Monday, 24th February 2014

NO WIMPS

"You don't want a wimp running border protection," said Tony Abbott yesterday, attempting to defend Immigration Minister Scott Morrison. It was an extraordinary response, given the issue revolves around one man being beaten to death and over 60 others injured while under Australian duty of care. 

Morrison had put out a statement at 9pm on Saturday night admitting that much of the (albeit meagre) information he provided to the media on Tuesday, in the aftermath of the Manus Island riots and attacks, was incorrect.

It had apparently taken this long for Morrison to learn this. Journalists with no official access to the detention centre or its staff had known the basic outline of events, which contradicted Morrison's account, since Tuesday afternoon.

Morrison has commissioned an inquiry into the Manus Island carnage. Given his recent record informing the public, there must be doubts over its reliability. Will this be an investigation like the one into the "burned hands" allegations, in which no asylum seekers were approached for their account of events? Will the final report be as meaningless as the "inadvertent incursions" report? It is only fair to ask.

The ALP has been making hay out of the problems piling up at Scott Morrison's door. They should understand their own position of moral superiority is paper thin. This Manus Island solution was their brainchild. 

Meanwhile: You know who else isn't a wimp? Hun Sen

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop has approached Cambodia's strongman president, one of the world's least likely protectors of human rights, to take in some of Australia's refugees. 

Nick Feik
Politicoz Editor

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Tony Abbott stands by Scott Morrison: 'You don't want a wimp running border protection'

"The Prime Minister's intervention on Sunday afternoon came on a day of mounting pressure on Mr Morrison after he was forced to admit he had misinformed Australians about the violence and death of an asylum seeker in the Manus Island detention centre."

Locals joined riot police stopping riot in Manus Island detention centre

"More than 200 locals joined riot police and guards from security contractor G4S in crushing Monday night’s uprising by asylum-seekers at the Manus Island detention centre. Civilian residents of the Lombrum naval base, on which the detention facility is located on Manus Island, said when security forces felt they were being overwhelmed they asked locals to help repel several hundred rioters."

AlsoAsylum policy has huge human cost that Coalition's crude portrayal ignores (Lenore Taylor, Guardian)

Cambodian minister says Australia has requested Cambodia 'receive refugees'

"Cambodian foreign minister Hor Namhong says his Australian counterpart Julie Bishop has asked the impoverished South-East Asian nation to take in some of Australia's refugees... Mr Hor Namhong said Ms Bishop discussed the issue of asylum seekers with Cambodian prime minister Hun Sen during a bilateral meeting on Saturday."

Treasurer’s domestic agenda goes global

"It was hard, listening to Joe Hockey’s rhetoric over the weekend, to work out where domestic political rhetoric ended and international economic statesmanship began, such was the seamless shift between the two... It is worth pausing briefly (to consider) what an extraordinary moment it is in world economic history that the largest 20 economies in the world sign a communique which essentially hands over responsibility for growth to the private sector, pledging nothing much more than getting out of the way."

Also: Hockey wins deal on global growth target (AFR)

Don't fall for the Qantas ruse

"By the start of the new millennium, it was estimated government incentives, subsidies, tax breaks and protection totalled almost $6 billion a year, trumping social security payments of $5.8 billion. Unfortunately, the promised new hardline approach has been applied on what increasingly appears to be a haphazard basis. Chocolate is OK, tinned fruit is not. Car leasing gets a nod, auto manufacturing is sent packing."