Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has blamed the Labor Party’s border protection policy for emboldening people smugglers after the Australian Border Force confirmed a boat carrying 20 Sri Lankan asylum-seekers was intercepted en route to Australia a week or so ago1. Whether the details of this boat interception leaked out, or Dutton proffered the information simply to try to blame Labor is unclear. Whichever it is, it is a very long bow to draw considering these several facts. Firstly, the Coalition have been in government for six years; secondly, sometimes boats that arrive in Australia are deemed not to have arrived2; thirdly, bridging visas are at an all-time high, especially those on which nationality is not specified3; fourthly, having stopped some boats does not seem to have decreased the number of asylum-seekers, which are at an all-time high, because most arrive by plane these days4; and fifthly, aerial and sea patrols were cut by border force to save money as there had been a budget blowout5.
It almost goes without saying that recidivist ‘ruperter’, Simon Benson, who has been mentioned here before6,7, added to the Dutton stupidity by parroting the same drivel8. We are expected to believe that the boats have stopped (they haven’t, only information has stopped) because of the government’s policies, but when they do arrive then it is all Labor’s fault. Of course, Benson does not mention the cessation of aerial and sea patrols. The fact that Benson calls himself a journalist should leave him open to be changed with false advertising.