Wednesday, 7 July 2010

This is the way Australia plays the race card… [update 2]

“God damn you if the only two words you can find to put together when
talking about people who leave their homelands to seek a better life for
themselves and their families are ‘illegal aliens.’”

- James Kilbourne

What does an Australian Prime Minister do when she’s in desperate electoral straits?  Bingo! She pulls out John Howard’s “attack the boat people” card—a “flood” of 1500 souls trying to “pour” into a country of 20 million—in an attempt to nullify the third of three pressing Australian electoral issues. Imperator Fish gets it right:

“You know it's election year in Australia when politicians over there start beating up on asylum seekers.”

And on this one she’s looking for John Key’s help.  On that, I’m with the No Right Turn blog:

We should have no part of Australia's racist "Pacific Solution".

This is not an issue of Australia being “flooded” with hordes of refugees it can’t handle. The simple numbers themselves show that to be untrue. This is simply the way that Australia plays the race card—something it still unfortunately does too well.

And Key saying we’ve “got skin in the game” because “all of the intelligence advice that I have been getting as Prime Minister indicates we will be having boats coming to New Zealand”?  Then Prime Minister, you need to be getting better intelligence.  This is simply your own fantasy.


  1. Sometimes you really can be a prize idiot.

    This is not an issue of race. It is about illegal immigrants, be they black white or brindle.

  2. Whether about race or "illegal" immigration, either way its wrong.

    But to deny that Australians See this--calling 1500 people a "flood"--as a socially acceptable way of being racist really is a form of prize idiocy.

  3. Adolf

    It is about race since people are being treated differently according to the place where they were born and therefore the colour of their passport.

    That sir, is racism!


  4. Of course it's awfully perhaps the Libz have some demented way of demonstrating that there's an economic and social upside to Lebanese and Somali gangs on the streets of Melbourne and Sydney?
    Bloody easy to pontificate when it's not your ox being gored, PM.
    And what's with "illegal" immigration? It's illegal immigration, period.

  5. Julian, bullshit. If a boatload of undocumented Europeans tried to sneak in to Oz the same way, they'd be treated the same way.

  6. Christian Libz7 Jul 2010, 12:45:00

    I agree with Adolf here, in that PC can be a prize idiot.

    Now, he enthusiastically quoted a blog post from a fucktard leftist like Idiot/S, but deride Bill O'Reilly, Sarah Palin, Glen Becks most of the time here, not for their belief in freedom, but because of their christian faith.

  7. "This is simply your own fantasy."

    My friend, this is a "fantasy" that's coming soon to a town near you.

  8. The libertarian views in immigration I find difficult to accept but I think this is natural.

    When you promote individual freedom as the greatest good. How can you justify placing artificial barriers stopping people to move around the planet?

    But at the same time, people and their cultures are location bound. There is such thing as race and collective identity and seeing your way of life threatened or changed is difficult to accept.

    In a pure libertarian society I can see how at least the economic benefits would form a level playing field. But we have welfare systems in place which currently act as very strong magnets to any refugee.

    Nobody would even put their entire family at risk on a leaky boat if they didn't think there were benefits to be had.

    I have no answer but on this topic Libertarians views fail to recognise human territorial behaviour. People will revolt against it as can be seen in the recent election results in the Netherlands.

    I would love to hear more how libertarians justify this stance.

  9. I concur with PC. If Key is getting "intelligence" reports that NZ is facing an impending sea-borne refugee flow, said intelligence is suspect. The logistics alone are prohibitive, and small boat travel (the least likely to be detected) would be perilous in the extreme. Given those obstacles and the regular patrolling of NZ waters by RNZAF platforms, it seems that even if there were attempts to smuggle people by sea into NZ, the odds of success would be low. Since people smugglers are averse to low odds and high costs, that makes the claim a bit rich.

    The question is: who gave him this "intelligence?" The EAB (now NAB)? CTAG? The SIS? Immigration? MFAT? MoD?

    The SIS has a recent history of spinning its threat assessments to suit the political interests of the government of the day, but the appointment of Warren Tucker as Director gave hope that professionalism and objective assessment would be restored to the Service. Alas, that may not be the case after all.

    However, in its latest annual report the SIS does not mention illegal refugee flows even once, so perhaps the source of Key's "intelligence" is another agency or his own cabinet. If that is the case, it looks like PC is on the mark: heading into an election year, the drumbeat of fear of the third world "other" resonates just as loudly in NZ as it does in OZ.

