INSTITUTE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS
WANTS TO DISMANTLE AUSTRALIA’S BORDERS
The Institute of Public Affairs faithfully runs out the agenda of big business on all things – relentlessly anti-union, anti-environment, anti-government. Not surprisingly it is a strong supporter of Liberal Party personnel and policies.
The Liberal Party likes to project itself as ‘tough on border protection”. John Howard famously said “We will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come”, and even now Opposition spokespeople accuse Labor of being “soft on protecting our borders”.
It was fascinating, therefore, to read Institute of Public Affairs Spokesman Chris Berg suggesting recently that there shouldn’t be any borders at all – that Australia (and other countries) should allow anyone who wants to come to do so.
He said in the modern world “Goods move easily – Money moves easily. That’s all great. But the situation for people is very different. People don’t move around the world easily at all. With its quotas, plodding bureaucracy, and more obviously, all the smuggling, immigration today looks strikingly like the restricted and protectionist global trade of yesterday”.
He is in favour of dismantling immigration controls: “All the same principles which make free trade a win-win apply to free movement of people – large scale immigration allows people to work where they can be most productive”.
He says “The biggest idea in development no-one has really tried is allowing large scale immigration from the third world to the first”. [Drum opinion, Chris Berg, 9 March 2011].
It is an astonishingly revealing article. First it explains the paradox that the Liberal Party talks tough about border controls, but in Government runs high migration programs – it is because their big business supporters insist they run high migration programs.
Second it shows that the Institute of Public Affairs and its business backers have such an extreme hostility to government action that they do not even believe governments should be allowed to stop people coming to countries en masse! Their answer to the refugee and asylum seekers issue is to simply let everyone come.
The electorate will need to be vigilant. Already this idea is influencing policy makers, as can be seen by the large increase in migration over the past decade. If voters do not actively tell politicians and media that this is unacceptable, then no doubt this is the direction in which we will head.
KELVIN THOMSON MP
Monday 2nd May, 2011