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How To Shut Down An Immigration Debate

Big Australia, or big anywhere, is a contentious issue. The population ponzi scheme is a concept the public appear to find noxious. There's no votes in packing more sardines into the Australia can. Aware of this, sniveling politicians have often schemed a way to get the public to focus on their rhetoric and ignore their government's ever increasing immigration numbers. [This incisive and witty article has been republished with permission from How To Shut Down An Immigration Debate at the Idiot Tax site.]

Take war monger and lying rodent, John Howard. During his time in office, Howard more than doubled the immigration intake. Hilariously, immigration also pumped from those Sandrockistan countries that truly agitate 58 year old disability pensioners, bereft of hope, who while away their days ranting on Larry Pickering's blog. The exact group who continued to vote Howard into power because he told them, "we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come."

Years later in 2014, Howard came clean on the ruse... 

Every country does have the right to decide the
composition, the manner, and the timing of the flow of people. And
that’s something the Australian people support…

One of the reasons why it is so important to maintain that policy is
that the more people think our borders are being controlled, the more
supportive they are in the long-term of higher levels of immigration. Australia needs a high level of immigration. I’m a high immigration
man. I practiced that in Government.
And one of the ways that you
maintain public support for that is to communicate to the Australian
people a capacity to control our borders and decide who and what people
and when they come to this country.

In hindsight it was clear from the immigration increase during Howard's reign that he was a high immigration man and he practiced that in government. He just made sure he didn't explicitly mention it to anyone at the time. In fact, his words in 2014 revealed the bait and switch he cunningly employed. Use language that implies you have an intention to do one thing, while you do the complete opposite. Maybe one day, five years later, stuck in another traffic jam commuting from their overpriced outer-suburban hovel, a voter might begin to wonder.

john howard immigration explosion

All credit to Howard though. The guy ain't a moron. You don't actually speak about this stuff. You tell the plebs one thing that kinda has to do with immigration, when they think you're on the same page, you then get on with executing the actual plan. Notice the real acceleration in immigration numbers after Johnny told us in 2001 he'd be deciding who was welcome in Australia - everyone he could fit! Rank amateur, Kevin Rudd, actually articulated his belief in a big Australia. He was soon executed by his party after the Labor focus groups went ballistic at the idea. This is why political parties tiptoe around the issue - because for various reasons, people hate the idea of high immigration. And because they hate it, they're continually denied a voice in the debate.

The cloaked love of immigration on the right comes down to currying favour with their rent seeking paymasters. It's the cheapest and easiest sugar hit for business there is. What's better than more people if you're in a volume business like banking, real estate development or supermarkets? Then there's that added bonus of wage suppression. And don't forget temporary visas that you can use with your buddies to attract malleable labour from less fortunate countries, all while continuing your campaign of terror against the unemployed - that is until your buddies completely balls it up.

(Costa) in the most bizarre revelation, admits they have a potential
employee list of over 1500 and were still sorting them because their admin
team couldn't cope, yet the day previous they'd been squealing to
multiple media organisations they couldn't get workers and people should
be calling them for jobs.

Despite our right-wing reptilian overlords clear love of massive immigration, they've found themselves in the enviable position of rarely having to defend it when in office. How is it that a politically dangerous issue that continues to do exactly what the electorate doesn't want, escapes scrutiny? Maybe because if you genuinely want to get the debate on immigration started, there's often a toxic booby-trap waiting. Would like explain who really benefits and who loses? Wondering about infrastructure, increasing debt loads to acquire basic shelter, wage suppression or environmental degradation? Someone will be waiting somewhere with the racial road-spikes to blow out your tyres.

While on the trail of Michael Pascoe's dubious market calls during the financial crisis, I came across the constant drum beating he did on John Howard's population boom when writing for Crikey. Pascoe was unencumbered highlighting 457 visas and exploitation, while reminding readers about the booming population intake. It probably helped neither he nor Crikey were fans of the rodent government. Maybe it was an issue they would have never previously concerned themselves with? But did it become fair game with the Liberals potentially on the ropes?

19 March 2007, You say migration, we say unlimited cheap labor

The employer lobby is barracking for and pushing the Andrews submission
along as well as campaigning for an unlimited supply of cheap labour by
having sub-section 457 visas minimum wages conditions removed, leaving
the guest workers to the vagaries of WorkChoices.

Mar 21 2007, Guest worker truckies – think Melbourne’s taxi industry on 18 wheels at 110km/h

But the TWU is concerned about more devious and less safe methods.
Its researchers have corresponded with a Chinese labor recruitment firm
which has advised it can supply truck drivers here on section 442
trainee rates of $13.47 an hour. The claim is that the trainee visas are
good for three months, after which you try for 457s or just ship in
another load of cheap drivers. If you’ve ever driven on China’s roads and watched the trucks at play, you’ll know that is a frightening suggestion.

17 May 2007, 300,000 migrants next year -- but keep it to yourself 

John Howard won’t be campaigning as Australia’s greatest champion of
immigration and multiculturalism despite overseeing the importation of
nearly 300,000 people in the 2006-07 financial year. Such irony. Instead, the Government is downplaying migration numbers.

