Thursday, 16 December 2010

Oh, Let Me Guess, It’s ‘The West’ Again, Right. .?

So, a terrible tragedy in the Indian Ocean claims the life of who knows how many attempted immigrants. Who to blame?

The immigrants, for attempting such a perilous crossing?

The people smugglers who persuade them that this is a viable method of getting into the West?

The countries who turn a blind eye to the boats (some little more than motorised fishing smacks) leaving their shores, because then these people are someone else’s problem?

Don’t be silly
Australia's hardline refugee policies were blamed yesterday for the deaths of at least 28 asylum-seekers…
Well, of course they were....
The rickety fishing boat, believed to have been carrying mainly Iranians and Iraqis, had sailed from Indonesia – a route plied by the majority of refugees heading for Australia.
So we aren't even talking about Australia's close neighbours, FFS..!
Yesterday's disaster shocked Australians, with some denouncing the "people smugglers" who had set out in treacherous cyclonic conditions.
Only some...?
Refugee advocates, meanwhile, claimed the government's hostility to illegal immigrants had played a part. "The fact there isn't a welcome refugee policy... [makes] it less likely that people on boats are willing to contact Australian authorities and to rendezvous [safely] ," said Ian Rintoul, of the Refugee Action Coalition.
In other words, because they have to try illegal and stupidly dangerous things to get there, Australia's really the one to blame, not Iraq or Iran.

/facepalm
Pamela Curr, from the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, said Australian border officials must have known the vessel was on its way. "They allowed this boat to head towards Christmas Island, knowing there's a three to five-metre swell which would make it impossible for such a fragile fishing boat to land safely."
Indonesia must have been in an even better position to know this, Pam. Why not be a dear and tell them, eh?

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

The last thing that a fairly harmonious country needs is an open-ended commitment to rescue/protect/eventually admit people from up to half a hemisphere away.

However, an acquaintance spent their national service in the Italian Navy sailing in circles in the Adriatic in an 'interceptor boat', to try to detect incoming people smuggler boats before they sank & corpses afterwards. So, even if you don't want more illegals, maybe it is incumbent on you to keep an eye on a boat that you strongly believe is on its way.

Quiet_Man said...

If they aren't wanted, it's their lookout. You pays your money and you take your chances, this time they lost.

Captain Haddock said...

Who cares ?

Take me to your benefits office said...

We will never know, I suppose, the reason why these unfortunate people were fleeing their own country. Persecution because they are the wrong sort of muslim (any one cult of islam really doesn't like other cults)?

Christians who know that the Religion of Piss won't tolerate them?

Or eagerness to take the free money in the west while still being muslim faithful?

But yes, our fault for just being here.

WV = hypocto: The multi-armed face of religious hypocrisy.

Sue said...

They're not asylum seekers most of the time. They're economic migrants who think that life in the West will be sweeter.

They need to sort their own countries out, the same way we need to sort out our EU membership.

Mark Wadsworth said...

WV: pasenest

banned said...

As Benefits Office says, for all we know they might have been Iraqi Christians whose life has become impossible since our invasion of that country. I'm not generally in favour of mass migration but would make an exception in their case.

Meanwhile in Austria a gardening yodeller has been convicted of harassing Moslem neighbours, as reported in blogs some weeks ago, finally reported in the Telegraph

JuliaM said...

"The last thing that a fairly harmonious country needs is an open-ended commitment to rescue/protect/eventually admit people from up to half a hemisphere away."

Indeed.

"You pays your money and you take your chances, this time they lost."

It's not like it's the first time, is it?

"They're not asylum seekers most of the time. They're economic migrants who think that life in the West will be sweeter."

Why else travel all that way to a Westernised country?

"Meanwhile in Austria a gardening yodeller has been convicted of harassing Moslem neighbours..."

The MSM is slow, but thorough. Actually, no, wait...

David Gillies said...

