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Andrew Bolt

May 12, 2010

If asylum seekers are living in such luxury, why don't any Bolt readers really want to swap places?

Picture the life of an asylum seeker presently locked up by the Government indefinitely, without charge. Now reconcile that with

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Picture the life of an asylum seeker presently locked up by the Government indefinitely, without charge.

Now reconcile that with the image Andrew Bolt wants you to have of these “lucky” people:

No wonder they keep coming

Private jets and four-star hotels. Welcome to the lifestyle of a Rudd asylum seeker:

He links to and quotes from a story at The Age about the government spending millions on private companies and private hotels to transport and house asylum seekers, and implies that this means that they’re being transported and housed in absolute luxury. (“No wonder they keep coming.”)

And, if you have a persecution complex and want to believe that the government LUVS ASYLUM SEEKERS and HATES AUSTRALIANS then perhaps you could convince yourself to believe this incredibly implausible claim. I guess it’s easier to justify ignoring someone’s pleas for help if you can fool yourself that, despite all evidence to the contrary, they’re somehow better off than you. That’s why the refugee-demonising industry does so well with its fatuous “queue jumping” and “rich boat person” lines.

Bolt’s readers certainly got the message. As “Rosemary from Queensland” opined to Andrew:

Meanwhile in the real world, Aussies are living in cars, on the streets, in caravans and tents, and off the goodwill of extended family because they cannot get a real roof over their heads. I have read that families with children are being shunted weekly from one lot of temporary accomodation to the next, living out of boxes and suitcases, with no sense of stability or routine for these children.

Yet blow-ins from elsewhere get the four-star treatment here, get given wads of money and seem to want for nothing. These people have not paid a day’s worth of tax, they have not contributed a day’s worth of work for this country, and for that they are treated like kings.

But anyone with more than an ounce of common sense should immediately realise that this “treated like kings” line simply doesn’t add up. If the government LUVVED asylum seekers so much then why would it refuse to process their applications? Why would it lock them up in prisons?

Remember, a large part of the expense involved in housing asylum seekers is in security staff to detain them – it’s like pretending that living in prison is luxurious just because it costs a lot to house each prisoner. Hint: that money does not go to them. Guards, security systems, these are all very expensive things. Likewise, the “private jets” are presumably expensive because they’re keeping these prisoners – sorry, “detainees” – away from the general public, not because the asylum seekers are somehow being put up in first class and dining on caviar and champagne. (And just because a hotel has four star accommodation, that doesn’t mean that’s how the asylum seekers are being housed.)

Now, if the question is – why are we spending so much money just to treat asylum seekers like dirt, then I’ll join with other taxpayers in asking it. It seems like no-one benefits from the present system other than the private companies milking the department.

But this politics of envy by Bolt, this attempt to misleadingly imply that all this money being spent to keep asylum seekers away from us is somehow being spent to give them cushy lives, and that it thereby tempts them over here – well, that’s both dishonest and stupid. And it’s very disturbing that there are people in his forum who are happy to switch off their brains and believe it, just because they so desperately want to resent these people instead of feeling guilty about their lack of compassion.

Does any Bolt reader really think they’d like to trade places with an asylum seeker in Australia in 2010? Perhaps their wish should be granted.

PS: Bolt’s attempt to blame this practice on Rudd falls over when you read the actual article and see that the previous Coalition government was just as profligate with its spending on keeping prisoners away from us, spending $578k to fly David Hicks back on a private jet. I suspect he’d have much rathered they spent $1000 and flew him back economy.

UPDATE: Back at Bolt’s, “The Bad Samaritan” has a theory to explain this “favoured treatment” that makes sense to him:

However, a blow-in from some sh*theap WILL remember the luxury holiday at the Brissy Motel, for decades to come. Mr Rudd is counting on this translating into permanent ALP Votes. Got it Rosemary?

So cunning! I think it’s fairly obvious how many detention facilities “The Bad Samaritan” has visited.

UPDATE #2: Originally the first line of this post said “in the desert”, but this isn’t quite right. The former government’s desert-based centres at Woomera and Baxter have been closed, and according to the Department, the remaining ones are in Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Darwin and on Christmas Island (which is remote and sandy, but not a desert).

However, the Government is reopening the Curtin Detention Centre, 28 hours from Perth, known as one of the very worst of the Howard-era facilities.

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85 comments

85 thoughts on “If asylum seekers are living in such luxury, why don’t any Bolt readers really want to swap places?

  1. PeeBee

    Sorry Confessions you are right, Pedro is a troll

    She’d argue day was night and black was white if it meant going against whatever Jeremy had written.

    and you can add ‘and whatever Pedro had written too’.

    How can anyone deceive themselves so thoroughly? It takes a certain sort of moral corruptness to lie to yourself like that, and a certain sort of stupidity to believe it.

