The problem with PM’s people smuggler pitch

The problem with PM’s people smuggler pitch

This is the dubious marketing pitch Scott Morrison believes will be pushed by people smugglers in villages of Indonesia following yesterday’s crushing defeat for the PM.

It doesn’t seem particularly attractive but the Prime Minister argues that is just because critics are viewing it through “the nuance of the Canberra bubble”.

“Yet again, the Labor Party have failed to learn their lessons of failure,” Mr Morrison said yesterday after the House has voted to agree to the medical transfer bill for asylum seekers.

“They have demonstrated yet again that they just don’t understand how to protect Australia’s borders.

“So don’t kid yourself out there that somehow you have improved the situation, you’ve only made it weaker.”

The bill will make it easier for existing asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus to get a medical transfer to Australia.

The bubble and nuance-free criminal organisers of boat people traffic apparently will tell potential customers they must hand over most of their money, undertake a dangerous sea voyage where they are likely to be intercepted by warships. Should they survive.

They then could be sent to offshore Australian facilities where they might spend five or six years in wretched living conditions.

But then they might get to the Australian mainland — if they are really, really sick. And once there they would again been put in detention.

They will ignore the medical transfer law which would restrict evacuations from Manus and Nauru to those currently housed there. That, says the Prime Minister, is a nuance which would not be noted.

This is the deal which Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton, too, believes would be appealing, so appealing he has put the Australian Border Force on alert.

It doesn’t sound much of a business proposition but Mr Morrison is so sure it will be snapped up by asylum seekers he wants to spend a lot of money reopening the Christmas Island detention centre to accommodate the asylum seeker influx.

The people smuggler pitch is as imaginary as the Prime Minister’s forecast of new flotillas of asylum seekers. It simply doesn’t exist.

And if people smugglers were enticed by events in Canberra to relaunch their boats, they would have to thank Scott Morrison for the tip-off

But the Prime Minster hasn’t been speaking to the criminals and possible clients. He has been addressing Australian voters.

The intense jousting over the medical transfers has been a dress rehearsal for the election campaign proper.

Mr Morrison has bid to inflame voter response to the new laws to get much needed political capital.

The people smugglers will see through his strategy, but will voters?

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