Scott Morrison and the Manus Island murder

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Immigration Minister Scott Morrison next to a sign illustrating the Coalition's approach to immigration detention.

Covering up a murder and dozens of knife attacks is not a good look for an immigration minister, writes Bob Ellis — but Scott Morrison thinks differently.

Covering up a murder and dozens of knife attacks is not a good look for an immigration minister. But Scott Morrison, a man long suspected of paranoid fantasies, does not see it in this way.

In his mind, a mob of rebellious heathens attacked their carers with plastic chairs and were 'disciplined' for their impertinence. Some throats, admittedly, were cut, and one man died, but we have sent our compassionate sympathy, along with his body, back to Iran (and thus admittedly imperilled his grieving parents) — but the unprovoked mutiny was moderate and injured only 77.

It was, in our view, firm but fair.

We have sent the murderer back to work in the compound, keeping order. If any other 'transferee' shows impertinence, he will know what to expect.

It is hard to share in the craziness of Morrison's mind ‒ or the scottmobbledigook in which he habitually speaks ‒ but this, pretty much, is how he sees a recent murder, and his cover-up of the recent events leading up to it and the atrocities that accompanied it.

But what has happened to the murderer? Is he in custody? Out on bail?

Or, as the civilised world fears, at work as usual in the compound, menacing the witnesses of his capital crime?

Grounds now exist for the Senate to vote no confidence in the government and to urge the Governor-General to dismiss the head of it.

If a protection racket for knife-wielding thugs ‒ for twenty or thirty clubbers of heads and one murderer ‒ is acceptable, they should not do it. Nor should they demand a Royal Commission, but accept as sufficient a department investigating itself and a barbarous police force investigating itself — and the age-old colonial cover-up of tribal violence and bureaucratic slaughter, in this millennium also, being reaffirmed.

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