The’political correctness’ dog whistle gets another blast

How on earth could anyone possibly believe that public or political debate on asylum seekers is being constrained by political correctness?!

For at least the last decade, public commentary in letters to the editor, talkback shows and online forums have contained a vast array of views on this matter, including many that are extremely aggressive, antagonistic, abusive and vilifying – and all of which have clearly not been put through some sort of political correctness filter . Check any recent online forum on this issue and there is a high probability that it will be littered with outpourings of bile.

Leading up to a policy announcement addressing the issue of asylum seekers arriving in boats, Julia Gillard has said she’d

“like to sweep away any sense that people should close down any debate, including this debate, through a sense of self-censorship or political correctness.”

It is simply ridiculous to suggest that public debate on the asylum seeker issue has been closed down or constrained by any sort of so-called ‘political correctness’. Maybe, just maybe, you could have plausibly put forward that view in the mid-90s (and not coincidentally, John Howard did just that), but if there was one thing Mr Howard did achieve on this issue, it was the removal of any tendency for people to feel they should be ‘politically correct’ in how they expressed their view.

I am not blaming John Howard, Julia Gillard or anyone else for the views that other people express. But political and other leaders need to be very clear they do not condone or encourage hateful speech or views.

Simply saying ‘people should feel free to say what they feel’, as Ms Gillard has just done in relation to the asylum seeker issue, could encourage some people to feel there is now an open season when it comes to abusing asylum seekers (or Aboriginal people, or whatever other vulnerable, visible minority gets put under the spotlight next). Encouraging and validating any view, no matter how toxic, is a recipe for increasing and entrenching community division.

Of course, Julia Gillard knows all this, which makes her strident dog-whistle tactics all the more disappointing.

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  1. I’m certainly not an apologist for Gillard’s moves in recent days, particularly on asylum seekers.

    But there could be a glimmer of hope in this – that by allowing / encouraging racists to be as racist as they want, mainstream Australia will see them for the bigoted idiots they are.

    I could be wrong, but forcing racists to dog whistle over the last decade has made their arguments seem more palatable to the mainstream – a clear loss for those seeking a more humane response.

  2. Great of you to zero in on this. The sense of deja vu is overwhelming here.

    I have compared the PM’s statements yesterday with Howard’s Question Time performance soon after he made the infamous speech suggesting that the “pall of political correctness” had been lifted… then in response to Pauline Hanson on the rampage. The parallels between Howard and Gillard, which I’ve started a new blog with, are truly creepy:

    The worrying trend I have noticed is that there are some people I know on the Left who have tried to justify Gillard’s comments, or to suggest there is a substantive difference between her approach and Howard’s. The real difference, I would suggest, is that Gillard has given renewed hope to a Left constituency that was worried that Abbott could beat Rudd, and some of them will put their hope ahead of hard-headed assessment, at least for a time.

    The effect of having a female PM from the Socialist Left faction of the ALP making these kinds of arguments is that she will move the goalpoasts of what is acceptable even further to the Right. In a sense we are in a new phase of this process after Howard ran out of puff with his scapegoating strategy.

    Almost as worrying has been the way that “sustainable population” has now become part of the puzzle, something that Bob Brown (to my great disappointment) has played into with his repeated calls for cuts to skilled migration. One reason I joined the Greens was that it the party was so principled on these issues in 2001, but Bob’s statements have been a significant part of my recent decision to leave.

  3. Well put, Andrew. Kudos for raising this.

    @Willozap – not so sure that “…mainstream Australia will see them for the bigoted idiots they are.” can be relied upon on this issue as much as it can be relied upon with an extremists like PH and ON. It’s different when it’s the main two parties “opening debate”. It can tend to lend legitimacy to views on topics due to spin – and that, is even more concerning to my mind.

  4. You’re right that it’s definitely a deliberate dog whistle. It’s frustrating that instead of choosing to enlighten people on the issue her advisers have obviously suggested this is a better way to publicly discuss it. You’re also right that political correctness has not been a part of this debate for a long time!

