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Bigots or the disabled?

There could be no starker signal of this government’s intentions than the appointment of Tim Wilson as the Human Rights Commissioner for ‘Freedom’ at the expense of disability commissioner Graeme Innes.

In opposition, Senator Brandis was prepared to publicly criticise Mr Innes for advocating on behalf of Australians with a disability, blaming the ‘ideological culture’ within the Human Rights Commission.

The following biographies come from the Australian Human Rights Commission website.  I will leave it to you to judge who you feel is better qualified and able to make an important contribution to our society.

Graeme Innes has been Australia’s Disability Discrimination Commissioner since December 2005. During that time he has also served as Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner for three and a half years and as Race Discrimination Commissioner for two years.

Graeme is a Lawyer, Mediator and Company Director. He has been a Human Rights Practitioner for 30 years in NSW, WA and nationally.

As Commissioner, Graeme has led or contributed to the success of a number of initiatives. These have included the Same Sex: Same Entitlements inquiry, which resulted in removal of discrimination across federal law; the drafting of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and its ratification by Australia.

Graeme was also crucial to the development of the National Disability Strategy and the Disability (Access to Premises – buildings) Standards 2010; as well as the establishment of Livable Housing Australia.

Graeme has also been an active high profile advocate for the implementation of cinema captioning and audio descriptions and, as Human Rights Commissioner, undertook three annual inspections of Australia’s Immigration Detention facilities.

Graeme has been a Member of the NSW Administrative Decisions Tribunal; the NSW Consumer, Trader and Tenancy Tribunal; and the Social Security Appeals Tribunal. He has also been a Hearing Commissioner with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

Graeme was Chair of the Disability Advisory Council of Australia, and the first Chair of Australia’s national blindness agency, Vision Australia.

In 1995 Graeme was made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM). In 2003, he was a finalist for Australian of the Year.

Graeme is married with an adult son and a daughter in high school. He enjoys cricket (as a spectator) and sailing (as a participant), and relaxes by drinking fine Australian white wine.”

Tim Wilson was appointed Australia’s Human Rights Commissioner in February 2014.

Dubbed the “Freedom Commissioner”, Tim is a proud and passionate defender of universal, individual human rights. As Commissioner he is focused on promoting and advancing traditional human rights and freedoms, including free speech, freedom of association, worship and movement and property rights.

Prior to his appointment Tim was a public policy analyst and a policy director at the world’s oldest free market think tank, the Institute of Public Affairs. He has also worked in trade and communication consulting, international aid and development, as well politics. He has served as a Board member of Monash University’s Council and on the Victorian Board of the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency. Tim is a Director of Alfred Health.

He has extensive experience in public debate and has had many regular radio and television commitments, with both commercial and public broadcasters. The Australian newspaper recognised Tim as one of the ten emerging leaders of Australian society. He has written extensively for newspapers, journals and books. He recently co-edited the book Turning Left or Right: Values in Modern Politics.

Tim graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Policy) and a Masters of Diplomacy and Trade (International Trade) from Monash University. He has also completed executive education at Geneva’s Institut de Hautes Etudes Internationales et du Développement and the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Worldwide Academy.

Tim lives with his partner, Ryan.”

Graeme has vast experience and many practical accomplishments to point to in his years of active service as an advocate for the disabled and a defender against discrimination.  Tim Wilson is an aging Young Liberal from the IPA who goes on TV a lot.

Wilson did not have to go through any application or interview process to land this job.  George Brandis must have been impressed with the cut of his jib when they spent an enjoyable evening together at the IPA’s 70th Anniversary bash in April last year because, as soon as he had the power, George rang Tim to tell him he had created a new job for him that would pay well over $300,000 a year and he still got to do his tv gigs.

Unfortunately, George did not offer any new money to the HRC to take Tim on.  Instead, he abolished Graeme’s position.

