’m not asking for the world here. Shorten only has to start persuading the suburbs that the working man will profit more by seeking social justice than by relying on corporates to give them a job. Abbott has already demonstrated he can’t and won’t save jobs when they’re on the line. This gave Bill Shorten a free kick which he didn’t take. He could have pointed to the mess that the US is in. That we can’t keep going down that road or we’ll end up like them.

    Labor has lost the plot.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Thom Starling

    For some time now ALP has stood for Alternative Liberal Party. Our present political situation is dire. Ignorance is bliss among Australian voters and the attitude that ‘they are politicians, what do you expect’ has become the new norm. Democracy is a myth, we live in an hegemony, which has reduced our political parties to scrabbling for extremist votes from both ends of the spectrum in the lead up to an election, after the election we end up with governments that either sit on the fence, or worse, persecute all those who don’t fit in with their ideology. Our future is even more bleak as so obviously demonstrated in the lead up to the last election. We face the prospect of evolving into a media-ocracy, where the likes of Murdoch can dictate policy to politicians and pull their strings for the benefit of the elite. I believe the time has come to seize back our country for the benefit of the many, rather than the few. We need a new political paradigm but it will not be achieved through the present system. The traditional form was for the political literate, intellectual middle classes to convince the working class to engage in bloody revolution, so that they could become the ruling class; but we have new tools which could achieve change through the use of social media and technology. I would like to see a crowd funded political party emerge in Australia, one that wasn’t tied to large corporations and was more truly representative of the majority, importantly it would not rely on large donations from big business or Unions to finance itself. This is something I have been thinking about for a while now and I think it is something that could see a significant change.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Patricia

    The only real opposition, on this as on so many other issues, is the Greens.

  • […] Grant for The Hoopla: ‘Where The Eff Is The Opposition?‘ (February 20, […]

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    ro.watson

    Where the eff are we? Often “off-shore” in a symbolic sense?

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    ro.watson

    For the first time in my life I am thinking of voting informal by ticking a few boxes at the forthcoming W.A Senate election. Lately I have been dreaming of donkeys and it is likely not to be about d****? I, wild, free, and without companion, may stray, break down fences, eat what is around and endure, for another a notion as feral, because some commitments hurt too much.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Marcus

    Wow, Annoyed, they really breed them dumb down your way. Genuine asylum seekers are fleeing countries torn apart by war, or where their own governments want to imprison, torture and/or kill them. How likely do you think it is that people from these Countries will be able to get valid visas? Many of them sell almost every last possession they have, then use that money to pay someone to get them out of the Country in one piece. This was also often the case with people trying to escape Eastern Europe during the Cold War, & people fleeing Nazi occupied Europe during WWII. Were these people law breakers too, Annoyed? Were any of them less worthy of asylum just because many of them might have been wealthy professionals prior to the change of situation? I am much more concerned by the far greater number of asylum seekers arriving by plane. They come here under false pretences (using tourist, student or business visas), claim asylum, clog up the resources of our immigration department, only to have more than 50% proven to *not* be genuine. Yet we don’t see this lot getting demonized or thrown into detention. Nor does the media or our government demonize the more than 30,000 visa over-stayers who have resided in Australia for more than 5 years…maybe because the majority of them are *white*.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Marcus

    Its safe to ignore Iain Hall, as he is a well known apologist for the Librorts Party from way back. Indeed, I suspect that he is on their payroll. From what I have heard, the “riot” was only a minor disturbance, until local PNG people broke into the facility wielding machetes & other weapons. Of course, we don’t know the truth, because this “open & transparent” government of “adults” refuses to tell us.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Marcus

    People ask “what is the solution then”? Well, maybe a crazy idea but-for starters-how about we fly immigration officials out to Malaysia & Indonesia to help bolster & speed up the processing efforts of local UNHCR staff. Then fly the genuine refugees back to Australia for resettlement. In the meantime, once our reputation in the region stops being mud, we can get a regional framework back off the ground & help to better share the asylum seeker/refugee load amongst multiple nations. Its got to be cheaper & more ethical than the current “solution”.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    ro.watson

    I have never been called ma’am before but got that from Western Australia’s ALP Senator’s office that I would give Louise Pratt an informal vote and that I am not voting formally this year because of , inter alia, asylum seeker policies. Rang office of Scott Ludlam of the Greens to telegraph my informal vote and was told it would be a wasted vote. Felt patronised by both offices. Well der and ditto, and right back at you..

