QED

Leaky Boats and Empty Vessels

boat on rocksDo-gooders congregated in the inner cities feel that Australia must house large, unstated, numbers of the world’s dispossessed. Where do they think these refugees will live? Well certainly not in their backyards. One hundred refugees dumped in each of their streets might be salutary.

Competing with the inner-city do-gooders in the bleeding-heart stakes are many conservative commentators. Desperate to establish their empathetic credentials, they use the avoidance of deaths at sea as their moral rationale for stopping boats. It is disingenuous. It won’t do.

Sarah Hanson-Young was exactly right some years ago when she said ‘accidents happen’ after a refugee boat foundered and sank. If refugees are willing to risk their lives on rickety boats, that is up to them.

It is up to them! Clearly, they think the risks are worthwhile.

The rationale for stopping boats has nothing at all to with protecting refugees from their own folly. It is to uphold our national right to control our borders. “We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come,” John Howard rightly said. He didn’t add, “in case they drown”. He placed Australia’s interests ahead of refugees; as he should. Putting Australia first appears to be remote from the thinking of the Labor-Greens left.

It surely must be clear, even to the most rusted-on Labor voters, that if Albanese, Plibersek or Wong were ever again in government, we might as well open the shutters and put ‘all-comers welcome’ mats around the foreshores. Shorten may have won a face-saving victory at his party’s national conference by doing quid pro quo deals with union heavies, but to actually turn a boat around? Give us all a break. It simply won’t happen.

The true believers would be in the Parliament, in halls, in corridors, in the media and on the streets rending their garments. And if Shorten thinks his damaging, and reckless beyond words, proposal to double the refugee intake would help, he should thing again. Enough will never be enough.

Albanese was reported to have said that he couldn’t support boat turn-backs because he wouldn’t ask our service personnel to do something he knew he couldn’t do himself. There go our jails, I suppose, if Albanese would not keep prisoners locked up at the bottom of his garden. When it comes to national security and border protection, things have to be done that ordinary people in their daily lives would find personally confronting. Societies have to weigh the costs of doing unpleasant things against the costs and consequences of doing nothing.

Weighing consequences is the sine qua non of good policy. Unfortunately, this does not sit easily among those on the left. It interferes with their quest to fix the world.

It is not hard to trace relevant consequences in this case.

  • Letting one boat in encourages others and still others. Unmanageable increases in the need for off-shore processing and accommodation result.
  • Severe budgetary and humanitarian repercussions follow.
  • Eventually, many refugees are settled in Australia, requiring a concomitant and unaffordable need for public housing, welfare and medical support. Has anyone noticed that we are not paying our way as it is?
  • Social disharmony (and worse) grows, as many of the refugees – notably Muslims who bulk large among refugee populations — bring intolerant and backward cultural and religious values and practices along with them.

But to Albanese and his cohorts, a boat comes in, refugees land, someone takes care of them. Good feelings are generated. That’s it. All of the subsequent consequences are kept out of mind. Absent consequences, whatever seems right is right. Whatever is right is doable. They are children in grown-up bodies.

Those who find the policy of securing our borders morally repugnant don’t give a tinker’s cuss about preserving and protecting our way of life. They are concerned only with their own precious consciences and hang the interests of the nation.

4 comments
  • [email protected]

    On the superficial surface of it, one can understand and might even reluctantly sympathise with the bleeding hearts attitude on the subject of refugee policy, except for the most fundamental of its repercussions: If the developed countries were to open their borders to allcomers without any restrictions, the sheer weight of numbers would rapidly overwhelm the capabilities of the developed countries, resulting in swift social and economic decline to the base levels of the developing world so that all of humanity would have to endure the conditions from which today’s refugees are fleeing. It is doubtful that that is the sort of “equality” the bleeding hearts want, at least not for their elite selves. With the ability of the developed world to generate wealth destroyed, any hope of improving the lot of humanity would recede into the indeterminate future.

  • Jody

    I must disagree here; the Left and the do-gooders are not merely interested in their own consciences on this issue, or any other. As many have either spear-headed the propaganda strategy themselves, through universities and the school system, the rest are slaves to fashion. They hear their peers mouthing platitudes at dinner parties and the rite of passage, or entree, into this world is in revealing impeccable socially-conscious credentials. I’ve seen it in action when I worked at the ABC and in teaching; your suitability as a member of the group is tested through some quick reference points; “Oh, isn’t it shocking about the asylum seekers?”, “Abbott is hell-bent on destroying this country” ad infinitum, ad nauseaum. The answer you provide to these simplistic statements will generally provide a clue about your values and you may find yourself instantly dropped, depending on whether you agree with ‘the others’. Each new group; every new social experience – particularly in the arts area – is a smorgasbord of politically correct and self-righteous pomposity masquerading as ‘caring’. I’ve been there and now I either refuse point blank to discuss the issues or, in the case of a recent email about saving the ABC, respond by saying, “it isn’t worth saving; privatize immediately” and hang the consequences. Life is just too short for bullshit.

  • jenkins

    All refugees to be housed in the Greens voting, ABC watching, Fairfax reading suburbs. What a great idea. Win win all round.

  • Peter OBrien

    Peter, you are spot on. I find it ironic that in the past we used to curse about the ‘tyranny of distance’. Now, when one sees what is emerging in Europe, what was once seen as a disadvantage to this country now appears to be distinctly advantageous.
    And we have an abundance of the coal which has allowed humanity to flourish so richly over the past 200 years.

    And yet the Left would have us throw both these advantages to the wind.

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