The truthiness about asylum seekers

The ABC’s decision to air unsubstantiated allegations against Australian service personnel last week is an example of what Stephen Colbert calls thruthiness – a preference for the things one wishes to be true over the things one knows are true.

In the ABC current affairs department, the claim that asylum seekers were beaten and forced to hold onto hot pipes requires no empirical verification. Denials by ministers and officials are considered so unreliable that they cannot kill the story.

Truthiness has come to characterise the ABC’s coverage of border security. It reflects not only the groupthink pervading the corporation, but a marked decline in professional standards.

On October 14 last year, Peter Lloyd introduced a report from Fiona Ogilvie on PM with an unqualified statement:

An asylum seeker being held in detention on Nauru is expecting twins.

Lloyd and Ogilvie were not the first to report the story. Heath Aston had written in The Sydney Morning Herald 10 days earlier that the woman was 22 weeks (seven months) pregnant and had been on the island since September 27.

According to Aston she was living…

…in an environment where detainees live in tents in temperatures of 40 degrees celsius and above.

Lloyd and Ogilvie disagree with Aston, saying the asylum seeker was

six months pregnant

and confined to a tent

where daytime temperatures can reach 50 degrees.

Lloyd and Ogilvie then disagree with one another.

Ogilvie: PM contacted the Immigration Minister’s office for comment but they have not responded yet…

Lloyd: The Immigration Minister’s office has gotten back to PM with this response; “The Government does not respond to unsubstantiated claims about persons claimed to be resident at offshore processing facilities”.

They appear to agree, however, that the mother-to-be is:

an Iranian woman.

And there’s more:

Ogilvie: PM understands that there is another woman on Nauru who is pregnant, also with twins, and that she has diabetes.

Eight days later, the Minister flatly denies the claim:

Scott Morrison: This suggestion that there’s a pregnant woman with twins on Nauru is simply not true… I strongly suggest that the media should more thoroughly interrogate the sorts of claims that are represented to you.

I raised these discrepancies with David Marr when I appeared on ABC News24’s The Drum on January 14. Curiously, that particular episode appears to missing from the online archive.

As I recall, Marr said the pregnancy had been real and that the woman had been flown to Brisbane to give birth.

Indeed Ogilvie had reported on AM on November 8 that the asylum seeker

gave birth via caesarean section in a hospital in Brisbane on Wednesday.

The Iranian woman, however, was now

The Rohingya woman from Myanmar…

We also discover she gave birth to only one baby. Tony Eastley tells us the woman

was told after undergoing scans on Nauru that she was having twins, but it wasn’t until she was brought to Australia that she discovered that wasn’t the case.

Is it credible that a mother carrying one baby could be scanned at either six months (the ABC’s estimate) or seven months (Fairfax’s estimate) and be misdiagnosed as carrying twins?

And when will the ABC tell us what happened to the second woman on Nauru who is pregnant with twins?

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86 Responses to The truthiness about asylum seekers

  1. Notafan

    And then the government was so mean they wouldn’t let her stay with her sick baby in the Mater hospital 24/7 but made her go back and forth to a detention facility.
    The fact that the Australian taxpayer paid for her to fly to Brisbane and receive first class medical care was immaterial.

  2. Geriatric Mayfly

    Can’t Turnbull at least give us a clue that he is aware of the ABC’s deliberate derelictions, being ramped up by the day, and that he is watching. A supine Minister simply encourages the misbegotten sods.

  3. Makka

    Close down this fifth column. Our taxes are too precious to be wasted on this LeftistGreen propaganda as they go about undermining the Govt and our way of life. Close it down and make the fat pigs earn a crust like anyone else.

  4. candy

    Why is Malcolm Turnbull completely silent about the national broadcaster spreading lies about the government.
    He must have something to gain from it. Unless he’s just so totally lazy.

  5. Chris M

    Yeah, well welcome to what passes as reporting in today’s media Nick.

  6. EJ

    “Truthiness has come to characterise the ABC’s coverage of border security.”
    I think more like the ABC’s coverage of everything !
    Under ALP & Greens their ABC is like in Orwells 1984;
    “The Ministry of Truth, which gives out falsified news, propaganda entertainment, mind-numbing repetitious education, and re-interpretation of the old fine arts.”

  7. Baldrick

    Expectant Nauruan mother’s seem to handle the heat okay and even manage to give birth on the island. Why should an illegal entrant asylum seeker be any different?

  8. andy

    if an asylum seeker pregnant with twins punches a wall on nauru,would that make a sound if david marr wasn’t there?.

  9. Viva

    Never let (fact)oids stand in the way of truth(iness).

  10. Steve of Glasshouse

    Ever wondered where Numbers’ students end up when they graduate?

  11. alan moran

    “And when will the ABC tell us what happened to the second woman on Nauru who is pregnant with twins?”

    Never. The are too busy on the Australia Day holiday airing Aboriginal rap songs about white murders during and after the invasion and oppression of aboriginees that continues to this very day. Why does the ABC hate Australia? Why are my taxes contributing to such treasonable lies?

  12. Gab

    “Truthiness” is just another word for fabrication.

  13. Rodney

    By dramatising alleged brutality to “Asylum Seekers” the ABC is unwittingly dammaging the marketing campaigns of their friends the people smugglers.

  14. Notafan

    Expectant Nauruan mother’s seem to handle the heat okay and even manage to give birth on the island. Why should an illegal entrant asylum seeker be any different

    ?
    no-one called SHY cares about those expentant mothers

  15. Leo G

    Thruthiness? ‘Sthruth!

  16. Gab

    Excellent cartoon by ZEG in Quadrant. It says Fairfax but it’s the same as saying ABC.

  17. Tom

    So Turnbull is a gutless leftard wonder who loves the fact that the ABC is not only trashing journalistic standards, but doing everything it can every single day to denigrate Abbott’s signature policy because it’s Abbott’s. If Abbott lifts a finger against the ABC, Turnbull will start destabilising Abbott’s leadership again. And Peta Credlin, who is almost as far left at Turnbull, has veto over prime ministerial decisions. Nothing will change until Abbott believes he has enough authority to defy Credlin and have Turnbull executed — towards the end of his first term, if at all. What a poisonous dynamic for the setting and execution of key government policy goals.

  18. Louis Hissink

    Peta Credlin is a lefty ? Things ya learn here.

  19. Formerly A Political

    My parents and I arrived in Australia in 1949, along with other legal boat people. Dad was sent to a country town to work on the railways and we were accommodated in tents, proper army type tents with wooden floors. It was very, very hot in summer, so all the migrant men raised the bottoms of the their respective tents and then nailed fly wire around the raised area to keep out mosquitoes and improve circulation of air inside the tent. It was also very cold in winter.

    My mother was pregnant with my brother, but she had to live in the tent. We had no running water and no electricity. Our kitchen was made of railway sleepers, no windows, just a door.

    My brother was born in February, but he came home with mum to the tent. They both managed to survive the heat. I still have a photo of mum and all the other women who had given birth at the same time, taken on the hospital verandah. All the other women are wearing summer dressing gowns, my mum is wearing a winter coat because she couldn’t afford to buy a dressing gown.

    Yet, not once did my parents complain about their situation. They worked hard and after 5 years bought a house, having secured a loan from the bank.

    The migrants of that era didn’t expect hand-outs, they were grateful to have jobs and opportunities to work towards a better life. Indeed, most of those post-war migrants have assimilated so well that some of their communities will soon be left with very few members being able to speak their native language.

    On on level I find it sad that this is happening, but on the other I recognise that a nation cannot prosper and grow if it consists of various ethnic communities each wanting a greater share of the spoils, each wanting their own religions to dominate, each wanting their own laws and each possessing divided loyalties.

    It seems to me that many of our newest migrants don’t want to become Australians, neither do they want their children to assimilate. They seem to want to establish a branch of the old country in this their new one.

  20. Andrew

    After the trip to the Mater, receiving better care than would have been likely on the Myanmar – Bangladesh border, the filthies’ take on it was this: Abbott666 is attacking babies because he won’t give the baby a birth certificate! Even a big petition. (The birth was recorded as to a woman in detention in Nauru.)