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    lozza

    I agree with everything you say but it’s not correct to call the PNG solution Rudd’s policy. It was actually Julia Gillard who set everything in motion in 2012.

  • […] an emerging opinion site, they aim to draw eyeballs and publish what they see as fit. But this contribution from Corinne Grant today was, in part, particularly […]

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    ro.watson sorted ever

    Huh, lozza? Regional framework agreements~ where and when? PROCESSING and SETTLING refugee/asylum seekers claims? East Timor said NO.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    ro.watson

    I do not know how wiggledly bits operate as in cyber but I do know since I found out(no thanks to my law school back in the day) some stuff done in our name is WRONG.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Lynn

    Corinne, I am yet to read all the comments….but well said. I was complaining tonight to my partner how hopeless the Labor party is. We were asking ourselves if Bill Shorten has a personalty or an opinion about anything? There is one thing you can say about Abbott, as opposition leader , day one, he came out fighting….maybe for all the wrong reason…but he was heard and seen everywhere, he had a voice and showed he was willing to be standup for his beliefs, regardless of how backward and inhumane they are. Where the hell is Bill Shorten? Get a spine, and get on with in man or move, or move on and give someone else a go!

    • Reply February 21, 2014

      jane

      Lyn while I agree with what you’re saying in essence, I think we also have to take into account the role of the msm in Liesalot’s “success” in getting his message out.

      Had Murdoch’s msm, and that includes their echo the ABC, done their job properly, without his corrupt interference, Liesalot would have long since become a grease spot on the political footpath.

      And had the msm done their job properly, reporting on Gillard would not have consisted of bullshit about the size of her earlobes, her jackets, the size of her bum, that she has to wear glasses and that she did not lie about the carbon price.

      And we’re seeing it all over again. Liesalot has broken every pre-election promise except the one about destroying the joint, and has constantly brazenly lied about breaking his promises, about SPC and its workers, ALCOA and a shopping list of other egregious lies and misrepresentations.

      Add to that the fact that he has grievously insulted and denigrated our nearest and most important trading partners and all we hear from the msm is crickets.

      And remember how the msm would breathlessly hang off every pronouncement of the then opposition leader wrt new legislation or Gillard’s earlobes swallowing every lie without question?

      And if a journo actually did ask a pertinent question of him, he broke world sprint records running away.

      But when the PM or other member of the government would have a presser to announce a new bill or successfully concluded negotiation, the only questions the msm could think of were about leadership speculation, Gillard’s jackets or if she was embarrassed she lost a shoe.

      And how news broadcasts were always prefaced with “The opposition leader says……….”, but nary a broadcast prefaced with “The PM says…….”

      And it’s still happening. The msm is still giving oxygen to every lame utterance, slogan and egregious lie falling from their corrupt lips.

      That said it does not excuse Labor’s craven marching in lockstep with this corrupt government of liars and rorters.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    ashnaz

    The reaction of so many of our compatriots to this obscene situation reminds me of the grand dame in Victorian Britain who arranged the seating of her dinner guests according to their view of Angel & Tess of the D’Ubervilles. Although a majoirty voted tory, there was no choice in this specific matter as it was a race to the bottom of the moral swamp.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Wendy

    Thanks Corinne. Seems like we’re finally getting angry enough to do something about the abhorrent policies being continually rolled out by this government.
    If we all vote Green – really the thinking/caring person’s only choice and the only true opposition – we will stand a chance of turning things around towards a humane society that realises that we are all on this planet together.
    If every current Green voter manages to convince just one other person to vote Green at the next election (and oh golly, we have a state election here very soon…), the Green vote will double :-) Not too much further to travel after that for a Green government… Only a few million zombies to convince!

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Mark

    I have voted ALP in all spheres in every election since Gough gave me the vote as an 18 year old – “rusted on” I think they call it. I am voting Green next chance I get, with a sad & sickened heart at the way the Party of Watson, Curtin, Chifley, Evatt, Whitlam, Hawke and Keating and all the other “Labor Greats” has gone.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Johnsie

    Marilyn, can you provide an evidence to support your claim that the ADF are hunting and killing refugees? That’s quite a charge.

