Labor is the despicable winner in the Triggs affair.

27 Feb

 

The Abbott government’s attacks on President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs, have served the ALP’s interests more than any other.

They certainly have done nothing to ease the ongoing plight of the 1,129 children successive Australian governments have kept in mandatory detention in appalling circumstances. Many of the children suffer long-term damage from the experience of being treated as criminals for no reason other than that they exist. The conditions under which the children have and continue to be incarcerated would likely make Charles Dickens flinch and look away, yet since the release of the AHRC report, nobody in the major parties has bothered so much as to mention their suffering.

Abbott’s attacks on Triggs have done nothing for the

233 assaults involving children
33 reported sexual assaults
128 incidences of self-harm
34% who require psychiatric support

documented in the recent AHRC report.

However, what the government’s latest lunacy has done is to hand the ALP on a silver platter access to a high moral ground which they do not for one moment deserve, having been as despicably callous towards asylum seekers for their own political gain as has the LNP. There is not a bee’s dick of difference between the two major parties in terms of their ill-treatment of those they consider less worthy than the rest of us, and therefore infinitely exploitable in their mutual pursuit of power.

The ALP is now bellowing self-righteously about the government’s treatment of Professor Triggs, but not, of course, about the contents of Professor Triggs’ report. About that they cannot bellow, as the report condemns equally ALP asylum seeker policies implemented under the Rudd/Gillard/Rudd incumbencies.

Labor has now referred Attoney-General George Brandis to the AFP for allegedly inducing Triggs to leave her position at the HRC for something less disturbing to him. Carefully worded denials have ensued, reminding us that language can be used for ill, and in politics, invariably will be. In case we forget what was said about the Triggs “inducement” at the estimates hearing:

 

If this disgraceful fracas surrounding Professor Triggs tells us anything, it’s that the majority of our elected members on both sides of the house care nothing for the lives and fates of asylum seekers, and logically, it is only a matter of time before they care nothing for the lives and fates of many of their own citizens. Once a government makes scapegoats of one group for political expediency,  they’ll have no qualms scapegoating any other for the same motive. Indeed, there are those who could put up a good argument that this is already the case.

We do not, in this country, have a good record for the treatment of children by authorities. The history of child abuse unfolding before us in the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse, for example, demonstrates as nothing else ever has the prevalence and consistency of the savage mistreatment of children across all demographics, from institutions that house the most underprivileged child, to institutions that house the children of the wealthiest and most influential citizens in the country. It is inevitable that our cruelty seamlessly extends itself to children of asylum seekers.

We are in dire need of politicians of calibre, who are capable of and willing to refuse the lure of political gamesmanship and instead do what they are elected to do, and represent the interests of those who gave them their trust. The ALP has no high moral ground on which to pitch its tents on the matter of the Triggs report and the ensuing unseemly brawls. Given its own foul record, the ALP has no choice but to either admit its failures and undertake reform, or make whatever miserable and poisoned political capital it can from the government’s sickening attacks on Gillian Triggs.

All in all, we are one of the most fortunate nations in the world, cast adrift in a tumultuous sea aboard a ship commanded by fools.

 

PiersonShipOfFoolsLE27x32WS

 

 

 

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63 Responses to “Labor is the despicable winner in the Triggs affair.”

  1. Graeme & Anne Lockyer February 27, 2015 at 10:07 am #

    Jennifer, there is an interesting article by Paul Shehan in yesterdays SMH on this subject which sheds a contrary light on the popular view. cheers Graeme

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 27, 2015 at 10:34 am #

      Here is the link to the Sheehan article Graeme refers to for another perspective on the Triggs affair titled *Gillian Triggs: set on a course of self-martrydom:*

      http://www.smh.com.au/comment/gillian-triggs-set-on-a-course-of-selfmartyrdom-20150226-13oook.html

      What does everyone think?

      Liked by 1 person

      • paul walter February 27, 2015 at 3:21 pm #

        You think that is bad?

        You should have read the page after page of tripe I just read in the Australian at the library.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 27, 2015 at 10:42 am #

      I know there are various viewpoints on Triggs, but that doesn’t alter my position that ALP have no right to any moral ground on asylum seeker policies and are avoiding that by focusing on Triggs just as much as are LNP.

