Barely a week after Fariborz Karami died by suicide on Nauru, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has warned against Australians extending a “single act of compassion” to people detained in offshore detention. After five years of running Labor’s camps, it is the Coalition’s latest, perhaps most honest, admission that our immigration system requires continued and deliberate human suffering.

It is important we take the Home Affairs Minister’s comments in context. The Department of Home Affairs has recently buckled to pressure to bring a dying asylum seeker to Australia for palliative care, and failed to stop suicidal children from receiving care in Australia; in the face of those precedents, a suicide on Manus Island last month, and news that Australia chose to ignore months of warnings about Karami, Dutton is at pains to ramp up fear over boat arrivals.