If the Christmas Island tragedy is to tell us anything, it is that there is no easy fix in refugee policy. There is an understandable urge to find someone to blame for the deaths: the 'evil' smugglers for organising the journey from Indonesia; the Australian government for failing to track the vessel and render more timely assistance; the victims for getting on the boat in the first place. Pointing the finger makes a complex disaster appear more comprehensible and helps ease our distress by suggesting that such horrific events can be prevented quick and decisive policy changes. But this is a false promise. There is no easy solution---hard or soft---to Australia's boat people 'problem'.