Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Key in racist fantasyland

John Key thinks New Zealand is under threat from hordes of refugees. Yes, really:

"I am convinced that at some point in New Zealand's future, we are going to have boats coming to New Zealand," Key said.


Key said more boat-people were trying to reach New Zealand as the craft they used got bigger.

"All of the intelligence advice that I have been getting as Prime Minister indicates we will be having boats coming to New Zealand. So we do have some skin in the game in trying to find a solution."

This is simply a fantasy. We've never had a boat full of illegal immigrants arrive in New Zealand (unless you count the British in 1840). We've never had one even get close. But we have politicians whipping up racism and fear, culminating today in Key echoing Howard in saying "We reserve the right to determine who comes to New Zealand and who doesn't come." And we know what that leads to.

Meanwhile, Key also indicates the blatant bad faith of his new "Timor solution":

Asked what would happen to illegal immigrants processed at the new centre, Key said: "Quite clearly, they would have to be rejected and they would have to be sent somewhere - quite where, I don't know."
In other words, screw the merits, just send 'em back. This is a gross violation of international law and our commitments under the Refugee Convention. But I guess Key, like Brash before him, thinks there's more votes in whipping up fear and pandering to racists than there is in behaving decently and lawfully.