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Study postgraduate law: the ANU Juris Doctor

Goose yes, gander no: Immigration hypocrisy

By John Hargreaves - 6 February 2017 24

Nauru

Nothing will put one into a state of temporary frenzy than a good rally or demo. On Saturday, I marched with a couple of hundred people from the Mint Oval to Parliament House in support of a walk from Adelaide to Canberra by Adam Richards and his son Ned.

Adam is an Adelaide lawyer and Ned is his 13-year-old son.  They were supported along the way by Adam’s wife and daughter and a bunch of people as a support team.

Regular Rioter Chris Mordd has written on Adam and Ned’s journey and is doing all sorts of stuff online to highlight the issues dear to those guys’ hearts. And that issue is the plight of the refugees languishing in camps on Manus Island and Nauru. Look for Chris’s articles – a good read.

Now normally, I would respect journalistic precedence and give way to Chris for coverage of this event but there is an aspect of this which has really got my goat!

When I got home from the walk from Deakin to Parly House, I saw the paper edition of the Crimes, which was not on my front lawn as expected this glorious morning but was delivered by a nice gentleman later in the morning.  I had not had the time to look at the paper before going on the walk. I looked at it when I got home.

So, after reading the article about my good friend Omar on the Muslims for Progressive Values, an article I commend to Rioters, I skipped through the usual gumph until I saw an article about a Deputy High Commissioner for the UK. The innocuous article had the effect of throwing me into a white-hot rage.

I had walked from the Mint Oval with people who were so concerned about the plight of the asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru, that they were prepared to give up their time to support the walk from Adelaide of Adam and Ned, who chanted “Let’s have love and no fear … close the camps, bring them here!” or words to that effect and more chants like “Hey Mr Trumble, we’re talking to you, close Manus Island and Nauru”. We heard speeches outlining the plight of those souls incarcerated for seeking succour from the fear of extermination, who had such fear of remaining in their homeland that they risked their lives and the lives of their kids on the open sea.

We heard stories of deprivation, abuse, chemical jailing; we heard stories of people at risk of suicide being given a weeks’ supply of sleeping pills because they had trouble sleeping for fear of nightmares.

We heard tales of rape, of violence, of mental abuse inside and outside the barbed wire of the camps.  We heard tales of family separation, of kids being born in jail and growing up not knowing a member of the opposite sex except online.

We heard that the crime that these people had committed was that they had tried to jump the queue in refugee processing, notwithstanding that the queue is inordinately long for processing and their fear of death and persecution could not wait that long. But did they know that they would be found to be genuine refugees but still have to be incarcerated for over three or four years on an island of fourth world status?

So off I went and supported the cause.  I believe that the Federal Government and my own party, the ALP, have got it wrong. They could grandfather these souls and pass prospective legislation dealing with people smugglers and any future boat arrivals.

So also, I came away feeling slightly enraged that both sides of Parliament were hard-hearted and that the pollies who supported the same position I hold, are too gutless to come out publicly.

Imagine my rage then, when I spotted the article about how the Deputy High Commissioner for the UK had decided to stay in Oz after his stint here in Canberra was over. And further into the article was the example of how the former deputy chief of mission for the US Embassy did the same thing! The article went on to quote the New Zealand High Commissioner who noted several people who stayed in Canberra or returned several times, including himself!

Now I have not truck with people wanting to return here several times but I do have a problem with people who can stay forever because they liked it when they stayed here.  I’ll bet they didn’t apply for permanent residency as soon as they got here!  They received special treatment and we all know it.

This has the stench of a rotten fish!  Some people can’t stay here because they haven’t been through offshore processing, even if their refugee bona fides have been proven, but if you are a diplomat, you can stay!  Hello! Hypocrisy at its worst!

Finally, this smacks of Trumpism … but at least, and for the first and probably last time, I agree with Trump.  This swap deal is a bad deal.  If it were to feature on Deal or No Deal, I’d cross my arms and say … No Deal!

Just stop for a moment and consider this little extra thing that not many people have tweaked to.  The asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru have been processed under Australian law and have been found to be genuine refugees. But no cigar!

But the people in Costa Rican camps can come to Australia under the deal done by our Prime Hamster, Mr Trumble and yet they haven’t been processed under Australian Law and not only that, no one has indicated that they will be.  Contrast that to Trump saying that the Manus Island and Nauru detainees have to go through “extreme vetting”. Which is code for … I don’t reckon they can come to the US because they come from one of the seven naughty countries.

The rank hypocrisy of the gumment enraged me so much that I had an apoplectic fit! And I’m not over it yet!

What’s Your opinion?


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24 Responses to
Goose yes, gander no: Immigration hypocrisy
1
Masquara 8:04 pm
06 Feb 17
#

Huh? High-level high commission staff should be very welcome immigrants. They post no security risk – having high-level trusted clearances. Not sure that comparing these people with boat people is valid in terms of offering permanent residency. There are lots of programs that allow quite rapid approval to stay in Australia – via skills or business.

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2
chewy14 8:55 pm
06 Feb 17
#

So is the author claiming that these people did not hold appropriate visas for staying or visiting? Or is it simply the vibe of the thing that he doesn’t like? I’m struggling to see the hypocrisy?

Although speaking of that, did the rally you attended explain how they would prevent asylum seekers dying at sea under their preferred policies?

What yearly limit for refugee resettlements they propose?

Why they support preferential resettlement opportunities for those with the means and money to fly through multiple third countries and hop on a boat from Indonesia?

Or is it all about emotion and virtue signalling, with no actual solutions?

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3
Blen_Carmichael 9:11 pm
06 Feb 17
#

“The innocuous article had the effect of throwing me into a white-hot rage.”
“The rank hypocrisy of the gumment enraged me so much that I had an apoplectic fit! “And I’m not over it yet!”

I’ve noticed, as have probably about 99 per cent of people who read John’s articles, that there’s a common theme. He’s angry about something. No, he’s really angry about something! NO, HE’S IN A WHITE HOT RAGE ABOUT SOMETHING AND HE’S NOT OVER IT YET.

And the effect? Meh. It comes across as piss & wind. Similarly his excessive use of exclamation marks (13 for 46 sentences) and italics weakens the effect of one’s argument. Peter Fitzsimons serves as a prime example.

As for the staff of our resident high commissions & embassies who intend staying here permanently, I don’t see any hypocrisy or inconsistency, unless they’re applying for asylum that is. Just out of interest, John, I take it these former diplomats don’t destroy their passports and other identity documentation upon applying for a visa?

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4
dungfungus 11:11 pm
06 Feb 17
#

Once again John you are suggesting incorrectly that these people travelled the entire distance on the open sea.

Was that “tale” one of the ones they told you?

Also, did they explain how they conspired with people smugglers to illegally enter Australia?

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5
JC 11:56 pm
06 Feb 17
#

Masquara said :

Huh? High-level high commission staff should be very welcome immigrants. They post no security risk – having high-level trusted clearances. Not sure that comparing these people with boat people is valid in terms of offering permanent residency. There are lots of programs that allow quite rapid approval to stay in Australia – via skills or business.

Think you might have missed the point on a number of fronts.

The security clearance and relative security threat of these people is irrelevant when it comes to migration. Though Trump and co would have you believe otherwise.

What should be considered is do they have skills we don’t have or are they seeking asylum from persicution? Security clearance level doesn’t come into it at all if ever.

I think the key point was these people came here quite legally, of course and somehow managed to stay for ever more for want of a better life. Which is what many of these asylum seekers and the supposed economic migrants are also trying to achieve but by using methods that some call illegal. (Never mind of course most actully enter the country on other visas anyway but I digress)

Personally I don’t have an issue with them doing this but it does beg the question which is what I think John was asking is how is their plight any different to the asylum seekers and other ‘economic migrants’. Why do they seem to be ‘jumping this mystical queue’?

I am also quite curious to find out on what grounds the U.K. guy and his family in the article were allowed to stay. I assume he had skills that were not available in Aus and was given a working visa on that basis. In any case doubt anyone Aussie working at the High Commission in London would be openly welcome to stay in Britain if they so wished.

Kiwis staying here well that’s something they can do without a visa and it is reciprocal so no great issue. NZ’s is just another state anyway isn’t it?

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6
JC 12:03 am
07 Feb 17
#

chewy14 said :

So is the author claiming that these people did not hold appropriate visas for staying or visiting? Or is it simply the vibe of the thing that he doesn’t like? I’m struggling to see the hypocrisy?

Although speaking of that, did the rally you attended explain how they would prevent asylum seekers dying at sea under their preferred policies?

What yearly limit for refugee resettlements they propose?

Why they support preferential resettlement opportunities for those with the means and money to fly through multiple third countries and hop on a boat from Indonesia?

Or is it all about emotion and virtue signalling, with no actual solutions?

See your second last paragraph re preferential treatment?

Well think the point being made is these people who have stayed on are actually getting preferential treatment so the point is why are we not worried about them but are worried about others who try to come through other means?

To my mind I think the difference is what is driving the whole asylum seeker debate which is xenophobia. Guess these poms and yanks are just like us so regardless of how they get here can only but continue on with high quality of life. But the others. Well they are Muslims or other non whites so are only interested in making trouble, terrorism, being their conflicts to Australia yadda yadda yadda. Insert own xenophobic reasoning above.

Johns question was quite fair.

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7
chewy14 10:41 am
07 Feb 17
#

JC said :

chewy14 said :

So is the author claiming that these people did not hold appropriate visas for staying or visiting? Or is it simply the vibe of the thing that he doesn’t like? I’m struggling to see the hypocrisy?

Although speaking of that, did the rally you attended explain how they would prevent asylum seekers dying at sea under their preferred policies?

What yearly limit for refugee resettlements they propose?

Why they support preferential resettlement opportunities for those with the means and money to fly through multiple third countries and hop on a boat from Indonesia?

Or is it all about emotion and virtue signalling, with no actual solutions?

See your second last paragraph re preferential treatment?

Well think the point being made is these people who have stayed on are actually getting preferential treatment so the point is why are we not worried about them but are worried about others who try to come through other means?

To my mind I think the difference is what is driving the whole asylum seeker debate which is xenophobia. Guess these poms and yanks are just like us so regardless of how they get here can only but continue on with high quality of life. But the others. Well they are Muslims or other non whites so are only interested in making trouble, terrorism, being their conflicts to Australia yadda yadda yadda. Insert own xenophobic reasoning above.

Johns question was quite fair.

So perhaps you could not avoid the issue and answer the questions I asked of John?

You must have detail of these people and the exact visas they are on? To claim they have been given preferential treatment, you are claiming that they haven’t met the official requirements to get those visas right? Perhaps you can share your inside information with the rest of us?

And yes of course we treat our skilled migration or other visitor/holiday migration streams completely different to our humanitarian and refugee streams. Because they are completely different areas with completely different policy aims. Next you’ll be telling me that it’s unfair that apples aren’t treated the same as oranges.

And as for your baseless claims about the issue revolving around xenophobia, you can concoct whatever pretty strawmen you want, doesn’t make them any more valid without evidence.

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8
dungfungus 12:47 pm
07 Feb 17
#

JC said :

Masquara said :

Huh? High-level high commission staff should be very welcome immigrants. They post no security risk – having high-level trusted clearances. Not sure that comparing these people with boat people is valid in terms of offering permanent residency. There are lots of programs that allow quite rapid approval to stay in Australia – via skills or business.

Think you might have missed the point on a number of fronts.

The security clearance and relative security threat of these people is irrelevant when it comes to migration. Though Trump and co would have you believe otherwise.

What should be considered is do they have skills we don’t have or are they seeking asylum from persicution? Security clearance level doesn’t come into it at all if ever.

