Leading article

Tony Abbott is right about immigration - and turning back boats

29 October 2015

9:00 AM

29 October 2015

9:00 AM

For many years, Australia has been turning away boats filled with migrants. From a remove, this looks cold–hearted — a nation built by immigrants showing no compassion for others who want a better life. But it is precisely because Australia is an immigrant nation that it understands the situation: if you let the boats land, more people come. People traffickers will be encouraged, migrants will be swindled, and their bodies will wash up on your shores. Any country serious about immigration needs a more effective and robust approach.

Tony Abbott, the former Prime Minister of Australia, made that point clearly this week on a trip to London. Delivering the Margaret Thatcher lecture at the Guildhall, Abbott, who left office in September, explained what so few European policy-makers seem able to grasp. Yes, the rich world has a moral duty to help people fleeing for their lives. But that duty requires tough action — as well as targeted help — to prevent a genuine flow of refugees developing into an uncontrolled flood of migrants.

It was one of Abbott’s predecessors, John Howard, who in 2001 faced the decision of what to do about a Norwegian freighter which had entered Australian waters with many Afghan asylum-seekers on board. He turned the boat away on the grounds that, while they may have begun their journey as refugees, they had transmuted into economic migrants. It is not possible to make a surface journey from Afghanistan to Australia without passing through the territory of several safe countries on the way. The ship had called at several ports in countries that were not at war and where the Afghans would not have faced persecution. Why had they not disembarked before reaching Australia?

The answer, of course, is that they believed Australia would offer them the best chance of a more prosperous life. This is the very impulse that created modern Australia, Canada and the United States.

But Howard and Abbott were right to insist that the world has changed since those times. The migration crisis today is not due to an outbreak of war and poverty: we’re living in an unprecedented era of peace and prosperity. In fact, this is what is driving the migration — people who had been too poor to consider emigrating now have enough cash to make the journey. They have smartphones, and know about life abroad. The sheer speed at which global poverty is being reduced has put millions on the move.

Study after study shows that emigration starts in earnest when very poor countries grow richer; it only stops when countries are rich enough not to be classified as ‘poor’. This process typically takes a couple of generations. So the wave of migration we are witnessing in Europe is not just a response to the Syrian war; is a phenomenon that will be with us for decades.

With migrant boats landing from North Africa, European countries could have learned lessons from the Australian experience. Instead, they have flapped around making things worse. The EU was right to set up search and rescue missions for migrants in danger of drowning in the Mediterranean — but the passengers should have been returned to whence they came and the traffickers prosecuted.

Nothing demonstrates the muddle better than the bizarre behaviour of Germany over the summer. Angela Merkel at first welcomed the migrants with open arms and suggested that countries which took a more reluctant approach, such as Britain, lacked a moral compass. But Germany does not now resemble the warm-hearted country that Merkel wants to present to the world. Tensions are rising, as Hans Kundnani points out on page 12. The influx has reactivated neo-Nazi groups, with vigilantes patrolling migrant areas. As a leaked paper from German security agencies revealed this week, the government fears that it is importing anti-Semitism along with its migrant population.

Dramatic though the scenes are at Munich railway station and the Eurotunnel terminal at Calais, these are mere sideshows compared with the refugee issue as a whole. The country with the most Syrian refugees at present is not Britain, Germany or France. It is not even Turkey or the Lebanon. It is Syria. According to the United Nations, there are 6.5 million people displaced within their own country. A further 2.1 million are living in Turkey and 1.1 million in the Lebanon. Disgracefully, the UN’s World Food Programme has had to cut rations for refugees living in camps around the Syrian border, for want of donations from rich countries. David Cameron’s approach has been right and fair: focus on helping people in the places where they most need help, and don’t make British residency a gleaming reward for people traffickers to dangle before their desperate clients.

European countries and the EU itself have enormous aid budgets which have been spent on fripperies such as low-carbon energy projects in sub-Saharan Africa. It is about time Europe spent more of this money on dealing with humanitarian crises where they arise — while simultaneously adopting an Australian robustness when it comes to border protection. As Europe is finding to its horror, the alternative is anything but compassionate.

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Show comments
  • Rik

    Cue slow ironic handclap,no shit Sherlock the Australian model works, just as i and hundreds of others have been pointing out for months below the line.All of the virtue signalling,halo hunting libtards have the blood of hundreds if not thousands on their hands.Heard the latest gimmegrant scam in Germany?? Surprise Surprise it turns out almost without exception all these fit young men are aged 17 or younger,classed as children they avoid the risk of deportation!!!These gimmegrants abuse our laws,our society and bring us nothing but trouble.