    Apparently not one of these leftist morons learned from the last 6 years. If you give AUS documents you end up with boat loads of pregnant Wymin coming. It’s not even an uni tended consequence – it is a precisely deterministic outcome.

    Of course, they may WANT 100 6-7 month pregnant Wymin coming. Makes a better narrative against A666. I can’t even tell any more whether they’re stupid or immoral. (My leftoid friends I mean, I know the answer with the ABFax)

  21. Ellen of Tasmania

    “Truthiness” is just another word for fabrication.

    Our kids were disciplined for such ‘truthiness’ while they were growing up. We just had a different name for it.

  22. incoherent rambler

    The “cheersquading” and level of disinformation spread by the ABC is at the stage where each ABC news program (radio/tv/web) should require an attachment:

    Written by ‘someone’, authorized by Malcolm Turnbull for the ALP.

    Blatant political advertisements require such a statement (see here).

    If electioneering material is not authorized by the Minister for Communications, then the ABC is clearly in breach of electoral laws.

  23. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From Formerly A Political at 1:57 pm:

    “My parents and I arrived in Australia in 1949 …”

    An enlightened reading of your piece will have it as:

    * very pre-1995 (just look at the first phrase!) and just soooo irrelevant
    * did these people you heard of really have railway sleepers for windows and a grandmother who couldn’t afford socks? That’s fully awesome – sorry, I was distracted by Justin Beiber on the TV right now – where were we? Oh -
    * can you reduce that to 140 characters to more properly meet the attention span of our tweeters? (who are allowed to vote – aaarggghhh!)

  24. incoherent rambler

    P.S.
    The Triolis, Sales, Kelly (I am an activist), the insiders crew, ABC news and current affairs are broadcasting electioneering material. Force them to declare the author, the authorizer.

  25. simple as abc

    makes a change from pre-september abc reports which started with some unsubstantiated statement from abbott “opposition leader tony abbott today condemned …. blah blah”. when the abc starts to report like that, “bill shorten today said ….”, then you might have a case. until then, suck it up princesses.

  26. Bob

    “The ABC’s decision to air unsubstantiated allegations against Australian service personnel last week is an example of what Stephen Colbert calls thruthiness – a preference for the things one wishes to be true over the things one knows are true”e.

    Alternative expression: The left see things the way they want them to be rather than the way they are.

  27. nic

    The ABC practices the Castle school of journalism, named after a memorable scene in the film of the same name where Dennis Denuto, the suburban lawyer, informs the High Court that its the ‘vibe’.

  28. Beer truck

    Gab
    #1168755, posted on January 27, 2014 at 1:36 pm
    Excellent cartoon by ZEG in Quadrant. It says Fairfax but it’s the same as saying ABC.

    The ABC logo is in the cartoon, Gab.

    Tim Blair has a similar post on his blog.

  29. Lysander

    As if the ABC cares about unborn children!!!

  30. Habib

    ABC 24 had some radish from Sea Shepherd on for a half hour bleating about how a 3 M tiger shark was caught and croaked off a popular WA beach, and how ashamed he was to be an Australian. I’m ashamed he’s Australian an’all. Sums up the narrow cast of this expensive waste of electrons, captive to the -8% who vote Green. Oddly enough, this parallels the percentile who are clinically insane.

    What truly shames me is that we allow to dock and replenish those publicity-seeking pirates of SS, who in any decent society would be flapping in irons from a gibbet at the port entrance.

  31. And Another Thing

    The Government is not all that old, so there’s probably plenty of time to do something about the ABC. There will be no need to sell it, or for any new laws, although it would probably benefit the organization if an ombudsman was attached to it.
    The problem with the ABC is that it has a charter to present a comprehensive and balanced news coverage.
    The ABC sees itself as an agent of change. It sees itself as a campaigner for the rights of illegal immigrants, same-sex marriage and the redistribution of wealth through carbon penalties.
    As I said, the ABC has a charter and it must be made to conform to it. If it continues to break the rules, the board and the managing director must be made to explain themselves every time it forgets why it exists.
    If the ABC was really accountable, heads would roll over the reports of our Navy “torturing” illegal immigrants without any confirmation, and, in fact, denials from the very top.
    Military personnel and ABC staff would be as different as chalk and cheese. Service personnel are independent-minded and self-sufficient people made even more so by their training. They are also inclined to be patriotic and jealous of the reputation of their nation, all those things ABC staffers are not.
    The ABC has the biggest staff in Australia, yet it seldom seems to break news on it’s own. At news gathering it is left on the dust of News and Sky.

