Government v. Triggs

Today we have seen – to this regime’s eternal shame – the bastardisation of the separation of powers, with cane toad’s ouster of a most honourable person, Justin Gleeson SG, QC etc. It becomes even more imperative to watch their every move on the Human Rights Commissioner, Dr Gillian Triggs. Thanks as always to Dr Jennifer Wilson of No Place for Sheep for her take on this appalling situation.

David Rowe; Fairfax

It’s hardly President of the Human Rights Commission Gillian Triggs’ fault when the Australian government is the worst human rights offender that Commission has to deal with.

When a government acts criminally, one hope for recourse is that statutory bodies will refuse to collude with or enable that government’s criminal behaviour, and indeed, that such bodies will name and shame the errant government.

The Turnbull government’s accusation that Professor Triggs is “politicising” her role is, like much of this government’s spin, farcical. For a start human rights are inherently political, and secondly all actions by governments are also inherently political. If the Turnbull government is determined to transgress the human rights of refugees currently abandoned to a highly uncertain future on Manus Island and Nauru, Professor Triggs has no option but to hold it accountable, otherwise she isn’t doing her job.

Of course any commentary Triggs runs on the government of the day is necessarily political, favourable or otherwise. There are instances in which even the silence of someone in her position is political.

Is it the government’s expectation that Triggs will ignore human rights abuses because they are perpetrated by the government? In what country are we living?

Triggs isn’t acting in isolation. Amnesty, the UNHCR, professionals who’ve worked on Manus and Nauru, refugee advocates, some thirty nation states, and this editorial in the New York Times speak with one voice to Australia’s refugee detention policies, and that one voice is damning.

There’s no doubt that in some instances, including the New York Times editorial, there’s blatant examples of the pot/kettle affliction, however, that does not invalidate the truth of the protests against Australia’s policies.

In a classic abuser pattern of behaviour, the Turnbull government continues its efforts to destroy the messenger, in this case Professor Triggs, though the government isn’t fussy, the tactic is transferable. The first concern of abusers is to silence accusers, and the government has displayed this pathology innumerable times, not only in relation to the secrecy with which it surrounds Manus and Nauru and threats of retribution, including imprisonment, against anyone who might transgress those secrecy demands.

Last week, the Border Force Act was amended to remove a comprehensive list of health professionals from the threat of two years jail for speaking publicly about conditions they encountered whilst working in the detention camps. The Turnbull government was forced to make this particular backflip because health professionals have spoken out regardless of the intimidation, and even this collection of political grotesques can see the folly of prosecuting them. However, they can still go after Gillian Triggs and deprived of other targets, they’ll no doubt double their efforts.

(Note to Turnbull government: never wise to make threats you can’t carry out. Makes you look wussy.)

Obviously, the solution for the government is to cease persecuting refugees. The pursuit of Professor Triggs is a distraction: don’t look at the refugees, look at this woman who is (allegedly) overstepping her role. It’s a greater offence to (allegedly) overstep a role than it is to torture refugees. Again, we see the classic abuser spin: it is a far worse crime to speak out about abuse than it is to perpetrate it.

It’s been messenger season as long as I can remember, in private and in public life. The paradigm is deeply entrenched in our society. It starts at the top and it doesn’t trickle down, it roars like a river in flood. It’s time to turn it around and put the focus where it belongs: on the perpetrator. In this case, the Turnbull government.

Stand with the messengers. Stand with Gillian Triggs.

354 thoughts on “Government v. Triggs

  1. “federal employment minister’s decision to cancel meeting to discuss domestic violence leave ‘either extreme arrogance or extraordinary laziness’

    No need for”either or”. More likely both.

  2. Repost ..

    I offer this story up as a testament to those strange, wonderful boomer years of the early seventies..when casual sex and passing relationships, “like ships in the night” seemed an innocent if naive thing..before the age of social revolution was irretrievably broken…It is an adult story and keeping in mind some of the more sensitive souls on this site , I do offer that warning..


    • My thanks for those who have so far visited the linked site for that story..much appreciated..thank you.

  3. Pregnant women are thinking about giving birth early to beat the government’s PPL changes.

    What an appalling situation. Springing this on women weeks before they are to give birth – only this government would consider such a thing. And that bastard de-facto Liberal Xenophon is considering allowing it through the senate.

    Anxious Mums Debate Bringing On Labour Ahead Of PPL Cuts
    Uncertainty over access to paid leave is stressing out parents.

    • as Gillard points out now, no one was seriously calling out the insinuations, insults and jibes, and as a result the pattern of sexist attacks grew bolder and were adopted and legitimised by her political opponents.

      So true.

    • The Keneally article is interesting, but very parochial. I doubt that many Americans are that interested in the poor treatment of a past Australian female PM or the rants from the floor of the NSW parliament against a female state premier. “Where’s Australia?”

      The UK has a female PM. Germany has a female Chancellor. The ROK (Sth Korea) and Taiwan, both have female Presidents. Not a mention.

  4. And this has been “breaking news” on 24, but I don’t think anything will come of it.

    The allegations were made,Vic police have to follow up – interviewing Pell was inevitable, and there’s no way Pell’s coming home to be interviewed, despite his statement about willingness to co-operate.. Its just a media beat up..

    • I’d love to know where he thinks he’s headed after he dies. His perception of Heaven must be some kind of Cayman Islands for morals.

  5. Now on to part 16 of my guide

    The South West (New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Nevada)

    This area has a fair few battlegrounds. In New Mexico Hillary Clinton should win easily however it’ll be interesting to see how much vote the libertarian candidate, former New Mexico governor Gary Johnson will get. Nevada was looking very tight but Clinton has pulled away in recent weeks while Arizona has turned into a tight race with Clinton narrowly leading in some polls and Trump in others. The big surprise in this region is in Utah where independent candidate Evan McMullin has a chance of winning, the most recent polls tend to have him in second place and about 1-2 points behind Trump, the last time a third party candidate won any electoral votes was when George Wallace performed a near clean sweep of the deep south in 1968.

    Earlier in the year it looked like Trump may cause difficulties for incumbent Senator John McCain in Arizona but it looks like he’s been able to quarantine himself from the Trump effect with polls showing him leading the Democrats’ candidate congresswoman Ann Kirkpatrick. Utah is the home to a first with Democratic candidate Misty Snow being the first transgender candidate to run for a statewide office anywhere in America however Republican incumbent Mike Lee will easily win this seat. In Nevada the race to succeed outgoing Democratic senate leader Harry Reid has been very tight. After trailing republican candidate congressman Joe Heck for a while, Democratic candidate former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto has taken a narrow lead in the polls. It’s worth mentioning that in 2010 the polls taken close to the election had Harry Reid losing his seat however he ended up winning by 5 points.

    There are a couple of competitive races in this region. In Arizona’s 1st district, which covers most of north-eastern Arizona, the seat has become competitive as a result of Ann Kirkpatrick running for the senate. The only poll of this seat taken has the democratic candidate Tom O’Halleran leading in this republican leaning (PVI R+4) seat. Arizona’s 2nd district, based on Tucson, is also a marginal district (R+3) that could flip if the democrats are having a good night. The most endangered Republican in this region is Crescent Hardy in Nevada’s 4th district. being in a district that leans democratic (PVI D+4) could see him lose and the most recent poll has him trailing, also Nevada’s 3rd district (Even PVI) could be a Democratic pickup due to incumbent congressman Joe Heck vacating the seat for a senate run. The 3 seats in New Mexico are safe for their respective incumbents (2 Dems and 1 GOP) however Utah’s 4th district is one to watch, this is a heavily republican district (R+16) but in 2014 Republican incumbent Mia Love only won by 5 points in a Republican wave year, with Trump on the nose in Utah this seat could be the scene for an upset victory.

    Only the governorship in Utah is up for election and incumbent republican incumbent Gary Herbert will be easily reelected.

    Ballot initiatives
    A ballot initiative legalising the possession and consumption of marijuana for persons 21 years and over is on the ballot in Arizona. Recent polls give this initiative a narrow lead. A marijuana legalisation initiative is also on the ballot in Nevada, which also has a narrow lead. The only initiatives on the ballot in New Mexico and Utah relate to minor local issues.

  6. You can criticise our Gahmen, but not our Chicken Rice

    Will the MFA’s (foreign affairs ministries), in Singapore and KL, ‘call in’ the Canadian High Commissioner for an explanation?

    Will Ottawa retaliate by placing an embargo on maple syrup exports to the Little Red Dot?

    It’s just as well we don’t (well, I hope we don’t) export Chiko-Rolls. We might be found to be in breach of the Convention on the Use of Chemical Weapons.

  7. For how much longer is the ABC going to promote the war criminal whitewashing of a traitor show? Menzies–Building a Modern Australia. Nah, that was Whitlam. If bloody Menzies had had his way the Snowy Mts Scheme would never have happened!

  8. What’s wrong with Chiko Rolls? Everything, I know 🙂 Yet once every few years I HAVE to have one.

    • PA

      There is some Aussie Proust who will open his book with, “There was a time in my life when I ate Chiko-Rolls and Cherry Ripes and surfed early”. I’m no Proust and I’ve never surfed so it’s not me. But there must be someone – Kevin Kang Ah Roo?

      Had a Chiko Roll about a year ago for nostalgia’s sake. Most likely will not be rushing back. Must admit, the Cherry Ripe was seriously good – one of those once a year things, and should be held up as an icon.

      As I understand it, the humble meat pie was being exported to Japan in the 80s and 90s – not a real success for FourNTwenty. A decent baker, producing a quality product like Balfour’s in Adelaide should give it a go (and their pasties – yum). Locally baked pies can be bought in Sing and Malaysia, along with good quality Aus-roasted coffee. Quite surprising? I put it down to the number of locals who went to uni in Melbourne and to a similar extent Sydney. Small-scale Australian roasted coffee biz, is seriously big. It’s a technology developed here that is seldom praised as much as it should be. You meet coffee-shop owners from JB to Ipoh, who may have studied Commerce etc at Melb Uni and had part-time jobs. They worked out at quickly, how to make a quid. Most of these young people (quite often dual-nationals) are doing well. Then there are those who stayed here. Some of the best Malaysian/Singapore tucker around is now available in Melbourne, Sydney and Adelaide.

    • “There was a time in my life when I ate Chiko-Rolls and Cherry Ripes and surfed early”.
      Oh yes! Once, long ago.

      Get up early, hike up to North Cronulla or drive if we very lazy, have a quick surf then enjoy a greasy breakfast which often included a Chiko roll. The milkbar/takeaway is gone now, replaced by an incredibly trendy cafe/bar with ‘a Modern Australian menu with French & Italian influences’. They don’t have Chiko rolls on their breakfast menu. Of course.

      Healthy diet note -Chiko rolls have vegies in them,unlike pies. So they are just so much healthier.

    • Fry too much, blow up like Samsung Galaxy S7 phone?

      Have you ever looked at a frozen chiko-roll? Please, don’t. They look like a small bore mortar-shell. The coppers in Vic and NSW should keep a stock just in case of a vegan riot in Fitzroy/Brunswick or Glebe/Surrey-Hills.

  9. I happen to know for a fact that Fiona loves chicko rolls. I may send her a box of them for xmas so she can fry one up whenever she feels like a late night snack.

  10. from March, night be paywalled so try opening via the link in the tweet, or google the URL interesting profiles a bizarre side of German fringe politics roughly similar to the US sov-cit movement, but rather than banging on about anglo common law it draws on German history & they have a thing about the post war allied occupation

  11. All that dressing up in those red capes and stuff, good for the tourists, but really, it is so out of date and has nothing to do with a man who wore a homespun robe, by all accounts, and told his followers to give their spare coats to the coatless.

  12. Those coloured ribbons that people wear, like in that German photo, that is a bit out of date too. A mayoral chain and stuff for formals is understandable but… maybe I am getting too 21st Century.

  13. Doug Cameron on the abysmal Nigel Hadgkiss – again –

    Another example of why this man should not be getting paid $400,000+ of taxpayers money. Hadgkiss has unilaterally decided that he will not pursue any breaches of the Fair Work Act by employers and this has meant that sham contracting, underpayment of wages, breaches of safety and phoenixing activity are not investigated. The Act provides that he must deal with these issues. This is outrageous, anti-union behavior. Like and Share to spread the facts!