  5. Andrew, I applaud your sentiments in this and your pieces, but you’re flogging a dead horse. We live in a world where people feel free to spit out the worst possible bile to their FaceBook ‘friends’, where well paid ‘judges’ are avidly watched as they humiliate contestants in song and dance competitions, where the media feeds our every ghoulish whim to witness people in meltdown or despair. Why would you expect anyone to reign in their xenophbia or hold back on the worst excesses of their nationalism? You only need ten Coalition-style dog whistles on refugees and 2 million rabid attack dogs will respond. Once their howling starts, another 5-6 million harmless lapdogs will set up in sympathy. This is the racket Julia Gillard has to manage. She needs to throw the pig dogs a few kilos of meat to silence them before she can make the voice of reason heard.

  6. To be honest, I think political leaders bemoaning ‘political correctness’ is quite laughable in itself. When the political establishment is rejecting so-called ‘political correctness’, it perhaps suggests that in fact the opposite is what is actually “politically correct”.

  7. I think freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of democracy, and as such, people should be able to express themselves on any issue at any time without being pilloried for expressing an opinion.

    Julia Gillard is doing a butt crawl, trying to convince the people that all of the Labor Party’s bad policies are changing.

    If people think they have heard some serious crap about boat people, they should try sitting on a jury, where it seems that no one can escape unwarranted sarcasm, negativity, racism, classism, Tall/Small Poppyism, bullying etc.

    Trust me, even the Prosecution Lawyer cannot escape being criticised for the way she speaks, the way she stands, the number of rings on her fingers, the way she is handling the case (badly of course), blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.

    I think it’s a sad day when you feel like going to sit next to a murderer instead of these infinitely discriminatory people, most of whom don’t have the slightest concept of impartiality.

  8. Lorikeet, I really do not think that you can compare the dynamics of the adversarial system as it plays out within the courtroom, in front of a magistrate/ judge more than familiar with the tricks & ploys that lawyers & prosecutors use to sway juries, with the subterfuge and double-speak lately masquerading as plain-speaking in public debate.

    Remember that in the courtroom prosecution and defense each present only the arguments in favour of their respective cases, and that everyone knows that is what they are doing. OTOH we hope (and the optimistic among us may even expect) that the PM – whomever that may be – will at least attempt evenhandedness on issues concerning those who are powerless and whose lives are potentially at risk.

    I do not think we should shy away from the fact that PM Gillard has dug deep into the lexicon of weasel words on the issue of asylum seekers.

  9. I feel I have been disenfranchised by this toppling of Rudd/Shrill dogwhistling from Julia.

    Disappointment is too mild a word. My great-grandfather was one of hte founding members of the ALP .. and a nasty little racist he was. I htought we’d moved on since then, past Arthur Calwell and the rest of those cardigan-wearing xenophobes .. and not we have slick and smooth Gillard pandering to the same low instincts.

    I’d be happy to push for a move to add “none of the above” to the electoral ballot paper.

    I feel quite depressed.

  10. “I think freedom of speech is one of the cornerstones of democracy… people should be able to express themselves … without being pilloried for expressing an opinion.”

    That’s not a bad paraphrase of Voltaire’s famous quote, Lorikeet. Indeed, it can be turned against PM Gillard’s statements, which will be understood by many people – as Andrew B argues – as a license for hate speech. Worse, many people will understand Gillard’s comments as a license for hate speech with freedom from vigorous repudiation.

    So the bit you left out of your paraphrase – Voltaire’s qualifying statement ‘I disapprove of what you say…’ – is crucial. That is because PM Gillard’s words will be used as a weapon to silence anyone wanting to argue against the racist element in the anti-asylum seeker case.

    There is an irony in that of Soviet-era proportions: the PM’s explicit sanction of the expression of any argument – no matter how extreme – is phrased in such a way as to disenfranchise legitimate counter-argument. That’s no way to frame the conduct the ‘mature and open debate’ we are supposedly having on the asylum seeker issue.

  11. Togret:

    I’m sure many of us have simply folded the ballot paper and put it in the box at some time over the years.

    But why waste your vote and give someone whom you do not want a chance? Just number the candidates in the order of “least hatred” and leave it at that, paying close attention to where their preferences might go.


    Yes, I’m well aware of what the Defence and Prosecution do. I was complaining about the jurors, more than half of whom would not exercise any impartiality at all.