  32. Rob

    So sad that the ABC many of us once trusted for our news and current affairs coverage can no longer fill that role.
    The bias that was once partially obscured is now blindingly obvious and the ABC’s credibility is in the gutter.
    Deprive the national broadcaster of more and more of it’s funding until it can demonstrate that it’s taxpayer dollars are being well spent.

  33. manalive

    Tell Turnbull what you think, briefly and as politely as you can e.g.

    The ABC’s disgracefully biased handling of the alleged mistreatment of so-called asylum seekers by the RAN is only the latest example of the Left/Green partisanship displayed by the tax-payer funded broadcaster that goes back many years and is in clear breach of their Code of Practice.
    It is also an intolerable failure of the Managing Director and Editor in Chief to do his job for which he is paid extraordinarily well, not to mention your good self as the responsible Minister to do likewise.

    You probably won’t get a reply but at least he’ll know what you think.

    [email protected]

  34. Facts

    or you could just quote the conversation with Scott Morrison on the subject – Scott Morrison also thought the woman was having twins and is often backtracking on comments he makes – as he did in this case

    Journalist: About whether this woman in question actually was pregnant with twins. Now, she claims that she was transferred off Nauru on the 17th, the day before. On the day of the briefing you said that it was not true that there was a woman pregnant on…
    Scott Morrison: My information was she was transferred from Nauru to Australia on the 11th of October.
    Journalist: Why [indistinct] Why not just tell us?
    Scott Morrison: Well I answered your question at the time.
    Journalist: Minister, my question at the time, Minister – and I said that I got the information from the United Nations, and you said that they were wrong.
    Scott Morrison: No, I said – your assertion was that there was a woman on Nauru who was pregnant with twins. And on the 18th of October, that was wrong.
    Journalist: That is a bit of a slippery response though, isn’t it?

    Journalist: Does it concern you that this woman was told on a number of occasions that she was pregnant with twins, and she gave birth to only one baby. Does it concern you that there is a potential that the conditions that she was kept in at Nauru were not…?
    Scott Morrison: No, she was first advised that she had twins in Indonesia, not on Nauru. And my report is that it was determined that it was probably twins, it was not a definitive report that she received on Nauru. She was transferred from Nauru to Australia, not only because of the fact she was pregnant, which is not necessarily a reason for transfer. but there were also other health complications that had to be addressed.
    So at all times, this woman’s health was paramount in the minds of those who were providing her care, both the doctors and those working on behalf of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. And the fact that there has been a successful birth here in Australia I think demonstrates that the matter has been handled appropriately. And I commend those for the way they handled it.
    Journalist: Do you think the conditions are appropriate for pregnant women, on Nauru?

  35. So the media didn’t do their research and misled themselves and others about this story – a good point. But, you know, ‘pregnant asylum seeker in detention’ is still pretty shocking.

  36. Leo G

    ABC 24 had some radish from Sea Shepherd on for a half hour bleating about how a 3 M tiger shark was caught and croaked off a popular WA beach, and how ashamed he was to be an Australian.

    Yes I was listening to ABC News Radio when they broadcast the fellow’s comments. Quite laughable!
    He seemed to be arguing that sharks that are not obligate human feeders should be permitted the occasional human meal without penalty.
    Perhaps we need a volunteer list of those willing to make the sacrifice to facilitate a “catch and fill” policy.

  37. Jack

    Turnbull wants to read one of Aesop’s Fables about the man and the dog.
    The moral of the story is Benefits bestowed upon the evil-deposed increase their means of injuring you.
    Time to remove a large piece of benefits.

  38. Marg

    I raised these discrepancies with David Marr when I appeared on ABC News24’s The Drum on January 14. Curiously, that particular episode appears to missing from the online archive.

