Features Australia

Reassessing Bill

23 February 2019

9:00 AM

23 February 2019

9:00 AM

The renewed talk about refugees and border protection, brought on by the passage of the bill for medical evacuation from Manus Island and Nauru, is good news for the Morrison government. Not the least reason why this is so is that the left-wing media and their camp followers are strongly in favour of the new law and even more hysterical and asinine than usual in attacking the government for opposing it. Their criticism of Morrison can only benefit him. But let us start at the beginning. It is an article of faith with the Left that as many refugees who want to come here should have unobstructed access to Australia and any European country that takes their fancy and with no barriers. Left-wing advocates are so simplistic; for them, refugees equals good; restrictions on refugees, no matter how reasonable, equals bad. In fact, for the Left, the refugee issue is not just one issue but several, all bundled up together and the Left loves them all. Why is this so? First, all Lefties are against national borders and want to weaken them and there is no better way of achieving that than uncontrolled migration. So, the more we insist on orderly migration, limits on numbers and processing through the queue, the stronger our national borders will be. But the more refugees that are forced on us against our will, the weaker our borders become. No wonder the Left hate borders so much. Secondly, the Left wants more issues taken out of the hands of elected national governments and put under the control of international bodies, especially the United Nations and the European Community. It is easier to impose a left-wing agenda through unelected international bodies with their treaties and conventions than it is to earn approval from pesky voters who might vote the wrong way. Thus, every time a tortured left-winger makes another heart-rending, pro-refugee speech, they claim that refugees have an unqualified right to come here because of the UN refugee convention, which in fact says no such thing. If it did, why does so much of it expressly apply only to ‘lawful refugees’? Thirdly, there is something about left-wingers that makes them want to break down everything decent we have inherited from the past. That is why they are so impassioned about the republic and changing Australia Day, the flag and the national anthem. I will probably be thrown into the torture chamber at the Human Rights Commission for saying so, but one of the virtues of our past has been having a harmonious population with a common identity. The Left wants to dilute the population with an uncontrolled intake of refugees of different traditions that in many cases are alien to our own. This is the real explanation behind the passion for the medivac law just passed, which is a major weakening of our reasonable controls on the influx of refugees. From now on, all that will be needed is to find two left-wing doctors, who are as easy to find as left-wing lawyers, to certify that those on Manus Island and Nauru are in need of medical assessment (not even treatment) and they will be entitled to come here. Once here, they will be able to stay, because they will be under the jurisdiction of the Australian courts and Federal court judges are now getting into the swing of making orders to allow refugees to stay. You will see a steady growth in this type of litigation from now on, a point I am surprised that no-one in the Coalition government seems capable of making. Thus, putting all this together, the medivac law was good news for the Left as it opens up a new avenue for more refugees that simply ignores the responsibilities of the elected government.

Why, then, did I say that it is also good news for the Coalition? It has highlighted the issue as nothing else could. It has shown how foolish a change to the refugee law it is. More importantly for raw political purposes, the new law has generated more extreme attacks on Morrison and the Coalition and it is an immutable law of politics that if you are being attacked, it is better than being ignored. The best position in horse-racing is one out and one back; but the best position in politics is one out, one back and being attacked. Hillary Clinton and the media’s attacks on Donald Trump galvanised attention on him, forced people to concentrate on his policies and Clinton’s bland alternatives and reminded them how weak and lacklustre her administration would be. Without being attacked so viciously by Hillary Clinton and the media, Trump would not have won. With proper handling, Morrison in turn can show how weak and compromising Shorten would be on the most important objective for any country — to be safe and have strong borders. There is no reason on earth why the refugee issue should not be a winning policy. Shorten has surely discharged the firearm firmly into his own metatarsus.

I know that, after being so lukewarm on the Coalition for the last few years, I now sound more enthusiastic. I think it is because I am actually leaning a bit that way. I seriously doubt that I could ever have voted for the Coalition under Turnbull. I am still concerned that it is not as vocal and active on free enterprise and smaller government as it should be; the solution to every problem seems to be more controls and yet another government body or inquiry. But Morrison is different from, and better than, his predecessor. He has a faith and, like Tony Abbott, he believes in some important things. Turnbull believes in little but himself. You can understand Morrison when he speaks; unlike the agony we had with Turnbull, you do not get War and Peace whenever you ask him a question. Morrison has good political footwork and is starting to impress me. Heavens above! I might even end up voting for him.

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