Friday January 17, 2014 8:00am WST
For Immediate Release
"With today's Fairfax papers' graphic description and depiction of the 'forbidden' and secretive 'on-water' events, after asylum seekers told reporters (see notes below) how they were forced to board Tony Abbott's new lifeboats under the guidance of brazen lies by the Australian Navy, it's become more than high time that Bill Shorten leads Labor into a True and Open Party of Opposition to the brazen violence by Tony Abbott and Scott Morrison, and that Labor stop its mealy-mouthed mediocre rabbeting on, only speaking out about the secret nature of Abbott's asylum seeker policy and treatment," WA Human Rights group Project SafeCom said today.
"Labor under Shorten still seems to think that a 'small-target strategy' employed by Kim Beazley following the escalation in the days of the Tampa standoff and the Tampa Bills is still hunky-dory, fine and current, and in doing so it has evidently learnt absolutely nothing from the fact that Beazley lost the 2001 election as a result. If Bill Shorten doesn't start plucking up some guts (should we say 'ticker'?) then Abbott will keep walking his idiot path of extremism and escalations, and he will walk with his peculiar gait and a broad grin right into a second term of government in 2016 under applause from a seduced and ill-informed electorate," spokesman Jack H Smit said.
"Shorten and Labor may well go on and on about the extremist secrecy of Abbott's asylum seeker policy and treatment on the high oceans, but the electorate has an equally relevant Right To Know the answers to the question of whether a Labor government will also push boats back, will also depict asylum seekers as 'illegals' who should be pushed back to where they came from, and the electorate has the Right To Know whether a Labor government will taunt Australia's relationship with Indonesia and whether it will also play a brazen game of brinkmanship with our wholly decent northern neighbour."
"It's more than time that Bill Shorten's Labor tells and explains to the electorate, fully and factually informed and without spin, smoke or mirrors, whether it will be in brazen breach of the UN Refugee Convention when in government, or if not, what it will do in response to the arrivals of asylum seekers by boat. For almost 15 years Labor has failed to construct an alternative discourse and an entirely different narrative, one that matches its more progressive social democrat platform. Shorten needs to end the useless wet-bag-of-salt small target strategy, which is nothing more than an avoidance positioning because it is frozen and stifled in response to brazen wedge policies by the conservative political set. It's time that Labor comes out of hiding."
1. The Age, Asylum seekers say they were tricked by navy. Michael Bachelard, Friday January 17, 2014.
2. ABC News Online, Asylum seeker turn-backs: Indonesian spokesman Agus Rookiyan Barnas says claims being investigated. By Indonesia correspondent George Roberts, Friday January 17, 2014.
Jack H Smit
Project SafeCom Inc.
[phone number posted]