via Keeping Stock
When National rushed through legislation about stopping boat people through parliament the opposition and their lap-bloggers squealed that it was unnecessary.
In 2010,¬†Labour MP Phil Twyford attacked John Key¬†on Red Alert:
Does John Key¬†really¬†think New Zealand is about to be hit by a wave of boat people?
‚ÄúWhat I‚Äôve said to the Australian prime minister is that we recognise there is a problem, and we recognise that from New Zealand‚Äôs perspective it‚Äôs a problem that is coming towards our shores at some point in the future.‚ÄĚ
Mr Key said that from all the intelligence he had received, this was ‚Äúa real issue‚ÄĚ.
Has he looked at a map recently? There is a lot of ocean between us and them. Short of us putting out the welcome mat for people-smugglers it seems very unlikely they will make it this far.
In 2011, former Green MP Keith Locke accused the PM of scaremongering¬†in this post on the party’s Frogblog:
John Key’s scaremongering about boat people flooding into the country damages New Zealand’s race relations, Green Party immigration spokesperson Keith Locke said today.
“While John Key’s approach may increase the National Party’s ‘redneck’ vote, as happened to John Howard in Australia, it will be at a cost to race relations in New Zealand,” said Keith Locke.
“Racial dog whistling about refugees is unbefitting of a Prime Minister.
And just last year, those bastions of left-wing reason at The Standard¬†accused John Key of invoking the “yellow peril”:
Bad jobs numbers and a succession of collapses of major businesses weighing your government down? You need: distraction! How about an old classic from the New Zealand politician‚Äôs playbook ‚Äď the Yellow Peril!
Passed on by Richard Seddon and Winston Peters, Yellow Peril‚Äôs now being wielded by John Key as he talks of vague, unsubstantiated threats that boatloads of Indonesians are heading for our shores (no, I‚Äôm not sure what terrors are meant to eventuate when they land, either)
Of course, the closest any boat people have actually come to reaching New Zealand was when our mates, the Aussies, thought about helping them
Never mind that Indonesia is literally 1/6th of the world away,* John Key wants us to know the ‚Äėthreat‚Äô from boat people, threat of what I don‚Äôt know, is very real and something we should all be worried about. Far more worried than we should be about, say, the threat of losing our jobs. (* At nearly 4,000 miles the distance from the closest parts of Indonesia to New Zealand is the distance from Europe to North America and back. Most boat people make trips from Indonesia to one of Australia‚Äôs offshore islands, a journey of a couple of hundred miles. So, we‚Äôre being asked to believe that boat people are planning, for no apparent reason, to make a journey 20 times longer and over colder, rougher, open seas in the Tasman, when Australia‚Äôs right there, literally in the way ‚Äď doesn‚Äôt seem like a profitable business venture for the people smugglers for a start, 20 times the operating costs.)
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