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24 February 2015
By Matt Hrkac

The treatment of Gillian Triggs: A disgrace

If you don't like something, simply shoot the messenger - this is what we can now be expect under the Abbott Government, if we didn't before, as it tries to push its thuggish, narcissistic, bully-boy agenda to appease the lowest common denominator in Australian society. Nowhere is this more exemplified then in the attacks being directed towards Gillian Triggs by Tony Abbott and Attorney General George Brandis, the current (at the moment at least) President of the Australian Human Rights Commission.

To give a very brief background: Recently, under Triggs' direction, the Australian Human Rights Commission conducted a report into the abuse of Children in Immigration Detention; which was released just a few weeks ago and was met with nothing but fierce opposition from the Abbott Government; in particular, from Tony Abbott himself and George Brandis, who chose to use the timing of the report as an excuse to call for Triggs' resignation. Yes, the Abbott Government used this report, or rather, the 'timing' of the report, as an excuse to attack and smear Triggs, rather than act on the report which any half decent government would have done. Since when do we attack the messenger, in a democracy?

It should also be mentioned, considering that both Abbott and Brandis have been so willing and still are prattling on about the apparent 'anti Coalition partisan bias' of the report; that the report criticised not only the Abbott Government's handling of the issue of the abuse of children in detention, but also criticised the previous Labor government too, over their handling of the issue, which is a fact that has been conveniently left out of the Coalition's thuggish tactics being employed against Triggs.

The smear being directed towards Triggs shows undoubtedly, that the Abbott Government hate it when they are called to question of their human rights abuses (even when the report criticised Labor as well), and that they will do almost anything to direct any negative attention away from themselves, rather than come up with better policy to solve the issue in the first place.

Unfortunately for him, Tony Abbott's thuggish, bully-boy attitude is what appeased the lowest common denominator in society into supporting him at the last Federal Election, and this attitude hasn't changed, and it likely never will as he continues trying to appease the ignorant while everyone else simply turns off and turns away. It is Abbott's attitude that will ultimately be his undoing as tactics that may have worked in opposition don't work in government. He is supposed to be a statesman for crying out loud.

Tony Abbott, and George Brandis, should also leave Gillian Triggs alone. Instead, since they are in government, and at the risk of repeating myself, come up with better policy to act on the findings in the report, rather than shoot the messenger as they have been so willing to do.

About the author:

Matt Hrkac is a writer and photographer based in Geelong. He has particular interests in politics, elections, social movements and the trade union movement.

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