Gillard calls up the AFP: the act of a privileged,craven coward

2 Aug

AFP on Christmas Island today

This is the photograph the Australian published today showing Australian Federal Police in full riot gear, in training on Christmas Island to prepare them to force any recalcitrant asylum seekers on board their flight to Malaysia.

This is the beginning of the vile trade in perceived worthy and unworthy humans that the Gillard government has entered into with that country.

It’s in the Australian’s interests to show up the Gillard government as one that has essentially lost control of border security and boat arrivals as part of the Murdoch press on-going anti ALP/ Greens/ Independents campaign.  So it is not surprising that the paper has suddenly acquired a conscience, and a compassion for asylum seekers that it did not exhibit during John Howard’s time as coalition Prime Minister.

Let’s not forget Howard’s overkill when he sent the SAS in full regalia to board the Tampa, when its captain had requested only medical assistance.

La plus çe change…

Gillard’s privilege

The Gillard Family

Julia Gillard, like many, many others who have made this country their home including me, came here as a child. Her family didn’t flee persecution, or a country torn to shreds by wars perpetrated by self-interested Western powers, in which the majority of the injured and dead are innocent civilians.

No, Julia Gillard’s family came from a peaceful Welsh village, and chose to immigrate to this country in large part to give Julia a better chance in life. She suffered ill-health, and doctors advised a gentler climate.

This privileged child now holds the highest political office in this country, albeit without a mandate.

This is a child burned in a US/ Nato bombing in Afghanistan.

The difference between the privileged child Julia Gillard was, and this burnt, devastated victim of Western powers is nothing more than an accident of birth.

Unlike those who flee war zones and the multiplicity of dangers they face in such places, the Gillard family, or so Ms Gillard proudly tells us, came here the “right” way. The Gillard family were the “worthy” immigrants who wanted a better life for themselves and their children.  Families of children who are at risk from attacks such as those suffered by the child in this picture are the “unworthy” potential immigrants, even though they share the same goals and desires for themselves and their children as did the Gillards.

Families such as the one this injured child belongs to don’t have the privilege of doing it the “right” way, and doing it the “right” way is a privilege, let’s not forget.

These families do anything they can to get themselves or their children out. If they have money, they use it. So would I. And I’d like to meet one Australian who would not use every means available to them if their children or themselves were living in any of the countries the boat arrivals are fleeing.

In the Australian article, Gillard is quoted thus on the issue of expelling the unworthy humans to Malaysia:

“Obeying instructions here is not a question of volunteering,” Julia Gillard said yesterday. (Sounds like something they’d tell you when you arrive in hell. My comment.)

“People will be given an instruction to board a plane. We will be looking to people to obey that instruction. If it’s not obeyed, then we have security personnel, we have the Australian Federal Police, we also have counsellors available to talk things through with people.” 

Asylum seekers arriving by boat are not criminals. They are legally permitted to arrive by boat, and to request asylum in this country. Asylum seekers are no more illegal than was the Prime Minister and her family when they came to this country looking for a better life. The Gillard family, due to nothing more “worthy” or “right” than an accident of birth, were able to travel here knowing they would be able to realize their ambitions.

At the very least, one would hope that the recipient of such privilege and generosity would show herself capable of compassion for those less fortunate.

Setting the riot police on a handful of frightened, confused asylum seekers who have fled war zones is the act of a craven coward. It is the act of a self-interested, privileged  woman whose political ambition far exceeds both her common sense and her capacity for decency. It is a distasteful, disgraceful act that will bring shame on this country.

Gillard would do well to remember that history will record her role in these events as it has already recorded John Howard’s: with utter contempt.

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8 Responses to “Gillard calls up the AFP: the act of a privileged,craven coward”

  1. paul walter August 2, 2011 at 1:56 pm #

    Maybe they hoped to have it done while the public was preoccupied with Breivik, Obama and Murdoch. And no, it’s the last thing I’d have welcomed seeing, having a run through the news.
    Defensive “Blue Dog” Labor just keeps missing the point, in various parts of our country on many things and this is perhaps the most blatant, unnecessary and mulish of these issue responses.

    Like

  2. Marilyn August 2, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    Absolutely, but the Australian 10 years ago were very good and trashed Howard over and over again about the prisons, the TAMPA and other issues.

    Of course the tabloid hacks never did, they demonise and brutalise at random.

    All our media are worthless brainwashed trash though as they prattle endlessly about “people smugglng” even when they are told over and over that it is not people smugglng.

    And Gillard has always been a brutal, snivelling coward. She is the worst PM this country has ever had.

    Like

  3. Sam Jandwich August 2, 2011 at 3:32 pm #

    The stupid thing is that this sort of scheme is not even going to achieve what it sets out to achieve, notwithstanding the dubiousness of what that is. If people fear for their lives and their children’s lives, they are hardly going to avoid leaving home over the prospect of a few years sweating it out as refugees. Nor is it a viable option for many of them to stay in a country such as Indonesia where their existence is tenuous at best and their entitlement to support absolutely nil.

