Among the Bankstown boy’s misrepresentations on this occasion:
Think about his tacit endorsement of Hanson's racism during his first government, his WASP-divined jihad against refugees — those wretched individuals who had enough faith in us to try to reach us in old tubs, while his wicked detention policy was presided over by that other psalm singer, Philip Ruddock. This is the John Howard the press gallery in Canberra went out of its way to sell to the public during 1995. The new-made person on immigration, not the old suburban, picket-fence racist of the 1980s, no, the enlightened unifier who now accepted Australia's ethnic diversity; the opposition leader who was going to maintain Keating Labor's social policies on industrial relations, on superannuation at 15%, on reconciliation, on native title, and on the unique labour market programs for the unemployed. (my bold)Howard is no racist and he has expanded the immigration and refugee programs well beyond the levels provided by this guttersnipe. The press gallery didn’t defeat Keating in 1996 Keating - Australians just hated you – one of the most divisive leader Australia has had in the post-war period. It is a message you must learn to accept Paul. Your ‘labour market programs’ have been replaced and Australia now has its lowest unemployment for 33 years.
But will Labor offer an immigration alternative under Rudd? This is impossible to believe. They will just ‘me-too’ the Government on its record immigration intakes (or cut them slightly in response to the views of their anti-migration, trade union dominated front bench).
Consider what Mr Rudd said yesterday on turning back the ‘boat people’ queue jumpers:
Kevin Rudd has taken a tough line on border security, warning that a Labor Government will turn the boats back and deter asylum-seekers, using the threat of detention and the nation's close ties with Indonesia. (my bold)
In other words the Liberal policy that the Labor Party and its motley gang of quarter-brainers are grizzling about intensely is Labor policy. When I read this border protection policy expressed so starkly I almost fell over but I should not have been surprised – it has in fact been Labor policy for a decade. What grates are the assertions by people like Keating that Labor will restore what it considers to be a 'moral basis' to Australian politics. It won’t and Labor claims about morality are hypocrisy.
Border protection is one issue that has been repeatedly used as a means of attacking the Coalition. The Labor Party has clearly endorsed the policy it simultaneously criticises. To its masses of supporters this will be yet another instance of Kevin Rudd avoiding 'wedge politics' - avoiding stating what he believes to gain power. If that is so then Rudd is a liar rather than a hypocrite.