      I guess the policy argument is based on whether or not you agree that stopping the boats saves lives. I don’t, they just die somewhere else where we can’t see them.

      I think the issue of stateless persons is a global one, and we are not punching anything like our weight in addressing it.

      Cheers, Graeme, welcome to the blog! I look forward to robust discussions!

      Liked by 1 person

      • sandrasearle February 27, 2015 at 11:46 am #

        Jennifer, Professor Triggs was just doing the job she was employed to do. She has done it well, stay strong Prof. Triggs.
        I too believe that both parties are/were at fault, but I reckon that Krudd did a number on both the then opposition & JG when he was re-elected as he ratified Manus etc.
        My hope is that Labor are working really hard to address the asylum seeker problem once again. This is a world wide problem, it will not go away. There is, to my mind, a need for more regional areas to have these refugees vetted/health checked etc.
        I also believe that we can absorb many more asylum seekers in this country. Regional areas would welcome them as they can make a considerable contribution to the economic & social welfare of districts.
        Most people who come to this country as their choice of a safe & great country to live in & bring up their children. They are hard working and if you look back on the history of this country, have helped this country to grow to the wonderful land we call ‘OZ’

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson February 27, 2015 at 12:23 pm #

          I don’t know if the ALP will change its stand on asylum seekers and off-shore facilities. I very much doubt it.
          Like you, I wish for a regional solution that doesn’t require the kind of harsh, punitive conditions we’ve put in place.
          This isn’t going to go away. As there is more conflict there will be more people fleeing, rich countries have to come to terms with this reality and find the best ways to deal with it. Which are many, but the attitude is that stateless persons are lesser human beings.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Marilyn February 27, 2015 at 5:47 pm #

            The bullshit lie of a regional solution does not exist, it’s racist code in Australia for ÁNYWHERE BUT HERE, and should be seen as such.

            We have done zero to convince any nation in the region to care for any refugees yet we won’t do it either so they are dying in their tens of thousands.

            Thailand sells refugees and stateless people into slavery and plays ping pong with the fleeing Rohingya and have no desire to change, Malaysia treats them worse than murderers yet I heard Plibersek still claim trading refugees to them was a good plan stifled by the naughty liberal party – the fact that it was illegal seems to have escaped her pathetic little mind.

            Records for decades have shown that less than 0.0001% of the world’s refugees ever get here but still we demand they fuck off and die.

            Think about this – if Italy had a policy of stop the boats as a be all and end all 185,000 refugees would have died last year along with the 76,000 slaughtered Syrians, the tens of thousands of Iraqis, Somalis, Sudanese, Congolese, Libyans and others in dozens of places.

            Both parties are racist garbage who love to sign international treaties and throw them all in the bin.

            Here is a quote from Gillards racist Lowy Speech which amply states their attitude towards people who come on boats and not one person has ever been able to ask any of the morons DO YOU REALISE THIS IS A FUCKING ISLAND.
            “”That Australia’s basic decency does not accept the idea of punishing women and children by locking them up behind razor wire or ignoring people who are
            fleeing genocide, torture, and persecution, nor does it allow us to stand back
            and watch fellow human beings drown in the water, but equally that there is
            nothing inconsistent between these decencies and our commitment to secure
            borders and fair, orderly migration. The rule of law in a just society is part of
            what attracts so many people to Australia. It must be applied properly to those
            who seek asylum, just as it must be applied to all of us;
            That no one should have an unfair advantage and be able to subvert orderly
            migration programs;
            That there should be no incentive for people smugglers, to take even bigger
            risks with people’s lives in the name of mercenary profits;
            That people smuggling is an evil trade to be punished;
            That hardworking Australians who themselves are doing it tough want to know
            that refugees allowed to settle here are not singled out for special treatment;
            That people like my own parents who have worked hard all their lives can’t
            abide the idea that others might get an inside track to special privileges;
            And that finally, if this were to happen, it would offend the Australian sense of
            fair play.
            And so with the facts on the table and these uniting principles as our guide we
            move forward. We move forward to an effective, sustainable, long-term
            solution;
            To stop the boats not at our shoreline but before they even leave those far
            away port;”

            So she made a dirty deal with Sri Lanka and another one with Indonesia to aid and abet genocide, left refugees to die and then used their deaths as an excuse to trade and traffic them off to Nauru and Manus and pretend it saves people from drowning.

