Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbot is not the soft touch leader that many western leaders appear to be and many Americans, especially those on the right of Barack Obama, must have wished was their President when he threatened to take on Vladimir Putin in a one on one combat bout.
Mr Abbott was elected in 2013 on an anti-immigrant agenda and even the opposition party facing him was also seeking votes on an anti-asylum seeker ticket. Recently on the media we have been hearing about Europe's asylum-seekers arriving on southern European coasts fleeing conflicts in Somalia, Eritrea, Nigeria and Syria and other lands where persecution, war and famine are rife. Europe, especially Italy, has been rescuing these beleaguered people and bringing them to safety where they are held in transit before going to seek new lives mainly in Germany and other European states. The UK has refused point blank to accept any of the migrants despite joining other European navies in rescuing these refugees.
However, Australia has been confronting and even sending back asylum seeker boats from whence they came or with agreement with the #Government of Papua New Guinea taking them there where they are housed in detention camps. Once it is determined some of the asylum seekers are genuine they are then granted a new life in PNG, never in Australia.
This policy has been labelled as racist by some, but the 'Stop the boats' campaign championed by the likes of Tony Abbott was and is popular among Australians. Australia was once an easy nation to enter but now operates a points system where you will not be let in unless you have a skill and can support yourself without signing on for benefits. So a 'Stop the boats campaign' is probably just an extension of this thinking among Australians and the political parties that know an anti-immigrant stance will get them votes. Just to mention: Australia ratified the UN Refugee convention, which is why a March 2015 report found the country to be in violation of its obligations regarding asylum seekers.
Since Australia has been confronting boat people with their navy the number has dropped and so now with so many refugees crossing the Mediterranean, is it time we did the same?