Pure Poison Icon Every week we see our Cut and Paste Trophy thread filled to the brim with stupid reader comments that the news media have seen fit to publish, but it’s worth remembering that this isn’t the only place where you’ll find detestable nonsense published. Last weekend the Herald Sun went out of their way to remind us that poor judgement isn’t confined to blog moderators when they published this execrable piece by James Campbell.

Julia turns back the clock with an offer of servants

The absence of servants has been the bane of middle-class life in this country since World War II, when our grandparents’ cooks, maids and nannies disappeared into factories, never to return.

…Now, thanks to the decision to abandon offshore processing – the only thing that has been shown to deter people smugglers – all that is set to change.

Campbell’s article reads like part of a transcript from a high school debate, with all of the pompous contrariness, but sadly none of the wit.

Does James believe that the few thousand refugees who arrive in Australia by boat each year will be enough to undermine the working conditions we have in this country? Or is he suggesting that we will suddenly see hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers showing up? More worryingly, does James Campbell really think that people seeking asylum are unfit for anything beyond menial domestic work?

While Campbell’s article tries to hide behind a bit of tongue in cheek jocularity, after all who doesn’t get a laugh out of Stalin’s victims, the vapidness of his arguments shine through.

Alas, unskilled workers will find Julia’s New Australians are prepared to work for a good deal less than they are.

So bad news if you mow lawns for a living, but good news if you’re a human rights lawyer who needs his grass cut.

Firstly, where’s the evidence that people who have settled in Australia after seeking asylum here are not being paid properly for work that they do? And if it is the case then why aren’t the people taking advantage of them being called to account rather than levelling a lazy smear at immigrant workers? Campbell may as well be standing on a street corner yelling “They took err jerb!” if this is the type of argument he wants to make.

Secondly, where are these mythical human rights lawyers who are supposedly exploiting asylum seekers? Or is that smear simply more uninformed fantasy from Campbell?

Speaking of uninformed fantasy:

Now that Julia has decided that anyone can “come on Down Under” I am looking forward to the first Q&A regular caught skimping on the super contributions of the refugee they’ve hired to ferry their kids between soccer practice and their Saturday morning French immersion course.

According to Campbell the decision to process asylum seekers who arrive by boat in the same manner that we process those who arrive by plane is a declaration that “anyone can “come on Down Under””, by that logic I expect that the Department of Immigration and Citizenship will be shutting its doors any day.

While Campbell’s whole article is a rather ugly in the way it paints asylum seekers, it’s the central tenet of it that worries me the most, the suggestion that asylum seekers are nothing but unskilled economic migrants. What would his reaction be if the doctors jailed in Bahrain for treating anti-government protesters applied for asylum? Ask them whether that have any experience cleaning pools?

James Campbell has managed something quite unique with this article, he’s managed to reinforce some inaccurate stereotypes about asylum seekers, given the “flooded by boat people” can another kick, given the PM a backhander and all without adding anything of substance to the discussion of this issue. The article gives hope to all aspiring writers that quality is no barrier to publication at the Herald Sun.

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