Guest Post: Fisky – Operation Sovereign Borders: a truly liberal policy

There has been a lot of talk about the policy success of Operation Sovereign Borders, including the fact that no boats have arrived in six weeks, how our detention centres are rapidly emptying, and that prospective boat people currently in Indonesia are realizing they have no hope of entering Australia ever, and are starting to return home. Prime Minister Tony Abbott and Immigration Minister Scott Morrison have every reason to be proud of their remarkable achievement in meeting their election commitments so soon.

But what is lost in the various arguments over immigration, border protection, partisan politics, opinion polls, etc, is whether the government’s policies are consistent with classical liberal theory. It is no secret that Catallaxy is a classical liberal blog, and as lots of commenters here are strong supporters of Operation Sovereign Borders, the question still remains: is Operation Sovereign Borders a classical liberal and/or libertarian policy? Is it in keeping with the ideological stance of the blog? There is no doubt in my mind that it is.

Considering the cost of Operation Sovereign Borders, it has been reported that the government have bought 11 lifeboats which are being used to return intercepted unlawful entrants to their departure point in Indonesia.

The media claim that the cost for the lifeboat scheme is $500,000. It is not stated clearly enough if the total cost for the 11 lifeboats is $500,000 or if $500,000 is the cost of each lifeboat. For the sake of argument, I will generously assume that each lifeboat costs $500,000, however improbable this may sound. I do this only so that Leftists and pseudo-libertarian bean-counters are not able to derail the argument.

I will also assume that the average unlawful entrant, if they were allowed to land in Australia and receive a humanitarian visa, would receive a net lifetime welfare benefit of $500,000 from the taxpayer. This is a conservative estimate, given that the average arrival will be aged 20-30 years, but with limited English and far fewer saleable skills than the population as a whole. They will therefore be eligible for a lifetime’s unemployment assistance, free health-care and other benefits, as well as a pension. However, we will stick with the assumption, so that there can be no possibility of trolling.

Let us assume that the marginal cost of an interception and turn-around is $2 million (inclusive of everything – again, this is being overly generous to Left-wing trolls). What this means is that each turn-around would require only four illegal entrants to be onboard the lifeboat, out of a total capacity of 90 seats, for the marginal turnaround cost to equal their marginal net lifetime welfare saving (we’ll call this MC = MR for short). As it was reported that 60 asylum seekers were returned to Indonesia on a lifeboat recently, the marginal saving to Australia of that return voyage, minus marginal cost, was huge – in the realm of $28 million. All Micro-Economics 101 students know that if MR>MC, the entrepreneur will keep the enterprise open given they will be covering all the marginal costs and some of the fixed costs as well. This implies that Operation Sovereign Borders MUST continue to run for that reason at least.

We should note that the government’s actions are not simply resulting in the return of 60 people here, or 90 people there, but are actively deterring many thousands of people from attempting to enter Australia illegally in the first place. Given that over 25,000 unlawful arrivals did come to Australia in the 2012-2013 financial year, to deter the same number from arriving in the following year, under my conservative assumptions, would save Australian taxpayers at least $12 billion over their life-time, for that deterred annual intake alone. Of course, to keep doing this year-in-year-out, assuming a constant 30,000 deterred prospective annual arrivals (again, a conservative assumption given the exponential annual rise under the Rudd-Gillard governments of 2007-2013) yields a substantial annual budgetary saving compared to the very low costs of deterrence. The annual saving would keep increasing by $1 billion increments every 3-4 years, for over a generation.

There is no doubt, given everything we have discussed above, even under my very conservative assumptions of cost/benefit, that Operation Sovereign Borders is the greatest libertarian government program in history. No other measure, including spending on the police and the armed forces, yields a more tangible net benefit to taxpayers than this brilliant small-government policy of boat deterrence and turn-backs. Given these facts, I have no doubt that all classical liberals and libertarians will enthusiastically embrace Operation Sovereign Borders, without any hesitation or qualification, at once!

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198 Responses to Guest Post: Fisky – Operation Sovereign Borders: a truly liberal policy

  1. Sinclair Davidson

    I’ll kick off with a comment about methodology and ideology.

    Fisky is employing a utilitarian argument to justify Operation Sovereign border – finding it passes his cost-benefit analysis – and then claiming this makes it a fine liberal (even libertarian) policy.

    No. I don’t buy it. Utilitarianism without some moral or ideological underpinning leads us to all sorts of bad policy and dark places.

  2. DrBeauGan

    I did anyway, Fisky but for other reasons. I’m a classical liberal who thinks the welfare state incompatible with open boarders and regards the illegal immigrants as a disorganised invasion force.

  3. Adam d

    What is the cost of the legal refugee over their lifetime? Seeing as sovereign borders doesn’t remove the quota of refugees you should factor in hat welfare payments ate still likely to be paid for their lifetimes anyway. You also missed the massive cost of detention centres as well.

    @sinc I think you have advocated an open border policy of some sort before, I am intrigued in how that might work.

  4. candy

    I think the moral underpinning is that the tragedies on the ocean are averted and we decrease the need for detention centres.

  5. Alfonso

    If there was a dollar cost benefit to importing 5 million 3rd world Arabs half of libertland will say ‘why not’.
    Cultural survival, historic community values and quality of life outside the operation of money they treat as irrelevant. Liberts are often the ultimate corporatists minus the crony.

  6. thefrollickingmole

    Theres another potential multiplier Fisky is missing.
    Family reunion, you can conservatively add 4 people to about 1/2 of those numbers again.

    Sinclair: I respect your position, but there is a serious quandary that need addressing in your stance.
    What is more libertarian about receiving self selected migrants (many of whom wont go through the international system because theyd fail the threshold test/have to wait) rather than accepting the same number from refugee camps?
    There is no moral positive in accepting 30,000 people who have paid to enter over 30,000 already assessed and waiting.

    I dont see any moral “good” in doing that, in some cases I have seen real vile, foul outcomes as the organisations these paying refugees borrowed from want thier money back. In one case the man in question was receiving phone calls from his wife and kids as the organised crime group hed borrowed from started pimping them out.

    There are so many vile outcomes in immigration, it is a broken system groaning under 30+ years of bureaucracy and lawfare.

    Also read up on the Tamil diaspora and the deliberate sending of young working age men to remit money back to the Tigers organisation, another foul outcome of doing good.

  7. A Lurker

    A sovereign nation has every right to defend its own borders.
    One of the responsibilities of an elected Government is to maintain the integrity of its own borders.

  8. Notafan

    welfare state incompatible with open borders

    I agree, though I don’t think I am a classic anything, it appears that the Dutch are reacting to their earlier open border policies by dismantling the welfare state.
    The theory seems to be that in homogenous societies welfare states work better but when it becomes lopsided eg one group appears to be supporting another (against their will) it can lead to civil unrest. And the ones being supported don’t appear to be all that grateful if the rioting and destruction in places like France, the UK and Scandinavia are anything to go by.

  9. james

    It is a good policy, a sane policy, a fiscally responsible policy, a pragmatic policy and ultimately a humane policy.

    But is it a classical liberal policy?

    It achieves liberal and libertarian objectives, but this seems a muddy argument.

  10. Moral underpinning:
    the previous government’s policy, because (inter alia) it encouraged unlawful entries, was responsible for at least several hundred deaths at sea and, perhaps, more than a 1,000 in six years;
    this government’s policy, because (inter alia) it discourages unlawful entries, it far less likely to cause deaths at sea and, so far, has been responsible for no deaths at sea.
    Ceteris paribus, a policy which discourages drownings at sea, assuming that any human life is of value, is morally superior to a policy which encourages drownings at sea.

  11. C.L.

    Utilitarianism without some moral or ideological underpinning …

    Several are available.

    First, not wasting money is itself morally important.

    Second, lives saved: let’s say 500 a year.

    Third: Australian society quarantined from freedom-hating barbarians.

  12. Andrew

    I don’t think we need to apply a label. Krudd allocated (an inadequate) $600m to the PNG (half-baked) solution. And yes, I’ve been allocating $500k-$1m per boatees as a lifetime cost to assess the R-G-R disaster.

    Good policy doesn’t NEED to fit an ideological mould. If Sinc proved mathematically that this policy violated every principle of libertarianism, then I would express my philosophy as “supportive of libertarian principles EXCEPT where they contradict OSB.”

    The article simply establishes “we’re better off under OSB” which was self-evident at the first turn back. (In fact, before – it was self evident when the Greens opposed it.)

  13. james

    The welfare stare is indeed incompatible with open borders.

    You would think all the super smart people with big salaries at the EU could have figured that out without doing it first wouldn’t you.

  14. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    I’ll kick in from a non-Libertarian perspective.

    First I’ll note that Fisky is being very understated on his costs. Each lifeboat is actually a fully refurbished craft and was purchased in Singapore at about $60,000 each. Attached to this point is that the average processing cost of each and every document-free illegal immigrant is about $50,000, accommodation costs vary but are not less than $30,000 each, and then they wander off into Welfare-heaven and start hoovering up welfarer resources. In other words, you save at least $20,000 even if there’s just one illegal put aboard a lifeboat and sent back.

    OSB is, in moral terms, also very defensible. mr Rudd claimed that 1 in 13 illegals died en route for 4100+ killed by his, Gillard’s, Milne’s and Bob Brown’s policies. This (I have been told) was him leaking an Immigration Dept internal estimate. Various academics have surveyed open source and confirmed about 1100 deaths. Border protection and Customs is said to think the figure is something like 2500-3500 killed.

    let us assume 2500 were killed by Rudd, Gillard, Brown and Milne’s policy. That’s 5% of gross arrivals.

    using Fisky’s estimate of 25,000 PA gives us 480 per week, that’s 24 killed a week so luvvies can feel nice about how compassionate they are.

    We have been 6 weeks with no arrivals, so OSB has saved an indicative number of 146 lives.

    Therefore I believe that OSB is a morally correct activity. I believe this reinforces Fisky’s utilitarian argument with a powerful moral underpinning entirely consistent with Australia’s Judeao-Christian culture. (I further believe that it proves the left’s position to be much worse than immoral, but that’s a separate matter.)

  15. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

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  16. steve

    My concern is not about whether we take refugees or not. My concern is that is is people like Sarah Two Dads who are on the committees that assess these cases and basically approve everyone to stay. We are then faced with a financial burden of having them on welfare for life when there are people born here, like pensioners, that I would rather see extra money go to. That and the fact that we take our share of refugees that follow the correct channels makes me less sympathetic to the arrivals by sea.

