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February 14th 2015 print

Roger Franklin

What a Big Boy You Have There, Officer

It turns out "children" is a rather elastic word. As Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs' perhaps unintentionally illustrates in her latest examination of Australia's galloping inhumanity, some of those nippers seem bigger than the guards with whom they wrestle

little boy smallDoes one need to be corroded by cynicism to suspect that the authors of sensational reports into government action/inaction/funding are written in the knowledge that the watchdogs of the Fourth Estate will content themselves with regurgitating headlines and executive summaries, not bothering to, you know, actually examine the reports themselves? If that is the case, the reception accorded Human Rights Commissioner’s declaration that Australia is a beast of a nation for mistreating illegal aliens’ children must come as confirmation.

“What if government locked up your children?” asks the Sydney Morning Herald‘s editorial.

“It’s not about you, Tony, it’s the kids,” chides The Age, which enlisted Rob Hulls to take the Coalition to task. What a surprise that a former state Labor minister should hold that view!

And the ABC? Well, for lack of any further bogus scoops about Navy personel torturing boat people with hot mufflers, it has put a prodigious energy into promoting Ms Triggs’ dissection of Australia’s inhumanity. There is little point in providing a specific link because one need only tune to Radio National for ongoing updates on our nation’s ever-deepening shame. This will incur rebukes from the UN, the national broadcaster just explained, as if remaining in the good graces of Turtle Bay’s kleptocrats should be a national priority.

Have a deeper poke around in Ms Triggs’ latest handiwork, however, and it seems that definitions can be more than somewhat elastic. Take the word “child”, for example, which her HRC illustrated with the heart-tugging artwork below when the inquiry was announced in February, 2014:

little boy bigger

Set aside the tissues and look instead to Page 169 of the Commissioner Triggs’ just-released 341-page opus. There you will find, by way of illustrating Abbott & Co’s inhumanity, a photo of another tyke:

big boy bigger 1

And here is another of the same lad, who seems at least as large as the guard with whom he is fighting:

grapple bigThey grow up so quick, don’t they just. Not that Ms Triggs’ admirers in the spoon-fed press would ever deign to notice.

Editor’s note: Rather than have your news double-filtered through the modern press’ mesh of indolence and bias, why not read Ms Triggs’ magnum missive for yourself? This link is the pdf version, and this is the Word variant.