Inflating the impact of asylum seekers for political gain is bullshit

From GetUp:

News brief · 18 August 2010

White Nationalism Goes To The Polls

The 2010 Australian federal election is just a few days away, and while most eyes are on Labor, the Coalition and the Greens, there’s a range of other parties hoping to use the occasion to promote their agenda. Among these parties are a small number on the racist right-wing: the Australia First, Australian Protectionist and One Nation parties.

Below is a brief summary of their candidacy.

Australia First

Founded by former Labor MP Graeme Campbell in 1996, the Australia First Party has undergone a number of ups and downs in its short life, its initial Sturm und Drang stolen from it by a red-haired fish ‘n’ shop owner from Queensland. In 2001 it underwent something of a revival when veteran fascist Dr James Saleam joined the NSW branch, became its Secretary, and began reconstructing the party on a more systematically right-wing basis. The party split in mid-2007, with Saleam becoming its undisputed leader. In 2009, Saleam was the subject of an extensive profile in the Good Weekend (‘The Audacity of Hate’, September 26/27, 2009), one which — notwithstanding Saleam’s numerous objections to its alleged inaccuracies — provides a rather damning portrayal.

While it has participated in numerous elections before — its only success being the election of Bruce Preece to local council in Adelaide — 2010 is only the second that AF has contested since re-registering with the Australian Electoral Commission, and the party is standing just a handful of candidates in NSW, QLD and VIC. In NSW, its candidates are Tony Pettitt in Greenway and Mick Saunders in Lindsay. In QLD Peter Schuback and Nick Maine are running for the Senate, while in Victoria Alex Norwick is standing for the seat of Deakin.

None are expected to gain more than a handful of votes.

Australian Protectionist

Formed as a split from AF in 2007, the APP is currently unregistered, and is standing just two candidates in NSW for the Senate: party leaders Darrin Hodges and Nick Folkes. Hodges unsuccessfully stood for local council in 2008, while this appears to be Folkes first electoral contest. Hodges is a former member of AF, while both men are reputed to be former Liberals. The pair took part in a small rally in Newtown last weekend, but received a hostile response from locals. The APP’s principal concern is getting rid of Muslims, but it otherwise expresses a routine form of white nationalism, albeit one which veers between an assimilationist and rejectionist model.

One Nation

The One Nation party — best known for its earlier association with The Wicked Witch from Ipswich, Pauline Hanson — is a shadow of its former self, having undergone a sudden rise in the late 1990s, and an equally sharp decline in the early 2000s. The party lost its last MP, Rosa Lee Long, in the 2009 Queensland state election. While the party may be down it’s not gone, however, and is fielding candidates in NSW, NT, QLD, SA, VIC and WA.

In NSW, ON is putting up patriots in a total of fourteen (14) Lower House seats: Banks, Bennelong, Blaxland, Chifley, Cook, Hughes, Hunter, Kingsford Smith, Macarthur, New England, Paterson, Riverina, Robertson and Shortland. In NT it’s standing someone for the seat of Solomon. In SA, ON is contesting Makon and Sturt, in QLD Bowman, Fadden and Wide Bay, and has thrown up just the one candidate in Moore, WA. The party is also taking part in Senate contests in each of the mainland states.

Of the few dozen aspiring ON politicians, a handful are noteworthy. One is Kate McCulloch, the ON candidate in Macarthur. Briefly coming into the media spotlight during the course of a campaign against the construction of an Islamic school in Camden, it remains to be seen if she really is the Great White (Red Haired) Hope. More recently, the President of ON in Victoria, John Groves, has informed the world of his love of ‘Phoofter Bashing’ and his passionate hatred of Jews, the former comment prompted by Family First QLD Senate hopeful Wendy Francis comparing gay parenting to child abuse.

Another ON candidate (Riverina) who has gained some small degree of notoriety is Craig Hesketh, the party’s NSW publicity officer. Hesketh has received the official endorsement of AF, as he is a ‘nationalist’ and because he “has rightly spoken out against the refugee invasion of our country”. Quite strongly, too. On Facebook, Hesketh denounced “race traitors” and “immigrant whores”:

While he describes the Greens as “sick f*cks”:

On the other hand, as Hesketh noted in response to homophobic sentiment allegedly expressed by Nationals candidate Michael McCormack, “I think we’ve all said something [we’ve] regretted at some stage”.

See also Pride & Prejudice : Mark White investigates the rise of Australia’s far right… (November 8, 2009) for further background information.

Fight dem back · 18 August 2010 · Discussion

Will ‘stopping the boats’ solve Australia’s infrastructure woes?

Sunili writes:

The best way to attack TAbbott and his “4. stop the boats” business is to prove it wrong. Not try to go lower to beat it.

We agree.

Australia has plenty of infrastructure issues- but none at all are attributable to the less than 2000 asylum seekers annually arriving in Australia.

Attributing poor planning and insufficient spending on infrastructure to immigration is nothing but a dog-whistle intended to give cryptoracists a seemingly justifiable talking point.

You can do better, Ms. Gillard.

News brief · 21 July 2010

Hear that? It’s the dog whistling of election season

From the ABC:

Asylum seeker policy ‘an appeal to fear and racism’

A social justice advocacy group says it is concerned that both sides of politics are attacking asylum seekers in the lead-up to the federal election.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott says he wants a return to Howard-era policies including temporary protection visas and processing asylum seekers in other countries.

