Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Crowing, apologising & denying

It is now quite clear (also here) that the action of Kevin Andrews in cancelling Md. Haneef’s visa was entirely appropriate under the Migration Act. Indeed, as the only requirement for cancellation was that Haneef could reasonably be suspected of associating with criminals, the cancellation was reasonable even before last night’s revelations. It is even more so now. My own judgement on this issue (here, here, here) was entirely vindicated. To those who directed a torrent of abuse at me here and elsewhere (‘geriatric fascist’ was my favourite) - I forgive you all, you graceless worms.

The press have had a field day over the Haneef issue with The Australian performing as badly as any. After last night’s dramatic disclosures I guess it could not so quickly admit it was wrong. So it continued today to not only criticise Minister Andrews but in fact to call via its editorial for his resignation. I guess it’s a matter of covering up a monstrously inept coverage with a dramatic call in order to try to conceal its errors. The Age which has been unrelenting in its pursuit of the government over this issue editorialised that the full story need be told. No credit to it either. Andrews provided more than enough evidence to show that he acted with ‘reasonable suspicion’ and explained why further information could not be provided at this stage. I'll wait and see if reverses the despicable sentiments it expressed yesterday - Richard Farmer stated he had 'no doubt' the government acted for political reasons and that Minister Andrews should be sacked.

Peter Faris who had previously criticised the government (and who was cited on this blog in commentary as an expert who would know more about this issue than me) has accepted he was wrong and agreed that the Minister acted appropriately. Also Ken Parish has recognised the soundness of the Minister’s case over at Troppo – though Andrews still couldn’t be let completely off the hook - the Minister was still a ‘turd’ and a ‘god-bothering twerp’.

Over at Larvatus Prodeo – well, never let the truth get in the way of a good story. These people have serious problems because of the conspiratorial world they live in and the echo chamber effect of a similarly-minded bunch of people projecting the same fantasies. The LP blog is vastly successful but samples a tiny proportion of the adult population and the opinion there is unbalanced and marginal. You can forget that when most commenters there deliver the same spray of nonsense. My comment to them last night stands:

‘The problem with dealing with those here who are supporting the attacks on Andrews and the Government is that they are dishonest. You know the truth but your stupid pride won’t admit it.

It wouldn’t matter what information was presented to Andrews it would spoil your fun and your idiotic intrigues to have the graciousness to admit you were wrong. Totally wrong.

Of course the information was not conclusive - indeed it does seem to have turned out to be wrong. But at the time it was reasonable to hold suspicions and to check them out.

The UK police were the source of the misinformation so all the crap about political intrigues, wedge politics and so on goes out the window. It probably was a mistake but one with very limited costs.

As was clear from the start Andrews had the responsibility under the Migration Act to cancel Haneef’s visa. He took appropriate action and the explanation he gave Kevin Rudd was appropriately accepted by him.

What always gets me is the view of human nature you guys take. It must reflect your own values. You must assume other people act and think as you do. Not just Liberal politicians but Kevin Rudd, Mick Kelty the lot.

Don’t worry about it Mark & Co I am sure that next week you can come up with a new hysterical fantasy. But you only bring discredit upon yourselves with this appalling behaviour.’

I don’t think this judgement is overly harsh.


lesleym said...

Harry, who's crowing?
Given your status in the community, I would have thought that it is a position that ill becomes you.
It's now quite clear that this affair has been politicised beyond immediate redemption.
The British government so far has managed a 97% failure rate in apprehending terrrists, the Australian government looks set to make ton up. I don't see anyhing to be proud about at all.

whyisitso said...

This is a really excellent post Harry. In fact I don't think I've seen its equivalence in either the mainstream press or anywhere else in the blogosphere. I did read Ken Parish's effort and while he (very reluctantly) does at least recognise the truth, he ruined his credibility with his self-indulgent and unnecessary first paragraph. I don't know what's happened to Ken. I used to read him regularly when he started off with The Parish Pump four years or so ago, when he was a serious and thoughtful pioneer blog writer. I think it's a shame that he's degenerated so much (perhaps in line with the rest of the blogosphere).

Keep up the good work, Harry. I've been heartened to read your posts on this subject. They've saved me from a mood of despair about the political savagery being exhibited in almost all the media lately.

Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Your credulity is boundless.

Andrews, a man at the end of his political rope, has taken Haneef's comments completely out of context.You simply cannot draw any conclusions until the FULL transcript is released.

As Haneef's lawyer said, this was all considered in his bail hearing. That the magistrate was not swayed would suggest there was more to it than Andrews' selective quoting implies.

As to Dr Haneef's sudden departure, this is entirely understanable given the Howard government's shoddy treatment of David Hicks.

If you are really the intelligent, principled man you portray yourself has, why do you not recognise that Howard's record of using fear and national security issues for political ends makes anything he or his ministers say on these issues highly suspect?

Instead, you slander those civilised, intelligent, and questioning people who feel legitimate disquiet about Howard's strategies as paranoid appeasers.

Finally, it is a bit rich for you to criticise The Australian, since for most of the past 10 years, it has been a glorified public relations vehicle for your hero.

Anonymous said...

Which anonymous are you anonymous? Are you the old anonymous anonymous or a new anonymous anonymous?

hc said...

The last question is a good one. Why not use an identifier when you post?

Patrick Conellan said...

An interesting development - from the ABC news:

"It has been confirmed that former Gold Coast doctor Mohamed Haneef repeatedly tried to call British police from Australia after the bungled bomb attacks in London and Glasgow.

But Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews has refused to say whether he considered the calls in his decision to cancel Dr Haneef's visa.

Police transcripts reveal that Dr Haneef tried to call British police from Australia four times after the bombings.

Dr Haneef has reportedly said he wanted to tell the police that he had left a SIM card with a cousin who was implicated in the attacks."

Is this the action you would expect from a guilty man?

You might have spoken too soon Harry.

hc said...

Patrick, It is frustrating because I have said it throughout this discussion. I am not judging Haneef's guilt. He may be innocent.

Again the issue is whether the Minister had 'reasonable suspicions' that Haneef had criminal associations - that is ewhat is required under the Act. In my view he did.

That is all.

epon_anon said...

Actually the issue, or rather the question, isn't whether Andrews was justified in making the decision or whether he could find grounds for making the decision. Was the decision to revoke his visa necessary, why was it necessary and what were the likely consequences? I'd suggest that the predictable reactions to the decision are exactly what it was intended to produce. The minister invoked his powers to have Haneef deported immediately & then criticised the doctor for leaving immediately once the charges had fallen through. As has been pointed out by the lawyers for Dr Haneef, the information released by the minister has been on the public record for weeks; he could quite sensibly have cited this material, flawed or not, in the announcement of his original decision. He didn't; he wasn't looking to make a case but to provoke a reaction. It worked, predictably. You should stop whining, "your team" is winning this "game" and the only real losers are the judicial system & the counter-terrorist regime which necessarily relies upon both. Three cheers for you.

epon_anon said...

Sorry, second last sentence re the judicial system & counter-terrorist regime should have read "necessarily relies upon both an effective & transparent evidentiary regime and public confidence in its workings. The last sentence was a tad gratuitous in its sarcasm, so apologies for that.

Steve said...

Harry, have you been reading Mark at the Club Troppo thread today? (I am "Steve from Brisbane" over there.)

I am eagerly awaiting the answer to my last question, inviting him to actually tell us if he disagrees with the Minister's decision on the facts as we know them at the moment. He is, it seems to me, simply trying to avoid answering the question.

hc said...


If Haneef had been in custody I guess the question of him being a possible danger to the Australian community was moot.

I am conjecturing but maybe Kevin Andrews moved to revoke his visa once he became a possible community threat.

Steve from Brisbane, Mark B is so caught up in his fantasy world of left wing politics, right wing threats, conspiracy theories etc that I doubt anyone can get through. He is surrounded by similar people on LP and needs to get out and meet some people to understand that he represents an extreme minority in the community.

I doubt you will get through.

Shlomo said...

Don't crow too soon, as you are certain to end up eating it!!

Harry, you are the one who is frustrating. The presumption behind Haneef's incarceration and the cancellation of his visa is guilt. You support this action, ergo (by implication) you agree he is guilty of something worthy of this treatment (even if only probabilistically)

Presumption of innocence means not jailing/punishing somebody on very weak evidence.

And wait and see what scandal emerges now from Anderson's recent comments. The evidence here is also weak. Why was it not presented along with the sim card evidence? Wouldn't you be paranoid and want to leave if you were a muslim in a muslim-bashing culture like Australia and the US? Turns out he was right -- would have avoided two weeks of hell.

Use the noggin, HC, please!

Bring Back CL's blog said...

why is it so hard to get anything printed here when Harry is getting so hysterical.

Andrews has been a disgrace. IF the Good doctor was in bad character then Andrews could have shown the whole transcript ( which the legal team are entitled to but have not yet received) and shown this but he like you dissembles.

What was the Good doctor's explanation. Well we do not know but the Magistrate does. you know her she is the one that Andrews originally subverted. She thought the AFP explanation so good she thought it was 'thin'.

Andrews has yet to show any evidence that the man is of bad character. All he has said is that a year ago he gave someone in the UK a SIM card when he was leaving. Gosh a lot of people do that.

Now he simply releases some an Internet exchange. ( By the way watch out for bad translation here given the time pressures involved.

He is a witch!!!

hc said...

Schlomo, Stop trying to win arguments by playing the race card. It is tedious and wrong.

Your comments suggest you have not been following the debate. The evidence was anything but weak.

Homer, I am not getting 'hysterical'and I am not stopping anyone from printing stuff here.

I think I have made my point many times and I am convinced you are wrong for reasons that I have set out clearly.

Not all conversations end in consensus and this, it seems, will be one such conversation.

Bring Back CL's blog said...

let us not forget that the conversations were in Urdu.

What is the bet the translation is wrong or there are various interpretations one could make.

now the Magistrate would have heard that but Andrews was mute on the subject

Shlomo said...

Harry, unless you address the arguments I make, I assume you have no answer to them. Clearly you have yourself into a corner here and prefer to caricature my arguments as "race-card" rather than respond.

On the race issue, you obviously haven't been in a minority in a country, so you have no ability to understand how this impacts. Take it from me, this matters and it changes your perspective. Particularly if you're people have seen the thin end of the wedge turn into holocaust!

Also, lets make the latest events easy for you to understand:


1) Why didn't Andrews mention the translation?

2) Why didn't he give the whole transcript?

3) Why didn't he give this ''evidence'' right from the beginning?


1) It makes his argument much weaker

2) See 1), and add that he is probably dissembling

3) It was either worthless or being withheld strategically for the political reasons they are now being used for.

Time to eat that crow!