Tony Abbott: the human face of evil

1 Jul

silencing dissent


More than forty current and former workers at Australia’s detention centres on Nauru and Manus Island are challenging Tony Abbott and Peter Dutton to prosecute them under the new secrecy laws for speaking out over human rights abuses. 

What, exactly, is the government going to do to these forty professionals, and others who will no doubt join them? Arrest them all? Charge them?

While the very notion of threatening professional workers who speak out about human rights abuses in their workplace with prosecution is, in any western democracy, a travesty that is beyond comprehension, what’s even worse is that we are governed by individuals of such gargantuan stupidity they believe this is reasonable action to take in the first place, with an opposition that colludes, and apparently a demographic that supports this intimidatory silencing.

The government is on a hiding to nothing with these threats of prosecution. The legislation may well work as a deterrent, silencing those who might otherwise speak out, and that is likely its core purpose. However, the government now faces a direct challenge to its new laws, and the world will be watching what it does next.

No such laws have ever existed in our country before today, and I can’t think of any other comparable country in which they exist. What other liberal democratic government threatens professionals with imprisonment if they speak out about human rights abuses, including the sexual abuse of children, violence against women, and ill-treatment of people who are not criminals, not terrorists, and are in a situation of absolute helplessness and vulnerability.

They arrived seeking asylum in Australia by boat, a perfectly legal enterprise, and as we are still signatories to the Refugee Convention, though god knows why, we invited them to seek asylum here in the first place, using any means of transport they chose.

Now we have taken away the very last right they had – the right to a voice, albeit via a third-party, by threatening those third parties with prosecution if they bear witness. Yes. If you bear witness to the atrocities permitted by the Abbott government to be visited upon innocent people, you risk imprisonment. This is what we’ve come to.

This legislation has not been passed to protect Australian citizens. It has been passed to protect politicians. It will allow them to do what they like when they like to waterborne asylum seekers, without any accountability at all. This government and the opposition, who couldn’t oppose a wet lettuce, will permit all kinds of torments to be visited upon women, children and men in offshore detention, and they will prosecute and imprison anyone who reveals their secret savagery.

I’m not much given to use of the word evil. But evil has a human face and the human face of evil today is Tony Abbott. What the ALP has done is supporting this vile legislation is perhaps even more evil: they had the opportunity to resist it. Yet they did not, they endorsed it without as much as a murmur of dissent.

This is a government dedicated to secrecy, silencing, authoritarianism and the sowing of discord and disharmony, supported every step of the way by a spineless opposition. I have no idea where this will end, but every time I think it can’t get any worse, it does.

34 Responses to “Tony Abbott: the human face of evil”

  1. eroticmoustache July 1, 2015 at 9:14 pm #

    For me the most disturbing element of all this is that of the “opposition that colludes”. I feel so lost politically. Labor has clearly lost its humanitarian soul to its Right faction, which is, ironically, ostensibly Catholic. I can’t vote Green for reasons of their self-evident political and structural immaturity, yet what else is there? Damn, I need to mellow and come back to this. Nice piece.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson July 1, 2015 at 9:22 pm #

      Yes, that’s the most disturbing part for me as well.

      Liked by 1 person

    • 8 Degrees of Latitude July 1, 2015 at 9:28 pm #

      I am in the same position. I too need time to think this all through politically.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Jennifer Wilson July 1, 2015 at 9:34 pm #

        It is knocking us all sideways. Who could have seen such things coming?

        Liked by 1 person

        • Anonymous July 3, 2015 at 8:04 pm #

          So overwhelming….Read David C Kortens, ‘When Corporations Rule the World’, in 1995 & it did scare me.
          Australia is becoming more of a Corpratocracy every day.

          So grateful that i have lived the major part of my life in a country that has given me privileges & freedoms i know i wouldn’t have had anywhere else.
          I have my parents to thank for that as well as Gough Whitlam, the Union Movement, the Feminist Movement,.,DTE Confests,.the good old 70’s…really have been lucky in many respects.
          So wrong that the indigenous people of this beautiful country have had almost everything taken from them & were robbed of their lives, their children, their identities & freedoms in the process.
          What to do…?…..Fuck Abbott…. i’m off to dance to authentic Greek rembetika, (Greek resistance blues from the 20’s onwards), @ a local pub.
          In solidarity with all Greeks & others doing it rough.

          Liked by 2 people

    • Marilyn July 4, 2015 at 5:04 pm #

      The Greens are not the immature ones, it is the two old racist parties who are immature. Without the Greens or anyone else to debate issues we would be in a swamp of the hell of the Australian Laberal tea party making.
      It actually takes a very immature mind to believe a party that actually is anti-war, pro human rights and pro equality for all is immature.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. myzania3350 July 1, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

    Like I said on FB earlier today… If I was in their situation, I’d feel obliged to keep reporting. Hmph. Bloody govt.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. 8 Degrees of Latitude July 1, 2015 at 9:21 pm #

    Wouldn’t quibble with a word there. As to where it will end, well that is an open question at the moment. There has developed over fairly recent years a streak of selfish exclusivity in the Australia psyche that is worrisome on several fronts. Not the least of these is the apparent willingness of the electorate to have their freedoms peeled away layer by layer on completely specious grounds.

    A view seems to be emerging that we should willingly cede such freedoms because if we don’t some mad bastard with a gun or a bomb will kill us. But if accept that argument (and you will have guessed that I don’t 🙂 ) then we’re effectively dead anyway, as a society in which human and civil rights count for anything.

    Someone said to me today that to cite Voltaire’s adduced conundrum in these circumstances was out of court. I don’t really know how to respond to that assertion. Except to say that being frightened of shadows and so suspicious of your own capacity to be truly free is an Orwellian thesis in the making.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Jennifer Wilson July 1, 2015 at 9:24 pm #

      Some mad bastard with a gun or bomb can kill us anyway. None of this legislation can prevent that.

      Liked by 2 people

      • 8 Degrees of Latitude July 1, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

        My very point, to a T. 🙂

        Liked by 2 people

      • Marilyn July 4, 2015 at 5:06 pm #

        And no laws prevented a mother getting stoned on ice and slaughtering 8 young kids in the worst mass murder of kids ever seen in this country. WE are a bunch of snivelling, whinging, selfish pricks led by selfish prick politicians and the most worthless msm on the planet.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. wordynerdbird July 1, 2015 at 10:16 pm #

    Very well said.
    I fully concur.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Stewart Dean July 1, 2015 at 10:53 pm #

    You are making the assumption that we are “liberal” or “democratic” here in Australia. I submit to you that our CONSTITUTIONAL MONARCHY is closer in most ways to a fascist dictatorship than a democracy with the queens representative ruling in her stead and at her pleasure (governor general) and with a puppet government from which the PROLES get to “choose” a representative to give them the reassurance (so that there will be no uprising) that all the terrible things their government does to them, and in their name, is done at their represented request, not by straw men who are positioned to manipulate government and public opinion to accede the will of the ruling autocracy.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson July 2, 2015 at 6:32 am #

      That is a chilling and realistic alternative to my assumptions and I don’t dismiss it’s possibility.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. hudsongodfrey July 2, 2015 at 1:55 am #

    I don’t know that evil is the right word for Abbott. It seems to have imply ill intent being externally animated in a way that I not only don’t believe, but which let’s the villain off the hook so to speak.

    Perhaps if we wax a touch philosophical and come to regard good and bad as the kind of opposing concepts that require no better epistemology than the equally undeniable and abstract concept of mathematics then we’d get down to the serious business of discovering why somebody like our Prime Minister might be so mistaken. Clearly for example, this person does not apply sound utilitarian standards or it’d be as easy as demonstrating the counter productive nature of his actions. We’d have to agree on certain basic values or at least establish logical precepts and work our way towards that end, but the ethical deliberations you or I can come to grips with shouldn’t be impossible for a Rhodes scholar.

    Just start by saying an accident of birth is no fit determinant of privilege in the world, let justice light the way and work forwards.

    The answer will usually be that leaders mistakenly think they’re either doing the right thing according to wrong reasoning or serving some greater good according to the wrong priorities. I think it may be the latter, but in dealing with people who lay claim to a worldview in which evil does exist, and otherwise pretend to believe in certainty without evidence, there’s that much room for error that I can’t pretend I begin to understand him.

    The short answer is that you if wouldn’t trust them around small children or near naked flame then you really ought not give them government. If only the opposition were convincingly committed to ending this saga, this veil of human tears, given the chance…..

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jennifer Wilson July 2, 2015 at 6:37 am #

      These words such as evil, and forgiveness, and goodness etc have long been appropriated by the religious but to me, they are descriptors of human behaviour, not motivated by supernatural sources, but contained within us to be expressed or not by our choice.
      Quite what stimulates one person to dwell in the darkness and perfect its arts, and another to fight for justice I don’t know. But it isn’t a transcendental exteriority.

      Liked by 2 people

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

        It was really only a segue to begin with, but on the understanding that we made the whole thing up all languages and all religions were invented by mankind I nevertheless think there’s a particularly religious use of evil I want to draw the line at. Its the tree of good and evil in Genesis is occasionally given the longer title “tree of knowledge of good and evil”, thence somewhat disingenuously abbreviated to as the “tree of knowledge” as well. I can’t help but draw parallels between that kind of doublespeak and the hypocrisy that’s found in politics.

        It were as if they’re deliberately not amenable to reason so as to simultaneously claim moral inspiration and avoid ethical challenge.

        Maybe also the “exteriority” refers to anima or animus, thus we begin once again to test our comprehension of the seemingly incomprehensible. I thought about it last night but decided I needn’t bother, there’s an easier solution, just get rid of the guy!

        Liked by 1 person

      • Marilyn July 4, 2015 at 5:20 pm #

        8 ALP women voted to allow the ongoing abuse and torture of refugee kids on Nauru. This is the letter of justification I got from one of the fucking bitches, evil to the core. I posed some questions back – in caps in body of letter.

        “”Thank you for your email to Senator Bilyk regarding Labor’s decision not to support Greens amendments to the recent Migration Amendment (Regional Processing Arrangements) Bill 2015. Due to the high volume of correspondence the Senator receives daily she has asked me to respond on her behalf.

        The Bill did not in any way, change or expand Australia’s existing regional processing and resettlement arrangements.

        This Bill was not about the Australian Government’s management of offshore processing and that is why we did not support the Greens’ amendments.

        The passage of this urgent Bill was not the time or the place to prosecute the arguments about how offshore processing is implemented.

        Senator Bilyk is absolutely disgusted that Senator Hanson-Young has sought to use the issue of child abuse for political gain. This amendment was a cynical ploy to discredit the other parties in the Senate and was not the appropriate place for its inclusion.

        Senator Hanson-Young was well aware that there is a Bill before the parliament which is the correct place for including the mandatory reporting of child abuse. This is the Migration Amendments (Maintaining Good Order of Detention Facilities) Bill 2015 and Labor has said it will have further discussions with the Greens regarding their amendments, as this is the appropriate place for them to be enacted.

        In opposing the amendments, no-one should assume for a second that this represents the Labor Party condoning the manner in which the Abbott Government has conducted offshore processing.

        Finally, Senator Bilyk has campaigned strongly against child abuse during her time in parliament. As co‑convenor of Parliamentarians Against Child Abuse and Neglect (PACAN) she speaks regularly to Parliamentarians to raise issues of child abuse and actively campaigned for the establishment of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse

        As the former Chair of the Joint Select Committee on Cyber-Safety, Senator Bilyk also spent a large amount of time informing the parliament and the wider community about issues of online grooming, sexting and other predatory behaviour that may affect children.

        Thank you for contacting Senator Bilyk regarding this issue.

        Please contact Senator Bilyk’s office on 6229 4444 if she can be of further assistance
        The other ALP women who voted down protection of kids using this vile and evil rationale were Nova Peris, Sue Lines, Claire Moore,
        Jan McLucas, Katy Gallagher (who called for better refugee policy on admittance to the senate and lasted one fucking vote), Lisa Singh who has two young kids and campaigned to get kids released from Pontville prison and Deb O’Neill new senator.

        And here is the youngest victim of these evil bitches from hell.

        I noted that 6 ALP women declined to vote on the so-called urgent bill, 2 liberal women voted not to report child abuse – 5 declined to vote.

        All Greens women voted to support reporting abuse along with Lambie.

        Anyone want to now get back to me on who the fuck the immature arseholes are.


  7. doug quixote July 2, 2015 at 8:06 am #

    We seem to be on a slide towards a police state.

    There is only one short to medium term fix for this, to defeat this government at the next election. We need to encourage and embolden the opposition, not criticise them.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jennifer Wilson July 3, 2015 at 11:03 am #

      I don’t know how to encourage and embolden those people.


    • Marilyn July 4, 2015 at 5:22 pm #

      How do you encourage the cowards when they would do precisely the same and all the migration bills now are still Gillards evil filth fully supported by the scum bag racists in the ALP.


    • doug quixote July 2, 2015 at 12:57 pm #

      I meant to say please read this article, but I suppose that is obvious enough when I post the link.

      It seems Farrelly and I are on the same page.

      Liked by 2 people

  8. Fiona July 2, 2015 at 9:32 pm #

    If nothing else, abbott embodies the banality of evil.

    Liked by 2 people

    • FreeThinker July 2, 2015 at 10:53 pm #

      Precisely put Fiona

      Liked by 1 person

    • Marilyn July 4, 2015 at 5:23 pm #

      So does 10 second Bill who last month proclaimed that his life gets better every day there are no refugees here.



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