If Labor & Labour backflip any harder, they’ll do themselves an injury

Well, well, well, there’s a whole lotta backflippin’ goin’ on over boats. Whaleoil has already reported on Labour’s “significant change in policy”, suddenly flipping from touting for asylum seekers detained on Manus and Nauru to be sent to New Zealand, to allocating tens of millions of dollars to stopping more boatloads arriving.

Labour’s Australian counterparts, if they are to be believed (always a long reach), are outdoing Lees-Galloway and Ardern with a double-backflip-and-twist on boat policy.

Andrew Giles, the second half of Labor’s new-look home affairs and immigration team, has walked away from his previous view that boat turnbacks were “inherently unsafe”.

“I now support boat turnbacks,” Mr Giles told The Australian after the opposition’s first frontbench meeting in Brisbane.

Putting Giles and Kristina Keneally in charge of border policies is slightly less ridiculous than putting monkeys in charge of a banana plantation.

The Victorian Socialist Left MP, named by Anthony Albanese as Labor’s assistant spokesman for immigration and citizenship, once represented Tampa asylum-­seekers trying to be heard before an Australian court so they could seek protection and has vowed to inject compassion into one of the most controversial policy areas.

While he moved a motion against boat turnbacks at the ALP’s 2015 national conference, he says his views have changed.

Changed suspiciously in sync with Labor losing an election it was absolutely certain it was going to win.

Mr Giles has also been outspoken against temporary protection visas, which the Coalition considers a key plank of its border protection policies, describing them in 2015 as creating “cruel ­uncertainty”.

He remains in favour of Labor’s plan to abolish TPVs, which was confirmed at last year’s national conference but left open to review.

The new frontbencher will work with home affairs spokeswoman Kristina Keneally who, on day one in the job, was forced to repudia­te her earlier stances against boat turnbacks and offshore processing.


They might have to appoint a parliamentary chiropractor, to cope with the inevitable strain from all these policy gymnastics.