            Liked by 1 person

            • Jennifer Wilson February 27, 2015 at 6:07 pm #

              I have always said the regional centre should be here, in Australia.

              Like

              • Marilyn February 27, 2015 at 6:57 pm #

                And I just said there is no such thing as regional, we have 0.0001% of refugees and can’t be bothered with them, region copes with 8 million.

                Like

        • Marilyn March 2, 2015 at 4:42 am #

          Sandra, Gillard opened Nauru and Manus Island almost a year before Rudd’s comeback, his ad campaign was not a law. Why do you bloody people ignore her vicious role

          Like

      • paul walter February 27, 2015 at 3:22 pm #

        OTH, they are not worse, contrary to what some say.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson February 27, 2015 at 5:15 pm #

          Oh that we should have come to this. Resigning ourselves to they are not worse. No PW No!

          Like

  2. cartoonmick February 27, 2015 at 12:14 pm #

    How pleased I was when I read your last para. “We are in dire need of politicians of calibre”.

    I was beginning to feel I was the only one who thought the quality of our pollies had diminished drastically over the last 4 decades.

    Not a statesmen among them these days, not since Tony Windsor left the political arena.
    If there are any with reasonable political substance in their DNA, then they’re being supressed by the power mongers within their group.

    I made many comments of a similar nature before the last election, and this is a cartoon I did about 4 months before that election. . . .

    https://cartoonmick.wordpress.com/editorial-political/#jp-carousel-719

    Cheers
    Mick

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson February 27, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

      Another great cartoon, Mick! Thank you for sharing so generously.

      I miss Tony Windsor rather a lot. I liked his common sense. I’d settle for a bit common sense among the politicians. It’s drastically lacking.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. eroticmoustache February 27, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

    I don’t think it’s possible to take Paul Sheehan’s article seriously (or much of anything that old fart writes). It contains lies, distortions and oozes with pettifoggery and a not very well disguised disdain for the HRC as an entity. Not what you’d call objective journalism, or journalism of any kind for that matter.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Michaela Tschudi February 27, 2015 at 1:27 pm #

      Well put! Pettifoggery is apt.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. eroticmoustache February 27, 2015 at 2:35 pm #

    Ok, at the risk of appearing, or, God forbid, actually being captious, I’m not sure Labor’s defense of Triggs is in any way a bad thing. I don’t think that defense has a connection to a desire to stake a claim for moral high-ground on the actual history of asylum seeker treatment. I think are really quite separate matters. I’d like to think Labor’s defense of Triggs speaks to an authentic concern for the outrageous treatment of the head of a statutory authority. It would be a shame if it amounts to nothing more than a cynical exercise in distraction from the real issue at hand, which is of course what the Government is doing, albeit badly.

    What’s happening with Triggs is really quite extraordinary and involves dynamics whose legality is highly questionable. It’s become an issue unto itself and speaks to the degree to which this Government will behave in a despicable fashion. Yes, it’s distracting from the main game, and Triggs herself knows this, but it’s become a matter of some significance.

    I do wonder, however, about the mental and political acuity of this Government. Had they not gone after Triggs in the way we’ve observed, how much would we really know about the report? If they wanted the report to go away and receive as little public attention as possible, you’d have to say they’ve gone about it rather strangely, and further damaged Brandis’ reputation in the process.

    As for Labor’s culpability with respect to asylum seeker policy and its awful consequences, there is no moral high-ground to be occupied; indeed, I’m not sure there’s any moral ground involved at all. At least certain Labor members accepted and acknowledged the report with a modicum of good grace, which cannot be said for the other mob, unless I missed someone lapsing into a fit of momentary humanity.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter February 27, 2015 at 3:29 pm #

      With you on it, eroticmoustache.

      The problem with Labor has been a case of timidity; of a fear of wedged as they were a decade ago.
      Others have suggested they “grow some, on this and other issuesand I won t dispute it.. I just had a grizzle elsewhere on their refusal to hold the government accountable on Data Retetention/surveillance laws.

      Theyve been uncannily correct in playing “small target”‘politics up to this point. Abbott and his primeval colleagues have just about discredited themselves, but it is time they got a bit more on the front foot, that is, attacked, to use a cricket expression.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 27, 2015 at 5:09 pm #

      Yes, moustache, I agree that the legalities or otherwise surrounding the Trigg affair certainly make it an issue in its own right, quite apart from the content of the report.

      I heard Graham Innes, former HRC for Disability, speaking today of A-G Brandis’ responsibility to defend and protect heads of statutory authorities, and how he’s so publicly abandoned this responsibility where Triggs is concerned. According to Innes, this makes him unfit to hold his position as he is not performing his duties properly.

      And of course, if Abbott hadn’t gone after the Triggs the report would have sunk with barely a trace after a couple of days.

      Then there’s the matter of Brandis appointing Tim Wilson to the HRC. Wilson worked for the IPA think tank, one of whose goals is to abolish the HRC, so Wilson’s appointment is of more than passing interest.

      Like

  5. samjandwich February 27, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    My perception of the Labor party post-Keating (or maybe post-Hanson, as that individual seems to be the only person who has ever succeeded in out-self-debasing John Howard and by extension his acolytes… which the current Liberal MPs assuredly still are) is that while it has been well-aware that the Liberals’ utterly shameless pandering to the redneck swinging voter contingent (which apparently determines the outcome of our elections) is the key to its success, it has never been quite able to fully bring itself to be sufficiently nasty (or to have the “ticker” as per the terminology applied to Beazley) to compete with the Libs on that score.

    But as is often the case when things are done in half measures, the results become even more deplorable for the people impacted upon. I’m sure Rudd/Gillard and their entourage would have considered making deals with the devil and doing whatever they could to “stop the boats” but stopped short of doing so for the sheer trashing of humanity that doing so would entail (the Libs having no such qualms given they’ve all sold their souls years ago). Hence we got the “Malaysian solution” and the resurrection of Nauru and Manus island, and all these children in detention.

    Whereas its a no-brainer for Labor to support the Human Rights Commission, not just because in this instance it’s the right thing to do based on the circumstances, but because part of the Party’s core philosophy is that State and international institutions are the foundations of our civilisation, and so precede political parties even. Whereas again, the Liberals in their present form are seemingly intrinsically dubious of anything which may interfere with the natural order of things – ie the consensus on “what the people want”. If the Australian public wanted to reintroduce the death penalty then the Libs would do it without hesitation… whereas Labor would prevaricate for a while before introducing banishment to Antarctica where if you die it’s your own fault.

    So I’m not surprised Labor is taking the stand they are on Gillian Triggs… and in fact I’d go so far as to say I support them in doing so. but I agree their past actions have rather damaged their own credibility in making such calls and it all just seems a bit sordid.

    Said it before say it again, I’m all for supporting the mainstream and making it work for everyone, but maybe the mainstream is now Green…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 27, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

      A couple of comments have supported Labor’s stand on Triggs. My problem is I don’t trust them enough anymore to believe they are actually upset about the situation, and suspect they are as invested in distracting from the contents of the report as are the LNP.

      Though of course they are right to point out the possible illegalities, which are a separate issue from the report

      Actually I bloody hate them all at the moment.

      Like

      • paul walter February 27, 2015 at 10:39 pm #

        I am glad you above this sort of sordid thing..how have the rest of us failed.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. Marilyn February 27, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

    This is the drivel I just got from Tony Burke who was well aware refugees were being raped on Nauru and did nothing about it.

    WORST:
    1.Let’s face it, the Human Rights Commission report in to children in detention has strong messages for both sides of politics. Shadow Immigration Minister, Richard Marles, acknowledged this as soon as it was released. Tony Abbott’s approach has been to shoot the messenger. This week we’ve seen a disgraceful and unprecedented attack on one of the nation’s most senior independent office holders, Human Rights Commission President, Gillian Triggs.
    2. On Tuesday Prof Triggs faced an aggressive and bullying attack by Liberal Senators. Senator Ian MacDonald, admitted he hasn’t even read the report in to children in detention; and Senator Barry O’Sullivan, during questioning said: “I thought you might like to hear a man’s voice”.
    3.By Tuesday night, Shadow Attorney General, Mark Dreyfus, had asked the Australian Federal Police to investigate “A possible contravention of the Criminal Code” in relation to evidence given during the marathon senate estimates session.
    4.On Wednesday Mark Dreyfus asked Julie Bishop, who represents the Attorney General in the House of Representatives: “What was the alternative role the government wanted Professor Triggs to take?” Her reply: “No such offer was made.” By Thursday Julie Bishop’s tune had changed and when asked what role was raised said: “A role was raised that related to international affairs.” Needless to say, this issue is far from over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • hudsongodfrey February 28, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

      See Marilyn, you can do relative concepts!

      Like

  7. doug quixote February 27, 2015 at 11:10 pm #

    There is no high ground here for any party of government. That is, any party which wants the chance to be elected as a government.

    It is all very well for Greens, anarchists and Spartacists to sit on the sidelines and throw brickbats. There are parties on the right with even more extreme ‘solutions’ which feel cheated by the Looters Party ‘successes’ in this area.

    Support for Triggs is the best we can manage at the present, a chance to nudge the debate a little to the left, or rather a little less to the right than it has been.

    Liked by 2 people

    • paul walter February 28, 2015 at 7:37 am #

      Not so.

      According to Dr Wilson, Labor must be judged to higher standards than the Coalition.
      After another week of Tory lunacy, it somehow comes to pass, by some strange convolution, that it is all LABOR’s fault!

      Personally I ( also) beleive Labor HAS sold out on way too many things, DQ but still represents a more rational approach- just- than the Coalition.

      Either way,we are fairly stuffed until the ALP throws off right faction dominance and asserts itself a bit on a number of issues.

      Like

      • Jennifer Wilson February 28, 2015 at 7:52 am #

        Oh I am mightily pissed off with Labor embracing the meta data retention bill.

        Till the last election I voted for our local member who was very good for us. She lost last time, but is planning a come back.

        However, in spite of how good she is for our electorate, I’m done with Labor.

        It is such a difficult choice to make, but after asylum seekers and meta data retention, I am cutting that bunch of chunts loose with a bloody machete.

        Like

      • Jennifer Wilson February 28, 2015 at 8:03 am #

        Labor are fucked. as I said earlier I hate the whole lot of them atm.

        Like

        • helvityni February 28, 2015 at 10:08 am #

          GO wasn’t happy about how Labor treated asylum seekers, and turned to Greens in anger. I’m still hanging in there because Labor is miles ahead on so many other issues…

          I’m shocked daily to see and hear what otherwise good people write and say about asylum seekers. Plenty of ” rednecks” out there, even amongst the educated ones…

          I find Shorten much too soft…

          Like

          • Marilyn March 2, 2015 at 4:45 am #

            Shortdick much too soft? He’s fuckin useless.

            Liked by 1 person

  8. paul walter February 28, 2015 at 7:42 am #

    The odd thing is, as Dr Wilson has veered to a subjective approach (have you conveniently forgot the Howard era, Jennifer?), Marilyn is having her her finest moment, is at her objective best, succeeding where Wilson failed and getting it right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 28, 2015 at 7:58 am #

      Wot? Me forget the Howard era? Where’s that coming from PW?

      I completely agree with Marilyn as to the vileness of both parties in the matter of asylum seeker policy.

      I do imagine the possibility of a decently run regional centre in Australia that allows asylum seeker to exercise the rights they have by virtue of being human to request sanctuary and have their needs compassionately assessed. I can’t see any future in forcing them off-shore or making them sail the fucking Pacific until they fucking die, or sending them to inhospitable conditions in countries already struggling. As Marilyn points out, very few actually arrive here by boat and it is not beyond our resources to decently assist them.

      I also mostly despised Gillard.

      I also have to go out now so don’t think I’ve shut up.

      Like

      • paul walter February 28, 2015 at 9:02 am #

        Now, what should I say?

        Firstly, I am reading one of Marilyn’s, at her worst, but a new name tacked on to the end. Ohhhh, the potty-mouth, ohh the Tourettes!

        I’ ve never embraced current day Labor to the extent that Doug does for example. They DO seem, well, “ïntercoursed”, to moderate on the vernacular, a little. There is the problem that its current character and intellectual depth is represented through folk like Shorten and Dastyari, say.

        You have appeared to catch the disease of “context -deficiency” , though, are in denial as to the mess that Labor inherited in 2007 in the wakeof Howardist extremism as to the asylum seeker issue and the implanting of race hate into the public mind by Murdoch and co.

        Labor had little room to move, given the Australian mindset as to asylum seekers and the Abbott /Murdoch Obstrucionist approach only further cornered them, particularlyafter Rudds downfall.

        So, let’s remember.
        The Asylum Seeker issue was not the only issue Labor faced.There was also the small matter of a global GFM, rollback of Howard’s SerfChoices and about five million other things that needed doing to avoid the Abbott nightmare, so Labor may have deprioritised asylm seekers to avoid alienating a public spoon fed racist propaganda.

        Finally there is a sense that the Asylum seeker advocate core overestimates its strength and its notion, rightly or wrongly has been conflated to infer an advocacy of “Open Borders” , a nice normative idea when other things are in place, such as cessation of Mid East Wars and the subsequent refugee flows, Globalising economics, thus legal, social infrastructure and labour frameworks not under attack by neolibs and neo cons.

        Gillard Labor’s panicky reassertion of Howardism actually lost hem respect and they wer kicked out, but until refugee advocates come up with CONCRETE proposals and roadmaps as to how ( what) asylum seeeker policy is to be implemented and ressasure the wider public, the situation remains in stasis.

        Look, I’d love it if Labor here was a SYRIZA, but the truth finally is, we don’t have a real alternative to lib lab and are left with the least worst alternative. Be fair, eh?

        Like

        • Jennifer Wilson February 28, 2015 at 12:28 pm #

          I know the mess Labor inherited in 2007. I also know it was a golden opportunity to turn around the asylum seekers madness, all that was required was leadership but instead they carried on the Howard govt’s despicable scapegoating and demonising and criminalising and then they made it worse.

          They had a responsibility to put forward an alternative narrative to the Murdoch racism, and they could have done it but they didn’t even bloody try. That’s when I began taking my leave of them, and Rudd with his bloody Pacific Viking debacle and from then on it went even further downhill.

          A mindset instilled is a mind set that can be turned around with leadership.

          I don’t feel like being fair. When has Labor ever been fair to asylum seekers?
          Then Gillard turned on single mothers.
          Now there’s the bloody meta data retention bill they fucking support.
          They are nothing better than left of centre LNP trash.

          Like

          • Marilyn March 2, 2015 at 4:47 am #

            Actually Rudd and Evans ran a pretty good system for years, then the racists in the ALP took over.

            Liked by 1 person

  9. helvityni February 28, 2015 at 9:52 am #

    I blame Australian people, both political parties understand that being hard on asylum seekers is a vote winner.

    Liked by 1 person

    • paul walter February 28, 2015 at 11:38 am #

      Oversimplifies a complex subject. Its a real world and people like to move somewhere unexpected without being blindfolded. They want an actual proposition put before them and one hasnt emerged.

      So my view is a bit opposite Helvi. I blame the hard right for muddying the waters when clarity was needed and this goes back fifteen years, so it is not acidental.

      Liked by 1 person

      • helvityni February 28, 2015 at 12:01 pm #

        Still, Paul, why are people so easily ‘muddified’, why do they take any notice of shock jocks….what about reading and listening and making up their own mind…taking the blindfolds off.

        Like

        • paul walter February 28, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

          Actually, the Richard Dennis article at today’s Canberra Times,

          “Joe Hockeys penny-pinching will constrain growth” ,

          explains where things are going wrong with the thinking of the people who run things, and therefore indirectly is to do with the points I’ve tried to make.

          Also at AIM.

          Like

      • Jennifer Wilson February 28, 2015 at 5:01 pm #

        I don’t understand how you can’t also hold Labor responsible for meekly following in the footsteps of the hard right, PW.

        Also, I am very querulous today and not my usual self, but I’m not Marilyn either, not that there’s anything wrong with being Marilyn who it seems to me has the most steadfast, extraordinary commitment to asylum seekers of just about anyone I’ve ever heard. Even if she does bloody swear.

        I defy anyone to remain pleasant in this appalling humidity and heat. It is hostile to human life.

