Two things are crystal clear from yesterday’s policy shoot-out at the OK Corrale over asylum seekers.

Cartoon by The Australian's Peter Nicholson

One, that an election is now perilously close and could be called within days. The rate at which Julia Gillard is crossing off the problem areas suggests she wants to go to Yarralumla very soon.

And two, that Ms Gillard and Tony Abbott believe that election can be won or lost on this policy alone.

Stangely, their policies have come closer together. They both now favour third country processing for example. But don’t let that fool you. Politically the two rivals have wildly divergent aims. One to cool, the other to enflame.

Ms Gillard wants to neutralise a negative for the Government. Ideally, she would like it to disappear altogether so she can talk about other things. But that’s a pipe-dream. Labor’s own research has shown this issue is now red hot - especially in the outer-suburbs where many marginal seats are located. Her aim therefore is to mollify concerns and show wary voters that she is taking decisive action.

Mr Abbott on the other hand, wants anxious voters to remain that way. He wants to remind them that boats have been streaming in to Australian territory since Labor came to power and that Christmas Island is now overflowing.

Rhetorically, and practically, Labor’s shift is a step to the right. In its use of third countries, it adopts at least some of the logic of John Howard’s Pacific Solution.

Tony Abbott too has shifted right. He wants to add a beefed up ministerial right of rejection and a new presumption against entry to applicants without paperwork to his existing policy which includes a return to temporary protection visas, and a largely undeliverable promise to turn the boats back. But he will allow more refugees in via the UNHCR queue and via a new trial program to allow communities to sponsor refugees.

Overall though, both policies are deliberately bellicose and both would inevitably fall short of their claimed objectives. But toughness is in vogue right now.

In a brace of criticals seats, the election will turn on whether Mr Abbott succeeds in keeping voters angry or Ms Gillard succeeds in calming them.

Rightly or wrongly, the Opposition’s charge that Labor’s more humane approach has functioned as a welcome mat to opportunists and people smugglers, has cut through. Labor knows it and has given up trying to turn that perception around.

Now, in the race for what some on the left have dubbed the red-neck vote, neither side wants to address the telling irony that the biggest pull factor is not so much the effect of policy as it is Australia itself - a prosperous stable and tolerant democracy.

Tony Abbott gave a thoughtful speech early this year, in which he observed that the decision to take to ricketty boats was the triumph of hope over fear. Yet as the election nears, the debate has become the triumph of fear over fact.

All up, Australia took in 0.6 per cent of the world’s asylum seekers last year. As for the far smaller number entering on boats, it would take 20 years to fill the MCG at the current rate.

Speaking of irony, Julia Gillard, arrived in a boat herself many years ago.

Most commented

49 comments

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    • Eric says:

      06:21am | 07/07/10

      Watch the panic on the Left as the supporters of open borders see their attempts at indoctrination failing.

      The voting public, far from being ignorant rednecks, know what is going on.

      Asylum stealers can and will swamp our country if the flow is not stopped. It may be a few thousand people this year, but ever since Rudd reversed Howard’s successful policies, the numbers have been increasing. It is sheer ignorance to pretend that the current numbers won’t change.

      Above all, we have an absolute right to determine who arrives here and the manner in which they come. The motives of those who would deny that right are questionable at best.

    • Pete says:

      07:52am | 07/07/10

      Eric, Amnesty have done more for humans than you and Mark “recycled Pacific-gulag-solutions Kenny mate!

      Your silence on non-brown plane bound illegals is deafening as usual.  Put your glasses on Eric and keep your redneck opinions to yourself and vote up more mass immigration from the Liberals (plus 150,000 pa ?) that Australia can’t support…

      The Liberals can’t come to deliver affordable housing policy because we are being swamped by a flood of legal immigration Mark is just copycatting Howard/Rudd/ Abbott. Anything new or out of the box from Mark? Um no - cos he’s a party robot delivering policy soundbites from 2001…

      Who is determining who arrives here and the manner in which they come with plane people Eric? You may be more hypocritical than Mark Kenny. And not quite as good as Amnesty…

    • Billygus says:

      08:16am | 07/07/10

      Ignorant redneck is only applied to those that suggest those deperate persons seeking assylum will “swamp our country”. Rednecks don’t realise how big and welcoming our country is. Hardly gonna be swamped Billy-Eric

    • DD Ball says:

      08:44am | 07/07/10

      This policy change by Gillard merely shows she knew she had it wrong for over eight years, but persisted with a policy that killed at least 170 people for political advantage. Watch as Brown claims the ground Gillard once held .. he wants that political advantage. It is a sobering fact that the panicked dumping of Rudd hasn’t ended the panic. Also worth noting that Amnesty International will move for more people to die at sea.

    • Wayne Fehlhaber says:

      09:10am | 07/07/10

      Now that Labor has shifted to the right , appearing to gear up for adoption of John Howard’s style of border control , the mind-numbed loony left voters are standing like shags on a rock. What a back off. !
      DD Ball has called it right , watch Bob Brown move in to take up the ground Labor once held.
      This attempt by Gillard to defuse the illegal entrants issue is hollow indeed and smacks of meetooism.  The policy is based on a hope that Timor and N.Z. will agree to her plan after one phone call , there is no firm agreement in place . Rather reminds one of Gillard’s management of the BER program rip-off , and the outcome of this backflip should have much the same outcome.

    • Helen says:

      09:34am | 07/07/10

      So, Eric doesn’t just hate women? He hates brown people as well? An equal-opportunity h8ter!

      To Wayne Felhaber and others: Illegal entrants is a misnomer. Anyone is entitled to seek asylum under the international refugee convention.

    • Mister says:

      09:39am | 07/07/10

      @wayne What about the me too-ism of Gillard/Abbott/Rudd/Howard saying nothing about plane landing illegals? And nothing about the inability of the countries infrastructure to cope with 100,000s of thousands of legal immigrants? Are the loony left moving to the right or were they always clones or thereabouts?

      It’s like a repeat of the 2007 election. And the Libs haven’t moved on from then either!

    • T.Chong says:

      09:42am | 07/07/10

      DD, Gillard and Labor have not been in govt for 8 years, so therefore could NOT have implemented policies prior to 2007, so you may have to sheet responsibility (from ‘96 till ‘07 ) to your much beloved coalition.
      Which 170 people? what advantage was there?
      As Pauline said, “please explain “?

    • Jon says:

      11:31am | 07/07/10

      Peter,I use to but member years ago, Gita Sahgal a highly respected lifelong human rights activist and head of Amnesty’s gender unit, questioned the human rights group’s links to Islamic radicals, it suspended her. Now she fears for her safety.

      Amnesty has lost its way.

    • Gregg says:

      10:35pm | 07/07/10

      Brown or non white!
      Helen, I think it is Pete that brings colour into it.
      It doesnot matter what colour of people arrives by plane btw and most if not all that arrive here by plane to claim asylum do so with a visa and on putting in a claim for asylum they can be issued with a bridging visa and nothing unusual in that for that is basic immigration policy when oneis present in the country, having arrived on a visa and applying for another.
      You’ll find from research that most such people actually get their applications eventually refused and so will have to leave.
      If they cannot be found, then just like other over stayers they get classed as illegal and like all illegal overstayers or people working when their visa does not allow it, when they are caught up with they will be detained before being deported.
      So what really is the connection Pete?
      Do you think it doesn’t happen? or do you think it shouldn’t?
      Or would you just like the country to run without any law and order in that respect?

    • Julia Howard,left wing Liberal says:

      05:11am | 08/07/10

      Thoroughly enjoying Julia implementing LibCoalition policy,a different spin to the now long forgotten other bloke and will swing a few disgruntled labor>green voters away but thats a good thing,I strongly that if Labor lefties and bloggers want to get an insight into Gillard Policy they should revisit John Howards policies and obsorb the fact that Labor will only survive if they implement Lib policies but call it by another name,probably the most important Paradigm shift in contemporary politics,it Basically leaves all the ranting lefties right back where they started,without a clue and the substance of a broken sewage pipe.I Will now support Gillard up to the election and not vote for her

    • Mark says:

      07:08am | 07/07/10

      The problem is Labor had to move to the right and burn some innocent people to save Australia’s from Tony Abbott and his corporate masters.