  • Lady Magdalene

    When it comes to any crisis, the EU inevitably makes the wrong decision. That’s because the people leading the EU have one main objective: turning the EU into a United States of Europe. Everything has to be seen in that context.

    The people who planned the EU knew it would have to be built in stages and a series of “beneficial crises” would force integration. The migrant influx was seen as just another “beneficial crisis” and is being treated as such: Merkel invited all and sundry to come to Germany, without consulting the other EU national leaders whose countries they would inevitably pass through, and then announced that the other EU countries MUST take their “fair share” or face financial penalties. It was just another attempted power-grab, denied (so far) thanks mainly to Victor Orban.

    The Australian model is the only solution. The boats must be stopped from coming – and that means patrolling the Med and returning anyone attempting to enter the EU illegally. It now also means quickly assessing the migrants who have already reached the EU and deporting those who are not genuine refugees – basically all of them since they have travelled through several safe countries to get there.

    Countries slowly changing from desperately poor to wealthier did it because people with skills, education and ability stayed and slowly built them up. Stripping these poor countries of these people means they will stay poor forever. It is counter-productive.

    We must be cruel to be kind.

    I have no faith that the idiots running the EU will do what is necessary.

    • Blindsideflanker

      Sutherland was an EU Commissioner . He made a speech in the House of Lords saying that mass immigration should be used to unpick national identity.

      The EU ‘s plan is very simple, divide nations with mass immigration, so that they can rule us.

      • mohdanga

        Except, of course, Sutherland never mentioned anything about non-white, non-Western countries….no immigration is demanded of them.

  • PLB

    I am Australian, here in Tasmania. The Australian model Works well people. Past PM Tony Abbott, bless him, ended the ABC/Labour/Green open door weakness. We also have off-shore processing, it is no longer done here on mainland Aus, due to the ABC/Labour/Green forces inciting hunger strikes, the sewing of lips, fires and riots, from outside the Processing Centres. Like a bloody PC clown show.
    It is simple, arrive uninvited by Boat, you do not get to settle in Australia.
    Take back control of your Border’s good people, as Australia has done.

    • Blindsideflanker

      We can all see it, unfortunately we have a political class in Europe who refuse to learn from the experiences of others, probably because they have denounced the actions of the Abbott Government for being heartless, signalling their virtue to everybody, but now the problem is kicking down the door to Europe, they are unwilling to admit their error.

      We saw this here, where the likes of Merkel denounced Hungary for being thugs for wanting to protect their borders by building a fence. but now even German police are demanding Germany controls its borders, and countries like Austria , once in the German camp are also looking to put up a fence.

      • The_Missing_Think

        “… unfortunately we have a political class in Europe who refuse to learn from the experiences of others…”

        Rubbish, the BNP would solve all these problems, efforlessly… it’s your hard leftist racial political correctness that’s the problem… you won’t, or even can’t, vote honestly, it’s that simple.

        Spare me your hypocritical leftist hippy lectures, but if you want, off you go about ‘waythist’, it proves the point above is 100% accurate and right.

        You’re all doomed, until you match the BNP’s honesty, take your pick, honest voting or destruction. One or the other.

  • Kieran Butler

    Interesting that there is not one mention of the concentration camps; where rape isn’t just criminal act, but more of a pastime, where refugees are murdered and children are subject to mentally torture that will fuck them up for the rest of their lives. This is why I took my show ‘Australia is Fucked’ to the UK. I knew this c**t would show up in the country he was born and start up like this – DON’T BE LIKE AUSTRALIA, IT’S FUCKED. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=boi2jhEYD1U

    • The_greyhound

      But Abbot is welcome here – you with your foul language and fouler sentiments are not.

      Clear off back to your sewer.

    • Hippograd

      Thank for this. Your compassion, decency and concern for the Other are a tribute to you on multiple levels. Alas, the bitter and twisted crypto-fascists of so-called Australia will continue to refuse to recognize how much Muslims, Blacks and other communities of Otherness enrich the stale pale so-called west.

    • freddiethegreat

      You have been nominated for Pillock of the Year – and you are a winner!

    • Michael Sultana

      You are an imbocile and an uneducated one at that. There .is not one mention of the concentration camps because there are none. There are offshore processing centres which are quite livable and adequate and where the people there actually have many freedoms they did not even have in their home countries. If there have been any rapes they are dealt with under the law or they are not substantuated. You talk about rape as if it is a condoned practice. No refugees have been murdered and the number of children held there has decreased by up to 80% in numbers and are only held there because the families have received a negative decision with respect to their applications and they cannot be released into the community. There is no mental torture either. You sir are a first class uneducated moron after writing a post like that. As for your attachment. The bloke portrayed there Adam Goodes is a footy star for my club that I support and knowing him personally as the gentleman he is, has made many mistakes and here is reviled by many as a divisive figure with a very poor reputation in political circles. When you talk about Austrlia in the terms you do, you insult a great country, wonderful people and a nation that others can only envy. You sir are a clown !!!!

