Monday, June 20, 2011

Australia " a proud member of the trans-Tasman family, "

I like Australians. The Bruce's and Brucette's across the ditch are family, we are mates who take the piss out of each other in the way only family could get away with. Today  Prime Minister  ( NZ ) John Key  addressed the Australian Parliament

" I bring with me the good wishes of 4.4 million Kiwis.

They value the deep bonds we share and they would want Australia to hear this message: New Zealand is committed to your country above all others, and for all time. "
Actually not a bad start and he went better,
" In recent times you have shown New Zealand a degree of loyalty and support that only family can.
For that we are truly grateful.
When an explosion ripped through the Pike River Mine in November last year you sent your specialist experts, your machinery and your hope.
You did all you could to help us bring those 29 men home. 

When they died you grieved with us, not only for the two Australians, but for all of them. 

When the devastating Christchurch earthquake struck us in February, 
you came to our aid immediately, unreservedly and with open hearts. "
So my family why do just feel cold

" The right thing for the wrong reason

Refugee politics is a perennial topic in Australia, with government's and oppositions competing, regardless of political stripe, to see who can be the most racist towards desperate people in need. The government's current plan, in the wake of the failed "Pacific solution", is to forcibly transfer refugees to Malaysia. This is deliberate denial of rights under the Refugee Convention (which requires that Australia provide sanctuary to anyone with a well-founded fear of persecution, regardless of how they happen to arrive); worse, Malaysia isn't a party to the Convention, and has a record of abusing and mistreating refugees [PDF]. Which, I suspect, is exactly why Australia is trying to send them there: as a "deterrent".
So its good to see the Australian Parliament voting to condemn the deal. While its not legally binding, its a shot across the government's bow, and suggests that the Australian Labor Party's coalition partners might not vote for money for the program. Unfortunately, this isn't due to any real respect for refugee rights on the part of Australian MPs. The Greens have taken their usual principled and humanitarian stand, but the coalition is opposing the deal because its not nasty and vicious enough. So, they're doing the right thing, but for terrible, terrible reasons "

Well you can judge.

Hat Tip No Right Turn

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