  10. The left are a way ahead of the right in this regard. The left have been ahead since 1917 when race was no longer important but class was.

    The left would let that boat load of people in because they would guess they were poor and would swell the ranks of the proletariat.

    For the left if you were a member of the proletariat race is not important.

    The right should make the same determination that if you desire to be a productive member of society regardless of race you should be made welcome.

    Productive New Zealanders could potentially have more in common with a boat load of people in the pacific than the hundreds of thousands of New Zealand beneficiaries and so called public servants.

  11. @Christian Libz: Might I suggest you read ideas rather than people. That way you'll find less apparent contradiction.

    @WAKE UP: No, it's a fantasy. As Pablo points out, the "intelligence" on which John Key was relyng in his statement was (not for the first time) pulled directly out of his arse. If journalists aren't asking him tonight to provide evidence for all those "boats coming to New Zealand,” then we'll know they're not dong their job.

    KG, Adolf: Bagging immigrants--not "illegal" immigrants, KG, but human beings yearning to breathe free--provides a socially acceptable way for Australians to be casually racist. You wouldn't get away, these days with talking about machine gunning boongs, or abos throwing away their children, or descriing them as "dogs and his family," but as John Howard found it's not just socially acceptable to talk that way about refugees, it's an election winner.

    How disgusting is that. How disgusting is Gillard that she's poandering to it too. How disgusting that you pretend this is about "Lebanese and Somali gangs on the streets of Melbourne and Sydney"--how many Lebanese and Somalis were there in those 58 boats bringing predominantly Afghan and Sri Lankan refugees last year?--how many of those Lebanese and Somalis came here "illegally"?--do you think they'd be stupid enough, if so, to expose themselves by committing crimes (the Anmerican evidence says immigrants "are generally less involved in crime than similarly situated groups" and I'll wager so too does the Australian)?

    Face it, your problem is not with the "illegal" part of the epithet. It's with the immigrant.

    And if you bleat about the "cultural effect" of immigrants, then Rob Tracinski is right. "It's not about them, it's about us. If we are not promoting our values, that's our fault, not theirs."

  12. PC - words words words...

    What I said had NOTHING to do with John Key; a perusal of many blogs will show that you I have been saying for YEARS that this shit will eventually head our way. The only thing that has rendered us immune so far is the tyranny of distance.

    You can tapdance around the implications all you like, and deliberately misunderstand what I said (it's not about John Key, it's about what's happening out there); me, I'm loading the shotgun.

  13. The only thing that has rendered us immune so far is the tyranny of distance.

    Immune to what?

    I take it you have proof that immigrants, "illegal" or not, cost more than they contribute.

    Back up your claims.

  14. How would these fine principles stand if a tribe of homeless types set up camp in your back yard insisting they share your food & power, started pulling apart your shed for fuel and wanted to use your car?

    It's only a couple of them and they appear to be rater desperate. They got turfed of of their last place by the landlord for reasons unknown.

    I part company with the libertarians on this point.

  15. Hi Ruth, thanks for asking, and here's your answer/s: start with France (especially the outskirts of Paris) and Britain (just about anywhere, but especially if you're sitting on a bus about to blow up in Oxford St); then Spain (try riding the trains in Madrid); then the Scandinavian countries (be lucky your name is not Van Goih - or Ayan Ali Hirsi). Then Kansas City and...well, you get the picture.

    Actually, Ruth, you DON'T get the picture: they don't just come by boat.

    There are none so blind as those who WILL not see, so get your burqa measurements ready (at least I won't have to wear it - and I'll be damned if I'll defend idiots like you).

  16. I hate to point this out to Mr. Wake Up, but the Kansas City bombers were white Christian Americans and all the other "offenders" did not come by boat. I realise the connection you are trying to make, but dang, that is a very long bow.

    I also realise that it is a stretch for some commentators, but could we please stick to what is realistically plausible rather than what can be feverishly imagined?

    Ruth: not so lightly inferred as your comment may be, you got that much right.

    PC: The nice thing about real libertarians is that race does not factor in your equations, But culture does, and that is where there are problems on all sides, because at the end of the day the collective does matter, for better or (as I believe you might agree) worse. But a collective bias in favour of individual liberty, however defined, surely is not a bad thing? This opens a can of worms that while easily resolvable by the truly committed and orthodox libertarians, poses actual problems in the real world that are not reducible to "individual freedom."

