The Pacific Solution’s brutal fact: we need it. Some refreshing honesty from notable Australian leftie and politically-correct-person Jonathon Holmes, in that most PC of Australian newspapers, The Age. I count five crucial admissions to reality.
Though I agree with almost everything [Waleed Aly] and other refugee advocates have to say about the practical evils and the moral bankruptcy of “off-shore processing”, I don’t believe one should pontificate about a policy unless one has some vaguely practical alternative to propose. I have never had one.
Holmes establishes the existence of many Australians unsympathetic to boat people, and in the process admits something much denied by the PC, that there is a queue after all:
These were people who had stood in the “queue” that others called fictional, who had waited years for the family reunion scheme to bring their wives and kids and parents to Australia …
PC-Australia publicly despises conservative immigration ministers. But:
In three Four Corners programs that made far less impact than they deserved, Sarah Ferguson revealed beyond doubt that the criminal people-smuggler networks are not just a fantasy dreamt up by immigration ministers. They exist. And a lot of Australians know it. They don’t see why people who can pay criminals should be able to buy a chance at a life they themselves had to get by legal means.
The PC crew in Australia repeatedly tar those of us who want boat people stopped as racist. Here is another welcome admission:
I still see the opposition to boat people dismissed by refugee advocates as “racist”. That’s a fundamental misunderstanding. Australia is rightly proud of its immigration program. It has created one of the most diverse and successful multi-ethnic nations in the world. The reason the boat people had to be stopped was that – justifiably or otherwise – they were undermining Australians’ belief in a fair and orderly immigration program.
“Refugees”? Yet another admission:
As Europe is discovering, there is an almost limitless demand, through the Middle East, and central Asia, and Africa, for a better, safer life. Whether these people are “genuine refugees” or “economic migrants” may matter to the lawyers, but is immaterial in policy terms.
Yes ugliness is required to stop the boats, but no better solution has been proposed, even by his PC mates:
The brutal fact is that we cannot take them all. We cannot, without risking social disruption, take more than a tiny fraction of them. And as John Howard famously said, it should be our government that decides who comes to this country, not a free-for-all scramble for a place on a leaky boat.
For the poor souls who are its victims, the “Pacific Solution” has provided a living hell. I doubt their agony can be justified philosophically. I don’t believe we should be sheltered from it by censorship. I hope, somehow, that it can soon be ended.
But I don’t know what the alternative policy should have been in the past, or could be in the future.
UPDATE: More refreshing honesty from PC Australia, this time from Margo Kingston (via Tim Blair):
I believe we shouldn’t take refugees who oppose liberal values … So I now support LibLab boat people policy …
Sorry vilifiers, I won’t be silenced. I stand for liberal values & if that’s ‘Islamophobic’, OK.
As is often the case, many years of PC nonsense later, after all the political advantage that can be wrung out of the PC lies has been extracted and they are becoming untenable, the obvious admissions are made. Guess the tide of events in Europe is too much, unmasking the old “Islam is religion of peace” and “let the refugees in” lines as just too stupid, even for the politically correct. (Hence the old saw: What’s the difference between a leftie and a conservative? Oh, about ten years.)
Or could it be that Jonathon Holmes is advising Bill Shorten, on the eve of the Australian Federal election, not to let Labor been seen as encouraging boat people again — about the only issue that could definitely lose Labor the election.
UPDATE: Australia is closing 17 immigration detention centers. Immigration minister Peter Dutton: “We have reduced the number of children in detention from 2000 under Labor down to zero. We don’t want to see new boat arrivals…”. Yep, the Liberals fixed the boat people problem caused by Labor, as they promised at the 2013 election.