Four days ago a number of residents of Christmas Island (an Indian Ocean territory of Australia) watched in horror as an old fishing boat crammed with 84 Iraqi and Iranian asylum seekers was thrown against the island's cliffs in rough seas. In an agonizingly short time the boat was smashed to pieces and the many onlookers attempts at throwing ropes and life jackets proving fruitless. Women frantically clutching their children were torn apart on the sharp rocks and their husbands suffered the same fate as they tried to rescue them. The graphic video footage of this tragedy was soon shown on every television station around Australia, and no doubt the world, and instantly sickened everyone seeing it.
Eventually, 42 were managed to be rescued in the raging sea but 30 were found dead and another 12 are still missing with no hope of finding them. Shock and horror soon gave way to universal anger. One islander was quoted as saying, ''this damn Labor Government has blood on its hands." This damning indictment was also printed by journalist Andrew Bolt the same day in the Herald Sun saying, ''One year ago I warned the government it was luring people to their deaths.'' I said then, "Twelve more dead! Now will the Rudd Government finally see that its "compassion'' kills? This brings to 54 the number of boat people who have died this year trying to reach us. That's the price of the ''compassion'' Rudd and Gillard showed last year by weakening the laws that once deterred boat people from risking their lives like this. More will die too, unless this deceitful and opportunistic Prime Minister undoes the mischief he has wrought!''
My YELLOW dot on the Immigration Department graph above, marks when John Howard turned back the Tampa and introduced the Pacific Solution, in August and September, 2001. The RED dot marks the 31st of July, 2008, when Kevin "Crudd", having abolished the Pacific Solution four months earlier, announced a dramatic weakening of Howard's other boat people laws. Rudd was following a blueprint largely of Julia Gillard's own design. Oh and by the way....Ms Gillard interrupted her holiday to join Oprah Winfrey on stage in Melbourne for a photo opportunity and the Federal Government on that same day did not respond to this shocking shipwreck.
Five months ago in my posting, Human Flotsam and Jetsam, I warned that with over 3400 asylum seeker's arriving in the 7 months previously, we were in dire need of reinstating the Pacific Solution with a willing Nauru ready to reopen its processing centre. But no, a recalcitrant Julia Gillard spitefully refuses to accept John Howard's Nauru facility and wastes time looking at East Timor and elsewhere. Will these needless deaths prompt her into repealing her ineffectual immigration reforms, like abolishing temporary protection visas, softening mandatory detention and the false promise of swifter processing. I sure hope so. However, being a true-to-form politician, she is already asking for a number on government inquires into this tragedy that will divert attention away from her culpability.
The Way I See It....it's not too early to blame the Gillard Government for these Christmas Island deaths. Andrew Bolt was pilloried for mentioning this fact the following day and was told ''It's not the right time to discuss this'' But why? And if not now, when? Before the next boat sinks, or after? When can the Australian public and the ''lamestream'' media be allowed to point out that these deaths, as well as the others, were CAUSED BY a Government that recklessly weakened our boat people laws, despite repeated warnings, it would lead to just this kind of tragedy?
It's never been the right time for the Left to hear it's their socialist politics and the new laws they cheered, have come back to bite them. They shake their heads and wring their hands and continue to lie that their immigration approach is "'doing fine'. They play down the fact that within months of these ''reforms'', the boats were back...soaring from three a year (over the previous six years) to almost 200 since! The Australian people have had enough! At least the graph doesn't lie.