With Australia having just installed a new PM - well, the old one thrown out by his own colleagues - she has been attempting to head off, by effectively racing it to the bottom, the Opposition's policy on illegal refugees. It is a slippery slope and does neither party any credit let alone Australia as a true democracy and humane peoples.
Greg Barns comments on the ABC's online Unleashed:
"It comes as no surprise to this writer that newly minted Prime Minister Julia Gillard would quickly succumb to the politics of the low road on asylum seekers.
I predicted as much a fortnight ago on this site, and sadly Ms Gillard has not proved me wrong.
Her policy position on asylum seekers announced today, a key feature of which is that Australia palms off its responsibilities to one of the poorest countries in the world, East Timor, and a smaller neighbour that we treat with contempt because we are the big boys in the schoolyard, New Zealand, is as immoral and cruel as the nonsense being peddled by a desperate Opposition."
And what does become of those refugees who are returned to their supposedly safe countries? The Independent wondered the same thing and reported in "Special Investigation: Abused, humiliated and abandoned. What really happens when the UK deports failed asylum-seekers".