Rudd lacks consistency
SMH : Unconvincing acts on asylum seekers
Phillip Coorey, 19 October 2009
One of the stranger moments of the US presidential election campaign in 2004 came when the Democrat candidate, John Kerry, shot a goose.
Stung by the perception he was lacking in the manhood department, the senator and decorated Vietnam veteran, dressed in camouflage fatigues, disappeared behind a thicket in the swing state of Ohio and blew away a goose with a 12-gauge shotgun.
His then adviser Mike McCurry said the hunt was designed to give voters ”a better sense of John Kerry, the guy”. The guy, however, took the stunt only so far. He refused to carry the goose out of the thicket for a stroll past the waiting cameras. That task fell to an adviser.
One was reminded of this madness last week as Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull engaged in their own he-man contest over asylum seekers.
Apart from the stuff about people smugglers being vile vermin and so forth, the hard language aimed at the asylum seekers themselves sounded unconvincing from both men.
For all his insistence that Rudd’s abolition of temporary protection visas and the Pacific solution was responsible for the recent influx of boats, Turnbull shied away from demanding the immediate reintroduction of either policy. He called instead for an inquiry. More