  17. Libz policy on immigration has to be seen in the context of other policies and principles like properly focused and resourced police and defense forces. Police for example would ideally be shifting resources from chasing pot smokers to dealing with real criminals and terrorists (immigrant or otherwise). This along with the abolition of the welfare state would mean that we would attract only immigrants that are welcome fellow citizens. Under these circumstances, efforts towards immigration control would be as much of a waste of resources as chasing pot smokers.

  18. the drunken watchman8 Jul 2010, 04:26:00

    "leave their homelands to seek better lives..."

    would that include "Russian Brides"?(who have been known to have been mocked in posts here)

  19. PC - Is there any difference to my decision to remove anyone from my property and exclude them, and my decision to remove anyone from my island and exclude them.

    Is one not racist and one is?

    Does the principle change if the decision is made by one person or decided by the majority of owners?

    Your thoughts?


  20. Your property is your own, and you ought to be entitled to do as you see fit, provided you do not infringe upon the rights of others. They have no rights to your property unless you bestow them.

    Your island? Really?

  21. @David: Yes, Shane's right.

    You only own what you own. You can own your property, but you can't own a whole country.

    So if I, in my capacity as a property owner, wish to invite in a peaceful person to spend some time on my property, that's nobody's business but mine and my colleague's.

  22. So what you are saying to me is

    As an individual, if I own a property, I have a property right that I can exercise,

    As a group of individuals working together that own a single property, island or country, I /we have no property rights

    I do not see any difference between a group of people owning small piece of land or a big piece of land such as a country.

    Doesn't seem consistent to me

    Your promotion of property rights is something I agree with, but you seem to throw it out the window when something of a country size is discussed


  23. PC, I see the question was directed at you, sorry for jumping in - this topic incenses me.

    My wife & two children & I moved to New Zealand in 1998 and were welcomed. We ask for no help from the state.
    I had to escape the UK - could not imagine bringing my children up there. My heart is here and I consider myself *gasp* a true patriot.

    Imagine, for a second, what it must be like to live in a country with genuine oppression, no future and no freedom?

    How dare we deny those who wish lawfully to make a better lot for themselves and their families?

    I believe I can see the fear that otherwise sensible compassionate human beings might have towards concepts of racial violence and cultural dissonance being 'imported' into our land. That has to be mitigated by the fact that we also propose proper government. A government with ONLY the task of protecting us from force or fraud, and does this properly.

  24. David,

    You are only correct only in the sense that if all those people owning the land agree. Not just a majority but ALL of them - otherwise your argument breaks down.

  25. @PaulB: Yes, that's exactly right.

  26. @Shane: "My heart is here and I consider myself *gasp* a true patriot."

    It's a long-recognised phenomenon that immigrants are often far more patriotic than those who are born to a place.

    Being criticised once for not being born in America, Ayn Rand told her interlocutors "that's right, I chose to become an American; what have you done besides being born."

    Always liked that. :-)

  27. PC, how can you resolve this issue?

    The Libz claim that our roads are un-owned. Let’s apply this notion to properties such as military hardware of some countries. Here is a list of past pilot defectors who flew/stolen their (military) aircrafts into other countries.

    The question to ask: did the countries, (where the defectors originated from who took those aircrafts with them to other countries they found safe haven in) have rights to demand those aircrafts back (some of them did make demand for their return) from their supposed adversaries (countries where the stolen aircrafts being take to).

    Can we say that the aircrafts were un-owned; therefore, the whinging countries (where defectors originated from) should just kept quiet about demanding their return, since no one owned the aircrafts they claimed to be theirs. Well, this is how libertarians would view it. Are the roads owned or un-owned? Are the military aircrafts owned or un-owned? Can you give some clarifications here?

  28. Quote from PAulB

    "You are only correct only in the sense that if all those people owning the land agree. Not just a majority but ALL of them - otherwise your argument breaks down"

    So what you are saying is that if 3 people jointly own a property in 3 equal shares and 2 of them want to evict a rowdy neighbour but the 3rd objects, the 3rd person has more rights than the 2 together?

    Doesn't make sense

    What happens if you scale this argument, say 100 for and 1 against. Are you still saying 1 person has sway?
    What about 10,000,000 to 1

    Your logic breaks down


  29. @ Anon: I don't "jointly own" New Zealand with every other citizen, do I? I own property in my name, and nothing else.

    If I want to invite an immigrant into my business to work for me, or onto my rental flat to rent to him - that's a matter between you and me, and you and your majority that can bugger the hell off!

