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“Where is your spine, Mr Shorten?”

Dear Mr Shorten,

I don’t actually know why I afford you the respect of addressing you by title, since you clearly have no respect for the Australian people. You demonstrably have no respect for humanity.

Have you lost your mind?

Do you really think that turning back the boats saves lives? Are you so ridiculously naive that you can’t see what Abbott is doing? I understand that you’re nervous about Abbott leveraging popularity off your own dull and uncharismatic public persona. But why would you betray your party and the Australians who were hanging onto the last hope that at least the ALP would not be sending desperate people back to certain death for the sake of appeasing the lowest common denominator?

Where is your spine, Mr Shorten?

Yes, I afforded you once against a smidgen of respect that you clearly don’t deserve. But I will not lower myself to your own level of weakness and gutter politics by publicly expressing just how I feel about your monstrous anti-humanitarian backflip.

Let’s just look at the ALP principles.

“Labor is for being a good global citizen”.

Sure. Sure it is, Mr Shorten. Maybe when you weren’t in charge.

Being a good global citizen does not mean renouncing your international obligations in favour of a petty, vindictive and nasty war with Abbott on who can be the cruelest to the most vulnerable people in the international community.

“Labor has a proud tradition of standing up for the freedom and rights of others in the world.”

Has? It had. Before you were in charge, Mr Shorten. Or should I say before your predecessor, Kevin Rudd tried to out-Abbott Abbott and adopt the harshest of asylum seeker policies in an attempt to win the unlosable election in 2013.

Have you forgotten just how that turned out, Mr Shorten?

Or perhaps you blame the messy and completely undignified leadership spill for Labor’s destruction.

The stench of your involvement in that sordid affair tainted your reputation long before you showed yourself to be the lily-livered weakling of a leader that you have so obviously revealed yourself to be. Not only were you involved, but you lied about your involvement.


Do you think that because the Australian public are mocking Abbott for his lies that it’s acceptable for you to act without integrity? For all those loudly screaming at the damage Abbott is doing to Australia’s international reputation, there are thousands more quietly seething.

There is one thing the ALP absolutely is to blame for. Abbott being Prime Minister.

And now your pitiful and completely unbelievable excuse for adopting Abbott’s vile boat turnback policy is that you’re motivated to see fair treatment of refugees.

“All of the people in this debate, in the Labor party, are motivated by wanting to see fair treatment of refugees.”

Some of the people are, Mr Shorten. But not you. The ALP members who have not discarded their morals, sense of justice and compassion.

“I want to see us do our fair share to help refugees and help the challenges people face when displaced from their own countries.”

What nonsense you speak. You do not even believe your own words.

“But I also think we have an obligation to make sure that people are safe.”

Because turning back boats makes people safe? All it does, Mr Shorten, is stop those desperate people landing on Australian shores or drowning in Australian waters. But you don’t care what happens to them elsewhere, do you, Mr Shorten. As long as you can pretend to be tough. Pretend. Even Abbott and Dutton don’t believe you.

I understand the ALP National Conference is this weekend. I sincerely hope your colleagues remind you of your position. I hope the ALP can stand up for its traditional principles of fairness.

I hope you finally show strength, courage and integrity, Mr Shorten, and resign.


Eva Cripps


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  1. M-R

    Oh please PLEASE let this issue be that which forces Shorten to resign …

  2. Marie

    I couldn’t agree more Eva. Shorten is a disgrace to the Labor Party. Why can’t he do the right thing and resign.

  3. Rosemary (@RosemaryJ36)

    He wants to be Prime minister so badly that he is prepared to destroy his own party. Shame!

  4. stephentardrew

    “When you get into bed with the enemy you become the enemy”.

    When you compromise your moral responsibility you are immoral.

    When you use weasel words to avoid making a stand you become the weasel. (apologies to weasels)

    When you hide behind environmental action you are an expedient devious liar.

    Bill you Tony Abbott and your minions are the enemy of a decent future based upon scientific facts, logic and rationality.

    In short you are a fool.

  5. Sir ScotchMistery

    Actually the labor party is the disgrace to the Labor Party. Under Bill Pumpkin they have become another lnp and the only separator is the colour of their ties.

    And for those rusted on old lefties that still swear by labor, in its’ current form, you are just as bad as the lnp voters, you tossers.

  6. RichardU

    650 words of criticism and not one constructive suggestion. The debate rages on.

  7. mars08

    From the article…. “..monstrous anti-humanitarian backflip…

    And monstrously stupid!!!!

    As was the case with budget deficits, domestic spying, troop deployments, citizenship and trade pacts… siding with the Coalition is to play by THEIR rules. Timidly endorsing Abbott’s solution to these confected “issues” is to present him as a mastermind and problem solver. The ALP has accepted the “issues” as defined by the Coalition. Is it any wonder that the Coalition can claim to be able to fix these problems?

    oh ffs….! No government in it’s right mind ever announces there is a crisis… unless it can simultaneously claim to have a solution!!!

    And… please spare me the dribble about refining the policy once you are in power! In the unlikely event that the intent is there, any policy “backflip” would certainly be politically damaging…. and therefore, dismissed.

