A PM who only knows aggression is a threat to the country

26 Feb

Agressive Abbott

The Abbott government’s attempted defenestration of President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs has, like so many of this government’s ventures into domination through aggression and bullying, badly backfired.

This latest debacle is yet another example of the Abbott government’s pugilistic default position, and follows hot on the heels of the Prime Minister’s combative approach to Indonesia in the matter of the looming execution of Australian drug smugglers Chan and Sukumaran.

Attorney-General George Brandis, chief instigator, along with Abbott, of an extraordinarily vitriolic personal attack on the head of a statutory authority, was yesterday asked what next in their campaign to publicly eviscerate Triggs, presumably to force her resignation which does not seem to be forthcoming, and why should it?

I can’t unscramble the egg, Brandis replied, in a rare admission of stupendous failure.

The egg certainly is all over the faces of Brandis and Abbott. In a move of unfathomable stupidity, Abbott decided to focus personally on Professor Triggs, rather than the report on children in detention the HRC published last week. Seemingly bereft of all politically savvy, Abbott made this choice despite the fact that the report fully covered the previous government’s abysmal record on this matter, and despite the fact that more children have been released from detention by the Abbott government than were by the previous Labor incumbents.

The down side is that this government keeps fewer children in detention for much longer. However, in spite of this reality there was much political capital to be made had Abbott chosen to take that path. Instead, he embarked upon a vicious campaign to force Professor Triggs out of her job, to be replaced, rumour has it, by the Brandis/Abbott protegé  “Freedom Boy” Tim Wilson, who, as you may recall, was parachuted by Brandis into his position at the HRC without so much as an interview.

This latest in the Abbott government’s expressions of contempt for the HRC has caused the International Coordinating Committee of National Institutions for the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights to write to the government protesting its attacks on Professor Triggs.

As Wayne Janssen explains,  the ICC  co-ordinates relationships with the UN human rights systems. Its accreditation system is based on compliance with the 1991 Paris Principles and grants access to UN committees. Australia currently enjoys “A” status which allows us speaking and seating rights at such committees.

Abbott’s attacks on Triggs imply state interference with the independence of the AHRC that may be a transgression of the Paris Principles. If this is the case, Australia stands to lose our A status, and the access to speaking and seating rights this status confers.

Add to this the suggestion that Brandis attempted illegal inducement by offering Triggs another job to get her out of the HRC, an allegation now referred to the AFP, and it’s difficult to see how this move has brought the government anything other than ongoing grief.

Abbott’s aggressive, combative, high conflict personality dominates his thinking and his decision-making. He has proved repeatedly that he is not capable of controlling his pugilistic instincts. He is entirely unable to overcome his primitive need to shirtfront somebody, anybody, even his own back benchers, by instead employing mature, considered thinking and mental clarity. This is a personality defect that has catastrophic potential for a country led by him. It has equally catastrophic implications for the party he leads, as many of its MPs surely know.

Like an abusive partner in an intimate relationship,  Abbott is in the process of isolating this country from the rest of the world, and from international bodies such as the United Nations that offer what little opportunity there is for cohesion and communication between nations. He is an isolationist, as the violent always are. He seeks to sow seeds of discord and disharmony within our own communities, in his efforts to assert the superiority and domination of white, middle-class alpha masculinity, to the exclusion of all other groups.

He’s a threat to this country. He may be the biggest threat this country faces. He needs to go.

35 Responses to “A PM who only knows aggression is a threat to the country”

  1. hannahquinn February 26, 2015 at 9:02 am #

    Reblogged this on The Kettle Press and commented:
    Abbott, apparently, has no impulse control.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter February 26, 2015 at 10:30 am #

      Magestic diagnosis.

      The Brandis remark as to not being able to “unscramble the egg”, bespeaks a similar callousness.. a normal person doesn’t respond to a situation like this in that manner.

      As for Jan Dobson’s comments, yes it is hard to feel confident as to the future. So far Labor, the Greens and Indies have played it smart and let the Abbottists entangle themselves in their own viciousness, lies and reactivity, but now they must prepare for the time when they can release good policy platforms that offer a sane acure for the current sickness.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Jennifer Wilson February 26, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

        I hope they have such platforms, PW


        • Michaela Tschudi February 26, 2015 at 9:11 pm #

          The only platform Abbott understands is the boxing ring. His pugnacious attitude – quick to shoot the messenger, angling for a fight – strongly suggests that policy is the last thing on his mind.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Marilyn February 26, 2015 at 10:16 pm #

          Abbott is a complete psychopath but lest we forget the absolute contempt those two ALP bitches Gillard and Roxon showed to Navi Pillay when she stated clearly that trafficking humans to Malaysia was utterly insane and illegal, or that those twin bitches brought back Al Kateb to keep Indonesians jailed, the stupid good behaviour rules for those who live in the community, it was that ghastly little shit Bowen who said anyone who acts up in detention will never get visas and O”Connor who rammed through retrospective laws to make anyone who ever helped a refugee a criminal.

