But seriously, are we having this debate again? Has Howard been pulling some marionette strings so that Abbott and his cohorts race bait and play the asylum seeker/queue jumper word shuffle to win votes on fear?
This is poor politics. "There is understandable concern in the community about what former prime minister John Howard called a confronting form of attire,'' says Abbott, ie. "I'm basically saying I agree with the xenophobes in the audience, but I'll only imply it so that I can't get in trouble." Quoting Howard also beckons to the same voters who long for the days of the "Pacific Solution" - ie. the "don't let those people near my suburb regardless of their risk of death where they came from" brigade.