Federal election 2016: overreaction reminder of border history

Federal election 2016: overreaction reminder of border history. Chris Kenny amps up the rhetoric, but there are some good points in here.

Like a nasty partner in a dysfunctional relationship, the Labor Party seeks to insult and demean the people it claims to love. Vote for us, says Labor, because we think you are a narrow-minded, xenophobic bunch of gullible rednecks. It was at it again in yesterday’s almost maniacal over-reaction to Peter Dutton’s comments about refugees.

Politically correct people genuinely believe they are better than the rest of us by virtue of their beliefs. Just for believing. It’s a part of their self esteem and self image, beyond rational argument. If you’re not of the left or know these people really well, this phenomenon is easy to overlook and easy to dismiss as too silly to possibly be true. However for many politically correct people, compassion for “refugees” is what makes them special and good people, compared to the rest of us.

Border protection is the trigger for Labor and, no matter all the mistakes and lessons of the past 15 years, it cannot help itself. On this issue, the wild emotion kicks in, overriding carefully considered policy changes, and the default position comes out. It is a position that is not only at odds with the facts but is rooted in an unreasonable, untrue and dismal assessment of voters.

Labor shouts “dog whistle” or talks of “scaremongering” every time the Coalition says something firm or uncomfortable about border protection policy. Labor talks of “fear campaigns” and “xenophobia” and even the “demonising” of refugees. The subtext is clear. We have heard it since Tampa: the Coalition is heartless and cruel on border protection, and is motivated by a political dividend from scaring a racist and easily manipulated electorate. …

You could swear it was 2001. Remember, most of the press gallery opposed the Pacific Solution, backed Labor’s scrapping of it, then when boats started again said they couldn’t be stopped, then said turnbacks wouldn’t work, then praised Labor’s turnaround and now they are back on board for the shrill complaints. Talk about agile.

Reality be damned, politically correct feelings and esteem are at stake, the most deeply held notions of self-worth.

Yet the absurdity of this kneejerk criticism in 2016 takes the idiocy to a new level. There cannot be a person of functioning intelligence in this country who is not aware that an experiment was conducted. Under Kevin Rudd in 2008 the tough measures were abandoned. Compassion ruled. And chaos, trauma and tragedy ensued.

Kenny, rationally, calls for a policy backflip by Labor:

But let me express what that backflip should mean. It should mean that Labor accepts it was wrong on border protection all along; that tough measures are needed to prevent illegal people-smugglers from taking advantage of desperate people and putting their lives at risk as they destroy the integrity of our immigration system.

Moreover, it should mean Labor accepts most Australian voters were right.

The boat people issue is the surest (only?) way Labor can lose the upcoming election. But Malcolm Turnbull is rather politically correct and may well agree with the politically correct on “refugees,” so will fail to press the advantage. Let’s see what happens.