News Up From Out Of Down Under—Illegal Immigration Is A Major Issue In The Australian Election
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There is a national election in Australia September 7th and illegal immigration is a major issue.

Australian politics doesn’t map precisely onto the American sort, but to a fair approximation the country is currently ruled by “Democrats” (federal power, gubmint workers, globalist white ethnomasochists) with “Republicans” (small business, the countryside, trade protection, traditionalism) in opposition.

The ruling “Democrat” leader is Kevin Rudd; the opposition “Republicans” are led by Tony Abbott.

I’m over-simplifying, and the terminology here is confusing.  The biggest faction in the “Republican” coalition, for example, is named the Liberal Party; and the “Democrats” are the more republican in the small-“r” sense, i.e. they want to dump the monarchy.  This will do for a blog post, though.

The key phrase in Australian discussion of illegal immigration has become—as it has long been in Europe, and is fast becoming in the U.S.A.—“asylum seekers.”  These are illegal immigrants seeking to arrive in Australia by sea.  Like the U.S.A., Australia also has a problem with visitors over-staying their visas; but in Australia’s smaller and better-documented economy, it’s hard for un-processed illegals to get work.  

“Asylum seekers” were previously called “boat people” (sometimes concatenated to “boatpeople”).

So the topic here is “asylum seekers.”  This little bit of media Newspeak is supposed to conjure up heartstring-plucking images of brave freedom fighters fleeing for their lives with secret-police goons on their heels. 

There are of course such cases—I have known one or two personally.  Ninety-nine percent of “asylum seekers,” however, are apolitical, un-persecuted citizens of poor, corrupt Third-World rat-holes seeking the prosperity, security, and welfare benefits of rich white countries.  Some large proportion—larger than the proportion of freedom fighters, at any rate—are criminals fleeing law enforcement, or looking to expand their operations.  Others are infidel-hating Islamists.  There are some interesting photographs of “asylum seekers” in Australia here.

The “Republicans” are well ahead in the polls.  They are taking a strong line on “asylum seekers.”  Ann Corcoran at Refugee Resettlement Watch has been giving good coverage.

Key point:  The “Republican” election platform now declares that “asylum seekers” will never be given permanent settlement rights in Australia.

Ann quotes from a story in the Brisbane Times [“Tony Abbott evokes John Howard in slamming doors on asylum seekers,” August 15thJohn Howard was the previous “Republican” Prime Minister, 1996-2007.]:

The Coalition has ramped up its hardline stance on refugees, announcing on Friday that almost 32,000 asylum seekers who have already arrived in Australia by boat will never get permanent settlement as well as stripping them of the right to appeal to the courts.

The Coalition would also introduce indefinite work-for-the-dole obligations for those found to be refugees.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott channelled former prime minister John Howard from 2001 when announcing the change to the policy in Melbourne.

“The essential point is, this is our country and we determine who comes here,” Mr Abbott said.

Just roll those last words from Tony Abbott round in your mind, and try to imagine them being uttered by any electable candidate for U.S. national leadership!

What about that tiny proportion of persons fleeing genuine persecution?

“We won’t be offering permanent residency,” [Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop] told Channel 9. ”When the situation improves [in asylum seekers’ home countries], they can go home.”

(Australia does not have birthright citizenship, by the way.  They abolished it in 2007.)

Read Ann’s post and explore her Australia archive, and ours.

All of that comes with a warning.  Two warnings, in fact, a general one and a particular one.

General warning:  In Australia, as elsewhere in the Anglosphere, there is less and less daylight between the major parties.  Both are increasingly vehicles for elite-consensus ideological obsessions, with slightly different weightings.

Particular warning:  In Australia, as everywhere else in the world, election rhetoric should be taken with a pinch of salt.    

In other news from the Antipodes, I see that New Zealand has just legalized same-sex marriage.  Insert your own sheep jokes.    

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