How much fun has politics been this week?
It’s barely been three weeks since Tony Abbott announced he was a “changed man” and then blew everything by resorting to the attack dog form he displayed so prominently in Parliament as Opposition Leader.
Regardless of what wingman Mathias Cormann has to say, a few other people, let’s call them “the rest of Australia” just for argument’s sake, know he’s finished.
From the Prince Philip Knighthood, to sacking the so-called “Father of the House” Philip Ruddck, and more recently the extraordinary character assassination of the President of the Human Rights Commission, Tony Abbott has displayed an extraordinary lack of what some might call “a modicum of intelligence”.
And that’s only been the latest string of blunders in the past few weeks.
Barely 18 months into his first term and it looks like Abbott’s about to go down in history not just as the worst PM ever, but with the well-earned moniker as “half term Tony” or “Mister Shouty.”
Even Joe Hockey knows the writing’s on the wall. Following on from the success of his last budget (oh my aching sides), smoking Joe Hockey is due to deliver his next budget in nine weeks time.
I imagine it’s all going swimmingly well.
Dear the rest of the world,
On behalf of many Australians, I write to express our profound embarrassment over the way in which the President of the Human Rights Commission (HRC), Gillian Triggs has been treated by the Prime Minister of Australia, Tony Abbott, and a number of his government officials.
It would be fair to say that many Australians feel a sense of palpable outrage and growing anger over Mr Abbott’s behaviour towards Ms Triggs, and in particular calling into question her competency as an independent official heading up an independent body that champions human rights.
Today, the Prime Minister used Parliamentary Privilege to further malign Ms Triggs’ reputation in what has become an all out vindictive assault on her ethics, integrity and professionalism in the wake of the damning report into children held in detention centres under the government’s watch.
Yesterday, Ms Griggs endured some seven hours of bullying, harassment, and intimidation delivered by LNP Senators, Ian Macdonald, Barry O’Sullivan and Attorney General George Brandis.
Mr Brandis and Mr Abbott insist that they have lost confidence in the President of the HRC.
We, the people of Australia couldn’t disagree more, and wish to make it clear that we have lost confidence in the Attorney General and Prime Minister.
In fact, the Attorney General is now the subject of a Federal Police Investigation following yesterday’s events, rendering his position potentially untenable.
Please be assured that many Australians are simply embarrassed and ashamed by the antics of our Prime Minister, and can’t wait to be rid of him at the next election.
In the meantime, we wish to express our support and respect for Gillian Triggs for having the fortitude of character to resist buckling under the reprehensible harassment and intimidation she has endured in recent days.
reb of melbourne
I watched the Senate Estimates hearing into the HRC report yesterday and it was an absolute disgrace.. LNP thugs Ian Macdonald and Barry O’Sullivan just looked like archaic misogynistic boofheads desperate for a “gotcha moment”(which never eventuated) with O’Sullivan quipping “I thought you might like to hear from a man for a change” after Triggs faced questions from Penny Wong and Sarah Hanson Young.
Even Brandis, in his own unique pompous and self-satisfying style thought he was on to a good thing until Triggs gently rolled a hand grenade in his direction with the revelation that his sidekick Moriarty had offered her a plum job if she agreed to resign as President of the HRC.
Of course, Brandis was the architect behind this initiative, no doubt designed to eliminate Triggs from the investigation into Children in Detention and have the report shelved, however he had the good sense to despatch Moriarty to do his bidding.
The plot quickly unravelled with Brandis clearly rattled at having come up with some explanation as to how he thought that Triggs was both incompetent, yet worthy of being offered a top legal job somewhere else. It was Monty Python material.
Moriarty enjoyed his own Godwin Gretch moment, with Brandis giving him enough rope to hang himself, at once attempting to explain that he had kept notes, but then hadn’t kept notes. Apparently there were notes. He just hadn’t kept them.
Ian Macdonald was clearly out of his depth, readily admitting that he hadn’t read the report yet here he was chairing an investigation into its contents. On several occasions he attempted to have Sarah Hanson Young and Penny Wong ejected from the hearing – a manoeuvre they both rejected after politely informing him that he had no jurisdiction to make. In other words “get fucked.”
Throughout the entire sorry ordeal Gillian Triggs remained polite and dignified which simply made the LNP grunts look more desperate and Neanderthalic.
So the net result of this seven hour hearing that was designed to destroy Triggs’ reputation is that the AFP have been called in to investigate whether the job offer was an illegal inducement.
It would be fair to say it was a complete disaster for the LNP however you could be forgiven for thinking otherwise from the subsequent reports in the mainstream media.
In 2003, Dr. Lawrence Britt, a political scientist, wrote an article about fascism, after examining the fascist regimes of Hitler (Germany), Mussolini (Italy), Franco (Spain), Suharto (Indonesia) and several Latin American regimes. Britt found 14 defining characteristics that were common to each regime.
