Who Will Win The Asylum Policy Manhood Test?


Throughout history, there have been many ways in which men have proven their manhood. In medieval days, it was through combat with the sword and the lance. In more recent times, prowess on the sporting field have been the primary means. And of course, many men have followed the simple method of just whipping them out and measuring.

Today, in Australia, we have progressed beyond such primitive means. Today we prove our manhood via our asylum seeker policies.

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, of course, has already proven himself extremely manly with his plan to send all boat people to Manus Island (motto: “The Club Med of hellholes”). Indeed, Rudd’s scheme marks him out as significantly manlier than his predecessor, Julia Gillard, whose own treatment of boat people was itself pretty manly; and he’s much, much more manly than the prime minister before that, a man called “Kevin Rudd”.

As he has in so many areas – physical fitness, visiting pie shops, excitedly licking his lips in public – Tony Abbott has once again trumped Rudd, with possibly the most muscular, well-toned, testosteroney asylum seeker policy ever devised.

This policy, which Shadow Immigration Minister Scott Morrison informs us can be learnt about by reading newspapers, is so manly it practically produces sperm. The only way it could be manlier would be if Abbott was literally leaping onto Indonesian boats and clubbing people like baby seals. Which is expected to be Rudd’s next move.

So, what does the Coalition plan involve?

Well, first of all, it involves STOPPING THE BOATS. This is important. Other policies may claim to stop boats, but only Abbott and Morrison have the guts to claim it more often and louder. This stopping of the boats is vital, because it is only by stopping boats that our borders can be secured.

Some people say we shouldn’t be so obsessed with stopping the boats, but if a boat came to their front door begging for a handout, we’d quickly see just how “charitable” they are. You might want your daughter to grow up to marry a boat: some of us are more discerning.

Note how STOPPING THE BOATS is a far more decisive policy than just sending the boats to Papua New Guinea, which is essentially a “give the boats a holiday” policy. Abbott understands that the only good boat is a stopped boat, and if we want a vibrant economy we can’t have boats galumphing all over the place putting upward pressure on interest rates and devastating our manufacturing sector.

Second, Abbott’s plan involves a THREE-STAR GENERAL. Three stars! Do you know what that means? I don’t! But it’s very impressive isn’t it! I once got a star for colouring inside all the lines – imagine how neat this guy must be.

Who better than a military man to stop the boats? It’s the Australian way to let the military solve our problems. In 1915 we used the military to solve the twin problems of having not enough national identity and too many living young men; and more recently the military was deployed to solve the problem of black people making us feel sad. If there’s anything that can stop the boats and put our minds at ease, it’s the armed forces doing something or other.

And with an actual proper general in charge – with a uniform and medals and everything – there is no doubt that whatever that general is being employed to do will definitely get done in a manner befitting the way in which generals do things.

Thirdly, the policy involves BEING ALARMED. As Abbott says, the flood of asylum seekers pouring over our shores like honey on a muffin is a “national emergency”, and it is a first-order priority for the Coalition, if elected, to continue saying this. Only Tony Abbott can credibly promise to say “national emergency” on a regular basis, and here he clearly trumps Rudd, whose failure to guarantee the same level of reassuring alarmism is an indictment on his entire political philosophy.

Fourth, the policy involves TENTS. These tents will be lived in by the asylum seekers. Maybe they won’t like it, but maybe they should have thought about that before being extremely rich and then paying somebody to drown their children.

Last, and most importantly, the Abbott plan involves CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP. Given the success of such public-private partnerships as the Citylink toll road and the Obeid family, it’s only natural that the Coalition would want to heavily involve the corporate sector in their manly plan. With this in mind, Toll Holdings generously paid for Scott Morrison to travel to Nauru to announce the aforementioned tents prong of the Coalition policy, which anyone would admit was a generous act, both to Morrison, who got a free trip, and to Australia as a whole, which got Scott Morrison to leave for a bit.

The arrangement between Toll and the Coalition is one of efficient mutual benefit: Toll gives the Opposition money, and in return the Opposition lets Toll make money, which they can give to the Opposition in a sort of circle-of-life arrangement. In this way, the boats are stopped and the vital engine of commerce continues to pump away. Thus is this manliest of policies meshed with the manliest of economic systems: capitalism. And if Toll makes enough money, with a bit of luck Scott Morrison may be able to move out of the country permanently.

So there you have it. Via military intervention, corporate cooperation, and tents, the boats will be stopped and Australians can breathe a sigh of relief, safe in the knowledge that other people’s problems are once more far, far away and that they have a government that cares enough about them to not bother them with wrinkle-forming detail.

Let me tell you, nobody will be questioning Tony Abbott’s manhood anymore. It’s a plan that simply oozes testicular fortitude, and is calculated to return Australia to its rightful place as the roughest, toughest, deepest-voiced country on earth. And sure, this plan might not look quite so manly next week when Kevin Rudd pledges to personally punch one asylum seeker in the stomach every hour on the hour until the boats stop; but Abbott will quickly neutralise that challenge with his own plan to run screaming into the sea firing a machine gun randomly in all directions.

And across this great, brown, secure-bordered land, the people will look up their leaders and say, with certainty and truth, these guys have got balls.

Launched in 2004, New Matilda is one of Australia's oldest online independent publications. It's focus is on investigative journalism and analysis, with occasional smart arsery thrown in for reasons of sanity. New Matilda is owned and edited by Walkley Award and Human Rights Award winning journalist Chris Graham.