When asked for a response to the Moss Report (you know, the one that the Government set up because aid workers were going over to Nauru and encouraging people to self harm because well, isn’t that why people become aid workers?), Tony Abbott replied as follows:
“Occasionally, I dare say, things happen. Because in any institution you get things that, occasionally, aren’t perfect!”
Now I’m presuming that he’s refering to the detention centre itself and not his government because, as we all know, anybody who criticises his government is “partisan”. The Human Rights Commissioner is partisan, the UN is partisan, the ABC is partisan, I’m partisan, even some of the backbenchers are partisan. How can we tell if they’re partisan? Well, it’s quite simple. They criticise the Abbott Government.
A few weeks ago, I wrote a piece where I speculated on how Abbott would have handled allegations of sexual abuse in the Church if he’d become a Bishop. Someone suggested that I was drawing a long bow to try and link the cover-up of sexual abuse in the Catholic Church with Abbott just because of his religious views, and that it was a cheap shot. In fact, I only used the Catholic Church because Abbott once studied to be a priest, and sure, there are plenty of other institutions that I could have used. I guess now I could simply ask how he’d respond if he became Prime Minister. And the answer is simple! From time to time in any institution, you get things that aren’t perfect. Things happen.
Why am I getting this feeling of deja vu?
Ah, that’s right:
“Obviously the Australian Government deplores any use of torture. We deplore that, wherever it might take place, we deplore that. But we accept that sometimes in difficult circumstances, difficult things happen.”
That was at CHOGM when he was referring to Sri Lanka’s use of torture. (Alleged, and the allegations are mainly from people with a grudge against the Sri Lankan government because of being involved in “difficult things”!) He did go on to add that now that the war was over, Sri Lanka was a much more free and prosperous place. I’m sure that he wasn’t linking the two, because what sort of a man would justify torture. Actually, to be fair, he was deploring the use of torture, just saying that he understood that “difficult things happen”. Unlike the UN which tends to see some “difficult things” as torture and should just go back to where they came from and stop lecturing countries dealing with difficult circumstances… like people criticising the government. Or locking people up forever without trial because they’re supposedly “illegal”. (Mm, why don’t we charge them with law that they’ve broken? Have we gone soft on law and order?)
Of course, we’re not torturing anybody. We don’t run the detetion centres, that’s a private company. And we’re not responsible for the private company because they’re in another country and subject to its laws, so we can’t be interfering with another country’s sovereignty – unless it’s in the Middle East where sovereignty doesn’t count so much. But we just have to accept that “occasionally, things happen”. Difficult things happen. And we just have to accept that.
Ah, now I remember. It was his response to the death of the Australia soldeir which demonstrated Abbott’s world view so clearly. We all remember:
Yes, well of course it does. We just don’t expect it to end up Prime Minister!
P.S. Let’s not forget that wonderful explanation Mr Abbott provided to the “shit happens” comment.
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