      The irony is Tony and his big business mates are all for mass immigration to keep wages down.

      Look tough keeping the back locked vis the pacific solutions.

      Whilst open the front door wide open with the welcome matt out ,via 457 visa’s and the like.

      What the Liberals really stand for:
      http://www.hrnicholls.com.au/index.php

    • Jason says:

      08:29am | 07/07/10

      Mark,
            your first 4 words are spot on - the rest is complete nonsense.

    • Zac says:

      09:03am | 07/07/10

      Mark says:

      The problem is Labor>>>

      I understand and agree this part !!!!!!!

    • Peter says:

      05:55pm | 07/07/10

      What I find really disturbing is this very strange viewpoint. A simple fact is that approx. 100 illegal immigrants arrive by plane for each of the so called boat people. I would like to know from the Liberal as well as the Labour side of politics what makes plane loads of illegals different to boat loads of them. I would like to know what they propose to do about the major problem or does it cost too much to deal with as its so big or is it that it may involve doing something about air travel that makes it a non issue.

    • Richard says:

      07:53am | 07/07/10

      Once again you misunderstand economics Mark. Immigration is beneficial for the economy, of that there is simply no doubt (read Paul Zane Pilzner’s book ‘Unlimited Wealth’ for a full explaination of the mechanics behind this phenomenon).

      But should we just let any unskilled foreign que-jumper into the country? (who possibly has radical extremist fundamentalist views on religion and could pose a threat to the integrity of our Australian way of life and values such as equality for women and tolerance for all faiths)?

      Or should we conduct our immigration program in an orderly fashion with processes in place to select suitable candidates who can contribute to our society and our economy for the benefit of everyone as citizens of Australia and self-interested voters in the upcoming election?

    • Mark says:

      09:47am | 07/07/10

      Well Britian has a virtual open door immigration policy and having lived there all I seen was a place becoming a nation of haves and have nots , just like the US , both collectively have been very rich nations on the back of immigration , but its not an even spread of wealth , it just another mechanism for the rich to get richer.

    • Shane From Melbourne says:

      10:30am | 07/07/10

      Doubt Arizona and parts of Britain would agree with you about the value of mass immigration. If anyone can explain how overcrowded cities like Sydney and Melbourne are good for quality of life, rather than merely inflating a property bubble, I’m all ears…..

    • Delphic Oracle says:

      08:05am | 07/07/10

      Eric is right.  And although I’m a bit on the left in some policies, I’m on the right when it comes to unauthorised boat arrivals.  Which makes voting a dilema as the Greens wear rose coloured glasses and would probably even accept Sharia Law to apease some refugees and immigrants.  But I can’t agree totally with either Abbott or Gillard.

    • Debbie says:

      02:54pm | 07/07/10

      Agreed. I can’t understand those who think one party has all the right ideas and the other party is completely wrong. Personally I think both major parties are wrong more often than not and most policies are for political reasons rather than what is best for Australia. Even the greens and the farmer party do have reasonable ideas at times - just not very often.

    • iansand says:

      08:18am | 07/07/10

      Gillard is engaging in smoke and mirrors politics.  She is defusing issues in ways that cannot come back to bite her, solely for the purpose of getting elected.  Her greatest hope is that, at a time safely after the election, East Timor will reject her plan.  So sorry.

      Ans Abbott is in his feral say anything, at whatever cost, to get elected.  They are both playing politics with human misery, but Abbott does not even acknowledge the “human” bit.

    • Rob r Charteris says:

      08:24am | 07/07/10

      Abbott is seeking to use the G W Bush administrations policy of fear, it’s about the only rthing he knows. Abbott is an idiot, I thought he could of come up with something more Howardism than that. Gillard has again wiped the floor with him.

