(by Ray Dixon – it’s just my opinion, James. Don’t lose it and make it personal, please)
They say a picture speaks a thousand words, and this one of Tony Abbott, taken at today’s incredibly telling announcement, certainly does. Abbott has seriously damaged his credibility over how he would handle asylum seekers with the announcement of a scheme that is totally unworkable.
Make no mistake, Abbott’s plan to round-up existing Temporary Protection Visa holders would throw our immigration system into chaos and is simply too harsh. The very idea that he can remove any right of appeal while putting them all (all 30,000 of them) into detention would clog up our courts and put asylum seekers into further limbo. Housed exactly where, Tony?
Furthermore, by saying he will put all boat people on TPVs (including future ones), Abbott is effectively leaving the door open for even more boat arrivals, not slamming it shut like Rudd has. Under this scheme, the people smugglers would simply tell their customers, “Yes you will get a Visa, Tony says so”.
This is exactly the sort of thing that may yet bring Abbott undone and see him lose the unloseable election – because it’s becoming pretty clear that Tony Abbott is all about saying what he thinks will be popular without having a real plan or thinking about the impacts his off-the-cuff and policy-on-the-run ideas would have on this country.
He’s probably still the favourite to win (let’s face it, the bogans of Western Sydney won’t understand how this plan cannot work), but he’s moving closer to blowing it with every passing day.
What a great election this is.