Solution for asylum seekers? Reintroduce slavery

English: A slave auction was held near this lo...

English: A slave auction was held near this location in Zanzibar for many years. This is an image of a sculpture, Memory for the Slaves by Clara Sörnäs, concrete, 1998. See here for more details. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I really don’t get the problem with all this asylum seeker nonsense. The solution is simple and we don’t even have to go and capture or buy them from West Africa like the Americans did back in the day. They come to us for free! In fact, some even pay smugglers to get here, so why turn them away?

Look, it worked for England and America and a few other countries: they built great economies on the backs of the slaves. Politicians are always saying we need to improve our productivity: what better way than not having to pay for labour!

Instead of paying billions to send these obviously fit and able-bodied non-whites to PNG, why not put them to work? Everyone wins! The asylum seekers get a safe haven and Australia gets a productivity increase!

Some basic slave protections will be needed, to at least look as if we are being humanitarian. The following are a few suggestions:

  • Slave owners must provide a minimum of two meals a day
  • Slaves must be provided with at least four changes of clothes and a set of “Sunday best” for church – we are a Christian country after all
  • Children under 10 must not work more than four hours a day
  • Medical care will be provided by the Commonwealth at a reduced cost to slave owners
  • English language tuition to be provided each day after the sun has gone down
  • Housing must meet legislated minimums
  • Slaves will be entitled to one labour free day a week and two weeks rest per year
  • Occupational Health & Safety regulations and legislation must be complied with as for paid labour
  • There will be no corporal punishment (we have advanced slightly since the 1600s)

The slaves will be allowed freedom of movement on their days off (but they won’t be able to afford it, so there’ll be no eloping with the slave from the plantation down the road).

The Liberals think this is a fine idea, they just have to figure out how to get bi-partsan support from the ALP. Don’t think it will be a problem, given the policies of the two parties are so close already.

The UNHRC may pose a slight problem, but really, there is not a lot the UN can do and it might be such a successful innovation other nations could seek to adopt the scheme.

Administratively, the scheme shouldn’t be too difficult to set up. I suggest Australian citizens wishing to become slave owners would need to lodge an appropriate licence application and pay a non-refundable fee of $5,000. The fee would be used to fund the processing of the application, establish the slave owners’ register and establish the inspectors. Inspectors would be required to ensure the slaves were being housed and kept in compliance with the regulations.

Problem solved!

David offers a more complex solution if you want options! A Modest Proposal Concerning Refugees and Other Unfortunates Adrift

22 comments on “Solution for asylum seekers? Reintroduce slavery

  1. […] rather enjoyed Richard’s piece to be honest because it made my piece proposing the possible reintroduction of slavery as a solution to the asylum seeker “problem” seem gentle by […]


  2. Oh, you’ve posted this again. So, same question as when you first posted: Why only go back as far as when America and Great Britain entered the slave trade? You omit a whole raft of civilisations that exploited slaves as far back as the ancient Egyptians. And wasn’t it (black) Africans who sold other black Africans to all manner of nations? Not forgetting, of course, the role that Englishman William Wilberforce played in its abolition.

    Your attempt to bring sarcastic humour to this subject simply downplays a vile trade and devalues the hard work of those people who don’t have the luxury of a blog but instead spend their time working in war-torn countries to try and effect change first-hand.


    • No, I didn’t post it again, I shared it again. You need to be careful, your self-righteousness is showing. Perhaps if you read more of the “mainstream” Aussie comments in the media, you may have a different perspective.

      To answer your question about why only go back that far, there is a reason. Perhaps you are unaware of the uniqueness of the USA/UK slave trade. Throughout history slaves had GENERALLY been the same or very similar ethnicity to the slave-owners. In many societies slaves were certainly the lowest social class, but they were recognised as HUMANS. In the USA/UK situation the slaves were not recognised as humans, they were treated as sub-human. There was consequently a completely different treatment of slaves.

      Slavery has been around as long as the human species and still exists today in many places. Yet I don’t believe there is another example of an entire nation being built on the backs of slave labour in quite the same way as the USA. http://www.aaanet.org/stmts/racepp.htm is a useful reference.

      This article is doing the rounds today: http://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/home/british-citizens-seeking-a-stronger-economy-and-a-sunny-lifestyle-are-flocking-to-australia/story-fnet0iz7-1226804960722 Are these “economic migrants”, I wonder?


  3. You weren’t Jonathon Swift in another life, were you?


  4. There but for the Grace of God go I….


  5. Very clever Robyn – but of course some may choose the easier option of imprisonment! 😉


  6. Excellent satirical piece! I could use a few slaves around my place, bloody PNG reaping all the rewards aren’t they?


    • Thank you so much Sian! My first attempt, so I was a bit wary. But one has to try in order to succeed: so I dived in.


      • It was very good! I hope you do more.

        There’s always that fear of being misinterpreted whenever you go to write a satire piece but you’re right, you’ve just got to get in there and do it (and hope people pick up on the point).


      • I’m thinking about the boat buy back – but I think that would have to be parody rather than satire! 😆 Still shaking my head over that plan!


  7. You don’t have to be sorry at all, Robyn. I think this post was very well written. Good to make us think about a few things! 🙂


  8. I didn’t read yet the related articles. If you use the word “worker” instead of “slave” it doesn’t sound as outrages. I have the feeling a lot of workers in our society could more or less be called ‘slaves’ already.

    Is there a need for more workers in Australia? Well, if employers can let workers work for below the basic wage, I think they’ll gladly have them!

    I really don’t know what the solution is, Robyn. I just think the way it is handled now is not right.


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