Orderly immigration or Organised invasion?
Would someone please fill us in about this claim that Australians have agreed to what seems to many to be an organised invasion of legal immigrants for the profit of the housing, finance and infrastructure moguls?
"Paul Kelly argues in his The March of Patriots that there is a bargain between the Australian people and their governments. The Australian people accept a big, diverse and in many respects generous immigration program, so long as it is orderly and well controlled by the government." (Population growth lobbyist, Greg Sheridan, The Australian about his 'esteemed colleague' and fellow population-growth barracker, Paul Kelly of the Australian.)
I don't know anyone who was actually asked and the subject wasn't on the menu during the elections (which were mostly conducted by the mainstream press as usual).
Boat people and racio-ethnicity line a distraction from oversized legal immigration
Firstly we should note that boat people are again hitting the headlines, just at the time when MP Kelvin Thomson and others are coming out criticising high legal (but undemocratic) immigration and its unmanageable and disorderly consequences.
We've been here before.
This is probably no coincidence. It is useful to take our minds off the real issues.
Sheridan's article manages to talk about immigration at length as if the only real problems associated with it might be those related to asylum seekers arriving by boat. Never does it mention the terrible human overpopulation and infrastructure expansion stretching Australia's natural systems to breaking point. The comments allowed under the article favour the racial-ethnic criticism line, which sophisticated readers might be able to work out is a way for the growth lobby to stigmatise most discussion about high immigration as motivated by racial intolerance. That is, if you only publish comments objecting to the racial or ethnic composition of Australia's immigration stream, then you can give the impression that only racist Australians object to high immigration.
In other mediums like candobetter.org, there is, however, plenty of evidence of political and environmental pressure in response to high legal immigration rising like a bubbling stream of magma seeking the surface. The Australian, however, gives very little exposure to comments and protests about these impacts of legal population growth, thus giving a false impression to readers.
How to tell the difference between Rudd's and Howard's policies
Apart from the fact that Kevin Rudd and John Howard look different from each other - a child could probably tell them apart physically - the average adult might already have some trouble telling their asylum-seeker policies apart. In his article, Sheridan sets about trying to establish some difference, but the words are clumsy and unconvincing:
"Rudd is absolutely right to take a tough line against illegal immigration. Those who criticise him for doing so and saying so, such as the normally sound Labor MP Michael Danby, or those who cannot bring themselves to embrace the Prime Minister's language, such as Foreign Minister Stephen Smith in a remarkably evasive and feeble performance on Lateline, merely show how much better, shrewder and braver than the Labor Party Rudd is.
There is a reason this government is so dominated by its PM."
It doesn't matter if the job is hard and the materials poor. If you repeat that Rudd is 'right to take a tough line against illegal immigration' often enough, people will begin to think that this is somehow the crucial point of Australia's population policy.
There is a gem here, though, which you might miss if you began to nod off before you got to the end of the article (and who could blame you)?
Right at the end, Sheridan writes this amazing assertion, that Rudd is
"much better, shrewder and braver than the Labor Party"
What does this tell the alert observer? Well, it sounds to me like a message to the old Liberal-National voters who worry that the ALP has got in and that dear old Howard got the boot. It's telling them, "You don't need to worry. Rudd isn't really the Labor Party. It isn't really a Labor Government as long as Rudd 'dominates' it.
Clearly the Murdoch Press is pleased with Kevin Rudd's performance to date and they don't regret the departure of Howard, although they know that some of their readers still do.
On the other hand, what should Labor sympathisers think about this?
In my opinion, they should be worried! If they weren't already. But not because of Rudd's attitude to asylum seekers. They should be worried that Rudd is overpopulating this country legally to the satisfaction of the growth lobby. As if that were not bad enough, he shows contempt for refugees by allowing a gigantic stream of legal immigrants in but almost no refugees. If that doesn't tell you that the main interest the growth lobby has in immigrants is their money, then you are not reading the signs correctly.
At the same time we can see that Mr Sheridan has become an apologist for geographically distant refugee determination detention facilities because Mr Rudd is running into problems accommodating asylum-seekers.
"There are hard truths in this debate. Let me confess my own sins. When the Howard government introduced the Pacific solution, I was virulently opposed to it. I thought it was inhumane and wouldn't work. In fact, it did work. It also became clear to me the vast majority of people intercepted were not refugees but illegal immigrants."
Mr Rudd is also running into problems accommodating Australians, so perhaps we will soon hear that a few gulags will be built to house the more unruly homeless and unemployed, not to mention those who demand democratic government, under those Howard government terrorism laws that the Rudd government also embraces.