We paid $180m for Scott Morrison to have a press conference on Christmas Island

It has been a dependable truism for two decades of refugee policy in Australia, that every time you think things can’t get any worse, they immediately do. In a rare break from this pattern, the government was forced into a historic retreat by the will of the parliament on the medical evacuations, or “medevac” bill in February. The bill put into effect the principle that refugees trapped in Australian detention camps are owed a duty of medical care that transcends politics, a fact which only the heartless would find controversial.