31 Aug 2011

That's It For The Malaysia Solution

By Ben Eltham
The High Court has struck down the Gillard Government's refugee swap with Malaysia. Maybe it's time the major parties stopped pretending they support the UN Refugee Convention at all, writes Ben Eltham
So, it has come to this.

Less than four years ago, the Rudd government came to office promising an end to John Howard's dismal record of denying the rights of legitimate refugees. Now Kevin Rudd is no longer the Prime Minister, and the High Court has struck down the Gillard Government's refugee swap with Malaysia.

The High Court found the deal unlawful under the Migration Act: to quote Justice French, the Malaysia-Australia agreement "was made without power and is invalid". Just to rub salt into the wounds, the High Court also ruled against the Government in the other matter being heard, which was in relation to the Immigration Minister's duty of care to an unaccompanied 16-year old.

The full decision of the High Court makes for riveting reading, and nearly all of it is devastatingly critical of the Government's policy. The Court observes that "it is an agreed fact that Malaysia does not recognise the status of refugees in domestic law" and that Malaysia is not a signatory to the UN Refugee Convention.

The Government tried to explain this away with a bunch of "guarantees" for asylum seekers sent there — for instance that they would be able to access health care and education. But the text of the agreement with the Malaysian government states quite clearly that it is not legally binding, and that those sent to Malaysia will be subject to Malaysian law. Indeed, the Court observes that "there is nothing on the face of the exemption order to protect the plaintiffs from being charged and prosecuted in a Malaysian court for an offence against s 6 of the Malaysian Immigration Act." Translation? The "arrangement" with Malaysia is not worth the paper its written on.

In its conclusion, the Court rules that sending asylum seekers to Malaysia without processing them first is simply not authorised by section 198A of the Migration Act. Not only does Chris Bowen's legal advice appear to have been mistaken, but the Government's entire strategy of offshore processing with non-signatories to the UN convention must now be in doubt.

But the Government should have realised this beforehand — if not legally, then certainly morally. You don't need the advice of the Solicitor-General to realise that the Malaysian swap is a convoluted and unnecessary way to cater for those arriving in Australian waters by boat. Even if the legal advice has failed in this instance, it wouldn't have been necessary if the Government hadn't been casting around for ways to process asylum seekers offshore.

And why was the Government so keen on offshore processing? Offshore processing — and its policy corollary, mandatory detention — is brutal, expensive and unjust. After all, the law says that those arriving by boat are legally entitled to do so. They have quite literally done nothing wrong, except seek a better future in a safer place, even at the cost of offending the sensibilities of the bigoted among us. In policy terms, offshore processing never made any sense, given Australia is the richest country in the region, and the obvious place to set up a regional processing centre.

Of course, both the Government and the Opposition have long held that this is all about "sending a message" to those handiest of political phantasms, the dreaded people smugglers. Such claims have never been supported by evidence.

In any case, the issue is not about evidence or policy fundamentals, but rather the heady brew of political emotion. The whole point of the Malaysian solution for Bowen and Gillard was to appear tough on border protection to voters, while simultaneously obeying the black letter of the Migration Act and the Refugee Convention, both of which oblige Australia to accept genuine refugees, no matter how they happen to arrive on our shores. In other words, the Malaysian deal was always a dubious bargain, constructed for political expediency, rather than in the best interests of the human beings involved.

Indeed, the Malaysian solution is merely the latest in a series of increasingly desperate measures by Labor to square the circle of asylum seeker policy. As we've pointed out repeatedly here at New Matilda, there is no genuine policy problem with seaborne asylum seekers. The number of asylum seekers coming by boat to Australia is tiny and decreasing. If it wasn't for the cynical opportunism of the Coalition and many sections of the media, most of us wouldn't even know about "the boats". After all, no-one talks about "the planes", despite the much larger numbers of refugee seekers who arrive by air.

All this we know. But because the asylum seeker issue is inherently political, it's all the more difficult for Labor to solve. That's because the debate is already so unhinged. Considering how shorn of factual substance this entire discussion remains, it's not surprising that nothing that Labor does in a policy sense seems to convince voters that it is handling the issue effectively.

There's no doubt that that unpopularity of "the boats" is real, by the way. But even if many ordinary Australians oppose letting asylum seekers seek refuge here, that doesn't make the Government's attempts to circumvent Australia's international responsibilities just, or fair — or even legal, as today's decision makes clear. It is possible to love democracy and yet to oppose policies which are popular in the electorate. It is possible to support the right of voters to make up their own minds, and yet to oppose the racism and xenophobia which remains endemic in our nation. Sometimes there is a tyranny of the majority. Sometimes the voters of western Sydney are wrong.

And that's the tragedy — or farce — of this High Court decision, which shows a government so desperate to be seen to be toughening up its line on border protection that it has abandoned not only its principles, but the legal niceties too.

It is probably asking too much for the Gillard Government to use this decision as an opportunity to admit defeat on border protection "toughness", and simply allow seaborne asylum seekers their legal rights. It is certainly asking too much of the Opposition. And so this decision will no doubt be met with more legal manoeuvres, and perhaps even an amendment to the Migration Act, simply for the purposes of making the deal stick.

Perhaps it's time both Labor and the Coalition simply repudiated the UN Refugee Convention altogether, and voted to amend the Migration Act accordingly. This, at least, would be the genuinely honest position of both. After all, neither major party seems to actually believe in the spirit of the treaty, or in the rights of refugees.

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David Grayling
Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 18:02

I'm glad that my criticism of the Gillard Government concerning Malaysia <b>and</b> those Australians who persecute or denigrate refugees has been vindicated by the High Court.

It is a great day for justice and strikes a blow at those who think that Might is Right and that the wretched of the world make good whipping boys and girls!

Great that you could get this article out quickly, Ben. It will be interesting to see the response!


Nite Lite
Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 18:15

Bowen has stated that he is still proud of this deal and that even the Malaysian announcement alone slowed the people smugglers down. Can you believe this clown....why not announce the Antarctic Solution or the Siberian Solution....that will scare the beejezus out of them! Makes me wonder if the government got their poor legal advice from some leftwing hayseed lawfirm like Slater and Gordon. They'll hire anybody...in any case someone didn't do their homework. I don't mind helping out...for further legal assistance or advice google "Dewey, Cheatem, and Howe"...ask for Moe, Larry, Curly or Julia....personally I'd go with Curly.

Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 18:18

‘It is possible to love democracy and yet to oppose policies which are popular in the electorate. It is possible to support the right of voters to make up their own minds, and yet to oppose the racism and xenophobia which remains endemic in our nation. Sometimes there is a tyranny of the majority. Sometimes the voters of western Sydney are wrong.’
Hear, hear.

Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 18:29

Congratulations to Refugee and Immigration Legal Centre, Debbie Mortimer and David Manne!!!!!!

It's a great victory for human rights in backward Australia!!!!!

Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 19:25

Nite Lite posted Wednesday, 31 August 11 at 6:15PM

Missed the point!

Ben stated:
It is "probably" asking too much for the Gillard Government to use this decision as an opportunity to admit defeat on border protection "toughness", and simply allow seaborne asylum seekers their legal rights.

The emphasis is on this:
"It is certainly asking too much of the Opposition".

In other words, there is still hope the government might "see the light",
there definitely is none under the current leadership of the opposition.

I agree, and that's the point!

Posted Wednesday, August 31, 2011 - 19:57

What a pleasure and relief to hear Ron Merkel QC speak intelligibly about Australia's obligations and the actual laws on the 7.30 report, and to hear better coverage of a humane view. Contrast that with the opposition immigration minister... I sincerely hope this era of Australian policy will soon see an end. Kudos to the legal team that won this challenge!

Joe Politico
Posted Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 09:02

It's a funny thing when the judiciary are moderating the worst and most toxic policies of a supposedly left wing government.

It demonstrates that having an academic and legal understanding of human rights and Austrlias obligations is a position which has become marginal in our society.


Ben stated: "There’s no doubt that that unpopularity of "the boats" is real, by the way. But even if many ordinary Australians oppose letting asylum seekers seek refuge here, that doesn’t make the Government’s attempts to circumvent Australia’s international responsibilities just, or fair — or even legal, as today’s decision makes clear."

The trouble is, to take the moral position, Labor would have to be prepared to win the moral argument. Either they don't believe in the moral argument, or they have no will to make it.

It shouldn't be a hard argument to win. Desperate people are fleeing persecution, torture and death and arrive looking for a safe haven. There are only a few thousand of them every year. Should we do the right thing and look after them as we agreed to do and signed up to do?

Why is there no stomach to make that argument from the Labor front benches?

Posted Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 13:10

@Gerry Lamb posted Wednesday, 31 August 11 at 11:44PM
As usual mostly false, simplistic and just too silly, easily ignored.

