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Seat of the week: Lindsay

I'm a day behind schedule with Seat of the Week, owing to the extra work required to give due attention to the seat which matters more than any other. I speak of course of Lindsay, the

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I’m a day behind schedule with Seat of the Week, owing to the extra work required to give due attention to the seat which matters more than any other. I speak of course of Lindsay, the western Sydney electorate which first emerged as a favoured barometer of national opinion after Labor’s surprise defeat off a double-digit swing in 1996. Its place in electoral folklore was cemented by the 2010 election, when Labor’s apparent obsession with it caused the party’s then national secretary, Karl Bitar, to demand that every proposed policy pass a “Lindsay test”. This was seen to have inspired the shift in prime ministerial rhetoric from Kevin Rudd’s “big Australia” to Julia Gillard’s “sustainable Australia”, and a tougher line on asylum seekers which was signalled in the first days of Gillard’s prime ministership through a photo opportunity with member David Bradbury aboard a warship off Darwin.

Lindsay is based around Penrith 50 kilometres to the west of central Sydney, from which it extends into conservative semi-rural territory to the north (Castlereagh and Llandilo) and south (Mulgoa and Orchard Hills). Labor had a 12.3% notional margin when the seat was created at the 1984 election, and its inaugural member Ross Free held it for margins of around 10% throughout the Hawke-Keating years, having previously been member for Macquarie from 1980. Free was most unpleasantly surprised to find himself turfed out by an 11.9% swing to Liberal candidate Jackie Kelly at the 1996 election, but was able to secure a re-match because Kelly, who had not expected to win, had failed to get her affairs in order before nominating (she was still serving as an RAAF officer, an “office for profit under the Crown”). Voters dragged back to the polls on a technicality rewarded Free with a further 6.8% drop in the primary vote, translating into a further 5.0% swing to the Liberals on two-party preferred.

The combined 16.9% swing to the Liberals meant the electorate’s demographic profile came to be seen as typifying John Howard’s constituency: high numbers of skilled workers on good incomes, low levels of tertiary education and a distinctly less multicultural flavour than suburbs closer to the city. This view was solidified by Kelly’s persistent electoral success despite the area remaining loyal to Labor at state level. The swing to Labor in 1998 was just 0.3% compared with the 1996 election result, producing one of a number of decisive marginal seat outcomes which secured the return of the Howard government from a minority of the two-party vote. This confirmed Kelly’s status as a prime ministerial favourite, helping her win promotion for a time to a junior ministerial position thought by many to have been beyond her competence. Kelly nonetheless continued to perform well electorally, picking up a 2.4% swing in 2001 and nearly holding even in 2004. To John Howard’s dismay, Kelly opted to retire at the 2007 election, at which the seat was further endangered by a redistribution which cut the Liberal margin from 5.3% to 2.9%. Any remaining Liberal hopes, both for Lindsay and the election as a whole, were demolished in the final days of the campaign when the husbands of Kelly and her successor candidate Karen Chijoff were among those caught distributing pamphlets purporting to be from Muslim extremists, in which Labor was praised for its support of the “unjustly” treated Bali bombers.

There followed a resounding 9.7% swing to Labor candidate David Bradbury, a Blake Dawson Waldron lawyer and former Penrith mayor who had run unsuccessfully in 2001 and 2004. There were reports in 2009, denied by Bradbury, that he was not of a mind to run in Lindsay for a fourth time, as he was concerned at the impact of the state government’s unpopularity and hopeful the departure of Roger Price might provide a safer berth for him in Chifley. Labor’s concerns were powerfully reinforced by a devastating 25.7% swing in a by-election for the state seat of Penrith on 19 June 2010, which preceded Kevin Rudd’s demise as Prime Minister by five days. The interruption of the by-election resulted in what seemed an inordinately long delay in the Liberals choosing a candidate, before marketing executive Fiona Scott was finally given the nod less than a week before the election date was announced. In the event the Liberals picked up a swing of 5.2% which only slightly exceeded the 4.8% statewide swing, falling 1.1% short of what was required. The post-election review conducted for the Liberal Party by Peter Reith identified the delay as a failing of the party’s campaign, and recommended the party’s federal executive be given a “last resort” power to ensure the selection of candidates for important seats in good time.

David Bradbury has twice won promotion since his re-election, first to parliamentary secretary to the Treasurer immediately after the election, and then to Assistant Treasurer and Minister Assisting for Deregulation in March 2012 after Kevin Rudd’s unsuccessful leadership challenge. The latter promotion was achieved at the expense of NSW Right colleague Robert McClelland, who was dumped from the ministry after publicly backing Rudd. Bradbury will again be opposed at the next election by Fiona Scott, who won a March 2012 preselection vote against Hills Shire councillor Robyn Preston by 62 votes to 42. It had been reported the previous September that Tony Abbott had approached Jackie Kelly with a view to making a comeback, but she was unequivocal in professing herself uninterested.

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1296 comments

1,296 thoughts on “Seat of the week: Lindsay

  1. confessions

    GG:

    True. But at the end of the day, the Coalition is of greater interest to the govt simply because it is a party of govt rather than a protest group.

  2. briefly

    Two different approaches are offered in relation to arrivals by boat. The Labor approach – the Malaysian solution – if it could be implemented would remove asylum-seekers to another jurisdiction and therefore remove the incentive people have to try to make it to this country by sea.

    The Opposition and the Greens oppose the Labor proposal precisely because it would succeed in reducing the flow of boats. As long as the boats come, Labor is vulnerable to political attack from its enemies – the Liberals and the Greens. The Liberals peel votes away from the right, the Greens from the left. This is the simple vote-accumulation arithmetic of the situation.

    So we should conclude that both the Liberals and the Greens are willing to see people drown in large numbers in order to win votes. Theirs is a truly despicable position, dressed up us one of principle. I think every death should be on the conscience of every Opposition and Green politician, who truly play for partisan advantage with the lives of the desperate.

  3. poroti

    Anyone notice ,yet another, wedding party blown to bits by a drone strke in Afghanistan last week ? Anyone notice the 113 casualties yesterday in Baghdad ? Anyone notice the continued conditions of Tamils in Sri Lanka ? No ? Well we sure as heck never miss an opportunity to use these same people as political bats with which to beat each other.

  4. WeWantPaul

    [guytaur,

    You’re floundering like a drowning Asylum Seeker.]

    Sadly while he / she just looks the fool, asylum seekers really suffer, but if we are to follow green thinking we don’t need to give a damn till they get here … if they get here.

  5. Pegasus

    Reposted for OC, etc this time with bolding.
    ————————————————————————

    I have posted a link to this Greens media release before. Obviously some here have not bothered to read it as it would expose their memes for the bs they are.

    Here are some excerpts but it needs to be read in its entirety. This request will no doubt be ignored by those who really do not want to avail themselves of the true picture about Greens Party asylum seeker and refugees policy position.

    http://sarah-hanson-young.greensmps.org.au/content/news-stories/heres-how-create-long-term-safer-pathways-australia-asylum-seekers

    The sight of the two big parties exchanging and releasing letters on Tuesday was a performance that gave little hope for a sensible, humane or long-term response to the complex humanitarian issue of asylum seekers.

    Australia receives around 2% of asylum applications to industrialised nations – over six months we receive equivalent numbers of unauthorised arrivals that Italy receives in one weekend. Yet political consideration of asylum policy is so warped our leaders were reduced to bickering like note-passing schoolchildren.

    It is the Australian Greens’ platform that the arrival of asylum seekers, whether by air or boat, is a humanitarian issue and cannot be dealt with in any practical or long-term sense while it continues to be conflated with border control or national security.

    Let’s not forget it was John Howard who in the wake of September 11 and in desperation to win the 2001 election set out to make the issue of people fleeing war-torn countries seeking refuge a matter of national security.

    Remember too that while politicians are talking about saving lives, when she launched the Malaysia swap deal on May 7, not once did the Prime Minister mention stopping deaths at sea or preventing another Christmas Island shipwreck. Nine times she said she wanted to send asylum seekers to the back of the supposed “queue” while she said ‘smash the people smugglers’ business model’ six times.

    Asylum seekers are not coming to Australia to breach our borders, but instead to invoke the protections of our borders. Any plan in response to boat arrivals must remember our nation is a signatory to the Refugee Convention because we believe those needing protection should be given safe haven.

    It is tragically illustrative of asylum seekers’ desperation that some survivors from last weekend’s boat wreck told journalists in Java they will make the journey again. They are devastated by the loss of friends and family yet they will risk everything to seek our protection once more.

    It is not naïve of the Greens to call for a more effective and compassionate approach that decreases, as far as possible, asylum seekers’ reliance on unsafe journeys by sea. History has shown us there are better alternatives. It is only the big parties’ obsession with appearing ‘tough’ on boat arrivals that creates a false dichotomy of Australia having to choose between cruel off-shore assessments, or the current scenario of unmitigated boat departures.

    People are astounded to hear there are only two UNHCR officers in Indonesia tasked with assessing asylum applications. For the past decade Australia has taken roughly 60 refugees per year from Indonesia, despite knowing hundreds of asylum seekers are transiting through or waiting there.

    The government should look back to 1989 and the Comprehensive Plan of Action adopted by 70 nations to assist refugees from Vietnam and Cambodia. A revamped version could see Asia-Pacific governments co-fund regional screening centres run by the UNHCR, with commitments to resettlement quotas upheld by participating countries. Australia can the lead the way.

    This is something the Australian Greens would be interested in supporting – adequately-resourced regional assessment centres which provide transitory protection in places like Indonesia and Malaysia, from where we could directly accept refugees and genuinely undercut people smugglers. Crucially, such centres should never be used punitively as dumping grounds for asylum seekers who have managed to reach Australia, as in the government’s Malaysian swap deal. It was in no way a long-term response while the “queue” in Malaysia is effectively 53 years long.

    We could cope with regional resettlement commitments by lifting our humanitarian quota to 25,000, including directly accepting an extra 5,000 -10,000 refugees from Indonesia and Malaysia. Giving individuals hope their families won’t be in unprotected limbo that is essentially a life-time sentence.

    We should be prepared to offer more protection as global conflicts ebb and flow. It seems to have escaped some commentators that boat arrivals are higher due to escalations in persecution in specific nations. The biggest increase in asylum applicants to Australia in 2009-2011 came from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan and Sri Lanka.

    We must also consider improving assessment processes in the regions of origin or countries of origin such as Afghanistan. Again, there is precedent from the 1980s when internally displaced people from El Salvador and Chile were accepted into Australia through targeted in-country programs.

    One of the Hazara survivors of the recent Java boat tragedy said he tried repeatedly to apply for protection through Australian channels in Kabul but was told to reapply by sending an email in 2014. For him, staying at home by the computer waiting until 2014 was as much a risk of harm or death as the journey to Australia by sea. Iranian asylum seekers I’ve met in detention centres around Australia tell me they had only hours to collect their family and leave their country.

    Seeking asylum, fleeing for your life and trying to protect your family from persecution is by its very nature disorderly. The problem lies not with asylum seekers but the persecution that spurs them to run. They should not be punished or jailed in remote island prisons as examples. Our challenge as a safe, peaceful and humanitarian country is to work with our neighbours to manage displaced people’s needs as best we can, offering a practical, humane and long-term response.

    It’s important to remember the horrors of off-shore detention. Amanda Vanstone closed the Nauru centres due to a dire mental health crisis in 2005 brought on by housing vulnerable people in a remote, impoverished nation. They had little access to fresh water, legal advocacy, community support or adequate health and medical services. Malaysia is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention and has been condemned by Amnesty International for its ill-treatment of asylum seekers, including caning over 30,000 foreigners in the past five years.

    The Greens believe the well-documented harms of off-shore detention do not outweigh the supposed ‘deterrence’ effect. In the past 13 years – regardless of which government and which policy was in place – at least 22 boats have sunk between Indonesia and Australia. The SIEV X sank and killed 353 people weeks after the Howard government passed the ‘Pacific Solution’.

    People who seek protection and who are unable to access visas and flights will keep coming while the prospect of life here is better and safer than at home. Incarcerating them for months and years in what Dr Patrick McGorry calls “factories for mental illness” should not be a deterrent Australia is willing to stomach as a Refugee Convention signatory. That’s akin to saying all drug addicts should be jailed in order to send a message to the dealers.

    We need a durable, long-term solution and for that reason the Australian Greens will always be willing to discuss and consider a genuine regional framework based on compassion and humanity.]

  6. Leroy

    [vexnews ‏@vexnews
    Baillieu used to slam Labor for secrecy. Now he’s fighting FOI requests in the courts. ‪#springst‬ http://vexne.ws/cp pic.twitter.com/jsXwqzjb
    8:09 AM – 24 Jun 12]

    https://twitter.com/vexnews/status/216654124962422785/photo/1/large

  7. Mick Collins

    And yet, some desperate people are driven to make a choice to flee these camps to board unseaworthy boats and undertake a risky and dangerous sea journey in an attempt to reach a place where they can live their lives with some dignity and hope for a better future.

    Why would these people do that?

    What part of Regional Solution do you fail to comprehend Pegasus ?
    For every “Boat Person” that gets taken to Malaysia we take more Refugees that are already in the camps and give them some dignity and hope for a better future.
    Malaysia might not be the best, but it at least makes an attemp to prevent people drowning at sea.
    Thats the most important thing that we, as Australians, should be concerned about.
    That we take a number of Refugees for every one “Boat” Refugee means that at least their claims then have a chance to be processed at lot faster, and gives them “light at the end of the tunnel” so to speak.

  8. WeWantPaul

    [The Opposition and the Greens oppose the Labor proposal precisely because it would succeed in reducing the flow of boats. As long as the boats come, Labor is vulnerable to political attack from its enemies – the Liberals and the Greens. The Liberals peel votes away from the right, the Greens from the left. This is the simple vote-accumulation arithmetic of the situation.]

    Here here brilliantly said. Both for very base political reasons, both happy to watch as people die.

  9. Greensborough Growler

    vic,

    I support the Government’s Malaysian Solution. I further beleive the Government should be entitled to Govern.

    Greens, Libs and naysayers can dance on the Government’s grave if their policy proves unsuccessful.

    Nothing too difficult there.

  10. WeWantPaul

    [We need a durable, long-term solution and for that reason the Australian Greens will always be willing to discuss and consider a genuine regional framework based on compassion and humanity.]

    And how is people drowning better than the proposed regional framework solution the Govt has ready to go?

  11. Phil Vee

    victoria re harry kewell
    “But his actress wife Sheree Murphy’s mother is gravely ill, and he has decided to remain in England with her and their young family for the foreseeable future.”

    Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/sport/football/family-comes-first-kewell-quits-victory-20120624-20vzx.html#ixzz1yfWLW7hp

  12. Greensborough Growler

    fess,

    I can agree with that.

    But, the ALP can and must chew gum and fart at the same time.

  13. Meguire Bob

    The coalition is going to have a problem wiht nauru

    UNHCR made its position clear on the past Nauru policy, as it has many times before: ”The Pacific Solution, including the use of Nauru, was a deeply problematic policy, both as a matter of principle and for those refugees and asylum seekers affected by it.”

  14. BSA Bob

    Briefly @ 11.05
    Just like they did to Rudd with his carbon pricing scheme. Senior Greens are on a nice little holier than thou earner no matter what actually happens.

  15. guytaur

    GG

    No you are floundering. Anything to try and make a guilt argument on policy. Not going to work. Greens are not responsible for deaths at sea for the simple reason Greens are not in charge of these boats. The people responsible are in fact the people themselves and the crew of the boats. No one else.

    Governments can make policies to discourage people from coming to try and prevent people taking the risk of getting on the boat. It is the most any government of Australia can do.
    This is because even in dictatorships you cannot control every action of every person.
    Therefore you can discourage people from coming by Government Policy to try and counteract the pull factor this is a nation of democratic freedom, compassion, decency and a higher standard of living.
    So claiming that any Government is responsible for the choices made by others and thus are responsible for their deaths is a lie. The same applies for any party policy that Australia currently has.
    When you start arguing on we need to stop the boats because there are too many deaths and we need to act to help prevent that you have an argument. Not when you say the Greens are responsible for the deaths.

  16. victoria

    Phil Vee

    Appreciate that. I obviously heard incorrectly as usual!!

  17. Greensborough Growler

    Guytaur,

    So many words used by you. But so little said.

  18. guytaur

    GG

    Now you have just proved you are an being obtuse. An ideologue one no doubt.
    Those words are simple facts I am pointing out. Not opinion.

  19. WeWantPaul

    [Greens are not responsible for deaths at sea for the simple reason Greens are not in charge of these boats. ]

    That is an amazing position – that level of responsibility if I sensed the greens really believed what you say would shift my position from one whereby they occasionally add some value to Australian political life, to one where they are slightly more dangerous than Pauline Hanson but not as bright.

  20. Oakeshott Country

    Pegasus
    So Greens’ policy is pretty much as I thought. Once you get here treat with dignity. Regional processing if everyone else takes part. A romanticised view of those coming by boat and no policy or even intention to stop the boat traffic. In short – if you get here well and good but if you die on the way that is the risk you take. At least you will have died in the quest of freedom.

