Weekly insights into our crazy world.

Tuesday, July 30, 2013



Normally, when you think of Boat People, you think of impoverished Cubans in makeshift rafts.  They attempt to cross the treacherous, shark-infested, 90-mile Florida Strait for a better life in the USA.  However, there are actually many different kinds of Boat People around the world.  Chinese Boat People hide in containers and endure two weeks on ocean freighters.  Algerians stowaway on Mediterranean sailboats bound for France.  Today, we here at the DUNER BLOG want to inform you of a new type of Boat People.  Today, we’ll look at the brave souls who attempt to cross the Gulf of Papua to immigrate south into Australia.

As in the US, the political party in power controls Australian policy towards immigration.  During Liberal John Howard’s decade in office, migrants were basically allowed in. But since Labor’s PM Kevin Rudd took over, restrictions have tightened.  Australians…like the rest of the world…are in an economic downturn.  Unemployment is rising, and the average Aussie doesn’t want coveted custodial jobs going to migrants who can’t even speak English.  Kevin Rudd bowed to the power of the opinion poll and gave in.  He agreed to refuse entry to any refugees sailing in from Papua New Guinea.

At a press conference last week in Canberra, Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Papua New Guinean leader Peter O’Neill shook hands and ceremoniously signed the over-sized document with over-sized pens.  Let’s look at the terms of the agreement.  AUSTRALIA GETS:  A pledge from P.N.G. to establish a new system for illegal immigrants.  The migrants will now be herded up and placed in detention centers.  PAUPA NEW GUINEA GETS: Australian dollars.  Specifically, they will give nearly a billion dollars to build hospitals and universities.  Yea!  Everyone wins!
Sorry…but there are losers: The migrants themselves.  This last batch of 81 people were all from Iran.  Now they’ll spend their days in a detention facility on Manus Island.  A Human Rights activist described the conditions there as “decrepit…not even fit for a dog kennel.” Clearly, they won’t be allowed to emigrate to Australia.  They also won’t be allowed to live in isolated and hostile Papua New Guinea either.  Socially, it’s the least developed nation on earth…and everyone wants to keep it that way. See, anthropologists love Papua New Guinea.  It’s the last remaining place on the planet with true hunters & gatherers still in existence.  There are 841 different languages spoken on the island, which is more than the rest of the world combined! 

Not surprisingly, the agreement has been condemned by the UNHCR and Human Rights groups worldwide.  Papua New Guinean opposition leader Belden Namah called it "an agreement between two madmen."  He feels making a profit by detaining innocent migrant workers is wrong.  Namah continued: "O"Neill is making decisions like a chicken with no head." Although blunt, we are siding with him.  The DUNER BLOG is worried about people like Fatima Harouq.  She is an Iranian woman headed for the dismal camp on Manus Island.  Once there, she will live in a jail cell and be repeatedly raped by inmates and guards alike.  Meanwhile, two politicians in Canberra and Port Moresbury are currently enjoying a 6% jump in the opinion polls.


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