Labor exodus

John Shailer writes: Senior cabinet ministers Nicola Roxon and Chris Evans won’t recontest the next election. The HMAS Gillard has been hit by at least three torpedoes and the rope line to the shore is getting busier. Shades of the mass exodus of Labor MPs before the last NSW state election.

Pamela Curr, campaign co-ordinator Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, writes: Senator Chris Evans gave Australia a glimpse of a more decent refugee policy. In his short time in the immigration portfolio, he brought the Rohingyan and Tamil refugees off Nauru and closed the camp.

He stopped the appalling system of forcing people to pay for their detention which saw detainees released with debts of up to $350,000 for their incarceration. He called an end to Temporary Protection Visas which denied refugees the right of family reunion and left them in limbo for years.

He began the restoration of human rights and decency in refugee policy in Australia. However he was stopped in his tracks by the brutes in the Labor Party and the opposition who demanded that punitive deterrence underpin Australia’s response to the few people knocking on our doors.

And he left the portfolio — no doubt unwilling to be party to the persecution of asylum seekers which is currently underway. Now he leaves the government. Thank you for trying Senator Evans.

Sadly the barbarians are within the gates.

Election campaign

Keith Thomas writes: Re. “Rundle: Labor’s plot to make Tony Abbott into Mitt Romney” (Friday). Guy Rundle omitted to mention one big difference between the US and Australian systems: here we can replace party leaders at any time in the campaign. If Labor are demonstrably successful in demolishing Tony Abbott, what’s to stop the Liberals from replacing him with, say, Malcolm Turnbull and transforming and uplifting the campaign in the final few weeks?

Indeed, given the bounty of Tony Abbott videos displaying his prevarication, shiftiness, ignorance, desperate ambition and self-centredness, perhaps that’s the strategy Lynton has given them as he jets off to London to run the Tory campaign over there.

Niall Clugston writes: Re. “Crikey says: who to blame for Labor pains” (Friday). There’s nothing wrong with Julia Gillard’s glasses, but there is something wrong with the glasses of whoever wrote Friday’s editorial about the coming election.

It takes a lot of rose-tinting to argue “on current polls Gillard could do it”. It takes a lot of distortion to blame long-serving Labor governments in New South Wales and Queensland for the failings of a short-lived federal government.

And it takes downright blindness to argue that Labor’s first step in this hard campaign should be to open up the can of worms of internal reform.