I applaud the New Zealand government for refusing to allow some of the Tamil blackmailers on the Oceanic Viking to resettle in New Zealand. Prime Minister Rudd has been told that New Zealand doesn’t approve of queue-jumpers, nor does it want to be viewed as an easy destination by people-smugglers and their customers.
So our “tough but compassionate” Prime Minister is hunting high and low for another country to accept the Tamils. A possible destination is the Philippines, but I doubt that the Tamils will agree to disembark in that country. They are demanding to be sent to Australia and won’t settle for anything else.
That certainly does not sound as if the Tamils’ only motivation for leaving Sri Lanka was to save their skins.
If Rudd capitulates and brings the blackmailers to Christmas Island then that will be regarded as a failure of his refugee policy. Anyhow, if he criticised the previous Australian government’s handling of boat people and smugglers which was called the Pacific Solution, why is he scouting the Pacific nations in the hope of relieving himself of these queue-jumpers?
Surely there is not much difference between Rudd’s Pacific Odyssey and John Howard’s Pacific Solution except that Howard’s one worked as a deterrent while Rudd’s is an embarrassment. Meanwhile we wait to see what bright idea Rudd can come up with to remove the egg on his face.