Barry Soper: Australia's detention of Kiwis a disgrace

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A view of a part of the Construction camp detention center February 29, 2012 on Christmas Island, Australia. Photo / Getty
A view of a part of the Construction camp detention center February 29, 2012 on Christmas Island, Australia. Photo / Getty

Let's face it, the Aussies have invented a new boomerang and it's got naughty Kiwi written all over it.

It's a bit much though for Labour's Kelvin Davis to say the Aussies are trying to purify their country. It's a bit late for that, they were sullied right from the start by their convict settlement.

You could say they're trying to turn this country into what they once were by deporting all their undesirables. But you could also say that many of those who've fallen foul of the law there, learnt their bad habits from the Ocker shockers given that many of them crossed the ditch with their Kiwi parents when they were knee high to a grasshopper.

It's a disgrace that just on two hundred Kiwis, the biggest number of any "foreign nationals," are being held in detention centres in Australia, centres that are in many cases bigger dives than their grungy prisons. And the new, draconian laws to kick Kiwis, and others out of the country, denies the premise that if you do the crime you do the time.

Under the Aussie character test requirement, once you've done your time, if the sentence was 12 months or more and regardless of the time you've actually spent behind bars, you'll be told to pack up your troubles in your old kit bag and frown. You'll be sent packing and there'll be plenty to worry about, particularly if you're being sent back to a country that you've never had any association with.

And there's no time frame on the marching orders being issued, there's no statute of limitations of when the crime was committed. The knock on the door can come at any time.

The ANZAC spirit then has become little more than a Clayton's concoction, as evidenced by John Key's money market buddy Malcolm Turnbull when he was here last year. Key asked him to show a little more compassion to Kiwis considering the special relationship we always thought we had with them.

Fat chance, Turnbull said it was their absolute, legitimate and sovereign right to show Kiwis the migration gate if they've committed a crime. The word compassion obviously doesn't come into it.

If was a rogue state treating Kiwis in that way, Key would likely be beating his chest about it.

If we started treating Aussies in this country like they treat us there, like relegating them to guest workers without welfare rights, the scowl from Canberra would be deafening.

- NZ Herald

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