‘In his capacity as Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Morrison was at best complicit, and at worst the chief protagonist, in advocating offshore immigration detention policies that violate the United Nations Convention against Torture,” … “further, the Australian Human Rights Commission found that policy championed by Morrison and other Ministers of Immigration have caused asylum seeker children significant mental and physical illness and developmental delays.” Statement from Sydney Boys’ High School old boys objecting to Scott Morrison’s proposed visit.’
Shortly after dancing with children like a Wombat for TV, in a bid to promote ScoMo Ver. 2 as a cuddly bundle of fun, Wombat Morrison calls for a coalition of ideas on pension savings. It is a double back-flip; his own and his government’s. It is a big flip flop even for a government of flips and flops, as if Morrison has just flipped out; gone completely barking mad.
It looks bad. Wombat Morrison suddenly shows interest in what someone else thinks. Call an ambulance! Alert the triage unit. Mood swings we can handle but this is total personality meltdown. Obergruppenführer Morrison, as he is to those who serve him, ran Immigration and Border and Protection as if a military coup was his next goosestep. ‘Protection’ in his Ministry meant the reckless endangerment of almost everything, including asylum seekers’ lives, Australia’s international reputation, the rule of law and the Westminster system.
Abbott buoyed Morrison, even telling the UN to stop lecturing us when it ruled against Australia’s ‘cruel and degrading’ practice of locking up refugees indefinitely. His government had already rejected the more substantive ruling of the 18-member UN Human Rights Committee on indefinite detention. We showed the world what it could do with its superior moral tone.
Time to get real. Neither Morrison nor Abbott ever gave any signal they were willing or able to heed anyone or anything in their political lives, despite their subsequent cynical calls for ‘a national conversation’ about everything the electorate has rejected, doesn’t want or which can’t be managed quietly by statute like the Medicare rebate.
Never been interested in what others have to say before, Wombat, have you? Not remotely. Or since. Your old school chums want to ban you, from speaking at SBHS’ 15 April Fund-raiser. You just brush them aside. Your response is to tell them that they can stay away. Just send a cheque, you laugh. You claim your right to freedom of speech but you miss the point. Their protest is about you and your contempt for human rights.
‘This is not a question of restricting freedom of speech, but instead reflects the desire not to tacitly endorse the actions of a man who has demonstrated callous disregard for human rights. It is cruel and insensitive for the Union to laud this man’s connection to the school, its graduates, and their families,’ said an SBHS spokesperson for ex-students opposed to Morrison’s visit.
You did not buy your eleven bright orange fibreglass boats, ‘survival capsules’ from Singapore at half a million dollars each to carry out fifteen ‘turn-backs’ because somebody else told you to or made you do it. Nor did you tell us what you were up to. You simply intercepted refugees, asked them a few questions and then forced them to sail back to their persecutors. ‘Enhanced processing’ you called it. Your ears were deaf to all but redneck urgers and shock jocks who exist to fawn all over you. No calls were made by you for any coalition of ideas on this project. Yet the culture of secrecy has been hugely costly even in economic terms. Operation sovereign borders will cost 2.1 billion at least over four years, 2 billion more than treating refugees decently, fairly in Australia. The damage to our international reputation is incalculable. So too is the human cost of brutal incarceration.
You would not have a bar of anyone’s opinion, moreover, when you let Reza Berati get battered to death and then tried to cover it up. You said we were all wrong despite evidence that it happened inside the camp and at the hands of guards.
Reza Berati was 23 when he was murdered on February 18 2014 on Manus Island. 77 other asylum seekers were also attacked and wounded in front of many witnesses. Yet no one has been charged with his murder. Another man died of infection and medical neglect. Others go mad in captivity. Perhaps this coalition of ideas was too much for you.
Did you call for suggestions before you chose to bully the Human Rights Commissioner, Gillian Triggs, for daring to seek your evidence about children in custody, children in your care? Certainly it was not what we saw when you falsely claimed that Save the Children put up refugees to self-harm, sew their lips together; falsely claim torture and abuse.
Professor Triggs was full of ideas worth heeding. But your government went on the attack to remove her in favour of LNP lapdog, Tim Wilson, formerly of the IPA, when her Commission echoed the UN in finding that as Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, Morrison you were at best complicit, and at worst the chief protagonist, in advocating offshore immigration detention policies that violate the United Nations Convention against Torture.
Morrison’s call for ideas is risky. His Coalition risks further signalling it has no clue; no ideas of its own. Floating the idea that what the people think matters or will be heeded is also a dangerous step. Then there’s the hazard of transparency: conning the electorate into asking for ideas to help achieve its own agenda by calling it consultation or conversation will convince no-one.
Morrison’s pension ‘reform’ means finding ways to cut back on funding those with a right to retire; cutting the pittance it currently ear-marks for elders who may be no longer able or prepared to work yet who deserve respect. Let’s scale back the assets test and the taper rate. Anything to dodge our responsibility to support our seniors or acknowledge how they have supported us.
Perhaps, after all, Morrison’s call is not a massive back flip after all but just another sales job: a cynical attempt to market consultation itself. Talk up consultation and people may be hoodwinked into thinking it is on offer. Morrison talks up his own intransigence and commitment to cut costs.
‘My commitment is the same that I have given since coming into the portfolio, something only comes off if something goes on.’ In other words only give me an idea if it saves money.
OK, we see what you are up to, Wombat. Just you go right ahead. Pick our brains and send us the bill for doing your government’s job for it. Add insult to injury by pretending it is consultation – or a coalition of ideas.
Coalition of ideas. Far canal! Which turd-polisher or spin doctor came up with such nonsense? Coalition of ideas? Sounds like the campaign slogan unit has been on the Red Bull again. Still, it beats coalition of the willing; but then again, didn’t that coalition just beat themselves? Aren’t we back in Iraq?
OK, it beats coalition of imbeciles, lunatics and the newly besotted Ruby Wax’s other-worldly toy boy on Q&A Christopher Pyne whom she instantly had down for an alien on a mission from another planet. It’s geronticide in all but name. And, of course, Abbott will love it. We rest our case.