          Both packs are paranoid psychopaths, none of the ALP have said a fucking word about the actual children they have been torturing and it was also the fucking ALP who prevented Triggs from visiting the hell holes on Manus and Nauru.

          And the most appalling people in Australia are the partisan scum who support their brand of psycho in the cruelty.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. Jan Dobson February 26, 2015 at 9:17 am #

    Sadly, I agree with your assessment of Mr Abbott’s failures as Prime Minister. What concerns me more, aside from the actual Asylum Seeker policies of both major parties of course, are the number of LNP who support this ‘attack dog’ stance.

    Messrs. Brandis & Macdonald showed no compunction in vilifying Ms Triggs and denigrating the HRC report. Other politicians, Mr Abetz for example, have publicly supported this tactic. I’ve heard only Messrs. Turnbull & Laundy speak out, although Ms Julie Bishop has subtly implied disagreement. And I’m not alone, I’m sure, in questioning the motives of Mr Turnbull and Ms Bishop. And that’s another sad indictment on our current political situation.

    Even if Mr Abbott gets dumped by his party, will it trigger a return to some measure of ‘good government’? I hope so, but I’m not optimistic. And, if the memories of this chaotic time remain with the voters and we get an ALP with a huge majority or a parliament of inexperienced, unaligned, possibly low core vote MPs and Senators, will we be better off?

    I don’t know how we came to be in this pass. Our own selfishness, MSM incompetence, corruption, the 24 hour news cycle, the phases of the moon? I do know I fear for my country and Abbott and some of his team are contributing to this fear on an almost daily basis. One ray of hope, as it happens, is my local Liberal MP. From my, admittedly short acquaintance, he appears to be no more extreme than his Labor predecessor or the local Greens candidate. And it’s from the extremists, the local elected ones not the ‘ooh, look over there *phone, knife & rope*’ ones we need most protection.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 26, 2015 at 1:11 pm #

      The alternatives are not sparkling, but we can’t go on with the Abbott & Co aggression much longer. It taints the air is the worst possible way.


  3. Michaela Tschudi February 26, 2015 at 1:29 pm #

    Nailed it again. Brandis is disingenuous. Abbott can’t be trusted. I’m hanging out for election. I imagine this time people will hit the booths early don’t you?

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter February 26, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

      In spades!

      Liked by 2 people

    • Marilyn February 26, 2015 at 10:17 pm #

      Well another of Brandis’s witch hunts came home to roost today in the ACT court when Slipper was redeemed yet again. Brandis and his vendettas have cost the Australian public millions and he hasn’t had a win yet.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Michaela Tschudi February 26, 2015 at 10:20 pm #

        I missed that!! Brandis is a massive liability for Govt. I know someone who worked for him and lasted a month, said he was abominable.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. doug quixote February 26, 2015 at 1:54 pm #

    The “they’re all the same!” crew must be a little abashed. In my own seat nearly 12% of votes – that is, 11,000 people – were informal and Labor lost a “safe” seat by a few hundred votes.

    Well, “they’re all the same!” voters – are they all the same?

    Liked by 2 people

  5. olddavey February 26, 2015 at 6:39 pm #

    “In a move of unfathomable stupidity”

    I reckon their stupidity is totally fathomable, they have demonstrated it time and time again.

    A greater bunch of numbnuts this country has never seen.


    • paul walter February 26, 2015 at 7:29 pm #

      It is true they are stupid, the trouble is they are also crazy including like foxes and will do as much damage as they can.


      • Michaela Tschudi February 26, 2015 at 9:22 pm #

        PW, it’s frightening to see what they’re doing to this country. I lived overseas for part of my teens, and when I returned (post Whitlam), it was a very different place. Now it feels like the fabric of our lives is being torn again except this time it’s irreversible. My optimism bias is severely kinked!


  6. hudsongodfrey February 26, 2015 at 10:00 pm #

    When Howard was PM in 2003 I was in Japan working with local a German companies during the period we followed the “conga line of suckholes” into Iraq. I honestly didn’t think it could get much worse than having to beg off explaining your country’s involvement in an illegal war to German and Japanese colleagues…. until we got Abbott!

    When in recent weeks he narrowly staved off the spill, the leopard promised to change his spots…. Of course it was to no avail since far from listening more to backbenchers or taking a less pugnacious stance what’s really in need of change is pretty much his entire policy direction.

    Jonathan Green, here in the drum does as respectable job of outlining how a genuinely reformed Abbott might have sounded.


    Very much inclined though I would still be to take Triggs’ and the HRC’s perspective over the government’s position on this issue, this approach would have signalled a far more genuine appreciation of the sensibilities and questions being aired out here among the great unwashed.

    Maybe if we can get Green a job as Turnbull’s speech writer then we might just achieve something approaching representative government.

    My first suggestions then would be cancel the austerity drive that’s hitting education and healthcare, walk away from regressive free trade deals and fix the budget by incremental increases in income tax. In the light of a dramatically improved rate of foreign exchange we could do worse that trying to undo the wrecking ball that’s been swung though our manufacturing jobs.