Every reasonable caring person agrees that the Howard/Abbott so called "Pacific solution" is inhumane and it appears now also probably "illegal"!
The Malaysian asylum seeker swap deal has now also been rejected. Does that mean off shore processing altogether is no longer an option?

Maybe there is a chance to abandon detention centres, replacing them with processing facilities for security, identity and health checks for "all asylum seekers" regardless whether they come by air or sea.

As "Joe Politico" stipulates maybe the Labor front bench finally get their act together and do the right thing.

p mahone
Posted Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 14:06

This abysmal government got exactly what it deserved.

Face it, Julia, Chris Bowen and Co can't out-Tory the Tories, hard as they might try. The shame is they don't seem to have any inclination to try anything else.

Posted Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 14:08

Ben - your proposal to withdraw from the Convention altogether was argued in The Age this morning as well.

It would be a bold step but it may set a precedent for other countries that have signed up and are in the same or similar boat to Australia, to follow suit.

It would be a trigger for the UN to review the Convention, or drop the Convention altogether and leave it to individual countries to make their humanitarian contributions as they judge the situation.
This would put governments in control.

I think the Convention has become a farce. It was really intended for a different type of refugee.

Frank from Frankston
Posted Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 14:41

I find it astonishing that the lawyer activists who organised this win, along with my esteemed colleagues on these pages who support them, fail and fail consistently to take responsibility for the deaths at sea.
One reputable source, a Mr Andrew Bolt of the HS, pointed to hundreds people drowning at sea in mulitiple incidents.
One reported sinking after another was deliberately ignored until the Christmas Island tragedy shot the Gillard Government, and the Gillard Government's moral high ground, straight through the heart.
Make no mistake, this High Court decision, will leave many men women and children, out of sight of shore, sinking, contemplating their forthcoming deaths, then into the water, the panic, the grasping, the gasping, until life ebbs away.
This is the price these politicking lawyers are willing to pay for their own sense of self satisfaction.
I urge my fellow contributors above, to look themselves in the mirror, and acknowledge, that they are supporting a decision that will directly and unnecessarily result in a horrible death for many.

For those who for various political/philosophical/religious reasons cannot read Bolt, I'll provide the following quotes:
"But, of course, the boats again started to come. And to sink.
In January 2009, nine people drowned off the Indonesian island of Rote as they tried to sail to Ashmore Reef.
As The Australian reported, Indonesian police said the dead included a nine-year-old boy."
"In April 2009, another nine people died, this time in the South China Sea. As I wrote, the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Authority said they'd been en route to Australia, and the lone survivor was a 14-year-old boy who'd tried to save his mother by tying her to him with his shirt."
"In May 2009, at least 15 more people reportedly died when a boat taking them to Australia sank off Indonesia's Halang Island."
"On October 2, 2009, a ship bringing 100 Hazaras from Indonesia reportedly sank, but at least this time inquiries were made: " This review concluded that information Customs and Border Protection received about a vessel in distress on 3 October 2009 may have referred to this incident . . ."
"So on the dying went. Two boats went down off Cocos Island and another two reportedly off Indonesia.
Still the Government did nothing, insisting the boat people weren't being lured here by its weak policies but driven here by terror back home."

Hands up, anyone naive enough to believe that the sole incident of drownings under the Rudd/Gillard government would occur at the one place in a large sea where footage would be available: Christmas Island?

Posted Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 15:06

I don't believe Ben was serious about refuting the Convention. Certainly, it was created following a specific period of history where states who had the power to protect refugees, failed to do so, but the spirit of the Convention (which was specifically amended in 1967 to remove the European context) is and will remain true. This is because persecution is a human activity, which doesn't look like disappearing.
If we start to look at rejecting the Convention, then we need to have a national conversation about refugees, not just 'terrorist', 'queue-jumping', boat-arriving asylum seekers, who are a tiny part of our overall refugee/asylum-seeker intake. Public opinion isn't actually against refugees (I hope I'm right in this!), so although the conversation should be valuable, informative, and hopefully prejudice-removing, I don't feel the government will be looking to expand the issue.

Posted Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 15:30

Ben E. -Clearly ALP and LP don't support the refugee convention, only the AG, and perhaps some Independents, and other minor Parties.

BOAT PEOPLE- I think you have eloquently exposed our "boat people menace" as being more about our fears of immigrantion than about wanting to save those few, poor boat people who risk that odyssey.
I think immigrants should be classified as: UNProcessed, REFugee, or Non Refugee Immigrant.

