November 9, 2011

Canberra Shock: one sensible man; one sensible policy idea

Once again asylum-seekers have met unnecessary deaths at sea. People smugglers are to blame.
We need to break their business plan by offering, for a similar price, a safe passage to Australia by air. Why doesn't the Government license an agency that will do just that?

The agency would operate wherever people smugglers are to be found. The stream of asylum-seekers would end up in the same place as if they came by boat, eg, on-shore detention. 

They would comprise a small additional stream to that now arriving by air and could be in lieu of part of that much larger stream. Presently asylum-seekers arriving by air are virtually ignored. Australians seem to tolerate them because they are processed before entry.

The cost to government of implementing this idea would be much less than any alternative. There need be no increase in the total number of asylum-seekers. The smugglers will be run out of business and the drowning will stop.

Peter Carden, Hughes
Letters - Canberra Times, November 04, 2011  


  1. Anonymous9:46 PM

    It would make even more sense to offer refugees tickets to New Zealand, along with a slab of beer, a bag of dope, and a pair of wellies - which will ensure their immediate citizenship on arrival.


  2. See, one sensible man and one sensible policy idea begets another; just like that!

    We're on roll.

  3. Solomon8:37 PM

    Glib nonsense from someone who doesn't know what the fuck they are talking about. This person should be PM.

    *Asylum seekers* who arrive by *air* are processed *after* entry.

  4. Glad we've agreed on something, Sol, although I think MP in the first instance; he might not be glib enough to be PM or opposition leader.

    As much as I like his suggestion, yes, the ignorance, even from intelligent people continues at the usual trot.

    Still manages to surprise me that people don't even understand that the country of receipt is under no obligation to keep *asylum seekers*, if assessed as a palatable, tolerable refugee.

    (I'd like to see them processed mid-air, I think.)

  5. Solomon6:35 PM

    It's getting harder to work out what people are even saying. I'm not sure what you would consider an obligation.

  6. "Obligation" in the legal sense: there is none.

    Merely landing on particular shores, no matter the circumstance and legitimacy of an application, does not, and has never, obliged any country to simply let everyone stay.

    I was being literal; not a moral or philosophical thought.

  7. Solomon7:45 PM

    There's an obligation on states under international law (treaty and custom) not to return refugees to their country of origin. Of course this doesn't extend to people not recognised as refugees.

    I think this is well enough understood; hence beating on about "genuine refugees" and others who, we're told, are out to rort the system.

  8. Did I state or imply "return refugees to their country of origin" Sol?

    Nope. Did not in any manner suggest such a thing.

    You work in this business (and it is a "business"), you must know that Aust has been known to send refugees off to NZ, for example.

    How is it, do you think, that there are camps full of documented refugees, awaiting a country to accept them? Where are those people, where are those camps? They're in some country that can't or won't be offering a permanent residency.

    Really Sol, this is too basic!

    You've become accustomed to reading the worst into banal statements.

  9. Solomon8:59 PM

    You can send refugees and/or asylum seekers to NZ if you want, that's totally okay with me.

    I've not been able to read anything at all into your statements.

  10. And yet you promptly corrected me, as if I'd stated that confirmed refugees could be sent back to whence they came.

  11. Solomon9:24 PM

    "...the country of receipt is under no obligation to keep *asylum seekers*, if assessed as a palatable, tolerable refugee."

    Still trying to work out what this means; it's like there's a word missing.

  12. Probably many words missing Sol.

    All I meant was that when people arrive without a visa, and apply for asylum, and are assessed as genuine refugees ... they actually don't get an auto-pass to stay in the country that has assessed their application.

    It seems to me that the public, and refugees, mostly believe that being given a stamp "yep, you're genuine", means they get to stay.

    Given the ample evidence all around, I don't know why anyone has this misunderstanding.