      • Doug

        Adam Goode is reviled because he is a pillock on field. By contrast Jonathon Thurston is given near God-like status. Both are indigenous. The difference in treatment is purely because of their on-field behaviour, and nothing else. Certainly not related to race.

        • PLB


    • Copyright101


      You’re quite right, departing from the White Australia policy was an act of criminal irresponsibility. (In reality – an act of sabotage)

      • But was the White Australia policy really that great for Somalis?

    • Shane Warne

      In reality the UK is #$%$##$. Too many socialist retards like you stuck in that crap hole.

      Don’t get me wrong, I love the UK. Historically it’s an amazing place, and there are still many great elements to it. But face the facts, as sad as it is to say, the UK is DOOMED economically. It might be one of the best performing future economies in Europe. But Europe is even more DOOMED economically. Too many retards in Europe who think they’re rich and who act like they’re still rich, yet in reality they’re simply over-leveraged to the tilt in debt.

      Now Australia isn’t much better, but at least Australia is still a growing nation, free from overly restrictive socially liberal bureaucracies, has less lazy unproductive socialists who endorse the promotion of unproductive labour, and is geographically positioned better near India and China (the two future dominant global superpowers) to avoid the destruction and MASS decline facing Europe.

      So why you sit there crying about Australia being $%$#@#, at least remember this very moment, so in 50 years time when you’re an old man on your death bed, you can at least recognise the stupidity of your comment, and realise it was Europe who was $%$$# the entire time, and that it was morons like you who destroyed it.

  • Malcolm Stevas

    Tony Abbott speaks plain common sense, and this piece reiterates the key points sensibly. Why is it so hard – tempting to write “impossible” – to get our leaders to adopt a patriotic, common sense approach to immigration generally and illegal migrants in particular? Answer: it’s (a) the EU, with its incompetence, indecision and weakness; and (b) successive UK governments – with their incompetence, indecision and weakness…
    “Any country serious about immigration needs a more effective and robust approach.”
    Yes. It is impossible to avoid the conclusion that neither the EU nor the UK government is serious about dealing with immigration.

    • freddiethegreat

      There are no “leaders” in the world today.

    • The_Missing_Think

      “Why is it so hard – tempting to write “impossible” – to get our leaders to adopt a patriotic, common sense approach…”

      Why does tea, not taste like cofffee, eh Einstein?

      Vote BNP pal, you’ll get what you want then.

      Simples, even for Einsteins.

    • awesomesauce

      He just LOST power for God’s sake. It was such a HUMILIATING affair the entire dishonest press could not FACE THE FACT of what had happened, you could not discuss why he was SACKED, you could not face the fact that he was WRONG about absolutely everything he did in his short ‘career’ which is now OVER.

      • Malcolm Stevas

        His having lost power means what he says is necessarily wrong? Strange – as is your shouty misuse of upper case letters. Don’t be so excitable.

        • awesomesauce

          It won’t happen again given you are now willing to discuss his failings leading to his political decine.
          I can hold my breath for about 2.5 minutes if I wanted to.

          • Malcolm Stevas

            You write strange things.

          • awesomesauce

            You respond in a novel way. Have you had chance to reflect on the reasons why Mr Loser suffered his humiliating defeat? In your own time, MS, take all the time you need.

          • Malcolm Stevas

            Your tiny conceit that I might follow this or any other suggestion from you is curious.

          • awesomesauce

            Calling it curious would be over-egging the pudding a bit don’t you think, sweetheart.

          • Malcolm Stevas

            Don’t call me sweetheart you fuc*ing pooftah…

          • noot!noot

            I think he just exploded.

      • Michael Sultana

        Tony Abbott was a very successful Prime Minister for the 2 years he held that office. In brief not only did he solve the illegal immigration and border security issues we had in Australia but he took concrete steps to wind in our countries burdening debt problem left by the former Socialist Labor Government. He also scrapped two taxes that were impacting negatively on peoples quality of life and business confidence , the carbon Tax and the Mining Tax. He also led the signing of new Free Trade agreements with South Korea, Japan and China. He also provided strong leadership when it came to ISIS and the downing of MA17 over Ukraine. All in two years with a hostile Senate that blocked essential legislation and a rabid left wing press corp that hated him personally with a passion. He was only removed through the cowardice of a majority of his colleagues and news polls where people that would never have voted for his party anyway stacked the responses. i personally hope that one day he will be back in the Prime Ministers chair as he was a strong leader in very difficult times. A man of convictions not subject to superficial popularism or social media. I hope I have helped educate you “awesomesauce” you stooge. Lord knows you need it.

