The Secretary of the Immigration Department, Andrew Metcalfe, has found himself under quite extraordinary attack in the last 24 hours following reports he linked asylum seeker processing to Paris or London-like social problems.

What that means exactly isn't clear. "Social problems" was the wording in the initial ABC report that sparked the story, in a piece written by Jeremy Thompson. Stefanie Balogh of The Australian referred to "a risk to Australia's social cohesion". Michelle Grattan subsequently used the term "European-style unrest in [Australian] cities", a somewhat different idea, although Grattan today referred to media "overegging".