Tonight's episode of The Howard Years should help to bring out some of the obsessive types who think the children overboard affair was instrumental in Howard's election for a third term as Australian PM.
In a nutshell, Minister Philip Ruddock claimed asylum seekers had thrown their children into the water during an October 6, 2001 incident - information John Howard repeated - but video and other evidence later proved to be inconclusive.
Howard later explained why he refused to apologise: "They irresponsibly sank the damn boat, which put their children in the water".
However, it is now often implied that asylum seekers never did throw children overboard. Maybe not on October 6, 2001.
But as well as detailing a number of other incidents where asylum seekers threatened to drop kids overboard and deliberately sank and set fire to vessels, we have this from David "Scoop" Marr's book Dark Victory (p 321):
"Two sailors from HMAS Bendigo witnessed what happened next. A woman dangled a small child in a red jump suit over the side....The child, about three years old, was also screaming. This time the child was dropped overboard."
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