    Curiously, the January 14 episode DOES appear on the ABC iview website, yet, as Nick says, it is missing from “The Drum” TV Show website list of archived episodes. (Seems to be the only date deleted).
    Stuff up or an enthusiastic young backroom employee doing his bit for the cause?

  39. nic

    ABC 24 had some radish from Sea Shepherd on for a half hour bleating about how a 3 M tiger shark was caught and croaked off a popular WA beach, and how ashamed he was to be an Australian. I’m ashamed he’s Australian an’all. Sums up the narrow cast of this expensive waste of electrons, captive to the -8% who vote Green. Oddly enough, this parallels the percentile who are clinically insane.

    I’d love to see lefties offer themselves as sacrifices to ‘appease’ our shark gods.

  40. Louis Hissink

    And yet again we are confronted with the left’s tendency to fabricate their history, or reality. Can we believe anything a lefty might say ?

  41. boy on a bike

    This would sound terrible if only:

    1. The woman was not from Iran, which gets pretty warm in summer too. The record for Mashhad for instance is 43.8 in July. Tehran is slightly cooler,with a record high of only 43.0.

    2. She transited via Indonesia, which isn’t exactly a country situated near the arctic circle.

    3. The record high temperatures in Nauru are actually 6-7 degrees lower than the record highs she left behind in Iran

    4. The penetration of air conditioning in Iran is a bit over 10% in urban households and near zero in rural households.

    5. Iranian women somehow gave birth to between 1.3 and 1.4 million kids in 2014 in conditions probably less optimal than those found in a Brisbane maternity hospital

  42. Dire

    “He seemed to be arguing that sharks that are not obligate human feeders should be permitted the occasional human meal without penalty.”

    Sorry mate, don’t agree. Shark swims along, afternoon tea pops up, it has a taste and moves on. How dumb are people to swim in shark infested waters? Like the fools who get taken by crocs – whose faults that? Not the croc, it’s just having a feed.

  43. boy on a bike

    I’d love to see lefties offer themselves as sacrifices to ‘appease’ our shark gods.

    “Got a new job for you mate. It will make a nice change from chasing Japanese whalers around the frigid south. It’s called ‘shark whispering’. All you have to do is insert yourself into the cavity of this freshly killed bullock and we’ll lower you over the side”.

  44. JC

    BOAB

    If a great white swallowed one of them whole, you know it’s by accident. It didn’t really mean to.

  45. Jim Rose

    bog-standard sloppy reporting is the other explanation

  46. @manalive 3:33pm .
    Well done. I had my 2 bobs worth of him too……but following his previous dismissive reply when I raised the ABC’s collusion with the Guardian ( Snowden spy flies ) this time I could not bring myself to be ‘ brief or polite’.

  47. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Louis:

    Can we believe anything a lefty might say ?

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

    gasp

    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha
    hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha


    cripes that’s a good ‘un, Louis.

  48. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From Louis Hissink at 4:43 pm:

    “And yet again we are confronted with the left’s tendency to fabricate their history, or reality. Can we believe anything a lefty might say ?”

    Eh?

    I have said before you are a clever man, Louis, in a field in which I have complementary expertise. Yet even Standard and Poors AAA ratings of banks and businesses get revisited.

    Go to the Room of Mirrors and take a long hard look at yourself!

    Harumph!

  49. gabrianga

    Considering ABC News Director Kate Torney’s comments on ABC’s “torture stories” run in Australia and overseas you just can’t depend on our National Broadcaster to be an honest source.

    Torney “No media organisation has done more than the ABC to investigate and expose the ramifications of people-smuggling through its extensive journalism across news and current affairs,” she said

    Just as, I suppose, no media organisation has done less to expose the ramifications of a Prime Minister being involved in a slush fund.

    As for Lord Wentworth raising his voice in anger against the ABC, whose “friends” reside near Lord Wentworth’s humpy in the Eastern Suburbs…..forget it .

    As Bill Leak predicted “Malcolm would make a good Labor Prime Minister sometime in the future”.

    Pity Sussex St. didn’t take him on.

  50. Habib

    I hope some of those whiffy layabouts follow through with their threats to chain themselves to the drum lines. No self-respecting noah would chomp a hippy though.

