Shame, 7.30, Shame

Strange to see Leigh Sales libelling a whole nation in what seems, on the face of it, a racially prejudiced way. On a night when two young men were shot dead in Sydney and none on Manus Island, we were told that Manus was a murderous hell-hole over vistas as beautiful as Byron Bay and no child should grow up there, though hundreds of happy hymn-singing children clearly are.

A place as lush and green and warm and beach-fringed as, oh, Brunswick Heads in 1952 is too horrible to contemplate, we were told — look, there are flies on the rubbish-dump — and it is hard not to see a racist component in what we were shown, and told.

How many murders were there in Sydney last year? How many on Manus Island? How much would it cost to build a good high school there, and staff it with genial Australians, Maoris and East Timorese?

It looks like paradise to me. Coconuts, parrots, oysters, everything. Why is it okay for local children, and not Iranian ones?

Well, Iranians are white people, or they nearly are.

Can there be any other reason? What is it?

Saying women will be unsafe there is like saying ‘Don’t send me to the Adelaide Hills, women are assaulted in Redfern.’ Or, ‘Don’t send me to Bangalow, men are ill-mannered in Mount Isa.’

Manus is not Moresby. It is pretty calm and safe there. With money added to it, it affords a good life, up to the end of one’s teen years anyway.

It was amazing to see 7.30 espousing the arguments used in Ipswich and Penrith against boat people and taking them seriously. We don’t want Muslims here. They are not of our culture. They bring flies, disease, unease. It is hard to see how the Taliban shooting your girls in the head for going to school and burning your farm down is preferable. Or being sent back to China, held down and aborted.

It is racist to say all parts of PNG are equally dangerous. Moresby is doubtless a bit scary but, in a country as big as Tasmania, there are other places, or there could be other places, built and secured and civilised.

Manus is one of them, and there are others, doubtless, on the six or seven hundred smaller islands of that nearby country.

You can tell racial prejudice when it occurs. ‘It is impossible to build a house there,’ says racial prejudice, ‘these people do not know how. It is impossible to ship in caravans, or prefabricated huts, it is too remote. No good school teacher will go there, it is too “unsafe”.

‘Don’t go to Manus, don’t go to Manus, don’t go to Manus, it’s full of niggers.’

Well said, 7.30, well said.

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  1. Watching Leigh Sales, was like watching a dark Murdoch operative. After a fair amount of trying the camera finally settled on three maggots. Shall we call them Tony, Joe and Christopher. I think the best thing I can do for the Absolute Bloody Cretins is to switch to Paul Murray live, it’s pure comedy now I come to think of it, 7.30 is a tragedy.

    • It seems to me too that some enterprising young Manos Island turk should get into the recycling business. Around the slums of Mumbai that rubbish tip would be seen as a gold mine.

      On another show, [email protected] was quite refreshing without nobody talking about the Jones boy.

      • On Q&A it was quite annoying nobody challenging the blatant lies coming out of that Liberals mouth.
        Except Magna, she had a bit of a polite go at him when she asked if a tripple A credit rating was a good or a bad thing.

      • Sorry, I was thinking of another “Manos.” Anyway, they could be raising meat/vegetable products, having a music/fun night once a week, “island in the sun,” televise it to the mainland, it could all be done so much better…

    • Indeed it is. I really don’t know how Sales thinks she is being so cute, her bias shines out like dogs nurries.

      I can’t bear to watch her anymore. I just turn it off now.

      They should rename the ABC ‘Fox News’ We report, we decide. It really is just a propaganda outlet now for the Liberal party. In some countries, I’m sure there would be a law against this blatant propaganda.

  2. Yes is was taken back by the rubbish tip. The image here was one of white colonialists exploiting the beautiful island paradise. A university study recently found 40% of ABC journalists are Greenies. Hence, their propaganda.

    Here’s a tip for Rudd about outfitting Manus Island.

    7.30 showed us a pile of plastic drink bottles and plastic plates dumped in a big smelly pile. This shows me that Rudd is spending too much money on disposable rubbish..