    • Rosie says:

      11:33am | 07/07/10

      Rob r Charteris

      Gillard and the Labour Party is holding back on an election date because the new PM has more governing to do. Smart people know this is not true! Gillard is holding back on an election date because she believes she has the intelligence and charm to keep fooling the likes of you in not looking beyond her ambitious long winded speeches and quick actions. You Rob are no different to Gillard and her labour mates if you are going to defend them by calling Abbott an idiot and Bush, once the world’s most powerful man through his administration policy as fear mongering!

      I think you guys are running out of substance to defend Labour’s new found appointed leader’s credibility and integrity and have to resort to calling people idiots and fear mongering!

    • Jason says:

      11:50am | 07/07/10

      Rob,
            Gillard first rang East Timor on Monday and they haven’t agreed to anything yet.  Ripper anouncement and definitely swept the floor.
              After your love affair with Rudd, now Gillard - just where do you stand with Labor?

    • PaulB says:

      02:10pm | 07/07/10

      Agree with you on most of it Rosie, but Bush remains an idiot.  As to being the most powerful man, I would say that like Obama today Bush was a powerful symbol but he himself never exercised real power.  He just articulated the decisions of those behind the scenes who really exercised the power.  America’s controlled media then ran those decisions of Government/Corporations through the spin dryer for public consumption.

    • Zac says:

      08:36am | 07/07/10

      The intelligent reader has to only look at the pet issues of tree/sheep huggers, labor to see if it will do any good for our society or country. Let’s have a look…....

      1) “Open Borders” - all welcome, we don’t who you are, what your values are, what your motives/intentions are, we don’t care if you will integrate, learn the language or you will end up telling us what to do or wreck our society. If you ask questions you are a racist because some commie-relativist academic/jurno thinks so. 

      2. Mult-CULT-urism - the academics, jurnos and the lefty’s are in love with this ideology. But the problem is most of these people wouldn’t want anything to do with the outcome or live any where near the so called multi-cultural neighbourhood. Would these “know it all - I am the boss” sort of people like to live near ghettos? Certainly not. Who are these people to tell us we shouldn’t have a dominant Australian culture and it is racist to have one. The more ‘people power’ put these people in their place the better we will be. None of these ideologists should be making policy. Full stop.

      3) Climate change - this scam is dead and it’s dramatic Messiah is “sex poodling” some poor woman.

      4) Social Darwinism - Install aggressive secularism, which is a back door means to install Atheism. The idea is to kill Christian values and install social darwinian values. Just blame Christianity for all the death and violence in the world, while ignoring the millions of victims of Atheistic Communism/Nazism. Religion is no where near it.  But that doesn’t matter to the ideologists. The agenda is this - “Our program necessarily includes the propaganda of atheism” - Lenin and the rest is history.

    • Dognuts says:

      12:42pm | 07/07/10

      Wowee…....................thats a lot to get off the chest old mate, but I reckon you may be frothing a bit too much.

      1) Open Borders - Simply untrue. Australia has quite a restrictive migration policy (permanent migrants; not temps and students). Becoming an Australian citizen is actually quite difficult. As for migrants notlearning the language or “assimilating”, it is more to do with fear of the unknown (and comfort in the familiar) than cultural contempt. I have just a had a newly migrated Lebanes couple move a couple of doors up the road. Their atempt to “ruin the country” involved buying the local corner store, no doubt where they will plot the downfall of Australia in between selling papers and milk….......better tell em to bugger off cos I was here first eh?

      2) Multiculturalism - See point one. Migrants stick together because they crave the familiar, same reason why any trip to Thailand will find a bogan aggregation point where Australias finest gather to act like morons on the world stage. Imagine being an African and moving to a place like Penrith without a familiar safety net of expats to mingle with?

      3) Climate Change - possibly overstated, but if we continue to crap all over the planet, then we will have problems. Surely any plans to reduce waste and curb pollution are ok?

