The sight of Peter Dutton’s mournful eyes staring down the camera the other night warning that Afghans fleeing the Taliban posed unknown dangers to Australia showed the Tampa times aren’t 20 years in the past. They are now.

What happened then is happening today as our planes lumber in and out of Kabul: a Coalition government is finessing its decent obligations to refugees to hold onto the vote of the 15 to 20% of the electorate most fearful of race, the constituency the Coalition wants to stay in power.

The Tampa affair was about votes. John Howard was facing

Read More