It appears that Tony Abbott will not support the Government's amendments enabling offshore processing. Mr Abbott is dressing this up in terms of protecting asylum seekers. I for one don't believe him - I have absolutely no doubt that he would quite happily forsake those very same protections if he thought doing so would deliver him Government. If he was really concerned about the plight of asylum seekers sent back to countries that haven't signed the UN convention on refugees why does he have a policy of turning the boats around? It seems to me that Mr Abbott's real desire is actually to keep the boats coming so he can use their arrival to attack the Government.
That said, I'm not upset about the blocking of this legislation. My preference is for onshore processing or, even better, processing before asylum seekers even get on the boats.
However, in my opinion, by blocking these amendments, Tony Abbott hands the Government a powerful tool to use against him. I can just see the advertisements come the next election:
Tony Abbott said NO on action to stop the boats
Tony Abbott said NO on action to fight climate change
Tony Abbott said NO on action to help Queensland rebuild from devastating floods and cyclones
Tony Abbott said NO to tax reform and tax cuts
Tony Abbott said NO to pension increases
Tony Abbott said NO to action to fix our hospitals
Tony Abbott said NO on action to fix broadband
Say NO to Tony Abbott