    Recently I was invited by Middle East Muslims to eat in their house a meal. It frightened me at first because I thought they might kill me and show my head on YouTube. But they showed me great courtesy instead.

    They made me sit on floor and eat off the ground. This is how they like to do it. My back was killing me but they love squatting on the ground.

    Disposable cutlery isn’t needed with Muslims.

    Take note Rudd.

    They don’t use knives and forks when eating. They use their right hand and grab stuff off the ground off a series of platters. I suggest disposable banana leaves for that.

    They don’t use chairs either, preferring to sit on the ground in a big circle and grab whatever looks tasty. They don’t want pictures on the wall as that will insult Allah.

    So Rudd, just get some tents and bags of rice to trade with the natives for fresh food. You dont need any furniture or cuttlery.

    Outfitting Manus Island should be an easy doddle.

    • Also Rudd, consider a long drop pit compost toilet for latrines. Just a hole in the ground will do.

      When an Arab drops a poo into it, get them to throw a hand full of carbon into it as well. Dry crushed banana leaves, sawdust etc. This will aid in decomposing the material and the creation of good compost.

      After a few months they will be able to use this material for their own market gardens.

      If you are going to keep people in detention, eight years as O’Neil says, you are responsible to give them meaningful work to do. A beautiful vegetable garden will ease the pain in their souls and nourish them with good nutrition, somewhat.

      • Absolute sense Frank. Phil is going to be seriously proud of you when he comes on later. They could also be growing and exporting vegetables, fruit and nuts, to the mainland, paying for their impost to the Aussie taxpayer and pocketing a few dollars at the same time - while they are being processed. They could also go on self-funded fact finding tours of the region. Give them something to live for.

      • I think we get a sense of the evil of the Aust Govt’s Manus proposal by the joy it brings Frank, and the opportunity for his deepseated racism to well forth like pus

    • Frank………. you ‘ve been invited out for group sex with a load of Muslims and you didn’t invite me? Jesus Frank what the fuck am I gonna do with you?

      You’ve changed your tune btw, you told me you weren’t gonna eat camels eyes and falafel if they tied you down and fed it to you intravenously. So now not only are you having sex with them, you’re eating their frigging tucker.

      Jesus Frank…. you’re not going all trendy on me are you?

      Your getting too worldly wise of late Frank, next thing you know, you’ll be reading books and who the fuck knows where that will end? I like my mates pig ignorant, fucking dumb, just like you used to be.

      So get back with the fucking program Frank, or it’s back to that ugly fucking bush pig you’re married to.

  3. Why don’t you live there Bob? You could be the second best playwrite on Manus!

    • Well, my children and grandchild live here.

      What are you talking about?

    • Tennessee Williams living on Manus now?

      • “Don’t you just love those long rainy afternoons in New Orleans when an hour isn’t just an hour - but a little piece of eternity dropped into your hands - and who knows what to do with it?”

        Great line Chris!!

        • Tennessee Williams, another member of the high camp 60′s Rome/Gore Vidal set. Williams wrote something which impressed Vidal, about a close friend who died: “He grew an awful flower in his brain.” That power of expression sticks in your craw, perhaps a bit more direct than the “green fuse?”

    • Greiner - the word is “playwright”

      Do you think there is something objectionable in defending the reputation of a place, or defending it from calumny, without first selling up and moving there?

      Do you think Tony Abbott and Margaret ought to be moving to Nauru, now that he’s deemed it ‘not an unpleasant place to live’?

      Or were you, you know, just being ‘rhetorical’, which conservatives often confuse with wit.

  4. 7.30 is absolute rubbish, treat Australians as fools, what else to say!

