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November 15th 2016 print

Christopher Carr

A Craven PM and a Foul Law

Gillian Triggs and the tax-hoovering poseurs at the Human Rights Commission have staged a series of masterful retreats under fire as lawfare persecutions of students and Bill Leak fell to pieces. Yet they our PM says not a word and the HRC remains ready to strike again

18c logo IIIA few days ago, Melissa Dinnison withdrew from the pursuit of further action against Australian cartoonist, Bill Leak. A pair other, largely manufactured complaints from two Aborigines from the Kimberley, courtesy of taxpayer-funded lawyers, have also been withdrawn. Likewise, the case against the QUT students was comprehensively dismissed in the Federal Court after three years of a tortuous abuse of process by the Human Rights Commission, headed by the smug, self-righteous and memory-challenged Professor Gillian Triggs.

As has been reiterated lately, the process was the punishment — and the process was particularly vicious as it afflicted vulnerable students of limited or no means. Even if we leave aside the breach of the rules by the Human Rights Commission, which left the QUT students totally out of the loop for well over a year, there was the risk that a court judgment could follow the precedent set by Justice Mordechai Bromberg in the case of Andrew Bolt and the “white Aborigines”. Fortunately, the Federal Court set a higher bar for the application of Section 18c than many would have feared. Implicitly, the Human Rights Commission must not have had high expectations  the students would be convicted. Otherwise, why would Triggs & Co invoke existing provisions, designed  to quickly dismiss vexatious or frivolous complaints?

The mere fact that the complaint process against Leak has been discontinued does not preclude a fresh complainant stepping forwaed. After all, the Human Rights Commission initially appeared very confident that a conviction was highly likely. One can hardly imagine that the hard left, steeped in the tenets of “repressive tolerance”, spawned by Herbert Marcuse from the Frankfurt School which held that only approved “progressive opinion” should be tolerated, would now concede legitimacy to the likes of Leak. For much of the Left, which includes the Greens, the apparent majority in the parliamentary Labor Party and a coterie of left media figures in the ABC, the Fairfax press and academia, the highly subjective provisions in Section 18c serve as intimidatory weapons against opponents.

If Section 18c did not engender the risk of conviction and huge financial penalties for even innocuous remarks, why would those students who chose to settle early have ponied up $5,000 each to complainant Cindy Prior and her taxpayer-funded lawyers in order to avoid the risk of reputational and financial ruin? Will there be recompense now that their fellow students, prepared to run the gauntlet, have been cleared?

What has the Turnbull government said? To the shame of this Prime Minister, the silence has been deafening. Are we to conclude that Mr Turnbull values the esteem of the screeching Left more than he does freedom of speech? Is it moral cowardice, or a simple and amply demonstrated lack of political acumen that inhibits his tongue? Does his insistence on looking the other way in allowing this vile and pernicious law to remain on the books attest to his endorsement of “lawfare” as a means of silencing those who would speak their minds. The answer to all those questions would appear to be n emphatic ‘yes’.

We may celebrate these recent small victories but in the long war for freedom of opinion, we might also say, to borrow from Winston Churchill, that we are only at the end of the beginning. Having implemented its retreat under fire, the Human Rights Commission remains open for business — and that, even more than the craven silence of our Prime Minister, is the real and far greater disgrace.

Comments [18]

  1. ianl says:

    > ” … a coterie of left media figures in the ABC, the Fairfax press and academia …”

    Waffle, egged on by Textor, regards these groups not only as his natural audience, but as his only significant audience.

  2. Keith Kennelly says:

    What’s he going to say? Nothing but blame the media elites for focusing on freedom of speech instead of his ”achievements”.

  3. Jimbob says:

    What has the Turnbull government said? NOTHING
    Does Mr Turnbull value the screeching left more than free speech? YES
    Is it moral cowardice? YES YES YES AND MOST DEFINITELY YES
    Lack of political acumen? MOST DEFINITELY YES

    Is it not time that the Liberals showed this man the door? YES
    Will they? PROBABLY NOT UNTIL THEY ARE TURFED OUT OF GOVERNMENT

    Now that wasn’t so hard.

    • Bill Martin says:

      Sadly, there is no plausible alternative in sight, either within or without the coalition. They stupidly dumped the one who was more likely to prevail over inane progressive idiocies but even he turned out to be wanting on several accounts. If only Pauline Hanson were a better educated, more articulate woman, because she certainly has the “trumpian” courage to call out all the “progressive”, politically correct garbage smothering us under its putrid weight.