  8. mmc1949

    Rosemary: “He wants to be Prime minister so badly that he is prepared to destroy his own party.”

    Shorten and Abbott are, in fact, two of a kind. All about them, nothing about Australia.

  9. babyjewels10

    I couldn’t agree more, Eva.

  10. Sir ScotchMistery

    Unfortunately, it has to be said, they are both of the same gender – Jesuit.

  11. kerri

    Excellent article Eva!! Very well said. Only one complaint?
    You say you afford Shorten too much decency by referring to him as “Mr.”?
    I think you afford hime too much decency by referring to him as “leader”!

  12. gangey1959

    Hear, Hear.
    Step aside mr shorten, and let someone with a brain and some guts have a go.
    Your two faced lies and bullshit are not what our military personnel who gave their lives on foreign soil died for.
    Step aside, resign from politics, take your pension, climb into your bmw, or more likely volvo, and piss off out of it.

  13. diannaart

    Bill Shorten, you have done it, yet again; given all the Labor bashers more excuse to, justifiably, ask where has Labor’s spine gone?

    You actually believe if leaky boats are turned around, mid-ocean, their passengers magically end up somewhere safe?
    Detaining people indefinitely will result in a good outcome for those detained?
    Ever tried to live a life when there is not a speck of security or hope, while being treated as a criminal?
    Does not turn out well…

    …and you know this Bill, Tony probably doesn’t get it (all that born-to-rule stuff) but you do. This actually makes you more of a hypocrite than Abbott!

  14. guest

    That’s the way to go. Bash Bill. Show the Right that the Left is divided, some baying for blood. Get rid of the leader.

    What I would like Bill to be able to say after the conference is that Labor has considered the Tow Back the Boats option, and has rejected it and here is why.

    Now, what would you like him to announce as Labor policy in its place? Come on, speak up. Lots of talk here about being tough and following Labor principles – but not a lot of specific policy from those who claim to be Labor supporters.

    If we do not like the Coalition line, are we willing to side with Green policy on refugees?

  15. deanyz1

    Has anyone considered that Bill Shorten may be following Abbott by promising one thing (Stop the refugees), then once elected go back on that promise and deliver something more humanitarian. Worked for Idiot boy and his voters…

  16. mars08


    That’s the way to go. Bash Bill. Show the Right that the Left is divided…

    Huh? What the hell? Are you out of your tiny mind??? Bog Shrunken has nothing at all in common with the political Left!

  17. brett

    Untill those B@stards start thinking about the people instead of bigbusiness murdoch china and there bloody rorts what they can get in wifes pocket to. im not voting for any of them period. australalian people must have suckers on there foreheads because all they do is take us for a ride and when they are gone we are still paying. there not murdoch not we pay them and him for what.

  18. greg carmody

    Bill short on everything

  19. Harquebus

    Jellyfish do not have spines.

  20. corvus boreus

    I came to a conclusion regarding the integrity of Bill Shorten when I watched him use blatantly shifty lingo whilst denying the need for a federal ICAC or similar.

    “I don’t believe the same case has yet existed to demonstrate these problems are prevalent in the national political debate in Australia. But I have indicated, publicly on the record to Tony Abbott, that we are happy to sit down with him and work constructively in a bipartisan fashion to ensure we have the strongest possible defences against any perception of corruption full stop.”

    Bill does not believe there is anything shifty going on in Canberra, but he is more than happy to sit down in house with Tony to work out how ‘defend against any perception of corruption’.

    What exactly are the the best defenses against the ‘perception’ (identification, organization and interpretation of sensory information) of (hypothetical) corruption regarding dealings in and around federal politics?
    Camouflage and concealment? Diversions and distractions?
    Or just say ‘phuq it’ and start jailing whistleblowers?

    In one newspaper poll, 98% responses favoured a federal ICAC.
    Bill Shorten doesn’t, he’d rather trust Tony Abbott.

  21. eli nes

    At last little billy has found his beaconsfield power.
    Labor you are on the wrong side of the speaker, so don’t be conned by the fringe of the fringe who forget the impact of a price on carbon, a successful minority government under a knowledgeable skillful woman, a great economic manager in swan all of which was lost in 3 slogans and who lump refugees, asylum seekers, social runaways, the economic greedy in the same boat.
    love the scotch jesuit cartel but so is pyne, joyce, hockey and bullock (who replaced louise pratt) most of the boys are private christian schooled and unable to challenge their indoctrination about women, public education, union workers or other religions.
    Why are these people silent on the Pope’s climate change?
    Why are the labor catholics silent on women?
    Why are labor women silent on most topics?

  22. heatherex

    At least Shorten has suggested doubling the refugee intake. That has to be a good thing. If he matches the LNP’s policy on boats then that leaves Abbott without his most potent weapon against the ALP. I don’t like boat turn backs, but we saw what happened under Rudd and the way Abbott has trumpeted about it ever since.

    Let’s wait and see if this helps Labor gain power.

