|Reelection chances refloated|
Every proponent of free markets likes to watch an auction. An auction
cuts through the socialist rhetoric about needs, social justice, and
humanitarianism. The rubbish about 'the rights of the stakeholders' counts for
nothing. The auctioneer doesn't care how much you want something. Saying
'but I really, really want it' doesn't cut much at an auction. The
auctioneer will just sell to the highest bidder. If you want it more than the
other guy, you'll bid more for it.
And of course politicians big against each other for votes. Usually they get
elected by promising to spend more money than their opponent, but there
are bids on other things too. US politicians are well known for having execution
auctions ('vote for me because I'll execute more convicts than my opponent'),
but in Australia we are more civilized, and politicians normally confine their
auctioneering to wasting greater and greater sums of hard-earned for taxpayers
Astonishingly, yesterday saw a policy auction between Australian
politicians which didn't simply involve spending more money. This auction was
about asylum seekers. The Labour and Liberal parties were having a 'we'll
deport more asylum seekers than you will' day.
Julia Australia-needs-a-woman's-compassion Gillard
threw down the gauntlet by proclaiming that people should not be labelled
'rednecks' simply for expressing concern over the ever increasing number of
Then Tony he-man Abbott started the bidding by saying
that he would immediately send anyone back who deliberately destroyed their
documentation (asylum seekers are well known for throwing their documentation
overboard just before being picked up by Australian Authorities - it makes it
harder for Australian Authorities to disprove fabricated claims, and helps to
protect their employees - the so called 'people smugglers', who supply
transport, logistics, GPS units and the satellite phones they use to ring the
Australian navy, demanding to be 'rescued').
So Julia look-at-what-I'm-wearing Gillard promised
to set up an offshore processing center in East Timor. Uninvited boaties would
be sent to the center to have their claims processed, and many (like nearly
everyone from Sri Lanka) would never even step foot on Australian soil.
Of course Julia's solution was nothing like
Howard's 'Pacific Solution'. No no.
Little Johnny's solution was to have forlorn and destitute asylum seekers in
Nauru and Papua New Guinea. Julia's solution is to have forlorn and destitute
asylum seekers in East Timor. See the difference? Umm .. anyway ..
This is actually a master stroke by the fashion challenged PM. Because they
couldn't possibly reuse infrastructure set by the previous government in Nauru
or Papua (that would be inhumane), negotiating with the East Timorese, choosing
a site, and setting up the much-more-humane infrastructure in East Timor, will
all take time. That is, Dear Reader, it can't possibly happen until after the
In other words, Julia can call the election, and survive the election
campaign without actually doing anything - just making more promises.
Nice work if you can get it.
There will be a few awkward moments after the election of course (having to
explain why the promised policy changes are now suddenly totally
inappropriate), but that is what politicians do. And everything in politics is
about winning the next election - focussing on later elections is pointless if
the next election is lost, particularly with the half-life of the average
political leader resembling a Chernobyl meltdown.
So Julia has found a solution to take her through an election win. Not a
Pacific Solution, not even really a Timor Sea solution. Just a temporary
solution. Until the next Labour back flip.
Julia is seeking asylum in the rhetoric of a tough border protection