      4) Commie Pinko Conspiracies - This is just so far off course it aint funny. We all know academics tend to lean left, and guess what? Most of us just chuckle at them and let them bang on about whatever cause excites them at the time. No matter what your education exposes you to, you form your own opinions as an adult, so any “brainwashing” is usually temporary at best. Darwin’s theory has great merit and an awful lot of evidence to support its validity. To say it is a plot to usurp religion is like making a jump between the arguments “we evolved from monkeys” to “Jesus is no more real than the Tooth Fairy or the Hamburgler”. Aethists are just another amusement. Their rabid pursuit of the belief of nothing in particular is more amusing than anything else.

    • Joan says:

      08:37am | 07/07/10

      Gillard`s East Timor solution is a welcome mat for refugees. If I were a refugee holed up in Indonesia, I would take the next public ferry to West Timor, then cross the border to East Timor today. - say to Horta - here I am bound for Australia - ready to be processed. Refugees in persuit of their goal often don’t respect law, order or care if a process is in place. Good luck East Timor - Gillard has handed you a refugee problem that will be knocking on your door sooner than you think. Nothing orderly about refugees. Plenty of Afghani relatives, friends will be texting to Afganhi refugees to do just that. Better to languish in East Timor than Indonesia, or Christmas Island.

    • Against the Man says:

      09:15am | 07/07/10

      Gillard is on the ropes and desperation has seen her turn to the LNP playbook for ideas. She should just call an election now so we can vote her out. Wait any longer and the truth about the BER may cause her to lose an election and facing some kind of committee for disciplinary action.

    • Barbara says:

      09:43am | 07/07/10

      I hope East Timor has the good sense to reject Miss Gillard’s offshore processing Solution.  New Zealand should steer clear of it or risk a diplomatic mess.  Miss Gillard’s overnight request to the East Timorese leadership has the potential to become a divisive, bungled embarrassment.

      It looks as if Miss Gillard and her union friends do policy on the telephone the night before it is announced - for political convenience - not because it is sound policy.

      Sounds like a re-run of Labor’s failed Ros Kelly and her whiteboard. 

      Or is this more like Victorian Labor’s Joan Kirner and her failed budgetary management?  Or perhaps Labor’s Cheryl Kernot?  Don’t forget Carmen Lawrence and now the rapidly sinking Anna Bligh.

      I’m a woman.  I feel safer with a male PM.  Sexist?

      You bet.

      For God’s sake what the hell is going on.

    • Rosie says:

      10:34am | 07/07/10

      Abbott & Gillard’s asylum seekers policy maybe closer together but Abbott has implemented it. We also have a proven record that it works. Gillard is talking, talking and talking about implementing her change of mind ideas. We have yet to see any results. Gillard wants to cool the issue, Abbott to inflame. Gillard the “intelligentsia” is not only desperate to cool the issue but believes she is capable of fooling the electorate not to look beyond her ambitious speeches and rushed actions. No doubt Gillard has shifted to the right, something Rudd was hoping wouldn’t happen! With Gillard it has nothing to do with honesty or her beliefs, she is a desperate woman trying extremely hard to extend her Primeministership from a few months to a 3 year term.

      Abbott’s move to the right is to give to an existing policy that has a proven record it works, a humantarian flavour. I find this a good move, it is good for our reputation. Abbott is “what you see is what you get” and can easily be detected if he doesn’t mean what he says. I know which one I would be trusting!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      “Fear over fact” I find this very insulting! Please spare us and give us some credit! We may not have the intelligence to become PMs or journalists but we are capable of making that judgement for ourselves.

      Thanks Eric, my exact sentiments!

    • Randal says:

      10:35am | 07/07/10

      Gillard does not have a policy on asylum seekers, she announced nothing yesterday as there has been no formal discussion between the East Timor government and the Australian government and this is simply the Labour politics of spin that we have come to know so well, and is what ultimately brought down Rudd…see a problem in the polls and make up a hurried “solution” that in time either fails or never gets up.

