Thursday, August 16, 2012

Report doctored

I saw a copy of the Herald Sun lying on a table whilst waiting at the local GP.

“Why not?” I thought. Silly me, I’d forgot there’d be an Andrew Bolt column.

How can she remain?” screamed the headline. No prize for guessing who ‘she’ is.

Anyway, the column is typically a polished regurgitation of the stuff he’s pedalled all week on his blog.

Funny how he likes to quote, or rather misquote, from a report of an Expert Panel whose authority he’s refused to accept until he found it could be incrementally milked to support his partisan agenda.

For example, he says the only qualification the Expert Panel made with regard to the Coalition’s boat turn-back policy is that it must be safe to do so and with the “permission or acquiescence” of Indonesia.

Wrong again...

3.77 Turning back irregular maritime vessels carrying asylum seekers to Australia can be operationally achieved and can constitute an effective disincentive to such ventures, but only in circumstances where a range of operational, safety of life, diplomatic and legal conditions are met:

  • The State to which the vessel is to be returned would need to consent to such a return.
  • Turning around a vessel outside Australia’s territorial sea or contiguous zone (that is, in international waters) or ‘steaming’ a vessel intercepted and turned around in Australia’s territorial sea or contiguous zone back through international waters could only be done under international law with the approval of the State in which the vessel is registered (the ‘flag State’).
  • A decision to turn around a vessel would need to be made in accordance with Australian domestic law and international law, including non-refoulement obligations, and consider any legal responsibility Australia or operational personnel would have for the consequences to the individuals on board any vessel that was to be turned around.
  • Turning around a vessel would need to be conducted consistently with Australia’s obligations under the SOLAS Convention, particularly in relation to those on board the vessel, mindful also of the safety of those Australian officials or Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel involved in any such operation.

The obligation of non-refoulement is perhaps the most problematic ‘operational’ consideration. Strictly speaking, you’d have to do some kind of reasonably rigorous assessment of the claims of each and every asylum seeker on board each and every boat before towing it back out to the open sea.

You see, Doctor Easychair? — it’s all somewhat more complicated than your one-line reformulation for idiots. How many times must we correct your simple-minded reading and comprehension?

Later today I came across a puff piece on our good Doctor Easychair by former Labor leader Mark Latham, e.g.

Bolt, in effect, is Australia’s de facto shadow minister for boat people policy, climate change scepticism, Aboriginal welfare, freedom of speech and the culture wars in general.

Read the above piece in its absurd entirety, then try reading the following sentence without gagging with laughter:

Mark Latham was once the prospective leader of this nation.

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Blogger Caz said...

Damn it! The odd couple were lunching within walking distance of my abode?

I am SO pissed off that I missed that.

I confess that, apart from this peculiar piece (who?!), I find Latham mostly a joy to read - he's a smart man, still calls a cigar a cigar, offers clear analysis, but not simplified. And yes, he can be slyly funny.

Who would have thought he'd fall in with the wrong crowd at this stage of life?

22/9/12 12:05 AM  
Blogger Caz said...

Mr Easychair?


Bit insulting to easychairs everyone, surely.

22/9/12 12:07 AM  

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