The fact that Australia is a relative success story in the multiculturalism story is precisely because its immigration policy has been strict. To the extent it's failed (like the fact that there's altogether too many Lebanese hoodlums stinking up the joint and causing ructions) has been where it has resiled from this strictness. One can say without fear of equivocation that none of the shoeless jackanapes on the sunken boat was fleeing genuine persecution, but merely looking to suckle unbidden at the teat of a rich country. Screw 'em.

allcoppedout said...

There is something of a contradiction on attitudes to these boat people and our inability to deport killer crooks on the basis of their human rights.

Angry Exile said...

As an economic migrant to Australia myself I have mixed feelings about this. Economic migration is good, and historically Australia has benefitted from it and still does. Don't believe me? More than a quarter of the population weren't born here and almost the entire population are the descendants of economic migrants. Would it be as wealthy as it is minus 25% of its labour force? Not a hope. Five plus million people came here to seeking a better life (nobody leave their country of origin seeking a worse life) and the majority have been prepared to work for it.

Don't conflate economic migration with benefit migration/health tourism, and don't treat them the same way. If someone wants to come to your country and work his arse off it's insane to say no. If someone wants to come to your country and get lots of free stuff it's just as insane to say yes, but nor is it necessary to store them at some remote off shore island until you can work out what to do. The simplest and cheapest approach is to do nothing - word *will* get back that there are no freebies to be had anymore except what charities provide, just as word once got back that western governments would welcome everyone with no-obligation gifts of money and accommodation. None of which will affect the economic migrant at all - he only ever wanted to be able to work for money instead of all the dirt he can eat.

Anonymous said...

Banned: Actually we do know that they are Iranians and that they are not asylum seekers, because they had already found asylum when they landed in Djakarta.

Dave H. said...

Angry Exile,
The first point is: whatever your motives for travelling there, if you had died on the way, would Australians have been to blame?

Secondly, are the lands these people are fleeing inherently poorer in natural resources, climate etc. than Australia? I suspect not. I think the attitudes and cultures of their native lands have played a large part in cocking up them up as decent places to live.

If Australians have managed to turn an arid, unforgiving land into a place where humans can live relatively safe, happy and prosperous lives (a pretty rare achievement in human history wherever you are), well, I wouldn't blame them for being picky about who they let in.

Angry Exile said...

"... if you had died on the way, would Australians have been to blame?"
Dave, your first point misses mine. I am not blaming Australia for their deaths. There has been some talk here about rescuers being deliberately prevented from helping, and if so then some blame would certainly attach there, but without anything more solid than rumour I will presume innocence. I am not saying Australia is to blame for the deaths - clearly Australia did not force them aboard the boats, and the option to say 'Fuck Australia, let's go to Britain or somewhere instead' was presumably open to all of them. What am I saying is that I feel Australia is making an economic mistake with the way it deals with migration. Please bear in mind that my suggestion of welcoming but offering no handouts would mean, according to those who crack the shits about such things, that the boat people would avoid drowning only to starve to death on the streets of Sydney and Melbourne instead. And it's true, some might. Once again, their choice to come.

"... are the lands these people are fleeing inherently poorer in natural resources, climate etc. than Australia? ... I think the attitudes and cultures of their native lands have played a large part in cocking up them up as decent places to live."

Oddly enough that isn't a million miles off what Mrs Exile said about the UK. She liked the place and of course it helps living on an island made of coal and surrounded by fish, and having some gas and oil just off shore, but I think she added something about millions of fuckwits who keep voting for fuckwits who keep selling the whole place piecemeal to a bunch of unelected European fuckwits. Now I could have stayed and fought to improve the UK, and Christ knows Australia is falling into the same trap (read Canberra for Brussels), but the missus had had enough and it'd have been me and like minded thinkers against approximately 25 million Lib/Lab/Con Borg drones. I still expect to fail (plenty of Borg here too) but at least the odds are microscopically better, and so's the weather :-)

"If Australians have managed to turn an arid, unforgiving land into a place where humans can live relatively safe, happy and prosperous lives ... I wouldn't blame them for being picky about who they let in."