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    halyucinations

    A good friend commented recently on the outrage we had over the treatment of Iraqis during the war. We were upset about the treatment of people we were at war with. It is notable that the selling of the idea that we are “at War” with Asylum seekers by the government should – on that premise – therefore not preclude us from being upset at their recent treatment. And yet … I note that Tony is outraged and accusing us of “Moral blackmail” if we mere mortals think this is outrageous! I read in the paper this afternoon comments in the paper defending the lack of the Government’s need to feel responsibility towards these people. Another that unless these people have been properly classified as refugees that they have not the right to protest about their treatment. This is what such people feel is an outrage! That outrage is being levelled at Azita Bolan who was there at Manus Island, and reported asylum seekers were desperately defending attacks by Locals and security contractors. Morrison and cohorts are saying she is a “liar” and are outraged at her, despite the very real risk of prosecution that faces her for making this declaration to the media.
    Just exactly whose outrage are we to consider legitimate?
    Just how sick and demented are we as a people/society/country that we at all legitimize the government’s outrage?

  • Reply February 20, 2014

    Anon E Mouse

    The link below makes interesting reading, especially as Wikileaks had a bit of info about Shorten.

    The link is to the manuscript of an SBS dateline story about an American, now a free man, who was jailed for sharing US secrets in the post Whitlam era.

    For me, I can see how the Labor right has grown so powerful. It is thought provoking.

    http://www.sbs.com.au/dateline/story/transcript/id/601802/n/The-Falcon-Lands

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    Shirley Green

    Is Shorten staying mute in the hope that Abbott will drown in his own vomit?

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    Darth Seditious

    I fear the last labor leader who had any kind of vision or set of beliefs was Paul Keating. Whilst I didn’t agree with everything he said, he walks over what we have now. But the biggest difference between him and the current generation is that he was not a staffer. He worked before he became a politician, just as Hawke had done, just as many of the others in their government had done. They had experience derived from outside the party. And in my book that made them better.

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    halyucinations

    …. Now it is reported that they are detaining a Journalist who has had the outrageous tenacity to take images of Manus Island and the G4S security? No doubt Morrison will be expressing his outrage at this journalist too, in the morning.

    Again, just how morally aberrant are we as a people, that we at all legitimize the government’s feigned outrage?
    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/g4s-security-firm-guarding-manus-body-20140220-334dh.html

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    Carole/m

    Yes Shirley Green , you give ‘Em enough rope and hope they ….stuff themselves up. The only problem is that no matter how bad Abbott is , News Corpse will cover his arse .

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    Angela

    Reason why Shorten is being quiet has nothing to do with tactics or strategy. People thinking Shorten is being quiet as a strategy are kidding themselves. Swinging voters need to hear both sides of an argument to make a judgment on who to vote for. If ALP/Shorten do not say anything, swinging voters will only hear Abbott’s side of the story. You need to voice your opinion if you want people to swing to your side.

    Only reason why Shorten is so quiet is because he does not know what to do. His comments on Holden/Toyota leaving being inevitable and then saying that ALP could have saved them were disgraceful and will lose more votes. His nothing comment on Manus Island and opposing Royal Commission into Unions shows that he has no idea. Tanya I thought would be smarter than Shorten but so far she is showing herself to be a mere party hack. She has no independent thought and is deeply disappointing.

    If Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek think Swinging Voters will vote for them then they are kidding themselves

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    linda

    thanks you corinne for your words. sadly we have no hope with shorten et al .. time for us all to take matters forward ourselves,as the people always have. i think voting Green is the only way to actually demonstrate that we have all had enough

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    Carole/m

    @Mariojn Wilson

    That’s exactly how I remember it .
    Wasn’t it at that time that Joe Hockey stood in parliament with tears rolling down his cheeks and saying children would be sent to Malaysia ,
    ” over his dead body ” ????????

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    Julee

    There is no easy answer to the reality of people having to flee for their safety and lives all around the world. There is however an easy answer to the question- are we humane? If Australia is a humane democracy and lives by the UN charters, and the government stands for the people, then the people need to let that government (whichever party) clearly know that the incarceration, torture and even death of others is intolerable. Will we get out of our own comfort zones and do this in a concerted ongoing manner? The March in March is a starting point. We all need to be there.

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    judy Mc

    By taking people to Manus Island and confining them there without their permission, surely we are guilty of kidnapping?

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    HelenS

    Message to anybody who opposes the L/NP. Where the hell are you???

