Tony Abbott isn’t a big social media user. He doesn’t tweet much. But he was eager to tweet yesterday: “I just unveiled the Coalition’s border protection billboard in Perth.”

In fact it’s a mobile billboard — the “debt truck” has been turned into a “boat people truck”.

“How many illegal boats have arrived since Kevin Rudd took over?” it demands.


But it gets better over in the west, where the Coalition clearly fancies it can tap into a deep vein of resentment toward the trickle of asylum seekers that manage to reach Australia.  A Crikey reader has provided some junk mail — in the most literal sense — sent by Liberal Senator Judith Adams.


“Dear local resident,” it begins.  “A Liberal Government, led by Tony Abbott, would restore confidence in Australia’s border protection system… safe haven visas, turning back boats where circumstances allowed and preserving our offshore processing system…”

Adams also offers a pop quiz with questions like “Do you believe that the Rudd Labor Government’s soft stance on border protection is the reason for the increase in illegal boat arrivals?”

Looks like it’s back to the future with grubby politicking over some of the world’s most vulnerable people.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey