Then at about 2pm there was an announcement that the operation would not go ahead and that the press release that had been used to announce it had been issued by someone low down in the organisation. The minister was beyond reproach. All good here, it's fine, move along, nothing to see. Just a poor execution but the basic idea is fine. What a load of bullshit, I thought. And it was just that. A complete load of crap.
The thing is that Tony Abbott is suffering badly in the polls and so it's not really surprising that he's come out with a move like this at this time. It's all about boosting his standing in the eyes of the community. We know from his past performances that Abbott is liable to shoulder up alongside the uniforms when things get rough electorally, and the current impasse is just another example of what he's prone to do.
I asked the Border Force late this afternoon what third-world backwater they had crawled out from. This evening Andrew Wilkie, the independent senator, was on TV wondering if Abbott had not perhaps taken a leaf out of the books of the Stasi of East Germany or of Stalin's Russia. It's all the same thing. Abbott has once again jumped the shark. I heard him on the radio this afternoon talking about his visit to northern Australia and his promise to go every year as prime minister. "Whether I go before the election or after the election, I will keep my promise," he said. I doubt he'll be prime minister after the election, frankly. The man's a complete fool.