Saturday, June 30, 2012

General media failure on ‘boats’ issue

Here’s a Fairfax failure on the ‘boats’ issue, from Michael Gordon in a column in The Age today headlined “Indonesia seems part of a solution”:

The Indonesian MPs also expressed concern that people smuggling syndicates in that country were now so big that they were moving into other areas of organised crime. Washer’s take-out was that any real and lasting solution had to involve faster processing and resettling of refugees transiting through the Indonesian archipelago.

This of course, was not among the three options considered and rejected over more than 48 hours of heartfelt but, too often, predictable debate in both houses of Parliament this week – Julia Gillard’s Malaysian people-swap, Tony Abbott’s return to the Pacific Solution, and the Greens’ opposition to offshore processing.

Thus, the Greens’ entire contribution to the parliamentary process this week is reduced to “opposition to offshore processing.”

Compare Paul Kelly today in The Australian:

On Thursday Milne put forward a series of proposals — taking the refugee and humanitarian intake to 20,000, boosting support for the UN High Commission for Refugees by $10 million and new Australia-Indonesia talks on regional co-operation. Morrison told the Greens he would accept them all, but their differences over offshore processing made any agreement impossible.

In other words, what the Greens were proposing pretty much coincides with what those Indonesian MPs were talking about.

So, kudos to News £td — albeit severely qualified, because Kelly is so hung up on the stunted political dimensions of the ‘debate’ that he failed to extend the narrative.

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