REFugees- We can formulate better policy for refugees when we can speed up the process of establishing their status as refugees or not. What can be done to speed up the processing? Refugees should be quickly and properly integrated by giving then vital language/legality/financial management/etc schooling.

N.R.Immigrants- Non-refugees should be similarly accepted or promptly sent home. I think we should minimize our immigration levels to ecologically, economically, and socially viable levels.
Immigration is clearly good for our business and ethics, but is it good for our local workers, our environment, and our cultural cohesiveness (Our rule of law vs. other notions of the 'rule of god').

Posted Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 16:18

Very interesting. Troubling that we have to reject principles, but maybe this is a way forward. Thanks Frank.

Posted Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 18:35

thanks ben. great article. i wonder if there is an offshore centre for a morally bankrupt government?

Posted Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 20:31

Regardless of whether you support the "Malaysia Solution" or not; there is a much greater and very scary outcome from this:


The high court overturned the decision of a legitimate elected government because the of a UN Charter RECOMMENDATION!

This is just a hint of how the faceless UN is affecting us; there will be much more of this as we approach the socialist nirvana of "world government". Climate change, environmentalism, human "rights" etc are the vehicles by which the unelected UN bureaucracy have and will continue to take control of the world by default:

- did anyone elect the IPCC/UNEP/UNHRC ???
- who are the IPCC/UNEP/UNHRC ???
- where are the IPCC/UNEP/UNHRC ???
- who do the IPCC/UNEP/UNHRC answer to ???
- how do we get rid of the IPCC/UNEP/UNHRC ???

As the Borg would say:

"resistance is futile, prepare to be assimilated"

Posted Thursday, September 1, 2011 - 22:16

Iced, how is that argument in any way relevant to this court decision?

Posted Friday, September 2, 2011 - 06:43

It is true that the subject is polititcal. And I might sound critical here but this is also a 'political' article. Facts that support the honourable processing of asylum seekers here are what is missing. The number of arrivals by boat is 'tiny' and 'most' arrive by plane but what are the actual figures? Where is the disproof of the 'sending a message'. We could compare the levels of arrivals with other countries to show the problem is caused by the push from war and oppression rather than any 'message'.

Iced's approach to the argument is a tobbacco company trick. Talk about 'freedoms' rather than the actual subject. It is much harder to argue with people's 'freedom to choose' [smoking] rather than smoking itself (explained nicely in the movie 'thank you for smoking'). Similarly it is easier to argue for 'controlling our own country' rather than arguing for treating fellow human beings like crap.

@Nite lite
Be careful what you wish for? Isn't part of Antarctica actually legally part of Australia? So effectively this court judgement leaves the Antarctic solution as the only truly viable offshore processing option.

The really sad thing is that there is effectively no difference in policy here between those that are in power and those that would sell their arses to be in power.

Frank from Frankston
Posted Friday, September 2, 2011 - 13:12

@EveGu, interesting response. I believe the writer is stating that every bit of actual policy from ALP and LNP were not in synch with the treaty because it doesn't suit Australia's circumstances, where we actively outreach across oceans for refugees. Refugee DIY transport resulting in so much heartbreak. So, how principled is it, to sign a treaty, give lip service to it, and then do everything you can to work around it, being forced to deal with realities on the ground that just cannot be ignored? Isn't it a better display of principle to be honest about the treaties you sign or withdraw from?

Posted Friday, September 2, 2011 - 14:32

Why would Australia or any other signatory country need to sign on the dotted line anyway, just to be good?
Should we not render assistance where and when it is needed, not asking the question whether or not we signed a piece of paper?

It is one thing to sign a piece of paper because you want to trade, provide a service, construct something, but quite another to help people (and non-people) in need.

At least by withdrawing from the Convention, we can leave the rigidity of a UN-devised formula behind, and replace it with something suitable for our region.

Frank from Frankston
Posted Friday, September 2, 2011 - 15:01

@Marga, I for one agree. Given the 62 million current refugees world wide and the 1.7 billion people estimated to live in "absolute poverty" today, obviously in need of horrendous amounts for support, what's "good" about the warped distribution of scarce resources in support of a UN agencies' agenda.

