What stands in the way of moderating Australia’s hard-line deportation of New Zealanders? “The risk of paedophiles!” Why can’t medivac legislation be left well enough alone? “Murderers, rapists, terrorists!” Why are Five Eyes authorities demanding that tech platforms allow them to hack encrypted messages? “Online child sexual exploitation!"

The common thread? Our very own Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton. He’s picked up the danger of child abuse and sexual assault and weaponised it in support of increased security powers and tougher borders. It works because the media amplify his claims -- usually uncritically. (It's ruining international relationships, Crikey noted recently.)