There seems a sense that our freshly-minted Prime Minister has decided she's going to keep bothering Malcolm Turnbull on Manus Island until he relents.

The rationale seems to be based on the premise that he didn't dismiss our initial offer outright, therefore it's still on the table, and therefore he needs nudging.

All of this is also based on the heavily traded currency in such matters: guilt.

The plight of these people is appalling, and how is it possible to stand by and do nothing?


Of course if you let that emotion run wild, you'd end up like Angela Merkel and the floodgates would be open.

So it's not an outrageous offer.

But the problem is, once we've gone down the "anything we can do" route, we are running the very real risk of getting up Australia's nose.

The more we push, the worse it gets, because it has a tinge of the embarrassment about it. Australia walks a very fine line between their policy of no boats arriving on Australian soil, and having the headache of a place like Manus which is a mess.

The reason they have their policy is several fold. One, it works. Two, because it works they no longer have the nightmare of people swallowing, burning or flushing their passports so they become Australia's problem on Australian soil. And once on Australian soil, next stop it's downtown Sydney or Melbourne.

I know the ones we have offered to take are cleared by the UN, but that still doesn't change the fact they paid crooks to ship them to their current predicament. And we cannot let the emotion of the plight override the dishonesty that led to it.

There are equally legitimate and desperate people who haven't broken the law to jump the queue.

Those are our priority under our current programme. By bugging Turnbull, by yapping at him over and over, we are looking dangerously like we want to score points. And as Winston Peters pointed out in one of his rare recent forays into the public arena, he quite rightly said our current relationship with our biggest trading partner is at a low ebb.


Why would we want to make it worse ?