Andrew Bolt, who was MC for the IPA’s birthday party, in an article titled “In praise of George Brandis”, gives some insight into the reasons behind this decision when he quotes a Brendan O’Neill interview with Brandis:

 “He describes the climate-change debate as one of the ‘great catalysing moments’ in his views about the importance of free speech.  He describes how Penny Wong … would ‘stand up in the Senate and say “The science is settled”. In other words, “I am not even going to engage in a debate with you”. It was ignorant, it was medieval, the approach of these true believers in climate change.’ … And to Brandis, this speaks to a new and illiberal climate of anti-intellectualism, to the emergence of ‘a habit of mind and mode of discourse which would deny the legitimacy of an alternative point of view, where rather than winning the argument [they] exclude their antagonists from the argument’…”

You have to be kidding, George.  The highly-funded denial campaign has not only had a very loud voice in the media, it has successfully dictated policy.  The opinion that “the science is settled” is shared by all those not in thrall to the fossil fuel industry.

Your government has systematically gone about removing any voice of dissent and silencing all argument in every arena.  Increasingly you are hiding what you are doing, not only from the public, but from other elected representatives.  Turning refugees into a military problem to escape all accountability and oversight is beyond your legitimate powers.  You have no right to act alone, refusing to answer questions from the Senate.

The O’Neill interview continues…

“The second thing that made him sharpen his pen and open his gob about the importance of freedom of speech was the case of Andrew Bolt… In 2010, he wrote some blog posts for the Herald Sun website criticising the fashion among ‘fair-skinned people’ to claim Aboriginal heritage, under the headlines: ‘It’s so hip to be black’, ‘White is the New Black’ and ‘White Fellas in the Black’… They were removed from the Herald Sun’s website. Anyone who republishes them risks being arrested and potentially jailed.

Brandis is stinging about this case. The judge ‘engaged in an act of political censorship’, he says, with a journalist ‘prohibited from expressing a point of view’. The reason Brandis is so keen to ditch the bit of the Racial Discrimination Act that allowed such a flagrant act of ideological censorship to take place in twenty-first-century Australia is because while it is justified as a guard against outbursts of dangerous racism, actually it allows the state to police and punish legitimate public speech and debate. ‘And the moment you establish the state as the arbiter of what might be said, you establish the state as the arbiter of what might be thought, and you are right in the territory that George Orwell foreshadowed’, he says …

Brandis says … he’s bent on overhauling Section 18C … because it expands the authority of state into the realm of thought, where it should never tread, he says. ‘…In my view, freedom of speech, by which I mean the freedom to express and articulate beliefs and opinions, is a necessary and essential precondition of political freedom.’

How does this gel with your direction to public servants that they may not post opinions critical of government policy on social media and that they should dob in any colleagues who do?

How does it fit in with the fact that Liberal Party MPs ban anyone who posts links to documents (eg fiscal statements) or makes comments disproving the rhetoric on their Facebook pages?

How does it fit in with new laws outlawing the right to protest?

And could I suggest that Operation Sovereign Borders is as Orwellian as you can get.

I am assuming the 5,500 submissions received about your proposed repeal of Section 18C is the kind of debate you welcome and that you and your Freedom Commissioner may learn a few things.  One can only hope that you pay attention.

 

42 comments

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  1. DanDark

    I am sure Graham Innes will go on to work in ways he will be able to, pursue his purpose in this life, to fight for and advocate for all those who need it, this will come back and bite Tone’s and Timmy time Wilson
    and Goodluck to Mr Innes a truly great soul who walks for others….

  2. patsy

    abbot sure has an army of nazi followers.in his party…we cannot win this fight his voters at the last election had no idea what they were doing…..I wonder if they can see now what a pack of no moral fiends we have leading this wonderful country….god forbid if any one of them have a physical disability…for they sure have an evil disability

  3. captain51

    Wondering how Public Servant Tim still gets regular commentary spots when other public servants are forbidden to comment – even by the Credlin edict of banning use by Pubb servants from using social media to comment on Govt policy

  4. Dan Rowden

    Instead, he abolished Graeme’s position.