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    TraceyA

    I am appalled! And I agree wholeheartedly with you Corinne. This should not be about politics anymore. No one in Government but the Greens seem to care that these are people desperately seeking a safe haven. The vast vast majority are genuine and to say that this kind of mistreatment is anything approaching a humane response to humans in crisis is just a travesty.
    I agree with you Corinne — how can any sane person buy the lie that off shore detention is all so that a few do not die at sea. Total lies!! This disaster is giving credibility to the racist, mean spirited attitude that our land should not be shared with others ‘different’ to us.
    I am ashamed of our government, ashamed of the opposition and about the only visible politician I am proud of is Christine Milne. At least she has integrity!!

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    TraceyA

    And I am wondering about the media in all this. Why are they not interviewing the people speaking out against all this. Why is it left to Hoopla?

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    miranda

    Can anyone tell me if there’s a March in March planned for Sydney? Where and when?

    • Reply February 21, 2014

      Sandy

      Miranda. 16 March 2014. Belmore Park, Haymarket (which is the park opposite Eddy Ave, Central Railway) 1pm. See you there!

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    RhodaD

    Or one in Brisbane?

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    Soozka

    Corinne, you can hardy expect the ALP to object to what’s going on at Manus After all, it was their idea.

    Waleed Aly’s article at:
    http://www.smh.com.au/comment/the-whole-point-of-detention-for-asylum-seekers-is-horror-whether-it-is-acknowledged-or-not-20140220-333yw.html#ixzz2tuwYGCAA
    spells it out just how it is.

    Yet, the vast majority of the Australian public voted for Liberal, National or Labour Party candidates who support these policies.

    It’s only been the Greens who have consistently opposed this inhumanity and, in comparison to the major parties, their vote was miniscule.

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    Alan Lappin

    The answers to our woes can be found in Plato’s Republic. Plato’s ideal politician is currently a ghost in Australian politics; Democracy is an illusion; the planet including Australia is ruled by greed personified barbarians, narcissist and psychopaths. I think this explains what is going on at Manus Island and all around the world. The words best suited to contemporary politics are: facades, facades, lies and deceit; that’s it folks!

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    Lorrie Thomson

    What response are we expecting from the opposition?
    They are complicit and put in place Manus Island
    In the first place. The whole sorry story is an
    Indictment on all of us.
    We are responsible and until we are prepared
    to stand up and fight for these human rights
    abuses we should only expect apathy from all sides.

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    Robyn Grant

    It was with great relief that I read this article as I too have been asking family and friends why aren’t we hearing people holding marches and shouting from the rooftops about the injustices these poor refugees are facing. I have always thought of Bill Shorten and Tanya Plibersek as having integrity but why have they remained so quiet on this topic? Why has the rest of the Labour Party been so quiet? I am totally confused about what is going on!

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    Rex

    I wanted Albo. The coalition will have a field day at Shorten’s expense. He’s got too much luggage.

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    Barbara Curzon-Siggers

    Well said Corinne! With you on this!

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    JohnB

    This brave and disgusted lady has lost her job as an interpreter for speaking revealing the horrible truth of the brutality of G4S guards on Manus Island.
    The last 30 mins of this audio is shocking…
    http://www.abc.net.au/local/audio/2014/02/21/3949893.htm?site=sydney
    Not in my name Mr Morrison – Manus Island retention centre must be closed down NOW.

    Come on Labor- get off your backsides and start raising HELL!!!

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    Mark Hoskin

    Thank you Corinne for speaking the truth.

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    beemay063

    exactly,Shorten needs to man up and say, “we were wrong’ and then move forward.I would have respect for ALP again if they did. having said that ,I very much doubt that what Morrison and Abbott have turned the PNG solution into (gulag) was in their sights.

  • Reply February 21, 2014

    Lara

    Thank you Corinne. You are spot on with every article you write. Thank you for so beautifully being a voice for how so many people I know think. Please keep writing. You’re fantastic.

  • […] Others have already remarked on this. For example, Clarke and Dawe, in an episode entitled “An Important Announcement“, and Corinne Grant, in a piece entitled “Where the Eff Is the Opposition“. […]

  • Reply February 22, 2014

    Kath baird

    Well said Corrine; ashamed of political rhetoric spouted by representatives that are weak and hide behind a facade of compassion and concern, when the reality is so transparent. This was never a solution; a cowardly act by Rudd to pander to fear and racism during a panicked election campaign. Immigration departments are detestably slow and have much to answer to but now what hope for these poor people. Ashamed of the “lucky country” right now!