13 June 2007, Gittins chimes in on the big immigration secret 

With the benefits of time and space, Gittins fleshes
out the numbers a touch, but I still find the missing total curious.
There’s also a saying among journalists that you lead with your best
punch – you certainly don’t leave it out altogether. It’s only a guess, but I suspect gentle souls like Gittins might be a little concerned about the consequences. Tell the hoi polloi
300,000 migrants are turning up next year and it rather quickly leads
to talk of no-white-faces-on-the-tram-anymore,
too-many-Muslims-cause-all-the-trouble and

2 July 2007, As you sit in your traffic jam, Immigration Dept plays numbers down 

From Brisbane to Perth and all major centres in between, Australian
cities are groaning under inadequate infrastructure, choked roads,
unaffordable housing, failing public transport... But amidst it all, the Immigration Department continues to play down the real numbers driving the surge... Then there’s the elephant in the lounge room ?—?sub-section 457 “guest
workers” and their dependents. Canberra might pretend they don’t count,
but they are on four-year visas and must be housed and travel like
everyone else.

28 August 2007, A tale of two 457s – and 100,000 this year looks conservative

Even if the growth rate slows to 15% this year, we’ll break the
100,000 mark and the gross annual immigration number of 300,000 Crikey
first suggested in May starts to look conservative. The message coming from employers certainly doesn’t sound like any
sort of slowdown. The call is to increase the spread of occupations
covered by 457s, extending the downgrading that’s already underway from
what was meant to be a purely “skilled” worker category.

29 August 2007, Andrews defends the indefensible on 457s – so nothing new really 

Crucial skills shortages in a number of areas means the idea of a
flexible and fast temporary visa system has considerable merit, but the
badly-administered and demonstrably slip-shod 457 scheme presently run
by Kevin Andrews doesn’t. And there are broader issues yet to be debated about the impact of
300,000 migrants this year on the labor market and economy, the role
such an unprecedented intake will play in keeping down inflation by
keeping down wages. Don’t expect Kevin Andrews to make a worthwhile
contribution or that either major political party to want to hear about
it before the election.

19 November 2007 Kevin Andrews, the Aussie sex workers' friend  

Kevin the conservative Catholic believes it is “morally inappropriate”
for people on temporary visas to be allowed to work in the s-x industry,
so while it’s acceptable for foreigners on student and working holiday
visas to be exploited as lowly-paid kitchen hands and fruit pickers,
they are now banned from removing their clothes for money. 

Apart from a couple more, that's the majority of Pascoe's work on the issue. At this point he slowed up as Labor was elected. Maybe he was waiting to see what came from Rudd and Labor, or maybe with the job done and with the rodent eviscerated, it was time to move on. That was until the next year at least when he picked up on more dubious visa categories to further split and obscure immigration rates from being an overall figure.

2 July, 2008, After 475 visa comes 485 – just don't call it immigration

The 485 visa initiative looks like a useful tool for helping ease
Australia’s skills shortage and chronic under-investment in education,
but along with the 475 “guest worker” visa, it’s another way of fudging
gross immigration numbers. We were being conservative when we were the first to suggest
Australia was looking at gross immigration of some 300,000 this
financial year. The official government numbers don’t count New
Zealanders, 475, 476 or 485 visa holders?—?though they all have to live,
eat, drink and travel while they’re here.

Later in the month Pascoe went with almost final contribution to highlighting the hush hush around immigration and the impact 457s were having on wages. If you haven't read any of the others apart my copypasta work, read the following one.

Jul 23, 2008, 10,000 457s a month keeping down inflation — and wages

It was arguably Pascoe's most benign work since he honed in on immigration and 457s. Yet in a piece for Crikey, now unavailable online, it provoked some frothing from former Democrat Senator, Andrew Bartlett. Bartlett, who you might best remember as the guy who, after a Canberra drunken bender, dragged his screaming two-year old to an apology press conference to jazz up his family image, found Pascoe's article a little Hanson-ish.

Firstly, he gives a run to the "migrants will stop Australia meeting our
greenhouse targets" line which is the latest favourite from the
minority Hansonite wing
of the environment movement.

Pascoe barely even mentioned this, but it was enough for Bartlett to veer into social justice 101 - we know what you're really thinking! Concerned about the environment and meeting greenhouse targets? Have the hide to bring immigration into it- RAYCISS! Bartlett's argument was all carbon emissions are created equal.

Now, if ever there was a global, as opposed to just local, environmental
issue, it is greenhouse emissions. I have yet to see a single piece of
scientific data suggesting carbon generated by migrants to Australia is
more damaging than carbon generated if they had stayed in their home

Maybe I'm a dummy, but at a basic level if an immigrant had a short distance to travel to employment in his own country, wouldn't he have lower carbon emissions than if he was stuck out in the arse end of Western Sydney driving through congestion for an hour each way to make it to work in Australia? Alternatively, if the government had bothered to prepare and plan for his arrival, well maybe his carbon emissions could be equal or even lower. Bartlett really chewed it up for his next Pascoe slap.

