London Boy and Barry Girl squabble about….immigration

A strangely lacklustre Australian Election campaign is drawing to an end. The Independent on Sunday had a nice article on the voting intentions of immigrants.
“Both parties have pledged to send asylum-seekers overseas for processing: the Liberals favour the South Pacific island of Nauru, which housed an Australian detention centre during the Howard era, while Labor has proposed establishing a centre in neighbouring East Timor. (The East Timorese are distinctly lukewarm about it.)”
Australia attracts half a million immigrants every year. Gillard has expressed her opposition to a “Big” Australia while Abbott is specific – capping immigration to 170,000 a year.
In the Sydney Morning Herald Paul Sheehan thinks the “brazen” lying Prime Minister will win. Why? – “Finally, we get to the most structural and disturbing aspect of the election, the growing primacy of the pie-eaters. As the recent British election showed, when sections of a country become addicted to government spending (Scotland and Wales), the electorate will vote out of self-interest and vote for the party of big government. That is, vote Labor, no matter how bad the record.
Voters are expecting more from government on healthcare, education and social security and expectancy creates dependency. One in four Australians now depends on the government for the bulk of their income. Another one in four Australians depends on government spending, directly or indirectly, for their jobs. That’s half the electorate depending on tax transfers.
The pie-eaters greatly outnumber the pie-makers”
Interesting comparisons there…
An Economic Debate might liven things up:
“Mr Abbott said that if Labor’s record was “so great, why did they execute the prime minister?”
And here The Diplomat discusses succession.


  • Nordie Northsider

    Is Australian involvement in ‘the War on Terror’ an issue, or do both candidates sound much like each other on these issues?

  • Dewi
  • Greenflag

    Mr Abbott said he was “really distressed” by the “apparent enthusiasm of at least 1000 Australians” who attended an Israel-bashing conference organised by the group in Melbourne.

    He said he was disappointed the international speakers who attended the conference were given visas to come and “defame the Australian way of life and attack values that 99.9 per cent of Australians hold dear”.

    “We wouldn’t give them visas and I’m disappointed the foreign speakers at this particular conference did get visas,” Mr Abbott said.

    Did Mr Abbot have anything to say about the Israelis not just getting Australian visas but stealing actual Australian passports? I presume that the non Australian Israeli bashers did’nt steal Australian visas or even passports to gain entrance ?

    This Abbot is missing his partner Costello ;)? A somewhat dated reference I know but there you are .

    So who will win Dewi ? You seem to be up on the antepodal reports ;)?

  • Dewi

    Gillard I think – Australia seldom elect a government for one term only but is going to be close..

  • Rory Carr

    “defame the Australian way of life and attack values that 99.9 per cent of Australians hold dear”.

    Cue many sniggering references to “tinnies”, “barbies” and “shielas” and the like no doubt. But, hang on a minute, wasn’t it rather the Israeli way of life (aka: the Palestinan way of death) that was under attack here?

    Anyway, Dewi, here’s a little teaser for your next book purchase (if you don’t already have it). I’m sure you’re pleased that Arkady is back in action sorting out the bad guys.

  • As always, go to for the low-down on Aussie politics, including an intriguing election tracker of the km travelled by the bosses (see stunts and bloopers).

  • Dewi

    Out already? i thought September!…off to Amazon..

  • Greenflag

    Arkady probably knows the difference by now between communism and capitalism .

    Capitalism is the exploitation of man by man and communism is vice versa .

    Thanks for the link . My reading list is meagre on the fiction front . Not since Freddie Forsythe’s Dogs of War or the Fourth Protocol can I remember a decent one . I must give Arkady a go and maybe relive my brief USSR experience 😉

  • Jimmy McGurk

    It’s been my impression that the major issues in this election are around waste and government mismanagement.

    Waste/debt: the massive debt incurred from the government’s stimulus spending as a reaction to the Global Financial Crisis.

    Government mismanagement: the shonky way that a lot of the stimulus spending was managed and due to lax controls the way it was rorted by many.

    For the Labor Government, it has been widely acknowledged by financial experts that their swift action in stimulus spending averted a financial meltdown, yet, it’s harder to take credit for a crisis averted than for a crisis solved.

    Regarding boat people, this issue was moved so far to the right under Howard’s use of ‘dog whistle’ politics and mainstreamed, that it is now seemingly impossible to inject any real perspective into the debate no matter the hue of the political party.

  • steadfast

    You are right on that point Dewi. From an Australians point of view, even after the disgraceful, shameful and mutinous(yes, I said mutionous) knifing of Kevin Rudd, Gillard may still win. His record shows he was the most efficient and humane leader this country has seen in a LONG time. Most of us are appalled at what happened to him, but we are so politically tribal it’s still likely Labour will win. It’s always been a two horse race and the options at the moment are very bleak indeed.

  • Dewi

    I’d read them in order Greenflag – get a cheap second hand package on Amazon and start with Gorky Park….

  • Drumlin Rock

    It always confused me that the Liberal Party were conservatives, but it turns out we have the same thing here now!

  • Greenflag

    thanks dewi .

    I recall watching Gorky Park on DVD a couple of years back but never paid attention to the ‘book’ it was based on . Thanks for the hint .

  • Greenflag

    It becomes even more confusing on closer examination 😉

    Australia really is entirely antipodal to NI not just geographically as the following makes clear

    2010 General Election

    In the right corner

    Tony Abbott, leader of Australia’s opposition Liberal Party, is known as something of a maverick politician.
    A conservative Catholic – he once briefly trained as a Catholic priest, earning him the nickname “Mad Monk”.
    He has consistently voted against relaxing laws on abortion, same-sex marriages and stem cell research, and is a supporter of strong immigration policies. Tony Abbott, is a staunch monarchist

    Australia’s very own ‘Oliver Flanagan ‘ whom some Irish may remember as having the elan of a Boris Johnson with the mindset of a Mussolini .

    And in the left corner

    Australia’s Gillard backs Republic after Queen’s death

    ”I believe this nation should be a republic”
    Australia should become a Republic when Queen Elizabeth II dies, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has said just days ahead of a general election.

    Welsh-born Ms Gillard said the Queen’s death would be an “appropriate point” for Australia to move away from having a British monarch as head of state.


    There you have it folks a place where the Republican leader is Protestant and the Monarchist leader is a conservative Catholic . Just as well it’s on the other side of the world eh ?

  • Greenflag
  • Dewi

    Just to be typically pedantic Ms Gillard an atheist. Prod or Catholic Atheist?…brought up in the hmmm “Baptist Tradition” according to Wiki…..

  • Greenflag

    Fair enough Dewi she’d get my vote anyway 🙂

    I’m sure you have heard of the definition of the Irish atheist ?

    Somebody who wishes to god he/she could believe in a God 😉

  • wee buns

    Very interesting that you pinpoint the immigration from-the-immigrants issue, particularly given the history of the Labour Party in Oz…let it be said they were the first Labour Party in the ‘world’ (1896) formed from Irish escapees, British dissidents & non conformists with a loathing of establishment!

    Ironically, from the point of view of politics in Ireland, backed by the catholic church, but without doctrinal influence (ye gods!), and was one of the first to have votes for women (NZ was slightly ahead); first to establish old age pensions and child benefit, and backing from the catholic church only dwindled in the 50’s.

    Further irony therefore, that Captain Catholic (aka Mad Monk aka Tony Abbott) leader of the Liberal Party, whose history is with founder Conservative and Anglophile Menzie, thus the British idea of ‘liberal’.

  • wee buns

    Lacklustre in the extreme, this campaign.
    SO devestatingly off form for Ms Gillard, that one dares to venture that the faceless advisors are in the process of her shafting & her convienient diposal herafter.

