Author: Tony Kevin

  • AUSTRALIA

    Time for Labor to disown PNG solution

    • Tony Kevin
    • 28 February 2014
    22 Comments

    Over the past week of Parliament, we have seen the strange and distressing spectacle of Labor timidly criticising the Government's handling of the events on Manus Island. If it were brave enough, Labor could use these events as a trigger for policy change. To call for the Manus centre to close, and for detention and processing centres in Australia to reopen, would be the moral policy for Labor at this point.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Morrison's law of intended consequences

    • Tony Kevin
    • 21 February 2014
    36 Comments

    Manus is not subject to Australian law and public accountability safeguards, or only very imperfectly. Cover-up of atrocity is a lot easier in Manus than it would be in an Australian detention centre. And this of course is what was intended. Manus is part of the asylum-seeker deterrent system. The fear of death at sea, and the fear of death by security force brutalisation at Manus, are intended to deter asylum-seeker voyages. To stop the boats.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott pays a heavy price to stop the boats

    • Tony Kevin
    • 28 January 2014
    34 Comments

    It is now weeks since any asylum seekers arrived in Australia, and under the Abbott Government there have been no reported deaths at sea involving Australian border protection interception action or failure to act. This is a striking improvement on the high death rate under the Rudd and Gillard governments. Tony Abbott has kept his pre-election promise to stop the boats, but at what huge cost!

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Thailand tensions must rouse traumatised Coalition

    • Tony Kevin
    • 04 December 2013
    11 Comments

    We are witnessing a serious opposition-led threat to democratic process and respect for election results in Thailand. Possibly the Abbott Government is so traumatised as a result of its current tensions with Indonesia and China that it won't dare to open its mouth on Thailand. But this is a clear case where Australia should comment as a friend of Thailand and of its democratically elected government.

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  • INTERNATIONAL

    Abbott's spy games

    • Tony Kevin
    • 20 November 2013
    36 Comments

    Tony Abbott's reply in Parliament to Adam Bandt may have seemed a balanced, well-crafted answer but it was way too clever. Indonesian anger against Australia continues to grow. These events will harden already strong views in Jakarta of Australia as a false friend to Indonesia, as a nation whose only true affinities are with its four fellow members of the five-power Anglo-Saxon club.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Mishandling Indonesia

    • Tony Kevin
    • 13 November 2013
    6 Comments

    Labor has made a political meal of last week's mishandled asylum seeker rescue. But neither Bill Shorten nor Richard Marles has shown any sympathy for the asylum seekers themselves. Meanwhile the Coalition's stubbornness has set back relations with Indonesia, has it pressed ahead with its turn-back policy to the point where Indonesia had to say very publicly 'We will not tolerate this any longer.'

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Coalition's car kill is crazy

    • Tony Kevin
    • 08 November 2013
    23 Comments

    The Coalition's impending destruction of the Australian car industry by calculated public stalling of decisions on government assistance is shaping up as its most disastrous high-visibility policy blunder. This industry — but none other — is to be wilfully abandoned as a victim of rigid free-market economic ideologies. It does not make sense, in economic, social or national security terms. This is Australia's version of US Tea Party budget brinkmanship.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott nails Jakarta

    • Tony Kevin
    • 02 October 2013
    15 Comments

    Tony Abbott did handsomely in Jakarta. He was able convincingly to pitch the message that the bilateral relationship is much bigger and more important than the people smuggling issue, which he implicitly admitted had been mishandled by Australia. The national interest will be well served by the PM's deft handling of a difficult situation. 

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Border protection silence is deadly

    • Tony Kevin
    • 25 September 2013
    9 Comments

    During the election campaign, both major parties made much of their humanitarian concern to stop drownings by stopping the boats. Scott Morrison offered no words on this during the first Operation Sovereign Borders briefing on Monday. Nor did Labor's official commentators. Deaths at sea have apparently dropped off the radar — at least until the next maritime tragedy, which both parties will no doubt exploit to score points.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Abbott's night of the short knives

    • Tony Kevin
    • 20 September 2013
    6 Comments

    Under the US revolving door model, top public service jobs are held by staff who are openly politically affiliated. When government changes, they go back to their jobs as special interest Washington lobbyists. Australians have made clear we don't like that system. It is open to corruption, and when our governments flirt with it, they usually come to regret it.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    Border protection transparency under Abbott

    • Tony Kevin
    • 11 September 2013
    13 Comments

    Labor's humanitarian achievements included routinely distributing media releases announcing every boat interception and every incident of assistance to boats in difficulty at sea. It would be tragic if under Operation Sovereign Borders the Coalition abandoned the present degree of public transparency and accountability for deaths in border protection operations on the spurious pretext that these are matters of national security.

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  • AUSTRALIA

    How Labor lost its moral edge

    • Tony Kevin
    • 21 July 2013
    13 Comments

    We will now tell damaged, fearful people who try to come here: Go to PNG. Wait in fever-ridden tent camps for years to be processed. We have used our economic power over a small impoverished and fairly unstable country to say to its political class: we will bribe your country to accept as future citizens groups of people who have no affinity with or respect for you, and for whom you have no affinity or respect.

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