    As for your hope that political leaders (typically Labor/Liberals) would exercise moderation on asylum seekers, Labor have certainly proven to be more tolerant than Liberals.

    This is because Labor has a primary agenda to overload the country with people using every possible avenue, to hold wages down and provide large corporations with cheap labour.

    Last night I heard a television report that Labor also wants to move asylum seekers to regional areas where staff shortages abound, which seems okay … until we find out more.

  12. well well well an election with border control the main issue i wonder just who predicted that.
    if nothing we know where the greens stand now .
    and the do gooders and accademics are not happy so what do they do call every body who has an opinion other than theres cardigan-wearing xenophobic RACISTS how pridictable is that.!!
    to put my countrys people . before people from somewhere elce makes me a racist then call me a racist it means no more then swearing at me because i have unintentionally upset you in some way .
    the thing that most of you are not seeing is that you are on the east coast and only hear of border control every now and then here in the west we hear it every day and its here that the govt is trying to hide it from the rest hoping to solve the problem quietly .
    but betwen the boat ppl and the poaching of our northern waters there is not to many ppl there that dont have a strong opinion .
    here is the point if the govt canot be seen to be controlling the boaders and not people smugglers then they mite have a chance .
    the problem with that is the people will say that they will revirse the policies if they win the election .
    it will be interesting to see how the govt convinces the people that this wont happen .
    they havent got much support over here yet and i dont think they will
    dont worry about the greens they scuttled any chance they had in the last couple of days .

  13. I’m afraid I just can’t work out why the asylum seekers debate is such an issue. I can only conclude that the media just doesn’t want to do its job, which is providing context for people.

    People arriving on boats make up an insignificant proportion of overall immigrants.
    Many, if not most of them, are desperate people seeking to escape horrific environments beyond the imagination of most comfortable Australians.
    These push factors are largely beyond the control of elected governments.
    Australia is not alone in having to deal with these mass movements of people in a globalised age.
    There is an inconsistency with the right-wing’s embrace of global capital, but not global people movement.
    Governments are afraid to tell people the truth about this.
    We diminish ourselves and our democracy by saying this is about “political correctness” (surely a ’90s phenomenon?)

  14. restricting the illegal immigrants is hugely popular with most Australians; politicians are supposed to represent us aren’t they? They call it democracy on most planets.
    Maybe ‘the people’ don’t know what’s best for them or how to think correctly, and need to be told what to think by the caring intelligent left??

  15. Peter Piper, a significant section of the population likes capital punishment as well. A few favour public executions.

    Have you read John Stuart Mill about the tyranny of the majority?

  16. I notice Bob Brown refused to define where he would draw a line in the sand on this issue. Andrew, perhaps with your involvement in this issue could you let us know the numbers you’d be prepared to let in annually?

    I hadn’t been following what you’d been doing since finishing up as a Senator but wasn’t surprised you entered the fold with the Greens. Makes your comments from a couple of years ago seem a little hollow given you were adamant that the demise of the Democrats had nothing to do with shift to the left.

  17. Aaah! Political Correctness. My personal pet hate. I have noticed that PC people criticize anyone who doesn’t agree with THEM as Zeno/Homophobic, racist, Rednecked, impolite, Lower class morons & uneducated, etc., etc. Well so much for being prejudiced etc. Sometimes there is a need to call a, “spade.a spade” not a long list of uninteligible gobble-de-gook. Personally I think that PC people spend to much time with their noses to close to their annuses. I’d of said, well, you know. Julia is right, just because someone may not agree with the PC crowd doesn’t mean that they are anti anything. It means that they call a, “spade a spade”.
    I feel that it’s the PC people that are responsible for the lowering of education standards, the bad behaviour of children, downfall of Aboriginal standards, the water crises, the removal of parental rights, The lowering of medical practise standards, the bad bush fires, very young girls having children & just about everything else that has gone wrong in this country in the last 40 years.
    The sooner Australia gives these PC people the flick the better. Who says we have to take any notice of them anyway. When they raise their ugly heads, it should knock’ed off.

  18. Political Correctness hasn’t constrained your ability to comment, John B. Why do you think it’s different for anyone else?