    Funny that Brandis denied “downgrading” the role. It may be that the role is being squeezed into Susan Ryan’s responsibilities, and it may also be that it’s not unusual for Commissioners to be responsible for more than one portfolio, but it’s bullshit to suggest that a “downgrading” isn’t occurring.

  5. DanDark

    cheers everyone, in some way each and everyone contributes to this forum, to help enlighten/share knowledge with which might help, even understand what this fed gov is doing, and all about what its true intentions are, THANKS 🙂
    and even with edit thingy, I still get it `wrong, oh well it some times best to “forfeit” wasn’t the word I wanted, but ya get that 🙂

  6. Matters Not

    As I argued some time ago, Abbott et al are about significant, fundamental, and ‘deep’ ‘cultural change’. That is, they are determined to develop a new ‘common sense’, including a view of human nature, a view of society, a view of government and the relationship between and among same. It’s revolutionary! While it’s not presented in such terms, it certainly can be analysed using those concepts.

    And Abbott has promised/warned that he will take even more revolutionary proposals to the next election. To me he’s nuts. A political head case and I suspect he will over reach, if he already hasn’t. At least I hope so.

    BTW, I have just done an interview with EMR on attitudes to a whole range of ‘political’ matters at the national level. EMR operates out of Tasmania. The ‘field operator’ didn’t know who commissioned the research and I couldn’t ascertain that from the questions asked, which were pretty well structured. Their study could have been improved by gathering more data from responders rather than limiting to the ‘age’ category, but as far as phone interviews go it was among the better one.

  7. Dan Rowden

    Matters Not,

    As I read your post my girlfriend is on the phone doing a political survey. Wonder if it’s the same one … judging by her banter and laughter it can’t be too bad 🙂

  8. Dan Rowden

    Matters Not,

    As for Abbott and Co’s socio-political agenda, I don’t think it could be argued that they are entitled to run one. They were elected as a conservative government and by dint of that have a general mandate to do so. My problem is whether the electorate has much insight into the true nature of that agenda and that it is in no small way about altering the social narrative and general ethos of the nation.

    If they do understand it and are able to intellectually and morally accommodate it, we’re in deep shit. If they don’t, we’re potentially still in deep shit given the potential for people to be convinced by arguments that involve self deprecation and the sort of thing that happens in America where poor people vote Republican even though it materially harms them to do so. They have been literally branwashed into adopting a socio-political philosophy that causes them to abandon notions of self-interest or what we’d tend to identify as “fairness”.

    Btw, the survey my girlfriend did was the same one. She thought it was ok as well.

  9. Matter Not

    whether the electorate has much insight into the true nature of that agenda and that it is in no small way about altering the social narrative and general ethos of the nation

    Indeed! Their ‘agenda’ is very much driven by ‘think tanks’ like the IPA which have deep philosophical roots. While most of the electorate would be appalled by Rand’s Virtue of Selfishness, (altruism is a myth and the like) it isn’t so far away from what is currently being advocated here and elsewhere. Further, these ‘think tanks’ are very well funded and can afford to employ and sponsor ‘bright’ young things such as Chris Berg, Tim Wilson and a host of others that now fill our TV screens on a daily basis. Some in recent times worked for the ALP. One wonders about their understanding of what the ALP is all about. But maybe not? LOL.

    brainwashed into adopting a socio-political philosophy that causes them to abandon notions of self-interest or what we’d tend to identify as “fairness”.

    Yes. A class in itself doesn’t equate with a class for itself.

    As for the survey, in many ways it was a source of amusement, but then again, political reality in Australia is like that these days. Be interested in the results nevertheless.

  10. mars08

    Bigots OR the disabled?

    Wait a minute! Are we saying that being a bigot is NOT a disability?

  11. Michael Taylor

    Patsy, for some reason your comments keep getting caught up in spam. I apologise for that, but I can’t seem to work out what the problem is. You’re not alone though, as it is happening regularly to many of the commenters.

  12. Kaye Lee

    Bigotry is a disability that can be cured by enduring it and we must protect them until they get better. Those who may have a medical disability need no such advocacy – they just need to get to work!

