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Day to Day Politics: Brandis is a control freak.

Thursday 27 October 2016

Power in the hands of people with chastisement in their hearts, authority on their minds, and control in their doing, do little for democracy. Control freaks usually cannot see beyond their own self-importance and are hostile to those who might threaten it.

Such a person is George Brandis, who sees the world through the prism of dominance, of muscle, privilege and rule. Through the possession and ownership of the dissemination of information and who has the right to peruse it.

Through his desire to control the Solicitor General, he has in effect destroyed yet another vestige of our parliamentary democracy. The statutory-defined independence of the Office of the Solicitor General is now forever tainted.

The only person willing to take on the vacant position will be perceived, rightly or wrongly, as a lackey of the right. A “yes” man or women.

Who would take on the position in the knowledge that it is not independent? That the Attorney General alone would decide on what you can and cannot give meaningful advice on.

One could argue that the office of Solicitor General is now redundant.

And of course any decision you arrived at would be seen to have had the Attorney Generals endorsement otherwise your job would be on the line.

From the beginning this unedifying event between Solicitor-General Justin Gleeson, SC, the government’s chief lawyer and Attorney-General George Brandis has been about one man controlling what the other can say what he can give independent advice on.

If Brandis decided that Gleeson was likely to give advice contrary to his Governments view then he wouldn’t allow it.

It seems when you look at it the only advice this Government wants is advice that of concurrence.

Labor’s Joel Fitzgibbon put it this way:

”It is pretty clear these days anyone who disagrees with this government, any professional public servant who gives frank and fair advice to this government, faces termination”.

”Once upon a time, misleading the house was considered a serious offence. When it ceases to become a serious offence, then our democracy and our parliamentary system is undermined”.

On Tuesday the Prime Minister said:

”We value immensely the very frank advice we get from the Australian Public Service.”

He must have been kidding of course.

Just ask Gillian Trigg’s, Justin Gleeson, Martin Parkinson, Don Russell, Blair Comely, Paul Grimes, Andrew Metcalfe, Paul Barret and many other public servants.

It’s a sad state of affairs when all you want to hear from a public servant is the reverberation of your own thoughts.

An observation.

”No one group should think they have an ownership of righteousness, or ideas for that matter”.

Last year Turnbull said:

”What we have to do in government in my view is stop panning public servants and do more to ensure that they do their job better”.

What he really meant was that public servants will now tell the minister what the minister wants to hear, rather than what they need to hear.

The seriousness of what control freak George Brandis wants to do cannot be underestimated. The community must have confidence in our legal system. Brandis is intent on destroying it for the sake of personal control.

He has also damaged the public service in so much as those highly qualified candidates wanting to work in the public service will now have second thoughts.

Lastly, as a well-recognised and highly successful lawyer the Prime Minister is complicit because he should know better that to allow this law. He should have sacked the Attorney General.

My thought for the day.

“We all have to make important decisions in our lives. None more important than the rejection of those things that tempt us into being somebody we are not. Be true to who you are”.


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  1. Gangey1959

    From his treatment of Giullian Triggs and Justin Gleeson alone we can assume quite reasonably that baldy george is a mean, spiteful, straigtrazor-totin bastard of the highest order. You are dead right Kaye Lee, our gutless wittering spineless jellyfish of a prime minister should have sacked him. Or for what he said of Ms Triggs. Or for refusing to comply with a Court Order over his diary. Or. Or. Or…..That turdbullshitartist did not speaks volumes for the positions of power both of them actually hold.
    Titles aren’t what they used to be.
    My personal opinion is that the four eyed fluck-stick of an ag has ambitions far above his abilities. Let’s face it, he may be a qc, but he wouldn’t make a paperboy’s arsehole, yet he is still aiming for the highest office in the land.
    Heaven help Australia if he gets anywhere near it.
    (Maybe his god might have to save him from the general population first. I hope so, that would be hilarious.)

  2. Peter F

    Ever since this mob pulled pingpong balls out of a hat to send young men to Vietnam for their own political advantage I have never voted for them. Unfortunately, as they stoop lower every day, withdrawal of my vote is a pleasure no longer available to me.

  3. June M Bullivant Oam

    These type of people do not admit they are wrong, they lie and think nothing of it. Politicians should not get away with that, they must be accountable.

  4. Terry2

    So, Bob Day, who has only managed to attend three sessions of the eleven sessions of the new parliament, all of a sudden wants to make his vote in favour of the ABCC and marriage equality plebiscite, count.

    Has anybody noticed that the coalition of the Liberals and National Party has morphed into a coalition including One Nation and Family First ?

  5. Stephen

    I have this waking nightmare that some future Liberal Government will appoint George Brandis as the Governor General. Please some one reassure me it will never happen.

  6. Adrianne Haddow

    Australia continues its free fall into fascism. And we are allowing it to happen.
    As Kaye Lee said in one of her writings, ” Where are the protests, the people marching in the streets?”

    The only thing Brandis is missing is the swagger stick, the voluptuous moustache and the military style hat.

    Although, Mussolini, while being a bastard of the first order, did have a certain dark charisma which Elmer Fudd Brandis will never attain.

  7. Möbius Ecko

    “If Brandis decided that Gleeson was likely to give advice contrary to his Governments view then he wouldn’t allow it.”

