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Forums > Social Discussion > Another prime example of Howard's Lies

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Pyrolific
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Posted:http://www.abc.net.au/news/newsitems/200408/s1178955.htm
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I especially like this bit;



Written by:

(IRT to his claim that the PM knew before the last election that his whole racist election campaign was based on a misrepresentation of evidence) Mr Scrafton says a lie detector test he took this week backs his claims.

"Categorically, the issue was I think decided by the polygraph that my account of events has been justified," Mr Scrafton said.

But Mr Howard says he does not need to undergo a similar test.

"I will submit myself to the great lie detector test in Australian politics and that is the collective judgment of my fellow Australians," he said.



So not only is he not prepared to take a lie detector on this, he is saying that somehow being elected again will prove he was truthful in the children overboard fiasco?

I think not.

and whats worse? This isnt his first election, its his THIRD! the Australian people have already elected the scumball twice! The first time on GST (and how wonderful has that turned out to be?!) and once on the children overboard/refugee issue (which now it turns out he knew was a lie) ARGH!

Anyone who now votes for Howard in the next election is either stupid or in the pocket of big business.

Josh


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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

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Posted:i knew that australia's refugee intake was low, but i wasnt aware that it was that low in comparison! so much for the end of the white australia policy rolleyes but i suppose in that there would be the way australians view national borders as opposed to people who dont live on an island where the only way to get to somewhere else is boat or plane.
its interesting that you mention that refugees dont get compensation for being locked up while someone who was wrongfully locked up in prison does - my understanding from when i was doing legal studies is that you dont usually get compensation if you're locked up in prison (some do but thats the exception). so in this situation its the same.
and if 80% do get processed with a positive result, i would have thought that that was a good thing?
and i mean to say that none would be granted refugee status, just that perhaps the urgency has altered slightly. they can still be refugees, but the imminent danger is gone.

but yes, i do agree that its a humanitarian issue rather than a political borders issue. and i think something that is pretty dirty on the australian governments behalf is the changing of austalia's borders so that its one thing for maritime and other things, but another for refugees. a refugee actually has to land on the mainland now, not one of australias surrounding islands, even though the islands are still australian.


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
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Pyrolific
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Posted:I think the judicial system of asylum review is generally working in that it does what it says it will within the general limitations of the legal system. However I think that locking them up in concentration camps while waiting for their appeal to go through is wrong. England doesnt do it, and they take in many many times the number we do. They are also an island. The US also takes many refugees too. I think its a humanitarian issue - after all Amnesty International (one of the world's biggest Human Rights Groups) condemned our detention centres as a violation of Human rights.

I wonder how many people would be able to support themselves and their families if they had no legal status and were dropped in the middle of a city like Bangkok, only able to speak a language that no-one understands - not many I reckon, and yet thats what the suggested option is.

Josh


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Rouge Dragon
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Posted:Written by: Josh

England doesnt do it, and they take in many many times the number we do. They are also an island.




i know the UK is also an island, thats why i made the distinction of only acessible via boat or plane to emphasise the difference on borders. in my opinion there is a subconscous thing about borders that australians would have that many other nations dont

Written by:

I wonder how many people would be able to support themselves and their families if they had no legal status and were dropped in the middle of a city like Bangkok, only able to speak a language that no-one understands - not many I reckon, and yet thats what the suggested option is.




that "suggested option" is the exact same as coming to australia!



Short history of Australias policy on immigration and refugees (brought to you by my International Studies homework wink):

"White Australia Policy" Immigration Restriction Act 1901 (nice friendly start to a new nation)

1945-1949 - "Massive expansion of Immigration intake" (it's still a 'White Australia' though!)

1945-1953 - 170,000 displaced Europeans (yep, cos you needed to be able to speak an european language to be allowed in)

not until 1972-ish is the "racial and ethnic criterias in the selection of migrants" abolished (want to count how long that took them?)

"Australia urged an international response to the Indo-Chinese "boat people" crisis (1978). Between 1975-82 70,000 people were granted refugee status." (currently, we're letting in more people per year than we were then, so thats go to be a plus)

1989- 20,000 Chinese students allowed to stay in Australia after Tianamen Square Massacre (i'm not sure of their refugee status though)

"Keating intervenes in East Timoree asylum case, arguing they are Portugese citizens not Indonesians" (huh? i dont understand the reasoning behind that)

"steep rise in "illegal" refugees entering Australian waters from Middle East and China. Many believed to be assisted through Indonesia" (not sure of the date of that one, but im sure you can figure out that its pretty recent)


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Pyrolific
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Posted:So you think refugees would have exactly the same chances of surviving in a developing nation where social security is almost non existant as they do here in Oz? I dont think the two situations are the same at all.

