Immigration: Turnbull vs Bernardi

migrants on shipPrime Minister Malcolm Turnbull gave an enormous boost to Cory Bernardi’s burgeoning Australian Conservatives with his July, 2017, Disraeli lecture to the Policy Exchange think tank in London. Turnbull’s address was a very public and aggressive disavowal of conservatism: “In 1944, Menzies went to great pains not to call his new centre-right party a conservative party – rather he described our party as the Liberal Party, which he firmly anchored in the centre of Australian politics.” Take that Tony Abbott and anyone else in the Liberal Party, or in the general public, who does not share Malcolm Turnbull’s “sensible centre” position!

Turnbull’s London speech, titled “In Defence of a Free Society”, made clear references to Karl Popper and characterised Australia as an “open society, which needed to be safeguarded from the enemies of freedom: “Terrorism is the starkest and most urgent enemy of freedom.” Strong border protection policies, Turnbull informed his British audience, were critical for the defence of a free society, and the Coalition government had delivered on this: “In particular our strong border protection policies have ensured that Australians know once again, as they did in John Howard’s day, that it is only their government which determines who comes to Australia and on what terms they can say.”

The only problem with this is that the record shows Malcolm Turnbull’s “sensible centre” politics originally made him a critic of strong border protection policies. It was all too, well, conservative. We know he opposed the concept of Operation Sovereign Borders when Tony Abbott, as the Leader of the Opposition, first proposed it in 2011.

In other words, Turnbull most likely would not have implemented an effective border strategy in the first place had he been the one to lead the Coalition into power back in August, 2013. In 2015, shortly after his consistent and sustained white-anting of his party’s leader culminated in Abbott’s ousting in a party-room coup, Turnbull let slip that, ideally, he would like to soften Operation Sovereign Borders, especially with regard to those who paid people-smugglers only to end up languishing in detention centres on various islands outside Australia territory.

Malcolm Turnbull’s disclosure caused a firestorm. Within hours rumours were swirling that the people-smuggling industry was considering re-opening its South East Asia-Australia franchise. By that same afternoon PM Turnbull was in full emergency mode, retracting everything he said earlier in the day: “We cannot take a backward step on this issue.” For all his bravado in London, our Prime Minister would have attenuated Operation Sovereign Borders in a heartbeat had it been a politically viable option to do so. Malcolm Turnbull’s “sensible centre” might be better characterised as PC-mindedness.

Turnbull’s Malcolm-in-the-middle routine is a sham. While scorning “conservatism” in favour of the “sensible centre”, the key strategy he recommended to his British audience for defending an Open Society was the conservative border protection policies devised by Tony Abbott (and John Howard before him): “As Europe grapples today with unsustainable inflows of migrants and asylum seekers, the Australian experience offers both a cautionary tale and the seeds of a potential solution.” His audacity was astonishing. None of this would matter so much if all that it required to defend our free society was Operation Sovereign Borders and lining up at an airport for three hours.

This brings us back to the Australian Conservatives, who released their Immigration and Citizenship policy last Wednesday. The five-part programme covers everything from visa reform to the demand that refugee intakes be determined by Australia, as a sovereign state, and not be imposed on us by supranational organisations such as the United Nations. Yet Cory Bernardi’s plan to halve our current net immigration makes sense. Why, as E.R. Drablik recently asked at Quadrant Online, is the Turnbull government running the largest per capita immigration agenda in the world? The ‘Big Australia’ vision of both Labor and Coalition governments has resulted in our population soaring by more than 20 percent between 2003-2015. ‘Big Australia’, in reality, means unmanageable pressure on “services, infrastructure and family incomes”.

The Australian Conservatives are also prepared to call out the family reunion stream. This provision has been a generous way to make it easier for new migrants to begin the path towards integration into Australian society. It was not intended to be exploited by those born in this country. The commitment by the Australian Conservatives to “legislate that family members may only be brought to Australia if those members are declared at the time of the initial visa application” is, therefore, a masterstroke.

The final component of the Australian Conservatives’ immigration policy addresses residency and citizenship, with ten years of crime-free and terror-free residence required before citizenship is granted. In the end, the Australian Conservatives’  Immigration and Citizenship policy asserts that citizenship should have the same meaning for newcomers as it does for those inviting them into our democratic and free country.

There are serious problems ahead for our immigration nation, as Malcolm Turnbull described Australia in London. In the real world, the “sensible centre” might not lie between conservativism and the Left, but between One Nation and our PC Establishment.

Daryl McCann has a blog at darylmccann.blogspot.com.au  He tweets at @dosakamccann


16 thoughts on “Immigration: Turnbull vs Bernardi

  • ian.macdougall says:

    John Howard was quite right on this score. We Australians must be the ones who decide who comes here, an the circumstances in which they come.
    If we do not have immigration controls, then we have open borders, and the door just gets forced open wider and wider, by (mainly Muslim) refugees.
    Ultimately, the end point is an Islamic Australia.
    Note that there is not inwards population pressure on the Islamic world. Far more people want out than want in.

  • Julian says:

    To an extent Howard was right on the distinction between legal and illegal immigration – i.e. it’s obviously better to control inflows than to not control them (see Europe, the US-Mexico border etc for examples of the latter). However, Howard was also extremely duplicitous r.e. immigration, and I often find the veneration of him by so-called conservatives to be a little perplexing. What I mean is that, was it not John Howard’s government who rapidly increased the legal migration intake (to please big business, retail, housing and construction, etc) whilst all the while banging on rhetorically about ‘secure borders’ and ‘deciding who will come here and the circumstances under which they come’ ?

    So, in a certain regard, whether immigration be illegal or legal, the net effect is essentially the same. For example, if you live in a place with a huge increase in congestion, house prices, a loss of social trust and cohesion, and a dramatic change in the ethnic and socio-cultural make-up of the place (e.g. Box Hill, and parts of the CBD in Melbourne, or Chatswood, Lakemba etc in Sydney) do you say, well, “at lease these immigrants came here legally”? Seriously, give me a break.

    • Jody says:

      Britain has the horror of sharia courts, loads of mosques and increasing sex crimes from “the migrants”. They only have themselves to blame for tolerating the propaganda about equality between the races, affirmative action and ridiculously porous borders. They’ve allowed allowed both the UE and the UN to con them into thinking they’re responsible for the world’s problems and are duty bound to take in people as a consequence of that. They’re just stupid. There’s no other way to put it.

    • ian.macdougall says:

      Well Julian, Howard persuaded a majority of voters to support him in 1996, including me.
      Actually, it was not that difficult a choice, given that the alternative was that political grub Keating.
      And as a matter of fact, that was the first time in my life I had ever put the Libs ahead of the ALP on the ballot paper.

    • whitelaughter says:

      Given we’ve had massive immigration since the gold rushes, complaining about immigration per se is a bit rich. If it was the problem, we would have had two centuries of awesome.
      Illegal immigration is a major problem; legally bringing in savages is another problem. And given the savages are already here, we are going to have to import large numbers of civilized people to adjust the balance. Hopefully from countries on the border of the Islamic world, who know the importance of keeping them out and have grown up in countries that do so.

      • Julian says:

        For sure. However, r.e. immigration and social cohesion, the problem you make is in not differentiating between types/sources of immigration. Not all immigration is the same, for various reasons (and the fact that we are now proud of having a supposedly ‘non-discriminatory’ immigration policy – to what extent we do is another question – is slightly tragi-comic). To take an example, it’s as if importing a well-educated European engineer or classics teacher is the same, socio-culturally speaking, as importing a largely illiterate Somali Muslim with jihadi tendencies. The social effect of both of these choices will obviously not be the same.

        And, back to the 1st point, Pre WW2 immigration was largely from the British Isles, and to a lesser extent Europe, into a country that was largely being populated by people from the same region/s (the Chinese immigration during the Gold Rush, for example, didn’t work out too well, if you remember rightly; and, well, the Australian Aborigines were obviously here, yet, that’s a story for another day).

        Post WW2 we obviously had the Southern European migration, (for reasons of ‘populate or perish’ etc) which although not entirely without fault, was necessary, and has largely been successful.

