Tuesday, August 28, 2012

100 "asylum-seekers"  on hunger strike

This is excellent news and it is even being publicized in Pakistan!  It will have a significant deterrent effect on others thinking to sail for  Australia.  Such demonstrations were a major component of stopping the illegals under the Howard government

 Up to 100 asylum-seekers in detention in Australia were on hunger strike Sunday after being informed they would be transferred to a remote Pacific island under a tough new refugee policy.

An immigration department spokesman said “around 100” asylum-seekers being held at the Christmas Island detention centre had launched the strike on Saturday night after they were told they would be sent to Nauru.

They will be among the first group transferred to the tiny and remote Pacific island to await the processing of their refugee claims under a strict new policy Canberra hopes will deter a record flow of people-smuggling ships. “They were informed yesterday of the decision to transfer them to Nauru, and obviously it’s pretty difficult news to take,” the spokesman told AFP. “We’re managing that and trying to provide all the support and assistance we can, it’s obviously pretty difficult all round.” Under new legislation passed by parliament this month asylum-seekers who arrive by boat will be sent to either Nauru or Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island for indefinite periods while their visas are assessed.

It represents an about-face by the Labor Party which abandoned the policy after winning power in 2007, after complaints people had languished for years on the islands before being resettled under the previous government. Authorities have not clarified how long people would have to wait on Nauru or Manus before being resettled and have admitted that the remote facilities are so run down they were not yet suitable for use.

Refugee activists said “around 67” detainees were believed to be on hunger strike in the Christmas Island facility and “scores” of police had also been sent to the remote immigration centre to head off any protests. “The hunger strikers say that their treatment is unfair — they were not aware of any changed policy by the Australian government,” said activist Ian Rintoul.

There were reportedly similar starvation protests occurring at facilities in the northern city of Darwin, where refugee advocates said a group that included unaccompanied minors was “shocked” to learn they would also be sent offshore. “The fact that unaccompanied minors may be sent to remote locations for unknown periods of time should be a source of shame for the minister for immigration and the Australian government,” said Darwin activist Peter Robson. “There is little wonder as a result that there are reports that there are large hunger strikes now occurring in Darwin.”

The immigration spokesman said food, water and medical assistance was available to all detainees and they were “obviously encouraged” to eat and drink. “These sorts of protests and activities don’t have any effect on the outcome of their case, and likewise it won’t alter government policy,” he said. afp


High school teacher speaks out on undisciplined classroom behaviour

TEACHERS say efforts to raise literacy and numeracy standards in the state's schools are futile until a glaring issue is dealt with - bad behaviour in the classroom.

One high school teacher from the state's southwest has spoken out, attracting strong support from across the teaching spectrum.

Speaking in his role as a Queensland Teachers Union representative, high school teacher Paul Cavanagh said politicians and parents needed to know the degree of the learning problem affecting well-behaved pupils.

The QTU, Queensland Association of State School Principals and the Queensland Secondary Principals Association all agreed behaviour was a critical and daily issue confronting staff and called for more support, especially from parents.

Concerns have been raised about increasingly aggressive parents and a rising number of children with behavioural and mental health disorders.

In a recent letter to federal Opposition education spokesman Christopher Pyne, Mr Cavanagh warned: "Having students disrupting the learning environment is the No.1 factor that is holding public schools back, in my opinion."

Mr Cavanagh, 30, who is on leave this term, told The Courier-Mail that while violent attacks on teachers often made headlines, smaller daily behavioural problems were critical.

"It is the major contributing factor behind student performance at the moment - how does anyone concentrate or learn well with the constant disruption that is happening and nothing is being done?" he said.

"You get these lovely, quiet wonderful kids who are interested, who want to learn, and as a teacher it is heartbreaking to think that I can't spend more time helping those kids get from good to better because I am trying to get these uncontrollable kids to learn a bit of discipline.

"If I had a child of my own I would be so upset, not with the school or the teachers, but with other children to think that so much time was taken away from why my kids are there."

He said most parents really cared about their children's education and it was politicians he wanted to understand what was really happening in classrooms, given the current focus on education.

Queensland Association of State School Principals president Hilary Backus said behaviour was "getting worse and it is getting more and more critical that schools and homes work together".

Last year her organisation called for a co-ordinator at every primary school to deal with mental health, behaviour and social issues.

Queensland Secondary Principals Association president Norm Fuller said there was "no doubt" behaviour was an issue, and there had been an increase in parents wanting to argue with staff and "take some matters into their own hands".

QTU president Kevin Bates said there had been an increase in more violent behaviour among children, but this was a reflection of the community, not schools, with some parents actively working against teachers on the issue.

He said Mr Cavanagh's frustrations were shared by many teachers, and called for more positive learning centres for pupils with behavioural issues.

Queensland Council of Parents and Citizens' Associations president Margaret Leary said schools needed to be responsible for teaching, and parents for social issues.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said poor behaviour in school should not be tolerated, and urged parents to "take responsibility for the behaviour of their children to help ensure that all Queensland students have the best education experience possible".

Education Queensland assistant director-general Sharon Mullins said the department had measures in place to help teachers manage challenging behaviour, including support staff, suspensions and exclusions.

"Education Queensland expects parents to work in partnership with the school," she said.


Desperate attempt to portray conservatives as "anti-women" in Australia too

It's also a theme of the American Left at the moment  -- on equally dodgy foundations

THE Himalayan heights of the resources boom are receding, we have an asylum-seeker policy that may just last until after the election and workers are being retrenched in their thousands but the core issue, surely, is whether Tony Abbott dislikes women.

In recent weeks, about $87 billion worth of development projects have been cancelled in this country while business leaders line up to tell the Government that the nation's productivity level is in decline, our international competitiveness is falling and the taxation system is in desperate need of reform.

Such is the parlous state of political debate in this country, however, that last week the allegation that the Leader of the Opposition had a problem dealing with women became an issue pursued fiercely by commentators, among them ABC Radio National's breakfast announcer Fran Kelly.

It was never a legitimate story and would never become one.

It was, to anyone with even a passing interest in politics, merely part of the tiresome tongue-poking and face-pulling that passes for debate in the House of Representatives.

Kelly, however, with a significant national radio audience, seemed determined to give it life.  Beginning with an interview with long-time Canberra press gallery member Michelle Grattan, Kelly said: "Labor politicians say he is disrespectful to women. Is there anything to this?"

It seemed to me that if Liberal politicians were saying Abbott was disrespectful to women, it was a story. If Labor politicians were saying that, it was, to my simple mind, just a tad predictable.

Grattan, who was apparently expected to relate examples of these unsubstantiated allegations of misogyny, shot them down.  "I don't think this is a gender issue," she said, adding that Labor had tried to discredit Abbott by making these claims in the past.

The answer to Kelly's question of Grattan was, then, effectively "No". This, you would think, would be the signal to move on to something substantive.  Kelly, however, was not to be put off. Next up was Attorney-General Nicola Roxon saying that it seemed to her that Abbott was "not very comfortable with capable women".

"Not very comfortable with", of course, was code for "hates".

No evidence was offered to support the Roxon view but it was deemed credible enough to take up prime, taxpayer-funded air time.

Next up on Kelly's morning line-up was Deputy Opposition Leader Julia Bishop.  Surely now we had heard the last of the "Tony Abbott is not comfortable with (hates) women" line and would move on to a genuine issue.

No, we hadn't.  "Some Labor people say Tony Abbott can't take direction from women, especially strong, capable women," declared Kelly to Bishop.

Did Kelly genuinely expect the Deputy Leader of the Opposition to reveal her leader had a problem dealing with women and to crumble in the face of Kelly's assertion that "some Labor people" said so?

Bishop, naturally, replied that she saw the accusations as part of a Labor smear campaign. Her answer to Kelly's assertions was "No".

"So you don't think there's anything to it?" persisted Kelly.

Bishop, who had just categorically denied there was anything in it, must have wondered if she had inadvertently replied to Kelly in Swahili.

Kelly, however, continued on her mission to get someone, anyone, to agree that Abbott had a problem with females.  "You don't think he's tougher on (Deputy Speaker) Anna Burke than he was on (Speaker) Peter Slipper, for instance?" she asked.

Even Bishop's normal ice-like composure was by now showing signs of global warming. "He does not have a problem with competent women," she replied.

Somewhere in the Prime Minister's Department, a spinmeister must have smiled as he or she watched the media take the Abbott-hates-women non-story and run with it. It was not our finest hour


Leftist Federal govt. fails to treat Aborigines as individuals

Classically Leftist

THE Northern Territory's new chief minister has warned the federal government needs to show more respect to Aboriginal people, accusing Labor of "sucking the life out of communities" in its handling of the intervention program.

The Labor Party seems likely to secure only eight seats in the NT's 25-seat Legislative Assembly, with one independent re-elected, although all votes in the weekend's election are yet to be counted.

Country Liberal Party leader Terry Mills is expected to be sworn in as chief minister on Tuesday.

He said a reduction in decision-making power for remote Aboriginal communities had damaged Labor's brand in the NT and the weekend backlash should be a lesson to the federal government.

When the NT intervention was introduced by the Howard government in 2007 it was an "emergency" measure to deal with a child abuse crisis, Mr Mills said.

"It's morphed into a monumental process that has sucked the life out of communities, wasted a lot of money and delivered no results," he told Sky News on Monday.

"Labor seems to care more about the idea of Aboriginal people but not the Aboriginal people themselves."

Mr Mills said the federal government needed to repair the relationship with indigenous people in the NT.

"It's not about the program, it's not about the legislation, it's not about the money, it's about the people concerned," he said.

"That seems to be missing in the thinking and the psyche of Labor."

He said indigenous people need to be empowered.  "We all want the same thing. An Aboriginal family on a community want something good for their kids and want programs that actually work, but they want to be involved in the implementation and shaping of the policies," he said.

"That part of it has been overlooked."

The intervention in Aboriginal communities, started by John Howard and renamed Stronger Futures after the ALP took it over, has been deeply unpopular in many indigenous communities.

Some Aboriginal leaders have said the laws unfairly branded particular communities as harbouring drunks and pedophiles and unable to manage their own affairs.

Mr Mills said while local issues had been a big factor in the election result the "the carbon tax" had also played a part in Labor's loss.

Federal Treasurer Wayne Swan told reporters in Canberra on Monday the territory election was fought on "local issues" and declined to comment on federal implications.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

any person concerned with the amount of arivals would focus on the people who fly in and over stay and dont go home, not the tiny amount coming by boat (which in legal, Australia have sined up to the refugee convention), why demonise such a small amount, imagine not having any papers (usually because they are not provided or even avalible)the population has continued rising since the first boat people, why is this any different, first boat load brought foreign concepts and languages and so do current people who come by boat, WHATS THE DIFFERENCE