      Does this announcement remind anyone of:

      Insulation, School building rorts, ETS, Fuel Watch, Grocery Watch, Green Loans, Commonwealth takeover of Health etc… etc…

      So despite Gillard’s statements of a new government of consensus, at the first hurdle off she goes down the same spin doctoring path…

      The goal here is not to implement a real policy, it’s to win an election and that’s why she lied about the cost to taxpayers for the back down on the mining tax (a lie to the tune of $3 billion dollars), and she is lying now about a solution on asylum seekers that will never be implemented, and will soon be lying about taking action on climate change.

      Hopefully the Australian voters are awake to this and can see through this deception and view these alleged ‘policies’  with the cynicism they deserve.

      As for Julia, she is a politician I have had an enormous amount of respect for, I live in her electorate and I am aware that her local office does a power of work in my local community and I am very disappointed that she would so quickly fall for the lure of the ‘quick fix’ and the ALP spin doctoring model, what a waste of ability!

    • BobM says:

      10:40am | 07/07/10

      The facts are that all the boats originate from Indonesia, and all the so called refugees arrived in Indonesia by paid airline tickets. All so called refugees had a passport and sufficient cash to pay illegal boat owners as well as living expenses. Very few are even remotely deemed as escaping anything other than domestic economic situations. Turn the boats back into Indonesian waters, towed if need be. Forget the UNC it does not exist except in the eyes of gullible Australians. Indonesia and Malaysia have no qualms or concerns for the safety of illegal immigrants whom were given entry into both Indonesia and Malaysia for known onwards travel into Australian territory.

    • MobM says:

      11:30am | 07/07/10

      thanks for all those “facts” where you dont cite any references to back them up. i guess you just think we should accept your word on these claims, sorry, im just not that gullible.

    • BobM says:

      10:53am | 07/07/10

      Australia currently the largest per capita refugee intake in the world.

      Gillard has no policy. There is no regional solution. She spoke to the East Timorese President only Monday night, a few hours before her speech at the Lowy Institute.

      Gillard is spinning a tale just as Rudd did before the last election.

      Labor’s change of a successful policy created the problem. Labor, including Gillards meaningless words yesterday, have no solution.

      Labor must go!

    • Amber says:

      11:18am | 07/07/10

      If these were genuine asylum-seekers, running from terror and deprivation, then East Timor and even Nauru would seem like heaven, particularly if they have family.  Clearly they aren’t genuine or they wouldn’t have stopped coming with the Pacific Solution in place.  These are choosey people who want to reach Nirvana (Australia), hopping over several countries on the way here. Unlike the rest of the world, that waits in line, they thumb their noses at our entry laws and as such should NEVER be admitted.  How can we ever expect them to respect us when we welcome them under those conditions?

    • Richard of Northbridge says:

      07:25pm | 07/07/10

      Agree, and they pay big time for their ticket to Indonesia and then the smugglers who then throw away their papers before arriving in OZ waters. Who are these economic asylum seekers? Can we track them down in Indonesian airport computers? I wish I had their cash. They are illegal entrants.

    • Beryl says:

      11:23am | 07/07/10

      That cartoon of Tony Abbott is sooo acurate and its exactly as I see him All hairy with chimp ears. He is to close a reminder of our ape past for me to handle. That’s bad for The Liberals as people like me automatically turn off when he speaks. Keep your pants on Tony!!

    • Rosie says:

      12:08pm | 07/07/10

      Beryl I think people the likes of you should be very concerned that the Union Powers with Gillard brutally pollitically assassinated Australia’s elected PM. I feel that that the move to get rid of Rudd is begining to take a turn for the worse because of the type of comments I am reading. It indicates to me that you guys are running out of substance to defend Labour’s new found appointed leader’s credibility and integrity and have to resort to such personal attacks!

      Personally, Gillard & the Union Powers could have saved themselves and the people of Australia all the anxiety, uncertainess and all the BS because Labour under Rudd would have got in anyway through sympathy votes, what I call, ” give Australian’s a fair go and another chance to prove themselves.”