Its true that since white australia in 1901 we have improved, but thats not part of the argument. If you look at any developing country you will see that they have improved a lot (more than us) - mostly since 1948 when most of the developed world ratifed the right to asylum in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in the aftermath of WWII.

The argument is that in recent years, Australia has behaved very badly in regard to refugees when compared to other developed nations, and we dont have any excuse for it either. John Howard's election campaign in 2002 was strongly influenced by the racism inherent in his knowingly wrong claims that refugees were risking the lives of their children unneccessarily.

Josh


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Skulduggery
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Skulduggery

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Posted:Josh I think you will find the UK does have detention centres for "asylum seekers" (they don't get called refugees here any more). Some are even being held in normal prisons. As I type this, there is an out cry in Wales that they are being held in Cardiff Jail along side muderers and thieves. The thing that gets me most in all this is that nearly everyone on this planet has the blood of settlers/refugees/nomads/asylum seekers(name them as you will) in their family tree.....Human beings have always and will always move around. We are all one and the same people. We may have different customs, beliefs, hair colours,etc but inside we are all one and the same. Treat people how you wish them to treat you and your loved ones. That way you can't go too far wrong.

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Pyrolific
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Posted:eh - well when I was working in an Asylum Appeals Court last year in the UK they werent, as a government policy, being imprisoned while their cases were being processed. Here in Oz they are. Do you think you could find a link for that info on ppl being held in prisons while their asylum claims are being processed, I'd be most interested.

BTW the difference between an asylum seeker and a refugee is a court decision in favour of protection - thats all. And most do get this.

(I remember there being a huge outcry when i was there among the far right that refugees *werent* being imprisoned smile one of the things I love about the UK, people are generally more politically aware and active, no matter which side of the fence)

Josh


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Skulduggery
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Posted:Ok here are some links Josh. Sorry if they don't hold what you are looking for but the honest truth is I was celebrating at my nephews Engagement party last night and my brain is a little slow today.



http://www.irr.org.uk/europebulletin/united_kingdom/asylum_seekers_refugees/2000/ak000015.html
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3564968.stm
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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/3941105.stm
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http://www.homeoffice.gov.uk/docs2/harmondsworthirc030929.html
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http://www.democraticdialogue.org/report14/r14ohagan.htm
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If you read these and don't find what you are looking for, say and I'll search again when I can concentrate a bit better.



I agree in this country not all asylum seekers are detained but many are. Most being held are either people who have failed to gain asylum status but are appealing or people that "snuck" (for want of a better word) in, but got caught. A smaller proportion of these detainees are those whose cases have not yet been determined, but who are considered to be at risk of absconding or whose identities are being established. I don't have statistic as to the ratios.


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Medusa
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Posted:Just reading the posts and the obvious spilt in people's belief's and wanted to add a bit of food for thought...

(Please keep in mind I am playing the Devil's Advocate and just want to see what people's opinions are)....

With the asylum seeker's in Woomera when they protested they sewed not only their own mouth's shut but also those of their children....do we really want people who would deliberately harm their own children in our country?

P.S. I have seen the Woomera detention Centre myself when I used to live in a town about half an hour away and the stuff they have in that centre you would not believe.
They are not mistreated in there they are fully air conditioned and have comfortable beds, computers, TV's. They have quite a number of creature comforts that as a normal person I couldn't even afford.

Unless you have actually been into one and seen it first hand I don't think we really have much of a right to judge.

But each to his or her own opinion.


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Stone
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Posted:Written by:
They are not mistreated in there they are fully air conditioned and have comfortable beds, computers, TV's. They have quite a number of creature comforts that as a normal person I couldn't even afford.



Just like Guantanamo Bay. I think this is more about humanity than housing. And why cant we treat refugees as human beings, and come up with a better system than locking people up in concentration camps. If they were from the UK, they would be heroes.

Another prime example of Howard's Lies:

Id have to agree with Mark Latham (Opposition Leader) on this It's just a shocking situation where the Australian Government doesn't give the Australian people the truth."

From ABC news 23/8/04: Downer defends pre-war terror warnings

Written by:
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer has dismissed a report that the Federal Government was repeatedly warned that the war in Iraq would harm the fight against terrorism. The Prime Minister has consistently said the war would not increase the threat of terrorism against Australia.