    And seeing you agree with calling a spade a spade, if someone makes comments that are blatantly racist, why should someone else be precluded from describing them us such? Or is that just your version of PC to be applied to people who don’t agree with you.

    Rod F – I’ve no idea why my being the Greens now has anything to do with my criticisms of the myth that it was an alleged shift to left which killed the Democrats. (a) no such shift happened, (b) in any case, the events which predominantly contributed to the Democrats demise weren’t about moving policy leftwards or rightwards.

    As for annual numbers, it is useless to state a specific one when we are so far below anything approaching that point. And pretending we can put up a barbed wire fence around Australia won’t do anything to stop those numbers increasing.

  19. C’mon Andrew, who are you trying to kid?
    You are now a member and candidate for the most politically left wing party in this country. Are you suggesting that between yourself and Natasha, who coincidently held Gough Whitlam at hero status had absolutely no influence on taking the Democrats to the left during your tenures as leader and senate representatives? Just by coincidence a period that saw electoral support almost completely evaporate for the Party.
    It may be your opinion that there was no shift to the left in the Democrats or that it had nothing to do with it’s demise. Many would disagree, particularly now that you’ve proudly associated with the Greens.

  20. I’m not trying to kid anyone, Rod. Just stating facts – maybe you should try it some time.

    I understand that assertion without evidence has become a common tool of the trade with many political commentators, so it’s fair enough that you might want to follow that standard, but personally I prefer discussions and debates based on evidence.

    From my earliest times in the Democrats I openly supported exploring a merger with the Greens, and only a fool would try to deny the significant overlap in policy objectives between the two parties over the last two decades – if you’re wanting to create a genuine transition from our moribund two-party system, it doesn’t make sense to have 2 small progressive parties competing against each other.

    I remember Janine Haines being accused of taking the Democrats far to the left in the 1980s, and if anyone bothered to read most of the comments of Democrats Senators from those days, I’d be surprised if they could produce much evidence to show that the Democrats moved further left since then. But if you can provide any evidence the Democrats moved to the left, I’d be happy to see it.

    I am not denying that I am a member and candidate for the most politically left wing party in this country – given that the only parties in the parliament are Liberal/National, Labor, Family First and the Greens, it’s not a hard ask to be furtherest to the left. What is beyond doubt is that the political ‘centre’ has been moved well to the right by the Howard era, which means holding firm to values of fairness and decency can end up being portrayed as left wing by default.

    Which brings things back to the irony of Julia Gillard’s comments – about the only Political Correctness left in Australia is the opprobrium heaped on anyone who dares to use the term ‘racism’ to describe blatantly racist views – calling a spade a spade when it comes to racist views has how become the new truth which shall not speak it’s name

  21. “For people to say they’re anxious about border security doesn’t make them intolerant, it certainly doesn’t make them a racist…”
    If they’re focussed on Asylum seekers as the big threat to border security, it certainly makes them ignorant.

    I don’t particularly like what Gillard said. I for one am perfectly happy to be accused of being Soft on Border Security if it means I get to call out racism when I see it (ie Jones, Miranda “I’ll just insert the word Muslim into this paper on crime, ho ho ho” Devine)

    I agree. The term “Political Correctness”, which could be a beautifully useful term, is nothing more than a tool for bludgeoning the left.

    Well, for one thing “illegal immigrants” and “asylum seekers” are two very different things. There’s nothing illegal about crossing a border without papers for the purpose of claiming asylum. Most illegal immigrants tend to be British, Kiwi or East Asian visa overstayers who liked it so much they decided to stay and get a job.

  22. Government should only be allowed to determine if someone is an illegal immigrant, if they arrive here without having any knowledge of their destination( ie being used as slave labour) or visa overstayers( who have done it by accident, or there is no proof hosilities in their homeland) .

    The government should do their own investigations, first to check if it’s safe to return, ( ie. peace has returned to to area where the person was living) or if the person or persons are fleeing political persecution, ie.a political crime. A person nationality, ethicity or religion doesn’t qualify as a reason to turn someone away.

    In other words the reason why the major parties want to boats away is because they’ll be full of Muslim, the people smnuggling reason is just a smoke screen.