    Amazing.

  2. confessions

    pedro @ 55:
    [Gee, Jeremy. Last I checked, attempting to buck the systym and sneak into ANY country is ILLEGAL. ]

    pedro @ 82:
    [It never does say – nor did I – that it is illegal to arrive in Australia and claim asylum status.]

    Oh dear. Best not to contradict oneself (and so forcefully) on the same page.

  3. Pedro

    Confessions, you really should read that Migration Act.

    It never does say – nor did I – that it is illegal to arrive in Australia and claim asylum status. As long as you have done it via plane or ship and you have a passport and an entry visa in hand.

    The Migration Act refers to all others as UNLAWFUL ENTRANTS or UNLAWFUL NON-CITIZENS.

    Note the UNLAWFUL part. Their words, not mine.

  4. quantize

    Pedro doesn’t even read half the stuff she’s flapping her flippers to…proven conclusively on another thread here where she was so busy applauding someone she hadn’t bothered to read anything he’d actually written.

    I’m really not sure what Pedro hopes to achieve by flaying herself so foolishly here over and over…it’s hardly challenging the worst stereotypes of conservatives is it?

  5. PeeBee

    I don’t think we were trolled. I really think that Pedro thought she was right and she was comprehensively shown that she was not. The illogical meanders were desperate attempts to get out of the spotlight, but it didn’t work. No doubt an apology will be forthcoming and a ‘thank you’ for time people spent educating her.

  6. confessions

    [How do you rationalise that to yourself?]

    She doesn’t. She comes here just so she can take the exact opposite view to what is expressed here, regardless of how wrong or illogical she is. She’d argue day was night and black was white if it meant going against whatever Jeremy had written.

  7. confessions

    [We have a Migration Act]

    Where in the Migration Act does it say it is illegal to arrive in Australia and claim asylum? You’ll find instead taht there is a migration program which caters specifically for such people. Hardly illegal.

    Face it, you’ve basically fallen victim to every base smear the tabloids reel out in order to demonise asylum seekers. You should feel embarrassed at your obvious inability to think for yourself.

  8. RobJ

    [How do you rationalise that to yourself?]

    Look fellow PPers, Pedro just makes things up as she goes along, like her own personal tax bracket, or the agreement that she has with Pure Poison to call asylum seekers ‘illegals’…….

    You are being trolled….. Surely you aren’t expecting her to admit she’s wrong? Sure, she’s making an idiot of herself here and if that’s why you people keep responding then I guess it’s just mutual trolling. 😉

  9. PeeBee

    Is the problem here that Pedro is confused about about the difference between an asylum seeker and an illegal immigrant? It is not illegal to come to Australia and claim asylum. However, there are other people who come to Australia without visas, or over stay their visas but do not request asylum and therefore are illegally in the country.

  10. fred p

    But the onus IS on you, Pedro. You’ve made a positive assertion – that asylum seekers are breaking the law. Back it up. You’ve been asked repeatedly to say which law it is they’re breaking. Please do so whenever you’re ready, but if you can’t do it – and we know you can’t, because we know they’re not breaking any laws – how can you continue calling them “illegal”?

    Not one of these “illegals” has been charged with a crime. How do you rationalise that to yourself?

  11. Pedro

    Let’s see. We have a Migration Act and an absolute GLUT of Immigration Lawyers… yet we have no immigration offences.

    Okaaaaaaaaaay.

  12. Jeremy Sear

    Nice try, but no. If there’s an offence – a crime – being committed, you haven’t found it yet. And nor have the authorities that are not charging any of these people with a crime.

    Simple.

    True asylum seekers seek refuge in many countries. Why should we be immune?

  13. Pedro

    Jeremy. Australian immigration law requires a person to have a valid visa before entering the country. Simple.

    And I did not question what other countries were doing. I do, though, question why a true asylum seeker would have their mind so set on Ausralia that no other country could possibly offer a safe harbour.

  14. confessions

    [And they intentionally target Australia]

    So much so that there’s so few of them.

    You still can’t outline why it’s illegal for a person to arrive in Australia claiming asylum.

  15. Jeremy Sear

    Pure sophistry. You cannot point to a single law they’ve broken, and yet you insist on calling them “illegals”.

    PS “rather than settle in any of the countries they pass through on the way here”? You’re not buying the bullsh!t line that we’re taking all the refugees and these countries in between aren’t taking many, many more are you?

    I’m wondering if your stance on this issue is because of ignorance, or your ignorance is a deliberate choice to avoid having to change your stance on the issue.

  16. Pedro

    Unjust as YOU feel it is, Jeremy, it’s the rules.

    These people intentionally contrive to circumvent the immigration protocols in place. And they intentionally target Australia, rather than settle in any of the countries they pass through on their way here.