        However, only within the last 35-40 years have we decided to be less discriminatory, and surprise, surprise, educational results are down, crime is up, trust and cohesion are down, faith in the 2 major political parties is at rock bottom, and we now have things like bollards, and metal detectors at the MCG. Our decision from this time to import people from the Middle-East, and SE Asia (thank you Mr Fraser) has not been beneficial, nor our relatively recent decision to import a bunch of Africans under humanitarian grounds; and a whole chunk of Asia in order to inject a bunch of cash into the retail, high-rise and urban sprawl industries (also known as ‘building and construction’), and the ‘education’ sector (which surprisingly is no-longer worthy of the name education as the universities, in their rush for the foreign $, have exchanged ‘students, literacy and proper standards and learning’, for ‘clients, growth and sub-par levels of literary and performance’ in degree factories, because, hey, it doesn’t matter where a student comes from, nor the fact that they can’t spell their name nor have any familiarity at all with the subject matter or the broader Western educational and cultural tradition, when they’re going to spend 20,30,40,50K+ per year on tuition fees does it?

        Anyway, I could go on. But, you get the idea – to paraphrase, the great Douglas Murray ‘the fact that Germany is ageing, has a low birthrate and needs workers does not mean that the next generation of Germans should come from Eritrea’.

        Replace Australia with Germany and you get the same idea here.

  • Julian says:

    Yep, multiculturalism and relativism in the West, especially Britain (and we’re not so far behind either) has not been a salutary development.

    As for Keating vs Howard, you are right in your choice of Howard. I agree. However, my point is that, no ‘conservative’ party worth its salt would have had such high levels of (non-discriminatory) immigration (Peter Hitchens is good on this very issue in the UK context).

    My point is that Howard’s talk on immigration and conservative values was largely all waffle and bluster – e.g. despite his veneer of toughness, he maintained high levels of immigration to keep the economy (read: services and house construction/urban sprawl) ticking over and his mates in the property/retail etc industries happy (see Mr Drabik’s excellent article earlier in the month on the Q website for more on this) and in a largely futile attempt at trying to unify all of these ‘new Australians’ he staged symbolic gestures such as the school kids standing around the flag singing the national anthem, and bogus citizenship tests, etc.

    A true conservative government (e.g. Eastern Europe, Australia prior to about 1972, Japan etc) would have had these (and all the following issues) wouldn’t have had such a disastrous, mass, and largely indiscriminate, immigration policy – e.g. the Japanese, Poles, Hungarians etc are essentially free of issues of social distrust, ghetto-isation, Islamic terrorism etc as they have not had such horrible mass-immigration policies.

  • Ash Ross says:

    As a former life-long Liberal I’m very satisfied with my AC membership and look forward to supporting AC at the next Federal and VIC State elections. Sure feels like the silent majority are silently shifting to AC from both the Liberals and Labor.

    • pgang says:

      I don’t see how you can vote for them if they’re not running candidates in the Lower House. IF they intend to ‘govern’ from the upper house then they’re no better than all the other anti-democratic parasites.

  • brian.doak@bigpond.com says:

    Julian adds value to this excellent presentation by Darryl Mccann. But not mentioned is Dick Smith’s good work to expose the immigration Ponzi scheme.
    As recently as today Dick Smith on ABC radio 2FC with Ian McNamarra at 7.40 am referred to the failure of all governments in imposing “big Australia’ on us for self serving reasons. During the week the ‘Dick Smith Fair Go’ advert appeared in various newspapers including The Australian on Thurs 10th. Also during the week Judith Sloane had an excellent column against the impost of mass immigration.
    In the radio segment Dick Smith referred to his forthcoming campaign and the public launch on Tues 15th [10.30 am at the Sydney Hilton Hotel] in which he refers to the parroting of ‘growth’ by all recent Prime Ministers including John Howard who started the migration surge extolling ‘growth’.
    Howards own words in support of growth are recorded as are those of Kevin Rudd – we remember him for ‘Big Australia’, Tony Abbott – remembered by some for making exceedingly few hard decisions, [Joe Hockey -aspiring to be prime minister], and MT – presently seeming to make few conservative decisions. Hear again the leaders condemned by their own words, these warriors of big immigration.