  23. Red crab: don’t know what your problem is – maybe go to an optometrist. Yu see the word ‘Racist’ where I did not type it. Maybe you have a reason for thinking people are calling you a racist. I didn’t. Don’t bother to apologise, you didn’t do a very good job last time.

    As for east-coast-living people – you are wrong about that too, in my case. But don’t let facts get in the way of your story about your lone stand against the Forces of Evil.

    Could you define “do gooders” please? Or is it just a vague insult you use when you can’t think of anything concrete to say?

  24. Could you define “do gooders” please? Or is it just a vague insult you use when you can’t think of anything concrete to say

    got it in one!! whats the difference between someone being called a do gooder or a racist ( NOTHING !!) thats my point

    maybe go to an optometrist. Yu see the word ‘Racist’ where I did not type it.

    and a nasty little racist he was. I htought we’d moved on since then, past Arthur Calwell and the rest of those cardigan-wearing xenophobes .. and not we have slick and smooth Gillard pandering to the same low instinct.
    and this is not what you wrote

    here is a statement that will upset

    this debate is about giving the poor buggers who have spent years in the reffugee camps a fare go against people who can afford to make the trip and lately even affored to buy there own boats i dont blame them for trying but are we about a fare go or are we about who has the most money.

    if you are on the west coast as you suggested you would have read about ppl buying there own boats in the sunday paper two weeks ago probibly making a handy little profit along the way.

    ok my view of do,gooder is someone who interfears( with good intentions ) in something they know nothing about and .drops the ball and runs as soon as it dose not go well , a good do er is someone who cleans up the mess after.

  25. Red crab – whatever. You claim to have been called a racist, yet when I challenge you to say where, you back away. What a hero.

    The cardigan reference wasn’t at you, but arthur calwell .. again, not everything is about you.

    And by the way, I didn’t say I was on the west coast. Just not on the east. You sandgropers seem to think there are only two parts of this country, all of the others “over east” and you heroes in the west.

    “Something they know nothing about” … that would include people who work with migrants, both refugees of both types and other visa holders .. you’d know more than, me of course, reading the trashy newspapers you have quoted from time to time and listening to rabid rednecks on the radio.

    I’m a working class person who has benefited by education – not handed to me on a plate either – and has taken the trouble to inform myself as best I can on this issue, as well as being faced with it in my work. I see no substance in your slinging off at dogooders and academics .. you just claim there is no fairness in the current system without explaining how many people we take of our humanitarian quota now – the queue you talk about. We don’t take all we promise to as it is. Compare the numbers from that queue and the tiny numbers who come by boat. Of course people languishing in camps should be helped … some boat people have sat in Indonesia for years waiting to be given “a turn”. Or isn’t that the queue you meant? I had no idea that being persecuted and in fear of your life could only happen to poor people, can you explain that further? Would that explanation include the fact that often educated people (=rich in your eyes) are the very ones targetted in their homeland? Or doesn’t your prejudice stretch that far?

  26. John Barr:

    I think you give a very good list of at least some ideology that has come to the fore in the last 40 years. None of it is good for our nation or any of its peoples.


    I think Julia Gillard has made a major faux pax in her media address. She said she will not accept asylum seekers from Afghanistan, but instead will liaise with their government to bring in visa holders. I think it will inflame angry voters, instead of hosing them down, which suits me just fine if it means we aren’t going to be stuck with her.

    I’m quite concerned that some very young women are riding so high on the idea of a female Prime Minister that they have forgotten she is the leader of the Slave Labor Party.

    In recent experience, I have found that visa holders feel just as depressed and ripped off as any Australian citizen, due to the diminution of their workplace rights, health and safety.

    I’m not sure if their worry about being sent back where they came from is greater than their eagerness to leave Australia and its fourth world hospitals and extremely expensive accommodation. They came here expecting to share in a slice of the golden orange, only to be served a large plateful of orange pips.

    The Labor Party is training many thousands of aged care nurses, but our aged care centres will continue to be like revolving doors until such time as workers receive equity of pay and working conditions with hospital staff.

    A person can earn more at KMart without the same degree of physical and emotional stress, not to mention the additional workplace abuses. I hope Nicola Roxon is reading this blog.

