Immigration Policy; Turnbull Rampant; Terrorist Identification Rules

Immigration Policy Needs to be Stated

In last Thursday’s Commentary I drew attention to an article in The Australian by John Stone suggesting that immigration isthe most obvious example of Morrison’s present policy deficiencies and arguing that the permanent settler program should be cut by 60,000. Stone added that if Morrison  was “prepared to say that Australia will continue to be non-discriminatory on racial or ethnic grounds, but will henceforth reject all permanen­t visa applicants judged to be culturally incompatible with our Australian way of life, he would enormously enhance his electoral prospects next year”.

Since then the need for a statement on immigration policy has become more important given that the Intergovernmental Conference to Adopt the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration  is to be held on 10 – 11 December in Marrakech, Morocco. Although not legally binding this would allow the UN (which will establish the compact itself through an agency) and representatives of other member countries a basis for seeking changes to our policy. One out of a large number of “rules” is that the compact “aims to mitigate the adverse drivers and structural factors that hinder people from building and maintaining sustainable livelihoods in their countries of origin” (see UN Agreement on Migration, which allows access to the Compact of no less than 34 pages!).

Australia should not be a member of any international body having the right to use such an arrangement as a basis for comment on our immigration policy. That is a matter for Australia alone. Last Friday’s Spectator weekly magazine has an editorial arguing strongly that we should not sign the compact and concluding that“if the Morrison government goes ahead and signs Australia up to these follies, thereby putting at risk our precious sovereignty and hard-won border security, it will be impossible to continue” the support it has been giving to the Morrison government.

Turnbull Continues Rampage

Contrary to his undertaking to keep out of politics after he ceased being PM, Turnbull has told a NSW Bar Association dinner of the various faults of the Liberal Party and of the failure of anyone who voted to remove him to explain why! According to an SMH/Age reporter,  Turnbull “reserved his harshest remarks for the man blamed for instigating his demise – Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, who scored 35 votes against Mr Turnbull in the first leadership ballot, in what turned out to be a fatal blow. ‘If Peter was the answer, you’d have to ask: what was the question?’ Turnbull said to roars of laughter and applause. He later added: ‘I’m not a hater, I’m a positive person’” (see Turnbull on Dutton).

It is surprising that Morrison has not yet indicated that Turnbull insisted on policies which became inconsistent with Liberal values and that this was the cause of his removal. Such a statement would help the Coalition’s polling. Indeed, it may be a sine qua non for it.

Identifying Possible Terrorists

Both News Corp and Fairfax Press have continued today to write about the Bourke St incident and have been examining the problems faced by the police and intelligent agencies in assessing who should receive copies of “sensitive” assessments of possible terrorists and at what stage legal action should be taken to stop possible terrorist action. From the outside it appears that there are serious deficiencies in existing arrangements and, while there are limits in the extent to which terrorists can be identified, based on the experiences reported in regard to the Bourke St and other terrorists it should be possible to tighten constraints on people who are on the fringes without unduly affecting civil liberties.

The fact that the Bourke St terrorist had had his passport withdrawn sent a warning message and all relevant authorities should have been told. Similarly, the fact that he had also broken his numerous bails should have warranted a watching regime, as should the Perth man who had his passport closed. It is of concern that so many appear to be being watched and that this costs much. But Australia does not want to reach the French situation where armed forces are used in the Paris streets ie better to increase spending now when we likely have fewer possible terrorists (see Difficulties in Identifying Terrorists).

California Fires

The horrendous fires in California have produced many explanations of causes , including of course “climate change”. But CFACTs refers to the view of Marc Morano, a US climate expert who operates Climate Depot, that “California’s rain and drought are historically normal.  In fact, the total U.S. acreage burned by wildfires is actually down in recent years. That said, there are anthropogenic roots to this catastrophe. But they are not the human causal links Governor Brown points to. Rapid population growth, extensive development, poor water management, and most critically, irresponsible forest management are principally to blame. Green activists blocked forest clearing in the name of species protection, leaving California with 129 million dead trees, clogging 8.9 million acres”.

Note the graph showing that the extent of US forests burned was much greater in the 1920-30s than it has been recently (see California Forest Fires).

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