No Quarter This shit has to stop. My friends, there are just some ideas, some views, some opinions that are impossible to defend. Sometimes it's because they're objectively wrong. A "flat earth" is an example of this. We know the Earth isn't flat. It's round. The ancient Greeks knew it was round. Are you stupider than a bunch of democracy-loving pederasts? If you're a host of The View, the answer is yes. Other times, opinions can be indefensible on moral or ethical standpoints. I am reminded by that tortured cat that was in the news yesterday. Torturing animals is wrong. There's not really any material basis for saying this, but it's pretty bloody clear that setting a cat on fire is unacceptable. If you disagree with this, I am quite happy to hand you a bungee cord and some scissors. Then there are some views that are both morally and scientifically unjustifiable. Like supporting capital punishment. There is no reason, at all, to believe that capital punishment is either objectively beneficial or morally supportable. It doesn't deter people. It is exorbitantly expensive. If it is wrong to kill people, the state doing it doesn't make it right. It's still wrong. Just about anything that's been said against refugees or "boat people" (as Australia loves to euphemise) being accepted into the country also falls into this category. We have been asked to engage in an "open and frank discussion." I refuse, outright, because having an "open and frank discussion" on refugees grants legitimacy to the prejudices of ignorant racist pigs, cloaking the indefensible in a veil of "frankness." Nothing constructive is added to the 'debate', instead, the quality of discourse suffers as we have to put up to statements such as those (wrongly) attributed to Bennelong above. Taking a leaf from the book of the greatest humanitarian of the 21st century (Donald Rumsfeld), I am launching a pre-emptive strike, right here, to tell you why if you are worried about boat people, you're either a racist or an idiot. It's your choice. You're a racist if: *You believe there is a queue you should join: The queue jumping accusation is actually my favourite. No it's not you twat, it's the default position of the redneck right who throw nonsense around without having to back up their position with logic. Firstly, there is no actual queue you can join. If you're a Tamil holed up in the jungle, or a Hazara in downtown-fucking-Kandahar, there's no window that you can go to for which to register your interest in arriving in Australia somehow legitimately and subscribing to our magazine or blog. And even if the window did exist, you'd be shot on the way there. But I mean what is worse, and this is pretty fucking ridiculous, is that if you're in dire straits enough to "queue jump" to get on some leaky Indonesian raft, chances are that you have a moral right to queue jump. Sound crazy? Analogy time. Go to your goddamn hospital. You broke your arm playing grab-arse on a trampoline. You've filled out all the forms and waited 7 hours in the emergency room. You're about to be seen when suddenly an ambulance pulls up outside and a heart attack patient is rushed into the operating theatre in your place. That's fucked, eh? Fuckin' queue jumpers. *You believe they'll take OUR jobs: Notwithstanding the hypocrisy of this argument while you're enjoying all the fruits of globalisation, Australia actually has pretty damn near full employment compared to anywhere in the world right now, and we need more people to work. Guess what we can get refugees to do? Yay! *You think we have the right to decide who comes here: Actually we don't. We have a right to decide whether anyone who comes here is allowed to stay, but given how we signed the Refugee Convention, and it's not actually a crime to arrive in Australia by boat, this particular stream of thought doesn't really add up to anything resembling a logical argument. And it is the greatest irony that a nation of boat people is now scared of some boat people. *You wonder if they're terrorists: I will deport anyone who asks this question on grounds of idiocy, raising Australia's average IQ. You're an idiot if you believe: *Australia can't support more immigrants!: Actually, this has nothing to do with refugees. It doesn't even have anything to do with normal immigrants. Given the failure of all levels of government to create any new infrastructure that isn't a toll road or something as spectacularly imbecilic as a desal plant, infrastructure sucks without having to worry about the boat people. You know, stuck all the way on Christmas Island, taking up our space! *Our tough on boat people stance will discourage them: Waves of refugees tend to arrive from whatever places in the world are currently disaster zones. Y'know, like Kandahar. Or the Tamil homeland. Notice the correlation between how screwed up a place is and how many people try to flee it? Our "tough" stance will do sweet F.A. Instead, we should be focusing on trying to piece back together the places that people are fleeing, especially if we contributed to blowing them up. What really annoys me is that the new Gillard policy uses language that is consistent with this, in that yes, it is a good idea to stop people getting on the boats. Unfortunately, instead of fixing the problems which motivate people to become refugees, like violence, the "stop them before they board" aspect is fixated on "wrecking people smugglers," which are not a cause but a symptom. Great job you dumb frigging orangutan. *Australia has to secure it's border: Australia is an island. It doesn't have a border. Wait, sorry, yeah we have to protect ourselves from our border with the ocean. To hell with the ocean, man. (Actually, Australia might possibly have a land border via the Australian Antarctic Territory, but the percentage of rednecks who would actually consider this is 0%. On the other hand, Border Security would be more interesting if it involved penguins and sea lions). To conclude, ideas should not be legitimised under the guise of "free speech" if they possess no redeeming value. And the ideas advocated to try and vilify refugees are a blight on any public discourse. No quarter for prejudice, no quarter for idiocy, no quarter for hypocrisy.