Friday, May 24, 2002

(Fixing him with steely gaze) Damn your eyes man! I will publish and be damned!

Jack Robertson gives his usual measured response to my post on immigration.
His concern for my image is gratifying, as he seems to operating solely to prevent me making a “great big cyber-dickhead” of myself. So thanks Jack.

I had no idea that as a “wet-nosed newby” my opinion was somehow less worthy than Jack’s, or I would never have presumed to post contrary to the Laws of Jack ™. Of course, if time in the job is the yardstick, then this guy must be nearly twice the Prime Minister this guy

But let me offer a few notes for approval: While Australia is a signatory to all the UN conventions on Refugees, no UN Treaty, Convention or Resolution has the force of law in Australia. If they did, our membership in the WTO would spell the end of most of the rent-seeking industries currently oozing along under the guise of “protection”.

Not all Australian territory is available to make an asylum claim. Consulates, airports and some territories are good examples. This is not Empire-era Port Said, where we free any local who can touch the flagpole.

There is not a single refugee detained in this country. As soon as a detainee is found to be a refugee, out into the community they go. There does seem to be some misunderstanding between “asylum seeker” and “refugee”. Refugee status is always decided by the host country, ultimately according to their own laws. The UN Protocol is the guide, not the law. Is this a “technicality”. Some will call it that. But then again if the Treaty was law, we would be able to turf out anyone who, say, decked a guard because technically:
Every refugee has duties to the country in which he finds himself, which require in particular that he conform to its laws and regulations as well as to measures taken for the maintenance of public order.

The entire convention applies only to refugees, not to asylum seekers. At no point does it claim the right to tell any State who is, or is not, a refugee. The Treaty does talk about “penalties”, but makes absolutely no attempt to define them. That job is left Strange that Jack did not include the rest of Article 31, which is a bit more difficult for him:

(2)The Contracting States shall not apply to the movements of such refugees restrictions other than those which are necessary and such restrictions shall only be applied until their status in the country is regularized or they obtain admission into another country. The Contracting States shall allow such refugees a reasonable period and all the necessary facilities to obtain admission into another country. (my bold)

The point, as Jack acknowledged, is not whether to detain, but for how long, and under what circumstances. “Compassion” is not a policy. Laws that are not codified are slippery. We claim the right and accept the responsibility of making our own laws. One man’s “compassion” is the next man’s “human rights violation” is the next man’s “thin end of the wedge”.

I would not expect the recent free and fair elections to indicate the willuthepeeble to Jack, since only 80%
exercised their sovereign franchise to vote for the current policy, and we have not yet instituted the Rule of Jack ™, or become a fully-integrated UN franchise.

So under here will be the first instalment in a hopefully short series, about the half-truths that get passed off as reportage, and the lobbyists that get passed off as noble advocates.

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