Brown Study

Brown study

2 February 2019

9:00 AM

2 February 2019

9:00 AM

The absurd contribution by Thomas Vargas, the head of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in Indonesia, to the refugee issue must surely take the cake as the most harebrained remark since this issue became a matter of public debate. Vargas has been promoting the notion that turning back the people smugglers’ boats does not work. One wonders where he has been for the last 10 years or so, for the policy has most certainly worked, as is shown by the fact that not only has the Australian refugee trade stopped, but there are no illegal refugee boats anywhere, except where borders are open and boats can sail past borders with impunity.

He should start by looking closer to home, where another 170 people have just drowned trying to cross the Mediterranean. It has happened because the people smugglers’ boats are not being turned back, and the do-gooder parasites on ships like Sea-Watch 3 are running a water taxi service and tempting refugees and smugglers to keep trying to cross these dangerous seas, knowing they will be rescued. Then, backboneless European governments let them stay, which simply encourages more to come.


But Vargas’ remarks certainly raise some issues. First, if he can say such stupid things and so contrary to the facts, how can he hold down his job? Secondly, why do we keep paying millions to the UNHCR when all we get in return is abuse? Thirdly, why do we take this abuse and try to atone for our wickedness by taking more refugees, more than virtually all other countries and more than the Middle Eastern potentates and ramshackle principalities have ever taken, which is none. Fourthly, his remarks confirm what I have always thought and have now refined over the years into Brown’s Political Principle No. 1 which is roughly that all governments and international bodies have a vested interest in failure and in making problems worse, because if problems improve or are actually solved, the big excuse for the giant governmental machinery and its cost then disappears.

Take poor demented Mr Vargas. Imagine if all countries stopped the boats. Refugees would stay home and be forced to solve their own problems. Worse, Mr Vargas would lose his cushy job, tax-free salary, power and influence, continuous holidays at your expense flitting around the globe to one conference after another and the satisfaction of giving moral lectures to the rest of the world. No wonder he sees the real danger in stopping refugee boats and sending them home; it works.

The campaign against Tony Abbott goes on and on. I swear that at least so far as Melbourne is concerned, there has not been a day since he ceased to be Prime Minister when he has not received another burst of increasingly vitriolic abuse from the Left. I can only assume the Left want to kill him off as they know he is 100 times more effective than anything else the Liberal party has on offer. Now we are apparently going to have an embarrassment of independent candidates trying to knock him off at the election in May. Which is all the more reason why we should get behind him and ensure that the anti-Abbott hysteria now building up is rejected and he is re-elected. He is still the best hope for the Liberal party. Accordingly I have been turning my mind to what might be done to achieve that result. My advice to Abbott would be to use the War and Peace tactic: don’t fight the usual campaign; let the independents run loose; they are already scrapping with each other and it can only get worse. They will eventually run out of things to say and will start to look like a hodgepodge of whingers. Abbott can then emerge and with a clear-cut denunciation of Shorten’s Venezuelan alternative for Australia as devastating as the job he did on Rudd and Gillard and with the great advantage that everyone will understand what he is saying, which will be an improvement on the overall campaign. The voters will not come back as a swarm, but they will be there by election day in their ones and twos. He will win.

I see some Liberals claim they will introduce a private members bill to fix Australia Day on 26 January and to keep it there. I will believe that when I see it, as I am still one that thinks the Liberal party does not have the gumption to carry through on any of the conservative principles it claims to avow. But in the slim hope that they might actually mean and do something worthwhile, let me give them some free advice. A law to fix the date of Australia Day is a law like any other law and can be repealed like any other law. The answer lies in the movement that some of us got up years ago to protect the Australian flag and which culminated in 1998. The Flags Act now decrees the present flag, but goes further and provides that that law itself may only be changed by a vote of the people and ‘when the new flag, or one of the new flags, is chosen by a majority of all the electors voting.’ Alright, I know that that law can also be changed. But the safeguard is that I am happier to leave the issue in the hands of the people than in the hands of a majority of Labor stooges who happen to be MPs during some short term aberration. And would they dare vote to take away the peoples’ power? So why not fix the date of Australia Day and impose the same restrictions as for the flag? Do it. There are votes in it.

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