  21. Pegasus

    Mick Collins,

    What part of – the number of refugees that Australia can accept direct from the camps in Indonesia and Malaysia is not dependent on the Malaysia solution – do you not understand?

    If governments of both major political parties are so concerned about the welfare of asylum seekers and refugees, why during the last decade has Australia taken such a miniscule number of people from places such as Indonesia?

  22. guytaur

    WeWantPaul

    [WeWantPaul
    Posted Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 11:20 am | Permalink
    Greens are not responsible for deaths at sea for the simple reason Greens are not in charge of these boats.

    That is an amazing position – that level of responsibility if I sensed the greens really believed what you say would shift my position from one whereby they occasionally add some value to Australian political life, to one where they are slightly more dangerous than Pauline Hanson but not as bright.]

    So you are claiming the ALP is in charge of these boats?

  23. Greensborough Growler

    Guytaur,

    “Those words are simple facts I am pointing out. Not opinion”.

    That’s your opinion!

  24. lizzie

    guytaur
    [Therefore you can discourage people from coming by Government Policy to try and counteract the pull factor this is a nation of democratic freedom, compassion, decency and a higher standard of living.]
    This is too serious a subject for humour, but I had to smile when I read this. Seems to me that Abbott and the RW are doing their best to delete the “pull factor” by getting rid of those four. Might take a few years but economic rationalism will prevail in the end. 🙁

  25. WeWantPaul

    No the ALP is the Government. The government has responsibility for acting responsibly. The Government has a policy it implemented that prima facie solved three or four problems (or substantially helped with them) and was an excellent step towards a regional solution.

    This policy could have been implemented but for the greens and the opposition.

    The greens and the opposition are responsible to the Australian people for the policy outcomes.

    I’m an Australian person the greens and the opposition need to explain to me why they are letting people drown.

    ‘to get more votes’ is all I’m getting.

  26. guytaur

    Some people really are slow. So I will ask another question to make people think.

    Who does Maritime law says is responsible for vessels and their passengers?

  27. zoomster

    peg

    [And yet, some desperate people are driven to make a choice to flee these camps ]

    As has already been pointed out, many of those on the boats have never spent a day in a camp.

    http://www.championsofchange.org.au/?p=645

    “Reza” arrived in Australia by plane, after paying a people smuggler for false papers.

    Previous to that, he had spent some months living in Turkey.

    As I’ve said before, some refugees have no idea which country they’ll end up in…

    The book “The Rugmaker of Mazer e Sharif” recounts the story of one refugee from Afghanistan.

    [He is forced to flee Afghanistan, leaving his wife and child behind to place his life in the hands of people-smugglers, bound for an unknown destination]

    [Half way across the world in south-east Asia, Najaf and almost a hundred other refugees learn for the first time that they are bound for a country at the bottom of the world called ‘Australia’…]

    People smugglers quite happily send the refugees who pay them to a variety of countries. Australia is just one of these destinations. If Australia isn’t an option for people smugglers, they’ll still ply their trade – but their clients will end up in another country (the US or Canada, most likely).

    No mention of any time spent in a camp, btw.

    Refugee camps are not pleasant places – that goes without saying. Yet our present system favours those with money, some of whom have never been near a camp, giving them priority over those who have no other choice.

    Every refugee we accept who has paid to come here means one more who has to stay in a camp longer.

    If you want to minimise the amount of time refugees spend in camps, then you’d be doing your best to deter boat arrivals.

    (And you save lives both ways, so it’s a win win).

  28. WeWantPaul

    [Some people really are slow. So I will ask another question to make people think.

    Who does Maritime law says is responsible for vessels and their passengers?]

    You are asking a stupid irrelevant question. I can’t work out if you are stupid or just playing a smart arse, either way it isn’t useful discussion.

  29. briefly

    [214
    BSA Bob Posted Sunday, June 24, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink
    Briefly @ 11.05
    Just like they did to Rudd with his carbon pricing scheme. Senior Greens are on a nice little holier than thou earner no matter what actually happens.]

    Yes, in terms of the electoral dynamics, the Greens of today are like the DLP of yesteryear: they split the centre-left vote and weaken Labor politically. They are the Liberals’ best asset.

    From my perspective, there is one main game in Australian politics, and that is how and in whose interests the economy is managed. The Liberals – given the chance – run things in favour of the monopoly corporates. The headwaters of Liberal politics these days are the boardrooms of the banks, the property developers, the telcos, the media operators, the miners and the rent-seekers in the elite professions.

