Who is Ehssan Veiszadeh?
He is the journalist who wrote this article in today’s news.com.au edition which may or may not have been sourced from AAP.
Why do I say that he lies?
Because I have been keeping a close watch on asylum seeker arrivals as reported in the Main Stream Media. His numbers do not gel with what I have been able to see.
Let me do some scene-setting.
On July 25th, six days after the announcement of the Manus Island solution, I read on the Yahoo7 site that “Eight boats with 638 suspected asylum seekers on board have been intercepted since Friday’s the so-called PNG Solution came into effect.”
I began to look for, and record, Asylum seeker boat arrivals on July 27th. There were none on that day.
On July 28th I found out about the arrival of 1300 people on 16 boats since . . . the PNG solution on July 19 from the Yahoo7 site. There were no arrivals reported on July 28th either. So I shrugged my shoulders, accepted the numbers at face value and moved on.
Now we all know that every Asylum Seeker Boat which has arrived in Australian waters or which has got into trouble in Indonesian waters has been very close to front page news for the past twelve months or more. Certainly Scott Morrison, the shadow Minister for Immigration and Racism, has been on TV to
gloat about blame the Government for allowing this disgrace. Loudly and often.
He has stopped talking about arrivals and now only talks about the disposition of the arrivals. He hasn’t talked about an arrival for days!
In fact since July 27th I have found just TWO arrivals. Both on August 1st and involving some 175 people in total. I make that 18 vessels and approximately 1475 people.
Surely, if there were more, we would have read about them or heard the hectoring tones of Scott Morrison beating the Government over the head with the proof of more failures!
But we have had silence.
Then today, on the news.com.au site Ehssan Veiszadeh writes of “23 boats” and “nearly 1700 people on board”.
So, I have made a close inspection of all available news sites, Bob Ellis’ “Tabletalk” Blog and its “Boatwatch” series, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority website, and even the Marine Traffic live graphical site so I could keep an eye on the comings and goings of the Australian Customs Vessel Triton which lives at Christmas Island and attends most of the SIEV’s. I have not seen any reports of those additional 5 vessels and 200 people.
THAT is why I am saying that Ehssan Veiszadeh is lying. The alternative is that the SMH or Yahoo7 lied back in July.
Of course, he could be a little confused because he is talking about past history in that only two vessels have arrived in the past eleven days. Perhaps he has included a few vessels from before the Manus Island Solution was announced.
But, on the face of it, he has lied. An accusation I will willingly remove and apologise for unreservedly if he can show me the list of arrivals from which he has calculated his figures. Because I cannot make things add up to his numbers. Perhaps he has used Joe Hockey’s eleventy calculator. Or maybe I should be a good little news consumer and accept what I am told without demur.
Over to you, Ehssan.