Has the gatekeeper turned card dealer? is fair comment in my view.
Andrews’s mishandling of the Sudanese issue, talking up their alleged problems of integration, has been very odd. The politically tempting explanation is that this was a Government effort to play the “race card”. But there’s something unconvincing about that. This election is not 2001. The “race card” would be seen as a cynical tactic; it could lose more votes in middle-class marginals than it might gain in more redneck areas.
Certainly Labor, with its “me too” policy on cutting the African slice of the refugee intake is avoiding leaving itself vulnerable to any wedge politics, although spokesman Tony Burke quickly jumped in to condemn Andrews.
It’s possible Andrews has created a political storm by stirring the race pot without having any deliberate strategy to do so. Some describe him as narrow in focus and very “technical” in his approach. That might explain his failure to couch any negatives within the wider story of these African refugees. In fact, once they get over initial settlement challenges they make very good migrants…