  51. The biggest single change to life in Australia that came with the arrival of Eurpean settlement:

    For the first time ever, tucker was guaranteed. No longer did people have to starve to death, no longer did people have to knock their kids on the head & eat ‘em in bad years.

    Guaranteed tucker was unimaginable to those in Australia in 1788. From the arrival of European settlement, it has been the norm.

  52. stackja

    Sea Shepherd Captain Ahab?

  53. Omg, now I’ve done it myself. Rong Thred. How stupid am I?

  54. Jicks

    Relax everyone, Abbott and Turnbull are in a brand-new government. They cannot simply leap in with guns blazing… patience until after that major review and audit is through..

    .. and hopefully at that point they will announce a full halving of the ABC’s budget.$1.2 billion dollars per year – imagine what you could do with half that money. You could give each state $100 million per year… and still leave the ABC with $6oo million per year!

  55. Jazza

    And when they do tell us, will we believe a word of it?

  56. MT Isa Miner

    Formerly A , That’s right. Your lot sound like Migrants with the right stuff to build for themselves and at the same time build for their new country.

    The sadness from the things left behind like language and memories are part of the migrant life & it’s only the strong ones that accept it and carry on. Because they came for a new life like your family did. More credit & honour to ‘em.

  57. Grumbles

    Since you make a point of the differences it is important to note that 22 weeks is NOT 7 months and 22 weeks plus 10 days would be very close to six months. Than doesn’t change the fact that the story is a complete fabrication, just saying lets at least get the facts right.

  58. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    from gabrianga at 5:32 pm:

    “Considering ABC News Director Kate Torney’s comments on ABC’s “torture stories” run in Australia and overseas you just can’t depend on our National Broadcaster to be an honest source.

    Torney “No media organisation has done more than the ABC to investigate and expose the ramifications of people-smuggling through its extensive journalism across news and current affairs,” she said”

    Well she’s a bloody liar then, isn’t she?

  59. John Ingram ‘s been reading my blog -

    Mr Ingram proposes the establishment of a “contract of obligations”, where asylum seekers are given the opportunity to live and work in regional Australia for five years, receive English lessons and skills training, and only be permitted to relocate to a major city on completion of the five-year period, when permanent residency would be awarded.

  60. Token

    bog-standard sloppy reporting is the other explanation

    … for the organisation which refused to report the Gillard AWU affair due to the fact they couldn’t substantiate every point.

    You’ve got to try harder Jim.

  61. Fisky

    Mr Ingram proposes the establishment of a “contract of obligations”, where asylum seekers are given the opportunity to live and work in regional Australia for five years, receive English lessons and skills training, and only be permitted to relocate to a major city on completion of the five-year period, when permanent residency would be awarded.

    Sounds like Apartheid South Africa and its Pass Laws. A disgraceful, racist proposal based on a feudal anachronism (bonded labour). Luckily it will never be considered, because we have a responsible federal government with popular and sound policies.

  62. Gab

    “No media organisation has done more than the ABC to investigate and expose the ramifications of people-smuggling through its extensive journalism across news and current affairs,”

    Except they’ were MIA between the years 2008 and 2013, September 7, when it came to “investigating and exposing” the ramifications blah blah blah.

    Here’s their ABC’s log for illegal country shopper arrivals

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-10-25/log-of-boat-arrivals-and-other-asylum-seeker-incidents/5014496

    no entry since the 19 December 2013 and note the date they began to keep an eye on arrivals. Their ABC, hanged by their own petard.
    Try and find the equivalent log for the years 2008 to 2013, Sept 7.

  63. 1735099

    Sounds like Apartheid South Africa

    And the current practice of locking asylum seekers in tropical gulags is straight out of Stalinist Russia.

  64. Gab

    And the current practice of locking asylum seekers in tropical gulags under Rudd/gillard/Rudd governments is straight out of Stalinist Russia.

    Fixed to reflect the truth.

  65. candy

    And the current practice of locking asylum seekers in tropical gulags is straight out of Stalinist Russia.

    No, in my opinion you may possibly be letting your bias against any conservative government show here – which is none of my business. But nevertheless, by stopping the boats, we negate the need for detention centres. It’s a positive all round, not the least hoping the tragedies on the oceans don’t happen or only happen rarely. We have to hope and pray the boats don’t start out and cause all this suffering.