    For the ‘vacuous anti-election it had become’ anf how the answer is because ‘boredom arises not from a lack of activity, but from a lack of meaningful activity’ see the incisive Guy Rundle

  • Greenflag

    Just as well they have compulsory voting . The linked article explains some of the benefits of compulsory voting . If the Aussies can do it why not the Americans , British , Irish etc ?

    What happens if they don’t vote ? A fine ?

  • wee buns

    Yes a fine of 150 bucks.

  • greenflag

    Must be a lot of dosh in Australia for the electoral turn out seems to average 98% which is excellent and gives little room for what can happen in the UK or Ireland or USA . Maybe we can learn from Ozland as we look at ever dropping rates of turnout in western democracies .

    A 150 euro fine in Ireland would’nt work . Probably a 1,000 euro fine might elevate the turnout but then any party who would propose such a move would find itself being ‘denied ‘ at any upcoming election 😉 It would have to be an all party reform .

    Northern Ireland would probably benefit more from such a reform given it’s greater need to establish it’s ‘democratic ‘ experiment currently underway . I wonder which parties if any in NI would object to such a ‘reform’ and why /

  • wee buns

    150 fine is for nationals overseas….!
    Not sure about in Oz itself…let me get back to you on that.

  • wee buns

    Vowed not to miss leaba over the head of Oz elections…yet…yet…
    like a moth to the flame….real working politics…a sight to behold.

    Mad Monk has just cast his vote, and is as we speak cooking breakfast on the barbie at the local surf club…..blokiness incarnate.

    Julia…..wellshe wasn’t planning to hold a ‘presser’ today…then changed her plans…’will now speak re Afghanistan’….cool.

    But the polls are close, with Labour splicing the advantage. Given the PR system all 70+ preferences will be carried over; complex or what!

    Guy Rundle, it was reading his Crikey column & plucked these extracts for a taste of the spice:

    ‘It matters not that Gillard has attached herself to several conservative positions. What’s important is the sheer fact of who she is, and what her life has been. Should she win, it cannot be taken as occurring because she is an atheist, unmarried, childless woman from the inner-city leftie-lawyer elite, it can be regarded as occurring despite that. We won’t ever know whether her identity won or lost votes, but we will know that it just doesn’t matter.

    Gillard, meanwhile, bodies forth all the eminent reasonableness, and nothingness, of the bitter end of the social democratic tradition. She simply does not reflect back Abbott’s manic sense of Weltanschauung, and that tends to undermine him fatally, revealing him as part fantasist, no matter how quotidian he tries to be. In that she represents that part of Australia that will always drive certain figures to destruction, its existence as the kingdom of nothingess, the place where there cannot be the grip of history (for the non-indigenous at least). Those who want life to be more, the world to be more, and cannot recognise themselves to the country’s determination to refuse mass identity, meaning, being they are wrecked by it.’

    Coffee might serve ruinous now.

  • Dewi
  • Jimmy McGurk

    Seems like it will end up a hung parliament. either way not a good result for the Barry girl.

    The Greens have won their first ever lower house seat by wresting Melbourne off the Labor party.

  • wee buns

    How did Labour manage to balls this up so badly?!
    Voices were raised here!
    Too unwieldy, too reticent, too wishy washy; surprising that the backlash being reported that Julia lost support for having moved to topple Rudd. This she did not do, it was the Machine, not her, she was ever loyal & never sought the numbers – unlike Rudd whose very actions in doing so precipitated his assassination!
    People have short memories bacause her factional vote in Caucus was the reason he got to be PM in the first place, having no factional base himself.
    Hung parliament is certainly not the worst case scenario (a Mad Monk victory would be worse).
    The fact that the Greens have possibly as many as five extra seats in the Senate, giving them the balance of power, is the best possible outcome for Australia….
    however they don’t sit until June 2011. Who knows if the major parties, sulking severely, will last that long in the new world of negotiated politics.