        • PLB

          If one understands and follows Australia politics, the return of Tony Abbott is not out of the question. Present PM Turnbull, was Liberal Party leader, lost the leadership by one vote to Abbott back then. Turnbull was replaced back then because he was a one man team, much the same as Abbott became. Turnbull returned, acknowledging he now was a team player leader. I can see the same repeat with Tony Abbott. As you say, a strong leader in very difficult times. Recession is most likely in front of us, bringing difficult times. In the meantime, I trust Turnbull restores investment in Renewable energy, (silly Tony on that one) as we are starting to see, while the clouds of difficult times form. Australia needs a good dose of hard right Tony, but bugger the Coal Industry.

        • Jules

          Talk about exaggerated bs, Michael. To begin with, the Australian Labor Party is (and always was) a centre-left party. It is NOT a socialist party. What overblown rubbish. And the LNP – in a little over 2 years have more than doubled the country’s debt burden and, upon doing so, no longer bother repeat the “debt crisis/ budget emergency” slogan theyd trumpeted ad nauseam during the previous Labor Govt’s tenure.
          While I can agree that the Mining tax was not operating as effectively as intended, the carbon tax WAS working – by significantly reducing emissions and in raising $7bn in revenue during its time. Despite the hyperbole from the LNP, its removal has not made electricity bills any cheaper for households, but emissions have climbed back up and now we just pay the biggest polluters taxpayers’ money in the hope they’ll reduce their emissions, while Abbott still comes out with statements such as “coal is good for humanity”.
          The new FTAs you spruik here have the potential to do much harm. We can now be sued by foreign investors, due to a clause (called Investor-State Dispute Settlements or ISDS) in the Trans-Pacific Partnership, if laws are enacted – eg environmental protections for mining or fracking projects – that might upset the investors’ plans in any way.
          Even most LNP supporters are happy Tony Abbott is out of the way. But there are always the rusted-ons, aren’t there?

      • vieuxceps2

        There’s no need to shout.

      • Doug

        He was sacked by his party, not by the people. His successor has NOT changed any of his policies, and on the issue of illegal immigration, the opposition have agreed that they work and have agreed to support them. So he was not wrong about everything. In fact he was right about everything, because his successor is not reversing his policies.

      • Michael Fry

        He was sacked because he spoke the truth just a little to freely, also the media knew he was going to have a clearance sale on jobs at the ABC and SBS come contract renewal time and that would have been from the cleaning staff right through to the CEO

    • Jules

      Sorry, but Tony Abbott was a failure as a PM. He exaggerated the issues with the former govt (including a scare campaign about a so-called “budget emergency” and the price on carbon installed by former PM, Julia Gillard, whom he relentlessly hounded) during his entire term as Opposition Leader and lied to get in office.
      On becoming PM, he immediately set up a ‘Royal Commission into Union Corruption’, so he could put former Labor PMs and the current Labor Opposition Leader under the spotlight and have them grilled by a partisan (LNP-supporting) Royal Commissioner in public view. Although no Labor leader – current or former – had any criminal charges brought against them, their reputations have nonetheless been damaged by the process itself.
      Abbott also installed a ‘Knights and Dames’ system – handing out knighthoods to whoever he deemed fit (now repealed by his successor – the populist, though similarly ideological, Malcolm Turnbull).
      Abbott repealed Gillard’s carbon tax and his first budget shifted every burden on those least able to afford it. This budget was never passed.
      His immigration ‘policy’ – which involved an endlessly repeated, asinine ‘stop the boats’ slogan – was completely shrouded in secrecy, so that even journalists and now ‘Save The Children’ officials are now barred from entering the offshore detention facilities (journalists can be imprisoned for reporting on such matters now), where people are left indefinitely (often for several years) in a process that amounts to no more than psychological torture. People have died in the centre in PNG – one beaten by guards after a protest over detainees being told they would never be settled in Australia and one from scepticemia, after a cut to the foot was left untreated. Others have reported sexual abuse, rape, assault and other horrors. Children detained on the island nation of Nauru have self-harmed. A five year old attempted to hang herself.
      This is Tony Abbott’s legacy and it continues. Btw, I’m an Australian, living in Australia.

  • Hippograd

    As a leaked paper from German security agencies revealed this week, the government fears that it is importing anti-Semitism along with its migrant population.