Pascoe gives it away with
his comment that there are "good mechanics from third-world nations"
happy to come here and work. Quite why it is a bad thing that we have
good mechanics coming from "third world nations" isn’t made clear, but I
guess the one thing that has changed since the same arguments were run
in the "Australia for the white man" days of the 19th (and 20th) century
is that people have learned not to be quite so blatant.

Yeah, Pascoe really gave it away. He mentioned the third world and Bartlett took a glee header into writing a response that didn't even deserve to be published, let alone read. And Bartlett's implication is clear - "we're dealing with educated racists now, they know we're onto them so we need to read between the lines." The question is, did this affect Pascoe? After stepping off for a month, he returned with the following.

18 August 2008, Guestworkers and the return of the Kanaka

In 2008 as we again recruit farm laborers from the South Seas, it is of course going to be different, with the blessing of international aid agencies,
promoted as a win-win by the governments of Australia and the South
Pacific nations, with unions promising to monitor pay and conditions and
a farm lobby overjoyed that its persistent campaigning for access to
compliant unskilled guest workers has finally succeeded.

After accusations of between the lines racism, Pascoe was found back positioning himself as a man concerned about migrant workers, something I
don't doubt he is, but see what happens when you're wedged as a racist. You're forced into all sorts of mealy-mouthed clarifications, lest you
be thought of as a bigot. Though that didn't stop PR maestro, Bartlett, who you'll note had rode his trusty steed back into the debate and was flailing about in the comment section, parroting the words you'd expect from a government minister who was announcing or defending a guest worker program - opportunity & safeguards.

He also seriously asked why Pascoe hadn't called for the end of working holiday programs, that brought in over 100k people each year, to help the unemployed. I guess Andrew forgot those are reciprocal, where a similar number will exit the country as come in.

Soon after this, Pascoe shuffled off to Fairfax and on a semi regular basis he continued to highlight the fudging of immigration figures so they could be sliced, diced and manipulated away from highlighting gross totals. Pascoe was never anti immigration, at worst during his Crikey time he was an unenthused grump who wanted transparency and a light shone on the more exploitative visa aspects. Though in more recent years when writing for Sydney Morning Domain, he's shifted to enthusiastic cheersquad member and he's started spitting out the lingo straight from the "I'm too lazy to argue this one" book - "xenophobic", "dog whistle" etc etc, which when coming from the rent seeking business community is often cloak for "we need the money, we're too lazy and stupid to increase productivity, so please shut up!"

With Pascoe never being anti-immigration, nor racist, Bartlett's over the top sensitivity, and the widespread sensitivity of people like him, make immigration and population debates dangerous places to be. These people also serve as useful idiots by attempting to kill off debate like a first year loud mouth arts student. While that happens the right can continue with their blanket condemnation of anyone on the dole as
a bludger, despite the clear lack of jobs. At the same time, they'll disenfranchise those people by unlatching the gate to all sorts of wage supressing immigration and visa options
at the behest of their paymasters.

Take this farce for example, in Tasmania, Costa had 1500 applicants for fruit picking on its books, but spent time howling to the media it couldn't get workers. We later found out many of the local applicants on Costa's list had never been called back and Costa's admin team, despite calling for new applications, hadn't made it through those who'd applied six months earlier.

A month later...

A horticulture lobby group says Australians are too precious and unwilling to work outside in tough conditions. Voice for Horticulture said that was why it was backing plans to allow
more foreign workers to come to Australia for seasonal jobs. The Federal Government yesterday announced it would allow an extra 1,000 people from the Pacific and Timor Leste to participate in its seasonal worker program.

The political mainstream and business want a cage fight between poor people, be they Australian or otherwise. They'll use it as entertainment to get hard, before they employ the eventual winner
at rock bottom rates to suck their dick. It's not even a racism argument. The true turn-on ain't who's doing the sucking, it's how cheap they can get the sucking done for. It's just business. So it should be no shock the right would happily toss 10% of the overall immigration intake - the most visible, being asylum seekers - under the bus to convince the electorate to ignore the other 90% who really aren't planned for in any meaningful way - except in the saliva glands of bankers, supermarket chiefs and real estate developers. It's still cash money, bitches!

Is this truly a false dichotomy? Are both sides in
on the same scam? The efficient elimination of population and immigration discussion makes you wonder. Image being a down on your luck serf. Your
standards of living and opportunity are eroded by the business side of politics to help their paymasters,
while the other social justice side cunningly slides in and hammers you if you raise
any objections that reference competition. It's a sinister movement that continually grabs and castrates dissent. And because we can't admit immigration happens and the population increases, we never properly plan for accommodating growth.

That's OK. Because anyone of real significance (those truly influencing this stuff) don't inhabit the same living spaces as the rest of us. They
have someone to ferry them about and do the menial tasks that involve
interacting with society, while they focus on other things. Hence the
complete lack of care or interest in why the average peon is aggravated. They're never at street level to understand the dystopia they're creating.
And their inevitable destination is a country retreat or spacious low
density suburb. A greater population means more to skim off the top.

Thanks for all your help, idiot on the left.
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