No posts Thursday, Friday because I was in Broken Hill. Came back to Mr Rudd's PNG refugee solution. We have entered uncharted territory here.
At a policy level, it's a very Ruddian solution, expensive and (I think) only partially thought through. I have no idea how its going work in practice. There are just too many variables involved. I think that it's possible to identify the risks in the policy.
I may be wrong, I don't know enough about PNG politics, but I would have thought that it was a highly unstable solution. It may just create a festering sore on our immediate borders. If I was in the people smuggling business, I guess that my new message would be we will get you to PNG and then it will be easier for you to get into Australia. We can do that too.
At a political level, I find it equally confusing.
Intuitively, its a a bit of a godsend to the Greens who were in diabolical trouble. They now have a new cause. The Green's don't need mass votes, they just need a few percentage points to hold their Senate numbers. So the big voting mass being targeted by the majors was never a real Green concern. All they need is to attract three people in a hundred who feel wedged by the issue.
So far as the opposition is concerned, I do not share the view that Mr Rudd has neutralised this issue. All the opposition has to do is to argue that this is another example of a half-baked Rudd, another example of a Rudd swinging in the political wind. This policy, they could say, won't work. They don't even need a convincing case. They only need to be vaguely credible while hammering the costs and risks of the Rudd solution.
At a purely personal level, I feel deeply shamed. I know that many of my friends disagree with my views on refugee issue issues. I accept that. I believe that any nation or group actually has a right to determine who should belong. I have been attacked for that view on the other side. I accept that. But this is just inhumane and shameful.
This is modern New South Walesism, politics without principle whose sole role, the only judgment, is to to stay in power now. I feel deeply shamed.