  13. cleobasset

    Rational thought doesn’t cut it in this Orwellian world:

    “The keyword here is blackwhite. Like so many Newspeak words,
    this word has two mutually contradictory meanings. Applied to an opponent, it means the habit of
    impudently claiming that black is white, in contradiction of the plain facts. Applied to a Party
    member, it means a loyal willingness to say that black is white when Party discipline demands this.
    But it means also the ability to believe that black is white, and more, to know that black is white,
    and to forget that one has ever believed the contrary. This demands a continuous alteration of the
    past, made possible by the system of thought which really embraces all the rest, and which is
    known in Newspeak as doublethink.”
    (1984)

    and this can only be achieved if the Party members practice crimestop: (cf Karen McNamara:)

    “Crimestop means the faculty of stopping short, as though by instinct, at the
    threshold of any dangerous thought. It includes the power of not grasping analogies, of failing to
    perceive logical errors, of misunderstanding the simplest arguments if they are inimical to Ingsoc,
    and of being bored or repelled by any train of thought which is capable of leading in a heretical
    direction. Crimestop, in short, means protective stupidity.”

    Who would have thought that the party of Menzies and Fraser would be the party of Ingsoc!

  14. corvus boreus

    Just wondering, does anyone know if the sartorial ‘freedom commissioner’ Mr Tim Wilson’s partner, ‘Ryan’, happens to be Mr Ryan Heath, Labor staff apparatchik and occasional, increasingly conservative, columnist?
    That would be an ‘unholy’ match.

  15. Kaye Lee

    I understood Tim’s Ryan was a school teacher.

  16. corvus boreus

    Just a wondering, the halls of power seem tangled and narrow.

  17. whatismore

    The contrast is stark .Thanks Kay Lee for a summary of a fine Commissioner. He will be missed by all of those who work in disability

  18. Kaye Lee

    I don’t think Graeme intends giving up the fight whatismore. If anything, I think they have stirred a formidable adversary. As opposed to the corporate puppet Brandis has inflicted on us.

    “Wilson has specialised in basically defending corporations’ freedom to make many people’s lives miserable and unhealthy, particularly future generations’. He is defender-in-chief of tobacco, alcohol, junk food, gambling and pollution.”

    http://www.businessspectator.com.au/article/2013/12/20/policy-politics/tim-wilson-champion-freedom

  19. Matters Not

    But it was on cigarette plain packaging that he dug in the deepest. When, in 2010, the federal government flagged its intention to introduce plain packaging, the IPA (whose financial backers include British American Tobacco) went into overdrive, deriding it as nanny state paternalism. Wilson, in particular, warned of the legal Armageddon that would descend on any government that attempted to implement the measure, insisting that Australian taxpayers would have to pay the tobacco industry $3 billion a year in compensation. But when the case went to the High Court in 2012, the tobacco companies lost 6-1.

    “Wilson’s understanding of that issue was almost infantile,” says Simon Chapman, professor of public health at Sydney University. “And yet here he was, venturing a hugely confident opinion that the government would lose.” Chapman says Wilson’s performance on this issue “would have embarrassed an ordinary person into early retirement”.

    According to Chapman, Wilson is “just a cocksure errand boy for big business”. Taken to its natural conclusion, Chapman says, Wilson’s libertarian outlook tends towards “social Darwinism, where the more privileged and educated people survive, and to hell with all the rest”.

    When I mention Chapman’s name, Wilson visibly stiffens. “I have to respect someone to care what they think.”

    But would Wilson concede he was wrong on plain packaging? “No.”

    “Have you ever been wrong on anything?” I ask.

    “I’m sure there have been things,” he says. “But I can’t think of them right now.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/tim-wilson-freedom-fighter-20140217-32umq.html

    Ryan was a school teacher

    Still is.

    Wilson: “just a cocksure errand boy for big business” says it all. But he’s ‘bright’. Just don’t like his values and his ‘world view’. Apart from that ….