    Sure, in all probability I’ve just outlined something substantially closer to Labor’s stance on some of these issues, but then I don’t much care who does them if the things that are done are the right ones and have their desired outcome.


    Should I just keep it short and say it isn’t hating Abbott the man we’re on about. It really is everything in policy and attitude that he represents we despair of!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn February 26, 2015 at 10:19 pm #

      Green is spinning the same bullshit lines though. It makes no difference if less kids are in prison under the LNP than the ALP, the law states they should never have been in prison in the first place.


      • Jennifer Wilson February 27, 2015 at 8:54 am #

        Yes, and this is where we’ve got to – the worst kind of relativism about something that should never happen in the first place.


    • Jennifer Wilson February 27, 2015 at 8:59 am #

      Abbott is the symbol, I agree. He embodies everything we despair of. Hard to separate the human being from the symbol in this instance.

      Liked by 1 person

      • hudsongodfrey February 28, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

        Agreed, if it’s just the political zeitgeist that we’re plumbing the depths of…. If on the other hand we shall know them by their deeds, the some deeds are relatively speaking better than others. So, if you may take it as read that politicians aren’t always actors into whose mouths lines can be put, then my intent, and I hope Greens’, was to ponder what a better script would sound like nonetheless.

        Sadly at the time the point was missed in the contrast between Adenoid Hynkel’s speech (from Chaplin’s “The Great Dictator) with anything remotely like the bombast of the Nuremberg Rallies. History records the German populace were so united behind their Fuhrer that they did not listen++. Thus it may be that a bad leader, whose every utterance will in hindsight come to be reviled, isn’t always a divisive figure at the height of their ascendancy.

        Penny for Abbott’s thoughts here as to whether he’d very much like to assail such heights as to dispense with democracy in favour of “Team Abbott’s Australia, you’re either with us or against us, particularly when it comes to the Captain’s call….”
        But I digress…. And yes I know, Godwin says Hi.

        Back in the present, I think we’re entitled to ask, if we’re to be certain that we’re playing the man rather than the ball, what a truly reformed and reconstructed Abbott might be expected to sound like. Not necessarily to make the kind of direct comparison with our own ideals, as Marilyn always must, but to cast a withering eye over the before and after scenario fixing our expectations on what’s possible even if it isn’t ever going to be a perfect outcome.

        It is after all a well travelled polemic technique to imagine better moderated rhetoric in a the mouth of a divisive leader by way of subtlly inferring that the man for the job might be somebody else….???

        Green’s letter is after all making comparisons that will only work when the leader IS seen to be divisive and the populace to whom it speaks are willing, or perhaps feel democratically entitled, to question their style and engagement with the job at hand. It is in effect saying all those reasons, that differ from either dictatorships or manifest popular assent, that Abbott is very much upon the brink for reasons of his own design.

        In summary the Australian public have been asked what it is they need to hear from the lips of their Prime Minister and found that it almost all sounds completely foreign when pronounced in the accent of Mr Abbott!


        ++ Perhaps censorship was such that they never saw the movie or heard it’s climatic speech, but Chaplin was a favourite of Hitlers’ and purportedly inspiration for the moustache. A target audience of one perhaps?


        • Jennifer Wilson February 28, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

          It is astonishing to me that anyone even thinks there can be such a creature as a genuinely reformed Abbott.

          The man doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with him, so where is his motive for reformation?

          Liked by 1 person

          • hudsongodfrey February 28, 2015 at 5:37 pm #

            Quite transparently he wishes to keep his job.

            At this stage I’m minded to extend by ABA (anyone but Abbott) call to the assembled backbenchers and other members of his cabinet. Dump the loser now, or become losers yourselves later!

            Liked by 1 person

            • doug quixote March 1, 2015 at 11:39 am #

              Tell an attack dog that it is not doing its job and the beast will try harder. It will bite anyone nearby and bite even more savagely.

              It knows no other way.

              Liked by 2 people

              • hudsongodfrey March 1, 2015 at 11:57 am #

                I’m half inclined to answer that the emphasis of Abbott’s detractors is on the content rather than the diligence aspect of how he does the job, but clearly even that depends on whose advice he’s mostly listening to.

                Looking at the power behind that throne may go well beyond people’s regard for Peta Credlin. As one whose greatest objection is to their policies I cannot believe the answer is that the people of Australia want austerity imposed on the little people while the big end of town gets whatever it wants…. I also have to ask Cui Bono?

                Liked by 1 person

                • doug quixote March 1, 2015 at 1:18 pm #

                  You’re always half inclined!

                  But the point is Abbott’s understanding of the problem. Abbott cannot see anything wrong with his plans and policies. He and his supporters – and even many of his detractors – see the problem as one of salesmanship.

                  They fondly think that if only they are able to explain their crappy policies, everyone will accept them.

                  Liked by 1 person

                  • hudsongodfrey March 1, 2015 at 2:38 pm #

                    If its “salesmanship” then you probably mean that so called “trickle down effect” you get when they piss on your back and try to tell you it’s raining.

                    Still Cui Bono, followed quite closely by piss up a rope!

                    Liked by 1 person


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