The Federal Government is setting up two new detention camps for asylum seekers, one of which is in Northam, northeast of Perth. EoR is deeply concerned about this matter and is glad he doesn't live anywhere near the town, given the volatile nature of the residents and what might happen. And he doesn't mean the asylum seekers.
Howard Sattler, well aware of his audience demographic, has been pushing this issue for weeks now, including a three hour broadcast from Northam with a live audience full of redneck racists (actually, one person spoke up for moderation but was quickly shouted down). Continually claiming that he's not trying to stir things up, Sattler consistently warns of riots, escapes, lack of health services and violence because of the asylum seekers. He even tried to push the line that the army camp they are to be housed in is some kind of national historical site.
Still not trying to stir things up, he allows callers to make accusations that Serco (the security company that will be operating at the Northam camp) are "playing both sides of the fence" by supervising the asylum seekers and somehow funding the people smugglers as well. While Sattler declared that he had "no evidence" to support that claim he nonetheless allowed the caller to go on at length and, at the same time, apparently had no idea where the dump button was or what its use was.
The West Australian reports on the meeting that followed Sattler's rabble-rousing rally.
Belinda McKinnon, who wore a T-shirt emblazoned with the words Bomb Their Boat, said anyone who tried to arrive in Australia without permission committed an illegal act.
One Nation State vice-president Lyn Vickery said: "They will slit your throat in a second."
Another Northam resident, John Edwards, claimed 3m-high fences would not be enough to stop detainees from escaping. "The first thing they are going to do when they jump the fence is steal my car and drive to Perth to blend in with their own kind," he said.
EoR can already hear Duelling Banjos.
And how Lyn Vickery can get to be vice-president of a political party (admittedly, a fringe, loony, racist, conspiracy-mongering party) is bizarre. Described as a sad little fantasist, his website uses the symbolism of a bomb and states
We will change the world by informing the people. By showing them how they have been lied to, conned, robbed and how what they see as "the real world" is a cunningly manufactured hell designed to reward the psychopaths who control it while at the same time milking everyone else until death! The slaves will be set free. And when that day comes "I see wars, horrid wars, the Tiber foaming with much blood"
There's extremism for you. Mr Vickery lives in a world where Bolshevism is still a threat, and Adolf Hitler a paragon of virtue to be emulated by all right-thinking, pure-race eugenicist thugs. What would the Australian media's response be to inflammatory statements made by a Muslim in the same vein, and using the bomb symbolism? Would it be the same as it is for Vickery?
Sattler has stirred the situation so successfully that the right-wing Premier of WA, Colin Barnett, is actually sounding reasonable:
Premier Colin Barnett has accused some Northam residents of prejudice after angry scenes at a crowded town meeting last night over a proposed immigration detention centre.
Mr Barnett today said he was concerned by some of the extreme statements made at the meeting, which he said were not appropriate.
“It just shows on a sensitive issue like asylum seekers, on what many will see as illegal immigration, this flares the tempers and maybe some of the prejudices that in Australian society,” he said.
“That's why issues like this need to be handled carefully, even slowly if that's what it takes, and sensitively.”
Racial vilification is not unknown to journalism, of course, nor to politicians who seek to exploit an easy and simple polarisation of views in order to increase their votes (or readers). Wayside Signals reports on a UK politician who tried that stunt and, surprisingly, has been called to task and his victory overturned. If only Australian politicians (and journalists) had the same sort of accountability. News with nipples reports how the media aided and abetted the politicians.
We – the public and the media – have been pwned by the Howard, Rudd and Gillard Governments. They wanted us to hate asylum seekers, and now we hate asylum seekers. They wanted us to think that 692 people a year is a massive problem, and now we think that 692 people a year is a MASSIVE PROBLEM. John Howard must have soiled his pants a little when he (or, more likely, an adviser) came up with “we will decide who comes to this country and the circumstances in which they come” – a sentence that’s almost nine years old to the day, and one I’ve heard trotted out constantly since then. Even my own mother (an immigrant) has used it.
To date, Howard Sattler has not come out in opposition to Hakea Prison, situated in suburban Perth, housing over 900 male prisoners, even though this is just as much a clear (and already existing) threat to god-fearing, law-abiding white Australians, nor has he organised public protests against it, or devoted hours and hours of his mean-spirited radio show to it.