  20. Jason

    Fair enough.

    Wilson is a nobody. A play thing for Brandis. Brandis, himself, is a dildo. A play thing for the IPA. The IPA is the construct of ‘Murdoch’. Murdoch is an insult that expresses more than the tabloids will ever tell you. Whatever you need to know is your responsibility to find out…

    Wilson is where he is because Australians are fundamentally selfish, pig-ignorant, cruel, spiteful, vindictive, violent, misogynistic, perverted, chauvinistic, screwed-up, trash. It wasn’t until their DSP was threatened that they suddenly took an interest in democracy.

    Blah, blah, blah, but the ALP allowed the present situation. The ALP should have severed relationship with the unions 15-years ago.

    Australia is shafted. Big Business profits the Big Unions and the duopoly of Australian politics laughs all the way to the bank.

    The LNPALP simply changes at election to the ALPLNP. Blah, blah, blah. Nothing changes and any outrage is false. The ALP is an industry that parasites feed off.

    It is wrong what happened to Graeme Innes. But it only happened because people stopped doing anything about nobody’s like Wilson.

    Democracy begins and ends with vigilance.

  21. Dan Rowden

    Ryan was a school teacher

    I can’t find the relevance of this in the narrative. Nor of Tim Wilson and his appointment, for that matter.

  22. Sean Stinson

    “Graeme has vast experience and many practical accomplishments to point to in his years of active service as an advocate for the disabled and a defender against discrimination. Tim Wilson is an aging Young Liberal from the IPA who goes on tv a lot.”

    GOLD.

  23. Carol Taylor

    Am I of a suspicious mind, or is it not *just a coincidence* that Abbott chose to do away with Australia having a Disability Discrimination Commissioner, and the fact that his government’s agenda was to cease funding for many programs previously aimed at assisting people with disabilities? Part of the Act pertaining to disabled persons is equality of access to services such as education. If programs are canceled this in itself has the effect of being discriminatory. With no DDC, how then are people who suffer *discrimination via neglect* supposed to follow through with complaints?

  24. Andrew Richards

    Jason, big business is far more of a problem than the unions are. The fact is that we should be scathing with the ALP. The ALP used to be a party focused on the general welfare of the people- that was so much of a threat to the Money Power of the British Crown that it used every weapon at its disposal to shut it down: The Privy Council to protect its banking empire, fascist armies to enforce austerity measures and the abuse of Sections 58-60 of the Constitution to protect its mining interests and to remove a key obstacle preventing Austerity.

    That was Old Labor as opposed to the ‘Labor in name only’ bastard child we’ve had since Hawke and Keating. It was they who exposed this country to the deindustrialisation that destroyed employment for the most vulnerable in society and opened this country up to the predatory practices of big business and big banks- to the point where speculative financial practices have driven housing over a cliff and into a housing affordability crisis. Of course that’s without even going into the ALP’s introduction of economic rationalist handling of social services- which in addition to turning housing commission estates into slums (the very things they were established to combat) or the gutting of things like mental health services.

    Of course the irony of it all was that those reforms were directly stolen from the Fraser Government. If anyone is at a loss as to how we reached this point in the past 30 years, they need look no further than what the Another Liberal Party (which is what the ALP has turned into in essence) has become in that time.

    They were meant to be there to have our backs, but like the proverbial Judases they’ve become, they sold us out to the big banks and big business for 30 pieces of silver. Worse still was the fact that ALP supporters who weren’t actively complicit in the corruption of the ALP into the monstrosity it has become today, are just as culpable in allowing such a state of affairs as those voters who weren’t political at all. Rather than actively fighting the enemy within, instead allowed themselves to blinded by a brand name while they party they supported, mutated into the very type of monstrosity they claimed to oppose.

    Darkness can only spread in the absence of light. If we truly want to combat this darkness, then we need to deal with the reason we got here. That can only happen when the ALP is either replaced or reclaimed from the Liberal stooges who now run it as a party which protects the general welfare of the people. Otherwise there will be no light to oppose the darkness.