But the director of the advocacy group the Edmund Rice Centre, Phil Glendinning, says the proposals are “an appeal to fear and racism”.

“The situation on Nauru was not properly resourced, people did not have access to rights of appeal or to law, and it was in serious contravention of Australia’s obligations,” he said.

“It wasn’t about the UN, it was about Australia. Ultimately, people who come into our jurisdiction seeking asylum have done nothing illegal; their claims need to be assessed fairly and justly.”

Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison has defended the Coalition’s plan.

“It’s a problem we solved in government last time and its a problem we’ll be called on to solve in government again if we’re elected,” he said.

News brief · 28 May 2010

Maximum jail sentence for racially motivated cabbie attack

From The Age:

Three years’ jail for taxi driver attack
May 24, 2010 – 10:52AM

A man who viciously bashed a Melbourne taxi driver and admitted the attack may have been “racially inspired” because he hated Indians was today jailed for a maximum of three years.

Murat Kilinc, 22, had told a psychologist the core issue of his and his family’s culture of hatred towards Indians was their apparent lack of concern for others.

The victim, 23, a student and part-time taxi driver, suffered a fractured skull, nose and cheekbone in the attack at dawn on February 16, 2008.

Prosecutor Jim Bessell last week told the County Court witnesses heard screams, moans and cries and two people running before finding the driver surrounded by blood in his cab.

Psychologist Rachael Freeland had said a combination of Kilinc’s alcohol abuse, anger issues and underlying hatred of Indians might have “contributed” to the offence.

News brief · 24 May 2010

London Police implicated in 1979 death of NZ anti-racism activist Blair Peach

From TV3 NZ:

Secret British report into Kiwi death to be released

British police are to finally publish a report this week into the death of New Zealand teacher and anti-racism activist Blair Peach at a demonstration in west London in 1979, which is expected implicate former officers.

The Press Association reported prosecutors have completed a review of the document and passed their findings back to the Metropolitan Police.

Relatives of Mr Peach have been campaigning to obtain a secret internal review of the killing for many years.

Some 2000 pages of documents are expected to be released, including the previously secret police report drawn up months after Mr Peach’s death which concluded that the blow which killed him was likely to have been struck by a police officer on duty, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

News brief · 29 April 2010

Hanson’s Muslim house buyer ban illegal

No, Pauline, you can’t stop a Muslim from buying your house.

From the SMH:

Pauline Hanson’s Muslim ban ‘illegal’
April 28, 2010

Former One Nation leader Pauline Hanson would be breaking the law if she refused to sell her home to a Muslim buyer on religious grounds, the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commission says.

Ms Hanson, who is selling her home in Coleyville, south-west of Brisbane, before she moves to Britain, told Seven’s Sunrise program she would not accept any offers from Islamic buyers.

“Because I don’t believe that they are compatible with our way of life, our culture,” she said.
It’s not for everyone … Pauline Hanson says her home in Queensland’s Coleyville, above, won’t be offered to Muslim buyers.

It’s not for everyone … Pauline Hanson says her home in Queensland’s Coleyville, above, won’t be offered to Muslim buyers. Photo: Getty Images

“And I think we are going to have problems with them in this country further down the track, so I have no intention of selling my home to a Muslim.”

Acting Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commissioner Neroli Holmes said Ms Hanson’s intention to ban Muslim buyers put her at risk of breaching the state’s discrimination laws.

“The act clearly states a person must not discriminate against another person by failing to sell them land or by placing terms on which it is offered for sale,” she said in a statement.

News brief · 29 April 2010

Pauline Hanson’s house for sale, please bring proof of religion

This woman hasn’t learnt a thing in 14 years.

From the SMH:

Muslims unwelcome as Hanson’s home buyers
April 28, 2010

FORMER One Nation leader Pauline Hanson’s Queensland home remains on the market, but not for everyone.

Muslim buyers, for example, aren’t welcome.

Ms Hanson, who has put up for sale her million-dollar property in Coleyville, south-west of Brisbane, announced she was moving to Britain earlier this year.

Her hardline views on race sparked a national debate over immigration policy and Aboriginal disadvantage from the time she entered Parliament in 1996, the same election that made John Howard prime minister.

While taking the Seven Network’s Sunrise program on a recent tour of her home, she said she would not allow certain members of the Australian community to buy the property.

News brief · 28 April 2010

Ryder murder was racially motivated

From the ABC:

Five jailed for racist Alice Springs killing

By Jano Gibson

Kwementyaye Ryder died in the dry Todd River
bed in Alice Springs.  (Reproduced with
permission of Ryder family: NT Police, via ABC)

Five men who fatally attacked a man in Alice Springs last year did so in part because he was an Aboriginal person, the Northern Territory Supreme Court has found.

Anton Kloeden, Timothy Hird, Joshua Spears, Glen Swain and Scott Doody were today sentenced to jail terms of between four and six years after pleading guilty to the manslaughter of Kwementyaye Ryder.

The men, all in their 20s, received non-parole periods of between 12 months and four years.

In his judgement, Justice Brian Martin said the case had caused deep divisions in the Alice Springs community because of the belief that it was racially motivated.

News brief · 23 April 2010