Friday, September 27, 2013

the fishing boat-bobbing sea

It is ludicrous to expect anyone or anything to actually "stop the boats". Realistically, we can only hope to make sensible decisions about what to do once the boats arrive.

I'm sure many Australians, regardless of whether they are pro or anti the obsession with turning back "the boats", are waiting with bated breath to see how [or even if] the Coalition policy of bitching about sovereignty over our own territorial waters will work.

The boat stuff is finally proving to not be a single-issue issue after all.

The Coalition's approach is interesting, in part, because I seem to remember a time when Australia was obsessed with sucking up to Indonesia because they are our nearest "threat" – i.e. they've got a whopping great population and that population is comprised of a very high percentage of Muslims [87% according to whoever wrote the wiki article].

It's also a curious time for us to be antagonistic [as the Indonesians would have it] when there are proposals afoot to sell a bloody big chunk of Australia to Indonesia for use as a cattle station – effectively putting and end to the ongoing row about the rather brutal practices in Indonesian slaughter houses.

[Talk about "selling the farm" when, instead of Australia proposing to supervise Indonesia's abattoir practices, we persistently ignore the opportunity to allow /encourage Australian Muslims to process meat here and invite Indonesians to check whether the process here conforms to Islamic law, rather than the reverse. God/ Allah [or whoever] forbid we actually think of ways to generate export income rather than reduce it. But I digress]

Former Foreign Minister Alexander Bummer has now chosen to put in his two bob's worth,
"Let me make this point for [Indonesia's] benefit: Indonesian-flagged boats with Indonesian crews are breaking our laws bringing people into our territorial waters," he said.
"This is a breach of our sovereignty and the Indonesians need to understand that, instead of a lot of pious rhetoric about the Australian Government breaching their sovereignty."

Mr Bummer makes a huge leap when he refers to "Indonesian flagged" boats. It's rather arrogant of him to suggest all of these boats are "flagged" or even "registered". We are dealing with a third world country where many people only just make a living from fishing, rather than corporate sized profits.

But, what should we expect from a man who was chauffer driven to school but does not feel he had a more privileged upbringing than any other Australian?

The "pious rhetoric" comment is a sound, logical argument that should help prick Indonesia's conscience. They'll be running around madly now, I suspect, enforcing their own laws and stamping out bribery, so scared will they be of breaking Australia's laws.

By all means let us have a token woman in cabinet. "I know, let's give her foreign affairs, it's only a Mickey Mouse portfolio and if she bats her eyelids properly no one could possibly take her, or her comments, seriously."

Is there some parallel here with the number of Indonesian boats whose crews brazenly fish in our waters for shark fins? To crew members of those boats, the possibility their catch might be confiscated and their boats dragged back into international waters seems a worthwhile risk.


BTW, as Islamic terror in Zamboanga in the Philippines enters its third week, houses are still burning - more fortunate classes have basements they can hide in - no services are operating, schools are still closed, banking is impossible, … and now yet another rebel group has taken yet another bunch of hostages to use as a human shield.

But hey, Australia might be perceived as a predominantly white, western and Christian nation and therefore safe from the risk of any pissed-offedness.  


  1. The lunatics who took over the asylum at least had more commonsense than these brain-dead half-wits.
    *sigh* I know we live in interesting times but can we just have some common decency in politics for a change, instead of having a time warp moment of living in the 1950s.

    1. That's a fair request, Jayne. Keep breathing, though.

  2. Replies
    1. Diane, I find their attitude rather scary. If it gets any worse it will certainly affect my tummy.