    Tony Abbott said he would bring in Temporary Protection Visas again. That seems like a bloody stupid idea to me, but I think he is only pandering to some really horrible creeps, which seem to comprise the vast majority of Australians.

  27. togret
    is not every state in australia east of the western australian border ??

    and you are correct when you call the ppl of the west hero,s wasent it the west that kept the rest of you lot from the poor house not so long ago

    .is it not the west coast that the boats come to first

    dont see many going to the east coast not even south australia .

    where do you get the idea im prejudice to anyone or anything just because someone has a different point of veiw dosent make them prejudice. but most educated people would know that .

    and most educated people would not get upset with someone who has another perspective on a given situation .

    and here is something elce the govt will find it very hard to win the next election because the uneducated worried majority are not fools and will see though the spin knowing that there are not many pollys that wont say what ever it takes to get in knowing they will back away as soon as they are there .
    this govt if it gets back will drop its prommises if it gets reinstated .

    so here we sit between a rock and a hard place what a choice!!

  28. Yes, red crab, if you look at it from a geographical point of view, all other states and most territories are east of the WA border. You and I both know that the term “the eastern states’ is used differently, really to indicate the centres of power on the fringe of the east coast, whereas I live far from there as well. However, you are correct, and I won’t say that again.

    I wonder why you choose to put the situation of the homeless family and the refugee as if we could only choose to help one of those groups? For example, if the money used flying people to and from Xmas Island was used to house (and efficiently process the claims of) the small numbers of boat people who come in waves form time to time on the mainland, near to where there are exising services, it stands to reason that there would be more money left over to house homeless locals, who I feel deeply for. People who push the point about the neglect of locals seem to want to set up a war between two groups who have everything but where they were born and maybe the amount of trauma and sorrow in thier lives in common. Why set up a war when we have the resources, but not apparently the will, to look after both, if we prioritised our funds with compassion? If we have the money to send soldiers away in someone else’s war to be killed or maimed (and therefore, not blaming them, a drain on the public purse) why don’t we have the money to look after the families who are struggling and thereby prevent them from becoming a drain on the public purse through inadequate health, education and housing? Why arent’the people of Perth rising up and demanding this in the grounds of Parliament House? Because they are being distracted by the idea that they have a tiny few enemies on the seaswhen the government in unwilling to find and deport the many thousands who get off planes every year.

  29. Togret:

    Yes, you make an excellent point about prioritisation of financial resources in this country.

    The government shells out a huge Baby Bonus to couples, but our birth rate still stands below Zero Population Growth. I fear that large handouts will only lead to a Baby Bust, and encourage very young girls to become sole parents.

    I think most forms of social engineering end up creating new problems.

    I think the reason the government doesn’t pursue visa holders who have overstayed their welcome is that they have already been checked out as being fairly safe before they ever come here.

  30. Lorikeet – the problem is that they are illegal. They break the law by overstaying their visa conditions. There are said to be 50, 000 of them. Despite what you think, they are not checked for health or crominal records. Tourists certainly are not, and they are the most common overstayers.

    Undocumented arrivals or boat people are not breaking the law if they turn out to be genuine refugees. The vast majority are. They come in small numbers. They are checked before arrival.

  31. togret
    good point and i have to agree with you

    there is a problem with housing here and i think the state govt is one of the main offenders.
    the thing here is that we get 100% of arivals here and the population see that till just recently west australia was housing all the people smugglers in our jails at our cost not the commonwealth .
    yes you are correct it is a small amount of people comming .when you concider the size of the average small town in the east . but if you look at small towns on the west coast then you mite see that a fare few of the boats are carying more people than the whole population of a lot of towns here .do you think that is fare as iv sead before the states other than w.a. should be takeing there fair share.

    i just had a thought why dosent australia take the policy of having there own boats to transport refugees and instead of paying smugglers they could pay the govt therfore creating the image of the people who can afford to pay are helping to pay for there own resetelment and then the govt could turn back any boats that try to sidestep the process.only people who were not genuine would try to cheet the process then the only thing they would loose is the money.
    just a silly thought but no worse than the govts feeble attempts

    now there i have put forward a partial if not small solution to the prob .
    so now togret its your turn whats your solution??

    one should not just critisise without putting up some sort of alternitive or solution.