  4. en passant says:

    I note that (like every other terrorist organisation) having been defeated on two fronts, the AHRC has opened a new front with the long-term aim of polluting the minds of 3-year-olds by alerting them to racism. My grandson attends a kindergarten, so I thought it time to check out this hotbed of prejudice, racism, islamophobia & misogyny. What I found would have AOTY Morrison reaching for the smelling salts.
    Teacher/Carers:- Chinese, Vietnamese, Australian – but horror, not an African, Indian or muslim in sight.
    Children:- Asians predominate, but there are representatives from every continent. I failed to notice any prejudice, but I am sure the AHRC can manage to create some, after all their livelihoods as Inquisitors depends on it.
    Environment:- They have a worm farm, share the open door toilets (a round of applause, please!) and share most games. For some reason they are separated for meals, something I think the AHRC should call a Royal Commission to investigate.
    Religion:- They do not celebrate Xmas, but they do have religion. Every morning they repeat the ‘Welcome to Country’ mantra and apologize for stealing the aboriginal land and being on it. They also learn that we are killing the world by using fossil fuels and heating the world.
    Last month the CSIRO was up to the challenge of homogenising a cooler than normal month into one of the hottest evaaaa! November in Melbourne is going to seriously challenge their creativity as 12 of the first 16 days have been seriously below average. If this trend continues they may have to call on Ian McDougall for help, though having the AHRC issue an edict threatening lawfare against anyone saying they are cold is probably the simplest answer.

    • Bwana Neusi says:

      So the new 1970s ‘Welcome to Country’ and invasion religion has displaced the Christian based culture, whilst we indoctrinate the children with ‘Global Warming’ and the fight against toxic fossil fuels. Especially that nasty element called carbon C6 which is the building block of virtually all life on earth.

    • Ian MacDougall says:

      “They do not celebrate Xmas, but they do have religion. Every morning they repeat the ‘Welcome to Country’ mantra and apologize for stealing the aboriginal land and being on it.”
      Agreed. And that sort of ritualising is a shambolic disgrace, and why in my opinion the HRC should be abolished, and all of its overpaid acolytes and lieutenants invited to find another source of income.

      “If this trend continues they may have to call on Ian McDougall [sic] for help….”
      And if they do, I will simply point them to the data delivered by the biggest and best thermometer of all: the planet’s ocean.

      Global Mean Sea Level Rates

      CU: 3.3 ± 0.4 mm/yr
      AVISO: 3.3 ± 0.6 mm/yr
      CSIRO: 3.3 ± 0.4 mm/yr
      NASA GSFC: 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr
      NOAA: 3.2 ± 0.4 mm/yr (w/ GIA)

      http://sealevel.colorado.edu/

  5. Bran Dee says:

    From some insider knowledge it can be said about Malcolm Turnbull that he sees himself as almost a single issue politician who is affixed to the not unsound principle ‘It is the economy stupid’. He has stated that there is no economic benefit in fighting ideological battles such as 18C. He receives soft treatment from the Left because he shares many of their values: republican, global warmist, apologist for Islamism and multiculturalism, supporter of the ABC, etc.
    So if the economy improves he naturally expects to win the next election being revered by both sides.
    Is there any fault in his thinking?

    Ps. Peter Dutton, although having none of the personality colour of Donald Trump, would be a much better leader than the mild and the all too often ineffective and inarticulate Tony Abbott. Pauline Hanson has the colour of Trump and should exchange preferences with a Dutton government!

  6. Jody says:

    I wonder if the Americans have a court process like we have with the HRC and 18C? There’s work for them to do:

    There has been so much bawling about Hillary with suggestions that she lost to Trump “because she’s a woman” – even though she failed to get the gig from Obama 8 years ago and no such criticism was levelled at Obama. Why is Donald Trump a misogynist when popular African American rap singers are not – with their ‘mother fuckers’ and other foul and derogatory comments about women. Why was Sarah Palin, a female, never defended from serial invective and ridicule last time round 8 years ago? Why are muslims not sexist child abusers when they marry their 13y/o girls off to men, and why is their refusal to engage with American culture through dress and integration not racism? Why is insulting the heterosexual community because they cannot accept same sex marriage NOT “heterophobia”? I could go on.

    The Left chooses its victims very very carefully.

  7. Keith Kennelly says:

    The Manus/US deal is Malcolm’s fatal mistake.

    Catch a boat to Aus, spend a few years in some perfectly safe camp, with phones cigs and food all provided, then the big bonus of US citizenship. Who would not take that opportunity?

  8. DRW says:

    Dear Leader subscribes to the strategy of he runs today lives again to run another day.