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. Trump’s ‘voter suppression – another excellent reason for compulsory voting.

    We already have our MSM doing their best at voter suppression. They were very keen on pushing the tired old ‘both the major parties are exactly the same’ rubbish which, of course, gave us One Nation and NXT. This sort of behaviour already causes a lot of deliberate informal voting and a lot of no-shows. Just imagine what would happen if voting here became non-compulsory.

  2. Not being widely reported in the local MSM.

    Gillian Triggs honoured for human rights work

    Gillian Triggs was awarded the Sir Ron Wilson Human Rights Award by the Australian Council for International Development in recognition of her outstanding contribution to advancing human rights.
    “She has given voice to the most marginalised and kept human rights at the centre of public and political debate,” ACFID president Sam Mostyn said

    Deliberately omitted by me – the very snarky first lines of this report. The rest of it isn’t much better, but at least the award managed to get a mention.

  3. Is this a joke? Found it in my in-box:

    Dear Bushfire,

    In just 100 days, since the swearing in of the Coalition Government, we have delivered on our commitments for stronger economic and border security, more jobs, lower taxes and stronger regions.

    We have announced major funding programs that deliver vital infrastructure for cities and the regions and job-creating industries into the long term.

    Through astute management of the nation’s finances, the Liberal-National Coalition has been able to protect Medicare and make a record investment in public health.

    We are focused on every Australian at every step of their life whether that be better education outcomes for our children, better job opportunities, or fairer and more flexible superannuation into the future.

    We want a fairer Australia by addressing long-term welfare dependency and giving workers real workplace freedom through important industrial relations reforms that stamp out union corruption and intimidation.

    We have more to do. Our Coalition MPs and Senators are focused on a strong and stable future for Australians no matter where they live or what they do.

    You can find out more about 30 significant Coalition Government achievements here.

    Malcolm Turnbull
    Prime Minister

    • First question this brings up is: Protect Medicare from what? It’s not as if anybody outside of the Coalition itself is threatening it. Also these two things:

      We want a fairer Australia by addressing long-term welfare dependency

      – and

      giving workers real workplace freedom through important industrial relations reforms

      They’re both non-sequiturs. Addressing long-term welfare dependency (which as far as I can tell is impossible without job creation) doesn’t do a thing to make anything ‘fairer’. It’s a nonsense. And ‘real’ workplace ‘freedom’ (what on earth ‘real’ is supposed to mean in this context is anyone’s guess, much less ‘freedom’) is not going to happen by concentrating on “union corruption and intimidation”.

      Also note carefully how much of this stuff is aspirational. From a government heading into its fourth year that sort of talk ought to be intolerable. The closest they come to saying they’ve done anything is infrastructure announcements. Apart from that they are either “focused on” or they “want”.

    • They’re on murky ground with a lot of that spin. When they went ahead with gay abandon dumping car manufacturing assistance, Abbott waffled on about what a liberating experience it was to lose your job.

      I would not recommend trying that one in Geelong or Elizabeth in the next year or so. (On the other hand it might lead to some tar, feathers and pitchfork action, which might not be a bad thing,)

  4. Another joke I heard today was that the CEO of Ardent (parent company of Dreamworld) received$800k-plus as a special performance bonus today.

    Christ, there’s some funny gags about!

  5. Old news

    Barnaby Joyce has rejected suggestions that he changed the Hansard in a dispute which led to the agriculture department secretary, Paul Grimes, being sacked.

    Grimes was sacked in March last year because of a relationship breakdown with his minister, Joyce.

    On Monday, after fighting freedom of information requests for more than a year, the government released a letter in which Grimes told Joyce he could no longer work with Joyce as agriculture minister “to resolve matters of integrity”.

    Strange how ministers are prone to breakdowns of relationships.

  6. At last – someone who gets it.

    Stephanie Peatling talks about the bigger issues in the PPL debate.

    Paid parental leave: A lesson about the birds and the bees for our MPs
    The debate about the government’s changes to paid parental leave is missing the point.