  32. Red crab – would you please explain what you mean by “100% of all arrivals”?
    100% of .. boat people? and if you think Christmas Island is part of WA .. it isn’t. As I understand it, it is a Commonwealth Territory, like ACT & NT.

    100% of the boat people moved to the mainland and kept under lock and key? Not true, some go to Darwin and a few go to other states, I understand.
    100% of the boat people moved to the mainland and allowed to live in the community? No, as I understand it, they go to all states.

    100% of humanitarian visa people from camps in 3rd countries? Pretty sure that’s not right .. I’ve taught some of them in Adelaide.

    100% of skilled or other migrants who pay their own way? Pretty damn sure that’s not right either.

    All these are different categories of people. I’m having trouble believing that you think WA gets 100% of all of any of these categories … so please clarify.

  33. ok 100% of boat arrivals!! come to western australia .
    you have made some very good statements but miss out one important part no facts or proof

    and christmas island is! part of w.a as is coccas islands just try to ring them and take notice of the 08 before y ring and mabe rite a letter the post code is 6798 . for christmas island .

    anyway togret you are compleatly correct how could you be wrong i conceed .
    small question but, what would you do.
    you are very good with your facts but you have never once tried to submit any kind of solution to a so called none problem in your eyes.

    at least iv tried

  34. Red Crab:

    I don’t think all of the boat people finish up in Western Australia. Some are being brought to hotels in Brisbane.

    I cannot claim to be an expert on it, but I’m pretty sure some of the registered nurses come here on visas and are sponsored by someone (possibly The Macquarie Group – could also be others). As a result, they get lower pay than our Aussie nurses.

    I am completely opposed to ANY workers receiving less pay than their workmates, or getting fewer shifts if they complain about standards.

    I feel like blowing the whole issue of aged care out of the water, unless someone fixes various problems forthwith, if not sooner!

    For me, boat people are far less of a problem!

  35. Red crab –
    1. despite your beliefs, the facts are the area code 08 applies to all of WA, as far north as the NT goes, and far east as Broken Hill in NSW and as far south as whatever the southernmost point of south australia is. Area codes and post codes are only lines on a map drawn by Aust Post and Telstra – they are not the same thing as legal jurisdictions.

    2. Christmas Island is a Commonwealth Territory with its own flag, own Admnistrator under the Commonwealth Attorney General’s Dept. Some state-level services are sub-contracted out to other bodies such as, in some cases, the WA state Government, maybe that’s where you got that idea. I’d advise you to look it up.

    3. What we should do is bring boat people to mainland centres where they can be speedily checked and processed, deported if they are not in the great majority who are genuine, and who have done nothing illegal in coming here, and then release them into the community where they can get on with their lives, adding to our nation with their youth, skillsets, courage and determination to do well as the previous waves of migrants have done.That’s what our law (and natural justice) says we should do .. and I believe I’ve said we should do what our law says we should since this issue started.

  36. news flash
    the govt intends to move military familys out of millitary housing on some bases and move asylim seekers in .
    so much for there spin

    there are roughly 200 asylim seekers housed between qld nsw .vic and south australia the rest aprox 3000 are housed between christmas island western australia and the northern territory.
    20 million ppl live in the live in the four eastern states 2.5 million ppl live in wa and the nt . sounds fare to me ges just how many votes they will get when this gets out
    and the greens preferences are going where ?

  37. Red Crab:

    I thought you knew that Labor and The Greens exchange preferences, so I guess this is a “tongue in cheek” question.

    The logical answer to your concerns is that asylum seekers are being sent to the state and territory with the least population.

    Do you want us to house them in the attic?

    “Most illegal immigrants tend to be British, Kiwi or East Asian visa overstayers who liked it so much they decided to stay and get a job.”

    There are no Kiwi illegal immigrants. Kiwis can come and stay in Australia and work as much as they like – and the same applies for Aussies in New Zealand.

  39. Redmond:

    I don’t think that could be right. I can remember a very angry Kiwi complaining about being sent back to NZ, while people from other countries got to stay.

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