A possie in Aussie

October 14, 2009

Lies, damned lies, and Ruddock on asylum seekers

Phillip Ruddock, who was Immigration Minister for Australia many years ago, and author of the infamous anti-asylum seeker legislation for the Howard government, and enthusiastic in his defamation of asylum seekers who arrive by boat, has returned.

And with shonky numbers.

West Australia Today reports that Ruddock said that while he was serving as immigration minister, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees had identified 24 million people as refugees, while “Today they identify 11 million as refugees”.

Here are the figures as I researched them: 1998 13,500,000; 1999 14,100,000; 2000 14,500,000; 2001 14,900,000; 2002 13,000,000; 2003 11,900,000; 2004 11,498,100; 2005 12,000,000; 2006 13,948,800; 2007 14,047,300; 2008 13,599,900. (I might make a figure from that if I get the time!). When you think in millions, hardly a change.

You could make an anti-Rudd policy argument out of these real figures, but I guess it’s hard to change habits.

Sharman Stone is clearly a pupil of Ruddock, but still has a way to go.



  1. it’s a tough one. The numbers have pretty much stayed constant right: average 13,363,100 with standard deviation of 1,126,605. In case your stats are a bit rusty, that means that assuming standard distribution, 68% of the years are within 1 standard distribution of the mean. That is, 68% of years will be within +/- 1.1M of 13.4M.

    So this problem is ongoing. what are the trends? What changes the number of refugees? what are the causative variables on the numbers? Don’t know. Might blog about it another time

    Comment by Mark Smith — October 14, 2009 @ 9:12 am | Reply

  2. Thanks Mark.
    Spooky that you can tell that my ‘stats are rusty!’
    My arithmetic is not great either, but seems to be a lot better than Ruddock, Stone & co.!

    Comment by nayano — October 14, 2009 @ 10:51 am | Reply

  3. […] What’s a ‘possie’? Lies, damned lies, and Ruddock on asylum seekers […]

    Pingback by Ruddock soft on illegal immigrants « A possie in Aussie — October 15, 2009 @ 7:56 am | Reply

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