Editor's note

Few cases have aroused the kind of outrage as that of the Tamil asylum seekers who have been living in Biloela, Queensland, and are now being housed on Christmas Island as their lawyers make a final attempt to prevent their deportation to Sri Lanka.

As Michelle Grattan writes, the family has found supporters in unexpected places - shock jock Alan Jones, for example, and former Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce, have added their voices to the many who have campaigned or protested on behalf of the family of four.

Such is the pressure on the government that it has unfurled all of its aggressive techniques in dealing with situations like these: dismiss and demonise critics, dip into history to blame your political opponents, drop an alarming news story with The Australian. And the upshot, Grattan says, is that even though the government may have legal right on its side, using this family to make a point looks very distasteful indeed.

Amanda Dunn

Section Editor: Politics + Society

Top story

The government faces volleys of anger from some noisy and many (usually) quiet Australians, and. Ellen Smith/AAP

View from The Hill: Morrison and Dutton block their ears and grit their teeth over Tamil family

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

As the Sri Lankan Tamil family from Biloela prepares to learn their fate tomorrow, Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton can't avoid looking threadbare in terms of humanity.

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Australia is becoming more like the United States. Increasingly, we invest overseas. Our domestic economy is weak.

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Detail from Reed Plummer’s photograph Surge, in which a breaking wave drops tons of water even as it pulls tons of sand from the sea bed. South Australian Museum

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The cycles of life, in their fierce glory, are reflected in a stunning exhibition of nature photography.

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