Christian Kerr writes:

Just what Faustian bargain has the PM
struck? He not only knows the works of that other Old Nick backwards – but has
devilish good luck.

So he had to pull the refugee bills. No
probs. It was done – and then the energy statement was dropped to smother the story
and push pernickety polling on the domestic downer of petrol prices in the
right direction. Mission accomplished – and with more.

The first full polling since the Atlantic
airline bomb plot was uncovered, today’s Newspoll,
puts the Government back in the lead. What did we say yesterday about security
being a positive for the Government. What’s been the main word on the lips of
the PM and his Ministers since the refugee bill was pulled?

It’s security. And as if on cue, eight
asylum seekers have turned up on Ashmore reef. Four Australians have been
injured in a rocket attack in Baghdad.

A few Government Senators are being very
high minded and precious about how they would have behaved if the Migration
Amendment Bill had gone to a vote. But no-one wants to talk to them now. It’s
security, security, security.

The PM doesn’t really look too bad on all
of this. He can say that he’s listening on petrol. And you can spin the refugee
back down. He can look tough and conservative and transparent and democratic at
the same time – all while being praised by the commentariat for his tactics.
And it’s security, security, security.

And no-one was asking how the bill might have
fared if we had an Immigration Minister who gave a vague impression that they
gave a damn – or that she was even half competent.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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