  14. Part 17


    California has been safely Democratic since 1992 and Hillary Clinton will easily win the most populous state in the union

    California uses a ‘jungle primary’ system where all candidates from all parties are on the same ballot in the June primary and two candidates with the most votes proceed to the general election in November. This can result in two candidates from the same party facing off against each other, which is what has happened for the California Senate race. The two candidates are the democratic state attorney general Kamala Harris and democratic congresswoman Loretta Sanchez. The most recent polling has given Harris a sizeable lead and she is the favourite.

    Unlike most states California has a non-partisan commission determine the boundaries of congressional and state legislature districts and, as a result there are a handful of seats that could change hands. In the 10th district (covering part of the San Joaquin Valle)y polling released by the democrats has incumbent republican Jeff Denham trailing democratic challenger Michael Eggman in this marginal (R+1) district. In addition polling conducted by the democrats indicates that the 25th district (including rural areas to the north of Los Angeles) is also in play while in the 49th (coastal areas between San Diego and Los Angeles) District high profile republican Darrel Issa could be in for a tight race, in the june primary he only led his democratic opponent by 5 percent and polling is showing a tight race. Issa led the GOP’s Benghazi witch hunt against Hillary Clinton and Democrats would love to bring him down. The 17th district (San Francisco’s southern suburbs and Silicon Valley) is also an interesting district to watch. Incumbent Democrat Mike Honda is facing off against fellow Democrat Ro Khanna and could be in a bit of trouble. Honda is currently the subject of an ethics investigation and he came second to Khanna in the june primary and is also trailing Khanna in recent polling.

    California’s governor is not up for election

    Ballot Initiatives
    California has several ballot initiatives up for a vote, while most of them relate to local issues there a couple of interesting ones. These include an initiative that would repeal the death penalty and an unusual one which, if passed, would require actors in pornographic films to wear condoms while filming. There is also an initiative that would legalise marijuana for recreational use. Support for the 2nd and 3rd initiatives listed is leading in the polls but polls point to a majority being opposed to the initiative repealing the death penalty.

    • There’s also a ballot initiative that would require background checks to be carried out on all purchases of large capacity ammunition magazines, which currently has a big lead in the polls.

  15. Bananaby in fine form

    Barnaby Joyce has described the Labor party as communists and has justified concern about foreign investment because people are not prepared to “die for a rented country”.

    The deputy prime minister was speaking at the National Farmers’ Federation (NFF) congress in Canberra to an audience which included the Chinese ambassador.

  16. Lawyers’ alliance backs Labor’s call for George Brandis to resign
    Group representing 200,000 lawyers and law professionals says his legal direction to solicitor general shows ‘gross infringement on office’s independence’

    Not that bookshelves will care – he believes he is just so much better than those 200,000 real lawyers.

  17. Now to the final part of my guide

    Part 18: Pacific Northwest and the rest (Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Hawaii)

    Oregon, Washington and Hawaii are safe for Hillary Clinton. The Alaska Democratic Party was recently pushing a poll that had Trump only leading by 1 point in Alaska but no one’s taking that seriously.

    Incumbent Democrats Brian Schatz, Ron Wyden and Patty Murray will be easily reelected in Hawaii, Oregon and Washington respectively while in Alaska there was speculation that incumbent Republican Lisa Murkowski could be in for a tough fight against a high profile independent but recent polling has given her a wide lead.

    Using the PVI Washington’s 3rd and 8th districts could be competitive in a good year for democrats (PVIs of R+2 and R+1 respectively) but they’re probably long shots as both republican incumbents won easily in the non-partisan blanket primaries. All other seats in these states are safe for their respective parties.

    The governorships in Oregon and Washington are up for election (the former being a special election to fill out the term of the previous governor who resigned mid term). The Democrats in these races, both incumbents, in the lead.

    Ballot Initiatives
    Only minor initiatives related to local issues are on the ballot in these four states.

  18. Update –

  19. UnZud and no doubt Straya bacjk in the day. Travelogue commentary includes. “…The cities and towns of the nation are modern in every respect but unique in their administration.for the government has a hand in everything from milk plants to railroads.,They work a strict 5 day week and on Sunday you cannot purchase a newspaper or a razor blade.”.

  20. Family First senator Bob Day may face legal challenge to prevent his ABCC vote

    Family First senator Bob Day could face a rare High Court injunction preventing him from supporting the Turnbull government’s union-busting and same-sex marriage bills after he delayed his resignation to be present for the votes.

    If successful, that unprecedented legal course could be enough to stop the legislation dead, forcing the government to its plan B: a special post-double dissolution joint sitting to get the legislation through

  21. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Peter Martin hits the nail on the head with respect to housing affordability. There’s a chart there that spectacularly indicates the effect of CGT and negative gearing changes.
    It’s popcorn time as the possibility of legal action in the High Court against Bob Day to prevent him from taking part in the vote on the ABCC legislation. Mark Kenny looks at it.
    It’s untenable that Day could pocket $45000 by manufacturing a late effective point for his announced, but untendered, resignation.
    Peter Wicks has his say about Bob Day.,9639
    Once the investigation into the Dreamworld accident has been completed you can bet your bottom dollar that management practices and KPIs will get a mention as a contributory cause. Now look at these articles.
    Why, in these enlightened times, do people and the media go along with describing things as “miracles” and “being through the providence of God”? Was the accident itself through the “providence of God” too?
    The Australian has even more damning information on Dreamworld. Google.
    The Australian Lawyers Alliance has called for Brandis’s head because he “has crossed a key line of integrity”.
    Fairfax is looking into the nature of child detention in NSW. At first blush it isn’t too flash.
    Trump’s BFF, the magnificent Newt Gingrich, has attacked Fox News’s Megan Kelly for “her fascination with sex”. What a laugh!

  22. Section 2 . . .

    What’s the point of another interest rate cut asks Greg Jericho. As usual there is a lot of charts to consume.
    I have to say this deal between the CSIRO and Suisse gives me the shits!
    Pissed-off public servants have been caught out changing Wikipedia entries on a lot of conservative MPs. I wonder why.
    Is Barnaby Joyce deranged or what?
    Is the Trump machine turning to voter suppression activities?
    The long list of those that Trump has threatened to sue.
    Here’s what’s really driving Trump’s push for the presidency.
    Trump, Brexit and the shy voter theory.
    Andrew Lamming has done Soapy no favour at all in this radio interview in which he intimated that Brandis’s actions were motivated by a lack of trust in Gleeson.
    Chris Johnson writes that Turnbull is sick and tired of Soapy’s gaffes.

  23. Section 3 . . .

    Gleeson’s resignation and the rule of law according to Brandis.,9643
    Why new NSW Education CEO Mark Scott is loving his job.
    George Pell receives some visitors in Rome. No comment is necessary.
    How long before Barnaby Joyce declares the BOM to be a bunch of Communists after this dire climate change effect warning.
    The dairy industry came under the spotlight of a Senate inquiry yesterday when a farmers group said that Australia is heading towards the importation of milk. Don’t worry though – Barnaby’s right on top of it.
    Morrison should look to a successful US scheme that has been on operation for 30 years to lead to the creation of lots of affordable housing.
    Adele Ferguson writes about how Alan Fels and his new migrant taskforce are having a crack at 7-Eleven and domestic and sexual slavery. Go for it Alan!
    It’s shameful that Australian whistle-blowers are still left exposed by law. I’m not holding my breath waiting for the Coalition making changes.
    The SMH editorialises that NSW must preserve public hearings for the ICAC.
    Pat McConnell writes that new home buyers (again!) will be the big losers with the new lending rules.
    There is a savage Christmas pension cut coming and that will lead to “a government firestorm of significant proportions” says Robert Gottliebsen. Google.

  24. Section 4 . . . with Cartoon Corner

    Andrew Street looks at the “F**k Fred Nile” case.
    How multinational tax transparency got killed off by Australia’s business lobbies.

    David Rowe takes us into Turnbull’s office and his newly outfitted desk.

    Ron Tandberg drops in on Soapy interviewing a candidate for the Solicitor-General gig.

    Mark Knight on the Dreamworld tragedy.

  25. kk

    Your little “can’t buy a newspaper or razor blade” travelogue starts out with –

    Until recent decades the people of New Zealand lived in magnificent isolation cut off from the rest of the World by infinite distances.

    The narrator then immediately goes on to say –

    From Auckland in the North it’s 1200 miles to the nearest land mass – Australia – and 6,500 miles to San Francisco.


  26. For a bit of enjoyment have a look at this brass ensemble rendition of The Rose as a shopping centre flash mob. The production value is excellent.Use headphones if you have them.

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