The thing is that these achievements often came about by not being picky about who was let in. Where the first Australians came from and exactly when they arrived is a mystery but sure as hell the borders were completely open then. No-one was being picky about the next wave of migrants since the First Fleet was more than 50% convicts. The gold rushes saw such a huge increase in migration - the population doubled in ten years - that there can't have been any serious controls imposed. In fact they were probably going out of their way to attract anyone who could swing a pick and was prepared to muck in. Ever heard of The Ghan railway? It was Ghan as in Af-Ghan because of the Afghani camel herders who worked the route before the railway was built. Then there was the post WW1 'populate or perish' phase, partly to replace a lot of dead ANZACs to be sure, which ended up staying pretty much into the Ten pound Pom days. Lots of Asians came after that, although the first Chinese had come with the gold rush, and they all seem to work. But then none of those groups ever expected a free ride when they got here, so the border largely took care of itself.

Angry Exile said...

"... it helps living on an island made of coal and surrounded by fish, and having some gas and oil just off shore, but I think she added something about millions of fuckwits who keep voting for fuckwits who keep selling the whole place piecemeal to a bunch of unelected European fuckwits."

Meant to add to that, "European fuckwits who gave the fish to someone else and don't like the coal, oil and gas being used in case it hurts the sky."

JuliaM said...

"There is something of a contradiction on attitudes to these boat people and our inability to deport killer crooks on the basis of their human rights."

You'll drive yourself mad trying to reconcile anything an 'activist' of any type says with common sense, ACO!

" But then none of those groups ever expected a free ride when they got here, so the border largely took care of itself."

Unfortunately, it might be a cliché, but 'that was then, this is now' and there's the black economy to consider.

Even if no welfare is available, it's still better than the life they might lead back home.

So, they'll still come...

Angry Exile said...

"... it might be a cliché, but 'that was then, this is now' and there's the black economy to consider."

The first needs only the political will to put it back. As for the second, black markets are invariably created by governments themselves. Not on purpose, to be sure, but as highly predictable and even inevitable side effects of other policies. For example I was just reading on another blog about the Irish tobacco black market and how it's really grown in the last 5-6 years. They have the smoking ban, high taxation and duties, and other government policies to thank for that. Would the black market exist in the absence of those government policies? Almost certainly not. What about the black market people smugglers? Again, they exist because of government policy, not in spite of it. Remove the handouts and you remove the incentive for many to come. Accept the economic migrants who are happy to chip in and you remove the incentive for them to try to sneak in by boat. The only ones you really don't want at all are the persistent criminals, and if they don't come from a country with good record keeping you can't tell who they are anyway, and any Typhoid Marys, or more likely Tuberculosis Tonys(TM). That shrinks the people smugglers' market down to someone who knows he's got TB or HIV or something that will fail medical checks. Would they even bother to run the boats for such small numbers? Maybe, but having lost large numbers they'd have to charge so much more. The path of least resistance, which is the prime motivation behind all this, would be to find somewhere else. In the absence of artificial controls migration would find it's own level, just like water. The alternative is to spend a lot of money and effort trying to keep them all out and give even more money to the ones that manage to get through anyway. It's as much a black market maintenance policy as it is an immigration policy.

"Even if no welfare is available, it's still better than the life they might lead back home."

Nobody ever changes countries in order to make a worse life for themselves. I'm certainly no different in that regard and neither are the million plus expat Brits in Australia, the 4 million plus migrants from other countries, . We all came for a better life in some way, shape or form. It's still a better life only for those prepared to chip in. Those who are not would risk starvation, and unless their definition of a better life includes starving to death on the streets of a foreign land they will not come. If the choice is between possible starvation and definitely being murdered there's still a reason to come, but I have no objection to that providing that they, like the economic migrants, plan to make their own way.

"So, they'll still come..."

Why? Why would anyone make the trip if they expected to die at the destination? And they must expect to die if their intention would be to rely on handouts that they knew no longer existed. And - and I realise that this is going to sound very callous - if they do still come and starve then apart from burial hasn't the problem solved itself? Once again, only those who come intending to make a net contribution will remain.