A report in today's Fairfax newspapers claims John Howard was warned by intelligence analysts that going to war in Iraq would inflame extremism and increase terrorist recruitment



If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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bender
GOLD Member since Nov 2001

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Posted:I could never pretend to understand the experience of living in a hellhole in the middle of the desert unless i was there.

certainly not bloody nice. certainly not as a child.



has anyone on this thread walked a mile in those shoes? a person broken in spirit behave differently. who the hell are we to judge them by our own comfortable standards?

it got it easy sitting in my comfy chair, chatting on forums.

but that's cus i have my freedom.

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Rouge Dragon
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Posted:"You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view . . . until you climb into his skin and walk around in it."
Atticus says this to Scout in "To Kill A Mockingbird".
I think it's a great quote because be be in someone's skin is just so much more involved than to be in their shoes. to be in someone's shoes is to impersonate them; but to be in their skin is to be them....or perhaps i listen in my classes more than most students

and josh, i didnt say that they would have the same chance in a developing nation, but you didnt mention the developing nation situation in your description.
and yes, i do think that Australia isnt as good as they should be in comparison to other nations, but i am the kind of person who asks for improvement before perfection (i have to otherwise i would have given up on various things in my life a long time ago!)


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Dentrassi
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

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Posted:To be honest, im at a complete loss as to who to vote for at the next election. Ive lost any faith I never had in the first place with so-called honest john.

Do you remember the massive environmental package he promised when he was originally elected? Precisely. Even he seems to have forgotten.

As far as im concerned, labor can go can f*ck itself. It lost any potential vote with its stance on gay marriage.
Although on the other hand, at the end of the day, either john or mark will be the next prime minister. Is it is worth voting labor to increase the likelihood of howard losing?

Democrats, although quite strong at last election, seem to have lost the plot. Ive havent heard much out of them for a while.

Greens well, I agree with some of their policies, but there are a bit too left for me but then again, maybe we need to balance out the spectrum a bit.

one nation.... HA!

*sigh* so many politicians. yet so few leaders.


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bender
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Posted:it's a preferential voting system. if you don't like the top two parties, you can spend your vote on the smaller parties to empower them with the balance of power when a stupid motion is being considered in parliament.
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Medusa
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Posted:John Howard's government is responsible for ruining ten students life....due to his stupidity and refusal to make a decent decision.

Two of those students (who were only 17 at the time) are now dead by their own hand and the rest are still taking anti depressants.

I was personally involved in the stuff that went down in regards to that problem and would gladly like to see John Howard buried for that.


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Rouge Dragon
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Posted:i live in a Labor safe seat, so quite frankly it doesnt matter what i vote! i'm half tempeted to just put the labor canditate last cos he'll win anyway! (yes, i am a child!)

and if i lived 200m down the road i'd live in a Liberal safe seat!



as a first time voter i am statistically more likely to be a labor voter.



but i know what you mean; each is as bad as the other.



hopefully my friend's mum will run again; i'll probably vote for her if she does. not that she'll get in anyway, but at least i know she's a nice person!



is one nation still alive anyway?

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Rouge Dragon
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Posted:Written by: Medusa

John Howard's government is responsible for ruining ten students life....due to his stupidity and refusal to make a decent decision.

Two of those students (who were only 17 at the time) are now dead by their own hand and the rest are still taking anti depressants.

I was personally involved in the stuff that went down in regards to that problem and would gladly like to see John Howard buried for that.



what was that?
(ive only become politically aware in the last 6 months or so, so i have no idea!)


i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

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Medusa
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Posted:It had something to do with the 1998 Indonesian monetary riots and the idiot Prime Minister leaving the young, naive, Australian Exchange students in the country for three months AFTER taking out the consulate members due to the "dangerous sitaution".

It was not in the news about that stuff up....(though the riots were widly publicised)...I was one of those exchange students.


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Pyrolific
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Posted:rouge : remember how I said dropped in Bangkok? Thats a reference to asylum seekers staying in the first country they come to after running from their homelands (you and Mig brought this idea up).

As for the luxury these guys are supposedly living in, its still a prison! They are still being locked up without committing a crime! Or does the fact they have colour TV make up for that?

And Skullduggery, I read the links and they were very interesting, but only the Home Office link provided a reference to Why they are being detained;

Written by:

Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre holds those detained by the Immigration Service as overstayers, illegal entrants or failed asylum seekers prior to their removal from the country. It also holds a smaller proportion of detainees whose cases have not yet been determined, but who are considered to be at risk of absconding or whose identities are being established.



I think the figures were mentioned of approximately 800 (most of which arent 'normal asylum seekers') in prison as of 2001. Considering the UK probly took in about 80000 in that year, its still a far cry from Australia's lock em all up solution. It seems that in teh Uk at least, the vast vast majority of asylum seekers are allowed to live in society (which is far cheaper than institutionalising them).

