We can legitimately ask, what on earth were they thinking? How did they think they would get away with this act of barbarity? Malaysia administers corporal punishment to refugees. Political dissidents are arbitrarily arrested. It hasn't even signed the refugee convention. Even Australia's refugee gulags aren't quite that bad.
But of course the course was set when Beazley stood shoulder to shoulder with PM Howard in demonising the refugees that were saved by the Norwegian ship Tampa ten years ago this month.
This is disgusting to anyone with a modicum of human decency. Dog-whistle politicking and One Nation style scapegoating may win some cheap cred among scared racist voters, but this kind of absolute lack of principle only shows how bereft of ideas and humanity the Labor caucus is.
I only hope that the fallout from this court loss is severe for the ALP. They deserve it. Free the refugees!