  25. Chris

    Andrew – pretty sure Labor is run by the unions, their leader is shorten right? Are you suggesting that the libs have somehow infiltrated the unions and thus labor? Of course, you couldn’t be more wrong. There remains a massive problem in big business, in terms of tax evasion….and an even bigger problem with militant unions. That is fact – cannot be argued. Until Labor wipes their hands clean of unionism….and corruption, crime and selfishness run unions such as the CFMEU – there is no hope for Labor with their current party.

  26. Andrew Richards

    On the contrary Chris- if you look at the ALP’S economic policies over the past 30 years, they have firmly been pro-big business and pro-big banks.

    All of Labor’s Martin Report based financial reforms (the ones which Keating and Howard fight over credit for) were lifted directly out of the Campbell Report.

    Keating pushed for an economy which was based around corporate interests, financial interests and raw materials export- at the cost of our entire manufacturing sector. The fact is that whenever anyone talks about a ‘2-speed economy’ what that actually means is that most of our productive economy is up the proverbial brown creek and the only thing keeping our economy from imploding is the mining boom.

    Now if the ALP is so pro-union, then why is it that they introduced the very economic measures which obliterated the key employment areas of semi-skill and unskilled workers in the 80s and have done nothing in the past 3 decades to repeal them? Or do you honestly believe that Australian jobs going offshore to countries where workers are exploited on sweatshop wages benefits anyone other than big business?

  27. Chris

    fair enough – but as you would know, ALP observers have been looking for a way out of unions for a while now. Union heavies toppled two labor governments in the last few years. Perhaps you aren’t aware of how unions operate today compared to your opinion of how they should operate – hence your denial that unions arent currently running ALP politics. Fair enough – unions these days dont represent their sole purpose – im not saying all unions, but certainly the CFMEU and the AWU, who continue to pull the strings. Even Labor understands their values have deteriorated to the point where they must be eradicated. When i say Labor understands – i mean everyone besides the current infidels spruiking zero policy and 100% propaganda. The ALP, nor Australia, will ever prosper whilst the likes of the CFMEU are run by crooks and supported by a major party.

  28. Andrew Richards

    I never denied that Unions weren’t an issue for the ALP- I’m simply arguing that the issues relating to the ALP selling out to the Money Power make them pale in comparison. After all the Ball-in measures now pushed by Hockey were originally started and pushed by Rudd- a key proponent of the formation of the Financial Stability Board ( an approach which no doubt had Curtin and Chaffey rolling in their graves). Likewise, while Abbott and Co are determined to get us signed on to the TPP, it was Rudd who initially got us involved with it and supported the secrecy protocols which its negotiations have become infamous for- secrecy protocols whose sole benefactors have been big business, big pharmacy and big banks- if anything, to the extreme detriment of the entire union movement. In fact I put it to you that if you view the ALP being complicit, in both selling us out as a fiefdom under a transnational corporate dictatorship and conspiring with big banks to steal our deposits, as being less serious than a few instances of union corruption, then I put it to you that your priorities are in dire need of revision.

  29. corvus boreus

    Chris
    Seriously, the statement that unions are a more serious problem than big business is a fact that can’t be argued?
    I would suggest that when the PM aspirant(Abbott) meets with media and mining magnates(Rupert & Gina) at private, closed functions to discuss implementation of massive ‘reform’ lobbied for by secretive corrupting courtiers like the unaccountable and anti-democratic IPA, then such radical, unannounced ideas turn up as public policy, this is a serious corruption of democracy.
    When ministerial access becomes a bidding war within a shell game, it is dodgy conduct.
    When laws protecting the vulnerable people are diluted to shield slanderous corporate media whores from repercussions, this is irresponsible and reprehensible.
    When the PM takes dictation from an unelected organisation that seeks to overturn fundamental democratic representation, that is a serious frigging problem.
    Yes, Labor need to increase branch democracy and dilute union influence. The royal commission being currently conducted may even assist the process. But internal machinations in the federal opposition are hardly the greatest outrage being currently inflicted upon the Australian people.
    In the meantime, the whole institution of business brownbagging, bought access and funneling of legislative requests through lobbyist wank-tanks is a far greater threat to decency and social responsibility in government; that shit smears everybody.
    There is an inquiry into union corruption already underway, now there needs to be a wider one, a federal ICAC to dose the entire beast and remove all the internal and peripheral parasites.