I think the key point was these people came here quite legally, of course and somehow managed to stay for ever more for want of a better life. Which is what many of these asylum seekers and the supposed economic migrants are also trying to achieve but by using methods that some call illegal. (Never mind of course most actully enter the country on other visas anyway but I digress)

Personally I don’t have an issue with them doing this but it does beg the question which is what I think John was asking is how is their plight any different to the asylum seekers and other ‘economic migrants’. Why do they seem to be ‘jumping this mystical queue’?

I am also quite curious to find out on what grounds the U.K. guy and his family in the article were allowed to stay. I assume he had skills that were not available in Aus and was given a working visa on that basis. In any case doubt anyone Aussie working at the High Commission in London would be openly welcome to stay in Britain if they so wished.

Kiwis staying here well that’s something they can do without a visa and it is reciprocal so no great issue. NZ’s is just another state anyway isn’t it?

“I assume he had skills that were not available in Aus and was given a working visa on that basis. “

Oh yeah, we really have a shortage of semi-retired diplomats in Australia so we really need to import more?

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9
John Hargreaves 2:58 pm
07 Feb 17
#

One of the many points I have been trying to make is that it is not illegal to seek asylum from persecution, any more than it is not illegal to apply for citizenship or permanent residence here and be judged on merit case by case.

Here we have two systems. One for the diplomats and one for the asylum seekers. The solution I proposed was that for all those on Manus or Nauru who have been assessed as genuine, bring them to Oz on a grandfather clause. They are genuine and have been proven to be so. So let us abide by our signatures on the international treaties regarding those fleeing from persecution and extermination and bring them here.

Just remember also that these diplomats did not go home and then apply for the OK to come to Oz. They did it here at the end of their terms. In other words, they jumped the queue.

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10
chewy14 4:15 pm
07 Feb 17
#

John Hargreaves said :

One of the many points I have been trying to make is that it is not illegal to seek asylum from persecution, any more than it is not illegal to apply for citizenship or permanent residence here and be judged on merit case by case.

Here we have two systems. One for the diplomats and one for the asylum seekers. The solution I proposed was that for all those on Manus or Nauru who have been assessed as genuine, bring them to Oz on a grandfather clause. They are genuine and have been proven to be so. So let us abide by our signatures on the international treaties regarding those fleeing from persecution and extermination and bring them here.

Just remember also that these diplomats did not go home and then apply for the OK to come to Oz. They did it here at the end of their terms. In other words, they jumped the queue.

Of course we have two systems because they are completely separate policies with completely separate aims. Once again, do you have any evidence that these diplomats did not apply and were not granted the appropriate visas.

As for your supposed solution, this would simply send a message to people smugglers that they can pressure our government to accepting boat arrivals for resettlement simply through additional political pressure and weight of numbers. It would send a clear message that our policies and resolve were not firm, paving the way for more boat arrivals and deaths at sea, a lesson you would think members of the Labor party really should have learned from their last efforts in government.

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11
chewy14 6:16 pm
07 Feb 17
#

JC said :

chewy14 said :

So is the author claiming that these people did not hold appropriate visas for staying or visiting? Or is it simply the vibe of the thing that he doesn’t like? I’m struggling to see the hypocrisy?

Although speaking of that, did the rally you attended explain how they would prevent asylum seekers dying at sea under their preferred policies?

What yearly limit for refugee resettlements they propose?

Why they support preferential resettlement opportunities for those with the means and money to fly through multiple third countries and hop on a boat from Indonesia?

Or is it all about emotion and virtue signalling, with no actual solutions?

See your second last paragraph re preferential treatment?

Well think the point being made is these people who have stayed on are actually getting preferential treatment so the point is why are we not worried about them but are worried about others who try to come through other means?

To my mind I think the difference is what is driving the whole asylum seeker debate which is xenophobia. Guess these poms and yanks are just like us so regardless of how they get here can only but continue on with high quality of life. But the others. Well they are Muslims or other non whites so are only interested in making trouble, terrorism, being their conflicts to Australia yadda yadda yadda. Insert own xenophobic reasoning above.