    All this will do is increase the amount of time people spend in limbo, with all trauma, psychological damage, expense, and disparaging headlines in the Guardian and New York Times that that entails. Not to mention that the people making these decisions are alienating their core constituents.

    There are more spare bedrooms in the average house than there were 30 years ago, so come on Australia, open your hearts and give these people a sanctuary while they rebuild their lives! Just think of it as practice for what will happen when Bangladesh and the Shanghai basin become uninhabitable due to rising sea levels.

    Like

  4. Marilyn August 2, 2011 at 4:04 pm #

    Just imagine if Kenya with 10,000 refugees a week stood at the border with shields and guns to prevent people fleeing Somalia.

    Like

  5. Marilyn August 2, 2011 at 4:19 pm #

    Indonesia ratified this protocol but not the refugee protocol but it would be illegal for Indonesia to use this protocol to jail anyone who gives refugees a ride. Ruddock ratified it through our parliament in 2004 to ADD PROTECTION MEASURES FOR REFUGEES WHO HAVE TO PAY FOR STRANGE TRANSPORT. NOT ONE OF OUR FUCKING LAZY MEDIA WILL READ IT OR PUBLISH IT AS THEY PRATTLE ON AND ON ABOUT FUCKING SMUGGLING.

    IV. Final provisions

    Article 19

    Saving clause

    1. Nothing in this Protocol shall affect the other rights,

    obligations and responsibilities of States and individuals under international

    law, including international humanitarian law and international human

    rights law and, in particular, where applicable, the 1951 Convention and the

    1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees and the principle of nonrefoulement

    as contained therein.

    4.      During the sessions of the Ad-Hoc Committee, UNHCR therefore emphasized the need to reconcile measures to combat the smuggling of migrants and the trafficking of persons with existing obligations under international refugee law. The Office welcomes the adoption of a saving clause in both Protocols, designed to safeguard the rights of asylum-seekers and refugees under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, in particular in relation to the principle of non-refoulement.

    5.      In addition, UNHCR appreciates the adoption of provisions for the protection of smuggled migrants, such as the obligation of States Parties to take appropriate measures to afford smuggled migrants protection against violence and to take into account the special needs of women and children. The Protocol against Smuggling is also clear in that it does not aim at punishing persons for the mere fact of having been smuggled or at penalizing organizations which assist such persons for purely humanitarian reasons. Indonesian fishermen do not deserve to be charged or jailed.

    IV. Final provisions

    Article 19

    Saving clause

    1. Nothing in this Protocol shall affect the other rights,

    obligations and responsibilities of States and individuals under international

    law, including international humanitarian law and international human

    rights law and, in particular, where applicable, the 1951 Convention and the

    1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees and the principle of nonrefoulement

    as contained therein.

    2. The measures set forth in this Protocol shall be interpreted and

    applied in a way that is not discriminatory to persons on the ground that

    they are the object of conduct set forth in article 6 of this Protocol. The

    interpretation and application of those measures shall be consistent with

    internationally recognized principles of non-discrimination.

    UNHCR Summary Position on the Protocol Against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime

    1.      UNHCR has followed with interest the recent adoption of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, including the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air (“Protocol against Smuggling”) and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (“Protocol against Trafficking”). The Office is pleased to be present at the High-Level Political Signing Conference held in Palermo, Sicily, from 12 to 15 December 2000.

    2.      UNHCR shares the concerns raised by many States that criminal and organized smuggling of migrants, on a large scale, may lead to the misuse of national asylum or immigration procedures. However, given an increasing number of obstacles to access safety, asylum-seekers are often compelled to resort to smugglers. UNHCR is also aware of cases of trafficked persons, particularly women and children, who may, under exceptional circumstances, be in need of international protection. The Office therefore participated in the preparatory work of the Ad Hoc Committee in Vienna, supporting its efforts  to elaborate international instruments which would enable governments to combat smuggling and trafficking of persons, whilst upholding their international protection responsibilities towards refugees.

    3.      The Protocol against Smuggling, for instance, contains a number of provisions which may impact on smuggled asylum-seekers. The authorization to intercept vessels on the high seas, the obligation to strengthen border controls and to adopt sanctions for commercial carriers, or the commitment to accept the return of smuggled migrants may indeed affect those who seek international protection. A number of comparable provisions of the Protocol against Trafficking may have a similar effect.

    4.      During the sessions of the Ad-Hoc Committee, UNHCR therefore emphasized the need to reconcile measures to combat the smuggling of migrants and the trafficking of persons with existing obligations under international refugee law. The Office welcomes the adoption of a saving clause in both Protocols, designed to safeguard the rights of asylum-seekers and refugees under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, in particular in relation to the principle of non-refoulement.