    • Towny says:

      12:54pm | 07/07/10

      @ Beryl

      Your comments does not help your cause so cut the cheap shots!

      When Rudd was axed I was elated and 100% for Ms Gillard! This lasted only until I realized that she allowed the Labour Party and herself to change all what they made us believe was for good for all Australians. They now have the cheek to blame Rudd for the reasons why the policies had to be changed.

      Sorry Ms Gillard you have lost my trust and therefore my vote!

    • Amber says:

      11:23am | 07/07/10

      Another thing - this issue is red hot in the ‘‘outer suburbs’’ - gee, I wonder why?  I also wonder that if the refugees were likely to be re-settled in the northern and eastern suburbs, whether the locals would be so ready to admit them. I know people who are too paranoid to vote in simple online polls and yet are ready to admit illegal boat people from hostile countries.  They clearly feel safely distant in their upscale neighbourhoods.

    • Dognuts says:

      03:03pm | 07/07/10

      I’ll tell you why, cos most people in the outer suburbs wouldn’t recognise a refugee if one sat in their lap, thats why. Fear of the unknown is palpable and it was even cited as an issue in the Penrith state by-election. Remember, gotta keep them boaties out lest they run us over with their funny talk and customs…........

    • Anjuli says:

      11:27am | 07/07/10

      If East Timor is a would be solution what is wrong with the Naru Solution the camp is already there .I think Julia Gillard is playing both ends against the middle.

    • Stewart Henstock says:

      03:00pm | 07/07/10

      I think the Labor Party have it all wrong moving their boarder protection policy to the right all because of some ridiculous polls.
      One was done in western Sydney in the electorate of Lindsay which is not a blue collar area like Penrith. It traditionally votes Liberal and will again because of economic issues like the way Labor continually wastes the tax payers money.
      For Gillard to sell out what ever principles the Labor movement were supposed to have just shows she’s no different to Abbott…policy on the run to buy votes.

    • LFG says:

      03:03pm | 07/07/10

      “Speaking of irony, Julia Gillard, arrived in a boat herself many years ago.”

      Come one! She came here as a lawful immigrant with her parents. We are trying to deal with people coming here illegally with the help of criminals.

    • Daniel says:

      04:24pm | 07/07/10

      Your comment:People better read the ABS facts on this issue. The Greens have the most fact based policy on all this.

    • Craig says:

      12:43am | 08/07/10

      Lets be fair dinkum.  We all want to help real Asylum Seekers none of us want to help Asylum Stealers. 

      Anyone who has traveled the countries from where most of our current alleged Asylum Seekers are coming from can tell you that the real refugees can not afford the money required to access “People Smuggler” services.

      If our new PM was sincere about off shore processing surely she could ask the Government of Nauru to sign up to the UN Refugee Convention as a condition of re-establishing the lucrative Nauru Operation.  This would prevent waste and duplication in East Timor who appear to not want the processing centre and provide a source of income for Nauru.

      Here is one other possible solution could we consider sending the boat arrivals to a UN Refugee Camp overseas and take the same number who have been on the waiting list the longest and process them into Australia

    • Joe says:

      02:32am | 08/07/10

      I can’t believe this author pushing the left line that Gillard is trying to clean this up while Abbott is trying to make an issue. If anything Howard and Abbott had the boats stopped and Gillard and Rudd went after votes from the left pretending to be compassionate - but actually luring 170+ illegals to their deaths. so Gillard only has herself to blame here as she wrote Rudds policy.

 

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From: A guide to summer festivals especially if you wouldn’t go

Kel says:

If you want a festival for older people or for families alike, get amongst the respectable punters at Bluesfest. A truly amazing festival experience to be had of ALL AGES. And all the young "festivalgoers" usually write themselves off on the first night, only to never hear from them again the rest of… [read more]

Gentle jabs to the ribs

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Superman needs saving

Can somebody please save Superman? He seems to be going through a bit of a crisis. Eighteen months ago,… Read more

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