The Good. The Bad. The Asinine.

Stop the Boats

As a political debate, the discussion around the arrival of asylum seekers by boat is roughly comparable to a cream pie fight between blind, deaf and mentally retarded circus clowns. In a pit full of jelly. So much venomous half-truth and blatant un-truth is flung gauchely, clumsily and senselessly round as soon as the topic is raised that any possibility of sane discussion is extinguished in a flurry of bleeding hearts and sub-human, barely veiled racism.

I however, think that there are powerful reasons for stopping the boats. None of them, however, have very much to do with the reasons I see being bruited about in the popular press.

Let us first deal with the xenophobes, who believe that our culture and way of life is threatened by the unchecked arrival of asylum seekers.

Dear Xenophobes,

Less than 2% of all arrivals in this country are by boat. If you think that this tiny drop in the ocean is likely to extinguish your culture and way of life, you must have a population comparable to that of a pristine, Amazonian Rainforest Tribe.

As we know very well that this is not the case, please drop the pretence immediately and just admit that you’re racists. Once this is done, we can shut you the fuck up and put you back in your holes, as is right and proper.

Then, of course, there are the people that argue that taking asylum seekers is ruinous to the economy. Firstly, leaving aside the fact that the portion arriving by boat is actually negligible, I would like to point out that the entire refugee spend for the last quarter of 2012 was 4% of the welfare budget. That is, 4% of the 20% of public spending that was allocated to welfare. Now, I’m no mathematician, but I think that comes to 0.8% of the budget. I am open to correction on the exact figure, but stick staunchly to the point that it is diddly squat of fuck all.

I was able to find this out because it is a matter of public record and I know how to use Google. So why do these people remain in a constant state of fiscal ferment? Well, I’d suggest that it is because these are the same sort of people who will declaim virulently about the size of the budget deficit without being able to explain what a budget deficit actually is.

So, Mr It’s Too Expensive, you can shut the fuck up, too.

Then there are my favourites: Those who say that they welcome immigrants, but are not willing to welcome illegal immigrants. For these people, my instructions are as follows:

Directly after school you are to go to your rooms, take a clean sheet of paper and write, in your best cursive:

“ASYLUM SEEKERS ARE NOT ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS”

one hundred times.

As a supplementary step, you may also wish to discover the definitions of the following terms:

Asylum Seeker

Refugee

Illegal Immigrant

Until this is done, please, for the love of sanity, shut the fuck up.

So, none of these reasons stand up as rational motivation to stop the boats. Some of these reasons, in fact, are being dealt a lavish courtesy by being referred to as ‘reasons’. So why, then, should we stop the boats?

Two reasons, and two reasons only.

  1. Coming to Australia by boat in wooden craft with shitty engines and less than half a foot of freeboard is dangerous. Not for us, but for the asylum seekers. Ever since this subject became a press circus, confirmed losses of asylum seeker boats have been bruited all over the news. I, however, have sat there on the line, listening to MARPAT reporting boats that never materialised. Nobody else gave a shit then, but then I guess it wasn’t an election year.
  2. The practice of coming to Australia on these craft funds an illegal and morally reprehensible industry. People smugglers, in general, are the scum of the Earth, and we should try to put a stop to anything that puts money in their pockets.

There. It’s that simple. So, xenophobes and amateur economists – you are supporting a policy position that has its only logical bases in concern for foreigners, and in the desire to choke an industry.

All that remains now is to deliver my message to those people who made of this issue a banner with the strange device ‘stop the boats’, behind which political troglodytes, racists and various other bigots could loudly rally behind.

Dear Sensationalist Fucktards,

I am so angry with you that I would not piss on you if you were on fire. If you arrived at my house on a boat seeking asylum, I would have you towed back.

 

 

Category: Asinine

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4 Responses

  1. Tim says:

    Like you, the main argument I get from people is, “I’d be OK with them if they weren’t trying to get in illegally”. The obvious retort, as you quite rightly say, is that it’s not illegal for people to seek asylum. The follow up point from them is then either, “But why don’t they fly in, or go to the Australian embassy in their own country?” or “But how do we know they’re genuine refugees?”. I have reasons why I think these are stupid questions, but I’ve never researched it properly. Do you have proper answers for them…?

  2. Chris says:

    Sure thing. They’re actually pretty simple questions to answer, and I’ve taped them out below.

    Q: Why don’t they fly in?
    A: Most of them do. To the tune of 99.98% (2012), in fact. Those that arrive from Indonesia have been detained in transit or have come as far as they are able, as available refugee routes vary from country to country.

    Q: Why don’t they just go the embassy in their own country?
    A: If you are genuinely seeking asylum, the overwhelming priority is to leave your country, not moon around the diplomatic district filling in forms and failing to be housed by the embassy. Only celebrities and defectors get that treatment.

    Also, in the case of Iran, where a good many of our asylum seekers come from, there is no embassy.

    Q: How do we know they’re genuine refugees?
    A: We don’t. We have to spend time finding out. This question is a little irrelevant in this context, however. We can’t prevent people from seeking asylum on the off chance that their application will fail. In fact, from an international legal standpoint, we cannot prevent people from seeking asylum full stop.

  3. Tim says:

    I’m also interested in the two next obvious questions, which are directly related to your two reasons above.

    1
    How do we stop the boats?

    2
    If we acknowledge that (a) the vast majority of people arriving by boat are genuine refugees and deserving of asylum and (b) we are morally obliged to try and prevent people from making the journey by boat, given the inherent danger, then… what are we to do about all of those genuine refugees, if we are in fact able to ‘stop the boats’?

  4. Chris says:

    1. Beyond the nebulous statement that we have to make travel here by boat even more unattractive than it already is, I have no idea. This is simply because we have no real control over the push factors that cause people to flee their countries.

    How do we stop the boats? It’s easy – achieve world peace.

    But seriously, there are many factors. A few things that I think would dramatically decrease the flow of boats from Indonesia are listed below.

    We could ramp up intelligence efforts and co-operation in major people smuggling centres in Indonesia, making it difficult and perilous for operators on the ground. This is problematic, however, as there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the business is in active collusion with low to mid ranking local government officials. Still, it might make a difference.

    We could ensure that it is well known that arriving by boat will actually increase the time spent in detention.

    We could try to change the conditions of residence of asylum seekers overseas, so that they are able to lead something closer to a meaningful and fulfilling existence, and therefore be less likely to risk all on a boat journey here.

    But most of all, we should try to find a way to streamline the processing of asylum seekers. People wait years, unable to work or to live any sort of life that we would call tolerable. Naturally, they become desperate – if we could relieve that pressure, they might stop risking their lives in this way.

    2. We should accept them and fly them in, subject, of course, to the quotas set by government. Hardly anyone can afford a completely open door, but for those we do accept, there’s no real question of what to do with them. We should settle them and let them get on with their lives.

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