    It was more than that. If anyone outside of the government, like the opposition, independents, minor parties etc. or outside government sought legal advice from the Solicitor General, then it would have to go through the Attorney General first, thus arming him with the foreknowledge to use against them or to warn the government.

    The example is the right wing media commentators in attacking Gleeson are making a lot of his meeting with the shadow Attorney General Dreyfuss during the caretaker period before the last election. They are framing this as Gleeson being a Labor stooge who is biased against the government because he didn’t inform Brandis of this meeting.

    If Brandis got his way, and it looks like his proposal won’t get through, then anyone outside of the government would have been afraid to go to the Solicitor General for legal advice, which would have suited Brandis and this government just fine.

  8. kerri

    And what is Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove doing about any of this?
    Exactly what he is told to do. SFA.
    BTW Can anyone explain to me what was wrong with Dreyfuss going to Gleeson for advice before the election? I thought that was how the Solicitor General was supposed to work? Supplying legal advice to MPs to avoid costly court cases that would be knocked back anyway?

  9. Pappinbarra Fox

    No lawyer with a scintilla of ethical backbone could possibly accept the role of Solicitor General under the current circumstances. The legal fraternity must stand united against such unethical machinations.

  10. Stephen

    Pappinbarra I guess they will appoint a Liberal hack/stooge and turn it into a another political sinecure similar in bias to the Speaker in Parliament appointing mates on the way to standing for a seat.

  11. Rezblah

    How is this even allowed to happen? Brandis and anyone who condones his actions should be arrested on the spot by the afp immediately.

    So it’s now ok to effectively declare yourself a dictator in this country?!

    Where is that waste of space GG?

    Enough is enough ffs, if this isn’t the final straw then what is? Gas chambers?

    I’m sickened to the core

  12. Kim Southwood

    Even too rich for Turncoat’s blood, Brandy can’t make the veneer of ‘nice guy’ stick. The mark of a top Liberal MP: MUST project a reasonably credible facade that you are nice bloke/ess acting in the public interest while you go ahead and follow the Corporate money on which your existence depends. It’s an impossibly fine line for Brandis who has neither the finesse nor the subtlety to succeed.

    Why should he care? He’s so well on the money, he can only be kicked upstairs, safe and secure. No doubt he has his beady eye on a special niche where he can drop the pretence and just be himself: at the pinnacle of control freakism.

  13. Terry2

    For the Record

    I heard Barnaby Joyce this morning talking to Fran Kelly and berating the Labor Party for not supporting the Backpacker tax backflip – reduced from 32% to 19% tax – in the Senate and thus placing at risk the harvesting of large quantities of fruit and vegetables which are likely to rot in the paddock.

    For the record, the backflip was only passed by the House of Representatives last week and the Senate has not been sitting so could not have considered the Bill which is, in fact, a dog’s breakfast.

    If there is a scarcity of backpackers to pick fruit it is entirely the fault of the coalition government who introduced the 32% tax.

  14. stephentardrew

    Time to call out oligarchy, plutocracy and corptocracy, verging upon dictatorship and burgeoning corporate fascism, for what it is.

    Look at our dystopian role model the US. All hell is breaking loose as democracy heaves its last gasp and dies a slow but painful death.

    The elites will never feel the pain however each and every one of us are looking at a very bleak future. Neoliberalism is corporate dictatorship no more no less.

    Time to call a spade a spade.

    Too much pussy footing around for my liking.

  15. david1

    Rezblah…..Brandis already controls the AFP,…I imagine they barely go to the bathroom without his nod of approval

  16. Klaus

    I just wonder how much more destroying it takes before Australia wakes up??? The LNP has done nothing of notice, other than destroying. And there is no stopping them.

  17. Steve Laing -

    Terry2 – it is hilarious, isn’t it. The backpackers tax is entirely of their own making, it was (as always) ill thought through, and then when they realised the monumental f*ck up, tried to wind it back a bit, and then have the gall to blame Labor! And the MSM will totally buy into, and then spread, that illusion, completely ignoring the initial stupidity that was the original proposal from the Coalition!

  18. harshmind

    I posted on Facebook recently: We have a genius of an Attorney General in this country who just decided it’s best if we have another enquiry into why there are so many indigenous people incarcerated. There have been many enquiries and very few of the recommendations have been acted upon. Aborigines represent around 2% of the general population, yet they are about 25% of those locked up. This is a damning statistic any “civilised” country would be ashamed of. It’s not hard to see that a population who were robbed of their country, shifted hundreds of miles to get them out of the way (if they were not slaughtered) then treated as slaves might have some problems adjusting to modern life. Don’t think this doesn’t affect you. If you are non-Aboriginal and living in Australia (no matter when you arrived or how hard you think life might be) you are a direct beneficiary of this abuse and it’s time to take responsibility. Brandis (the AG genius, mentioned above) wants to defer this taking of responsibility yet again.

  19. Miriam English

    The more this pack of idiots discourages impartial advice the more of a mess they will make. Who can they expect to tell them that they’re making a mistake? Nobody… except for we, the people, who they ignore, and opposing politicians, who they not only ignore, but pig-headedly push back even harder in reaction to. The mainstream media are largely egging them on.

    Yes, I can see this going really badly for them. They’re just making a longer rope to hang themselves.

  20. @RosemaryJ36

    Do we have to wait till 2019 for change? I am ready to get out on the street now!

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