Leading article Australia

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7 May 2015

9:30 AM

7 May 2015

9:30 AM

Yet again, the world looks to Australia’s Coalition government, and in particular to Tony Abbott, for guidance on a problem of international security. No other government, and indeed no other leader since John Howard, has managed to tackle the vexed and ever-increasing problem of illegal boat arrivals as efficiently, as humanely, and as decisively as these two conservative Australian leaders have done. Now, as the tragic mass-drownings in the Mediterranean courtesy of people-smuggling sees the Italians also seeking their own way of ‘stopping the boats’, politicians and pundits constantly refer to, and look to, Australia’s successful methods.

Foreign minister Julie Bishop was right to point out that the geographical logistics of Europe and Australia are very different, and some aspects of our policies may not work in certain circumstances, but it is the philosophy, rather than the specifics, that are crucial. As Tony Abbot said: ‘The only way you can stop the deaths is in fact to stop the boats.’ This somewhat obvious observation, simplistic as it may appear, has eluded the best minds of Europe for over a generation. As indeed it continues to elude Labor and the Greens, despite Bill Shorten’s paying lip-service.

The EU’s open borders policy has been a disaster, as was ours. Europe’s once-great cities are now plagued with poverty, youth unemployment, chronic welfarism, cultural ghettoes and police no-go areas. Whilst Europe’s leftist elites have wallowed in their feel-good progressive fantasies, their countries’ economies have been trashed as waves of (understandably) eager economic migrants have poured in to take advantage of all the freebies on offer. Now, probably too late, Europeans are starting to question whether such largesse is sustainable. Meanwhile, with the region continuing to implode, north Africans are easy prey for people smugglers. The result? Hundreds, possibly thousands, perishing at sea.

Last year, it was during the twin nightmares of the rise of the Islamic State and the downing of MH17 by Russian-backed ‘rebels’ that Tony Abbott’s forthright, no-nonsense moral clarity was sought and heeded.

Mr Abbott was the first international leader to condemn unequivocally the evil of Isis; insisting on calling the caliphate a ‘death cult’ and immediately recognizing the need for military action. This he did loudly and clearly whilst a confused and ineffectual Barack Obama flipped and flopped on the issue. Similarly, it was Mr Abbott who stared down – or ‘shirtfronted’ as the saying now is – Vladimir Putin on his Ukrainian warmongering.

Eschewing the convoluted posturing of today’s ‘compassionate’ leaders, Mr Abbott’s forthright ability to call out the bad guys and propose tough, single-minded, effective solutions is viewed with envy by many around the globe. Here, the chatterati prefer fictitious stories about Mr Abbott snubbing gay ambassadors than admitting he has successfully solved fraught issues.

Sneering BS

Back in the early ‘90s, a British film company in cahoots with an excited ABC helped themselves to a wad of taxpayer dollars with the explicit aim of revealing just how uncouth those crass, aspirational Aussies really are. In 1992, it was the hapless Donaher family of Sylvania Waters who foolishly allowed a fly-on-the-wall camera crew to trawl through the entrails of every grisly minute of their exuberant family life. According to wife and mother Noelene, the series falsely portrayed her family as ‘vulgar, racist, drunken materialists’. For the progressive left, and the elitist academic sophisticates of Nick Cater’s The Lucky Culture, this was the proof of what they had long suspected – that the traditional blue-collar Aussie working class had given way to boorish yobbos unworthy of Labor. The series was a huge hit both here and in Britain; never mind that the mother contemplated suicide at the time.

Now the public broadcaster responsible for harmonious relationships within our community, SBS, is again forking out a million or so taxpayer dollars to humiliate and belittle those on the bottom rung of the ladder. Cultural highlights (since edited out due to the backlash) include a fat man farting and a woman lamenting her lack of loo paper. A furious Blacktown mayor Stephen Bali has decried the series as ‘poverty porn’.

Whether those individuals who ‘star’ in the series end up loving their fifteen seconds of fame or depressed and suicidal is not the point. The taxpayer has more important things to spend their money on. It’s time those ABC/SBS cuts got a bit more targeted.

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