Waleed Wars: The Empire Nails Back

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When you’re Waleed “The Hammer” Aly, every issue looks like a nail. For those many of you who have dearly missed the Golden Logie winner’s trademark skill – or rather News.com.au’s standard description of it – don’t worry, the king is back:

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It’s been a while between the nailings, the time probably spent by Aly in a futile search for the African youth gangs in his hometown of Melbourne, but after a hiatus the Tribune of the People is once again here to express the Everyman’s confusion:

Waleed Aly has taken aim at the Government’s latest stance on Nauru, claiming their constant back and forth on the issue has left his head spinning.

The Project host summed up how the rest of the panel (and probably viewers at home) were feeling about Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s bombshell revelation that asylum-seeker kids on Nauru were being quietly transferred off the island.

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Morrison made the surprise admission on 2GB after a report in The Australian revealed that there were 40 children left on Nauru and 244 had previously been relocated.

“It’s amazing how quickly things can happen when there is a political benefit — so things are happening swiftly,” guest panellist Rachel Corbett remarked after The Project aired a segment on the Prime Minister’s comments.

But Aly pointed out that not much was known about the specifics of Mr Morrison’s claims, countering: “Except then you stop and think about it and what is actually happening?”

“To say they are getting the kids off Nauru how? Where? Are we talking (that) they come here for medical treatment or something and… (they) stay in the community here?” Aly continued.

“I thought that was a no-no. Or do we send them back, or is the New Zealand thing happening?

“What happened on Monday when we were being told how Nauru is a tropical paradise and people live there and it’s not so bad? My head is spinning over this, I don’t know what we are watching.”

You’re watching what you always wanted to watch, Waleed: the asylum-seeker children being taken off that supposed shithole of Nauru (if you want to know what lefties really think of any particular developing world country just send some refugee claimants there. Nauru appears to be such hell that we should arguably be removing the 13,000 plus native Naurans from there too lest there is a mass population extinction. Just to think that the explorers have originally named it Pleasant Island, the lying imperialist bastards). Presumably this is the first step towards removing the adult remainder of the asylum-seekers, finally closing this Auschwitz of the Antipodes (I’m paraphrasing the Greens here but only slightly). Just goes to show that you can’t make the inner city left happy – their number one wish comes true but instead of rejoicing their heads are spinning.

The closing of the Nauru facility will come just in time for the people smugglers to re-commence their trans-Timor trade. It’s called signals and incentives, and there will no doubt be more of it when (there is almost no if) Labor wins the next year’s federal election and throws the door open because “compassion”. Thousands will drown again, but that’s OK, because thousands more won’t.

Compassion is all fine, but it’s not a substitute for a sensible policy. There are tens of millions of refugees and displaced people around the world, and hundreds of millions of economic migrants who would love to live in a wealthy developed country like Australia. How many should we take in? The left never quite gets to answering this important question. Fifty thousand a year? Hundred thousand? Million? However many turn up? Where do you draw the line?

I have no doubt that many people out there are genuine refugees escaping persecution, but everyone at the moment seems to be engaged in destination shopping. The original Refugee Convention was all about getting those in immediate danger to a place of safety; the new reality is all about getting straight to your preferred place, be it Australia, the United States, Germany or the UK. You can see it everywhere at the moment. In Europe, millions have now crossed the Mediterranean or the Balkans, going through and past numerous countries on the way that are signatories to the Convention and can offer asylum, because they want to end up in Western Europe instead. In Central America, the Honduran “refugee caravan” continues its march to the US border, despite its members having been offered sanctuary and even jobs by the Mexican government, believing it’s somehow their right to be let into the United States. And, of course, locally we’ve had (twice in the past two decades) tens of thousands of people from the Middle East and South Asia flying to Indonesia and getting on rickety boats to claim refugee status in Australia instead in any of the other dozen safe (but not as cool) countries in the region.

The desire to live in Australia is quite understandable, but not all wishes can come true, despite the fervent belief that “we are a wealthy country” and “the rich can pay for it”. The opponents of the current immigration policies needs to nail down the answers to a few important questions: On what basis should Australia accept asylum-seekers who have refused the opportunity to seek asylum in numerous other, more proximate countries? Why should the asylum-seekers who can afford to pay tens of thousands of dollars to travel to Australia be given precedence over the poor ones who can’t? What number of asylum seeker will your open border policies attract every year? What percentage drowning on the way do you consider morally acceptable as part of your policy? How much will it all cost and how do you plan to pay for it? How are you planning to resettle the tens/hundreds of thousands of extra migrants a year in mostly Sydney and Melbourne which are already bursting at the seams?

My head is already spinning in anticipation of the answers.

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