  • bemartin39@bigpond.com says:

    Turnbull is arguably, or perhaps even definitely, the most despicable of all people to ever disgrace the Australian political sphere. He made no secret of the fact from the very start that nothing mattered to him except his own self. He is reported to have declared in his youth that he was going to be the prime minister of Australia and when asked by which party he would attain that goal, he said that did not matter. Labour knocked him back due to the silver spoon he was born with in his mouth and the Libs failed to recognise the snake in the grass so they foolishly accepted him to their very likely demise at the next election. No adjective is strong enough to sufficiently address the character of this awful, duplicitous, dishonest, disloyal fiend.

    • ianl says:

      Come, come Bill – the term “fiend” attributes Waffle with all too much gravitas.

      Like Rudderless, he’s a narcissist.

    • Jody says:

      The Liberals are one step behind Labor, then, who voted for both unsuitable candidates Latham (a loose cannon – but likeable) and then Rudd. So, I’d say on the inability to read character the Liberals are 50% ahead!! Shorten is every bit the snake you claim that Turnbull is. I won’t vote for a leader per se, but the party who cuts back immigration, stops tax hikes for the banks, does something about energy costs (nobody has yet recognized that you cannot have high wages AND high energy costs – oh, except it doesn’t matter to public servants!) and, of course, continued border protection. After that scaling back spending on education (have to adopt user pays, there’s no other way) and pay down out debt. Mmm. The choices are a bit stark methinks!! And any government which goes against a postal plebiscite for the Waffen SSM had better watch out!! I’ve had enough of the erosion of our democracy.

  • Rayvic says:

    Turnbull is being hypocritical by claiming that he is of the ‘sensible centre’, when he is in fact Labor-lite, making a habit of stealing Labor policies, including the backing of same-sex marriage — or rather the destruction of traditional marriage.

    If he lasts as PM until the next election, it is dubious that he will win another term.

  • Warty says:

    Back in April this year, Malcolm Turnbull was interviewed by Leigh Sales and was given the trademark savaging, reserved for all those not umbilically tied to the Greens or Labor left. He was backed into to a corner and forced to explain why new arrivals would be required to respect Australian values (I mean anyone here would rattle off a convincing number of reasons in their sleep). So what does our Mal do? He lists an amorphous set of values that might apply to any country outside Kim Jong Grunt’s territory: ‘Freedom, equality of men and women, mutual respect, democracy, a fair go’.
    Now, just imagine Leigh had offered him a glass of excellent Adelaide Hills Sauvignon Blanc just before going to air, and one of the half dozen producers had slipped some sort of truth drug into his glass: it might have been quite a different scenario.
    “Well Leigh, everyone knew what Australians were like before WWII, we had been seen as a nation of Larrikins, though, to tell the truth, we’ve always had your North Shore types like me. Well yes I come from Potts Point which is even more up itself. But, the point is political correctness got into our bloodstream many years ago, and so that sort of in your face boisterous sense of humour went out of the window not long after the war.
    ‘Yep, Paul Hogan’s show was bloody popular, but that’s because he was a dying breed, and we’ve always been into a bit of nostalgia. Same with Wollongong the Brave, and Aunty Jack. All gone now. We’re as miserable as the bloody Poms.
    ‘Yeah Leigh, I’m going to get into trouble in the party room, but I can’t stop myself.
    ‘As I was saying . . . that freedom bit has been blown out of the water, not only because of the iniquitous s.18C, but the way uni students can be referred to court by the AHRC, you know those QUT students. They got off, but the process was the killer: ripped their bloody guts out it did.
    ‘It’s true, I knew everything about it at the outset, and no I did sweet fanny adams about it either. Didn’t care a stuff about their right to free speech now, did I?
    ‘This is terrible, I don’t seem able to shut up. Now Lucy and I haven’t . . . well not for a couple of years now.
    ‘Oh yeah, mutual respect? Are you bloody joking, do you honestly think either the Greens, Labor left or our own limp-wristies give a damn about such bull?
    ‘Security? Did you just call for security? I’m not finished yet . . . no I want to talk about totalitarianism, I mean our democracy . . . no, I’ve got a voice . . . I’ve got a voice’.

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