  17. gabrianga

    It is a good policy, a sane policy, a fiscally responsible policy, a pragmatic policy and ultimately a humane policy.

    That will do me .

  18. Andrew Carr

    I also have to question why dollar cost makes it ‘liberal’. Yes classic liberalism prefers a smaller government, but it is not the case that the cheaper policy option is always the more liberal.

    After all liberals value other things, such as freedom of movement for individuals, which this policy surely restricts.

    I’d also question some of the assumptions. Such as the claim those coming via boat are simply going to live on welfare their entire lives. Most migrants actually have good rates of employment, which is why the business community tends to be strongly supportive of higher migration.

    The use of the Navy to conduct Operations Relex, Resolute and Sovereign Borders has also brought significant costs. Some of the vessels involved cost at least $100’000 per day. The best estimates (and the government has not released clear figures) suggest that the maritime border protection costs around $250 million per year. Of course if the boats stop some of these vessels won’t be needed so this figure will go down somewhat if the flow has entirely stopped.

    Prior to Op. Relex, the Customs used to use ferry boats to intercept and manage the flow. These cost $4.1 million per year. If we had other private options which charted people to Australia (within a set limit of # per day), it might even be free or provide revenue to the tax payer.

    So on philosophic grounds I can’t see this is liberal, and on financial terms it isn’t the cheapest either. This is a very conservative, statist policy. That’s not a criticism of it, states by their nature seek to preserve their sovereignty with all the means they have available.

  19. james

    Andrew most migrants do indeed have good records regarding employment.

    Refugees from any background, and particularly those who show up without documentation on boats have appalling levels of welfare dependence.

    The stats are there, go look for them.

  20. steve

    Most migrants actually have good rates of employment, which is why the business community tends to be strongly supportive of higher migration.
    No argument there, but there is a difference between the skilled migrant and the illegal immigrant. What are the figures there?

  21. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    AC:

    The use of the Navy to conduct Operations Relex, Resolute and Sovereign Borders has also brought significant costs. Some of the vessels involved cost at least $100’000 per day. The best estimates (and the government has not released clear figures) suggest that the maritime border protection costs around $250 million per year. Of course if the boats stop some of these vessels won’t be needed so this figure will go down somewhat if the flow has entirely stopped.

    True, but also not terribly relevant. No new vessels have been acquired specifically for any operations (ALP or LNP) since 2008. So the assets being used would cost very close to the same irrespective of whether they were being used in this role of in their pre-2008 role of fisheries protection.

    The new customs vessels were scheduled in 2005 to replce the small, ageing Bay class. They were not purchased for this work but are just a normal replacement for ageing vessels.

  22. Notafan

    Most migrants actually have good rates of employment, which is why the business community tends to be strongly supportive of higher migration.

    Bolt has stats up a couple of weeks ago showing that that was not true of refugees with approximately 95% of Afghans not employed after five years and varying poor outcomes for other refugee groups.
    Regular migrants are assessed for suitability not so illegular maritime arrivals.
    What employment prospects are there for women who cannot leave the house without being accompanied by a male relative?

  23. stackja

    Given these facts, I have no doubt that all classical liberals and libertarians will enthusiastically embrace Operation Sovereign Borders, without any hesitation or qualification, at once!

    I do!

  24. A Lurker

    No argument there, but there is a difference between the skilled migrant and the illegal immigrant.

    The difference is vast and comes down to mindset and intent. My own opinion is that the skilled migrant comes to better themselves through personal contribution to their new country. The skilled migrant is chosen because they have skills that are useful. The skilled migrant can usually ‘hit the ground running’ because they have ensured they meet the qualifications for entry and have done their homework on the cultural differences, making an easier translation to their new country. They also usually possess the language, and are able to immediately support themselves (and their family) because they are going straight into jobs – and thus are taxpayers from the very outset.

    The illegal immigrant may not have immediately marketable or useful skills, or may possess skills useful only to their original society, may not be conversant in the language of the new country, may be considered a security risk or may be a criminal fleeing the law in their own country, at the very least they will have difficulties adapting to a new culture. Whilst the legal migrant immediately financially contributes via taxation, the illegal is usually on welfare from the get-go, and may not ever disengage from welfare. If they do find work, then many I think would not be direct taxpayers, since they might be employed ‘under the radar’ doing ‘cash-only’ work within the confines of their own communities.

    In conclusion, the legal migrant comes to contribute, whilst the illegal comes with the attitude of ‘what does this country owe me’, and the more welfare is on offer, the more there will be an ‘entitled’ mindset of the illegal – especially those who have ‘country shopped’ their way to Australia by paying significant amounts of money to people smugglers enroute.

  25. John Williams

    Mind-numbingly stupid navel-gazing…generally…whenever this subject is discussed.
    My country’s borders are an extension of my front door.
    Attempt to barge in, uninvited , for a free lunch and a warm bed …you can expect serious resistance.
    Knock at any time and request emergency assistance, the chances of a sympathetic response are pretty good
    if you have a legitimate …and plausible…reason.
    Simply preferring my house to that of next-door will never qualify.
    Do not make demands and attempt to re-arrange the furniture.
    Do not make comments on and attempt to change my lifestyle.
    If you already have Centrelink and HRC numbers on speed-dial forget all the above …and piss off.

  26. Robbie

    If you use utilitarian arguments you should also factor in the benefit migrants gain from entering Australia. One measure would be how much you would have to be paid to trade places with an asylum seeker. For most Australians it would be millions of dollars. Since this is higher than the expected cost to Australian taxpayers there is a utilitarian argument for open borders.

    I prefer to look at it from individual rights grounds. If you accept the premise that the welfare state is incompatible with open boarders your options are:
    (1) a coercive welfare state and restricted immigration
    (2) abolishing the welfare state (replaced with private charity) and allowing people free movement

    Option 2 is clearly the libertarian one. Turning away asylum seekers requires costly government programs, violates the rights of the asylum seekers and prolongs the welfare state so is clearly the illiberal approach.

  27. Fisky

    I’ll kick off with a comment about methodology and ideology.

    Fisky is employing a utilitarian argument to justify Operation Sovereign border – finding it passes his cost-benefit analysis – and then claiming this makes it a fine liberal (even libertarian) policy.

    No. I don’t buy it. Utilitarianism without some moral or ideological underpinning leads us to all sorts of bad policy and dark places.

    Any policy that cuts government spending is surely a liberal policy!

  28. Fisky

    Option 2 is clearly the libertarian one.

    Option 1 is still pragmatically libertarian. There is no prospect at all of abolishing welfare. None. But there are pragmatic ways that we can cut spending and taxes. I have proposed such a way.

  29. Fisky

    I’d also question some of the assumptions. Such as the claim those coming via boat are simply going to live on welfare their entire lives.

    No such assumption was made. I simply assumed that the average NET payout would be $500,000 per asylum seeker over their lifetime, implying an average annual net payout of less than $10,000. Given the overwhelming majority are still unemployed after 5 years, and that they will be eligible for a pension for at least 20 years, my assumption is incredibly conservative.

    Most migrants actually have good rates of employment, which is why the business community tends to be strongly supportive of higher migration.

    Yes, but this is the Humanitarian stream of migration, not migration as a whole.

    Around 85% of Humanitarian entrants’ households are in receipt of Centrelink payments

    So on philosophic grounds I can’t see this is liberal, and on financial terms it isn’t the cheapest either.

    MC is a tiny fraction of MR – probably about 5-10% tops. You know of anything cheaper?

  30. Sinclair Davidson

    Any policy that cuts government spending is surely a liberal policy!

    Now that is a philosophy. Yet Cost-benefit analysis can (and will often) lead to increases in government spending.

  31. Fisky

    The best estimates (and the government has not released clear figures) suggest that the maritime border protection costs around $250 million per year.

    Effortlessly covered by the annual net welfare savings (~$10,000 p.a. – very conservative figure) of only one deterred 25,000 humanitarian intake.

  32. After largely agreeing with Fisky’s post, I can only add that it doesn’t consider possible externalities of our government’s policy settings and the media reaction to them.

    That is, are foreign business’ more or less likely to invest in Australia if they accept the media narrative that our policy is inhumane and racist, or more likely to as a result of our government exercising a level of control business can depend on?

    Ultimately I think “OSB” is the more cost effective policy that will save the public purse a great deal of money even in the short term. But I think it matters little what “ism” the policy follows, what is important is that it works.

  33. boy on a bike

    We could just let them in on a tourist visa. Even a tourist working visa – we need people willing to pick fruit and mind the swimming pool in Outbackville.

    Conditions of being a tourist – no access to welfare, public health, public housing, public education system etc.

    Feel free to look around, find a play to live, get a job etc etc. After you’ve been here 10 years and paid your dues, you can apply for permanent residency. If you can’t, you’re welcome to go home any time you like.

  34. Gab

    Effortlessly covered by the annual net welfare savings (~$10,000 p.a. – very conservative figure) of only one deterred 25,000 humanitarian intake.

    And let’s not forget the cost of $70,000 per refugee that it costs to support them, which includes maintaining the detention network, support for those on Bridging Visas who are not allowed to work (instituted by the Rudd/gillard governments) who are given fortnightly welfare payments, renting and furnishing homes, plus all the other support services included in the Welcome to Country $Package (dental, medical, schooling etc etc etc).

  35. Fisky

    That is, are foreign business’ more or less likely to invest in Australia if they accept the media narrative that our policy is inhumane and racist, or more likely to as a result of our government exercising a level of control business can depend on?

    Didn’t damage us in the Howard years, won’t damage us now.

  36. “Didn’t damage us in the Howard years, won’t damage us now.”

    I think it might be a long time before those on the left realise that Asians generally don’t think the same way the left think they do.

    By our government showing that it has some measure of authority it is actually saying to the region that it can be trusted, and that has a bankable return. That said, the economic benefit to us of “OSB” could be far greater than you’ve theorised Fisky.

  37. Andrew

    Most migrants actually have good rates of employment, which is why the business community tends to be strongly supportive of higher migration.

    That’s an absurd argument. Most migrants are selected for skills in high demand and shortage – by definition 457s have a 99.99% employment rate as they are sponsored. (I exclude Mc457 who hung around making a c*** of himself for a while.)

    By contrast, boatees are almost unemployable and nobody wants them.

    You might as well argue that the Cricket AUS contracted players did well, so history suggests we should allow 50,000 people to self-nominate for a CA contract.

  38. Fisky

    By our government showing that it has some measure of authority it is actually saying to the region that it can be trusted, and that has a bankable return. That said, the economic benefit to us of “OSB” could be far greater than you’ve theorised Fisky.