Posted Friday, September 2, 2011 - 19:49

the convention we signed is being abused. We should withdraw from the convention

Posted Friday, September 2, 2011 - 23:53

If our government makes the argument that we will discourage people risking sea-crossings by directly working with neighbouring countries, processing applications for Australia regionally, and safely transporting them here when their claims are recognised.. then I fully support that. If it takes rejecting the Refugee Convention to achieve this change, then I agree that practical realities hold precedence over 'a piece of paper'.
I guess my qualm is that the debate being skewed as it is towards ignorance and misunderstanding, that this move harbours the risk of becoming a possible tool for the media/sections of govt to amass public support to abandon refugees altogether. Is that too far-fetched? Perhaps I am over-reacting.
If we can replace the Convention with legal provisions that abide by its original spirit, whilst observing our particular geographical circumstance, and actually remove the imperative to make sea journeys here... :)

The Key Issues
(exerpts, published 2010)

• Australia receives a minuscule fraction of the world’s asylum seekers. As the Prime Minister stated in her recent speech on Labor’s asylum seeker policy delivered at the Lowy Institute, Australia received just 0.6% of the world’s asylum seekers in 2009.

• Of the 377,160 applications for asylum lodged in 44 industrialised countries in 2009, Australia received 6,170 or 1.6% of this total. Compare this to the 24,190 and 15,830 applications for asylum received in Sweden and Austria respectively for the same year – countries with populations less than half that of Australia's.

• In 2009 Australia ranked 16th amongst industrialised nations for the number of asylum claims lodged. When this figure is adjusted on a per capita basis, Australia's ranking falls to 21. During the five year period between 2005 -2009 Australia has never once figured amongst the top ten industrialised countries receiving applications for asylum, either when measured by the total number of applications received or adjusted on a per capita basis.

• During the five years between 2005 and 2009, Australia hosted 22,548 refugees, placing us 47th in the world.

Posted Saturday, September 3, 2011 - 13:22

Frank, "I find it astonishing that the lawyer activists who organised this win, along with my esteemed colleagues on these pages who support them, fail and fail consistently to take responsibility for the deaths at sea."
Dont worry nobody will take that responsibility except for those who have died. Asylum seekers in boats, like those who consider swimming, make their own decision. Trafficers perform a service for the Asylum Seekers whether they use boats or planes. Perhaps airline companies should refuse to take assylum seekers on planes in case they crash. They seem to be dropping out of the sky a lot.
Rest easy Frank, nobody's pointing the finger at you.
My solution is abolishing all passports, free up the traffic!

Posted Monday, September 5, 2011 - 11:21

Australian laws protect Australians, UN Charters and Conventions protect all peoples and that is why it's about time the lawyers and judges started referring to international Law, rather than to our local laws to protect non-Australian citizens.
Genuine refugees and asylum seekers may use illegitimate means to get here, but that does not mean they are not entitled to protection from Australia when they arrive on Christmas Island, Australia.
Obviously blind Freddie could see that Christmas Island is a major stumbling block to repelling all illegitimate entries into Australia. Remove it from Australian control and those leaky boats will not be prepared to take the risk of negotiating the open seas the extra few thousand kilometers further to Australia's real shoreline.
And its time for the Greens to put some pressure on Labor to accept that it is not only morally wrong to process refugees and asylum seekers off shore, it is much cheaper and more compassionate to process them on the mainland.
To look for political support for offshore processing of refugees and asylum seekers, is not only morally repugnant to me, it is fear mongering at its worst.
The opportunistic attitude of the Opposition never ceases to both amaze and frighten me!
However, to see Labor try to tough it out with those heartless wonders in the Coalition, is a shame and indictment on the Australians they are appealing to, on what should be seen as (and really is) a very minor problem for Australia.

Posted Monday, September 5, 2011 - 12:03

Go Denise! but when seeking asylum from oppression any vehicle including leaky boats is legitimate. Perhaps one day they might return to their country of origin, seeking asylum from Coalition racism and Labor gutlessness. Never mind the morals, what about the polls.

Posted Monday, September 5, 2011 - 19:53

The moral and ethical issue is NOT whether we should or should not process illegal immigrants here BUT the real issue is:

the decisions of a duly elected democratic government of Australia have been usurped by an unelected and faceless UN bureaucracy!

What next: say we decide to ignore the UN ? Will they sue us in the Hague? Send NATO troops to "enforce" UN laws?

Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 10:47

Ice, come on rule by the people makes a Democracy not elections and the UN bureaucracy is as faceless as the Australian bureaucracy. It is a popular trait to get unrepresentative representatives to rule us and the UN is no exception. If we didn't like the idea we shouldn't have got our representatives to sign the Charter. Now that we have signed it we can disagree with ourselves or honour the signature of our reps.