    By allying themselves with the Liberals, the Greens betray both taxpayers and their own egalitarian pretensions.

  30. victoria

    guytaur

    Our Maritime services were responsible for plucking more than a hundred people out of the sea the other day.

  31. Pegasus

    The fact is there is little difference between the positions of Labor and the Coalition on the treatment of asylum seekers.

    Rationalise, justify, and misrepresent and all you like, the stridency, the bile and scapegoating of the Greens by the Laborites reflect this.

    Enjoy your day spewing forth your bile.

  32. guytaur

    WeWantPaul

    It is very relevant. People have been saying the Greens are responsible for deaths at sea.
    Maritime Law of Australia, Indonesia and International all say the Captain is.
    No mention of the Greens

  33. Gaffhook

    Seems like some Myrmidons do refer to JG as PM but the editors take umbrage.

    [Jack Sumner ‏@preciouspress
    @mpbowers #insiders Major part”Talking pictures” taken up by cartoons/pictures of JG but care taken never to once call her Prime Minister.

    Reply Retweet Favorite
    45m Mike Bowers ‏@mpbowers
    @preciouspress I refered to JG as Prime Minister mutliple times however the editing process has cut it out

    Reply Retweet Favorite
    43m Equitist ‏@OzEquitist
    Hmmnnn….MT @mpbowers @preciouspress I refered to JG as Prime Minister mutliple times however the editing process has cut it out #Insiders]

  34. Oakeshott Country

    Looking at last week’s seat polling I thought that Rob Oakeshott was about a 30% chance of retaining Lyne. In today’s Sun Herald there was an article about this site:
    http://www.getridofrob.com/
    The Nats are going to spend a fortune to get rid of him. I would like to think this is because they are worried but more likely it is overkill because they hate him so much.

  35. guytaur

    victoria

    I have said before that this country has gone beyond what it has needed to. These boats were 38 nautical miles off of Indonesia when the first distress call was made.
    Have no doubt our Maritime services are if not the best amongst the top 5 services in the world in my opinion.

  36. lizzie

    briefly @ 229

    I have a lot of sympathy for your post. “Greens” no longer means green.

  37. igglepiggle

    We are all responsible for these deaths at sea. We live in, benefit greatly from, and certainly do little to oppose, a world political system that allows (some may say encourages) vast discrepancies in wealth, opportunity, wellbeing and protection of human rights. Asylum seekers is just one symptom of this ailing system. Before the flighty righties get upset, I am not recommending any solutions like world government, neither am i convinced current forms of wealth redistribution work. But recognition of the problem would be a great leap forward in being sympathetic to the symptoms and begin the search for the solution.

  38. Dan Gulberry

    Leadership Challenges And Newspoll
    [You can just about set your watch by it. Every time there is a Newspoll out in the field, the Murdoch owned News Limited fish wrappers will run a story on a supposed leadership challenge by Kevin Rudd against the Prime Minister Julia Gillard. This weekend is no exception. ]

  39. Greensborough Growler

    Pegasus,

    How unusual for you to “cut and paste” and then run from the deabte.

    How very Greens of you.

  40. victoria

    The Greens and the coalition believe their positions are a vote winner. I am not so sure anymore

  41. Fran Barlow

    [So we should conclude that both the Liberals and the Greens are willing to see people drown in large numbers in order to win votes. ]

    The first step in making that claim is to show that your policy would deter people in large numbers from attempting passage. It’s hard to imagine that it would. If I were in a camp in Indonesia assuming as I’d have to that I would be there for perhaps a decade or more, watching my children learn none of the things they need as adults and several they would be better of not learning, I’d never forgive myself if I didn’t at least try to escape to Australia. Death, if it comes to that, is a consequence not merely of my choice — since duress would be involved but all of my circumstances. If we survived but wound up in a squalid camp in Malaysia I’d try again, and again until we were dead or settled. What viable alternative could any rational person conceive? As a parent, your first duty is to protect the life prospects of your children. You make your best guess and hope that you are right.

    Let’s say though that the plan “works”. People, intimidated by the prospect of involuntary rendition to Malaysia, accept misery, illness, criminality and premature death. How many people are then taken from camps in Malaysia in return. Let’s see — zero boat people * five = … zero. No people are rescued from camps. Misery = 100%, except in Lindsay where the rednecks win and some ALP folks fancy that some of the “furniture” will be saved in 2013. Of course, it might simply be that people who were going to vote Liberal on other grounds anyway are mollified and the net electoral value to the ALP is zero as well.