Medusa, I couldnt find any reference to children having their lips sewn togther by their parents, but i found multiple references (some from our own government) to children self-harming while in detention. This one contains very distrubing accounts which are based on interviews with people working inside woomera;

http://www.hreoc.gov.au/human_rights/children_detention_report/report/chap08.htm
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Thats a little bit different to generalising to "all these asylum seekers engage in abusive acts against their children".

There have been a lot of reports of the children being abused in detention however, And while I dont know how widespread that is, there is shedloads of psychological evidence which suggests that people are far more likely to engage in abusive activity when in highly stressful situations for extended periods of time.

And I guess it should also be recognised that children in general Australian society get abused everyday by people who came to australia in boats (immigrants in the last 250 years or so) - I dont see how you can say that we shouldnt let people into Australia who are child abusers, we already have all along and will continue to do so.

Josh


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Rouge Dragon
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Posted:i know me and MiG were the ones who brought up Bangkok; but it was you who...oh, never mind!

and no-one said that we shouldnt let in people who abuse their kids; it was just Medusa throwing a question into the ring.

and yes, it might still be a prison, but its a far cry from the cesspit stories. so i'm currently confused as the issue; is it the prison, or the conditions, because i thought the initial issue was the conditions, not the prison, but i could be mistaken. because it seems to me that the issue has changed.


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_Clare_
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Posted:Very true Josh,

While I was in Oz, I was working in a newspaper and covered a story about a man (he was Irish, that was the tenuous link) who set up one of the rights campaigns for the asylum seekers in Woomera.

He told me conditions were much worse than the stories circulated and reported in the media (certainly along the lines of Guantanamo) and confirmed that the stories of parents sewing their children's lips together was nonsense. There were certainly cases of children self-harming - but those children may have been orphaned or took this action away from the gaze of their parents.

But even that phrase alone - children who were self-harming - in itself should be enough to let you see the effect that these places can have on the pysche.

I don't think it really matters whether you put yourself in someones shoes, skin or whatever - but we must be able to empathise and understand that we are ALL human.

(if in doubt, vote green!!)

xx


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Skulduggery
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Skulduggery

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Posted:Written by: Josh
However I think that locking them up in concentration camps while waiting for their appeal to go through is wrong. England doesnt do it, and they take in many many times the number we do. They are also an island.



Ok this is the quote from you, Josh I was originally replying to and I just wanted to point out that we do have detention centres in the UK. That was my only point. Some people seeking to stay in the UK do get locked up even before their initial application for residency is considered. A small proportion, granted. It is true the majority held are people that are appealing against being deported. The UK isn't to be held up as a prime example of how to treat asylum seekers. We are not cleaner than clean!

Ok I'm bowing out of this discussion now. I feel it is going round in ever decreasing circles.


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Pyrolific
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Posted:Thats true skullduggery, My original blanket statement (typical - I shouldnt have let that one slip smile) is incorrect when you take into account rare and exceptional circumstances. I should have added for completeness a list of all the exceptional circumstances under which Asylum seekers can sometimes be locked up, or limited it to "Under Normal Circumstances". However to be honest, I dont really know much about those exceptional circumstances, and none of the links you supplied really discussed that side of it (apart from the vagueish quote I supplied from the Home Office document), but to their credit, they were more based on the humanitarian issues than the legal ones, I wish we had more press like that. I'd be genuinely amazed (and shocked and appalled), and I'd buy you a beer (If I could) if you can substantiate your suggestion that people awaiting their asylum appeals are held in prisons in the UK as a norm.



The UK is not squeeky clean on this issue, probly there isnt a country in the world that is (and we havent even begun to talk about the refugee situations in developing nations, which are also home to the vast majority of the estimated 12million refugees worldwide). but the UK is doing a hell of a lot better than Oz in legal and humanitarian terms,, and are arguably under a lot more resource pressure.



This does not in any way detract from your point that locking up asylum seekers is a bad thing, I completely agree, and for the same reasons I think. Thats why Im taking the time to post so much on this stuff - because I feel that there is a lot of ignorance in Australia about these issues, and just letting it slide is as bad as engaging in it, people Voted for Howard based on a racist myth he knowingly spread. This thread has a lot of examples of misnomers and myths that exist in the Australian Culture about refugees, and Im trying to set it straight.



Bow out if you will, but I have to say that I really respect the fact that youve actually tried to substantiate things youve said using something approaching objective evidence.



Josh


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Medusa
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Posted:If you want to judge the detention centres you should go see them not listen to hearsay.

I have seen one (the Woomera one actually)....and I damn well wish I had half the amenities they did in those places.


