Preparing for the Last Election
Thursday, 28 November 2002
The Federal ALP has released its border protection strategy. Announcing Labor's plans for an expanded coatguard on AM yesterday, Simon Crean, The NSW Right's current knife-rack-in-waiting said (repeatedly) that Australia's border protection required "a cop on the beat".
It's an unfortunate turn of phrase: it conjures up images of hundreds of CG Plods, up to their balls in the East Timor Sea, trying to fend off people smugglers, drug traffickers and trepang poachers with their trusty truncheons. Or maybe that's just me - and you too, now that you've read that last sentence. Demonstrating their usual talent for stating the blindingly obvious:
The Federal Government has hit back at the Opposition's plans, accusing it of recycling its failed coastguard policy from the last election.
Defence experts are lukewarm too, most believing that keeping our new coastguard in Speedos and waterproof whistles might divert resources from the budgets of other defence agencies, such as the navy, which as we all know from yesterday needs some extra readies to upgrade the Collins class submarines to a more state-of-the-art obsolescence.
Meanwhile, on the domestic policy front ... Well that's the problem really isn't it? Does the federal ALP have any domestic policies, apart from Mark Latham's grand design to return Australia to the glory days of Arthur Calwell?