Closed borders

Reversing its position for the second time in about a week, the Morrison government has refused entry to Milo Yiannopoulos, known, among other things, as a promoter of “ironic” Nazi trolling of the kind practised by the Christchurch murderer, whose actions he implicitly endorsed, describing the victims as practising a “barbaric and evil “religion.

This isn’t a free speech issue: Yiannopoulos’ repulsive statements are still freely published here, and there has been no attempt to suppress them. If he were in Britain (his home country), the thorny question of “no-platforming” would arise.

Since he wants to come to Australia, however, the issue is simply one of freedom of movement. Yiannopoulos is a supporter of closing borders to large groups of people of whom he and his political allies disapprove. It seems entirely fair that this policy should be applied to him and others like him, before being considered more generally.

We should extend the ban on Yiannopoulos and apply it to any foreigner belonging to an organization or social media group that wants to close borders on the grounds that particular religious and ethnic groups are undesirable, present risks of terrorism and so forth. It’s grimly obvious that Yiannopoulos and his fellow racists are just such an undesirable and potentially dangerous group.


Of course, thanks to the High Court, the question “who is a foreigner” inevitably arises. It would be poetic justice to apply the view stated above to dual citizens, but I will stick with the view that all Australian citizens should be equal before the law.

11 thoughts on “Closed borders

  1. The High Court decisions are irrelevant to this question because the only lessening of rights that affect dual citizens is the right to be a member of the federal parliament. There has never been even a hint by the HC that any other rights are compromised.

    On Yiannopoulos, this has been over-analysed. If I was the Immigrstion Minister, I would simply say

    “He’s not allowed in because he’s a [c-word]. And that is [gerund form of f-word] that”.

  2. It’s absolutely tragic what happened in New Zealand. We must remember that words have consequences and that any “right to free speech” comes with responsibilities. People can’t go around vilifying people on the basis of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc. And any incitement to violence should be regarded as a criminal offence. But where did all this nonsense begin? What about the “respectable” media outlets that normalised the likes of Pauline Hanson and their mindless hate speech? Didn’t David Koch and his toxic Sunrise program have her on as a talking head before she was elected to the Senate for a few cheap laughs and some easy ratings? The LNP has either courted Islamaphobia or outright encouraged it. Wasn’t their attitude to that Yanis clown outright ambivalent prior to the tragic events in Christchurch? I remember going back many, many years, John Howard refused to condemn Hanson and her toxic brand of politics. He was also guilty of Islamaphobic remarks. All of these so called “respectable voices” carrying on with a lot of rot about Western Civilisation and our “Judaeo-Christian” society (whatever that means) have also contributed to widespread Islamaphobia. Don’t forget that great intellectual George Brandis stood up in Parliament and said “you have a right to be a bigot.” And what about our ironically named “intelligence” agencies? How many of these alt-right nutters are on terrorist watch lists? I suspect very few because these agencies are probably staffed by people with the mindset that only Muslims are terrorists. I really feel as if we’re descending into darkness at the moment. There’s a lot of toxic, hateful nonsense circulating at the moment. I can’t do much for the victims and their families, but I hope that, in future, I will stand-up to toxic hate speech and alt-right nuttery, rather than politely changing the topic to something more palatable (yes, I am ashamed to admit I have friends and family infected with this hateful disease to one degree or another).

  3. @1 I endorse your description of MY, and appreciate that you’ve not spelt it out, as requested in the comments policy

    On dual citizens, the Prakash case indicates that the madness goes beyond s44. Whether directly inspired by the HC or not, the government decided it could strip citizenship from a native-born Australian on the basis of their own determination that he was a citizen of another country. No consultation with the government concerned, and (I think) no retreat when that government repudiated the action. Based on this precedent, there’s no obvious reason why we can’t (for example) declare Fraser Anning a citizen of outer space, and stick him in detention until he agrees to return there.

  4. I suspect your’re trolling the right rather than strictly serious, but let’s run with it.

    Milo’s position on borders (“I care about culture not race, keep cultures I don’t like out”) is to the left of mainstream Israeli politics, at least when it comes to Israeli borders. And they’re not shy about saying it aloud.

    Ditto the Japanese and Chinese… they’d make Pauline Hanson blush. Ban them too??

  5. @John Certainly, I’d apply this policy to immigration restrictionists and racists from all countries, including Netanyahu and his backers, and their counterparts in Japan and China. But you seem to be implying that “the Japanese and Chinese” are collectively responsible for the policies of their governments, which would put you in the same camp as Anning. Perhaps you would like to clarify.

  6. MY’s backers who successfully got the minister to rescind the first ban are keeping very quiet. He might have gone too far even for them this time, but more likely they know that a tactical retreat is needed.

  7. Nooo. This posting has the horse before the cart.

    The issue isn’t about any questioning of people movements as “racist” (ffs, get the underlying enviro and economic policy settings right, after twenty years wasted mainly by the LNP trying to defend the fossil fuels lobby through racist wedge politics, backed by the media).

    The real issue has been the blurring of terminology by rightist politics and Mainstream media, that has led to the growth of cranks and crank groups. Once this is understood, THEN we can get to what is or isn’t “racist” as to the people movement debate.

    A person who wants to see an adult rational policy involving a) poor, benighted asylum seeker policy b) Immigration policy involving a backdrop of SANE discourse and planning is no more a “racist” than someone opposing Zionist brutalities in Palestine is an “antisemite”.

  8. In the end, the problem is not a harebrain like Yiannopoulis or even the masses, starved on information by media and shopfront politics and eventually brainwashed, as Tarrant became, as an extreme example.

    It comes down to hardcore oligarchic conservatism and msm manipulating or denying the information needed by the masses to understand what is actually at stake.

    If Prof Quiggin is talking about somehow bringing people like Hanson, Murdoch and meeja in general, Jones, Dutton, Morrison and so forth to some sort of accounting THEN I am right behind him: great!

  9. I would prefer to let anyone come to Australia to speak provided they aren’t going to incite violence. What worries me about Milo Yiannopoulos, Lauren Southern etc, is that these frivolous fringe characters are made famous because News Ltd boost their otherwise weak to middling signal. The solution to that is to break up News Ltd.

  10. Milo Yiannopoulos gets a very brief mention as a puerile light weight in passing in this excellent 2017 article backgrounding the intellectual anti-bau origins of Tarrant’s bogan “great replacement” 74 page rant of last Friday. Heavy weights De Gaulle and Churchill feature more prominently.

    The French Origins of “You Will Not Replace Us”
    The European thinkers behind the white-nationalist rallying cry.
    By Thomas Chatterton Williams
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/12/04/the-french-origins-of-you-will-not-replace-us

    Williams’ article linked from:

    New Zealand’s Loss of Innocence
    Mar 17, 2019 | Ramesh Thakur
    https ://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/new-zealand-white-supremacy-terrorist-attack-by-ramesh-thakur-2019-03

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