Tag Archives: refugee

The RRA… Good samaritan or eye for an eye?

21 Jul

kevin_rudd_400_aap_black_18uhoao-18uhoatThe last few days of the media in Australia have been dominated by a discussion of the shifting politics between Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and opposition leader Tony Abbott. With Rudd’s announcement of a signed Refugee Resettlement Agreement (RRA) with the PNG Government, the talk of the town was that he had now done everything there was to do before an election except announce a date. The polls saw him gain a healthy bump and, as a result, the pressure started mounting on Tony Abbott (and his staff) to explain how they had managed to lose an election-winning lead in the space of just two weeks.

In amongst all that, some people have been analysing the details of this RRA (at least, analysing the details that have been made public) and asking some questions. Many would agree (myself included) that this was as much a political solution as a policy one – Rudd needed to change the Labor party’s fortunes on the issue – and it seems to have worked. But what does it all really mean.

I’ve already posted on what I think of the RRA, but I wanted to share a further thought after a friend of mine asked me whether the deal wasn’t a little bit like the story of the good samaritan… Continue reading

The last few weeks have been shocking – for all sorts of reasons

8 Apr

imagesThe last few weeks in Australian politics has been shocking. After threats of a challenge to the leadership of the Labor Party (and, therefore, the Prime Ministership), the political discussions seems to have settled down, once again, into a shallow cat and mouse game between people who should know better, but clearly don’t.  To top all the excitement off, the government announced some non-changes to superannuation and the PM went on a trip to China. (The trip was supposed to be to attend a conference convened there by a former Labor Prime Minister, but has turned into a great opportunity for the PM to make it look like she cares about the North Korea situation).

Unfortunately, when the cats and mice are doing their thing, the rest of us tend to not hear about other important things that happen… Continue reading

The calibre of public debate

18 Mar

779369-cartoonSometimes I wonder at how low the Australian debate about asylum seekers can go.

When a senior cabinet minister can think of nothing to say, they should say nothing at all.  For that matter, so should the opposition.  Not so these days – both the Immigration Minister and the shadow minister are guilty of the same…

On 1 March 2013, the Immigration Minister, Brendan O’Connor issued this media release.  In it, the only thing he talks about is how the opposition are wrong for suggesting that asylum seekers who have been given temporary visas (BVEs) are disappearing into the community.  He alleges that the arrangements the Labor government have put in place involve much more monitoring of BVE holders than under the Howard Government’s temporary protection visa system. (What a relief!)

There was no policy announcement, no event and no good news story to share – just a media release about his political opponent’s media comments. Clearly that’s news these days. Continue reading


Between the devil and the deep blue sea

18 Mar

Link – Between the devil and the deep blue sea

This documentary looks at the flight of Afghan refugees. Its well worth reading about. If you can watch it as part of their national tour, that’s a brilliant idea too.


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