Eleven people are missing, perhaps lost at sea, off the Cocos Islands. One is confirmed dead. They are assumed to be asylum seekers come to grief.

Tony Abbott was choosing his words with care.

“A policy that doesn’t stop boats coming will occasionally have tragic consequences … I put the question: what’s so moral about policies that don’t prevent people from taking to sea in leaky boats? He (Kevin Rudd) is responsible for the government policy on boatpeople and if people think trying to come to Australia in leaky boats has a reasonable chance of permanent residency they will be tempted to take the risk. He is responsible for the policy.”

After an examination by stewards and course veterinary officers, Abbott was subsequently scratched. Connections are undecided as to whether he should be put to stud, gelded or destroyed.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey