Thousands of people have held candlelight vigils around Australia for slain asylum seeker Reza Berati, who died in violence at the Manus Island detention centre last Monday.If your only knowledge of this story came from the ABC article, you would probably fail to make much sense of the bizarre euphemism that Mr Berati 'died in violence' at the detention centre. In fact, he died as part of a riot started by other asylum seekers. The vigil-holders seem to display a curious lack of concern with finding and bringing to justice those that started the riots which led to Mr Berati's death. But they would, wouldn't they?
How you view this kind of tragedy depends in part upon how much responsibility you think should be attributed to the government for the indirect but perhaps predictable consequences of its policies, notwithstanding that the proximate cause of the tragedy is with the victims themselves.
The left, perhaps not unreasonably, wants to hold the government accountable for reasonably foreseeable consequences of its actions. It's not obvious that this is always the right way to evaluate government policy, but very well, let's take that path.
The biggest murderer of boat people in Australia by this reasoning is Kevin Rudd. By a long shot. The greatest savior was John Howard. As I've written about on multiple occasions. Let's look at my favorite picture on the subject:
Care to see an updated version, where things are plotted in terms of flows and not levels, in order to make it even more plain? From La Wik:
Correlation doesn't equal causation and all that. But it certainly seems like something very stark changed when Kevin Rudd started parading his compassion for asylum seekers by greatly relaxing the conditions they were held under. If you have another theory, do feel free to describe it in the comments.
The entirely predictable result of this fiasco was the following: 46,000 asylum seekers trying to come to Australia, and over 1100 drowning along the way.
What's it going to be, you worthless candle-holding popinjays? How come these guys never get a mention? It's not like they just went missing in the middle of the ocean. They were drowning by the dozens in front of the TV cameras on Christmas Island. How much concern did that elicit then?
Is it your contention that people don't respond to incentives at all? Or that this was all unpredictable, like a lightning strike? Unfortunately for the latter theory, there were plenty of people, myself included, describing this process quite early on. The fact that you didn't predict it doesn't make it unpredictable.
Here's Australia's most worthless politician, Green's Senator Sarah Hanson-Young describing whether she'd accept any responsibility for the drowning deaths of 200 people when a boat sank off Java:
"Of course not. Tragedies happen, accidents happen."Would the same logic be equally compelling to you if advanced now by the Abbott government?
You'll forgive me, Ms Young and other candle-light twerps, for being unmoved by your sudden and very narrowly circumscribed concern for the welfare of asylum seekers. I've been saying for several years that the thousands of drowning deaths were needless and horrible consequences of bad government policy. Where the hell were you? When the buck stopped with your guy, and not the other guy, did the deaths somehow bother you less?
Kevin Rudd scrapped the Pacific Solution around February 8th, 2008. Tony Abbott instituted Operation Sovereign Borders on the 18th of September 2013. That's approximately 2047 days in total that Labor Policy governed how asylum seekers were treated.
Since these clowns don't seem to be so good at maths, let me spell it out as plainly as I can: under Labor Policy, one asylum seeker was drowning on average roughly every two days.
By contrast, what's the situation now?
Scott Morrison says there have been no boats for 64 days, the longest stretch since August in 2008Congratulations to Immigration Minister Scott Morrison! Thanks to your courageous decision to do what's right, not necessarily what feels good, 32-odd people are alive today who wouldn't have been if your policies hadn't been in place. One, very sadly, is dead.
If you don't think that tradeoff is worth making, then @#$% you and your fake compassion.