As Australia’s PM Tony Abbott today unveiled new “National Security” measures ostensibly aimed at “Keeping Australia Safe” we can’t help but find some startling similarities. Britt’s 14 characteristics of a fascist regime are as follows:
1. Powerful and Continuing Nationalism
Fascist regimes tend to make constant use of patriotic mottos, slogans, symbols, songs, and other paraphernalia. Flags are seen everywhere, as are flag symbols on clothing and in public displays.
2. Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights
Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.
3. Identification of Enemies/Scapegoats as a Unifying Cause
The people are rallied into a unifying patriotic frenzy over the need to eliminate a perceived common threat or foe: racial , ethnic or religious minorities; progressives; communists; socialists, terrorists, etc.
4. Supremacy of the Military
Even when there are widespread domestic problems, the military is given a disproportionate amount of government funding, and the domestic agenda is neglected. Soldiers and military service are glamorized.
5. Rampant Sexism
The governments of fascist nations tend to be almost exclusively male-dominated. Under fascist regimes, traditional gender roles are made more rigid. Divorce, abortion and homosexuality are suppressed and the state is represented as the ultimate guardian of the family institution.
6. Controlled Mass Media
Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or sympathetic media spokespeople and executives.
7. Obsession with National Security
Fear is used as a motivational tool by the government over the masses.
8. Religion and Government are Intertwined
Governments in fascist nations tend to use the most common religion in the nation as a tool to manipulate public opinion. Religious rhetoric and terminology is common from government leaders, even when the major tenets of the religion are diametrically opposed to the government’s policies or actions.
9. Corporate Power is Protected
The industrial and business aristocracy of a fascist nation often are the ones who put the government leaders into power, creating a mutually beneficial business/government relationship and power elite.
10. Labor Power is Suppressed
Because the organising power of labor is the only real threat to a fascist government, labor unions are either eliminated entirely, or are severely suppressed.
11. Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts
Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts and letters is openly attacked.
12. Obsession with Crime and Punishment
Under fascist regimes, the police are given almost limitless power to enforce laws. The people are often willing to overlook police abuses and even forego civil liberties in the name of patriotism. There is often a national police force with virtually unlimited power in fascist nations.
13. Rampant Cronyism and Corruption
Fascist regimes almost always are governed by groups of friends and associates who appoint each other to government positions and use governmental power and authority to protect their friends from accountability. It is not uncommon in fascist regimes for national resources and even treasures to be appropriated or even outright stolen by government leaders.
14. Fraudulent Elections
Sometimes elections in fascist nations are a complete sham. Other times elections are manipulated by smear campaigns against or even assassination of opposition candidates, use of legislation to control voting numbers or political district boundaries, and manipulation of the media. Fascist nations also typically use their judiciaries to manipulate or control elections.
Independent Tasmanian Senator Jacqui Lambie has called for Australia to reintroduce the death penalty, saying that Australia should “execute” citizens who leave Australia to become foreign fighters.
The comments come as the Federal Government continues to pressure the Indonesian Government to spare the lives of Bali Nine duo Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Senator Lambie has previously called for the government to revoke the citizenship of Australians who fight for terrorist organisations overseas, but has since stepped up her opposition to foreign fighters.
Speaking to The Gutter Trash on Friday, Ms Lambie said the death penalty should be introduced as an option for the Courts.
“That should be determined by the jury,” she said.
“I want to give them the option, for terrorism only.”
It makes sense when you think about it, although the qualification “for terrorism only” could lead to complications in the jury system.
Young people for example, who live in questionable suburbs like Macquarie Fields or Broadmeadows are often accused of terrorising entire neighbourhoods or the elderly. How should they die?
Likewise people who have late night parties, or stroll the streets intoxicated after dark. Antisocial behaviour is its own form of terrorism and ought to be treated as such. Kill them.
As I’ve argued for some time, poor dress sense, poor hygiene or overweight people should also face the firing squad. Besides, fat people are only going to die soon anyway, and place an unnecessary burden on the tax payer in the interim. So it’s really a form of compassion.
In addition to introducing the death penalty, Senator Lambie sensibly suggests that a verbal declaration should be introduced into citizenship pledges stating an “opposition to Sharia Law.”
As we all know Sharia Law is becoming increasingly popular in Australia and is already establishing a stronghold in unsuspecting suburbs like Mosman, Toorak and Sandy Bay.
In a statement issued to The Gutter Trash, Ms Lambie insists the citizenship oath should read:
“I pledge my loyalty to Australia and its people, whose democratic beliefs I share, whose rights, liberties and opposition to Sharia law I respect and whose laws I will uphold and obey.”
But why should Sharia Law be singled out for attention? Women who wear excessive makeup and cheap clothes are also an abomination, as well as men who grow those so-called hipster beards, with horn rimmed glasses and flannelette shirts. Not to mention anyone from Queensland.
Quite frankly, this country is going to hell in a hand basket and if we can’t get some semblance of a dress code embodied into the citizenship pledge then one has to wonder what this so-called “country” is coming to.
It makes me sick to the stomach it really does.