With the 2016 election looming large, I have decided to pose questions for politicians in a series of blogs called “Hard questions, hard answers” (HQHA)
Given that politicians are not inclined to answer questions and when they do the answers are normally a combination of obfuscation, circumlocution and often just plain bullish, I have decided to provide the answers myself.
Today’s questions will be on asylum seeker policy. The questions will be put to the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and the Leader of the Opposition Bill Shorten.
For the sake of brevity, they will speak in unison.
HQ: Do you foresee any change to Australia’s asylum seeker policy when you form a new government.
HA: We’ll change our policy if the other guys do. But we’re not going to go it alone. No one wants to take the lead on this issue.
HQ: So there is no chance of the existing asylum seekers being brought to Australia?
HA: Nope, nope, nope.
HQ: Why is that?
HA: Because that gives the other side a free kick. And in front of the goals. It is politically suicidal to be labelled as soft on border protection and we’ve made sure that, in the public’s eyes, border protection and the detention of asylum seekers are very much the same issue.
HQ: Which they’re not?
HA: Of course not, but we are not going to argue that the Australian people. Much too hard. Particularly before an election
HQ: Has there been any discussion that this is a very expensive policy apart from its being universally condemned as inhuman?
HA: Our government is prepared to spend money to keep Australia safe.
HQ: But how much threat would existing asylum seekers really pose if they were brought to Australia?
HA: Off the record, none. On the record, they are all Jihardits and will be blowing up the MCG was in weeks arriving.
Thank you gentlemen. It’s been informative, depressingly informative.