  66. Tom

    The Stalinist inn-keeper is upset about the three-star hotels used to accommodate country shoppers while they await their free-money allocation. If only we behaved like proper Stalinist mass-murderers’ groupies like you, ‘ey, pond scum?

  67. Fisky

    And the current practice of locking asylum seekers in tropical gulags is straight out of Stalinist Russia.

    I can only defer to your first-hand experience of the workings of the Soviet Union’s gulag system, but Abbott has been closing our own gulags rapidly. Very soon Australia will have no gulags left. It was Labor who filled the camps to bursting point, and only the Liberals are in a position to vacate them, thanks to their humanitarian migration policies. Less camps, less drownings, and more impoverished, genuine refugees from Africa. It’s no wonder that supporters of Apartheid such as Numbers are spitting chips.

  68. tomix

    Except the gulag might be inside the Arctic Circle, and the victim worked to death inside 4 years.

    If these people can survive tropical paradise until the next ALP Gummint [2016?] they’ll be on easy street
    c/- the dopey Australian voter.

  69. Fisky

    No, in my opinion you may possibly be letting your bias against any conservative government show here – which is none of my business.

    In fact, he’s speaking literally as a former administrator of Communist gulags. That’s why he knows so much about them. He probably helped the VC torture American POWs.

  70. tomix

    Why Australia should be resettling genuine refugees from Africa is a debate that’s never going to happen.

  71. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Numbers has a blog?

    What’s it called, ‘Call to all the Loyal Followers of Glorious Leader of the United Peoples Josef Stalin for the Just Imposition of Soviet Rule in Australia (We have death camps!)’

    And the current practice of locking asylum seekers in tropical gulags is straight out of Stalinist Russia.

    Oh, is not the tender tone of utter longing in this typical of this loathesome little totaliatiran racist creep?

  72. Fisky

    Why Australia should be resettling genuine refugees from Africa is a debate that’s never going to happen.

    It is a reasonable debate that people of goodwill can disagree on, Tomix. I think, if we can carefully select God-fearing Christian refugees from Egypt and sub-saharan Africa, where they are now being slaughtered in droves by Moslems, the costs of integration should not be too onerous on us. We are a generous people, Tomix, and so long as they aren’t having a laugh or a go at us, we can put up the inevitable frictions and misunderstandings that will occur.

  73. tomix

    That would be a very sound idea , Fisky, and i’d like to see it happen.

  74. lem

    Nothing like exaggerating how pregnant you are! Usually it’s the other way around.

    However, I do remember a case once (when I was a registrar many moons ago) of a very obese woman coming into the Labour ward huffing and puffing, apparently at full term. Never seen at our hospital before. Except the midwives couldn’t find the foetal heart beat, so they called me to see her, terribly worried that she had had an intra-uterine foetal death. I couldn’t hear the foetal heart either. In fact, I couldn’t actually feel a foetus. I did an ultrasound scan and I couldn’t FIND a foetus. I had to inform of the sad fact that she wasn’t pregnant.

    “What happened to me baby”..she wailed (whaled) with all her 100 closest kin packed into the room in shocked disbelief.

    “madam, I am sorry but there NEVER WAS A BABY” I gravely replied.

    I actually had to get a pregnancy test done to prove to her that she wasn’t pregnant. At that point, only, the tribal group were prepared to depart to contemplate the sad news. Turns out her “fiance” had been the happy recipient of a $30,000 Golden Casket ticket win just shortly before she had declared herself to be in the family way. He seemed, on the unhappy day, to have a skip in his gait the others lacked, I noticed.

    Anyway, the moral is, doesn’t matter how many babies you are claiming, eventually the piper must be paid.

    And journalists should keep out of Obstetrics, it is hard enough for the midwives and doctors.

  75. cohenite

    Fuck you numbers, I looked at your ‘site’ with the standard tear-inducing picture of the young mums on a boat in stormy seas as the basis for the usual gump about the compassion lacking in Australia towards the boaties.

    Look at these photos instead you dickhead.

  76. lem

    “Numbers has a blog?”