    Exactly. They like predictable and steady. And their policies on asylum are typically much tougher than ours. So there is no “we are isolated in our region!!11!!” nonsense.

  39. Dan

    Why conduct a humanitarian program for foreign nationals within your own borders when the countries these people come from are third order shitholes?

  40. Gab

    “Around 85% of Humanitarian entrants’ households are in receipt of Centrelink payments”

    for around five years but possibly more, becuase those figures are from the 2011 report.

  41. Andrew

    BTW the one I’m most familiar with was working in the cash economy, wife beating, collecting welfare, whoring and then making plans to import his entire extended family (during his frequent trips “home”). When his wife finally left him, his only concern was that it might derail his residency / migration scam. He felt in so little danger that he took his baby to Afghanistan for a holiday. And he immediately imported another mail order (already wrapped).

    Not needed here.

  42. Demosthenes

    I simply assumed that the average NET payout would be $500,000 per asylum seeker over their lifetime

    Why did you not look for firmer numbers? Access Economics in 2008 found refugees were in the red until about 12 years after arrival, meaning it takes them 20 years to tip the scales into a net positive.

    “Around 85% of Humanitarian entrants’ households are in receipt of Centrelink payments”

    So at least one person per household gets at least some money from Centrelink. This does not mean 85% of refugees are on the dole. The ABS in 2004 found only 39% got most of their income from the government. Which is a lot, don’t get me wrong – too many refugees are unemployed, and this is a problem. Canada does better than us in this, perhaps we should see if we can learn from them – and it can apply to any migrant regardless of method of entry.

  43. “Exactly. They like predictable and steady. And their policies on asylum are typically much tougher than ours. So there is no “we are isolated in our region!!11!!” nonsense.”

    That only shows their ignorance Fisky, as long as we stop short of shooting them in the water most of Asia couldn’t care less what we do with them (as long as we don’t send them there either). And as long as we’re seen as doing something with impetuous they’ll respect us for it. (IMHO)

  44. lem

    Sinclair, do you think it is okay for people to wander in and out of your home? I am asking with my most polite voice because I have never really comprehended your philosophy regarding open borders.

  45. Fisky

    Why did you not look for firmer numbers? Access Economics in 2008 found refugees were in the red until about 12 years after arrival, meaning it takes them 20 years to tip the scales into a net positive.

    And of course after 40 years, the scales will tip back into the red.

    Thanks for that. The table shows a $20 million first-year deficit per 1,000 humanitarian migrants. Multiply that by 30 (to get 30,000) and you have a deficit of $600 million. This is actually more than my own assumption. OSB easily covers it’s own costs.

  46. Gab

    OSB easily covers it’s own costs.

    Yes and what price a human life?

    Good post, Fisky. One of your best yet, imho.

  47. jupes

    Fisky you forgot the cost for ASIO and the AFP to moniter illegal maritime arrivals once they have been accepted as refugees.

  48. C.L.

    Sinclair’s point about utilitarianism is right but I’m not shocked – shocked! – that he didn’t see the saving of taxpayers’ money as a moral plus.

    Explain yourself, Sinclair!

  49. Fisky

    Sure, I left a whole bunch of costs out. Processing/backgrounds checks were not included.

  50. Gab

    Processing/backgrounds checks were not included.

    It’s apparently included in the $70,000/refugee figure I posted above,

  51. lem

    I agree, Fisky has proven the economic case for OSB, to which can be added the humanitarian moral case of preventing drowning, saving government money which can be better applied, and, sorry to say this to you Sinclair, but preventing flow on social ills from the in flux of undesirables.

  52. jupes

    (2) abolishing the welfare state (replaced with private charity) and allowing people free movement
    Option 2 is clearly the libertarian one.

    Well if that’s the case then they will never be elected no matter how many other sensible policies they have.

    Open borders is as stupid as any Greens policy. Probably more so.

  53. Notafan

    Both Malaysia and Indonesia have stepped up round ups of illegals, Malaysia did a big round up on on 21 January.
    There are lots of other costs that are a little harder to see, councile run migrant resource centres, special blocks of funding for community associations, family day care scams, ie I’ll mind yours if you mind mine in round robin arrangements, legal aid, the review tribunal (though I think Morrison is winding that up), interpreter services, ESL programes and special school transition programess, the cost of special clinics for victims of FGM who often have significant health issues , in fact medical costs might be significantly higher for refugees, we don’t know.

  54. Fisky

    I agree, Fisky has proven the economic case for OSB, to which can be added the humanitarian moral case of preventing drowning, saving government money which can be better applied, and, sorry to say this to you Sinclair, but preventing flow on social ills from the in flux of undesirables.

    Must admit, I was pretty hammered when I wrote this post. And it’s all back-of-the-envelope stuff. Regarding the saved lives – I think most economists assume the value of a life to be about $2 million. So if this program deters 200 deaths a year (1,000 deaths over 5, taking the very low estimate of deaths under Rudd Gillard), that’s another $400 million of value saved per annum.

  55. Alfonso

    “Open borders is as stupid as any Greens policy”.

    Indeed, however Liberts have their own bizarre core religious dogma.
    As in “as long as it pays in self financing fair dollars, who gives a fuck?”

  56. Viva

    the question still remains: is Operation Sovereign Borders a classical liberal and/or libertarian policy? Is it in keeping with the ideological stance of the blog?

    This sounds like an exam question.

  57. Kaboom

    lem:

    “I am asking with my most polite voice because I have never really comprehended your philosophy regarding open borders.”

    There is a libertarian argument for open borders, similar to that applied to the mass immigration to the USA in the 19th Century – i.e. we don’t give a fuck where you came from, welcome. If you pass these rudimentary health checks, welcome. Don’t expect any welfare or assistance whatsoever, and make your own wealth. Learn English, on your own coin. Honour the society that you are being welcomed into. In 5 or so years, if you have kept your nose clean, we might consider conferring citizenship upon you. If you don’t fuck up this mission, welcome.

    I seriously think that this political/social philosophy might work in Australia today, if the welfare state was disbanded.

    Fat fucking chance there…

  58. Leigh Lowe

    To paraphrase the Slapper …
    “Don’t worry about the cost-benefit.
    It’s the right thing to do”

  59. Kaboom

    Fisky – the value of lives saved does not intrinsically benefit Australia, does it?

  60. Leigh Lowe

    I think it might be a long time before those on the left realise that Asians generally don’t think the same way the left think they do.

    (1) And Asians don’t think as a bloc as many lefties think.
    (2) There is far more open and vehement racism between Asian races than you will ever hear from Australians about Asian races.

  61. lem

    “Fisky – the value of lives saved does not intrinsically benefit Australia, does it?”

    No, but it is a moral good. It is what Sinclair wants utilitarianism to have.

  62. A Lurker

    Honour the society that you are being welcomed into.

    Most ‘already-Australian’ Progressives/Leftists would fail on that criteria alone.

  63. jupes

    There is a libertarian argument for open borders, similar to that applied to the mass immigration to the USA in the 19th Century …

    19th century Muslims weren’t as mobile as they are today. There are 1/4 bil Muslims living in one nation directly to our north and billions more beyond that.

    FMD take off the ideoligical blinkers and open your eyes.

  64. I would guess: (a) the Libertarian position would support freedom of movement across national borders, (b) they opposed to Nation States as a form of government, (c) and more controversially, as part of the suspicion of “large government” in these cases not constituted democratically, they would oppose Multi-National Corporations. My guess is that Libertarian is based on the idea of small scale, a personal form of market capitalism that is inherently socially responsible. Any way scale is a limiting factor for Libertarian institutional formation, is it not?

    The moral costs involved in the mistreatment and violence to people, including as refugees, is incalculable. It is not the behavior that Jesus Christ modelled is it? Nor, is it consistent, with the Torah, which may represent the moral code for a Libertarian society. I thought a part of the formative foundation of Judeo-Christian Civilization should be thrown in.

  65. Kaboom

    Jupes, I said there was “an argument”.

    I think that I was pretty clear in my post that the “argument” doesn’t wash today, sans the total disbanding of the welfare state.

    My eyes are pretty open, how about yours?

  66. “(1) And Asians don’t think as a bloc as many lefties think.
    (2) There is far more open and vehement racism between Asian races than you will ever hear from Australians about Asian races.”

    So true, if only we can get the lefties to see that.

  67. jupes

    I think that I was pretty clear in my post that the “argument” doesn’t wash today, sans the total disbanding of the welfare state.

    My point is that the argument doesn’t wash today even if the welfare state was totally disbanded.

    The formula is simple. The more Muslims the less liberty.

  68. Sinclair Davidson

    …sorry to say this to you Sinclair, but preventing flow on social ills from the in flux of undesirables.

    Is this a comment about the state of the open thread?

  69. Kaboom

    “The formula is simple. The more Muslims the less liberty.”

    Jupes, that’s fair enough. However, without the “pull” factor of endless welfare, and the basic rules applied by the immigration officials of the 19th Century USA, how many Mohammedans are going to (a) voluntarily come here; or (b) stay here?

    In fact, in that scenario, I could see a net exodus of Mohammedans.

    They might not like scratching a living in an infidel state, with no bennies whatsoever.

  70. Tom

    Quote of the day:

    Must admit, I was pretty hammered when I wrote this post.

    LOL. You’re supposed to get hammered after you file.

  71. Gilas

    Before everyone begins to argue about minor details about the open-and-shut OB case …

    The utilitarian/moral arguments are all well and good, however there is only ONE, unarguable and fundamental problem with OB; it is simply that it’s a fundamentally demented, unnatural proposition to treat, or care-for, any stranger as if he/she were equal, or even better, than someone I already know and/or have citizenship/cultural affinity with.

    End of story! Other arguments are embellishments and distractions.

    The ”moral” argument that I should care if some stranger dies attempting to bypass safe channels of immigration just doesn’t gel, it runs counter to thousands of years of evolution of human thought and group behaviour, it’s simply moral posturing designed for the shedding of crocodile tears and camel-in-eye-of-needle discussion.

    Sure, orderly migration is fantastic, and economic considerations are important, but let’s not defend or argue about an a-priori indefensible proposition.

    Besides, the mere fact that the morally corrupt, anti-reason, anti-humanistic, anti-enlightenment left/ALP/Green mob believe in OB means it is an untenable position until proven otherwise.

  72. Andrew

    “Exactly. They like predictable and steady. And their policies on asylum are typically much tougher than ours. So there is no “we are isolated in our region!!11!!” nonsense.”