    I think the public have moved on from Abbott’s scare campaign about climate change, and are more accepting of renewable energy so it will be interesting to see where Labor’s policy goes from here.

  23. mars08


    At least Shorten has suggested doubling the refugee intake. That has to be a good thing…

    If memory serves, this idea of increased intake has been floated before. The numbers are then fudged and it amount to nothing. So… NO, NO, NO it does NOT have to be a good thing….! It’s just as likely to be more bullshit.

  24. Jaq

    Well said Eva..Shorten been given more than enough ammunition to blow Abbott out of the water, and now he’s showing his true intention, to be PM by hook or via crook. Sad days for Labor voters..

  25. guest


    keep up the divisive talk about who is left Labor and who is right Labor and Labor will go nowhere under any leader.

  26. Terry2


    I have read your Shorten letter several times and I respect your views and, in many respects, I agree with you on the subject of boat turnbacks. However, I have come to view this issue from a different perspective and will try to explain.

    Firstly, I see this whole issue as a political street fight to the death : no rules, no morality just the prize of power. Abbott, Morrison and Dutton don’t care a fig about refugees or their humane treatment they care only about a political advantage. Were it otherwise, they would not keep these people locked away in offshore detention when, according to their own rhetoric, the boats have stopped. They do everything for political advantage and only pay lip service to refugee processing and resettlement – four from Nauru in two years sent to Cambodia at a cost of $40 million dollars ; none from Manus.

    The Abbott government have pointedly avoided any regional dialogue to deal with the problem of “irregular maritime arrivals”. Indeed, the Abbott government have gone out of their way to irritate and enrage Indonesia who are after all only a transit country.

    The whole situation on asylum seeker management has been kept secret simply because it is a mess and lacks any coherence beyond the political advantage that it gives the Abbott regime: these guys have read and subscribe to Machiavellian principles and recognise that there is no room for morality in politics and holding political power.

    Labor have an almost insurmountable challenge on their hands, they can remain true to their principles and rule out boat turnbacks and thus hand the next election on a platter to Abbott or they can look for a middle way.

    They can embrace turnbacks and offshore detention as a political neutering of Abbott but at the same time, increase our quota for refugee resettlement, invite the UNHCR into the processing system for offshore detainees: enter into genuine dialogue with our near neighbours, in particular Indonesia and in the process bring Australia back into the international tent. That in turn will allow us to look to other countries to help us resettle the desperate folk on Manus and Nauru and, as a bonus, the opportunity to close down those despicable gulags once and for all.

    When Australia regains a seat at the international table and shrugs of the pariah shroud that we currently wear we can then start the process of participating and showing leadership in the globally vexing challenge of irregular and uncoordinated migration. But in the short term we have to keep the option of boat turnbacks on the table : you may have noticed that Dutton has already leapt on Shorten’s use of the term ‘option’ to try and rekindle the fear campaign.

    The next election is going to be like something we have never seen in this country and, in my view, the priority for our nation and its future has to be to rid ourselves of this dangerous regime.

    Take care

  27. mars08

    @guest… good for you. Keep those eyes shut and keeps quiet!

    Really… you think I AM the one being divisive… I’m the one causing tension in the ALP ranks? I suggest you look at the path the party has taken in the 21st century.

    Wake up to yourself…

  28. Sami

    Actually Eva Cripps, it was Gillard who started to out-Abbott Abbott with the ‘Malaysia solution’, remember?

    I personally believe that the welfare and well-being of the country is more important than the side-issue of refugees. I know many won’t agree with me, and that’s ok. But I think the rights of our citizens regarding our pensions, our ability to see a doctor without paying like Americans do, etc etc is of greater importance. I want Abbott gone, and as long as Labor are ‘soft’ (how the general public see it, not me) on immigration, Abbott will remain PM. We CANNOT AFFORD THAT!!!! We CANNOT AFFORD another term of an Abbott government. So much is at stake, and we have people threatening not to vote Labor over immigration? Bloody hell! We *NEED TO GET ABBOTT ***OUT*** *!!! And if we have to snooker him on a non-essential issue like immigration, fine. Because regardless if the issue is immigration, health, education, welfare, disabilities – Abbott will always be a danger to Australian citizens. Always. Excuse me for feeling that our health, our education, our welfare, our future, is more important than some immigrants. It is either listen to the public on this issue, neutralise it, and then concentrate on reminding the voting public about Abbott’s cuts to education and health so as to prevent yet another 3 years of his cruel cuts and destruction. Australia cannot afford another 3 years of Abbott just for moral vanity on a side issue that is not relevant to most Australians.

    Being morally superior gets us bloody no where, if WE ARE IN OPPOSITION!!!! What fricken good is that, then? Fat lot of good it will do us then. The important thing is the health and welfare of our citizens and getting Abbott out. Just think of a set of scales. On one side, is refugees. On the other, is: education, health, welfare. Hmmmmmm Tough choice, not!

    Get on your high horse and abuse me as much as you want, but your moral superiority will not help alleviate the destruction that maggot Abbott has done to our country. Priorities. Get them right.

  29. Sami

    Well said, Terry2, well said.

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