WANNABE REFUGEE Ali Bakhtiyari – who arrived in Australia claiming to be an Afghan fleeing the Taliban – had his story slapped down by The Age's Russell Skelton earlier this week, and now even Ali's fans are confessing their dishonesty:
Ali Bakhtiyari's supporters have admitted to covering up vital aspects of the asylum-seeker's past.
Mr Bakhtiyari's minders conceded yesterday that the 42-year-old asylum-seeker had been to Quetta, Pakistan – something he, and the Refugee Action Collective that supports him, had previously denied.
The admission gives credence to the Department of Immigration's claims that Mr Bakhtiyari is not a genuine refugee and lived and worked as a plumber in Quetta.
Undaunted, the Bakhtiyari Boosters are attempting a bold new spin – evil racist Australia forced their man to lie:
Refugee Action Collective spokesman Ian Rintoul said he accepted there were "inconsistencies" in Mr Bakhtiyari's story.
"It is quite possible he lied when he got here because he was scared stiff," Mr Rintoul said.
"Refugees come here and face a hostile environment at the hands of immigration officials. It's understandable that people would attempt to embellish the stories."
By "embellish", Rintoul apparently means to say that Bakhtiyari told immigration officials he was a genuine refugee when he wasn't.
Meanwhile, Professor Bunyip wonders if we'll "hear a peep" from Bollinger Bakhtiyarite Phillip Adams on the subject of people smugglers. "Think he'll write even a single word denouncing the entrepreneurs of human misery?" he writes. "Don't hold your breath."
Today's Phillip Adams column is about architecture.