Europe’s “catastrophic error”

The headline writer chose this, Europe must follow our lead on turnbacks: Tony Abbott but the first sentence says what he was really trying to say:

Europe is heading towards a “catastrophic error” that could change it forever and must instead study and adopt Australia’s policy to turn back the tide of asylum-seekers, Tony Abbott said today.

Delivering the second ­Thatcher Lecture at London’s Guildhall, the former prime minister also called for more to be done to strike Islamic State terrorism “at its source” and said it was a pity a recent summit by world leaders looked only at countering violent extremism and not the ­inspiration for it.

In his first significant speech since he was toppled by Malcolm Turnbull six weeks ago, Mr Abbott said his invitation to give the lecture “suggests there was at least a hint of Thatcherism about my government in Australia”.

For some, a hint of Thatcherism is the kiss of death. For others, who have some idea of the stakes involved, there cannot be enough of Mrs Thatcher and what she stood for. What he and she understood is the difference between right and wrong. Now it is the difference between good and evil, and even so the left is blind to it all. And here’s the advice:

Europe should study how Australia had stopped the boats and restored border security as “the only compassionate thing to do”.

“This means turning boats around, for people coming by sea. It means denying entry at the border, for people with no legal right to come; and it means establishing camps for people who currently have nowhere to go,” he said.

“It requires some force; it will ­require massive logistics and ­expense; it will gnaw at our consciences — yet it is the only way to prevent a tide of humanity surging through Europe and quite possibly changing it forever.

“The Australian experience proves that the only way to dissuade people seeking to come from afar is not to let them in.”

In the meantime, it can only be hoped that Malcolm gets the message before we end up in the same boat as Europe. Abbott is world class, one of the deepest thinkers ever to rise to high office in this country. It’s only a shame that what he saw and understood was too difficult, not just for the media and the left in general, which is to be expected, but for the people who he had to deal with in cabinet and in his own party room.

AND CONTINUING: This has been cross-posted at Catallaxy and the comments thread is quite interesting. Hard for me to imagine people who would disagree with Abbott on these issues but, I guess, with much of the right self-identified as “libertarian”, and therefore open-borders, perhaps it’s not that surprising after all. I have added two comments of my own. First this:

Abbott was all Thatcher but where was his Keith Joseph? And Margaret didn’t have to put up with a creep like Turnbull who relentlessly stalked his own PM to the extent that nothing debated in cabinet was not the next day being aired on the news. But Margaret was famous for her foreign policy even more than the economics. She with Ronald Reagan and the Pope stared down the Evil Empire, not to mention Argentina and the Falklands. I only wish we had a Margaret Thatcher somewhere in one of the major countries of the West. Instead we have Obama, Merkel and Malcolm. There is some potential in Cameron but he, too, is no Margaret Thatcher.

And then this:

Dealing with migration and the Islamic State is the issue of our time in the same way that dealing with the Soviet Union was the issue of her time. Who besides Tony gets it? As for economics, this is from her first budget in 1979:

The 8 and 12.5 per cent VAT rates were unified at 15 per cent, putting around 3.75 per cent on the RPI. There was also a 7p increase in petrol duty, adding 10p to a gallon when VAT was added in. (For RPI reasons, alcohol and tobacco duties were left untouched.) The oil companies were tapped: Petroleum Revenue Tax (PRT) was increased from 45 to 60p and BNOC lost its exemption from the tax.

Let us compare with Joe defending his first budget in 2013:

An emotional Mr Hockey described his first budget, which included the now-dumped GP co-payment, plans to uncap university fees and increased fuel and income taxes, as too courageous for the Parliament.

We will see as time goes by who will be as courageous as Joe and Tony were then. I suspect there is no one around who will take these issues on, least of all the current incumbent, who was probably leaking as furiously as he could to all his mates at the ABC.

This Abbott Derangement Syndrome truly is a form of insanity. People who think politics is no more difficult than agreeing with your friends while sitting around your dining room ought to get out once in a while. Abbott had a right to expect some slack from those who understand what the other side represents but political sophistication is as rare as a modern economist’s understanding of the operation of a market economy.

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