Tony Abbott, Australian Leader Who Successfully Stopped Boat Migrants Tells Britain to Try Harder

Started by Bossman, Aug 19, 2023, 11:34 PM

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Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott was uncompromising about border control and stopped deadly migrant boats arriving altogether, almost certainly saving hundreds of lives by doing so, and now he offers words of advice for the United Kingdom as it fails to do the same.

Successful border control is the most humane possible approach and saves lives but can only be achieved with a proactive and unwavering action, former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has reminded the United Kingdom. The British 'Conservative' government has been floundering with a series of half-hearted plans to tackle the migrant boat crisis, but has failed to make any serious impact despite the political energy expended on the product.

Tony Abbott sits at the dispatch box in the Australian Parliament during his time as Prime Minister in June 2014 (Photo by Stefan Postles/Getty Images)

Abbott, who successfully shut down boat migrants in Australia, ending the deadly people smuggler trade which killed at least 1,000 people in the years leading up to his crackdown laid out the key points in an article in Britain's Daily Telegraph on Friday. Making the key arguments bullet-point clear, Abbott wrote that the UK must enact "boat turn-backs to stop people leaving for Australia in the first place, offshore processing so that those who were picked up at sea never made it to Australia, and temporary visas so that those who did get here couldn't stay."

This was "crucially" under a unified command structure with military leadership, Abbott added, saying that he also launched a media blackout on boat arrivals to prevent the media becoming an advertising service for people smugglers to their would-be customers.

Australia was uncompromising on boat turnbacks in those years, Abbott wrote — something the United Kingdom government refuses to even try — noting even a migrant boat coming into trouble at sea wouldn't get its occupants into Australian territory.

"When boats were scuttled, forcing our navy to pick up their occupants – putting would-be migrants on to unsinkable lifeboats just outside Indonesia's 12-mile limit with only enough fuel to make it back to Java," he said.

Tough love it may have been, but huge numbers died trying to break into Australia in the years before the policy launched and those deaths ended immediately with the destruction of the people smugglers' business model. Abbott wrote in his Telegraph op-ed:

Stopping the boats was also the only way to stop the deaths. As long as arriving illegally by boat was the ticket to a better life in a better country, my government reasoned, the people smugglers would have a product to sell, with customers prepared to take their chances on the open sea. "Taking the sugar off the table" upset all the usual moralisers, but it was actually the most moral thing to do in the circumstances we faced.

The Indonesians were "furious" at his approach, he said, but didn't feel too bad about it. After all, in his words, "if they'd enforced their own laws, we would never have had a crisis on our borders" — an important point the British government does not appear to have internalised.

The UK recently signed off on a half-billion payout to France to bribe their government into patrolling their own beaches, and prevent migrant boats from crossing better. Whether the country will get value for money from this enormous delivery of cash to the French government is yet to be seen, but just last weekend six migrants were killed when their overloaded rubber boat foundered in the Channel.

Read the original article, here