20 boats have now arrived illegally in Australia since The Rt Honourable, The Prime Minister, Julia Gillard announced the Malaysia Solution. This means that around 1200 people have arrived illegally in Australia since we were told that the Malaysia Solution “…will be a big blow to those who are involved in the evil trade of people smuggling.”
The original deal struck under the Malaysian Solution was for 800 people, so we are now 50% oversubscribed and we still don’t have a solution.
Clearly the Liberals can have a field day with this information, and so they should. Yet we should not be overawed or convinced into thinking that this is the big issue.
Policy By Announcement
The Right Honourable, The Prime Minister, has been quick to distance herself from the somewhat notorious rabble on Sussex Street, however there were 16 years of a lot of announcements and very little real constructive achievements. It seems that when there is a problem, the response is quick, we need to be seen to be doing something, let’s make an announcement, and whilst that may be good every not and again, we find that we then get to re-announcements, announcements of revision, and revised announcements about announcing the revision. In your grandmother’s day that was called “all talk and no action”. The next problem is when we make announcements about this we do need to make sure we have the authority to do, or have not conferred with the other parties. If those bases have not been covered, then we are thinking out loud, and not announcing anything of substance or value.
The Slenderest of Margins
This is the other part of the problem, The Right Honourable, The Prime Minister, has not only to get others outside our jurisdiction to work with her for these results, she also, hanging to political life by a thread, needs to have caucus, and the Greens, and the disgruntled ex Nationals, and the maverick Whistle-blower from Tasmania all on side.
Winning Wars – Not Mind Games
The Liberals have been keen for a number of years on a number of off shore scenarios including Nauru and Manus Island in Papua New Guinea. Clearly Julia Gillard does not wan to contemplate these options, and that would seem to rest either on the problem that The Right Honourable, The Leader of the Opposition. Tony Abbott has championed it, or because it seemed to work in the Howard-Costello era. It is a shame really, given i=her incapacity to gain Green support for her proposal that she could not see to wisdom of loosing a little face and winning the main game. So much energy and attention has been on this issue. We need a solution, not an announcement.
Today’s Number is 50
That is not because the boat people deal is 50% over subscribed, but because it is the birthday or our Prime Minister, and the first bloke gave her a dog.