    We have a PPL system, it could pay more, but as it stands it has worked well for years now. We aren’t allowed to keep it and build on it because it was a Labor initiative. All things Labor must be abolished and replaced with fifth-rate crap.

  7. When “Don’t mention the war!” becomes an official government talking point.

    ‘Abbott-Turnbull war’: Leaked government talking points suggest ongoing leadership tensions

    Leaked government talking points suggest Tony Abbott and Malcolm Turnbull remain at “war”, despite the two “working in the same direction” on reforming the NSW Liberal Party.

    A list of daily media messages prepared for an unnamed Coalition MP and obtained by Sky News on Thursday tells the MP to say that there is “no sign of any conflict” between the leadership rivals.

    After the PM and former PM contradicted each other in Parliament, one government MP has tried to water down the feud saying they’re actually ‘old friends’. Courtesy Channel 9.
    But the section of the document that says the pair are “working in the same direction” on controversial internal Liberal Party reform plans is embarrassingly headed “Abbott-Turnbull war”.

    Now who could have leaked this ……

  8. I have cooked the most superb Vindaloo Beef curry in my brand new Sunbeam “Multi Cooker – Deep Fryer” (also doubles as a Slow Cooker):

    This amazing utensil does king prawns dipped in egg and my custom Ras El Hanout laced, bread-crumb and Italian durum wheat batter, absolutely superbly.

    The succulent crustaceans even impressed HI’s ex-hubby, Ross, with whom I am now at “Blood Brother” status.

    The girls are getting jealous. Ross’s wife asked whether we wanted to get a room together, we are so pally. HI said, “I divorced him.You can have him.”

    Ross and I just laughed, as we opened another bottle of Margaret River cleanskin shiraz.

    Bloody women. They just don’t understand blokeship.

    • Whaloa! Got durian wheat in Italy lor. How does it smell? “Durian smells like death – tastes like love”. (Yeah, yeah I know, sure it was a typo – meant to say, durum).

      Vindaloo for me. Did you cook it slow?

  9. Thank goodness for common sense.

    Dreamworld management planned to open tomorrow for a memorial to those killed by their shonky ride. Not the most tasteful decision. Anyway, it’s all off. The police put their foot/feet down.

    Dreamworld cancels reopening after police warning on crime scene security
    Queensland police say they will not ‘compromise the speed or thoroughness to acquire the evidence or facts we need’ to investigate the tragedy

  10. Just back from over the hills with the horses and the Bedford….drove past BK’s Stipa grass project station…been out with the lawn-mower by the looks!…I am cactus.

  11. Lenna Leprena ‏@LennaLeprena 23h23 hours ago

    Barnaby Joyce derides Labor as communists in front of Chinese ambassador

    Been out since this morning so I hadn’t heard the details of the “insult”…f#ck me sideways they say…it’s one of those thing that you stare and stare at thinking ; “this can’t be true..this can’t be true…” but it is…and then the head starts an involuntary shake sideways as if in denial….no, no, no..this isn’t governing Aust’ is it?

  12. 😆 Monty Python is alive and well in Kuwait. A delicious thought at the police trying to maintain a straight face as they deliberated the worth of the “evidence”.

    A woman who suspected her husband of cheating with their maid marched their pet parrot to police after it began spouting saucy lines she knew hadn’t been said to her.

    She believed the parrot had exposed her husband’s secret trysts, which are illegal in Kuwait where they lived, Al Shahed Daily reports.

    The woman took the parrot to police and filed an adultery complaint against her partner

    However, the authorities ruled the parrot’s evidence was inadmissible because it was impossible to determine where the bird had heard it.

    They argued he could have picked up the scandalous lines from television or a radio show.

  13. Damned right and something the Coalition should but will never understand.

    Homegrown terrorism is rooted in US actions, not Islam. Just ask the FBI

    If a Muslim carried out an attack on a funeral home in the United States, killing 140 mourners, the public discourse that would inevitably follow is by now all too predictable: blame would be apportioned to the attacker’s faith and culture.

    A 2012 FBI report into homegrown extremism found that grievances over US military action far outrank any other factor – including religious ideology
    But if the 15 years since 9/11 have made one thing clear, it’s that public discourse does not flow the opposite way.

    For instance, last Sunday, an attack on a funeral home in Yemen’s capital, Sanaa, by US ally Saudi Arabia left at least 140 mourners dead and no one here in the US, which has provided it with $115bn worth of weapons since 2009, asked, “So, what’s wrong with our culture?

    ,………………………………But when a 2004 study, commissioned by the US Defense Department, found that “Muslims do not hate our freedoms” but “hate our policies” and with “the overwhelming majority voicing their objections to what they see as one-sided support in favour of Israel and against Palestinian rights, and the longstanding, even increasing support for what Muslims collectively see as tyrannies, most notably Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Pakistan, and the Gulf States” – we ignored it. Instead, we assumed their culture to be at the heart of homegrown radicalisation.

  14. Steve Showboat

    It was probably inevitable that the backpacker tax debate would descend to a pop-up beach in a London tube station.

    There was our trade minister, Steve Ciobo, as wooden as his surfboard adorned with a kangaroo, surrounded by faux Aussie lifesavers and a TV celebrity.

    The scene was as sensible as the process surrounding the Coalition’s May 2015 decision to increase the tax on working holidaymakers from zero to 32.5%.

    The lady has a way with words.

  15. Just for the why not. A couple of tracks from a lefty heavy band formed from East Germans wot I like.


  16. I woke in startled fright..

    I woke in a startled fright
    From a dream I dreamed last night.
    From a memory so long ago,
    I’ll recall the story as it did go..:

    A child, from the pusher,I broke free,
    As my mother walked me by the sea.
    I broke free to chase a rabbit fast,
    Fled a shrub by the sea-cliff path.
    I ran as does a child ; sudden swift,
    As the rabbit fled over the cliff.
    I too stumbled toward the edge,
    But my mothers call of fright,
    Drew me to a stop just right.
    I could see the waves crash below,
    She gathered me frightened in her arms…

    Now, in my dream I did fall,
    Tumbling over with rabbit and all.
    As we fell in that slow, sweet dreamy way,
    Each to each, eye to eye..knowing .
    The creature looked to me to calmly say;
    “Do not worry, you will not drown”.
    But I kept falling, falling, falling down…
    Just then I woke in chilling fright
    And in that gasping, grasping struggle for sight
    I stared, startled, into the pitch of night.

  17. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    This is serious shit! Some of the bucket of deplorables are predicting riots in the event of a Clinton win. Nice work Donald!
    John Hewson says that there’s an obvious way for Malcolm Turnbull to beat the politics of fear: leadership.
    Michael Pascoe says Ardent/Dreamworld failed at every step but one.–except-deciding-to-reopen-20161027-gscgat.html
    It was a lesson in crisis mismanagement from the company. Google.
    And already it’s coming out that police are focussing on potential breaches of the Workplace Helath and Safety Act. Google.
    Saul Estlake reckons a Trump presidency could lead to economic disasters.
    How long have you got to live? Here’s all the latest information.
    Australians’ average credit score is falling. What are we headed for?
    I like Qantas’s use of the term “small adjustments” here!
    Channels 7 and 9 to battle it out in court over the popularity of their breakfast programs. Who gives a toss?
    Paul McGeough writes that the Republicans are not waiting for the election -they are turning upon each other already! It’s a circular firing squad.
    Trump has caused a serious rift between women and men within the Republican Party. Hardly surprising.

