Monday, 22 April 2013


In The Sydney Morning Herald National Times 21st April 2013, Daniel Flitton has an article titled ASIO justifies 'black hole' for refugees: see
The article addresses the dilemma that refugees who have been granted asylum but have receiced a negative security report from ASIO, find themselves in. ASIO does not have to give any reason for its assessment, and the refugees are unable to seek asylum in another country having been so classified. This leaves them in indefinite detention with no apparent hope of ever being released.

The problem is circular and very frustrating, so much so that a group of detainees have been on a hunger strike to bring their circumstance to the public.

The report quotes the University of Sydney international law specialist Ben Saul who is pursing a case against indefinite detention with the United Nations. He is reported as saying that "It was impossible for a person to effectively challenge a case if details of the allegations against them were not outlined."

That this very obvious circumstance requires such a specialist to make the point is astonishing. It reminded me of a previous public statement by a Professor of Architecture: see

Our educational institutions need more rigour than this dispaly of what looks like pretentious silliness. It might perhaps make sense within the walls of academia, but it all sounds just self-evident nonsense to folk looking in. Are universities so isolated and introverted that they have lost touch with the ordinary, the everyday? The situation reminds me of that listing in the original Fowler's Modern English Usage that young school boys all enjoyed: 'bull.' The item seemed to offer some support for the playground's bad language. Somewhat disappointingly, as an example of 'bull,' Fowler gave the following statement: "John don't come down from the roof because I have taken the ladder away." This is 'bull.'

It seems to me that universities might be full of it! Hopefully this is not true.

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