By JR on Thursday, September 15, 2011
That seems a fair request -- but is a Leftist capable of civility in politics?
TONY Abbott is demanding Prime Minister Julia Gillard personally say "please" if the Government wants Opposition support for off-shore processing of asylum seekers.
The Opposition Leader is fed up with what he sees as "bile" from Ms Gillard and a lack of information from the Immigration Minister Chris Bowen, sources told news.com.au today.
And he's furious that last week Mr Bowen's office briefed reporters on what Mr Abbott was to have been briefed on later that day.
At hand is legislation the Government will introduce next week to amend the Migration Act to get around a High Court ruling which wrecked the Malaysian deal to swap asylum seekers for refugees, and put in serious doubt all off-shore processing of boat people.
The Opposition hasn't declared where it stands on the issue, but Mr Abbott is likely to back it to ensure a future Coalition government could send asylum seekers to third countries such as Nauru.
Any agreement would come with heavy criticism of the Malaysian solution, which would be reflected in proposed Opposition amendments.
However, Mr Abbott won't reveal his plans to the Government until he gets what he considers a full briefing on the legislation, and a personal appeal for support from the PM.
He'll receive a briefing on the bills in Melbourne at 5pm tomorrow and today Opposition sources said it must include all the legal advice the Government received following the High Court ruling.
"We've asked for it and haven't even had a 'thank you for writing' letter in reply," said one Liberal source.
Earlier this week, Ms Gillard and Mr Abbott clashed over the table during Question time with the Opposition Leader complaining, "I get nothing but bile from you, Julia".