  5. “Six or seven hundred smaller islands…” It’s getting more like a new world order. Man as an organ of nature finally overcomes his tendency to neurotic xenophobia, after much debate and pain, casts a handful of pacific islands at the feet of the disoriented and dismayed, “this is your patch, make a go of it.” And so, with a bit of help from their friends these hapless, half-shirted, shirkers, disprove Darwin’s theory of evolution, it is not the survival of the fittest, but the survival of the first, gymnasiums will be built in good time. Naturally, other, more prominent architectural edifices, befitting the “New Constantinople,” will be erected as the demand intensifies.” Australian heavy industry will readily underpin this “new” civilisation, dramatically created during The Asian Century. True The true Aussie genius of King Kevin: GROW YOUR OWN trading partner!

  6. Where is the front door?

    The aim of the PNG solution is to get people off the water, stop drowning, and to find a safe place for refugees.
    For refugees, compared to where they have fled from, PNG is potentially a very good option, and hopefully will end up being successful.

    Do Asylum seekers seeking refuge need the trial by sea to get to PNG, via Australia? If they stop travelling by leaky boat, how can they get to PNG?

    It seems to me that the last vital, so far not really discussed or publicised ingredient is the front door.
    If people are seeking refuge, where is the front door? How do they apply directly for asylum in Australia, PNG or even Samoa? Why are these processes so slow?
    Why is this not being made easier, so that people can travel by safe means of transport?

    • What a lesson that would be, if the PNG option turned out to be so good that asylum seekers started to apply there instead of Australia, to the great advancement of PNG and the joyful welcome of its people.

      As Albert Meltzer (a major activist in the post-ww2 revival of Anarchism) noted years ago: the nub of it is that people who want to build a country up welcome immigrants; it is people who want to run it down who shut them out. And the Australian ruling class have rarely been Australian nationalists. Their vision for Australia is apparently some vast combination of a quarry and a leafy suburb.

      • But will it happen like that? I doubt that either Rudd or the PNG government will care much about the refugees once they have got respectively their votes and their money. The PNG needs close and strident oversight if it is not to be a disaster; that is why it is so important not to deal its anti-racist critics out of the debate; they are needed.

        • Yes, what a lesson that would be, indeed.
          We can only hope for humans learn to behave in a civilized manner.

  7. Yeah, well, the real question is not whether left and liberal Australians harbour racist attitudes, even if unconsciously (of course they do, often anyway, like I suppose everyone)….the question is how the people of PNG are going to react to the influx when there is already a refugee problem in PNG.

    Are the people of PNG going to welcome the new arrivals and see them as a blessing (as they should be) rather than a curse? Are the people of PNG that much wiser than Australians? is the Rudd government that much wiser than it has shown any sign of being so far? Both of these conditions have to be true for the policy not to come unstuck.

    • It won’t be an ‘influx’. It will be three or four thousand.

      The others will avail themselves of faster processing in Indonesia, which we will facilitate, or if they are Iranians, try Turkey.

      • Even if it is 30 or 40 thousand, that still is not an ‘influx’ by world standards. 40 thousand does not even fill the southern stand at the MCG.
        I hope you are right about the “faster processing”. It is a vital ingredient to make this all work.

      • We will see. Good for PNG if it works.

        But even if it does work fine for PNG and the refugees, and that is a Spartan “if”, then it is a shameful thing that that it was thought necessary. The substantive racism attaches to those who kept the boaties out and dumped them on a poor nation….and that will remain true however well it may by the grace of the Queen of Stars work out.

  8. BLOGGERS:- you dnt get it!!! Ever since the Sales interview with Abbott she has obviously been “got at”….and regularly.

    • Do you think that is why after the Kerry O’brien and Abbott interview Kerry was moved sideways into hosting 4 corners?

  9. Muggins: What are you making this time Oracle?
    The Oracle: I”m making a bad attitude Muggins.
    Muggins: I’ve never heard of such a thing.
    The Oracle: (carefully balancing) Look at this Muggins.
    Muggins: You’re a fucking cunt Oracle.
    The Oracle: You’re a fucking dick-head Muggins.
    Muggns: You cunt, you cunt, you fucking cunt Oracle.

  10. Those who think that PNG is not a savage and terrible place have never visited there. The Admiraly Islands are from paradise and offer deliverance to no one. Write about what you know to be true.

