Pimp. Tool. Liar. by Karen Elliot via flickr
There’s a poll in today’s Australian asking readers if they agree or disagree with Scott Morrison’s call in parliament on Monday night for fewer boat people to be accepted as refugees.
As of a few minutes ago, 78% of readers agreed with his proposal, 21% disagreed.
Morrison has called for a maximum of 3,750 boat arrivals per year to be given refugee status.
Indeed, the coalition immigration spokesman brings a whole new model to the process of determining refugee status – it’s to be decided numerically, and will have nothing at all to do with circumstances the asylum seekers fled, or the dangers of refoulement.
The stupidity of this man is astounding. He either has no grasp at all of the principles of refugee assessment, or he knows very well, and has seized another opportunity to misinform and misguide the Australian public on the matter of our domestic and international obligations to asylum seekers.
Or he doesn’t care about either of those things and just has to say something so we don’t forget who he is.
Morrison hasn’t said what he proposes to do with asylum seekers who are legally entitled to assessment after his target is reached. He can’t send them back if they’re found to be refugees. He’ll keep them in mandatory detention for life, will he?
Or go on another of those humiliating begging trips around the globe, asking other countries to have them, preferably countries a lot worse off than Australia who we can bribe with a bit of foreign aid.
This is yet another of the apparently limitless examples of politicians ignoring our legal obligations to asylum seekers. Unfortunately, some of the wider population is apparently just as ignorant of them.
With many mainstream media voices also ignoring and obfuscating our legal responsibilities, perhaps people can be forgiven for thinking we haven’t got any, and we can do what we like with refugees.
Next time a politician starts banging on about the rule of law, maybe someone should remind him or her of this one. We are legally obliged, domestically and internationally, to accept asylum seekers, no matter how they arrive here, and assess them for refugee status. If they qualify, we are obliged to speedily resettle them.
The idea of numerically determining who will and won’t be accepted as a refugee once they have requested asylum, is the beat up of an increasingly desperate man. Morrison has tried every which way to get up an argument about refusing entry to Muslims, and so far he’s been thwarted. As many boat arrivals are Muslim, he’s now trying another way to give his argument legs.
There is no possibility of a numerical cut-off point for assessing the refugee status of boat arrivals, under our current laws. That is not the definition of assessment, for a start. It’s saying you’re number 3,751 so bugger off, we’ve reached our assessment target.
What’s amazing, and desperately sad, is there seem to be a lot of Australians who think the idea is a good one, and an opposition immigration spokesman who’s only too happy to peddle that falsehood in his tireless pursuit of votes, and disharmony.
The lies politicians put about on these issues are staggering, all eagerly disseminated by many mainstream media. The fact is, we have voluntarily undertaken to advertise ourselves as a country of asylum. We have voluntarily accepted the legal obligations that go with that.
We could take responsibility for our own actions, and stop making asylum seekers suffer for them.
We could face up to those voluntarily incurred obligations, and either change them, or just get on with fulfilling them.
In the meantime, the false arguments continue to rage, the vilification gets worse, and the politicians exploit it for all it’s worth.
What’s that smell? Flood mud? Nah, it’s just a politician.