Turnbull bows to "mad right" with new laws, says Rudd
MALCOLM Turnbull's plot to permanently ban some asylum seekers from ever entering Australia has outraged former Kevin Rudd, who believes the PM is rushing to "appease the mad right of his party in every domain".
The laws will stop any asylum seeker arriving by boat from ever obtaining a visa. That includes those found to be genuine refugees and those who one day want to visit Australia as a tourist.
The former Labor Prime Minister who served in the role twice before being defeated by Tony Abbott, has not entered the fray over national political issues in the past three years, has come out swinging against the proposed laws.
"This is both bad policy and bad politics: on policy, the far right in Australia represent the worst of the xenophobic, nationalist and protectionist wave that we now see raging across Europe and America," he wrote in an opinion piece for Fairfax.
He also labelled Tony Abbott, Peter Dutton, Eric Abetz, Kevin Andrews and Scott Morrison -- who remain a powerful conservative bloc in the Coalition -- as "political thugs" requiring appeasement.
Mr Rudd said the Abbott-Turnbull governments had made his 2013 Pacific Solution a permanent measure when it was designed as a temporary stop-gap to disrupt the momentum of people smugglers.
The former PM described the changes as "legislative folly".
"It is without any policy merit in dealing with the real policy challenges all countries face today in what is now a global refugees crisis," he wrote.
"And it does nothing to help those refugees left to rot for more than three years, who should be resettled now."
The acrimonious relationship between the Prime Minister and his Labor predecessor was thrust into the national spotlight earlier this year when Mr Turnbull confirmed he would not support Mr Rudd's bid to become the next secretary-general at the UN.
The public rejection of Mr Rudd's bid by Mr Turnbull prompted a scorned Mr Rudd to hit back publicly with correspondence