Dear Prime Minister,
I asked in yesterday's letter what would Minister Dutton's next unspeakable act be: here it is, already. Detainees from Manus Island and Nauru, who are in limbo in Australia after being sent here for medical treatment, will have the paltry amount of financial support removed, given only three weeks to find accommodation and put on a 6-month visa.
'We want people to go [back] voluntarily' said Dutton.
By starving them and making them homeless? By sending women with babies back to where they were raped? By sending men back to a demolished prison and certain violence?
Here are some of the immediate responses:
Red Cross: 'humanitarian needs must come first'
Asylum Seeker Resource Centre: 'We are not going to let these people go back ... we're going to fight.'
The Hon Bill Shorten, MP: 'Your weakest move yet.'
The Greens: 'this unspeakable cruel act'
Law Council of Australia: 'nothing "un-Australian" about human rights'
What a squalid, depraved little paragraph of Australian history you are carving out for yourself.