COMMENT: By Andrew Dickens
Is there anyone out there who is not fascinated by the story of John Chau.
The 26 year old missionary who glibly invaded an island in the Indian Ocean to convert a stone age tribe to Christianity, only to find they weren't very welcoming. In fact they shot him with arrows, tied a rope round his neck and then threw the body on the beach as a warning to others.
It's not like John Chau was not forewarned. These guys on the Sentinel Islands have been repelling the 21st Century since the day they were first discovered. There was the epic TV shots back in the day when an islander spent some time one sunny afternoon shooting arrows at a circling helicopter.
John Chau's family has asked that the islanders are not prosecuted for the so-called crime, which shows that the arrogance of the missionary extends to his family. Chau was trying to enter a prohibited island. He was not only breaking the Indian law but the law of the people of Sentinel Islands. Which they then enforced. With their arrows. They upheld their sovereignty.
I admire the Sentinel Islanders who it must said have the most effective hardline immigration policy of anyone in the world. Theirs is not an open border. They will not welcome refugees, they will not welcome anyone. And they'll protect it.
The Sentinel Islanders do not need to build a wall. The Sentinel Islanders do not need to build a camp on Manus Island. The Sentinel Islanders are not complaining of tent towns downtown. Immigrants are not stealing their jobs or their huts
It's lovely timing as the world looks to sign the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration early next month in Marrakech.
There's a lot of fear mongering on the Compact abroad. People saying the Compact opens the borders to migrants to have freedom to enter and be facilitated without barriers. I have emails from people saying that by signing the compact New Zealand will be forced to take 1 million refugees in the future.
Certainly a handful of nations have decided not to sign the compact. The US, Australia, Hungary, Austria, Israel, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. In fact the US refused to be involved at any point of the drafting.
So I've read and reread this Compact and articles on it from all sources to find out if I should be worried and I've come to this.
It's one of the biggest exercises in virtue signalling I've ever seen. The Compact says little other than migration happens for many reasons and has since the beginning of time. It says we need to measure it. It says if people get on the move because of war, famine or deprivation then these people are still people and still have some human rights. And throughout the Compact it reasserts that sovereignty and national laws will always retain precedence. Signing it is says these people exist in the world, and they're a problem and they have to be dealt with humanely. And that's about it.
Not signing it on the grounds that your sovereignty is compromised is a myth. And the states that are not signing it are virtue signalling that they're still tough. Interestingly in the US and Australian cases they've been states who have been criticised for the treatment of migrants in detention camps. But nowhere in the Compact is there a ban on those camps. It says conditions must be humane.
I'm unconcerned as long as we like the Sentinel Islanders remain vigilant and retain our sovereignty.
Furthermore, if the worst happens and these fair islands of ours become uninhabitable after volcanic eruption, earthquakes or dramatic climate change we better hope and pray that there are still nations who would accept us as migrants and refugees.