Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave, When Even Their ABC Takes Its Leave!

1 Sep

Ok, so this topic is waaaay off-topic for this blog. Nevertheless, it’s worth bringing to readers’ attention this rather devastating article written by their ABC’s chief online political writer, Annabel Crabb:

High Court climax to a tale of rambling incompetence

Today’s decision from the High Court is disastrous for the Government on a number of fronts.

It’s disastrous because the deterrent effect that was the redeeming feature of this harsh and – in terms of Labor’s history in this policy area – hypocritical solution has now evaporated.

Australia remains obliged to accept 4,000 new refugees from the Malaysian queues, and must now additionally expect a new influx of boat arrivals through the usual channels.

It’s disastrous because having hoped to draw attention to the toughness of its new border protection policy, the Government has now effectively hung a lantern on its own problems.

It’s disastrous because rather than brutally curtailing the sense of crisis, the Government has fanned it with this failed policy.

But the most egregious aspect of today’s decision by the High Court is that it provides a new and crushing chapter in what has become a tale of rambling incompetence.

Across both Rudd and Gillard governments, this policy area has played host to a most dispiriting display of opportunism, mendacity and half-arsedness.

The Rudd government repealed some of the harshest elements of the Pacific Solution, but never acknowledged the plain-as-day reality that this decision would have some effects on the rate of boat arrivals. Busy denying the bleeding obvious, the Rudd government instead occupied itself with slogans about “tough and humane” policies while desperately casting about for regional assistance.

Can you recall the agonising weeks for which the Oceanic Viking vessel poked about the coastlines of Indonesia, bulging with asylum seekers for whom Kevin Rudd had petitioned Susilo Bambang Yudhyono to take responsibility, in a rickety deal which SBY in the end was unable to honour?

Do you remember the first days of the Gillard Government, in which the new PM first proposed East Timor as a regional processing centre for asylum seekers, then bizarrely denied having mentioned East Timor, then finally acknowledged it, and the ensuing months in which the Government’s bleated insistence that East Timor would come on board eventually gave way to a mute acceptance that it wouldn’t?

Do you recall the election campaign, in which the western Sydney MP David Bradbury materialised beside the PM on a patrol boat in Darwin Harbour, apparently monitoring the horizon for foreign wayfarers determined enough to invade his seat by means of the Parramatta River?

And do you remember, incidentally, all the denials issued by the same Government during that campaign, that there were plans afoot to expand existing detention centres and open new ones, which denials evaporated post-election, to be replaced by discreet confirmations that such plans were indeed proceeding to fruition?

Of the Malaysian Solution itself, and its Papua New Guinea variant, announced prematurely, and negotiated under circumstances of naked Government desperation, I need hardly remind you, seeing as it is so fresh in the memory. (Of the Government’s full reversal from an insistence that push factors alone affect the number of boat arrivals, to the assumption deeply implicit in the Malaysian plan that pull factors are paramount, you will never hear an explanation.)

The confident assurance from the Immigration Minister just weeks ago that the High Court legal challenge had been anticipated and rigorously prepared-for was hit amidships early on by High Court Justice Hayne, who growled at the Soliticitor-General that his submission was “half-baked”.

And now today’s decision, in which the Government’s Malaysia Solution is not crippled, not winged or crimped or slightly frustrated by our nation’s highest court, but clean bowled.

Nauru is the one reversal the Government has so far not permitted itself.

Perhaps it will now. It hardly matters anymore; if anyone in the Government is still wondering why voters don’t believe Julia Gillard when she says she has things under control, today should provide a devastating answer.


When even their ABC tears a Labor government a new one like that, you know that we are in the presence of by far and away the worst government in the nation’s history.

9 Responses to “Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave, When Even Their ABC Takes Its Leave!”

  1. Tomorrows Serf September 1, 2011 at 8:01 am #

    Like we need the ABC to tell us the bleeding obvious. (But good on Annabel anyway)

    “Beyond Incompetent” seems appropriate when assessing this governmnents’ performance.

    What is beyond incompetent?? Well may you ask.

    The Trilateral Commission (just google it). Check out its’ agenda. The look at the state of the US, EU, and Japan. Mission nearly accomplished and certainly well advanced.

    Then check out of list of members for the Asia Pacific region.

    Keep looking until you find Prof. Ross Garnaut (remember him?), Dr. John Hewson, etc.

    Then look at the state of our nation.

    Draw your own conclusions.

    What is “beyond incompetent??”