  • Reply February 22, 2014

    Colleen McGregor

    fantastic piece Corinne,agree 100% with you,the complicity of Labor chilled me…” Corner stone of Policy..” Marles said ,WTF,it is the most destructive action ever taken against the most desperate ppl ever,forGods sake Labor stand UP & speak OUT,mercy & justice summons !

  • Reply February 22, 2014

    Ben Heslop

    The high court and greens take responsibility, not Labor.

  • Reply February 22, 2014

    Be Potter

    You nailed it…..

  • Reply February 22, 2014

    Maureen P.

    (cue Twilight Zone theme)…Corrine Grant are you living in my head??

  • Reply February 22, 2014

    DaisyP

    ALP/LNP/PUP/NAZI what’s the difference?

  • Reply February 22, 2014

    Jeff Haddrick

    tnx Connie
    The corruption of our democratic process is mirrored by the corruption of our political parties, which is to the advantage of the Conservatives because in times of uncertainty and fear people lean that way. What bloody choices are there?
    One party wants to sacrifice humanity on the altar of the free market, the other is paralyzed by its own cowardice, and the oh so principled Greens are playing the snipers game. Any mention that we’re stopping desperate people from claiming asylum? I don’t think so.
    Tanya used to give the appearance of having heart and balls, now it’s mealy mouthed BS. ALP can forget about girding their loins for the big bad RC, there’s nothing down there to protect.
    ALP will never be in the clear until they abandon their ‘we’re not as bad as them’ (on some issues) sales pitch.

  • Reply February 22, 2014

    xiaoecho

    Why is anybody surprised that Labor is silent?. They showed Australians their mettle when in a psychological war with Murdoch , they blinked. They could have gone on and won the election with Gillard (by a very narrow margin) but the ALP blinked and gave in to the pressure the media was exerting on them and dumped Gillard for Rudd. They let Australia down because they wanted to ‘save the furniture’ (ie. MP’s wanted to keep their cushy lifestyles)……then, to add insult to injury, the right faction (Union) powerbrokers cheated by overstating their numbers so they could install Shorten instead of the members choice, Albanese. The Labor party are all about the Labor party. Just have a look at Tanya Pliberseks face these days, she is barely trying to hide her disgust

  • Reply February 22, 2014

    Robyn Townsend

    Spot on Corinne Grant …. spot on! Bill Shorten isn’t an opposition’s bootlace. Along with his off again, on again friend Kevin Rudd, he is responsible for the loss of a generation of true believers in the Labor Party. Just imagine how effective the opposition would have been in stopping this fascist Liberal Party, had Greg Combet been the leader. How about standing at the next election, Corinne – we need some more fire in the belly!

  • Reply February 22, 2014

    jenny

    Aah…this is all we can expect from a nation descendent from a convict population?

    The so called leaders are no better…and someone Tanya and Bill and Kevin you have no moral ground to stand on and point the fingers at others.

  • Reply February 23, 2014

    Billypot

    The dying Liberalites are out in force ,The Ship Of Fools is slowly sinking ! That,s the truth !! Tanya Plibersek is in no way inhumane ! Corinne is wrong , to portray her in that context ! Tanya is a warm ,intelligent caring human being ! I mark you down for that Corinne !!

  • Reply February 23, 2014

    Jenny

    Oh, Corinne, vote green..give up on these unprincipled slimes and join me in a stampede to the wacky left where human rights mean something and so does the future of the planet

  • Reply February 24, 2014

    Julie R

    very well said Corinne!
    there’s a petition going around demanding a full independent inquiry into what happened on Manus last weeks
    we at least deserve that
    since we are still a democracy-arent we?

  • Reply February 24, 2014

    DK

    Well said, Corinne! With your following (as well as your fearless ethical stance) you should run for office yourself. If you include a massive reduction in parliamentary salaries and superannuation to your strong social-justice platform with an emphasis on government accountability you might even win some western suburbs votes. You’d have my vote!

  • Reply February 24, 2014

    DK

    That said, the Greens offer a viable alternative. I know some still see them as a protest party — that’s ancient history. Those I have spoken to who write them off in such terms refuse to even look at their web-site. They are willfully blind. I urge everyone in the strongest terms: review their policies and costings online. They have an excellent platform clearly laid out on their web page that would be of huge benefit to Australia. They are proponents of open government and accountability. If only all the dissaffected and donkey voters would vote Green or for one of the independent social-justice orientated independents! Bring on Green Government! I think that’s the only hope for us now if we want any semblance of a fair, humane society — short of revolution, that is, and I do hope we can avoid the big R!