    On the other hand if I'd volutarily consented to selling 75% of my property to others, I'd be doing so on the understanding my wishes may be over-ridden. Only then does 'majority rule' apply.

    Nations do not "belong" to people in the same way property does; that is a very collectivist outlook. Simply put, a nation is just a defined geographic area where a particular gov't has jurisdiction. Being born into it does not confer any right to exclude others from entering it.

  30. PABLO, I was not referring to any bombing in Kansas City; don't put words in my mouth so that you can win an argument with yourself, while still avoiding the issue (which is: enforced "multiculturalism")
    Google "Kansas City Muslims" - that should keep you occupied for a while.

  31. "Being born into it does not confer any right to exclude others from entering it."

    Which is why people in the West are migrating in their millions to the East-and-Third World.

  32. Can Australia handle another 1500 people? Yes, of course. So the solution is to increase the number of allowable immigrants by 1500? But that wont solve anything, will it?

    If you think this argument is about the current numbers then you are sadly mistaken. Australia could increase their intake by 10,000 and people would still arrive in boats.

    1500 this year, how many the next? How many after that? How many when people start believing that arriving in a boat is as good as any immigration application? How many before it is a problem?

    How can people be so oblivious to the outcome these incentives create?

    An argument against illegal immigration is not an argument against immigration. Your problem is that you are letting race blinker you to the real issue. If they were all white people you wouldnt be labelling the other side of the debate racist, now would you? Racism is CONVENIENT, and it has the bonus of feeding in to your own patronising view of Australians.

    Do yourself a favour, and just imagine all the people immigrating illegally were white. What would think of the opposing argument then? It is simply not purely an issue of race, so stop being racist.

    If you think Australia should take in more refugees, then argue that. But I dont think you would have as much opposition as you assume. But you seem to be arguing that Australia should take in anyone who arrive on its shores.

  33. "Being born into it does not confer any right to exclude others from entering it."

    I dont think you realise how close this is to the argument that all property is theft.

  34. @ WAKE UP: WTF?

    @ Kimble: No I don't realise it, because it isn't. And from your comment, it's clear you don't really understand what gives rise to property rights in the first place.

    It's not the luck or otherwise of being born in a certain spot, it's protecting what you have earned and thereby belongs to you (or in the case of inheritances, the rights of those who originally aquired it to pass it onto whoever they choose).

    However I do agree with you that most Australian's aren't racist. Having lived in both countries, I'd say NZ'ers if anything are more so.

  35. Mark; it's called subtle irony.

  36. @ WAKE UP: I got that much, but what's your point? No-one in the west wants to live in those shit-holes for good reasons. How is that relevant to the discussion?

    I'm maybe starting to get the way you guys think....Because we were lucky enough to be born into the west, the nation and the relative rights we enjoy "belong" to us collectively, and we shouldn't let anyone else from outside in unless another nation "gives" us something in return? Is that it?

    If so, like I said earlier, it's a very collectivist outlook - and it's contrary to the principles of individual rights and private property. It's the very same outlook that makes those places shit-holes in the first place. If you value what we have in the west and don't like the shit-holes, why on earth do you want to be emulate them?

  37. My point, Mark, is that those places are shit-holes precisely because they don't operate on Western cultural norms; and until they do, they'll remain shit-holes. They need to evolve, just as we did.

    We were not "lucky" to be born in the West; the West - and most of the modern world - was MADE by sacrifice, forethought, inventiveness, creativity, intelligent discarding of outmoded traditions, elbow grease, treating women properly, installing free speech, examining birth rates, universal plebiscite and other democratic standards (often through ENORMOUS sacrifice) and, most importantly, looking FORWARD instead of backward, and celebrating life instead of death.

    The West was BUILT, hewn from nothing, by my father, my grandfather, my great-grandfather, and our forebears before them, and I'm damned if I'm going to give it away to anyone who doesn't understand and respect that - and I'm damned if I'm going to let you give it away either.

    The tide of migration is East-and-Third- World to West for reasons about which everyone involved is in denial; your remarks are a perfect example.

  38. @ WAKE UP:I agree with the bulk of what you said in your 1st and 2nd paragraph. Where your logic seems to go screwy is somewhere in the 3rd.

    We agree the superiority of western values, and I've made that very clear so please don't misrepresent my position with this straw man.

