Human Rights?

Today Australia’s human rights commission handed down their report on Australia’s concentration camps….er sorry Detention centres.

The commission report called for a royal commission after finding there were 233 recorded assaults involving children and 33 incidents of reported sexual assault. It also reported there were 207 incidents of “actual self harm” and 436 incidents of 436 threatened self harm. (source: The Age)

Our fearless leader responded:

“Frankly this is a blatantly partisan politicised exercise and the Human Rights Commission ought to be ashamed of itself.”

When asked whether he felt any guilt over the horrific findings in the 315-page report, Mr Abbott replied: “None whatsoever.”

“I reckon that the Human Rights Commission ought to be sending a note of congratulations to Scott Morrison saying ‘well done mate because your actions have been very good for the human rights and the human flourishing of thousands of people’.” (Source: 3AW)

“The most compassionate thing you can do is stop the boats. We have stopped the boats.”

Tony conflates Stopping people from coming to Australia with people being housed in humane conditions.

Now we could get into a debate about whether stopping the boats is:

A: Possible (since we don’t get information about what boats came or were stopped we just don’t know)

B: Legal (since it is not illegal to seek asylum)

C: Effective (see point A)

D: More humanitarian since we are now surely turning away genuine asylum seekers and we have no idea what happens to them once they have been turned around.

But the reality is that no matter how people arrived once they are here we have a responsibility to house them in humane, sanitary and safe conditions.

This report shows that we are not doing that.

The Prime Minister complaining that this is an attack on the government and that it’s all ok because he “Stopped the boats” is a disgusting and predictable obfuscation of the actual issue. It’s the classic ad hominim, you can’t attack the facts so you attack the organisation that gathered them.

He personally attacked the Australian human rights commissioner Professor Gillian Triggs questioning both the timing of the report and if it were in fact a partisan attack on his party.

For her part Professor Triggs said in a speech on Wednsday when unveiling the report

“Both sides of politics are responsible for breaches of our international obligations. Alternatives to indefinite detention, such as community detention, have not been properly considered by government decision makers, and the safety and wellbeing of children has not been a primary consideration,” (source: The Age)

For our fearless leader to say that the human rights commission should congratulate Scott Morrison is the peak of hubris and for WHAT??!?

Providing housing conditions that turn children suicidal?

Yes, well done. Perhaps he is not familiar with what a human rights commission does or what they are for.

Tony Abbot is supposed to be a practicing Catholic, he is supposed to be a man of compassion. He is supposed to be a man of truth and kindness. Instead he betrays his faith at every turn and in turn he betrays us.  We are better than him and that is what will oust him from the leadership because leaders are supposed to be better than us.

Ideology in practice

Forget Abbot, it’s over. There is no beating he could take that would result in him learning his lesson or changing his ways. Contrary to popular opinion leopards can change their spots but Tony is not that breed of leopard.

I thought Barnaby Joyce was ok on last week’s Q and A. Seriously. I thought he managed to avoid most of the pitfalls of actually being Barnaby Joyce that he is usually constantly falling into. He didn’t sound like a half-baked moron. He sounded more rational and more reasonable than I had heard him at any other time. (This may be damming him with faint praise).

He did however give something away. He neatly outlined the liberal’s economic strategy. He talked about Labour leaving Australia with masses of debt and he sounded like he believed it. He talked about the need for austerity. And he constantly asked the question “Where is the money coming from?”

“Queenslanders want infrastructure and new roads and new hospitals but where is the money coming from? You have to pay for these things, if we don’t sell off assets then tell me where the money is coming from?” this sadly seems to be the idea that not only the liberal but labour government have as well. If there’s no money in the kitty, sell something! Privatisation is good! Goodness how else will money appear! That money tree we bought STILL hasn’t sprouted fruit! It’s either sell or borrow the liberals will cut their own arms off before they borrow and both major parties seem to have given up on EARN. Why have we as a nation given up on earning money?

The most obvious objection to selling assets to pay for things is that it’s unsustainable (do I even realty have to write that? I guess….given that the Liberals seem not to know it…yes I do). What happens when you run out of assets?  It’s incredibly short sighted but prefect for the election cycle that we currently have. “Don’t worry Tony In 8 years it won’t be our problem”. Also voters are sick of the promise of privatisation that never quite materialises. We get told that it will free up money, ease taxes and make those services more competitive and therefor cheaper but that never actually happens. What ends up happening is that essential services are run by outside interests like a business and the quality of service drops and when it all falls over the government has to step in to pick up the slack. Costing us the taxpayer more money. It doesn’t work and people are sick of it.

