Mike Crook writes:

Re: Yesterday’s asylum seek article
Hey Petro, Hey Christian, where have you guys been for the last four years, it was October 2001 we needed these comments, the damage has been done. There were lots of Australians who opposed the demonisation of refugees, including an organisation called Labor 4 Refugees who carried a resolution through every state conference of the ALP which called for more humane treatment of asylum seekers. The fact that the federal ALP conference chose not to back this resolution says more about the lack of democratic process in the ALP than anything else. It also said a lot about the inability of ALP leadership to campaign on it’s supposed principles.

In 2001 despite many reports from ALP doorknockers that lot of small l liberals were looking for a humanitarian opposition to Howard this was ignored and the ALP gave them no reason to change, this despite the overwhelming victory to Queensland’s Peter Beattie 9 months before when he campaigned on putting “One Nation” last. Most ALP members still support the Labor 4 Refugees charter document and view comrade Ferguson as a sick joke reflecting what the strange ALP preselection rituals can throw up at you sometimes.