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Pyrolific
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Posted:yeah, but you cant have the TV without the razorwire fence, nothing to do but sit around and wonder how many months left til youre let out. I guess Amnesty International and the UN were just responding to media releases Medusa? And what would they have to gain by that?



and all the verified cases of people self-harming...they would be doing that because they are so happy to watch Australian TV and live in their 'suites'? I mean woo. bloody ingrates!



Its interesting that everytime I challenge an unbacked up claim thats been posted on this thread, the people posting them just respond with further unbacked up claims. BTW - if you can link to it on a decent news site (at the very least - as biased and right wing as some of them are), Id at least accept the point has some basis.



Id like to see inside a detention centre, but last I heard, the media had been barred (always a bad sign). I did a Google Image search for 'Woomera Detention Centre' and well, it looked really like a high security prison.



How and when did you get to see inside the detention centre? Lawyers had to go to court to win the right to provide legal advice to asylum seekers inside the detention centres, and so I'm wondering how you managed to get in there?



I also wonder how the refugees can be blamed for the facilities they are provided with anyhow?



Josh

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Medusa
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Posted:I got in when it was being built. It was a school thing. We also toured the prison near Port Augusta at the time too.

I lived in the town next to Woomera (called Roxby Downs if you want to look that up as well).


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MiG
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Posted:and i got in because i was a telephone technicians work experience slave. in that week, we also did a quick job at the prison, and let me tell you, i'd rather be at baxter.



i will admit that i exaggerated, calling the accomodation there suites, but it is still a loong shot from the dank, smelly dungeons that they're portrayed to be in the media. LOTS better. There was another eyebleeder of about 1500 words going up here, but my pc carked it, and it was lost.



Anywho, im in port augusta at the moment, and there is a recently opened housing development thingy not too far from my house, where detainees are being slowly put into the community. and while yes, it is fenced off, its nowhere near the level of security i'll bet most of you are imagining. its about a 10 foot crosswire (chain link?) fence, with a padlocked gate. thats it. I'll try to get a photo of it tomorrow, not sure how much luck i'll have, they tend to get a little bit antsy about piccies.



really honestly, its not that bad. sure as hell not a 'concentration camp'. I know im not in their situation, but if i ever illegally immigrate to another country, i hope to hell i get treated half as good as they get it here. and here, at least, they are safe. there isnt any taliban, religiously bent dictators, 7000 node beowulf clusters. people are no longer in fear for their lives.



Oh, and the detainees arent all angels, either. Mum owns a shop in town and she gets a fair few guards and stuff come in. usually with bruises. or spit covering their uniforms. or cuts, where they take a strip of their clothing and whip it like a teatowel at the guards' faces. Thanks, guys.


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Stone
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Total posts: 2830
Posted:Well MiG, perhaps u might have a different view if you were forced to live in one of the camps. I lived in small towns, and Im absolutely fed up with small town prejudice and xenophobia. If the guards are coming into town with bruises, then imagine how the detainees look.

Ill say it again. I think this is more about humanity, than housing. Why, as an affluent nation, cant we treat refugees as human beings, and come up with a better system than locking people up in desert concentration camps? If the refugees were from the UK, they would be treated as heroes.

On another note: You have to have a laugh at the gall John Howard, who after all his lies, is asking voter to TRUST him with an other term in office.

Vote Green
smile


If we as members of the human race practice meditation, we can transcend our fear, despair, and forgetfulness. Meditation is not an escape. It is the courage to look at reality with mindfulness and concentration. Thich Nhat Hanh

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Rouge Dragon
BRONZE Member since Jul 2003

Rouge Dragon

Insert Champagne Here
Location: without class distinction

Total posts: 13215
Posted:yes! i noticed that too, stone! i laughed so much!

i would have changed ***** to phallus, and claire to petey Petey

Rougie: but that's what I'm doing here
Arnwyn: what letting me adjust myself in your room?..don't you dare quote that on HoP...

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Pyrolific
BRONZE Member since Jan 2001

Returning to a unique state of Equilibrium
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Total posts: 3289
Posted:lol - yep you got to give him that the slimy buggar. He certainly knows how to twist the psychology of a situation. Theres only one thing hes good at, spinning webs of lies.



hopefully the people of Australia arent silly enough to fall for the fat wad of crap he's spinning this time.



Josh


--
Help! My personality got stuck in this signature machine and I cant get it out!

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Dentrassi
GOLD Member since Apr 2003

Dentrassi

ZORT!
Location: Brisbane

Total posts: 3044
Posted:does anyone else remember back in the ancient days in his first election when he was called 'honest john'?

"Here kitty kitty...." - Schroedinger.

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