Wednesday, August 10, 2011

National to run on social division II

And while we're on the subject, another example of National's election strategy of running on social division, othering people at the bottom and whipping up hate for votes: their plans to introduce new asylum-seeker laws:

The Government is considering whether new laws are needed to discourage asylum seekers from arriving on New Zealand shores.

Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman yesterday said the Government was looking at all options to combat illegal immigration, including legislation.

The subtext: "refugees are evil, and National is going to do something about them". Again, pick a group, other them, demonise them, and promise decent white volk that you will keep them safe from this dreadful menace. Its simply whipping up hate and fear for votes. And its a great distraction for your lack of an economic plan.

Meanwhile, the facts about refugees - that (thanks to checks barring them from ever getting on a plane) we do not receive many claimants, that only a third are successful, and that those we accept go on to become valuable members of New Zealand society are overlooked. As is the fact that we have obligations under international law to accept refugees and process claims fairly. Or indeed the fact that our anti-people-smuggling law is already far tougher than that proposed in Australia. But hey, there's hate to whip up, and votes to win. National wouldn't want mere things like facts to get in the way of that, would they?