STRANGE POLITICS: Droppin’ bombs and takin’ refugees
AUSTRALIA did something truly admirable this week, but it was marred by a jarring sense of political schizophrenia.
Tony Abbott has opened our borders to 12,000 refugees fleeing torture and murder in Syria.
It was a noble and humanitarian announcement fuelled by the heart-wrenching images of a three-year-old boy's body washed up on a Turkish beach, and the outcry it caused.
His name was Aylan and his Kurdish-Syrian family was using any possible means to find him a better life, or a life at all.
Governments across the globe have been moved and embarrassed by the photos of his lifeless body, not least in Canada where authorities had rejected asylum for the boy's family.
In a backflip, Australia will now permanently resettle 12,000 members of persecuted minorities from Europe's worst refugee crisis since the Second World War.
But... we will also start dropping bombs on them within the week.
Pretty strange, huh?
If that does not scream "one step forward, two steps back", I don't know what does.
The situation has brought out the worst in some of our honourable elected officials including, not surprisingly, conservative Liberal macho man Cory Bernardi.
His reaction to the photo of Aylan's lifeless body was to blame the boy's dad for his death, saying he chucked his family on a boat so they could get top-notch dental treatment in Canada.
His own party-mates once again had to recoil and distance themselves from his strange outlook.
Except for Ian Macdonald who "just wish(ed) that the Syrian people could sort out their own problems".
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop quickly rebuked Bernardi's comments, while his Liberal backbench colleague Ewen Jones went a step further to call for 50,000 Syrian refugees to be resettled.
The differing opinions show the vast schism that exists between the right and left factions of the party.
Nationals MP George Christensen - the same bloke who proudly spoke at a super-racist Reclaim Australia rally - also made a git of himself.
He hopped on Facebook and said a Labor proposal to take in 10,000 more refugees would nick all of our jobs.
Then he called the Prime Minister's 12,000 refugee quota "very measured".
That same day he said "reports of Islamic State terrorists posing as refugees is more reason to prioritise Syrian Christians".
Labor's Graham Perrett nipped that in the bud, quick-smart.
"If you have a look at yourself in the mirror you'll realise how easy it is for people to pose as Christians," he zinged back.
That's not to say Labor were much better.
In a gutless show of bandwagonning, they waited until a couple of Liberal MPs had backed the expansion of the resettlement plan before they jumped on board.
Only after the waters had been tested did they dip their toes in.