    But what I don't get - and the crux of this discussion - is why you think it's a bad thing for someone to come from a shit-hole and enjoy western values. If this happens doesn't this mean the West is winning - and ultimately western values are being promoted? For some reason you see it as taking something away from you. Why?

    I don't know if PC quite nailed it when he said racism was behind it, but I do sense there's a certain tribalist mentality at work - a mentality that sees your rights and property originating from the collective rather than you as an individiual.

    Hence I see your position as an attack on, rather than a defence of western values.

  39. " why you think it's a bad thing for someone to come from a shit-hole and enjoy western values"

    Because Mark, if you study the ever-obvious facts, we are reaching the point they are not "enjoying" Western values, they are refusing to adopt them and worse (nearly all terrorist activities in recent years) while still taking advantage of the West's superior culture and generosity. Simple example: in one of the Scandinavian countries (Finland, I think) Muslim immigrants make up 5% of the population, but soak up 40% of the welfare budget - a situation that is unsustainable and will eventually implode. On top of this, they express no gratitude but continue to make senseless, backward-looking demands (like getting the windows blacked out at a design-award-winning British PUBLIC swimming pool because their "modesty" was offended. It's OUR POOL).
    I could go on, but I think it's time you did your own research, instead of just being a nice guy
    (and I mean that nicely :)

  40. @ WAKE UP: You see to want to blame others for our faults. To paraphrase Robert Tracinski: "It's not about them, it's about us. If we are not promoting our values, or re-examining them, then that's our fault, not theirs."

    A few points:

    1. One of the foremost values of western culture is that it can be embraced by anyone. It's not about where they're from, it's about where they've chosen to go to.

    If you want more immigrants to embrace western culture, then for goodness' sake promote it, and encourage those who are promoting it. One of those values is tolerance...and as Mark points out, another is individualism...

    2. Attack the real problem. The refugee numbers coming to Australia by boat have not increased in recent years because of Kevin Rudd, but because of problems in the refugees' home countries of Sri Lanka and Afghanistan. The same thing is true of refugees from elsewhere going to elsewhere.

    Which means the best way to discourage that "flood" is to discourage them needing to leave.
    Which gives you a selfish interest in what values (and what success with those values) those other places enjoy.

    So on that there's two points to make: to discourage refugees leaving Afghanistan, the best thing possible would be for those undertaking it to understand what the hell that war is about, and get the hell on with doing it.

    And to discourage them needing to leave the world's many other places of medieval barbarism, you might support the promotion of freedom and western values there,

    But barring human beings from your own front door who are only looking to get away from a living hell in theirs looks to me like inhumanity--especially since there is no documented evidence anywhere showing any refugee having entered Australia having taken up terrorism on their arrival. (And as James Valliant points out above, the best way to avert that risk would be to adopt a policy of open immigration.)

    There were one or two native-born Australians, however, who did take up terrorism. Which takes us back again to Mr Tracinksi's point again, doesn't it.

    3. Altruism. The welfare state. Those are the two related elephants in your room. You start talking about "western values," and then proceed immediately into talk of welfare abuse and the "abuse" of state property. The first is just another example of why altruism (and the welfare state it promotes) is a western value that needs serious re-examination; and the second is a leading example of the tragedy of the commons, something easily solved by the promotion and acceptance of private property instead of state ownership. To paraphrase Mr Tracinski again, ""It's not about them, it's about us. If we are not promoting our values, or re-examining them, then that's our fault, not theirs."

    Face it, rather than promote charity and justice towards others, the welfare state and the altruist ethic on which it relies does not promote humanity towards others; it promotes instead the inhumanity I cite above. On this point, might I suggest you read (or re-read) those posts to which I link above from Messrs Tracinski, Reisman, Pistorius and myself. I did put them there for a reason, you know.

  41. "Our recent prosperity is the consequence of our prior freedom. Our freedom is the consequence of our forebears' willingness to fight for it. We cannot have either without the willingness to fight as fiercely as they did, whether on a battlefield, on a factory assembly line, or in an air-conditioned, fluorescent-lit office".

    - Francis Porretto

  42. Brian Scurfield10 Jul 2010, 10:05:00

    @WAKE UP: Cracking down on refugees helps support totalitarian regimes and also human trafficking. It has nothing to do with fighting for freedom, just the opposite.

  43. Mark

    I just wanted to recognise your brilliant and well reasoned responses on this thread.

    Really appreciated.


  44. "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping that it will eat him last." – Winston Churchill


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