Michael Burrill

Current Affairs Wrap: Gillian Triggs, indigenous affairs, Australian politics

Image: AAP

Michael Burrill’s #CurrentAffairsWrap sees our PM talking-but-not-walking from #libspill, Gillian Triggs’ report on minors in detention and more ignorant bliss from Senator Jacqui Lambie.


Like a stubborn barnacle that refuses to be knocked off the bottom of the mate-ship Australia, Tone remains in power after surviving the #libspill 61-39. Despite then promising that “good government starts today,” it’s largely been another week of shambolic government. Joe Hockey claimed he would stick with budget measures like changes to the Medicare GP rebate, despite little chance of passing the senate, and senator Sean Edwards claimed Tone promised him a open tender process for the new fleet of submarines, while T referred to it as a “competitive evaluation process.” When questioned by Short William over the discrepancy, Tone showed his new good governance style by claiming, “He might want the Russians to compete – the Putin subs is what we will get from the Leader of the Opposition,” – very reasonable. Though it doesn’t seem like much has changed, some reports suggest the government may be considering softening their stance on environmental policy in order to reach an agreement with Labor over the renewable energy target. With seemingly so little to actually disagree on already, what will they argue about now? Possibly whether to power the Manus Island detention centre with wind or solar, with Tone accusing Short William of gunning for “Putin turbines” or “Kim Jong-il solar panels.”

On the topic of detention centres, a report entitled The Forgotten Children by Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs found that “prolonged detention is having profoundly negative impacts on the mental and emotional health and development of children.” Amid suggestions the government attempted to induce Gillian Triggs to resign before the report was released, Tone said the report was “blatantly partisan” and “I reckon the human rights commission ought to be sending a note of congratulations to Scott Morrison saying well done, mate” (even though the High Court found this week that Morrison illegally denied a Pakistani refugee a visa). Peter Dutton attempted to deflect attention by claiming two terrorism suspects arrested in Sydney (allegedly planning to knife attack police armed with guns…) were allowed into Australia due to Labor’s lax immigration laws, which (considering they seem to have been radicalised in this country) basically amounts to saying, “This is Labor’s fault for letting in more foreigners.” Another report, Closing the Gap 2015, found that Australia is conclusively failing in attempts (or lack thereof) to eradicate indigenous disadvantage. Just take a few moments to pretend to care, white Australia – then you can get back to the confusion over whether you’re American or British, and drowning out the suffering caused in your name by saying “Straya” over and over.

The “Minister of Distraction” Jacqui Lambie has been indulging in some more Islamophobia. Acting off the expert advice of emails from Jacqui Lambie fans, she called for transparency of Halal certifiers, asking “Given that our enemies in Islamic State are receiving a steady cash flow to control their caliphate in Syria and Iraq, why isn’t there a legal requirement in Australia for halal certification fees to be disclosed?” Without any proof of such incidents and laws already in place making funding IS illegal it seems as though she’s assuming all Muslims are guilty until proven innocent. I bet that just like George Brandis and Andrew Bolt, Jacqui Lambie longs for a simpler time when instead of dancing around the issue by claiming “this is about eeeerrr…consumer choice and uuuummmm…national security,” you could just outright say things about different racial or ethnic groups based on suspicion or dislike without someone unfairly calling you a racist…

Another week of shit sandwiches served up by those in Parliament: with all the enthusiasm for Malcolm Turnbull, it’s easy to forget that, as Short William has transparently and somewhat pathetically attempted to drum home this week, Turnbull has supported all of the policies the Australian public have rejected so fiercely. Just because the person defecating on your bread has a better diet or a lack of gastrointestinal problems doesn’t change the fact it’s a shit sandwich. Sometimes I wonder why we all repeatedly gobble down the aforementioned sandwiches, but just as I continue to consume cheap piss and various kinds of smoke – despite the effects they have on my mind and body – due to my taste for them, I guess something similar can be said of the Australian voters’ appetite.

Until next time, enjoy those shit sandwiches people!


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