  30. Kaye Lee

    “I can’t find the relevance of this in the narrative. Nor of Tim Wilson and his appointment, for that matter.”

    The bios were copied from the HRC site as mentioned. I guess they think it is folksy to mention the family. Interesting that you weren’t similarly offended by Graeme’s family mention.

    And as for Tim Wilson’s appointment not being relevant…ummmm….actually it was the whole point of my article – the choices that this government makes. If we can only afford one of these guys, which would you pick? Which group do you feel needs advocacy and protection more….bigots or the disabled?

  31. Kaye Lee

    Carol,

    There is no question that this government is carrying out a concerted campaign to silence dissenting voices. When his very first act was to sack three very senior public servants he showed his intentions. Anyone who advocated carbon pricing has been sacked. Getting rid of groups like the drug and alcohol advisory board and the national preventative health agency is purely to get rid of those pesky things like food labelling and tax on alcopops and plain packaging. Employing stooges to do reviews on things that we have already reviewed – the Gonski reforms, the Henry tax review, the national curriculum, the RET….just a waste of money – a way to give very mediocre people like Maurice Newman a $1500 a day windfall.

    To try to hide this agenda they have focused on union corruption. There is no doubt that some union officials were giving themselves payments to which they were not entitled – albeit on a much smaller scale than our politicians and nowhere near on the scale of corporate corruption where big business can buy their way into the treasurer’s office.

  32. Möbius Ecko

    ChrisJuly @ 3:16 am

    pretty sure Labor is run by the unions, their leader is shorten right?

    And Bob Hawke was also from the union movement, and it could be argued that no leader did more to bring unions to heal than he did. On that front then no one would be better to weed out corruption and bad practices in unions than Shorten, certainly far better positioned than the heavy handed ideological destruction of unions and undermining of workers rights undertaken by the Liberals.

    If we take that premise further then there would be no one better positioned to weed out corruption and bad practices conducted by business than a Liberal leader. Instead we constantly see Liberal leaders go out of their way, even to the point of undermining democracy, to aid and compound business corruption and bad practices.

  33. corvus boreus

    Dan R,
    The mysterious ‘Ryan’ was only introduced by me because I have peripheral knowledge of a senior Labor staffer of the same name and orientation.
    I have no interest in the personal lives of any of them, except in a political context of potential collusion and influence had they been the same ‘Ryan’. Sleeping with the enemy stuff.
    They were not, and Tim’s Ryan remains an irrelevance to the topic.

  34. Kaye Lee

    I don’t think Labor should be distancing itself from unions. The party was established to be a voice for the workers. I would like to see membership opened up to non-union members and I would like to see factional power reined in when it comes to preselections but to demonise unions is exactly what Abbott’s mob are trying to do. Of course they don’t want us to have a representative voice. We have laws against corruption – use them – but to vilify unions completely is wrong. I am amazed that they sold the RC on the story about bikies using intimidation on work sites yet all we have heard about is Julia Gillard and Craig Thomson. I am guessing that the intimidation connection will actually lead to bribes paid by corporations so perhaps they don’t want to go there but if I was a whisteblower I would want them seeing to that before finding out if Gillard got a fence built for free.

    Corporate corruption and exploitation is far more widespread.

