Coalition MPs will probably utter something like “yesterday was a grim day on our borders” as they face the press today.

They’ll say the Coalition had hoped that it could “end the evil people trade and vote for a policy solution” but that Julia Gillard “drove the Parliament back into deadlock when she had the opportunity to reach a genuine consensus and enable us to move forward”.

They’ll say the deal that passed the House of Representatives last night — and will almost certainly be defeated in the Senate today — is a dud (or words to that effect). “It compromises our standards and it will not stop the boats,” someone from the opposition will exclaim.

We know this because Crikey has obtained today’s Coalition talking points dispatched to all MPs by Tony Abbott’s media adviser Paul Ritchie.

They say exactly what you’d expect them to. Labor will be working from its own notes; this is how business is done in politics.

But on a day that our federal Parliament fails the nation — and desperate asylum seekers — so completely, the spin is almost too much to bear.

Peter Fray

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