        Like

        • paul walter February 28, 2015 at 5:40 pm #

          The humble writer is deeply mournful that a fine lady is aggreived.. I beleive you are indeed yourself, otherwise you would not have written your comment- unless Marilyn or Helvi have stolen you email and are impersonating you… this would be sock-puppetry on an altogether unforseen scale.

          I, too, am experiencing a mediocre day, not that it has anything to do with yet more aching teeth- much. Although, it improves remarkably as a delightful cool change slowly takes hold.

          May I offer one brief exclamation of surprise, at a passing comment.

          Why, you claim I don’t hold Labor responsible, I should question for what, for a mess they inherited, as previously mentioned. Were they to cast aside government and damage the aspirations of millons here who had placed faith in them, to the Abbottists even sooner than they did, given the zeitgeist of the times ( how many times must I mention this, grrr??).

          The flutter of surprise derives of a comprehension of a possibility that some have missed actually reading the text of postings a humble servant provided only in the interests of the Greater Elucidation.

          It may have transpired that an attempt at an explanation of Labor’s weakness and what occurred though these, is misinterpreted as approval.
          I am surprised my expressive skills are so poor and will seek a remedy in due course.

          I beleive you are justified in your comment to Helvitiny claiming “both are culpable”. But I remain aback somewhat and hope that Dr Wilson rereads my comment from 9. 02 last night, that further misconceptions be finally less forthcoming.

          I should add, I hope fervently that your day improves, as I do my own.

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson February 28, 2015 at 7:25 pm #

            Your teeth are hurting again?
            I was knew someone whose dentist was called Dr Fang

            Of course I know what you mean PW. I am just very objectionable today.

            Be well soon

            Like

            • paul walter February 28, 2015 at 10:13 pm #

              You are not objectionable today or any other day, although maybe you wear your heart on your sleeve.
              It can’t be a sin to care for children.

              I am far more more objectionable.

              I watched the women protesting the children in detention on the news and wondered how I could defend most politicians, I also get sick of their smirking. Sorry if I sound reluctant to trust for a better outcome for the asylum seekers, but I don’t trust the politicians, either on the refugees behalf or most of the the rest of us..

              I hope your health improves also. You said you felt ill last week also and I hope you visit the quack if whatever it is doesn’t disappear soon.

              Just crunched the wrong way on a french fry and I think it popped what is left on the gum where the tooth came from.

              Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson February 28, 2015 at 4:59 pm #

      Yes, exactly Helvi, they are both culpable.

      Like

  10. hudsongodfrey February 28, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    May I just take a minute here in the smallest of possible ways to thank Gillian Triggs for having the courage of her convictions not to step down under what must be fairly overwhelming pressure.

    She has I think done us all and her cause a remarkable service. Please award the woman a peerage forthwith!

    Liked by 1 person

    • helvityni February 28, 2015 at 2:40 pm #

      Yes, Hudson, I prayed ‘pretty please, do not step down’, it must have been very hard for her. Good people are put on trial, and the real devils are running free and doing the judging. Cry.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. paul walter March 1, 2015 at 10:35 am #

    A good sleep can do wonders for a person.

    After watching the morning sunrise shows and their disinformation, then reading the latest at AIM I can own up to an error of mine.

    It’s basically outlined in the Kaye Lee article, “The real stitch up” and filled out by a couple of other postings there, but it comes down to something I’ve long beleived myself as being fundamental to understanding the twenty first century, but sidetracked myself away from during this posting, to do with our fundamental lynch pin for civilisation- Habeas Corpus law.

    The point at “The real stitch up” was that the erosion of human rights for asylum seekers sets the precedent for the winding back of such foundational stuff within Australian society..two birds are killed with one stone, for the conservatives.

    We are witnessing something fundamental and tragic.
    We are seeing an attack not on superstructure but base.. a outrage perpetrated upon the very text, as po-mos might say.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. doug quixote March 1, 2015 at 11:32 am #

    Someone got out of the wrong side of bed this morning.

    Labor has been wedged on this issue from day one, dealing with an electorate determined to defend our moat and drawbridge at all costs.

    The best course politically for Labor would have been to continue Howard’s policies and methods; but they tried to do the right thing by the asylum seekers and it was seen to fail.

    It is all very well for single issue refugee advocates to criticise Labor, and I will agree there is plenty to criticise, but believe it or not there are bigger issues demanding government attention.

    A party of government must decide which battles matter the most to it and to the nation, and apply a sort of triage to them. We have recently witnessed what happens when a government uses all its political capital doing stupid things, things it did not need to do.

    Then nothing gets done, and its opponents can take issue with everything it does and get away with it.

    The best we can do now is work towards electing a Labor government. They may not do what refugee advocates want, but I will guarantee that those advocates will get closer to their wish list under Labor than under the Looters party.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson March 1, 2015 at 11:44 am #

      I’m not disturbed by hung parliaments and minor parties in the Senate & on the cross benches. It’s democracy. It reflects the widespread dissatisfaction with major parties.

      I did not get out the wrong side of any bed, btw.
      PW did though.

      Like

      • paul walter March 2, 2015 at 11:58 pm #

        Rubbish!

        Like

    • Marilyn March 2, 2015 at 4:50 am #

      They will not Doug, they have not once been decent since the first Cambodians arrived in 1989 and Hawke invented the queue and then Keating the prisons, Al Kateb, making them pay, doing dirty deals to send Vietnamese refugees to China, moving them around the country away from their lawyers and other atrocities.

      The ALP was born in racism and remains racist to this very day.

      Liked by 2 people

      • paul walter March 3, 2015 at 8:07 am #

        Marilyn, you are trolling.

        You know full-well that if working people hadn’t resisted during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, we would still be living in a convict level society..the bosses would never of their own volition permitted democracy.

        The struggle of working class Australians was a metaphoric, as well as actual in many cases, long journey to freedom.

        Why can’t you get that the threat was from the upper classes and any so called racism derived of upper class attempts to use foreigners to weaken that struggle?

        Your blinkered prejudice on this aspect of Australian history is a crankish thing and the classism is as evil as any racism.

        Liked by 2 people

        • samjandwich March 3, 2015 at 1:46 pm #

          I more or less agree with Marylin, except to say that I don’t think the ALP is racist or deliberately hostile to asylum seekers – quite the opposite.

          Rather I would say that they tie themselves in knots due to their benign neglect, and their constitutive tendency to look after their own, and to hold on to what they’ve got. They sincerely want to do the right thing, but they can’t figure out how, and so they dither until the whole situation turns into such a big mess that they are forced into performing the policy equivalent of cutting off something vital… and by the time they’ve learnt their lesson it’s too late.

          They’re a lot like the Catholic church really!

          Liked by 1 person

          • Jennifer Wilson March 3, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

            Sam, you are very generous to institutions I would flog if I could.

            I won’t give ALP benefit of the doubt. They aren’t idiots, they know cruelty when they see it. They saw it and made it worse. The fact that they aren’t racist or deliberately hostile (and I’m not sure some of them aren’t) only makes their stand against asylum worse IMHO.

            I’d better not get into a rant. I have other things I must do this arvo.

            Like

            • samjandwich March 3, 2015 at 2:43 pm #

              Don’t we all!

              Yes well, admittedly I’m a little disappointed that we haven’t seen a resurgence in self-flagellation amongst certain quarters…

              Liked by 1 person

        • Jennifer Wilson March 3, 2015 at 2:13 pm #

          Crankish. Now there’s a word I like, PW

          Like

          • paul walter March 3, 2015 at 4:31 pm #

            Ok, rhetoric and hyperbole. .Marilyn uses it, you use it, I use it.

            Marilyn does black band- on this subject- I go the other way to counterbalance and the truth is probably somewhere in btween, as samjandwich more or less said.

            There are racists about, of course, maybe I am one but don’t know it (yes, god forgive me I’ll laugh at racial joke if is clever and told well- convicted). But to me, activists use the word “racist” just a bit too loosely..

            If I put a sheet over my head, and take part in a lynching of a black person, THEN call me a “racist”, to me it has to be conscious and malicious.

            But if I am cautious and not sure where something is leading, am i “racist”, or just a bit over-careful?

            Like

  13. quollgirl March 5, 2015 at 6:31 pm #

    Reblogged this on quollgirl.

    Like

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