I dont recognise all the UN decisions but I do recognise maritime law inasmuch as we must render assistance to ships in distress and at least attempt to ensure their safety. Howard flauted both laws in the Tampa affair, we let him do it and are paying the price of disobedience of ourselves. It is unethical to dump refugees in distreass onto a non signatory of the Charter, especially if we are signatories too.

What will we do if the UN sends troops to quell our own pro democracy or pro refugee riots, with Australian troops as part of the posse? Like most in Australia with a convict mentality we will watch the injustice and loot the result. It is us who are the problem to ourselves, not the UN Charter.

Posted Tuesday, September 6, 2011 - 22:34

Here is something I found.

Dear Prime Minister,

Please find below our suggestion for fixing the Australias economy.

Instead of giving billions of dollars to banks that will squander the money on lavish parties and unearned bonuses, use the following plan.

You can call it the Patriotic Retirement Plan:

There are about 5 million people over 50 in the work force.

Pay them Â$ 2 million each severance for early retirement with the following stipulations:

1) They MUST retire.
Ten million job openings - unemployment fixed

2) They MUST buy a new Australian car.
Ten million cars ordered - Car Industry fixed

3) They MUST either buy a house or pay off their mortgage -
Housing Crisis fixed

4) They MUST send their kids to school/college/university -
Crime rate fixed

5) They MUST buy Â$100 WORTH of alcohol/tobacco a week .....
And there's your money back in duty/tax etc

It can't get any easier than that!

Let's put the pensioners in jail and the criminals in a nursing home.

This way the pensioners would have access to showers, hobbies and walks.

They'd receive unlimited free prescriptions, dental and medical treatment, wheel chairs etc and they'd receive money instead of paying it out.

They would have constant video monitoring, so they could be helped instantly, if they fell, or needed assistance.

Bedding would be washed twice a week, and all clothing would be ironed and returned to them.

A guard would check on them every 20 minutes and bring their meals and snacks to their cell..

They would have family visits in a suite built for that purpose.

They would have access to a library, weight room, spiritual counselling, pool and education.

Simple clothing, shoes, slippers, PJ's and legal aid would be free, on request.

Private, secure rooms for all, with an exercise outdoor yard, with gardens.

Each senior could have a PC a TV radio and daily phone calls.

There would be a board of directors to hear complaints, and the guards would have a code of conduct that would be strictly adhered to.

The criminals would get cold food, be left all alone and unsupervised. Lights off at 8pm, and showers once a week. Live in a tiny room and pay Â$400.00 per week and have no hope of ever getting out.

Think about this (more points of contention):

Is it just me, or does anyone else find it amazing that during the mad cow epidemic our government could track a single cow, born in Goondiwindi almost three years ago, right to the paddock where she slept in the feedlot at Bony Mountain?

And, they even tracked her calves to their stalls. But they are unable to locate 125,000 illegal immigrants wandering around our country. Maybe we should give each of them a cow.

Think about this ... If you don't want to forward this for fear of offending someone -- YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM! It is time for us grumpy old folk of Australia to speak up!

Posted Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 01:10

Firstly I have to say that I'm not patriotic but aside from this you should put yourself up as an independent and go for a poll.
Secondly I dont see anything in your adopted policy speech about the Malaysia 'solution' except an indirect reference to 125,000 illegal immigrants wandering around the country.

Being not terribly patriotic I dont worry particularly about the 125,000 because they might be trying to maintain a low profile so as not to get caught and sent back to murder and mayhem and I suspect their potential captors have better things to do anyway.

However I am grumpy, old and like some of the population, a part of a perceived problem, which might not exist if the Australian media were not so serially single minded about it. Like gods, if they only exist in some obscure book or in the mind of one believer, then they do exist.

On COWS, if they can find a planet which could support life as we know it, revolving around some distant star, then they can find a cow unable to avoid detection and destruction. No, it's just you.

On point 2. The car industry might be fixed but the Carbon emissions would skyrocket and the Carbon Tax might re-cripple the industry.

However, our representatives cant think of workable, economic solutions because they knock off after lunch and dont return to arguing at Question Time till the New Year. So with only unworkable solutions on their dusty desks, they just give taxpayer revenue to their mates and hope for an upturn in the ravaged markets... But I would vote for the 2 Million.