  42. Leroy

    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/opinion/samantha-maiden-richard-torbay-and-his-coat-of-many-political-colours/story-e6frezz0-1226406322522

    [Richard Torbay and his coat of many political colours
    Samantha Maiden
    The Sunday Telegraph
    June 24, 2012 12:00AM

    Batman’s famed villain Two Face would be dismissed as an amateur if you believe half of the goings on in independent Tony Windsor’s seat of New England.

    In a scene littered with MPs who have entered into polygamous political arrangements throughout their careers, the intrigue is astounding.]

  43. bilko

    Hi all
    This is a test comment after 2yrs in the wilderness only able to view hope my avatar is included well not in the preview at least so I help needed from a kind PB guru to get it fixed.

  44. OzPol Tragic

    [You’ve been reading too much Patrick O’Brien, mate.]

    I haven’t read any of his. Conrad & WW histories apart, my reading of seafaring books finished with those prior to Oz archived records, which cover very little of the Napoleonic period (except visiting whalers, East Indiamen & a few French explorers).

    I’m 70, remember! When I was a kid, I had old family members & my parents’ friends who’d come here on sailing ships via the Great Circle (Polar) Route, and still spoke of the fear that their ships would join the death toll of those missing & wrecked. Additionally, some of them passed on what their own elderly relatives told of the bad old days of 8-10 months’ voyages on RN rejects – stories I was able to confirm when reading archival materials, here & in London. I much prefer the archived reality of letters, diaries, newspaper accounts, official documents, than to get information from other people’s ‘secondary account’ realities, history or fiction

    It also pays to remember that (no thanks to the Depression) most people bought their first wirelesses during WW II; so oral history, a few books (very few on the pre-clipper era) and fading letters were the only ways of passing on Colonial Australia’s realities. Even post-war, oral history of escapes from Singapore, from WW II sinkings (esp in Sunda Strait & the “Sydney”), from refugee ships – like my MiL’s 1942 trip down Q coast on the “legendary’ Ban Hong Liong – were part of my generation’s realty, as were the refugee ocean liners crammed with bombed-out & refugee Europeans. Add to that having Josef Conrad’s novellae “Typhoon” and “Youth” as prescribed Senior prose (I’d later read all his books, then considered up there with Jane Austen’s as the greatest novels in English Lit).

    OH’s family, half Scots, half Kulturkämpf Germans (their surnames indicate ethnic Polish) from Prussia (yeah! what a combo, eh!) from the Nundah area had similar backgrounds of wonderful (or horror) sea voyages.

    BTW, my political activism, nascent during the Conscription Referendum & The Splits nationally & in Q, began with in the antiWAP and “Aboriginal Referendum” even before antiConscription; just as my environmental activism dates from reading Judith Wright, teaching one of Kath Walker (Oodgeroo Noonuccal’s) sons (N Stradbrook Is), save Cooloola Sands (successful) & Lake Peddar (very sadly not) – the 2 were contemporary.

  45. Greensborough Growler

    Fran,

    The incorrect assumption you make is that the AS are sitting in squalid camps. As is pointed out earlier in the thread, this is not the case.

    AS are a commodity flown around the world to situations where they can make a quick trip to wherever they are being sent.

    Your word picture description of the AS is just further myth making by the Greens to rationalise an untenable policy position.

  46. OzPol Tragic

    [45m Mike Bowers ‏@mpbowers
    @preciouspress I refered to JG as Prime Minister mutliple times however the editing process has cut it out]

    Who says the Aussie MSM isn’t biased!

    Another addition to Steve Conroy’s dossier! Roll on Leveson Report recommendations!

  47. Rex Douglas

    It surely must be a concern for the Greens that the AS issue looks to be exposing a ruthless element with a political numbers game they are determined to win at any cost.

    What was a respected view of the Greens by many is now seemingly becoming more a suspicious/cynical view of their primary motives.

  48. victoria

    RD

    I tend to agree. I am starting to sense that the Greens and the noalition are looking more and more exposed

  49. Greensborough Growler

    Guytaur,

    Indifference to the fate of your fellow man and now a dose of good old Aussie jingoism.

    You’ll make a fine reactionary.

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