The road to hell is paved with good intentions. In this case, however, one must seriously doubt that the intentions were good.
ONE of the signs that you’ve become an adultâ€”politically speakingâ€”is that you know the difference between seeming and doing.
And that you start judging more by the latter, not the juvenile former.
Take the shambles on Christmas Island, with rioting boat people now being teargassed.
In 2008, the then Rudd government relaxed the boat people laws.
This, the media agreed, was terrific. Labor candidate Prof George Williams summed up the mood: “A clear break has been made from the Howard era . . . This . . . approach is more compassionate.”
Here are the results so far of this more “compassionate” policy.
Boat arrivals, down to an average of just three a year for six years before this “compassion”, shot to record levels.
We now have more than 6000 people in immigration detention, another record.
We’ve also had up to 200 people since lured to their deaths at sea, some dying in front of the cameras on Christmas Island.
We have had riots in detention centres by Afghan and Pakistani men pretending to be boys, in order to qualify to bring over their families, too.
We have had new arrivals squished into tents at Christmas Island and crammed into motels on the mainland.
And now these latest disturbances, with hundreds of detainees breaking out of their Christmas Island camp, and some having to be sprayed with teargas when they menaced security staff.
Yesterday, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said he didn’t think he’d lost control of the detention centre, but he wasn’t sure he hadn’t, either.
Another 57 police have had to be sent to the island to show more of the Government’s “compassionate” policies.
Earlier yesterday, more than 100 rioting asylum seekers stared down the Federal Government when immigration officials caved in to their demands to be transferred from Christmas Island to the mainland.
THE federal government has defended the use of “beanbag bullets” by Australian Federal Police (AFP) officers to quell a riot at the Christmas Island detention centre.
Indeed, even more “compassion” is being considered.
I read in one news report on this latest trouble: “The Gillard Government is determined to expedite the shift of detainees to mainland centres after using up much goodwill in the island community.”
Brilliant. And what signal does that send? What will that encourage?
Let me repeat the moral.
Only a fool who judges policies by their intentions rather than their consequences could admire this disaster.
And, incidentally, this for me is also the key difference between the Left and conservatives. Watch and learn.
Independent MP Andrew Wilkie has defended his outspoken attack on the “racist” Liberal Party, saying the Federal Opposition’s policies are being “corrupted” by “hatred”. (7News)