The denial utterances coming from Phillip ‘Cadaver’ Ruddock just don’t ring true to me.
He’s now adopting the Howardian defence of “No one told me. I didn’t know” and while that defence seemed to work for Howard in times past, it no longer does. How can Ruddock hope that it’ll work for him? Why would the authors of the Howard biography put into print such an allegation if there wasn’t at least some validity to it’s claim? Why would whoever passed on such information do so if it couldn’t be validated?
I think it’s well and truly understood now, five and a half years down the track, that the arrival of the MV Tampa on Australia’s shores was the saving grace of the Howardian cabal at that time. That point was the epitome of the politics of fear and loathing we’ve seen brought to a near art form over the past eleven years in total. That Howard’s crew and only Howard’s crew would determine who came to this country and the conditions under which they came.
We now know that no-one hurled their children into the Indian Ocean, that SIEV-X was allowed to sink on the pretext that it wasn’t within Australian jurisdiction, and now we know that international conventions to which Australia is a party clearly defined our responsibilities in regard to the MV Tampa, and were reneged upon. Sure, people smugglers are an undesirable element which has arisen from a world of conflict and individual angst for the oppressed. Surely that angst is magnified by a so-called developed nation like Australia denying it’s humanitarian responsibilities. In many ways, the Howard government by it’s conduct then and ongoing behaviours since has proven that it‘s no better than the people smugglers it claims to be fighting against. Continual denial of those attitudes and blame shifting by those who can’t afford to be doing so only serves to personify the attitudes.