Johns question was quite fair.

See my other response to John. Of course we treat our humanitarian system differently than our skilled migration and holiday migration schemes because they are completely different programs with different aims, constraints and resource requirements.

Unless you’re suggesting that we should only accept refugees with skills and/or money or that we should supplant our skilled migration schemes with more refugee resettlements that would cost billions and cause our economic growth to grind to a halt?

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12
John Hargreaves 12:21 pm
08 Feb 17
#

I’d like to know what extra skills, which we don’t have in abundance, will these diplomats bring to the community?

And… it is not a case of either/or in relation to migration, it is a case of having both. And compassion is a good way to start with our immigration numbers.

But let us not be hypocritical about the immigration criteria.

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13
JC 12:57 pm
08 Feb 17
#

chewy14 said :

See my other response to John. Of course we treat our humanitarian system differently than our skilled migration and holiday migration schemes because they are completely different programs with different aims, constraints and resource requirements.

Unless you’re suggesting that we should only accept refugees with skills and/or money or that we should supplant our skilled migration schemes with more refugee resettlements that would cost billions and cause our economic growth to grind to a halt?

Hang on a second, doesn’t the extreme right contest that most of the boat arrivals are not refugees, but are in fact economic migrants seeking a better life? And doesn’t it stand to reason that the pom in the article is also an economic migrant seeking a better life? So what is the difference?

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14
chewy14 12:58 pm
08 Feb 17
#

John Hargreaves said :

I’d like to know what extra skills, which we don’t have in abundance, will these diplomats bring to the community?

And… it is not a case of either/or in relation to migration, it is a case of having both. And compassion is a good way to start with our immigration numbers.

But let us not be hypocritical about the immigration criteria.

And i’d like to know if you’d actually answer the questions about these diplomats I’ve now asked repeatedly. What do you know about these diplomats visas that we dont? What exact rules do you think they’re breaking or special treatment they received in obtaining those visas? Actual evidence not alternative facts and the “vibe”.

And yes, it isn’t a case of either/or with regards to skilled migration and refugees. The policies we have already clearly cater for both because, once again, they are completely different systems with completely different policy aims, so I don’t know why you’re trying to conflate them to create some sort of imagined hypocrisy.

If you want to argue for a higher yearly limit for the humanitarian resettlement system, go right ahead and I’ll support you. If you want to claim its unfair that our skilled migrant and visitor streams are treated differently to our humanitarian ones, then your argument is nonsense.

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15
sputnik 1:42 pm
08 Feb 17
#

” I skipped through the usual gumph until I saw an article about a Deputy High Commissioner for the UK. The innocuous article had the effect of throwing me into a white-hot rage.”
It would help if you linked that innocuous, outrageous article.
Was it this one?
http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/canberra-life/the-canberra-perks-that-make-diplomats-stay-over-going-anywhere-in-the-world-20170110-gtou9d.html

Not a fan of diplomatic circles, but I just can’t make the connection. This article does not even irritate me a little bit. Maybe you were referring to something else?

Here is what that Deputy High Commissioner says himself https://blogs.fco.gov.uk/tonybrennan/2016/12/15/leaving-not-leaving/
“With an Australian mother of advancing years keen to re-settle in her homeland after five decades’ absence, a central European wife who has felt more welcome and at home in Australia than anywhere else we have lived, and a three-year-old son who walks around the house shouting “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” in the middle of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, there was only really one possible next step. The Foreign Office has been kind enough to offer me a period of unpaid leave, so I will be extending my Australian sojourn for a while longer. I do not yet have a job here but I am optimistic about this – it is, after all, the lucky country.”

And you go around and shout “This has the stench of a rotten fish! Some people can’t stay here because they haven’t been through offshore processing, even if their refugee bona fides have been proven, but if you are a diplomat, you can stay! Hello! Hypocrisy at its worst!”

What does that make you?

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