  11. Leigh Sales and Chris Uhlmann need to be immediately removed from this program and the ABC. They’ve managed to turn a great show with journalistic integrity and enquiry into another Murdochist propaganda mouth piece; as if The Australian, Bolt, Sky news, the Today show weren’t enough.

  12. Question to Bob.

    If Manus Island is a nice place to go to, won’t asylum seekers continue to get on boats and come to Australia anyway?

    How does this policy stop the deaths at sea?

    Please answer.

    • Please answer.

      • ”If Manus Island is a nice place to go to, won’t asylum seekers continue to get on boats and come to Australia anyway? “

        Huh? Got your logic tangled?

        1/ Manus Island is a nice place to go to.

        2/ Therefore asylum seekers will continue to get on boats and come to Australia.

        Really? Elaborate?

        If the Manus Island Café is a nice place to eat, won’t customers continue to run the gauntlet of the 6 lane highway and go to the Australia Café anyway?

        • Let me explain.

          Asylum Seekers know that if they get on a boat to come to Australia, they will be sent to Manus for processing and eventually be resettled in PNG.

          The purpose of this policy is to discourage them from getting on a boat and drowning.

          Above, Bob is arguing that Manus is a paradise, and has elsewhere argued that PNG is also a very good place to live.

          If this is correct, wouldn’t Asylum Seekers get on a boat bound for Australia, hoping to get to PNG? How does the policy prevent the deaths at sea?

          I need to know the answer.

          • Nice enough, if one is fleeing persecution; but if Australia is the intended destination, not what they are willing to risk life, limb and life savings for.

            Alles Klar?

            • Thanks, that’s a good enough explanation Doug, assuming that everyone arriving by boat simply wants to migrate to Australia, and nowhere else.

              I’m not entirely sure how this squares with the fact that over 90% of boat arrivals are found to be genuine refugees (ie fleeing persecution). Source:

              Of course, some argue that the test the government uses to determine refugee status is flawed, and they’re not really refugees. I don’t see much evidence to support this view.

              If you’re one of the many Asylum Seekers trapped in Indonesia and wanting to get to a UN convention signatory, why wouldn’t you get on a boat bound for Australia in full knowledge you’re about to be transferred to PNG? (Assuming Bob is correct and it’s a very nice place to live.)

    • The best answer I can come up with rectifying the statements “PNG is a nice place to live” and “sending asylum seekers there will stop them coming here in leaky boats”:

      The government is banking on the Australian media, which Asylum Seekers in Indonesia no doubt observe when they can, telling us all what a horrible place PNG is, and that no asylum seeker would come to Australia if it meant going there.

      So this tricks all the people who would go to Australia by boat into not getting on a boat after all, because they think they’ll be sent to a ghastly, disease infested land.

      The few who do come anyway are sent to PNG, and it turns out to be a wonderful place to live.

      So Australia manages to have a powerful, fake deterrent and still uphold it’s refugee convention obligations.

      If someone has a better explanation, let me know.

      Of course, Bob could be wrong and PNG really is a horrible place for a refugee to be…

  13. Sales and Uhlmann think the only way they can earn journalistic respect is by regurgitating the news memes of the Australian and Bolt. Its pathetic to watch.

  14. Have “they” gotten to Sales?

    The real Howard legacy is the ABC senior management and the Board.

    • Those windmills Doug, we need to be alert!

      • The wrong sort of sails, Edgar.

        The serious point is that the National Broadcaster needs to be independent of political interference.

        Almost every major nation has its national broadcaster, some under the control of the government of the time. They are without exception less democratic and less well respected.

  15. Bob,

    I have been to Manus. It was one of the bigest WW2 naval bases ever built by the US - the RAN took over in a much reduced state until we gave PNG independence. It could house tens of thousands if the appropriate infrastructure was put in place.

    The climate is very tropical.

    One enduring memory: We were anchored off and some locals in canoes came alongside offering mud crabs. Twom fingers indicated 2 packs of gaspers. When I offered one, the man paddled off and I realised that he was not into bargaining and had probably put a fair price on his product.