    Quite so. I’m waiting for the meeja to challenge SH-H on the claim that the likes of Malaysia is looking down their nose at us for how we treat illegals. (There should be some videos on YouTube of them taking the sugar off the table.)

  73. Carpe Jugulum

    There is far more open and vehement racism between Asian races than you will ever hear from Australians about Asian races.”

    Unfortunately that is true, i know first hand.

  74. tomix

    What about the effects of the government bidding up accommodation rents in Australia to demonstrate what a responsible international citizen Australia is.
    Are arabs, persians and tamils better prospects than the annual quota we’ll be getting anyway if the trade is stopped?

  75. WhaleHunt Fun

    When I want another leeching low-life parasite sucking on my tax, I will write to Minister Morrison and he can send me one. Until then they can die in a ditch before I could care less. Why the government allows these criminal cheats to escape alive back to Indonesia I cannot understand. Make me Immigration Minister and they’ll have blisters on their hands from trying to save their lives by rowing as fast as they can towards Indonesia away from the private enterprise capitalists chasing them for the bounty on their scalps. No need for government ships. Capitalism is a solution to this problem.

  76. WhaleHunt Fun

    Will mandatory SSM for all illegals slow or speed the flow?

  77. A H

    Libertarianism isn’t the same as utilitarianism. A more pure libertarian solution would be to eliminate all welfare and government subsidy to everyone. Then arrivals by boat plane or whatever won’t have any cost to the tax payer.

    However, given that the welfare state isn’t going away any time soon, OSB is looking pretty good.

    Perhaps a libertarian step up on OSB would to put a price on every illegal arrival deterred… along the lines of a privateering. Then the Navy doesn’t need to be involved. Not that the Navy are doing a bad job by any means.

  78. Tel

    No. I don’t buy it. Utilitarianism without some moral or ideological underpinning leads us to all sorts of bad policy and dark places.

    At least the trains run on time :-)

  79. WhaleHunt Fun

    To paraphrase the Slapper …
    “Don’t worry about the cost-benefit.
    It’s the right thing to do”

    Mr Jones explained the “right thing to do” with the then Prime Minister but was not universally acclaimed.

  80. jupes

    In fact, in that scenario, I could see a net exodus of Mohammedans.

    No. If we were stupid enough to open our borders sans welfare, the Mohammedans from Saudi Arabia – with a bit of spare change – could pay to send a few million Musos our way.

    Then voila! They own Australia with enough resources to keep the Caliphate going with the added bonus of 20 million dhimmis to keep the mines running.

  81. JC

    No. If we were stupid enough to open our borders sans welfare, the Mohammedans from Saudi Arabia – with a bit of spare change – could pay to send a few million Musos our way.

    Then voila! They own Australia with enough resources to keep the Caliphate going with the added bonus of 20 million dhimmis to keep the mines running.

    Is this some version of Area 52 belief?

  82. Gilas

    Whale! You’re my man!!

  83. jupes

    Is this some version of Area 52 belief?

    Well we can all hope so.

    On the other hand, why would you open Australia’s borders in the insane hope that everyone who comes here will do so for personal economic opportunity? FMD look at the Mohammaden’s behaviour in Europe and the Middle East.

  84. Tom

    Fisky – Liberalism does not begin and end with dollars. The ethics and morality of OSB have not been addressed from a liberal point of view at all. I agree with Sinclair that this is more of a utilitarian analysis. I also agree that that can lead to dark places – I fear that Operation Sovereign Borders is one of those places.

    We are using one group of people (detainees and boat arrivals) as a means to influence the action of another group of people (potential refugees). Using individuals as a means to an end is very much against liberal principals as I understand them. Particularly when that using involves significant cruelty and when some of those individuals are children.

  85. blogstrop

    Utilitarianism without some moral or ideological underpinning leads us to all sorts of bad policy and dark places.

    I thought libertarianism was utilitarianism with a large dash of liberty. Then again, it used to be (at least in popular culture and novels by Craig McGregor et al) all about free sex and endless nights down the pub with a bunch of academic layabouts.

    Transforming it into hard economists who are a cross between the Productivity Commission and Social Workers is a bridge too far without further explanation, as Pauline said.

  86. Fisky

    Fisky – Liberalism does not begin and end with dollars. The ethics and morality of OSB have not been addressed from a liberal point of view at all.

    Liberalism is about smaller government. Don’t you support smaller government?

    I also agree that that can lead to dark places – I fear that Operation Sovereign Borders is one of those places.

    By stopping people from drowning (especially children), the government is upholding liberal values such as the protection of life. What’s wrong with that?

    Using individuals as a means to an end is very much against liberal principals as I understand them. Particularly when that using involves significant cruelty and when some of those individuals are children.

    Liberal governments are entitled to set policies that impose costs/incentives on various kinds of behaviour if it is consistent with liberal principles – deterring crime is an obvious example. In the example of OSB, we have a government that is saving lives, reducing spending, and punishing transnational criminal networks.

    The only label I can think of that suitably applies to this policy is “liberal”.

  87. Fisky

    I would guess: (a) the Libertarian position would support freedom of movement across national borders, (b) they opposed to Nation States as a form of government, (c) and more controversially, as part of the suspicion of “large government” in these cases not constituted democratically, they would oppose Multi-National Corporations. My guess is that Libertarian is based on the idea of small scale, a personal form of market capitalism that is inherently socially responsible. Any way scale is a limiting factor for Libertarian institutional formation, is it not?

    I have no idea what this means, but you do have form.

    The moral costs involved in the mistreatment and violence to people, including as refugees, is incalculable. It is not the behavior that Jesus Christ modelled is it? Nor, is it consistent, with the Torah, which may represent the moral code for a Libertarian society. I thought a part of the formative foundation of Judeo-Christian Civilization should be thrown in.

    What mistreatment and violence? Please don’t tell me you believe the ABC’s lying story about our navy personnel. Typical Leftist tin-foil lunacy.

    In reality, lives are being saved, detention centres are being closed, spending is being cut, and people smugglers (criminals) are losing business. All in all, a policy that Jesus would thoroughly approve of, being the liberal he undoubtedly was.

  88. wreckage

    why would you open Australia’s borders in the insane hope that everyone who comes here will do so for personal economic opportunity?

    Because you have no idea that individualism and economic gain are minority ideas with barely any traction outside the post-Christian, post-Imperial bloc? It’s called the “WEIRD” mindset:

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/scienceonreligion/2013/03/how-weird-are-you/

  89. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Whale:

    Will mandatory SSM for all illegals slow or speed the flow?

    Dunno, but every single one who rocks up will be from Kandahar.

  90. wreckage

    No, I think borders have a purpose, and that meeting that purpose is to the overall good. But the argument is not over sovereign or open borders, but between two implementations of sovereign borders.

    A policy that has half-sovereign borders creates a very perverse incentive to climb into a leaky boat and then scuttle it with as many children and pregnant women on board as possible. Since nobody is actually tabling open borders as a possible alternative, the choices are between refugee intake via safe methods and refugee intake via unsafe methods.

  91. Tom

    Fisky – you can make arguments for operation boarders but they are not liberal arguments. They are utilitarian arguments – the same Utilitarianism liberals are so suspicious of (and for good reason).

    Liberalism is about smaller government. Don’t you support smaller government?

    Liberalism is much more than that – Liberalism contends that my right to punch you ends just before your nose. Or simply that one should be free to do whatever one wishes as long as it does not impede another persons right to do whatever they wish. Of course liberal philosophers have worked over the years to develop caveats and clarifications that can allow this to be applied in the real world.

    (…and no – I don’t support smaller government, but I wont derail this thread with all that.)

    Liberal governments are entitled to set policies that impose costs/incentives on various kinds of behaviour if it is consistent with liberal principles – deterring crime is an obvious example.

    Of course governments of all persuasions have to do this – but a liberal government should be less inclined to want to influence the behaviour of free people than other more heavy handed political ideologies. I would argue that in this particular case the cruelty metered out to asylum seekers crosses over a line past which an action is morally wrong no matter what potential utility may flow from it.

  92. Fisky

    Of course governments of all persuasions have to do this – but a liberal government should be less inclined to want to influence the behaviour of free people than other more heavy handed political ideologies. I would argue that in this particular case the cruelty metered out to asylum seekers crosses over a line past which an action is morally wrong no matter what potential utility may flow from it.

    Oh yes? And what cruelty would that be? Avoiding deaths on the high seas? Closing detention centres? Providing people with air-conditioned enclosed lifeboats on their way back to the port of departure?

    Not only on absolute standards (saving lives, $, releasing people from detention), but also relative standards (massive rise in detention under Labor, minimum 1,100 reported deaths), Operation Sovereign Borders is the most liberal, humane policy we’ve had in years, possibly ever.

  93. jupes

    Dunno, but every single one who rocks up will be from Kandahar.

    Those devout Muslims are not homosexual. Not in their mind anyway. Homosexuality involves love. Sex with minors or other men is just that: Sex.

    After all, in a society with the death penalty for sex with women outside marriage, they have to have some sort of outlet, be it with boys or donkeys. That’s all cool. While homosexuality incurs the death penalty, sex with boys is a privilege for the pillars of society.

    Hey I’ve got a good idea. Why don’t we encourage more of these people to immigrate here. Multiculturalism and all that.

  94. Fisky

    Note to Left-wing trolls – if you are going to make claims about government “cruelty” and “mistreatment”, you actually need to specify what this is – i.e. HOW are they mistreating people? Re-running brainless 2002-era slogans is simply not going to cut it on this thread, especially after the enormous numbers of deaths caused by the previous open borders regime.

  95. Fisky

    Message from the PM (most of it about boats) -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFZ4LP1feqQ&feature=youtu.be

    Abbott is really killing it! Dares Bill Shorten to state his position and promise not to reverse policies.

  96. Tom

    Fisky – your arguments are still all utilitarian. They be arguable but they are not demonstrating OSB to be a liberal policy.

    Oh yes? And what cruelty would that be? Avoiding deaths on the high seas? Closing detention centres? Providing people with air-conditioned enclosed lifeboats on their way back to the port of departure?

    Not only on absolute standards (saving lives, $, releasing people from detention), but also relative standards (massive rise in detention under Labor, minimum 1,100 reported deaths), Operation Sovereign Borders is the most liberal, humane policy we’ve had in years, possibly ever.

    The cruelty I am referring to is locking people who have committed no crime (and children) up indefinitely in substandard conditions. Indefinite detention takes people’s hope and leads to mental anguish and depression.
    If you are comfortable with what happens on Naru and Manus, I suggest you watch the Dateline and 4 corners reports on those centres.

