The national daily has at last acknowledged that John
Howard’s troops are in revolt and has even gone as far as giving comfort and
succour to them to continue. It might have just been a small box on page one of
The Australian this morning but the coalition backbenchers opposed to planned
changes to the future treatment of refugees will be heartened by the editorial
inside. And on page two of the paper there was a full and fair report of the
stalled attempts by Immigration Minister Amanda Vanstone to get her opponents to
change their mind.
“Labor immigration spokesman Tony Burke is right,” the
paper says in its editorial. “John Howard has traded Australian sovereignty in
order to placate Indonesian fury over our granting protection to 42 Papuan
asylum-seekers in March.”

In a calm and analytical manner the editorial
continues to demolish Mr Howard’s attempt to argue that the immigration changes
are necessary to prevent the return of people-smuggling.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey