Abbott’s act of kamikaze

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(Meme by Robby Miller / @robbymiller)

What Abbott has done in the past month beggars belief.

He has defended the right of Bronwyn Bishop to misspend half a million dollars. He has agreed that Dyson Heydon should be paid over $3,000 a day to "root out union corruption", but none in the Liberal Party. He has held up gay marriage for three years. He has decided to bomb Syria and thereby help the monster Assad, mass murderer of a quarter of a million of his own people. And he has said no Syrian will be allowed to come here, though a few days of Dyson Heydon’s wage would sustain a family of them for a year.

He has declared that the boats that crossed the Mediterranean in the greatest mass movement of desperate, fugitive peoples in world history should have been turned back, as others were, by him, in the Arafura.

Is he mad? Is the joke diagnosis of dementia pugilistica true? He has certainly shown worse political judgment than any Australian leader in a century.

He continues to spend $40,000 a day on the search for MH 370, though it has been found, and not on Syrians fleeing beheading and crucifixion. Though an assisted migrant himself, he thinks no child should be saved from death by Daesh if he comes in a boat that is paid for. He gave, however, Transfield a billion dollars on Monday to continue tormenting children in partnership with the police state Nauru, which New Zealand will not fund any more, and not a penny to the victims in the Middle East of a new genocide.

He says they are none of our concern. He reduced the numbers of refugees we would take last year, from 20,000 to 13,750, including some Iraqis and Syrians, and that surely is enough.

Julie Bishop, Mike Baird, Craig Laundy and Barnaby Joyce have said we should take more. Richard Di Natale has proposed a figure, 20,000, that most Australians would think fair. It is, per capita, one tenth of what Germany is taking. Yet Abbott holds that Dyson Heydon is worth a million dollars and ‘these people’ not a penny.

Crazily, he thinks there are votes for him in this. That by bombing Syrians and letting none of them come here to safety from slaughter he will win, or maintain, some votes in Canning and the western suburbs. He does not realise what these images of multitudes walking down superhighways to freedom, and crowding stalled trains and shouting "Freedom!", and drowning under capsized ferries, are doing to the conscience of the world.

Can he be mad? It looks like it. He cannot win Canning now and he will be out of office by November. He will be denounced and reviled by his party, which may not survive his toxic interregnum. Xenophon’s party may replace it, or Palmer’s, or Katter’s, or Windsor’s. Or Laundy’s. Or Di Natale’s.

And all he had to do is agree to take some Syrians — ten or twenty thousand.

And it is too late now.

He is doomed – and shamed – forever.

Editor's note: This article was written before Prime Minister Abbott announced today Australia would increase the intake of Syrian refugees by taking less refugees from other countries. 

As you may be aware, Bob Ellis is suffering from a serious illness. If you'd like to help him make a full recovery, you might like to consider making a contribution by subscribing to his blog, Table Talk, HERE.

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