  2. JMD September 1, 2011 at 10:18 am #

    Not off topic at all.

    The government is spending millions, or more likely billions, on this asylum seeker nonsense. As you are well aware TBI, the government doesn’t have billions to spend but rather must ‘borrow’ it, or more accurately, have the financial system monetise it, a subtle but not irrelevant distinction.

    I have a simple solution, Christmas Island is a few hundred kilometres from Indonesia and about 1000 or more km from Australia. It has no significance to Australia. Give it to the Indonesians.

    As an Australian possession it is only a remnant of the old British order anyhow. I’d say it has become a liability.

    • JMD September 1, 2011 at 10:24 am #

      Or should I say British disorder, or will that get up the nose of certain readers?

    • The Blissful Ignoramus September 1, 2011 at 8:53 pm #

      I think the cost is indeed in the “billions” … I vaguely recall seeing costs of that order somewhere deep down in the budget docs. Must remember to go have another look.

      You’re spot on there JMD with that “subtle distinction”. You’re also correct in that, in its ramifications, the distinction is far from irrelevant. If only the great unwashed masses – globally – knew and understood the importance of that distinction, the world could be a very different (and better) place.

  3. Jazza September 1, 2011 at 2:19 pm #

    I think “beyond incompetent” means mired in such arrogance they cannot even think an idea through,and thus they cause disastrous consequences.

    I have long dubbed the Labor Feds as either the Members for Unintended Catastrophes or the Gillard Circus Troupe

    Oh ,that they could be gone and soon!

    Australia needs some grown ups in charge

    • Tomorrows Serf September 1, 2011 at 5:54 pm #

      “Beyond Incompetent” suggests a deliberate strategy to mire this country in as much debt as possible in as short a time frame as possible.

      All the while building an unproductive bureaucracy to feed at the trough of the public purse.

      The stupider and more profligately expensive, the better. Better still, if it has on-going un-productive expenses, well that’s just a bonus.

      $200 billion in debt after just a few years?? Come on. Costello and Howard took a decade or so to pay off Hawke and Keating’s Visa Card bill of around $100 billion.

      How long will it take to balance the books after we get rid of these fools.

      The answer is NEVER!! especially if the CO2 Emissions Trading Derivatives Platform is established.

      Time to re-launch the greatest video on the internet for revision!!!

  4. Bush bunny September 2, 2011 at 10:32 am #

    Now the hapless PM is turning on the High Court, what a shocker. Well she won’t have the support of the Greens on this issue. And Tony Windsor on TV last night, stating ‘They should stop worrying about the next election and get on with government?’ what did he mean by this? What ever they try to achieve is tainted. This unfortunate International asylum situation, the carbon tax, pink batts and solar. Wind turbines, now Victoria is putting new legislation in place over that which is a good thing. The CERN report that knocks the Al Gore and IPCC and Greens ideology, that is what we have known for years. Our weather is not driven by CO2 but other forces beyond our control. E.G. Gallactic bombardment of subatomic particles that help form clouds and also solar activity. Our manufacturing problems and loss of jobs. Now this Craig Thomson affair that is getting more serious by the day. Even some group that backed the pokies reform is now rethinking. I don’t know who this is, missed it on Channel 10 or NBN news last night.

    Time for a big rethink of labor leadership let alone governance. But who can easily step in her shoes without losing labor support, not Kevin Rudd, the only one I have some respect for is the Minister of Defense. Oh we look forward for more chaos in weeks ahead I feel.

    Good comment by the way No 1

  5. Glenn October 28, 2011 at 11:19 am #

    This article is to be expected. Since the Howard regime stacked the ABC with Lib pty stooges and general neo-con ideologues there has been a distinct and undeniable bias toward the far Right coalition, against the centre Right ALP, and against everything Left of centre ideologically. Why is the Right still whining about left bias? Because despite the unprecedented degree of partisan bias, the ABC still isn’t Right-wing enough; it still arguably tolerates some minor progressiveness in light-hearted content ie. the Hamster Wheel. Content that, ironically, is possibly less progressive then the commercial station’s GNW or Can of Worms sometimes are. However, ABC news is thoroughly Rightwing; or rather a balance between centre- Right and Far Right lunacy. We see the same framing of news from a Right wing apologist perspective again and again on ABC news programs today, and reflected on programs like the Drum and Q & A in terms of content and participants.


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    […] Oh What A Tangled Web We Weave, When Even Their ABC Takes Its Leave! […]

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