I often an annoyed when the Leader of the Opposition, Tony Abbott speaks, especially on matters where he appears, under read, under researched and under-briefed, HOWEVER, I am just perplexed with the less than worthy performance of the Rt Honourable, The Prime Minister Julia Gillard on the Asylum Seeker Issue. So lets look at the issues.
- After the Federal Election of 2010 delivered a near Stale Mate, we had a Political Scrum and Julia ended up holding the ball, saying I have the numbers to form a Government, I get the Keys to the Lodge, and I have the Power. Certainly she had dome deals to get there, and perhaps she gave away more than she retained, however that is the situation.
- The Greens, despite their support for the Government, where not going to support any legislation involving offshore processing of Asylum Seekers.
- The Liberal Coalition made it clear that their preferred option for offshore processing was Nauru or Manaus Island in Papua New Guinea.
- Julia made it clear earlier that she did not support these options, especially as Nauru was not a signatory to the Refugee Convention. The fact that they are now a signatory appears not to have changed her position on Nauru, leading many to suspect that the main problem with it is that it was something that John Howard did.
- Julia Gillard has had several goes at this including a deal with East Timor that she brokered in her head without discussing it with the Government of the Day in East Timor, and then the deal with Malaysia to swap 800 of ours for 4000 of theirs despite the fact that Malaysia is not a signatory to the Refugee Convention.
- After some discussion and public debate, Tony Abbott made it clear that the Liberals would not support the Malaysia deal, on the grounds that it lack the requisite protections for the Asylum Seekers, especially as Malaysia is not a signatory tot he Refugee Convention and has a pretty ordinary track record in upholding human rights generally.
- Julia decided that it was ‘,y way or the highway’. Rather than broker a deal, the negotiating specialist, Julia decided to take it to the house, and she lost. Hardly surprising!
- Then on national television she has a big go at Tony.
What Tony Abbott has done is voted to end offshore processing,
Every action of the opposition here has been about politics and themselves,
Every action of the governemnt here has been about politics and themselves,