    The government’s refugee policy currently in place says, basically, people may apply for asylum if they arrive on our shores “LEGALLY”.

    That does not mean paying a smuggller to bring you here.

  17. Jeremy Sear

    I call it profoundly unjust. Indefinite detention without charge is one of the things we lefties have been fighting, Pedro.

    Did you grasp Mondo’s point yet?

  18. Pedro

    Jeremy.

    What do you call being locked up on arrival if not the assumption that a crime has been committed?

  19. mondo rock

    I wasn’t “asking” about anything, other than a link that proves people who intentionally seek to avoid the proper channels and pay smugglers to enter a country do so LEGALLY.

    Pedro – in all seriousness Western jurisprudence simply doesn’t work the way you appear to think it does. Try to find a law saying it’s legal to walk down the road, or a law saying it’s legal to smile in public – you won’t because no such laws exist. It is almost always irrational to demand that someone identify a law proving that something is legal.

    The laws that do exist tell us what we can’t do, not what we can do. If there is no law preventing someone from applying for asylum in Australia then it is not ‘illegal’ by definition – QED.

    But more to the point, why are you twisting like mad in an attempt to avoid admitting that ‘illegal immigrant’ is a literally incorrect term to apply to asylum seekers?

    If you were unable to legitimately characterise asylum seekers as criminals would your policy position on this issue change?

  20. confessions

    [That paper is opinion, not government policy. It’s useless.]

    ‘That paper’ cites domestic law and international conventions to which Australia is a willing signatory. There is no law (domestic or international) which says people have no entitlement to claim asylum in Australia.

    The reason you say the paper is “useless” is because the facts expressed are at odds with your own incorrect assumptions.

  21. Jeremy Sear

    Pedro, if coming to Australia and seeking asylum as these people have done is “illegal”, why have precisely none of them been charged with a crime? Could it be because your idea that it’s “illegal” to come without permission to seek asylum is flat-out wrong?

    Something can’t be “illegal” unless there’s a law against it. Back up your claim. Point us to such a law.

  22. Pedro

    Dave. I wasn’t “asking” about anything, other than a link that proves people who intentionally seek to avoid the proper channels and pay smugglers to enter a country do so LEGALLY.

    That paper is opinion, not government policy. It’s useless.

  23. Dave Gaukroger

    Pedro, you weren’t asking about government policy, you were asking about what things are, and are not, ILLEGAL. That background note explains it quite well.

  24. Pedro

    Pffft. In Monkeywrench’s world, I would have just recinded my right to vote!

    Tobby. You guys like to play journalism – and I believe you just recently learned a real lesson in that – so you know that the onus is not on me.

  25. Pedro

    Thank you for doing Jeremy’s work, Dave.

    But a paper filed in the APH is not quite Government policy. And the UN (even tho they like to think so) does not run the world.

    Tobby. You guys like to play journalism – and I believe you just recently learned a real lesson in that – that the onus is not on me.

  26. Dave Gaukroger

    Pedro, perhaps you might like to familiarise yourself with the following Background Note from the Parliamentary Library.

    Asylum seekers and refugees: what are the facts?

  27. Tobias Ziegler

    If you’re going to assert something is illegal, I’d think the onus is on you to cite the law that makes it so. Unless it’s just the vibe of the thing, of course.

  28. Pedro

    Perhaps you might like to give me a link which says otherwise?

  29. Jeremy Sear

    “Gee, Jeremy. Last I checked, attempting to buck the systym and sneak into ANY country is ILLEGAL.”

    Check again, mate.

  30. Pedro

    Gee, Jeremy. Last I checked, attempting to buck the systym and sneak into ANY country is ILLEGAL.

    And using criminal organisations/smugglers to do so is also ILLEGAL.

  31. Holden Back

    Did I miss something being away from my desk? I though the hotel accommodation mentioned in parliment was occuring under the lastgovernment?

  32. confessions

    [What’s to reason with, confessions? This is the only place I know of where “illegals” is A REALLY, REALLY BAD WORD.]

    Then you obviously don’t get out much and/or haven’t a clue what you are talking about.

    QED.

  33. Dom Ramone

    Pedro has just disappeared down the rabbit hole, now that she wants us to believe words only mean what you want them to mean.

  34. fred p

    ““Illegals” is hardly a hateful, offensive, inhumane slur.”

    It is exactly that. But worse still, it is completely inaccurate, given that coming to Australia by any means and claiming asylum is perfectly legal. Ever notice how none of these “illegals” are prosecuted?

    The day you can tell us what crime these “illegals” have committed, Pedro, is the day we’ll accept you calling them “illegals”. Until then, there is no reason to expect people here to play along with your wilful ignorance.

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