    • great yarn Ward!

      I’ve only lived in those parts through Jack London, and even Somerset Maugham - my loss.

  16. PNG is a third world nation. The whole damn point of the policy is to make people think twice paying a hefty ransom to the smugglers because you might just end up in Manus with no hope of getting to the land of oz. To say its paradise is disingenuous and if it were true, then the whole manus policy is bullshit. Here’s an idea. Process asylum seekers in Australia. Treat them with dignity and respect. But, for those who are not genuine, the so called Carr’s economic migrants, stick them on the first plane home. It won’t take long before the non genuine refugees stop coming. They won’t want to risk losing the thousands of dollars paid to the smugglers.

    • Sorry, we’ve tried that and it is unworkable.

      They are willing to risk their lives; why would you think they would not risk money?

      • That is the way it worked for many decades. The world is no more war torn or fractured today than it has been in the past. I’m sorry but it’s just craven policy making. We will all look back on this and be ashamed one day.

    • Daniel Jenkins

      So what you‘re saying is that only the genuine refugees will drown at sea.

      Groovy. That seems fair!

      • No, people genuinely escaping persecution will make the trip whether you ultimately drag them to PNG or not. What I am saying is, when they get here, and if they are genuine, why drag them off to PNG?

    • ”PNG is a third world nation.”- michael

      I guess you mean poor? What follows is irrelevant if you mean otherwise.
      The term ‘Third World’ was first coined in 1952 in a French magazine article, to refer to countries that during the Cold War were unaligned with either the Capitalist NATO bloc (with USA, Western European nations and their allies representing the First World), or the Communist Soviet bloc (with the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, Cuba and their allies representing the Second World). The Third World was normally seen to include many countries with colonial pasts in Africa, Latin America, and Asia.

      Sauvy wrote, “This third world ignored, exploited, despised like the Third Estate also wants to be something. (during the French Revolution the commoners of France composed the Third Estate against the clergy and nobles, who composed the First Estate and Second Estate).

      However, there is no longer a clear or agreed upon definition of the Third World. Because many Third World countries were impoverished by centuries of colonisation, and non-industrialized, it became a stereotype to refer to poor countries as “third world countries”, yet the “Third World” term is also often taken to include newly industrialized countries like India, Brazil or China. And some very prosperous European countries including Switzerland and Austria were part of the non-aligned movement but are never thought of as Third World.

      So, PNG is a third world nation could easily mislead and confuse an argument. At best, it adds little.

      • It’s a gross oversimplification to say they are poor. Yes, compared to global average the annual GDP per capita is low. I us the term ‘third world’ not in a disparaging way, but simply as a shorthand way of saying that the majority of PNG’s population lives a subsistence or semi-subsistence lifestyle and by almost all other measures (including health, living standards, services, etc) PNG is well below not only the the global average but also the regional average. Let’s face it, if PNG had the characteristics of what we might term an advanced economy, then there would hardly be any disincentive in sending people there.

  17. Leigh Peta Sales – perhaps it’s all in the name.

    <b Leigh : as a girl’s name, meaning is “delicate; weary; from the meadow or pasture.
    Peta : has anyone ever seen Leigh Sales and Peta Credin in the same room at the same time? Could they be ….?
    Sales : “selling a product or service in return for money”

    Sometimes it’s as easy as ABC

  18. I think you will find more and more that people like Leigh Sales will not actually create questions, they will respond to data which indicates which questions they should ask and what tone to take with their interviewees.

    They will want to ask the questions that people want to be asked, and they will get that info from the web, almost immediately. It comes mostly from facebook, twitter and google.

    I notice that the media has been very coy about PRISM so I bet they have been getting data from there too. The medium is increasing its control over the message.

    And by the way it has been very impressive how Rupert Murdoch has managed the publicity over his recent problems: Wendi, Blair-Wendi and his crimes in the UK. If you can control the flow of information you really do command considerable power.

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