  35. corvus boreus

    The commission into demonising unions will uncover the usual petty grift and graft that comes with collective power and money. Small scale compared to the affairs of the nation state.
    Our Prime Minister is unashamedly lying with depressing regularity, announcing further and further previously unintimated ‘reforms’, and talking, like a spruiking hawker, of ‘one stop shops for approvals, open for business(Queensland sells coal apparently) and up for sale in ‘asset recycling’, whilst wringing his hands, umming, and gesturally paranthetising his remarks(body language 101 suggests he is lying).
    I would be very keen to see what some semi-rigourous official investigation of Tony and his cronies’ conduct over the past few years would uncover.
    They conduct their deceptions with a clumsy complacence that suggests their efforts at concealment would be cursory, and the scale of the enormities,.. well, enormous.
    I would obtain a massive personal ‘schadenfreudic’ satisfaction in watching the entire current front bench(and others) dangling from the legal butchers’ hooks of a federal ICAC with full scope of reference and power of subpoena, quite aside from the obvious good it would do for all countryfolk of honest conduct.

  36. johnward154

    “Fix the Federation” is the dangerous idea these bastards are trying to sell. They will try to create a crisis and give them selves unlimited powers. Morrison is already operating in secret, now other ministers are lining up to bypass Parliament. Dangerous moves to” protect us” from extreme religion or communists. As Goering says they just need to manufacture an enemy. Howard had the asylum seekers, Abbott has created homegrown Jihadists returning from the ‘Front’.
    Pretty soon you won’t be able to openly talk about this as trust in your friends disappears.

  37. johnward154

    Life Inc The Movie: http://t.co/7nqsqcN4jL via @YouTubeLife Inc The Movie
    youtu.be
    For more information about Douglas Rushkoff’s book, “LIFE INC. How The World Became A Corporation And How To Take It Back” check out http://www.rushkoff.com

  38. Totaram

    “Tim graduated with a Bachelor of Arts (Policy) and a Masters of Diplomacy and Trade (International Trade) from Monash University. He has also completed executive education at Geneva’s Institut de Hautes Etudes Internationales et du Développement and the World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Worldwide Academy.”

    Has anyone actually verified these qualifications? After all, if people can question Obama’s birth certificate, one should question these, just for a start. People like these often “exaggerate” a bit. Those very “international” diplomas with french names and the “World Intellectual Property Organisation’s Worldwide Academy” look a bit dubious to me. The longer the title, the more dodgy they are likely to be. After all, one can even buy PhD’s online these days. One needs to check them out thoroughly.

    Anyway, his defence of “free speech” seems to stop at what employees can say (even pseudonymously) if the employer tells them to shut up (as Abbot has done to public servants). Otherwise, why is he not making noises? In fact, as pointed out by captain51 above, he himself continues to freely give his opinion in the newspapers. Why has Brandis not censured him? This is all rather strange (but totally expected – no surprises!). In my view, Tim Wilson is nothing but a paid shill. The sooner he is kicked out along with the rest of these crypto-fascists,(no longer so crypto!) the better. How he has been appointed to various boards (Alfred Hospital, if you please) is quite shocking, and shows the long reach of these “think-tanks” and their connections.

  39. Peter Garcia-Webb

    Thanks Kaye,

    Last December I wrote an article Abbott Abandons Fundamental Human Right of Innocence. The occasion was that Scott Morrison intended to force asylum seekers actually living in Australia to sign a code of conduct. They had to sign away their fundamental human right under Australian Law to be innocent until proven Guilty.

    I noted the recent (at that time) appointment of Tim Wilson as Australia’s Human Right Commissioner. And continued:

    “Does anyone want to take a bet that the new Commissioner for Human Rights will not even throw a cricket ball at Scott Morrison’s plan. Let alone charge with the lance of freedom lowered.”

    (Australia was doing well at cricket at the time.)

    Two days later I wrote an article titled: Asylum seekers in Australia: More Orwellian than 1984. it too contained a reference to Tim Wilson:

    “Australia has a new Human Rights Commissioner. We are told that Tim Wilson will bring a new balance to the Commission so that comments such as those made by Andrew Bolt will not be illegal. Unlimited detention of children behind razor wire is not part of that ‘new balance’. Nor is the right for health or access to proper medical care.”

    Sadly for Australia our current government cares as much for the weak as it does for the truth.

    I enjoyed your article.

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