    And anti-Semitism is a serious thing, people. That the “refugees” are also beating, raping and robbing so-called “white” so-called “Europeans” isn’t worth mentioning.

  • Davedeparis

    Under the previous Australian Labor Party Government there were at least some 1200 deaths at sea due to people smuggling. Under the current Government there has not been a single one. To do this however the Government has had to assert its sovereignty in the face of the UN and ignore the sentimental outrage of the luvvies who run the media.

    • Pioneer

      Leftists don’t care how many people die, as long as they can have their virtue signalling circle jerk.

      • Davedeparis

        Sad but true.

  • Migru Ghee

    I am struggling to take in the fact that a freshly dismissed former PM of Australia is now touring the globe delivering lines that his own people, in his own party in fact, used against him to rid themselves of this undereducated lightweight. Has he got a mortgage to pay off or why is this man going on tour? Did he believe a largely financially challenged UKIP audience would make signifiant contributions towards paying that for him?

    • freddiethegreat

      If we discount Vlad, Abbot was the only world leader who was a leader. You can’t seriously call the presidents and PMs that are around “leaders” when they are terrified of ever seeming to take a lead.

    • unclegibbo

      Well Abbott is an Oxford graduate so I guess he must be under educated .
      Whatever he lost his job over it was not because of his border control policy which has not been altered by his successor .It is too popular .

      My understanding is that Australian party leadership depends solely on having the support of a simple majority of fellow party MPs . It is a true Parliamentary system.
      I saw somewhere that the average term of leadership is remarkably similar in all the English speaking democracies ( 5-6 years )

      • Hermine Funkington-Rumpelstilz

        When was the last time an acting PM got kicked out by his own side mid-term?
        Come on, say her name. 😉

        • awesomesauce

          OMG, perfect comment. Now it all makes sense

        • Michael Sultana

          Julia Gillard in 2013 and prior to that Kevin Rudd 2010 , both Australia

          • Torque

            Wow, so what could Britain really learn from Australia?

        • Copyright101

          Maggie wasnt pro-EU enough so the globalist/cucks deposed her.

          Abbot’s immigration policy isn’t what they want either. First he goes, then they’ll find the means to demolish the policy later on.

          • She kept realising that she was being scammed about the EU, and was becoming seriously anti-EU, so they traitors stabbed her in the back. Peter Hitchens made a good documentary about it.

        • Doug

          Abbott’s predecessors, Kevin Rudd & Julia Gillard were both dumped by their own party while serving as PM. In Abbott’s case, his successor hasn’t changed any of the policies. Abbott was unpopular in the polls simply because of a concerted media campaign to remove him. Suddenly, policies that were “evil” under Abbott will be our saviour under Turnbul, not because he has changed anything, but because Turnbull is a darling of the media, and has been for years.

          As for the border policies, even the Labor opposition has reluctantly accepted that they have worked, and has committed to maintaining the key elements. Labor has acknowledged that their open-door policies when in government didn’t work.

        • unclegibbo

          I’m not following this
          Who is the acting PM ?
          There is no such office to my knowledge

    • mohdanga

      Err, he was ‘dismissed’ because his own party turfed him, not because he was voted out of office. Are former presidents and prime ministers restricted from giving speeches? Bill Clinton has made tens of millions enriching us with his wisdom, Tony Blair has done his fair share of a travelling circus, as has every other leader. Even Churchill did it after Labour won in 1945. Shocking.

  • archon41

    The hateful, ugly, odious commentary occasioned by this crisis is deplorable. Why do slurs like “xenophobic,” “nativist,” “racist” and worse fly so glibly from the lips of Merkel’s partisans? Their shrill insistence that rational objection to their agenda is not possible is the very acme of intolerance. It is their sanctimonious outbursts (’emotional incontinence,’ someone called it) that has set these hordes in motion.

    Sweeter than the bloom of the lotus the sense of nobility of mind that derives from internalizing the aspirations of the masses of Africa and the Middle East for a “better life.”

  • Wolfgang Amadeus

    I blame an increasingly hysterical, intellectually dishonest Left (and I say this as a person who considers himself a Leftist … or used to, anyway … who knows any more).

    These days, the Left is doing the same thing with immigrants as they have done with the Working Class – all members of the demographic suddenly become inherently “good” or “noble”, ispo facto.

    Any recognition that there are also many not-so-good people … or deserving people … in a given demographic elicits accusations of racism or xenophobia.

    I have no doubt some people’s motivation for opposing immigration is based solely on racism or xenophobia, but I think their number is quite small.

