BILL Mann (July 13) in his demonising of Opposition Leader Tony Abbott seems somewhat confused.
It is the Prime Minister who is responsible for policy and for government, not the Opposition.
Mr Mann also ignores the role of The Greens in so obdurately opposing the sensible policy of offshore processing.
It is always interesting that the ''compassionate'' vociferously champion the right of asylum-seekers to risk their lives at sea to reach Australia, but completely ignore the thousands of refugees already processed and without the resources to enter the country illegally.
These refugees remain in camps, with ever diminishing hope of settlement in Australia while ever people smugglers flourish and the government does little to deter them.
To my mind, it is this lack of fairness and humanity which is despicable, not the Opposition's insistence on attention to human rights.
On the weekend of July 15-16, Immigration Minister Chris Bowen was extensively reported as saying that "offshore processing of asylum- seekers is "the most compassionate" and "fair" approach.
Mr Bowen's comments suggest that if compromise should be made, then the onus is on the Prime Minister to reconsider the Malaysian option.
The Opposition's job is not to help the government govern by sanctioning bad policy.
How can it possibly be acceptable for Australia to send 800 asylum-seekers to Malaysia and receive 4000 in return? The numbers now arriving beg the question: How often would this occur six monthly, yearly?
As policy, given the human rights question with regard to Malaysia, this should not even have been a consideration for Labor, which claims to be the party of compassion and support for human rights.
Elizabeth Alves, Cleveland