Explaining the Liberal Mess – Part Five


Next question!

Question (from memory):
“Last week we saw Labor playing politics with national security. How do we get the message to the Australian people and in particular Victorians, that national security matters?”

Josh Frydenberg (from memory):
“We know in Victoria, from the attack how real the terrorist threat is. There have been seven terrorist attacks in Australia since 2013, there’s been 14 attacks prevented. ASIO, AFP, have 400 people on surveillance. If people think this is something that doesn’t happen in Australia, then they’re wrong and I think people have woken up to that and Scott Morrison showed strength where, he said, we have to call out Islamic extremism for being the biggest threat that we face.

You didn’t hear that from Bill Shorten, Scott Morrison took the leadership on calling that out, it was Scott Morrison who said the Muslim communities have to do more.

The other big issue is border protection. You’re now hearing people asking us to weaken our borders. When people came by the bucketload, 50,000 coming unauthorised and people dying at seas, you didn’t hear ‘weaken border protection policies’ then. Only now, that we’ve stopped the boats, saved lives being lost, closed seventeen centres, prevented a multi-billion dollar blowout, that Labor wants to weaken our policies.

Labor is not proposing policies to get sick kids off Nauru. It is about a thousand men that are on Nauru and Manus, a large number from Iran, and a number who are not refugees. Under Labor’s policy they can go on Skye, find two doctors in Australia, get a consultation over the internet and say, not that they’re sick, but that they need to be assessed and then they can come to Australia.

If that is allowed, we lose the deterrent that is our border protection policy. You can stop them from coming under the ASIO definition of security, but that’s a narrow definition. So, you can be a murderer and have committed other offences, and you can be on Nauru or Manus, you get two doctors approving, and you’re on your way.

It’s not simple to get sick people off Nauru or Manus, if it was simple it would’ve been done long ago. The only way you have strong border protection is if you put in place a deterrent measure, and that is what we’ve done, and that was hard, and it’s worked, and now the Labor party is walking back from it.

I’d like to bring to your attention how fast he jumps towards talking about terrorism. While pertinent after the attack (I give him that much), his insistence that Scott Morrison did the right thing by calling upon the Muslim community to do more is abhorrent. It applies a double standard founded off natural biases against the community, treating them as a collective entity rather than as individuals – which coming from the party of individuality is another layer of hypocrisy.

This treatment expands further when talking about asylum seekers. There is the initial relegation of acknowledgment to their right to seek asylum to start, then there is the back-patting to say they’ve done great work by closing detention centres, despite those not being the main focus of the close the camps movement (Manus and Nauru), followed up by saying many are not real refugees.

According to data from a government report, purposely designed to deal with misconceptions, it stated that in 2011-12, 88% of individuals who arrived by boat were genuine and of those who were Iranian, it was 84.8%.

Then there is the clear fearmongering around bringing in past murderers who need medical aid. Firstly, a murderer would not meet the necessary character test to receive or hold a humanitarian Visa in the first place meaning they could never lawfully enter the country. Secondly, even if we did bring them in for aid, we’re not setting them free into the world afterwards, we are merely helping out a sick individual who has done wrong in the past. Every human life is sacred, to let a dying person suffer for fear that they could, with a very exceptionally insignificantly atomically small chance, harm another individual is just plain morally wrong.

What this shows is less that the Liberals are unwilling to address the facts, it is that they are willing to campaign on the fear of misinformation. They know that they have the advantage on this, that people will fall for their traps, but all the while, they forget our common humanity. They never call these humans seeking help people. They are boat-people, boat-arrivals, asylum seekers or just boats. Sure, they acknowledge the children they’ve saved, but not the lives they’ve hurt. Their dehumanisation of this problem allows them to carry on with a sterilised language that permits their cruelty to continue.

It’s on these two social issues – refugees and climate change – that the party splinters. For now, there is little hope that more progress would be made.

To Be Continued…


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