    People of all political persuasions must resist in making the anecdotal story of the “good” immigrant, or the “bad” immigrant for that matter, come to represent what is an enormously heterogenous group.

    Once immigrants are either all bad or all good, any rational solution becomes impossible.

  • toonpaddymal

    So, according to the Spectator, UKIP have been vindicated.

  • The extent of the misunderstanding shown by Abbott and by The Spectator here is breath-taking.
    25 years ago I lived and worked in Hong Kong and my wife volunteered to
    work with the boat people fleeing from horrors in Vietnam. The parallel is precise. The Hong Kong authorities (supported by the British Government as HK was still a Colony) never wavered from their humane determination to accept countless boatloads of refugees. They were not
    migrants, they did not seek to make a home in the Territory – they were desperate
    people in trouble. Once the refugees were ashore they were placed in camps
    (where my wife worked to help them). Over the subsequent years these temporary residents
    of Hong Kong were rehoused around the world. Some returned to Vietnam – most successfully
    built lives elsewhere – including in Mr Abbott’s Australia.

    If a boatload of people in trouble arrives on your shores it is absolutely inhuman to turn
    them away. For a rich country like Australia to do this is a scandal. The moral
    duty is to help anyone in trouble and to abrogate that moral duty is something
    that Mr Abbott should be absolutely ashamed of.

    • Gilbert White

      Yep but these were a special case and we cannot do this sort of thing indefinitely, to a vanishing point. If we put our chancers in huge camps and used them for cheap labour like the vietnamese chinese you do not mention deliberately , fair enough, perhaps?

    • sussexoracle

      But the parallel is not precise, is it? The Vietnamese were not bringing with them a creed which is hostile and anathema to the people of Hong Kong. Nor were they counted in hundreds of thousands, with a sense of entitlement to boot. I seem to recall entire families of ‘boat people’, not armies of young men with a small peppering of children for the cameras..

      No country or state on earth can absorb millions of Muslims without experiencing a profound change in their society. No, not even Germany.

      One does not have to look very far to realise that many of the Middle Eastern migrants already in the UK have continued to live just as they would in Pakistan, or wherever. That is, with scant regard or respect for local laws, customs or sensibilities and using every means available to circumvent our immigration system to import ever more, even if it means marrying cousins.

      Not only that, a number have used this system (arranged marriage) to import severely disabled members of their families to be a life long burden on the NHS.

      As the birth rate of the Muslim population is reportedly more than twice the average, it is foreseeable that within a couple of generations we will see serious strife as a substantial minority or small majority demand Sharia law. At that point our grandchildren will curse us for our negligence.

      • Michael Fry

        Nothing Paddy Briggs says is precise he is writing his own version on history and expecting others to follow his future.

    • Joanne

      But I thought that Abbott wasn’t turning the refugees away. As I understand it, those off-shore processing centers are there precisely to identify the genuine refugees so that they could be admitted into the country, as opposed to the economic migrants.

      Regarding the economic migrants, I’m not so sure that Australia would be doing them much of a favor by accepting them. An Australian friend of mine speaks of the Somali immigrants who spend their time hanging out on street corners in Melbourne because they have nothing else to do. They’re not employed and are apparently unemployable. For refugees, that’s still better than facing a bullet, but for someone looking for a better standard of living, this is no answer.

    • Frank

      If 90% of the arrivals were young men of military age, you might conceivably have asked whether this was genuinely a refugee issue or something else.

    • Michael Fry

      Paddy Briggs your level of idiocy is not breathtaking its absolutely spectacular with such a level of ignorance about facts which are obvious and in clear view yet you have failed to see what is before you. You are why intelligent people sigh in disbelief when you open that empty void on the front of your face.

    • Michael Fry

      The following is a brilliant piece of work by Paddy Briggs confirming the apparent like of Communist Style Governments, which is why Paddy really doesn’t like Tony Abbott, one should not every socialist to hold a pen has signed up for public service, media and NGO with agendas. Its a fact socialists are endeavouring to take over by stealth in much the same way as the Islamic societies. I think China might have an opening for you Paddy.

      We had six years of brilliantly socialist Gocernment 1945-1951 and it certainly did NOT lead to Communism. What nonsense.

    • Michael Fry

      The following is a brilliant piece of work by Paddy Briggs confirming the apparent like of Communist Style Governments, which is why Paddy really doesn’t like Tony Abbott, one should note every socialist ever to hold a pen has signed up for public service, media and NGO with agendas. Its a fact socialists are endeavouring to take over by stealth in much the same way as the Islamic societies. I think China might have an opening for you Paddy. Socialist while pointing fingers accusing others of aggression, socialists are the most obnoxious aggressive people on the planet, let me cite, Stalin’s Russia, China, North Vietnam and North Korea just to name a few all blood thirsty hostile takeovers and we see them on the streets of Australia waving banners getting arrested while being racist, violent, secular while protesting that others have these very same traits to justify their pathetic ignorant displays of misguided abuse of anyone who has a different point of view. Sorry Paddy you are in need of a wack a paddy wack.

