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The Amazing Tim Wilson And What He Does With One Hand!

Some of you have undoubtedly seen the glowing press release from our Attorney-General, Always Right. Whoops, I seem to having some trouble with autocorrect because every time I write G-e-o-r-g-e B-r-a-n-d-i-s, Always Right comes up instead.

Whatever, he wrote a press release that was rather glowing in its praise for Timmy Wilson and his dextrous use of one hand.

To quote the man directly:

“In just two years, Tim Wilson has singlehandedly reshaped the human rights debate in Australia. He has restored balance to a debate which had previously been dominated by the priorities and prejudices of the Left.”

Now while I appreciate Georgie’s honesty in admitting that nobody in the Liberal Party has done anything towards the reshaping of the human rights debate, I can’t help but wonder what he means when he talks about the “priorities and prejudices of the Left.”

Just what exactly are these? Equality? Liberty, fraternity, brotherhood? Women’s rights? I mean, I didn’t know that human rights were a Right/Left thing. They’re rights. While the different sides of politics may differ over how best to to do things, surely human rights apply to everyone providing you’re human. (And, of course, not an asylum seeker because giving them human rights may help the people smugglers in ways that paying them to turn back a boat wouldn’t.) So I am having trouble working out what these rights that only preoccupy the Left are.

Can’t be indigenous disadvantage or same sex marriage, because, later on in the press release, we’re told that Wilson has done a heap to “advance” these as well.

What’s he done exactly? Well, it’s a pretty short press release so I guess there wasn’t time to list all of Timmy’s achievements. Or indeed, any of Mr Wilson’s achievements. (Apart from what he’s done with one hand, of course. Which is reshaped the debate for those of you with poor memories, in case you think I’m suggesting that his achievements resemble something that starts with a “w” but ends with something that’s used to stop a ship from floating away.)

In the past, the Minister Responsible For Bookshelves had managed to have a clear view on the role of the Human Rights Commission:

“The Human Rights Commission, in my view, is an important national institution, but it has to be like Caesar’s wife, it must both be and be seen to be above partisan politics.

“Professor Triggs’s decision to delay holding an inquiry into the issue of children in detention — all of whom were put into detention by a Labor government until after the Labor Party had left office — can only be interpreted and has been interpreted by many, many people in Australia as an act that looked partisan.”

Now this does rather confuse me. If the Human Rights Commission shouldn’t be partisan, why is Tim Wilson being praised for shifting the debate away from the “priorities and prejudices of the Left”? Isn’t that being partisan?

Or is that ok, because, well, he’s on the side of what’s Right and when you’re Right you can’t be Wrong, so it’s all ok, because nobody should suggest that our Freedom Commissioner was partisan because he resigned from the Liberal Party when he took up the role and he hasn’t renewed his membership yet, so when he stands as a candidate for preselection, we can be sure that his years of service at $400,000 a year were approached in a totally non-political way and just shifting them away from one side of politics towards the other isn’t being partisan – it’s just restoring balance. And as someone once said, “Work Brings Freedom” and Mr Wilson is our Commissioner for Freedom.

As he said yesterday, and this is from memory so I may have it slightly wrong but this was certainly the subtext I picked up from the interview. Hi, I’m still Freedom Commissioner until Friday so I can’t use this interview to boost my chances at pre-selection so I’d just like to talk about what a spiffing job I did as Freedom Commissioner and, no, while I can’t actually point to anything I’ve actually done in a practical sense, so I’m going to ignore that question and just remind listeners how awesome I’ve been at making sure that people are reminded they’re free to do and say what they like, unless they work for the ABC when they better watch what they say and make sure that, if the Left tell you anything that’s true, you better make sure that you have someone on who can lie about it in the interests of balance.

Well, it was something like that. Like I said, autocorrect is doing some strange things and I’m a little confused.


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  1. Kaye Lee

    Tim Wilson is a political pageant queen and a media whore. I apologise for the gender bias language but there don’t seem to be equivalent gender neutral terms and I am sure our Freedom Commissioner would forgive this member of mankind.