Barnaby actually used the average household as a metaphor for the government saying “If you have no money in the kitty, then you need to sell something”

But it’s a false analogy because a government isn’t a household or a business for that matter. But let’s pretend that it is.

Frankly if your household is down to selling things then you’re screwed. You might have a garage sale but you never sell things that earn you money at a garage sale. You wouldn’t sell things you need at a garage sale. You wouldn’t sell your fridge and then lease it back at a high rate and  yet still be responsible for it if it breaks. Yet that’s exactly how the public transport system in Victoria works.

If I don’t have the money to buy something, I save or I earn. That’s what a household does. If it’s a really big thing and I can afford it I might consider borrowing. Mind you if someone offered me a loan at 0% interest rates which is what is currently being offered the Abbot government due to economic circumstance I would be a fool to pass it up. The loan would be lower rate than my projected rise in earnings and so it would essentially be free money. So it seems very short-sighted to take that off the table. But really the terrible thing is that the government have given up on vision, given up on hope and given up on Australia. We only dig money out of the ground and for some reason we PAY mining corporations to do so. There are no plans, no programs for setting up industry in Australia the government would leave that all to big business. Which would be fine except they also have no plans to do so. There is no commitment to education (quite the reverse), no commitment to innovation and the one thing that Australia could excel at Intellectual Property and innovation, nobody ever talks about.

If someone were in business and they told me that their bold new plan for making a profit over the next 8 years was to sell off the furniture from the office and that’s it. No other ideas. Then I’d be very worried. That is the reality of our leadership. That is why we need change and fast, not just Abbot, not just Labour but everything.

An open letter to Bill Shorten

Dear Mr Shorten.

Hi!

You don’t know me but if everything continues the way it seems to be going I will one day be part of the country that you will be running.

And when that day comes I expect you to have ideas.

I expect you to actually RUN the country that I will have helped put you in charge of. I expect you to communicate your ideas to me and if you want me to tighten my belt I expect you to come to me with flowers and promises of a better tomorrow and a plan of how we are going to get there together. Unlike. You know, big ears.

However I also expect you to work with all the parties, that the good of the nation will trump party lines. And I think you should start now.

It must have been really satisfying at first to tell Tony to F-off every time he came and said “Lets do this!” or “Hey! I’ve got an idea!” and not only satisfying but totally understandable and warranted. If even Karl Stefanovic recognises that he had been “Feral” in opposition then everyone knows it and no-one begrudged you a period of time where you just dug your heels in and gave him a good serve of his own medicine. He thoroughly deserved it and it was bitter. And I hope you enjoyed as I did the sight of him squirming and stammering as if simply being Prime Minster and him gave him a perfect right to everyone just agreeing with him. And not only that you had the perfect answer when people asked what were you doing? “These policies are unsupportable” and so a simple “No” was easy and due.

And why not? Right?

But soon (or rather I believe now) a simple NO is not enough. You now need to outline your agenda. What will you do? What vision do you have of Australia in 2030? 2050? Where are we going and how do we get there? Do we need to save money? Should we be borrowing now (when rates are at a record low) to produce desperately need infrastructure and jobs and boost our already good economy? What can we do as a nation? Should we rely on digging stuff out of the ground or should we be creating industry? We used to ride the sheep’s back now we are riding in the cab of an ore truck all the way to China. Where will the jobs be coming from in 2030? What sustainable industry will be at the forefront of our minds? Will we be taking our cue from America? Or Europe or how about this for a revolutionary idea….take our cue from no-one but ourselves and be the country that other countries take their cues from!!?!?!

Let me be clear, I don’t think that any budget policy that the current government has put forward is supportable. I honestly don’t. I don’t see the need for what they are doing. It seems punitive. It seems out of step, it seems to be ideologically driven but the actual ideology that’s driving it is a mystery. And I have no problem with you saying “No” but tell me why you said no. Tell me what you would do differently. Tell me why it’s bad for the country or if it’s good for the country tell me that too.

It might seem politically expedient to sit and do nothing after all Tony is screwing it all up on his own isn’t he? But you don’t want to be like him. You want to be a leader, leaders don’t only lead when they think it’s necessary, leaders lead all the time.

There was a phrase that was bandied about after the last election “Tony Abbot had a plan to get into government but not a plan to run the country”. Show us you are different. Tony Abbot shows us arrogance, you need to show us you are humble. Tony Abbot never explains because he feels that he never needs to explain, you need to demonstrate that you can communicate and do it all the time.

Tony Abbot lies and does not respect us. He pushes his own ideas and never changes you need to show you are truthful, that you can listen and that you can adapt. He is mired in 1950, show us what 2050 is going to be like. I think there’s hope, I think it could be great. What do you think?

Kind Regards

Chris Tyler.

Australian Citizen.