  • Reply February 24, 2014

    RhodaD

    I’ve already decided to take the next road left. Labor’s detestable policy on asylum seekers leaves me with no choice really.

  • Reply February 25, 2014

    miranda

    Thanks Sandy for March in March details. I’ll be there!

  • Reply February 25, 2014

    HelenS

    I am done with both major parties. I am sick to my stomach of governments who pander to the religionist few who do not want people of other creeds in this country.
    I don’t know what else to say my stomach is churning over the murder of an asylum seeker in a place where he is supposed to be kept safe.
    Thank you Sandy for March in March I will be there.

  • Reply February 25, 2014

    Kestrel

    Shock, horror, but wouldn’t it be a perfect world if both sides of politics would stop playing politics with people’s lives and develop a bipartisan solution to this abomination. The voters might start respecting their elected representatives again. But there’s a snowflake’s chance in hell of that happening.

  • Reply February 25, 2014

    CeeGee3000

    Labor is shite – they have nothing – where is the outrage? there is none? ..we didn’t all vote for this….where is our representation?

  • […] Where the Eff is the Opposition? […]

  • Reply February 27, 2014

    HeatherG

    The trouble is, Labor can’t object to this garbage because it is a bipartisan effort. As has been pointed out (most recently, here : http://www.smh.com.au/comment/refugee-rage-leaves-us-fenced-in-by-fear-20140226-33i6r.html ) Bob Hawke was the first to legislate detention centres, Howard then took to them with aplomb, while the media helped feed the Sept 11-fuelled frenzy of hate towards “boat people”, and Rudd and Gillard set up PNG (remember?) and Abbott has taken it all to a brand new low. We have been heading towards this since the 1980s. None of this will stop until the Australian people stop buyig into the mythology and demand of BOTH parties that it needs to stop.

  • Reply February 27, 2014

    HeatherG

    An addendum: it is interesting that the only real comment by a past PM has come from Malcolm Fraser–and he has spoken out, vehemently, *against* all this secrecy and against the detention centres, and called for an independent inquiry. I really wish that thinking conservatives would heed his words–then get rid of the nutters that have tea partied the Libs, and take their party back.

  • […] Where the Eff is the Opposition? […]

  • Reply March 14, 2014

    PattayaPete

    Julie R,
    Just curious. Were there petitions going around when 1000s died at sea on the way to Australia, after gillard dismantled Howard’s policies, policies that worked? 4 in detention, the boats had stopped, no deaths at sea for a long time. labor back in, the boats start up and the bodies kept piling up.
    And now you have a petition going around after one person has died, a person who was not an asylum seeker, but an Iranian coming to Australia because he could not get work back home as an, architect was it?
    I guess you also went to the vigil for this one person who was killed by a fellow inmate during a riot. And all the other candlelight vigils held for those 2,000+ deaths caused by labor’s compassionate policies of allowing a free for all.

  • Reply March 14, 2014

    PattayaPete

    jane, You should check facts too. These boat people are not refugees or asylum seekers, as they were in at least one country, Indonesia, where they could have requested asylum. And most probably crossed many countries along the way trying to get to Australia, all of which they should have requested asylum.
    Yes, I know, you will use the old those countries aren’t signatories to the UN thingy for refugees. Doesn’t matter.
    Your first port of call is your port of refuge.
    And let’s face it, if these boat people (I shan’t call them illegals as it gets you lot foaming and drooling) were fair dinkum refugees or asylum seekers, fleeing persecution and death, they would be more than happy to accept the conditions of the detention centre, the good food, good accommodation, free ciggies, free medical and dental, Internet, places to put their Guccis and other bling, possibly weights to keep up the physiques of some of those strapping males, and much more, they would accept their fate, thankful to be alive.The fact that they rioted after finding out that they would not be going to Australia just shows that their fear of persecution and death is a lie, and they are just after the welfare afforded 1000s before them.
    I find it disgusting that the likes of you and the author of this tosh are protesting about policies that have prevented boats from landing in Australia, with only one death, yet were silent during the 6 years of diabolical labor catastrophes, when 1000s died at sea. And elsewhere (pink batts anyone).
    The new government is preventing deaths, and still you whine.
    Truly unbelievable!!!!! Such compassion from those among us who think that seeming to do something is much more important than actually doing something.
    But that’s ‘progressives’ for you.

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