    I’m not here to defend Labor, I make the same criticisms of their policy.

    The utilitarian argument that OSB is saving lives is not easily proven or measured. We just don’t know how much the volume of boats is determined by domestic policy, although it does seem to have some affect. We also need to acknowledge that Australian domestic policies such as scuttling boats that arrive (meaning only junks are sent), charging the crew (meaning no proper seaman will make the voyage), excising areas from the migration zone, have made the voyage more dangerous.

    I suspect the Liberal view would be that people should be free to take risks they want to but should never be compelled or forced into taking a risk by a government. Which is what appears to have occurred when the life boat that was sent back to Indonesia ran aground in a remote area leading to three people perishing trying to find there way out of the jungle. (as reported in the Murdoch press)

  97. old bloke

    In fact, in that scenario, I could see a net exodus of Mohammedans.

    No it won’t.

    It’s not just the sugar on the table which draws them here, their religion also demands Hijrah (migration) to bring Islam to infidel nations. They are colonisers for the Ummah, to spread Islam by Dawa and Taqiyya (proselytizing and lying to infdels), by outbreeding the indigenous population, or by Jihad.

    The hand-outs are just icing on the cake, hand-outs or not they will come.

  98. Fisky

    The cruelty I am referring to is locking people who have committed no crime (and children) up indefinitely in substandard conditions. Indefinite detention takes people’s hope and leads to mental anguish and depression.
    If you are comfortable with what happens on Naru and Manus, I suggest you watch the Dateline and 4 corners reports on those centres.

    And Scott Morrison is rapidly reducing the amount of mental anguish, by closing detention centres. Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know.

    The utilitarian argument that OSB is saving lives is not easily proven or measured. We just don’t know how much the volume of boats is determined by domestic policy, although it does seem to have some affect.

    Sorry, are you going to bring your own laugh-track or am I required to provide it as the guest post author? Truly, “some effect”. Hilarious. From 4,000 arrivals/month down to…zip. We haven’t seen a precipitous fall like this since…why since the Pacific Solution!

    We also need to acknowledge that Australian domestic policies such as scuttling boats that arrive (meaning only junks are sent), charging the crew (meaning no proper seaman will make the voyage), excising areas from the migration zone, have made the voyage more dangerous.

    Rubbish. The $50K lifeboats we are providing and escorting them back in are practically unsinkable, particularly compared to the appalling vessels they came out in.

    Just a favour, can we please have at least one fact per posting, please? I shouldn’t have to wade through 1,000′s of words in the futile hope of encountering facts.

    I suspect the Liberal view would be that people should be free to take risks they want to but should never be compelled or forced into taking a risk by a government.

    Mnyes, tell that the children on board this boats.

  99. Gab

    And Scott Morrison is rapidly reducing the amount of mental anguish, by closing detention centres. Rome wasn’t built in a day, you know.

    True and it took the Rudd/gillard governments six years to open up many detention centres, some of which had been mothballed some ten years ago. Remember, when Howard lost the election there were only four asylum seekers in detention.

  100. Fisky

    jupes – discussion about Muslims has its place (but please don’t repeat the nuke Mecca stuff), however we should try and stay more closely on topic – is Operation Sovereign Borders a liberal policy or not?

    Unquestionably, it is both liberal and Christian!

  101. Fisky

    Respected psychiatrist Tanveer Ahmed on the mental health effects of the different parties’ policies (2011) –

    In spite of the government talking tough, psychiatrist colleagues have told me that they observed changes in the group behaviour of asylum seekers after they discovered those acting out often had their applications processed faster.

    Those who self harmed, were violent or undertook hunger strikes were far more likely to see their immigration case officer within days and be released into community housing within weeks.

    Colleagues then observed a spike in rates of violence and self harm among those who remained in detention. They usually occurred as impulsive acts in people without clear syndromes of mental illness, such as depression.

    I have seen many refugees as patients over the years and it is difficult not to feel overwhelmed by their situations. The presentations usually make the travails of the average neurotic patient look trivial. Their circumstances are almost universally impossible to verify and many worry that revealing a passport might link them to people smugglers back home and endanger their families.

    In my experience much of their trauma comes not from past horrors at home but the uncertainty of their visa application. Torture, persecution or life-threatening journeys do not seem to compare to the frustration of dealing with the bureaucracy. It is also naive to think that a group that has learnt to rely on its wits alone is not prone to use the only resources at its disposal – white man’s guilt.

    The poor mental health of asylum seekers is a no-win situation for the government. Attempting to minimise it through treatment is likely to be futile. Ending detention will surely increase the number of arrivals by boat. Asylum is a market that works like any other. The approach of the former prime minister John Howard of offshore processing is the most humane with regards to reducing distress, for it limits the incentive for smugglers, reduces the number of boats and ultimately reduces time in detention.

  102. Fisky

    Whoops –

    Mnyes, tell that the children on board these boats.

  103. Notafan

    If you are comfortable with what happens on Naru and Manus, I suggest you watch the Dateline and 4 corners reports on those centres.

    Infinite detention of their own volition is it not? They are free to go home at any time, courtesy of the Australian taxpayer. Indeed some are already being voluntarily repatriated which is also an indication of the genuineness of their claims.
    Others have indicated they will sit there for six years, if need be, to await a change of government. Bill Shorten changing policy might even be the most humane thing to do.

  104. Tom

    I know I’m not going to convince anyone here. Personally I think off shore processing and turning the boats back are moral mistakes and will come to be seen so in history.

    Re the Tanveer Ahmed link – if you watch the shows I mention you will hear the onion of psychiatric professionals who have no stood for the Liberal Party.

    Re the effect of domestic policy – last January there were about 400 arrivals – this january nil. However this is because boats are being turned around. So that shows us nothing about the deterrent effect. It does not demonstrate that “the refugee problem” is fixed, it just means that boats are being turned around.

    Look – We can argue all day about the morality of OSB. What you just can’t claim, is that any of it is justified by classic liberalism.

    Just a favour, can we please have at least one fact per posting, please? I shouldn’t have to wade through 1,000′s of words in the futile hope of encountering facts.

    Theres no need to be snarky – it does not add to your argument.

  105. Fisky

    Re the Tanveer Ahmed link – if you watch the shows I mention you will hear the onion of psychiatric professionals who have no stood for the Liberal Party.

    Ad hominem alert!

    Re the effect of domestic policy – last January there were about 400 arrivals – this january nil. However this is because boats are being turned around. So that shows us nothing about the deterrent effect. It does not demonstrate that “the refugee problem” is fixed, it just means that boats are being turned around.

    It does say something, if press reports of six turn-arounds over the non-arrival period are accurate. That implies 1 boat per week attempting to make the voyage. There were 9 boats in January 2013. Of course, the sample is extremely small, and it’s better to wait until we can compare March/April 2014 with March/April 2013, but it appears that arrival attempts have been cut by more than half, period-on-period.

    Look – We can argue all day about the morality of OSB. What you just can’t claim, is that any of it is justified by classic liberalism.

    I just did – protecting human life is a core liberal value.

  106. Tom

    Notafan – these folk have fled their country in fear of their lives. They can’t go back. That is why they don’t.

  107. jupes

    jupes – discussion about Muslims has its place (but please don’t repeat the nuke Mecca stuff),

    FFS that wasn’t me.

    What is it with the collective memory of this blog?

  108. jupes

    is Operation Sovereign Borders a liberal policy or not?

    I don’t care. I only care that it works.

  109. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    Fisky:

    Message from the PM (most of it about boats) -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFZ4LP1feqQ&feature=youtu.be

    Abbott is really killing it! Dares Bill Shorten to state his position and promise not to reverse policies.

    Youtube have removed teh video!

    The luvvies must have been squalling about it.

  110. Leigh Lowe

    Notafan – these folk have fled their country in fear of their lives. They can’t go back. That is why they don’t.

    How do you know that?
    Even Bobby Carr admitted before the election that the asylum-shoppers were mainly middle class Iranians with the money to buy themselves a lifetime supply of dole cash.
    This is a scam being perpetrated by Pakistani shopkeepers and Iranian public servants in the hope of accessing our money and being a Trojan Horse for family reunions.
    And what of the genuine refugees whose places they pinch?

  111. A Lurker

    These folk have fled their country in fear of their lives. They can’t go back. That is why they don’t.

    Your statement fails the common sense test.

    First off, so many of these fearful folk have (once they have attained residency in Australia) go back home on holidays – some of them multiple times.

    Secondly, if they were so fearful, why don’t they go to an Australian official, ask to be relocated to a UN-refugee camp, and state that they are happy to be sent anywhere (except back home).

    Perhaps some may indeed do just this – but if it does happen, then we never hear about, and only hear about the ones making a ruckus and self-harming in order to get their own way.

    Tom, these asylum seekers are in fact consumers. They have spent big money and bought and paid for a product. That product is residency in Australia (plus all the monetary benefits that comes from accessing our welfare). Like anyone else who has spent big on a product (think 5-star hotel accommodation), they expect certain things – and when the product that they spent all their money on is denied to them, or comes slower than what they expected, or the food or toilet paper or toothpaste or any other thing (that a true and grateful refugee wouldn’t give a flying f*** over) wasn’t up to expectations – well then, you have to think of them as irate consumers, and not refugees in fear of their lives.

  112. candy

    If you are comfortable with what happens on Naru and Manus,

    I don’t think anyone is particularly comfortable with detention centres.

    Anyway, in time, we may well have barely any need for detention centres, because the boats will be mostly stopped. A happy thing, Tom, and I’m so pleased Mr Abbott and Mr Morrison are doing their best.

  113. jupes

    Notafan – these folk have fled their country in fear of their lives. They can’t go back. That is why they don’t.

    Except that they do. As detailed above by A. Lurker.

    A question you may like to consider is why do they come by boat when an airfare is five times cheaper and much more comfortable and safer?

    There is really no excuse for the level of ignorance you are displaying here.

  114. Gab

    protecting human life is a core liberal value.

    I’m guessing you mean Liberal with a capital L, Fisky and not liberal as in “progressive” becuase they sure as hell are not in the business of protecting human life.

  115. Fisky

    No, protecting human life is a small-”l” liberal policy, assuming the term liberalism has any meaning at all.

  116. Notafan

    Mr Morrison was providing stats on voluntary repatriations on the department website. Have a look.
    There is also a recent interview with a turned back Afghan who admitted he had tried under Howard then gone home. The majority of passengers on the boat that capsized off the Java coast were Lebanese who were carrying fake Syrian passports. Did you not see the interviews with their Iman on SBS. The Iranians, what persecution are they fleeing from?

