Could our progressive elites have got it more wrong? Far from being derided by the ‘enlightened’ countries of Europe and our ‘incensed’ northern neighbours, Tony Abbott is being emulated by both. Horrified by the multiple disasters occurring in their own waters – the mass immigration (and fatalities) across the Mediterranean, the waves of boat people flooding into Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand – nations around the world are closely studying what has for so long been sneered at by the Australian left as a simplistic ‘three word slogan’; seeing therein the only plausible solution to the twin complexities of asylum-seeking and people-smuggling. Fleshing out his well-worn catchphrase for the benefit of a now rapt international audience, Tony Abbott correctly pointed out the other day: ‘The only way to stop the deaths is in fact to stop the boats.’
Naturally, while the rest of the world cottons on to the truth of Mr Abbott’s mantra, back at home Labor continues to dance around the subject. As David Flint and Neil Brown both point out this week, a return to a Shorten or Plibersek-led Labor government will invariably see a return to boatloads of illegal immigrants and deaths at sea.
For too long, the Greens and many in Labor have chosen to deny the obvious linkage between saving lives and turning back boats, choosing instead to prefer a utopian fantasy where everybody everywhere deserves to go and live wherever they choose and somebody else can pick up the tab. The term for this largesse is ‘compassion’.
The progressive elites have also long sneered at the linkage between open borders and terrorism. Indeed, in 2009 when Liberal MP Wilson Tuckey dared to suggest that there were ‘narrow odds’ that terrorists might slip in amongst the growing numbers of boat people, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd was so outraged he demanded opposition leader Malcolm Turnbull withdraw support for Mr Tuckey’s preselection, decrying such ‘deeply divisive, disgusting remarks’ that ‘do not belong in any mainstream political party.’ Really, Kev?
Now a spokesman for the Libyan government reports how the Islamic State are in business with people smugglers to get Islamist murderers into Europe – one group, having successfully made it to Rome, have posted ‘selfies’ in front of tourist landmarks as they plot future terrorist atrocities.
There is a further potential linkage that, no doubt, our cultural sophisticates would take great delight in sneering at, yet it is one that Labor ignore at their peril. Namely, the linkages between the Palestinian Authority, Hamas, and radical Islamist ideology. Like Kevin Rudd in 2009, Bob Carr, Tony Burke, Tanya Plibersek et al would no doubt see as ‘disgusting’ and ‘deeply divisive’ even the slightest suggestion that there is a strain of Islamism that runs deep within the Palestinian polity that will, invariably, be encouraged and nurtured by the twin western campaigns of de-legitimising Israel and recognising a Palestinian state without an agreed peace treaty with Israel. Yet they would be wrong. After all, two of the main tenets of radical Islam – jihad and death to all Jews – are also key articles of Hamas’s ‘constitution’.
Meanwhile, despite the left vowing it would never happen, ‘multiculturalism’ has led to Aussie kids killing and dying for Islam – and then begging to come ‘home’. Our cover story by Joseph Power looks at the radicalisation of ‘lone wolves’. Also this week, Rebecca Weisser reviews Peter Coleman’s Memoirs of a Slow Learner, reminding us, among much else, how Manning Clark and his adoring fans used to idolise the Soviet Union. The Australian left, it appears, have quite the track record for getting it wrong.
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