    Oh yes, Michael Smith outed him not so long ago. Bob from Toowoomba. A teacher.

  77. LBL

    A letter from an Indonesian published in The Jakarta Post last week about asylum-seekers suggested “These people should be allowed to settle on one of our islands to grow foodstuff or livestock”.

    Great idea, but there is no hope of the aspiring boat people agreeing to that when their sights are on Australian welfare, and the fact they will not countenance it indicates they are not genuine refugees, just fortune seekers.

  78. Cato the Elder

    So the media didn’t do their research and misled themselves and others about this story – a good point. But, you know, ‘pregnant asylum seeker in detention’ is still pretty shocking.

    Better or worse than “pregnant (illegal entrant) asylum seeker on leaky death trap boat”?

  79. Neil

    Under Howard we took our asylum seekers from UNHCR camps. Under Rudd/Gillard you could buy a place for $10,000. For all its faults Howards policy was the best.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/features/boatpeople-keep-other-asylum-seekers-at-bay/story-e6frg6z6-1225961715172

    SALVATION Army senior soldier Simon Hartley struggles with the consequences of asylum policy every day in Altona, in Melbourne’s southwest, in the heart of Prime Minister Julie Gillard’s electorate.

    He does not deal with asylum-seekers who arrive on boats. He helps the families of refugees suffering overseas who have been crowded out, denied a place in Australia because it has been taken by someone who originally came illegally.

    “The families we are assisting have put their applications through the correct channels, have not sought out people-smugglers and now are being told that they do not have a real chance of obtaining a visa,” Hartley says. “This is grossly unfair and will drive more to people-smugglers.”

  80. incoherent rambler

    Just to give ol’ 123 more trouble. I am one of the large surveyed group that thinks the govt is too soft on illegals. I suggest that the next illegal to breach our naval blockade is immediately shot.
    Remove the incentive.

  81. entropy

    I didn’t now Numbres real life personna was a secret, Lem. Bog standard example of why most students with an ounce of respect do not want to become teachers.
    I do understand he has a bit to do with disabilities, and is prepared to work in country schools, so he isn’t a complete loss.

  82. Andrew

    Scott Morrison also thought the woman was having twins and is often backtracking on comments he makes – as he did in this case

    So, Troll #8429, Morrison666 thought she was having twins. Based presumably on her claim to be having twins. And then subsequently proved to be a false claim.

    What do you think he should have done? Flown to Nauru to run the ultrasound himself? He briefly accepted a claim that prima facie a pregnant woman should be able to make. Australian doctors refuted it. He then informed the filthies that the claim was false, and they continued running it.

    Yep, all. Morrison666′s fault.

  83. Cold-Hands

    And the current practice of locking asylum seekers in tropical gulags is straight out of Stalinist Russia.

    Er, they’re not locked away for good, you know. They can go home any time they want to.

  84. It is a reasonable debate that people of goodwill can disagree on, Tomix. I think, if we can carefully select God-fearing Christian refugees from Egypt and sub-saharan Africa, where they are now being slaughtered in droves by Moslems, the costs of integration should not be too onerous on us. We are a generous people, Tomix, and so long as they aren’t having a laugh or a go at us, we can put up the inevitable frictions and misunderstandings that will occur.

    Good luck with that.

  85. Mick Gold Coast QLD

    From Fisky at 9:30 pm:

    ” Why Australia should be resettling genuine refugees from Africa is a debate that’s never going to happen.

    It is a reasonable debate that people of goodwill can disagree on, Tomix. …”

    Oh Fisky – how very ….

    For Pete’s sake – over on the Open Thread they are getting ready to keelhaul Tony Abbott for figuratively standing on a street corner, as you are on this, evangelising the fundamental good in all peoples everywhere and being nakedly naive in the face of an enemy with one up the spout and the safety off!

    Since when was modern posturing about illegals / reffos generally anything other than a means to an end for those who would destroy their own country? Sensible policy and “goodwill” left the building years ago – it’s a bloody war now!

  86. kelly liddle

    The ABC’s decision to air unsubstantiated allegations

    This is very much a good thing otherwise they are only court reporters. So long as it is stated as unsubstantiated as it was then good.

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