  117. Fisky

    Notafan – you got the link for that? I’d like to check it out.

  118. Gab

    Apologies then. I’m thinking of social liberalism, But the “liberalism” on display here and in the US, UK is not for protecting life.

  119. Leigh Lowe

    These folk have fled their country in fear of their lives. They can’t go back. That is why they don’t.

    How do they fly out of Teheran through a controlled airport to Indonesia if they are oppressed enemies of the Iranian regime?
    However, it is possible there is a Catch 22 here.
    Imagine they are one of the commercial asylum-shoppers as described by Lurker above.
    They may have absolutely no reason to fear anything when they first left Iran, but they have arrived at Christmas Island and promptly slag off the Iranian Gumment and half-a-dozen individual Iranian officials.
    Now they have two problems if they don’t make the cut.
    They drop $10k and they may now have an awkward time of it if they return to Iran.
    But that is all a product of their own greed …. it doesn’t cut it as grounds for asylum.

  120. Gab

    Message from the PM (most of it about boats) -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFZ4LP1feqQ&feature=youtu.be

    Fisky that above link has been removed from youtube. You don’t happen to recall which group he was addressing, or was it an interview?

  121. Fisky

    Gab – it was a 2-minute prepared statement, kind of like an address to the nation. Very good stuff! Hopefully they will have it on the party or PM’s website.

  122. Gab

    Nope. Not at any of those sites, have checked. Even the one on the PM site has the message at the link:

    This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content.

  123. Fisky

    Unbelievable! Abbott must arrest every Youtube staffer in Australia and threaten not to release them until they unblock the video, at once!

  124. Gab

    Here’s the transcript:

    From talking to people around our country my sense is that confidence is returning.

    This year, the Government will continue the good work that we began in 2013 – and we’ll do that by implementing our plan to build a strong and prosperous economy for a safe and secure Australia.

    We are honouring our commitments; indeed that will be the theme of this Government this year, honouring our commitments to scrap the carbon tax, to end the waste, to get the Budget under control and to build the infrastructure of the 21st century. We’ve also made big progress in border protection.

    Not a single illegal boat has arrived since mid-December.

    January was the first full month since early 2009 that has gone without the arrival of a single illegal boat.

    The people smugglers are finally getting the message that this country is under new management.

    It’s been a remarkable turnaround in only a few months – our policies are working and progress is being made.

    It wasn’t so long ago that, on average, there was one illegal boat every single day.

    So to have no boats for six weeks is a clear sign that policies are working and progress is being made.

    We now need the Labor Party and Mr Shorten to admit they got it wrong and to promise Australians that they would never go back to the bad policies that resulted in 55,000 illegal arrivals and $11 billion in Budget blowouts.

    But while we have made progress – and we are confident that these policies are working – there is more to be done.

    This progress in stopping the boats is just one of the reasons why I am optimistic about the year ahead. It’s just one of many areas where the policies of the new Government are making a difference.

  125. Notafan

    okay the stats on voluntary and involuntary repatriations are in the transcripts in the reports from Angus Campbell.
    I would also like to mention that given that we were seeing increasing volumes on a per annum basis consideration ought to be given to that effect as well if you are doing a cost benefit analysis. Indonesia are reporting that a lot of people have now returned to their country of original , with both reports of turn backs and Indonesia putting people into detention probably both influencing these decisions. All of which undermine the claims of push factors in relation to boat arrivals

    perhaps the ABC might like to keep a table of repatriations it beats having to hunt through the transcripts

  126. A Lurker

    This video has been removed as a violation of YouTube’s policy against spam, scams, and commercially deceptive content.

    So much for Freedom of Speech.
    It shows that whoever heads You Tube is either a lily-livered girly-man, or a Leftist, or both.

    The Government should reissue the video under the heading – ‘Here is the official video that You Tube didn’t want you to see.’

  127. Gab

    Or Youtube could have been hacked.

  128. Tom

    Ok folks,

    Jupes – that is a cheap shot – the facts are much more complicated than you make them out to me and accusing me of ignorance is not really fair.

    Fisky – if saving life is a core liberal value – by that logic seat belts, anti-smoking laws and helmet laws are liberal values.

    All the folks saying these people are not real refugees – you don’t have any evidence of that. None. Fisky, Bob Carr was incredibly slimy when he went on 7.30 and trashed asylum seekers prior to the election to launch Rudd’s hideous PNG solution. Nasty politics was all that was. The truth is that the overwhelming majority of people who come by boat are judged by immigration officials to be genuine refugees. I know that for some reason there will always be people on the inter tubes who feel that they know better than those officials, despite not having access to any relevant information.

    There seems to be a view in Australian living rooms that everyone in the world wants to come here and would risk their life and their family’s lives just to get their hands on some welfare. When you think about it – that is quite an arrogant assumption. Would you leave you family, friends, culture, home, ancestors, everything you know – and take a dangerous voyage that could cost you your life savings just to get on welfare? Its not really credible. People leave and take this enormous risk because they are desperate.

    Candy – I hope you are right, I really do. I also hope that if the boats stop we can take some steps to help resettle people from Indonesia via a regional agreement, to form the queue that does not currently exist. I think that is what most of us want. We don’t want to see people drowning or taking the risk of the trip, equally we don’t want to see people locked up on remote islands and children held in detention.

  129. Gab

    This “Tom” person sounds familiar.
    ————————————————

    Okay, something is going on because I;ve tried playing a number of videos on the PM site and I get the message:

    This video is no longer available becuase the Youtube account associated with this video has been terminated

  130. candy

    We don’t want to see people drowning or taking the risk of the trip, equally we don’t want to see people locked up on remote islands and children held in detention.

    Exactly Tom, no-one wants that. I truly hope we can achieve that.

  131. Tom

    Just pointing out that I am not fucktard Tom, who, appropriately wears Greenfilth colours to signify the aqua of the Indian Ocean, the watery burial ground of thousands of little brown people whose death fucktard Tom enthusiastically supported because compassion and open borders and because shutup.

  132. Gab

    equally we don’t want to see people locked up on remote islands and children held in detention.

    Isn’t that the truth. You may have missed it but upthread I quoted the numbers of asylum seekers held in detention at the time when government changed hands to Rudd. Four.

    Four people in detention back then.

    And then Rudd/gillard opened the flood gates and opened many many more detention centres.

    And now, Morrison/Abbott are closing the detention centres.

  133. candy

    Just pointing out that I am not..

    I got a bit surprised at first Tom, because you’re the only Tom i know.
    Sooner or later we’ll have another Gab or jc or even a C.L. and we won’t know who we are! Confusing.

  134. Gab

    because you’re the only Tom i know.

    He’s the only Tom worth knowing :)

  135. A Lurker

    This “Tom” person sounds familiar.

    Hi Gab – he’s coming across to me as very like PSFR – a pro-asylum seeker bleeding heart that used to (or perhaps still does) inhabit Bolt’s blog.

    Hi (Real) Tom, you might want to change your moniker so you don’t get confused with Green Tom. As for Green Tom – his irrational behaviour is very trollish, so will no longer respond to him.

  136. candy

    He’s the only Tom worth knowing :)

    well … yes!

  137. Tom

    There seems to be a view in Australian living rooms that everyone in the world wants to come here and would risk their life and their family’s lives just to get their hands on some welfare. When you think about it – that is quite an arrogant assumption.

    Have you ever had a job in the real economy, fucktard? Australia’s welfare sit down money is in the top 30 average wages around the world.

    Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and others have stated repeatedly that Australia needed to “take the sugar off the table” and remove attractions which give people smugglers a product to sell.

    The sugar on the table is twice and 10 times the average wage in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

  138. Tom

    Hi (Real) Tom, you might want to change your moniker so you don’t get confused with Green Tom.

    No.

  139. Tom

    because you’re the only Tom i know.

    He’s the only Tom worth knowing

    Yeh, he come across as real nice guy… charmer.

    Candy and Gab – I wish that Morrison was emptying the Detention Centres but looking at these stats the number of people in detention both on and off shore has been growing since the election.
    http://www.immi.gov.au/About/Pages/about-immigration-detention.aspx?heading=immigration-detention-and-community-statistics

    For the record. I am just this Tom. Not anyone else by any other name – I am sure the moderators can see IP’s and what not. Sorry if this came across as trolling. Was not my intention. Don’t really think it was trolling.

    I think everyone wants to see fewer boats and fairer refugee processing. There are just different ideas about how to achieve that. I guess time will tell. Have a good week all.

  140. You’d have to allow for the likelihood that very likely one in ~40,000 per year would turn out to be a valued citizen of Australia, and released from Government control in their home country, make a significant contribution here. I’m certain he/she wouldn’t be the first.

    Even someone who came here with the deliberate intention of sponging off the rest of us might eventually be seduced by the laid back approach of most Australians.

    But on balance your monetary savings would be correct.

  141. Gab

    I wish that Morrison was emptying the Detention Centres but looking at these stats the number of people in detention both on and off shore has been growing since the election.

    Yeah, sure.

    August 2013: total in detention 11,471

    December 2013: total in detention 9,467

    All leftists are the same.

  142. crocodile

    Most of the asylum seekers have come here by plane anyway.

  143. Tom

    All leftists are the same lie about everything all the time.

  144. jupes

    Jupes – that is a cheap shot – the facts are much more complicated than you make them out to me and accusing me of ignorance is not really fair.

    No. The facts really are that simple.

  145. Gab

    Most of the asylum seekers have come here by plane anyway.

    Honestly, this is just tiresome.

    Facts here.

  146. Driftforge

    Notafan – these folk have fled their country in fear of their lives. They can’t go back. That is why they don’t.

    In general, this is BS. It is true for a very limited subset, but largely these are economic migrants who have some capacity to claim hardship.

  147. crocodile

    Honestly, this is just tiresome.

    Big deal, 3 quarters where the air arrivals were slightly smaller. Now go look at the other 152 quarters back as far as 1976.

  148. Infidel Tiger

    You’re a fucking moron, crocodile. Pour yourself a hot bath and ingest all your mum’s prescription pills.

  149. Empire Strikes Back

    Now go look at the other 152 quarters back as far as 1976.

    Go look it up yourself you indolent fuck.

  150. crocodile

    You’re a fucking moron, crocodile. Pour yourself a hot bath and ingest all your mum’s prescription pills.

    Go look it up yourself you indolent fuck.

    You pair of dopey arsewipes. The numbers are there for all to see.

