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Feb 21, 2014

Apology to Tony Abbott

I find myself forced to admit that I owe Tony Abbott an apology. In the heat of the 2010 election campaign, I refused to believe his undertaking to turn back the boats. Like many oth

Shakira Hussein

Writer and academic in multiculturalism

I find myself forced to admit that I owe Tony Abbott an apology.

In the heat of the 2010 election campaign, I refused to believe his undertaking to turn back the boats. Like many others from the latte-sipping inner-city leftie cultural-relativist brigade (as the fascist racist Andrew Bolt-worshipping brigade choose to call us), I simply could not see how it could be done. It was too dangerous, it breached international law, it would shred our relationship with Indonesia – it was cowboy stuff. Abbott’s election-campaign insistence that he would do it was just so much political bullshit, and once in government he would put on his sad face and tell the Australian people that it was a non-core promise.

Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa (as I was not raised to say in such circumstances, but as Tony presumably was).

I did not think that I was capably of overestimating Tony Abbott, but apparently I was. I naively assumed that there were depths to he would not sink. How silly of me.

It turns out that he is absolutely prepared to breach international law, to incur the displeasure of the United Nations High Commission for Refugees,  to flush what he himself described as Australia’s most important relationship down the toilet, if not by turning back the unseaworthy boats in which the asylum-seekers had made their journey, then by loading them onto other boats and pointing them back to where they had come from. Well, not all the way back, but far enough back that they need be no concern of the Australian people.

And now, he is prepared to watch the Australian concentration camps on Manus Island descend into hellish misery and violence, as concentration camps are wont to do.* As Australia’s popularity in both Indonesia and Papua New Guinea plunges new depths. As a retired navy captain describe the policy as “morally corrupt and indefensible”. As refugees pay for this policy with their lives.

As Australia renders itself guilty of conspiracy to murder.

But Tony Abbott did find a way to turn back the boats, contrary to my expectations.

My most humble apologies.

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3 comments

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3 thoughts on “Apology to Tony Abbott

  1. Rais

    It was easy. All you have to do is make the destination more hellish than the point of embarkation, and that was the stated policy both of both major parties.

  2. Alex

    If it’s any comfort to you, Shakira, I got it wrong, too. I assumed a God fearing Mick of Abbott’s level of passion would have more compassion, but, it turns out he really is prepared to sell his arse to be PM,

  3. graybul

    UNDERESTIMATING the PM is indeed ‘the’ problem. We may well also regard many on the front bench as buffoons . . the truth is, they are a cohesive unit, driven by ideological goals that may well achieve beyond our worst expectations. It’s time to wake up Australia.

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