January 10, 2004


A bunch of illegal immigrants whose claims for asylum have been rejected according to UN guidelines go on a hunger strike, and their supporters demand that the Australian government provides medical help:

Australian-based representative for most of the 284 asylum seekers on Nauru, Hassan Ghulam, warned that if the medical team failed to arrive the hunger strike, suspended yesterday, would resume.

"I think they would resume (the hunger strike)," he said.

"The Government should know that the severity of this radical action will be dictated by the Government, not the detainees.

"If there's no action by the Government it means loss of life."

No, Hassan. It means loss of life if people decide to not put food in their own mouths. This isnít a government decision. Itís a personal one.

Posted by Tim Blair at January 10, 2004 03:02 AM

A bunch of Mahatmas they ain't...

Posted by: mojo at January 10, 2004 at 03:37 AM

Natural selection in action.

Posted by: jonathan at January 10, 2004 at 03:55 AM

The UN is the arbiter of everything good and true in the world until it says something they don't like. Typical.

Posted by: dzd at January 10, 2004 at 05:10 AM

Why dont' you refer these folks to Geoff Kitney (above entry) to be castigated by their wildly individualistic behavior. They are obviously ruining the communal nature of Australia. Damn those individualists, Damn them I say!! (Well, as noted above, unless they are doing something I like.)

Posted by: JorgXMcKie at January 10, 2004 at 05:45 AM

Here in Ireland we have long experience of supporting hunger strikers. They generally go weak at the knees after the second or third food parcel.

Posted by: Edmund Burke at January 10, 2004 at 05:50 AM

It wont happen. Christmas is over and the attempted cultural blackmail did not work. The next effort is due at Easter time commencing Palm Sunday.

Posted by: Proboscis at January 10, 2004 at 06:35 AM

Idiotarians *always* try to blame the other guy. Look at all those movies where the bad guy takes a hostage and says "it's your fault if I kill her, man!"

A more classic example is the one that starts "I have poured glue in the works of your watch", which unfortunately I can't find the text of after some time spent searching for it, darn it, but it's a hypothetical involving a robber stealing a watch, destroying it, and then blaming the owner. That's what's going on here.

Posted by: Rick C at January 10, 2004 at 07:22 AM

Can you say "2004 Darwin Awards"?

Posted by: Jake D at January 10, 2004 at 07:52 AM

Maybe Tim should start a "Pies for the Hunger Strikers" donation drive.

Posted by: PNN Ed at January 10, 2004 at 11:20 AM

I can't wait for their next tactic: "We're going to hold our breath until we turn blue and pass out! So there!"

Posted by: Andrea Harris at January 10, 2004 at 11:47 AM

We must free the mouths to use the forks...

Posted by: Jerry at January 10, 2004 at 02:16 PM

Hi Tim

I've just come back from three weeks in Asia, where any news of Australia was scarce. You'll be delighted to know however, that Australia TV Asia Pacific gave the Nauru hunger strikers top billing in all its news bulletins, with the ABC's usual sympathetic slant towards any asylum seekers. Contrast this with BBC World, CNN and local Asian TV news, which made no mention of this story and you'll realise how parochial and irrelevant the ABC is. Needless-to-say, no-one gives a damn in SE Asia about our asylum seeker issue and to the extent that anyone cares, they think John Howard's got the right approach - ie kick them out, like the SE Asians do with their own illegal migrants.

Posted by: Freddyboy at January 10, 2004 at 03:55 PM

are they capable of domestic household and yard work? my debt castle needs help. i figure if they dont eat anything then i wont have to pay em anything either. right?

Posted by: roscoe.p at January 10, 2004 at 03:56 PM

If you were trying to sneak into a country, wouldn't you struggle to show how hopelessly normal, rational, and hard-working you were instead of doing your level best to convince everyone you're a gibbering loonball?

Hell, my grandfather was illegal, and apart from that he never did anything worse than work as a mason, buy a brownstone apartment, rent it out, and put me through college.

Somehow I don't see this lot doing the same.

Posted by: John Nowak at January 11, 2004 at 05:52 AM