      We had six years of brilliantly socialist Gocernment 1945-1951 and it certainly did NOT lead to Communism. What nonsense.

      • I think that you are seriously deranged. Personal abuse of the kind you indulge in has no place here. I won’t descend to your level – just suggest that you urgently seek treatment.

        • Michael Fry

          Paddy wack I don’t think I know your seriously deranged so your comment has zero impact.

      • Dexter vs Sinister

        Bang on.
        Poor paddy.

    • A Alan

      You conveniently omitted a few pertinent facts. The Hong Kong government interned these boat people for many years in specially built camps. As many as 67,000 of them were returned to Vietnam with a great deal being forcibly rapatriated. Many more were re-settled elsewhere in the world with Australia taking some. Can you imagine the howls of protest if the Australian government was to do the same particularly from the likes of yourself and all the do-gooders in the media. Also many of these boat people were of ethnic Chinese origin and so it was a great deal easier for them to settle in Hong Kong. The problems of settling Afghan or Somali refugees in Australia with alien and hostile cultures are somewhat greater. The trouble is like many of your ilk I very much doubt that you live in areas where there are great concentrations of immigrants who are not compatible with Australian laws and customs. Judging from the salacious news and corruption appearing from the parts of Western Sydney with high concentrations of middle eastern refugees it would appear that the experiment is not going to to well.

    • Shane Warne

      I just want to say one thing. You said “for a rich country like Australia”. I have a problem with this very concept of Australia being a ‘rich country’. Australia is not a rich country. Read Dalio’s ‘how the economic machine works’ to understand what I mean. Increasing debt and overspending to appear rich does not make one rich. The sad fact is that 95% of the population doesn’t understand this though, and hence might think I sound like a looney for suggesting so. But this is also why 95% of the population don’t understand finance properly, make poor financial decisions, and never earn true financial freedom. Dalio on the other hand does understand this, which is why he has financial freedom. The man mades billions by himself through his understanding of economics and knows what he is talking about.

      • Of countries with a population of 10m or more Australia is the fourth richest in the world (GDP per Capita).

        • Shane Warne

          Australia also has one of the highest household debt ratios in the world, and is one of the most expensive countries in the world.

          Honestly read Dalio’s paper.



          He has a 30 minute short-video too. Watch the video, then read that pdf for a better understanding.

        • Michael Fry

          Yes per capita goose if we had one person here and his net worth was 10 million we would be the richest per capita, what an absolute false or misleading comment in the manner you are providing it. In fact the ne value of one person with perhaps 500k may well indeed make a country the richest per capital, absolute silly statement from a communist. Search the facts then present them in a delusional manner keep up the good work drongo.

        • A Alan

          Mr Briggs (I will be polite) – Australia operates a fair system of immigration. It does not discriminate on the grounds of race/religion – if you are a Pakistani doctor and have the required qualifications and proof of actually practising plus the appropriate english language ability and you skill is in demand you will be granted residency. A few years ago there was a dire shortage of hairdressers and so skilled hairdressers could apply for residency as many British ones have done. Nurses are coming from the Phillipines, and a huge influx of Chinese, Koreans etc. on business visas. I am somewhat amazed at how average Australians deal with this and immigration is typically around 100,000 per year on a population of around 24 million. What they do know is that immigrants have passed a strict series of tests including health tests and do not automatically qualify for benefits for the first two years and no automatic right to housing. They must also speak English, pay their taxes and the ATO is ruthlessly efficient at tracking income and expenses to ensure this. I have worked with a number of immigrants from Sri Lanka, China, Syria, Iran and everyone of them approves of this policy as they are here by merit and merit alone. The Sri Lankan was very explicit in that these boat people from his home country were nothing more than economic chancers and should never be granted asylum or residency.

          Now please enlighten us as to where you live ? not the address but the town and suburb so we can lookup the demographics in that suburb ?

          There are too many on the left who advocate policies but choose to live far far away from the impacts of those policies, preferring house price apartheid in London or choosing to live in a leafy home counties racially homogenous village.

          • In Hong Kong we were not dealing with immigration and nor is Australia. There is a two step process. (1) You save lives. (2) You find personal solutions for the dispossessed. Some may stay (if allowed to) most will go elsewhere. What in all humanity you don’t do is put people at further risk of their lives.

