The Curmudgeon


Friday, July 19, 2013

Humanitarian Measures, Pacific Solutions

Australia, of course, famously owes its present civilised status to British penal policy, which provided for colonisation and the eradication of the expendable populace through the agency of exiled criminals. Doubtless to the satisfaction and envy of all patriotic Britishness-resources, the Australian prime minister Kevin Rudd has resurrected that honourable tradition in the interests of purging the nation's shores of that modern moral pestilence, the refugee. Anyone who sails to Australia seeking asylum will be instantly deported to Papua New Guinea, which has an island set aside for a detention centre and has set no upper limits on permitted overcrowding. Australia will repay this generosity with new aid, including "resettlement costs" and (which may or may not be the same thing) the expansion and refurbishment of the existing concentration camp. Besides all the other advantages, perhaps a pacific and final solution to the aboriginal problem is at last in sight.

Rudd admitted that the whole business will "not be inexpensive", but has apparently not yet worked out just how little inexpense will be necessary. No matter: the only alternative would be to offer asylum to refugees on a case-by-case basis, which could lead in extreme cases to naturalisation, productive citizenship and increased taxpayers. Not even the United Kingdom, with its notoriously lax immigration policy and its population composed almost entirely of non-native speakers, is prepared to go quite that far; although both wings of the British Neoliberal Party and its little orange tail must be all of a flap with admiration for Rudd's sense of humour in spinning his cleansing programme as an attack on people-traffickers. The servodrone response from Tony Abbott, the Liberal-National Coalition leader, who called the policy a "promising development in offshore processing" but complained that Labor could not be trusted to implement it with sufficient harshness, will find particular ethical and aesthetic resonance in the British Labour Party.


  • At 8:13 pm , Anonymous Madame X said...

    So as capital becomes increasingly free to move around the globe unimpeded and untaxed, people will become increasingly pinned in place. Modern feudalism without the pesky social contract.


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