    “Friends describe him as ambitious, with a dizzying sense of his own destiny. “He wants to be a Liberal Party senator, that’s his goal,” a close friend says. His default setting seems to be tireless self-promotion and B-52-scale name-dropping. “He’s always mentioning which federal Liberal Party MP he’s just talked to, which is a way of showing how well connected he is,” says the friend. “He said to me once, ‘I am much better known than most federal party backbenchers.’ And that’s true.”

    Wilson, the friend adds, “is very status conscious. He talks about money a lot; he’ll ask you what you earn. But while he can have the money and the jobs, he can never have the [Oxford] status. And that makes him angry.

    He became heavily involved with student politics, eventually becoming president of the Student Union in 2001, thanks in part to his talent for favour-trading – plying opponents with “a whole bunch of delegateships” in return for their support. He also had “this really clever little trick”, using a digital camera, “which very few people had back then”, to take photos of himself at university club functions, several of which he would attend in a single night. He would then send the photos to the club magazines the next morning. “They didn’t have any photos, certainly not that immediately. So they’d run them, and of course I was in half of them, and it made me look as if I was the centre of everything.”

  2. Sir ScotchMistery

    I wonder how much he has in common with that other well-known media whore, A Jones, well known public toilet scallywag and enjoyer of young footy players. In a completely altruistic sense naturally.

    Both of them give Australian homosexual men a bad name.

  3. cuppa

    What George Brandis doesn’t know about human rights and non-discrimination would fill volumes.

  4. Rossleigh

    Hence, cuppa, Mr Brandis’ need for so many bookshelves!

  5. kerri

    And Rossleigh Mr Brandis’s obsession with the finer details of semantics such as “being excluded” not being the same as “not being included”. Yes our AG has a taste for the finer things.
    My guess with one of Freedom Boy’s (was Richard Ackland the progenitor of that moniker?) first PR exercises where he gleefully posted him having a coffee while watching protesters at Mc Donalds Tecoma hugely backfired as more people were sympathetic with protesters than blood sucking public servants who laugh at them while supporting their targetted multinational.
    Yes Tim Wilson has done an awful lot with that one hand!

  6. Ricardo29

    I suspect a. Bit of double entendres in the ‘one hand’ references, of course that would be clapping, himself, and we certainly hear it.

  7. musicinhills

    All hail Tim, Tim does it with one hand.

  8. Carol Taylor

    As has been pointed out in Fairfax, Tim Wilson’s job came at a price..the price being the Disability Discrimination Commissioner. Apparently it was a choice of either/or and so we got Tim.

  9. John Fraser


    Be a brilliant outcome if he quits his Commissioners job and then fails to get pre-selection.

    Be lots and lots of 2 handed clapping.

  10. urbanwronski

    Achievements? I can’t go past human rights colossus Tim’s magisterial tweet on freedom. How many hands? I can’t say but here is something he tossed off when witnessing a protest in Melbourne:

    “Walked past Occupy Melbourne protest, all people who think freedom of speech = freedom 2 b heard, time wasters … send in the water cannons”

  11. Lawrence S. Roberts

    I was thinking George was a death cult Robotron hence Brand I.S. but certainly Tim and he are a pair of Tossers.

  12. Michael

    Not only single handed but able to change hands without skipping a beat!

  13. Steve Laing

    Good old Freedom Boy. How ever will the HRC cope without him?

  14. JeffJL

    You guys are so unkind.

  15. Adrianne Haddow

    No JeffJL, not unkind.
    Just refusing to call a spade a heart, and believing the bullshit these right wing advocates for ‘freedom’ dish out.

    A commissioner for freedom, and a Christian, who sits on his hand while asylum seekers are incarcerated forever, and indigenous kids are taken from their families (still). Indigenous people enjoy the freedom of being thrown into prison at a higher rate than their white peers, without all that messy paper work to get in the way, and have the freedom to die at a much younger age than the white population.