    5.      In addition, UNHCR appreciates the adoption of provisions for the protection of smuggled migrants, such as the obligation of States Parties to take appropriate measures to afford smuggled migrants protection against violence and to take into account the special needs of women and children. The Protocol against Smuggling is also clear in that it does not aim at punishing persons for the mere fact of having been smuggled or at penalizing organizations which assist such persons for purely humanitarian reasons. Indonesian fishermen do not deserve to be charged or jailed.

    6.      In conclusion, UNHCR hopes that States Parties will respect the international legal framework set out by both Protocols through the adoption of  similar safeguards in all bilateral or regional agreements or operational arrangements implementing or enhancing the provisions of these Protocols.

    IV. Final provisions

    Article 19

    Saving clause

    1. Nothing in this Protocol shall affect the other rights,

    obligations and responsibilities of States and individuals under international

    law, including international humanitarian law and international human

    rights law and, in particular, where applicable, the 1951 Convention and the

    1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees and the principle of nonrefoulement

    as contained therein.

    2. The measures set forth in this Protocol shall be interpreted and

    applied in a way that is not discriminatory to persons on the ground that

    they are the object of conduct set forth in article 6 of this Protocol. The

    interpretation and application of those measures shall be consistent with

    internationally recognized principles of non-discrimination.

    UNHCR Summary Position on the Protocol Against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime

    1.      UNHCR has followed with interest the recent adoption of the UN Convention against Transnational Organized Crime, including the Protocol against the Smuggling of Migrants by Land, Sea and Air (“Protocol against Smuggling”) and the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children (“Protocol against Trafficking”). The Office is pleased to be present at the High-Level Political Signing Conference held in Palermo, Sicily, from 12 to 15 December 2000.

    2.      UNHCR shares the concerns raised by many States that criminal and organized smuggling of migrants, on a large scale, may lead to the misuse of national asylum or immigration procedures. However, given an increasing number of obstacles to access safety, asylum-seekers are often compelled to resort to smugglers. UNHCR is also aware of cases of trafficked persons, particularly women and children, who may, under exceptional circumstances, be in need of international protection. The Office therefore participated in the preparatory work of the Ad Hoc Committee in Vienna, supporting its efforts  to elaborate international instruments which would enable governments to combat smuggling and trafficking of persons, whilst upholding their international protection responsibilities towards refugees.

    3.      The Protocol against Smuggling, for instance, contains a number of provisions which may impact on smuggled asylum-seekers. The authorization to intercept vessels on the high seas, the obligation to strengthen border controls and to adopt sanctions for commercial carriers, or the commitment to accept the return of smuggled migrants may indeed affect those who seek international protection. A number of comparable provisions of the Protocol against Trafficking may have a similar effect.

    4.      During the sessions of the Ad-Hoc Committee, UNHCR therefore emphasized the need to reconcile measures to combat the smuggling of migrants and the trafficking of persons with existing obligations under international refugee law. The Office welcomes the adoption of a saving clause in both Protocols, designed to safeguard the rights of asylum-seekers and refugees under the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees, in particular in relation to the principle of non-refoulement.

    5.      In addition, UNHCR appreciates the adoption of provisions for the protection of smuggled migrants, such as the obligation of States Parties to take appropriate measures to afford smuggled migrants protection against violence and to take into account the special needs of women and children. The Protocol against Smuggling is also clear in that it does not aim at punishing persons for the mere fact of having been smuggled or at penalizing organizations which assist such persons for purely humanitarian reasons. Indonesian fishermen do not deserve to be charged or jailed.

    6.      In conclusion, UNHCR hopes that States Parties will respect the international legal framework set out by both Protocols through the adoption of  similar safeguards in all bilateral or regional agreements or operational arrangements implementing or enhancing the provisions of these Protocols.

    Like

  6. Marilyn August 4, 2011 at 11:24 pm #

    i BLAME OUR STUPID MEDIA. Gillard is again prattling about ‘resettlement” as if it is legally binding and not a fucking voluntary scheme but then the worthless trash has never bothered to find out the law and neither of the lazy complicit frigging media.

    Like

    • Jennifer Wilson August 5, 2011 at 7:06 am #

      I think David Manne’s action on behalf of that separated family is getting somewhere.

      Like

  7. Marilyn August 5, 2011 at 6:38 pm #

    Burke is now prattling that we have to deport orphans to stop children drowning.

    According to DIAC figures 10 refugee kids have drowned since the SIEX, about 480 Australian kids have drowned in the same period.

    This year 6.7 million kids under 5 have died, since the TAMPA about 90 million kids have died.

    In the 90 days since that moron announced the lazy Malaysia crap 29,000 kids in Somalia have silently starved to death.

    Meanwhile this year every refugee who tried to come here got here quite safely in the hands of those evil smugglers.

    Like

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