          • A Alan

            Mr Briggs, so you believe that Australia should abandon its borders and let the boat people come with the Australian Navy and Border Protection Force rescuing all and sundry and bringing them to the mainland ? Unlike the Mediterranean the distances from Sri Lanka and Indonesia to Christmas island and Northern Australia are vast and boat journeys are hundreds of kilometres. Once Australia adopted such a policy and judging from the experience in Europe the trickle would turn into a torrent. The 1,200 people who have died prior to stop the boats would pale into insignificance compared to the many tens of thousands who are would die attempting the crossing. And you would call such a policy “humane”.

            Back to your example of the Vietnamese in Hong Kong. Many of those resettled around the world of which Australia took nearly 90,000. Cabramatta in Sydney became a centre for the Vietnamese and a by word for crime and the distribution of drugs. Heavy policing has since improved the area. Vietnam is now considered a safe country which many thousands of Australians visit every year however not many of these “asylum seekers” have chosen to return. So they are immigrants. It would be just the same with the Syrians and other displaced people.

            You still have not given any indication as to where you live. Why do you not care as much for your fellow countryman at the bottom of the economic ladder who will feel the full impact of immigration on housing, health and education services, crime etc Not you eh ?

    • Michael Fry

      Yeah arsehole how many stayed in HK it was just as Indonesia a stopover to somewhere else that somewhere else was here.

      • Could you troll somewhere else please? You’re very tedious.

  • Frank

    Excellent article – time to root and branch reform DFID amongst other things.

  • flippit

    Yes David Cameron’s approach has been right and fair, so why doesn’t he get a bit more support instead of constant brickbats.

  • jeremy Morfey

    Even though I am a committed Christian who instinctively wishes to extend the hand of compassion to those wretched people whose nation has been destroyed by factionalism and tyranny, I cannot help feeling that Tony Abbot’s and David Cameron’s approach is the correct one for reasons explained in the article. I do think though we can manage more than 20,000 over the next five years, given the scale of the problem.

    However, it is Australia’s practice to cherry-pick those migrants likely to be of most use to them, according to their points system, rather than those in greatest peril. I am sure the same is true for other places – who wants a whole pile of desperate unwashed traumatised vagrants, often in poor health, who are just a burden on the host state?

    We forget too that the greatest resource during a disaster are the victims themselves. We imagine they all run round screaming and panicked and helpless, but this need not be so. After the Coventry blitz, the people lay around in a daze for a few days, not up to much, but then anger set in, and with it the courage to admit they were damned if they were going to let Hitler defeat them. The migrants would help their cause and the capacity of their hosts to admit them if they lent a hand, rather than attacking their hosts for not being good enough. Being courteous and making an effort to accommodate local culture would take them a long way, and they might actually find they are invited, rather than just suffered by the indigenous people.

    If we took on everyone in trouble, like the good Samaritan, we’d undermine the very reason these people are going there – that there is a safe, prosperous sanctuary capable of offering asylum. There is a limit, and there are many more in need than capacity for them, for as long as the Islamists and their allies (and none of us dare admit who these are) undermine the mass stability of whole regions of the globe. Despite it being a dirty word in our modern culture, we must discriminate.

    Who is in, and who is out?

  • Marlis frederiksen

    I used to live in Australia in the seventies. If i could have seen into the future and see what is happening in Europe at present i would never have returned. The so called leaders in Europe dare not do the necessary, namely close the borders and drop Schengen because they are afraid of the EU. The EU on the other hand are completely incapable of solving anything (as usually in a crisis). The crazy Mrs. Merkels “solution” is “we can do it” while we all are heading for disaster. I really envy the Australian people because they have leaders who make them safe. We have lost all sense of safety and dread the future.

    • Jackthesmilingblack

      ” If i could have seen into the future and see what is happening in Europe at present i would never have returned”
      When you’re gone, stay gone.
      Jack, the Japan Alps Brit

  • Getalife

    I have donated money to Red Cross, I have given clothing to those collecting for Syrian refugees. I do not want self same migrants coming to my country. Sort it!

  • plainsdrifter

    Quite so.
    Political correctness and, to use a phrase, virtue signalling, will see the eventual destruction of our values and the colonisation of Europe by Islam. A hundred years?
    You might think that is OK, and you might get a warm feeling (not worth more than peeing down your leg), but I tell you this; your grandchildren will not feel the same to put it at its most bland.

    • Mr B J Mann

      Allow me to paraphrase:

      Virtue signalling is as much use as pissing into the wind, despite the initial warm feeling it gives you!