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Great moments in compassion by John Howard

You've got to hand it to John Winston Howard - when he's not blatantly lying about events he's doing his darndest to shift the blame onto others. I don't think I've seen anything for quite a while that encapsulates the John Howard mindset better than this exchange from last night's 7.30 Report on the ABC. It comes during an interview by Kerry O'Brien about the Government's announced changes to mandatory detention for asylum seekers:

KERRY O'BRIEN: Well, in that same regard you talked on Friday about hindsight. You've had alarm bells going off all over the place over years. You've had serious psychiatric warnings, quite serious ones, from whole groups of psychiatrists, particularly about children, you've had the Human Rights Commission, you've had other groups saying - and having made the admission that the changes are - not just overdue but long overdue, which suggests a long period, have you stopped to ask yourself how many of these children now face life as seriously damaged human beings, not to mention their parents?

JOHN HOWARD: Well, Kerry, perhaps their parents should have stopped to ask themselves whether they should have tried to come to this country in an unauthorised way in the first place.

(Full transcript is here.)