Friday, 17 November 2017

Loose Lips Launch Ships

Ardern's Moral Posturing Has Consequences

During the Second World War, in Britain the warning was, "Loose Lips Sink Ships".  As the U-boats hunted for convoys of merchant vessels, sinking hundreds as they made their way to Britain carrying vital supplies, people were made conscious of the need for secrecy.  Given German intelligence operatives were active on radio listening posts, information often deemed to be harmless might have been sufficient for security leaks, leading to focused U-boat efforts on expected convoys. 

Now circumstances have changed.  We need to update the slogan from "Loose Lips Sink Ships" to "Loose Lips Launch Ships".  Several years ago Australian waters were invaded by boats launched out of Indonesia, carrying "refugees".  The Labour government of the day welcomed them into Australia.  At its height, one boat a week was arriving on Australian shores.  Most of these "boat people" were not genuine refugees: they were economic migrants who had paid money for passage to Australia.  They arrived, as the scam requires, with all their documentation mysteriously missing.  No passports, no documents proving provenance.  No UN refugee certification.  Nothing. 

Then Labour lost an election, and the Liberal administration stopped the boats virtually overnight.  They simply deployed the Australian navy to detect the ships and turn them back to Indonesia.  They continue to patrol in this fashion, and they continue to turn boats back.

But those in the business of people-running on the seas are smart, well-informed, cunning, and business savvy.
  They can make plenty of money charging exorbitant rates for passage via sea from Indonesia to Australia.  But their business can only work if they are able to transport and offload successfully those who have paid for passage.  So they watch the Australian government and naval activities like a hawk.  They look for any weakness, any opportunity, any hint of a change of policy that would enable them to spin a yarn for cash, even if their customers ended up being lost at sea.

Into this zoo has stepped some of the loosest lips in this part of the world--newly minted, self-righteous NZ Prime Minister Ardern.  She has positioned herself within a couple of weeks as being migrant friendly.  She has lectured the Australian Prime Minister upon the need to be more loving towards some of the intercepted migrants who are now cooling their heels in Vanuatu.  She has offered New Zealand as a destination for up to 150 of them.  She has pledged $3m to help support them.

But Loose Lips Launch Ships.  Almost immediately, it seems, the people smugglers have put boats in the water in Indonesia, full of economic migrants, reported to be heading for New Zealand!  Ardern's loose, flappy lips have indeed launched ships.
People smugglers are moving to cash-in on a left-leaning New Zealand, according to Australia's Courier Mail.  Operation Sovereign Borders ["OSB"] has turned back four boats trying to get across the ditch.  The paper reveals that crime syndicates have tried to bypass Australia's tough immigration measures and attempted to send four boats, carrying 164 asylum seekers, to New Zealand.  [Emphasis, ours.]

It comes as there are fears within intelligence communities that the direction of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who has been highly-critical of Australia's policy, may be used by people smugglers to encourage desperate people to risk their lives at sea.  The Courier-Mail understands that "chatter" has resumed among people smugglers who have pointed to the stand-off between Australia and NZ.

It is not known when the boats were intercepted or what country they started from but it is believed they told OSB they were headed to NZ. They were turned or towed back to near Indonesian waters.  In a recent interview with the Courier-Mail, the man in charge of OSB, Air Vice-Marshal Stephen Osborn said people smugglers leapt on changes of governments or ministers to get back into business.

"And it will be spun, whether it is (true) or not, because you'll have people smugglers who will go, 'Right, here's something that has a grain of truth, there's been a change in minister for example, we can spin this that he's a really nice guy, he's left-leaning, like the Greens or whatever, and he'll invite us'," he said earlier this year.

While it has never before been revealed that four boats were turned back, last week Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said New Zealand had been a destination for people smugglers.  "New Zealand is seen, as we know from our own intelligence, as effectively part of Australia by the people smugglers," Turnbull told ABC Radio.  "Do you know, we have intercepted and turned back boats which were heading to New Zealand?  I mean the people smugglers, the only reason New Zealand does not have thousands of people arriving in an unauthorised way on their shores is because of our border protection policies.  New Zealand is a prime beneficiary from our strong border protection policies."  [NZ Herald]
Now, when it comes to people-smuggling ships attempting to sail to New Zealand there is a slight nautical problem.  It's called the Tasman Sea which is a treacherous bit of water.  People smuggling ships will need to cross the Tasman.  In fact the acting New Zealand Prime Minister, Kelvin Davis actually offered the Tasman Sea in a TV interview as a reason why we in New Zealand shouldn't be too worried about people smugglers making it to this country.

But this myopic gentleman is apparently unable to see what will actually happen.  All it will take is for one "refugee" boat to get caught up in Tasman weather to radio for help.  People are in danger of drowning, etc.  What will New Zealand do?  Emotionally blackmailed--an effective weapon in the case of our current Prime Minister--New Zealand will do its best to save the wretched, pitiable cargo.  And then it will all be on.  "Sail to New Zealand.  Even if you get into trouble, the NZ navy will come out an rescue you." 

Our only defence and protection is the vigilance of the Australian OSB.  But Australia believes that it will be as a result of Ardern's loose lips  that they themselves will be confronted with a substantial increase in people smuggling activity in general.  Why?  Because Australia and New Zealand tend to be seen as the same country in the minds of the smugglers and their human cargo.

What a mess of pottage our ignorant Prime Minister has chewed upon by flapping her lips before putting her brain in gear.  It will not take too much for bad blood to spill over all this.  The NZ Labour Party has already been caught recently interfering in Australian politics.  And now the Australian Labour and Green Parties have come out in support of Ardern's position.

Turnbull's Government has a very small majority.  Ardern might be the catalyst to bring the Australian government down.  Not good for long term sisterly affection.

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