Cyn­i­cal U- turn shapes as bid to gain power

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­DREW BOLT COM­MENT

BILL Shorten can’t be trusted — or for­given — when he says La­bor should now sup­port turn­ing back the boats.

Af­ter all, for seven years La­bor re­fused to turn back boats from In­done­sia and vil­i­fied the Lib­er­als who wanted to. More­over, the Op­po­si­tion Leader hasn’t now changed his mind from shame that 1200 peo­ple died at sea un­der La­bor’s poli­cies.

He hasn’t changed it from guilt that La­bor let 50,000 illegal im­mi­grants land, or wasted $ 12 bil­lion.

No, there’s one rea­son Shorten waited un­til two years af­ter the Gov­ern­ment started Op­er­a­tion Sov­er­eign Borders be­fore con­ced­ing it has worked and La­bor should adopt it.

It’s be­cause the elec­tion is a year away, maybe sooner, and he knows he can­not win with­out sup­port­ing turn­backs.

This is Shorten want­ing to save his ca­reer, not save lives.

If he wanted to save lives, as he claims, why didn’t he sup­port turn­backs a decade ago, when the Howard gov­ern­ment used them suc­cess­fully?

Why didn’t he sup­port them seven years ago, when boat peo­ple were again drown­ing un­der the Rudd gov­ern­ment’s weaker poli­cies?

Why didn’t he sup­port them last year, when his immigration spokesman, Richard Mar­les, tried to get La­bor to drop its mad op­po­si­tion?

Rea­son? Be­cause La­bor has for years in­dulged in the deadly pol­i­tics of seem­ing, not do­ing.

To seem com­pas­sion­ate, La­bor in 2008 scrapped John Howard’s tough bor­der con­trols, in­clud­ing turn­backs. And as the boats re­turned and the peo­ple drowned, La­bor re­fused to ad­mit its deadly mis­take.

The de­nial was dis­grace­ful, and al­most ev­ery La­bor MP was com­plicit.

In 2012, Ju­lia Gil­lard claimed the Lib­er­als’ turn­back pol­icy “won’t work”. Then immigration min­is­ter Chris Bowen claimed it was “dan­ger­ous”.

In 2013, Kevin Rudd in­sisted turn­backs could even “risk some sort of con­flict with In­done­sia” in­volv­ing war­ships. Then immigration spokesman Tony Burke claimed the Lib­er­als’ pol­icy “was never go­ing to be able to be de­liv­ered”.

Even in 2013, as the Lib­er­als started to tow back boats, Shorten in­sisted “the Coali­tion’s pol­icy is ab­so­lutely not work­ing”.

And only now does Shorten say “me too”. Again, not be­cause of the dead – but be­cause of the votes.

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