In isolation these may be vignettes. The trouble is they rehearse such resoundingly familiar themes. Ask the current Home Affairs Minister why it is that settling asylum seekers in Australia will unleash people-smuggling boats, but that settling them in America – as is slowly happening – somehow won’t, and you’ll be told that this is the advice the government has received. Well, really? It certainly doesn’t make intuitive sense, so how about you release that advice? Otherwise, we’re being asked to take a politician’s word for it, and however tempting that might once have been, what now that we learn such advice has been misrepresented in the past?