  151. Tom

    Gab – I can’t see where you got those figures from. But it is true from what I can see that there was a big decrease August to September – looks like a large move from detention to community detention (perhaps the result of the last Labor minister’s push towards community detention, you would have to expect some bureaucratic hang over in september. From september there is a steady increase. The trend is up not down.

  152. Pedro the Ignorant

    Bolt mentions the Cat and a swarm of trolls descend on the place like bloody cockroaches.

    Get the Mortein.

  153. Gab

    I can’t see where you got those figures from.

    I got them from your link where you stated:

    I wish that Morrison was emptying the Detention Centres but looking at these stats the number of people in detention both on and off shore has been growing since the election.

    And Hey Presto! Your wish has come true, despite your subsequent dissembling.

  154. Gab

    looks like a large move from detention to community detention

    Err, no. You said detention on- and offshore, I gave figures – from the link you provided – for the total in detention, which means on- and offshore.

    Try again.

  155. Tom

    From september there is a steady increase. The trend is up not down.

    AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHA!!!
    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!

    You really are an ignorant fucktard clown.

  156. Gab

    Oh i must confess I missed that bit, Tom as I couldn’t be bothered reading it all after my second comment.

  157. Foggyfig

    From september there is a steady increase. The trend is up not down.

    Scratching head ;) That would have nothing to do with the fact that all boat arrivals are being sent off-shore for processing, would it??

  158. Fisky

    All the folks saying these people are not real refugees – you don’t have any evidence of that. None. Fisky, Bob Carr was incredibly slimy when he went on 7.30 and trashed asylum seekers prior to the election to launch Rudd’s hideous PNG solution. Nasty politics was all that was. The truth is that the overwhelming majority of people who come by boat are judged by immigration officials to be genuine refugees. I know that for some reason there will always be people on the inter tubes who feel that they know better than those officials, despite not having access to any relevant information.

    They certainly aren’t fleeing directly from danger – Indonesia is not dangerous at all – so we are entirely entitled to focus our humanitarian concern on those who have not only just done so, but also do not have the resources to skip 6 countries (count ‘em!) on the way to Australia.

    There seems to be a view in Australian living rooms that everyone in the world wants to come here and would risk their life and their family’s lives just to get their hands on some welfare. When you think about it – that is quite an arrogant assumption. Would you leave you family, friends, culture, home, ancestors, everything you know – and take a dangerous voyage that could cost you your life savings just to get on welfare? Its not really credible. People leave and take this enormous risk because they are desperate.

    I’ve spent most of my adult life outside of Australia. Yes – lots and lots of people really, really want to get to Australia. Not necessarily because of “welfare”, but welfare beats the crap out of what they have now, and are ever likely to have. I don’t begrudge them for wanting to move to Australia, but that doesn’t mean our humantarian stream should be triggered in such cases – ideally, it would be reserved entirely for those who are facing an immediate threat from a totalitarian government, and who themselves are not totalitarians. This would rule out any member of the Muslim Brotherhood who wants to overthrow the military government in favour of an even more oppressive regime.

  159. Fisky

    I notice the cranks still haven’t shown how the more expensive open door policy that caused thousands of deaths is the policy we should revert to. This is very disappointing. I had hoped that this post would trigger a renaissance in anti-sovereignty and pro-people smuggler arguments, but apparently we are still stuck in 2002-7 and spinning our wheels in the mud!

  160. brc

    I don’t get it. Are these people dissembling on this thread arguing to stop OSB? Do they want the boat people trade re-opened? Are they saying it doesn’t work?

    more by plane blah blah detention centres blah blah compassion blah blah fleeing for their lives blah blah can’t go home blah blah…I expect to see push factors, UNHCR, condemnation as the next cabs off the lefty talking poitns rank.

    All these talking points fail to acknowledge a fact that the boat trade allowed people to risk their lives and enter Australia in an unordered and uncontrolled way. You’re hardly compassionate if you think you are helping people escape murderous regimes by suggesting they risk their life on a boat crossing, where they had a much higher chance of dying than just about anything else they would do in their lives.

    Fact is, this government stated very clearly what it was going to do. A majority of people voted for that.

    The government commenced what it said it was going to do. More people than before now support that action, now that they can see that it works. Do we have people trying to mount an argument against that?

    This thread is open to debate whether the policies can be considered classic liberal or libertarian. It’s a minor debating point. It isn’t here to debate whether the policies are actually working, when clearly they are.

  161. brc

    I think everyone wants to see fewer boats and fairer refugee processing. There are just different ideas about how to achieve that. I guess time will tell. Have a good week all.

    No, they don’t want to see ‘fewer boats and fairer refugee processing’.
    They want to see no boats, and no refugees being processed as a result.

    There are just different ideas about how to achieve that. I guess time will tell.

    No, there are not different ideas. You make it impossible for them to make the journey, and they all give up. The people smugglers go out of business. Lives are saved when they turn around and fly home – which is apparently what most of them have decided to do.

    Time has told. From 2001-2007 they were slowed then stopped. From 2014 onwards it will be the same story. This issue is closed, the facts are in, there is no more debate or discussion to be had, apart from minor debating points about what philosophy you would classify the successful policy.

  162. Tom

    Gab, The decrease in onshore detention in september is -2329, the increase in community detention and bridging visa is + 2125. The trend from September to december is up. Fair to say the detention centres are not emptying.

    Tom, mate – is that all you got? Is that your whole game?

    Fisky that whole “they go though other countries” stuff is a flawed argument for a range of reasons and if you don’t know why you must only get your information from right wing bloggers. I’ve spent a lot of time OS as well and in my experience most folk want to stay where they are – unless they can’t possible do so.

  163. Gab

    The decrease in onshore detention in september is -2329, the increase in community detention and bridging visa is + 2125. The trend from September to december is up. Fair to say the detention centres are not emptying.

    If only you could correctly read the reports to which you linked, then you wouldn’t be carrying on like an innumerate clown.

  164. Gab

    No, there are not different ideas. You make it impossible for them to make the journey, and they all give up. The people smugglers go out of business. Lives are saved when they turn around and fly home – which is apparently what most of them have decided to do.

    Time has told. From 2001-2007 they were slowed then stopped.

    Correct, Brc. Unfortunately, we are at this stage of the proceedings on this thread:

    We have now sunk to a depth at which restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.

    – George Orwell.

    I was sure that Tom character bid us a farewell hours ago.

  165. Fisky

    Fisky that whole “they go though other countries” stuff is a flawed argument for a range of reasons and if you don’t know why you must only get your information from right wing bloggers.

    No it isn’t flawed. If they are NOT physically passing through other countries, it’s because they are on a flight over said countries. That raises the question as to how they would lose their travel documents between landing in Jakarta and being intercepted by the RAN. There is no reason to pay particular attention to the visa requirements of such people, as opposed to those with no resources at all.

  166. Tom

    The trend from September to december is up. Fair to say the detention centres are not emptying.

    Do I have to walk you through this, you Alinskyist fuckwit?

    There hasn’t been a boat since mid-December. In which fucking universe is the trend up?

    Oh, I get it. Morrison is hiding the country shoppers. I mean, he’s so eeeevil he’s probably EATING them.

    Fuck off back to Bolt’s, you fucking dissembling piece of shit.

  167. Gab

    That raises the question as to how they would lose their travel documents between landing in Jakarta and being intercepted by the RAN.

    I’m not sure if it has already been noted here, however recent reports confirm that many Iranians (and others) are leaving Indonesia and returning to their point of origin despite being allowed to stay in Indonesia. They are no longer willing to pay passage to people-smugglers as they are aware Australia will no longer be taken for fools.

  168. Fisky

    There were 6401 people in immigration detention facilities and alternative places of detention, including 4072 in immigration detention on the mainland and 2329 in immigration detention on Christmas Island as at 31 October 2013.

    There were 6122 people in immigration detention facilities and alternative places of detention, including 3939 in immigration detention on the mainland and 2183 in immigration detention on Christmas Island as at 31 December 2013.

    Never listen to Far Left cranks on border protection.

  169. Fisky

    There were 6401 people in immigration detention facilities and alternative places of detention, including 4072 in immigration detention on the mainland and 2329 in immigration detention on Christmas Island as at 31 October 2013.

    There were 6122 people in immigration detention facilities and alternative places of detention, including 3939 in immigration detention on the mainland and 2183 in immigration detention on Christmas Island as at 31 December 2013.

    Just so you can read the originals. The detention population is falling, centres are being closed, but Far Left cranks are seriously claiming with a straight face that the detention population is rising!

    It’s no wonder they murdered 100 million people in the 20th Century at all, given their sociopathic capacity for falsehood!

  170. Tom

    Tom, At the risk of being sworn at, I’ll just point out that the trend in question was the number of people held in detention, with a view to determining if it was fair to say that Morrison is emptying the detention centres. I hope that the clarification settles your nerves somewhat. You could always try actually reading before shouting, might help your anger management. :)

  171. Fisky

    I’m not sure if it has already been noted here, however recent reports confirm that many Iranians (and others) are leaving Indonesia and returning to their point of origin despite being allowed to stay in Indonesia. They are no longer willing to pay passage to people-smugglers as they are aware Australia will no longer be taken for fools.

    No no! This can’t be! Cranks are furiously asserting that they are ‘da REFUGEEEES. They will never return to be persecuted in their home countries.

  172. Fisky

    The detained population has fallen by nearly 5% in two months, but extremists are saying it is really going up!

  173. Gab

    The detained population has fallen by nearly 5% in two months, but extremists are saying it is really going up!

    And they wonder why leftards in government can’t deliver a surplus when they keep promising to do so.

  174. JC

    From september there is a steady increase. The trend is up not down.

    Find a ladies toilet and go hand yourself with a necktie.

  175. Fisky

    Scott Morrison announces closure of four detention centres

    The Abbott government has announced the closure of four immigration detention centres. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison says the closures will save the government at least $88.8 million a year.

    The Scherger facility in Queensland, the Port Augusta facility in South Australia and the Leonora facility in Western Australia will all be closed by the end of February, Mr Morrison said.

    The Pontville facility in Tasmania will also be formally closed after sitting empty since September last year.

    Detention population down, detention centres closed, thousands of lives and billions of $ saved. It’s very difficult to understand who would object to this, aside from ideological extremists who wish to kill large numbers of people.

  176. Gab

    What’s even more hilarious is he linked to the reports himself and claimed detention numbers were increasing. Clearly he didn’t read any reports he linked to in the first instance, and then having glanced at a couple gets the reported numbers wrong – hey, is this “tom” character a climate scientist perchance?

