Australia’s “I’m all right, Jack” policies in action.

Originally: “Fuck you, Jack, I’m all right!!”  (A phrase used to describe) Narrow-focus, narrow-gauge pseudo-Darwinian selfishness glorified as a sensible philosophy of society and life. Urban Dictionary

The Age: A 49-year-old career criminal who hasn’t set foot in New Zealand since leaving at the age of 13 months is about to be deported from Australia.

pio

Pio Steve, bottom right, in a picture taken  with the bros inside the Villawood Detention Centre. 

Pio Steve, moved to Australia with his family as a baby, and despite having no family or friends in New Zealand, is about to be sent back by the Australian government.

There is no doubt that Australia will be a slightly better place for the absence of Pio Steve despite his pleas that he needs to stay behind to look after his mother (which must’ve been difficult during his frequent periods in jail).

New Zealand’s Labour Corrections spokesman Kelvin Davis said Steve was a “product” of Australia. “He went to school and was shaped in Australia. He’s an Australian. It’s unfair of them to dump him here, because it makes New Zealand less of a safe place,” said Mr Davis.

A staggering 737 offences have already been committed in NZ by 197 deportees between January 2015 and December 12, 2016.

Pio Steve’s appeals against his deportation have been turned down, so there is no doubt that what is being done is legal under Australian law.

There is an ethical question involved and that is “Who was responsible for Pio Steve?”

In the first instance, Pio Steve is responsible for Pio Steve. But clearly, he is a hardened career criminal and our societies, both in New Zealand and Australia, take responsibility for the incarceration and possible rehabilitation of people like Pio Steve.

The Australian government and its spokesperson for all things draconian in terms of migration policies, Peter Dutton, would argue that the responsibility rests with his country of birth.

Dutton.jpg

“On yer bike”,  Peter Dutton’s message to expat NZ criminals

The New Zealand government would argue that Pio Steve is Australia’s responsibility, because he has grown up here and is a product of the social, education and political systems of Australia.

There would appear to be little doubt that Pio Steve will represent a greater threat to society if he is returned to New Zealand than he would if he remains  in Australia where there is some chance, albeit pretty slim, of his rehabilitation. The chances are he will continue to offend and the chances of that will increase if he is repatriated to New Zealand.

All this is part of the general underlying philosophy of migration policy in Australia: Make the consequences of an individual’s behaviours so appallingly bad that other people will be deterred from similar actions.

If this policy has produced a drop in crime rates amongst expatriate New Zealanders, then the government should make this data available.

If not, this policy should be discontinued and Australia should accept responsibility for its criminals and put an end to being a trans-Tasman pariah.

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