    I guess it all depends on whose freedom you are protecting.

    We should never let the bastards, and the Murdoch press, believe they have pulled the wool over our eyes.
    Hold them to account for their lack of action, demolition of our human rights, and past lies.

  16. Kaye Lee

    When Wilson appeared before a parliamentary committee on anti-discrimination law when he still worked for the IPA, he was thrown a hypothetical question about an Aboriginal man who is refused service at an outback pub. Should the publican be prosecuted under anti-discrimination laws? No, said Wilson, the publican should be free to “show [his] bigotry and hatred” – and the public should be free to boycott his pub. Once again, the market would come to the rescue. How the Aboriginal man would lead this boycott is not clear.

    He opposed the provision of cheap medicine to combat HIV/AIDS and heart disease in developing countries saying it was unfair to big pharma.

    He pursued a similar line in regard to the environment, arguing against the compulsory licensing of low-carbon technologies, the kind desperately needed by poorer countries to combat climate change.

    The day after we introduced plain packaging laws he did a media blitz saying the government would have to pay compensation of $3 billion to tobacco companies for their intellectual property. Six out of seven judges disagreed with him, the only one who dissented being Dyson Heydon (who also chose Tony Abbott for his Rhodes Scholarship in front of a field of much more qualified candidates).

    “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”.

  17. Rossleigh

    Well, Kaye Lee, Mr Wilson was still in his role as Freedom Commission expressing concern about removing the “publicly” from laws preventing one from advocating genocide. While some may argue that what one does in the privacy of one’s own home shouldn’t be the subject to control, it’s hard to see a benefit to society from a person being allowed to suggest that a certain group be exterminated.
    To me, allowing people to advocate genocide in private doesn’t seem far removed from that strange man who recently argued that rape on private property should be legal.

  18. Lawrence S. Roberts

    Strangely enough for an old IPA boy he uses his left hand.

  19. totaram

    I like the one about “single handed” – a bit naughty, but quite in keeping with someone who thinks water-cannons are fine.

  20. mars08

    This is what we’ve come to. We either laugh about this sort of absurdity… or we cry. Certainly we can’t expect morals or shame to show to any time soon.

  21. Mercurial

    Brandis’s press release has been fixed. See my last post on this subject.

  22. Michael

    Mercurial – if is this a job application – you have just laid the foundation for the “Not the Government Press Releases” site!!

    When all else fails, what is one to do? – flog a dead horse? – you cannot even get a refund for a dead parrot.

    Me thinks we have a systemic gap in what we think to be our “democracy” – closest to democratic orgasm is the 4 minutes it takes to complete a ballot paper – after the “thank you’s”, a mandate to represent us is open to quickly and greedily turn into a mandate to rule over us based on blaming not one’s own predecessors, and fulfilling the opposite “promises” to be delivered as we blindly and foolishly accept as “see Tony, when you make any promise, it is a sin to break it – pssst, but it is OK to lie about the promise – so long as you avoid confronting what you said at all costs – that is the privileged success you deserve as I have always told you since you were a child”.

    Once in, apparently one can rely on the rule of at least charismatic (?) 2 terms, ie we feel sorry for them because of the “balls up” these have inherited – 6 to 8 years to make hay, accumulate watches, invest in worthwhile mining ventures, do things single handedly, faux bookshelves, helicopter joy rides, pussyfying the ABC, sending us into docile despair with press releases and press club luncheon addresses, etc.

    Where I would start is from transparency-in-all-things-except – a transparent world is the real world one can deal with.
    Coupled with principle of transparency, I would introduce accountability (from the lowest grade) and encourage, reward and protect any individual employee in public service, on any grade including contract – the trusted career custodians of our valuable, joint and severally owned non-private assets, our “common wealth” – at all 3 levels – who could suggest system/systemic improvements in efficiency, minimising waste, service delivery, care and control.

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