    Still, it’s an old worn-out lefty tactic: throw a few hundred pages of reports at people, make a claim contrary to the reports thinking no one can be bothered to check the reports against the claims. Sorry, that’s not how we operate here.

  177. wreckage

    Would you leave you family, friends, culture, home, ancestors, everything you know – and take a dangerous voyage that could cost you your life savings just to get on welfare?

    For a guaranteed minimum income for life and free healthcare and education for my children, my nieces and nephews, my grandchildren? Yes, absolutely, without hesitation. Do you really think that anyone from an even slightly traditional culture would not take huge risks to secure the prosperity of their children and grandchildren? They would, because the whole matters, not the individual. The same for risking their children on the voyage; the whole matters, not the individual. For the traditional mindset, the risks are ordinarily and the benefits incalculable.

    It is you that is arrogant, assuming that your cultural assumptions hold true across the world.

  178. wreckage

    ordinary, not ordinarily…

  179. Oh come on

    I think it might be a long time before those on the left realise that Asians generally don’t think the same way the left think they do.

    I know many. And I mean people that actually live in Asia, have never left Asia – not Chinese-Australians, Vietnamese-Australians etc. I mean Chinese, Vietnamese, and so on, living in these countries.

    Speak to them about the issue and they look at you perplexed. Why on earth would you tolerate foreigners barging into your country like that? Try to come to some accord? Find a “regional solution”? This is not a regional problem. It’s one their leaders would solve at the point of a bayonet, with their full support, and have done so in the past.

    Then when you tell them about all the benefits that are extended to these intruders, they genuinely think Australians must be completely mad. They literally don’t get it.

    I’m not at all worried about what Asian nations think of OSB (and that’s rather self-centredly assuming they think anything of it at all, which is doubtful). We could be 50x more brutal in repelling asylum seekers and the people that matter in these countries – along with plenty of those who don’t – wouldn’t bat an eyelid.

  180. Oh come on

    In the context of an all-pervasive welfare state, OSB is axiomatically a libertarian policy. It prevents a demographic that enlarges the size and scope of government from settling in Australia.

  181. Fisky

    Billions of dollars saved, thousand of lives protected, and hundreds of people released from detention in the last two months alone. This is the greatest liberal breakthrough since the Emancipation Proclamation itself!

  182. Notafan

    and would risk their life and their family’s lives just to get their hands on some welfare

    Again some welfare, someone on Bolt calculated that if the Lebanese gentlemen with the false Syrian passports travelling with his pregnant wife and nine children who drowned off the Java coast had been achieved his goal of resettlement his direct centrelink payments would have been $94,000 per annum and that does not include health school and all the others. So they come for what amounts to winning the lotto.
    The only real life threatening factor in the journey is the fishing boat ride from Indonesia, that is very true and there is trickery there on the part of the smugglers-don’t worry about the condition of the boat as soon as you get out of Indonesian waters ring Australia to pick you up. Of course Australian needs to know exactly where you are and will take time to arrive and the weather can change etc etc The Lebanese gentleman was wearing a lifejacket of course, but wife and children did not.
    It is interesting too that in most cases refugees flee imminent danger which is why we see no or little documentation. It then means that they cannot realistically make their way to Indonesia, even travelling via Malaysia would require documentation for North Africans and Middle Easterns. Easy to check visa requirements for Malaysia and Indonesia, it’s on their websites. You cannot get on a plane without at least a passport.
    The more likely to be non-genuine have time to organise passports, liquidate assets, borrow funds, locate people smugglers, negotiate a passage, cover the cost of living in Indonesia while waiting for passage and yet it appears mostly young males are in the most desperate danger.
    On the other hand refugee camps are full of penniless women and children.
    By the way most Tamils were coming directly from Sri Lanka not via CI, Even Labor were repatriating them voluntarily with a cash bribe of $3500, many were doing a cost benefit analysis on the benefit of coming out for the purpose of being sent home as passage from Sri Lanka was nothing like the $5000 to $10,000 from Indonesia. Some were coming back for a second round of cash. Sri Lanka is preventing most of those boats leaving. All those that have arrived since have been medically assessed and if fit flown home within 48 hours. My Tamil contact told me that one captain had made the trip nine times as his passangers knew better than to finger him to Immigration. Each time he would agree to be voluntarily repatriated.
    People who belong to the dominate culture of their home country are not generally fleeing for their lives.
    I’m really sick of being told that I am being brainwashed by right wing bloggers too, really only lefties are capable of independant thought?

  183. Paridell

    Tom,

    “you will hear the ONION of psychiatric professionals who have NO stood for the Liberal Party”?

    A guessing game, right?

  184. .

    I will say I prefer to turn people around than to lock them up.

    What we should do is increase the refugee quota (and immigration), strongly target the seedy underbelly of smuggling like arranged marriages and fraud.

    I can see the argument to detain people until we can ascertain their identity has merit, but I think it is a poor way to do law enforcement – can’t we just check if persons x,y or z are not person A, B or C as well? The approach we have now (verify rather than exclude) seems to go against the grain as to how our justice system works.

    If this is naive and unworkable then I suggest giving boaties a choice between being turned around or being detained for processing.

    I also maintain the best policy is to end welfare for non citizens – others have made some excellent points about this. Refugees would still come and be better off, there is no reason why they could not be supported privately, or by even the UN! (Perhaps we should get a commission for doing such noble works?). Nearly all of the queue jumpers and no hopers would bugger off (perhaps we also need to consider that making someone get an ID card and licence to pull a beer might be a barrier to employment…[among various absurd occupational licensing rules]).

    A simple policy that Abbott or Howard (whether I like it or not it worked and ultimately few people were detained as the deterrent worked) pursued is best. The more detail, the more expensive and counterproductive things get. It is astonishing we were going to be spending $10 bn a year on this stuff. Gillard’s Malaysia deal was stupid, hypocritical and shameful.

    The gorilla in the room is the TNI. If they weren’t an imperial police force that had nice little side earners – I suspect the boaties trade would reduce severely. That and some more cyclones.

    I actually reckon between genuinely racist people and moonbeams (Senator Hanson Young), most people agree about this issue in general, but disagree on what the best solution is. I doubt most reasonable people like either children drowning at sea, refugees denied asylum, innocent people locked up or allowing dangerous criminals in.

    The best thing about the Pacific Solution or sending them back is that they are a safe bet. However I would say delaying some refugees is better than locking up the children of the unscrupulous.

  185. Notafan

    locking up the children of the unscrupulous.

    Better to lock them up for the long term result (not for the actual children in detetion of course) but to discourage others. Treating unaccompanied children or groups with children differently will just encourage people to put their child at risk. Unaccompanied childen are also at risk of sexual explotation. Any change to the rules has seen a corresponding change in smuggling methodology. It’s a business looking for new markets.
    We have also seen before when adults have been wearing life jackets and children not. Let the parents take responsibility for their children.
    If teenagers break the law are they not subject to santions? If mothers break the law don’t their small children sometimes end up in low security prisons?

  186. Oh come on

    I think this lifeboats policy could well turn out to be the most successful government policy in history.

    Let’s stop calling it Operation Sovereign Borders. Let’s just call it Lifeboats to Indonesia. Or Lifeboats. Or Get On The Boat! Accord with the left’s demands, have Scott Morrison give constant media updates on boats intercepted and passengers transferred to lifeboats and sent back to their last port of departure. Let everyone know loud and clear that every single person who enters (or attempts to enter) Australia as an irregular maritime arrival will be put on a lifeboat and sent back to where they came from. And let everyone know each time a lifeboat is actually deployed. Hell, station a permanent media crew on the relevant Navy vessels to beam this vision out to the world as it’s happening.

    I HAVE AN EXCELLENT IDEA. Let’s keep the Australia Network, but reconfigure it so that it only broadcasts 24/7 vision of ‘on water operations’ when carrying out the Get On The Boat! policy. We don’t want any secrecy. Yes, and I think it is absolutely fitting that the ABC be tasked with broadcasting this soft diplomacy to our neighbours. I’m sure the ABC employees will relish this vital work that they insisted stay out of the hands of the private sector.

  187. Demosthenes

    Refugees would still come and be better off, there is no reason why they could not be supported privately, or by even the UN! (Perhaps we should get a commission for doing such noble works?)

    This is how it functions in Indonesia. No welfare, no schooling for children, but they’re also officially not allowed to work (about a third do illegally) so the UNHCR and charities give them money to survive. We should encourage Indonesia to let them work and put down roots, use them as a refugee sponge.

  188. Jim Rose

    spot on here. the point of stopping the boats is stopping people drowing along the way.

    I read somewhere that it is about a 2% of not making it to the shores of paradise by these boats.

  189. .

    Better to lock them up for the long term result (not for the actual children in detetion of course) but to discourage others.

    Abbott has done that by sending the boats back. No one locked up (from that), no one at risk at sea.

    Not allowing asylum seekers to work is stupid. If they earn an income they at least pay GST on their discretionary spending. “No schools or other public goods for you” – erm if they use roads, they already use publicly owned goods (like schools). Police, law courts and the military are actual public goods – if they committ crimes, they still “consume” these services.

    I can’t believe people aren’t more pissed off about the TNI’s role in this. Without them, this largely wouldn’t happen.

  190. .

    Another issue is that the refugee camps are run by the UN. How much credibility do they have? How many socialist, brainwashed space cadets work there…and actually encourage people smuggling?

    The UN has no credibility after appointing Algeria, Syria, Libya, Uganda and Vietnam et. al., to the UNHRC (etc.).

  191. Fisky

    I read somewhere that it is about a 2% of not making it to the shores of paradise by these boats.

    According to Chris Bowen, it was closer to 4%. That implies over 2,000 deaths under Rudd-Gillard. 2,000 deaths is $4 billion of value in terms of lost life.

    Shocking.

  192. Leo G

    I read somewhere that it is about a 2% of not making it to the shores of paradise by these boats.
    Whether 2%, 4%, or some other figure! the assumption is that you don’t include those who start a trip which is subsequently abandoned, but where the travellers return safely to a country other than Australia.
    Also not considered in your post is the effect on the cost benefit of the returned asylum seekers who make further boat trips to seek asylum.

  193. Fisky

    Also not considered in your post is the effect on the cost benefit of the returned asylum seekers who make further boat trips to seek asylum.

    It doesn’t matter. We only need a tiny handful (maybe 4 or more) of the illegal entrants to be unique in order for MC=MR.

  194. Matt

    Australia is a welfare state, therefore preventing ‘refugees’ from making use of the welfare state is a libertarian policy.

    The ‘refugees’ also happen to be aggressors. Any actions taken against them are in self defense.

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