  18. Section 2 . . .

    Will America’s Fox News change?
    Trump says he’d run the country like his business. That’s hardly a plus!
    Trump faces the prospect of being the biggest presidential election loser of all time but still won’t say if he’ll accept the result.
    The perils of a divided government in the US. Let’s hope Trump does so badly that the gridlock can be broken.
    The ghost of Kerry Packer has wise words for Channel Nine: ‘Call the bloody cricket!’
    Labor is still going in hard on Brandis as they insist on being told whether or not the Solicitor-General gave advice on the anti-terror legislation currently before parliament.
    Now it’s the practices of the novated lease industry that is coming under scrutiny. The spivs are everywhere!
    Jess Irvine tells us that soon Australia will become the developed world’s worst off when it comes to paid parental leave.
    Another Turnbull back flip on the way?
    Steph Peatling reckons MPs need a biology lesson over their apparent assumption of seven months pregnancies.

  19. Section 3 . . .

    The spiv developer that illegally demolished the Carlton pub is in major damage control.
    Michelle Grattan says that Morrison has opened the housing affordability crisis but she wonders if he can control it.
    Warwick Smith says that Morrison’s “fix” on housing affordability is no more than a sop to his party’s big development donors.,9640
    Surely the pious Bob Day would have known his company was cactus for a long time before the last election. He’s $35m in the red already.
    We haven’t seen the end of Islamic State even though it is losing the war in Mosul writes Waleed Aly.
    It’s Spivs Central as major charities think again about how they raise money.
    Spivs everywhere! The Victorian government is getting serious about the labour hire industry. Now it’s your turn Michaelia.

  20. Section 4 . . . Cartoon Corner

    Alan Moir’s got some bad news for Turnbull and his close associates.
    David Rowe has a beauty on what’s under Barnaby’s bed.

    Andrew Dyson has a good snip at Soapy.
    Ron Tandberg with all roads leading to Rome.
    Mark Knight couldn’t resist the chauffeured pets story.
    Bill Leak and his employer just won’t let go!

  21. Laming a full on idiot –

    Laming: “The regulation to throw out, that the two senators are going to do, I support that. You no longer need this regulation because Mr Gleeson is gone.”
    Austin: “Has the Government a replacement in mind?”
    Butler: “You’re saying that regulation was needed because of the person who was occupying the office?”
    Laming: “No, you just flipped that, you flipped it 100 per cent. I said it’s no longer needed now because he’s gone, and if it gets thrown out it doesn’t matter — Justin Gleeson’s gone.”
    Butler: “So you’re saying the regulation was about him?”
    Laming: “No, you just flipped what I said. I said now that he’s gone, you don’t need that regulation.”
    Austin: “Well, the regulation is going to be rejected by Parliament…”
    Laming: “That’s right, and it’s not a problem now, because you are now appointing someone else. This was done because they didn’t trust Gleeson.”
    Austin: “It does sound like the regulation was set up for Justin Gleeson, doesn’t it. Because the way I’m interpreting that…”
    Laming: “True.”
    Austin: “…it does sound like it’s…”
    Laming: “I didn’t say that, but you can infer that.”
    Austin: “Well that’s what it sounds like to me, am I wrong?”
    Butler: “That is the inference that anyone would draw, isn’t it? Wouldn’t anyone draw that inference?”
    Laming: “He’s gone, you don’t need the regulation now.”

    Too stupid to be funny!

  22. Turnbull isn’t going to backflip on his PPL changes. He will get exactly what he always wanted. It’s the Backpacker Tax all over again.

    Here’s how it works. You propose some pretty nasty legislation, the MSM take the bait and scream about one aspect of it, you announce you will ‘negotiate, then you announce a slight change or two, still keeping the nastiest parts of the change. The MSM talk about a ‘backflip’ or fall about in admiration of your willingness to ‘negotiate’, depending on who is doing the reporting and here’s the crunch. The government gets to put the legislation they REALLY wanted to the senate and the egos in there, the de-facto Liberals and deluded fools who somehow managed to get themselves elected, lap up all the praise for their ‘negotiating skills’, totally unaware they have been beautifully played by the government. They pass the bill with its minor changes without realising they have allowed something nasty to become law, just as the government wanted.

    Brilliant, isn’t it.

    The Backpacker Tax didn’t exist until the enabling legislation was mentioned. Fizza allowed ‘negotiation’ and the non-existent tax was negotiated down to 19%. So now we will have a 19% tax where there used to be none at all and that, apparently, is a great victory for ‘negotiation’.

    The PPL changes are going the same way. The bill gave a start date of 1 January 2017, meaning women now pregnant and due to give birth after that date were faced with having to re-arrange all their PPL arrangements.

    Senator X, doing his usual grandstanding, decided the changes should be delayed until 1 July to spare anyone already pregnant all that worry. So very kind of him to care, wasn’t it. Hinch thought October would be better. The Witch from the North, who had already decided she and her crew of nutters would vote with the government, realised she was being left out of media reports so she announced that she too would be willing to ‘negotiate’. how you negotiate on a done deal is something someone should ask her. So now we have a stack of MSM reports praising assorted senators and of course, Fizza, for being willing to negotiate changes, for being ‘sensitive’ and caring, for saving pregnant women a lot of third trimester anxiety.

    I’m calling bullshit on all that. No matter when the changes are to be made women having babies will be worse off, especially – surprise, surprise – women on low incomes.

    Why aren’t we talking about the real issue? The new rules mean women will have less time at home with their babies, and no matter when these changes are introduced they will cause an increase in the demand for childcare places for very young infants. No-one wants to talk about that. No-one wants to talk about childcare at all. That topic is firmly in the too-hard basket.

  23. Leone,

    I’ve noticed several large early child care centres under construction within 5 kms of my place. All privately owned, of course.

    • Same here – a new one being built not far from me, also just across the road from a long-established centre.

      Make your supporters richer by forcing women back to work. How very Liberal.

  24. Leone,

    Does anyone remember ABC Learning?

    The spivs and shonks are heading back to that *fertile* field as I type.

    • I remember that very well. I also remember a private owner from a town close to here telling how she was being pressured to sell to ABC. She refused their offers.

      Now we have Goodstart. They are everywhere.
      There’s a connection to Mission Australia, one of the founders of this organisation. MA are very, very shonky.

    • I had every confidence you would remember ABC Learning.

      What is shonky about MA? I couldn’t see anything obvious, but probably haven’t looked in the right places.

    • In it for the money, and too busy building an empire to worry about the people they are supposed to be looking after.

      MA likes to work with governments because they get loads of lovely funding for doing that. The actual service provision is pretty mediocre.

  25. Somehow my memory lapsed as to this site’s existence.

    The thread starter as to Prof Triggs was neat and clear. In the end the cartoon put by leonetwo sums it perfectly as to the government’s mindset..antagonistic, mulish, denial ridden, paranoic and misanthropic. The policy mix is macabre and vicious yet attempts to implement it continue apace, driven by both local kleptocrats and off shore interests.

    • Thanks, Fiona. I’ve been racking my brains for ages trying to remember what I had forgotten.

      Chockie bickies even, back real quick. You simply must try Iced Vo-Vos too.

    • I suspect their covert objective of such destabalising governance is to reduce a stable over-sighting society to a kind of anarchistic chaos most suitable to laissez-faire capitalism. Thinking , of coures in their dumb, blind arrogance that they themselves will be above the social chaos of such anarchy…
      “When first the tottering house begins to shrink, thither comes all the weight by an instinct”…they will be f#cked along with the rest of us!…and if..I..had any say in it, they’d be thoroughly horse-whipped first!

  26. Memory jog. I saw an excellent piece of old fashioned ABC journalism the other rnight on Landline, I think, about the Queensland sugar industry.

    In the age of so called Free Trade, Wilmar, a Singapore based organisation, now seems to control sugar processing in QLD to the extent that growers must sign quite bizarre contracts for low prices. Included in the contract is a stipulation that if the grower sells the farm, (s)he is liable to legal action if the person they sell the farm to decides they want to grow something different to sugar. other stipulation as repressive were included I cant quite recall, but it summed up how the government has sold us out for the benefit of offshore interests to the extent that we are in peril of becoming slaves in our country?


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