Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Worse and worse

More bad news on John Key's terrible refugee deal. Firstly, in addition to taking Australia's refugees, John Key says we're also planning to use their offshore detention camps in the event of any "mass arrival". So we're not just endorsing Australia's violations of human rights and international law - we'll be joining them in detaining people indefinitely without trial. That gurgling noise you can hear is our international reputation going down the plughole.

Secondly, John Key says that we weren't pressured into this by the Australians, but that we initiated the deal, based on the (Australian-sourced) "intelligence" reports he still won't share with us. So basically he's admitting that we've been had, manipulated into pursuing this course by a line of lies fed to us by Australia. Champagne all round for ASIS.

This isn't just bad from the point of view of us doing something evil. Our international reputation is our sole source of foreign policy leverage. And John Key's government is systematically trashing it. Which means other countries will be less likely to listen to us, and in five years time when we want something important to go our way (like, say, a human rights treaty or trade negotiations) we'll fail messily. But Key will be gone by then, having swanned off to whatever job he's set himself up for retirement, and other people will be left to clean up his mess.