David Leyonhjelm sensitively handled indigenous affairs this week, and George Brandis really palled up to Gillian Triggs. Michael Burrill delivers the highlights in this week’s #CurrentAffairsWrap.
“The Brain” Brandis was left looking not very smart this week after being censured by the senate over his treatment of Gillian Triggs. The motion condemned The Brain for “failing to defend” Triggs from “malicious attacks” and attempting to induce her resignation “by facilitating the offer of an alternate role.” It then finally went on to label Brandis “unfit to hold the office of Attorney-General.” Despite that bollocking, Tone declared an “an abundance of confidence” in Brandis and then almost snapped a vocal vertebra in a pathetic attempt at verbal gymnastics adding, “It is better to stop the boats than to start the boats and because the president was incapable of understanding this, this government has lost confidence in the president of the Human Rights Commission,” which not only seems to imply that secretively turning back boats is stopping them but rather headachingly that the thing that made Triggs’ report so unfair and political was that it didn’t gush about the government’s immigration policy in a partisan manner.
Though it may seem to the untrained eye like Tone is still drowning in a swamp of petty negativity, Trade Minister Andrew Robb reckons T is doing fine. Robb claimed anti-Abbott sentiment is “dying because the voters have spoken, we’re seeing very strong movement back,” pointing to a Fairfax-Ipsos poll which showed a slight improvement in Liberal fortunes. Even if we ignore the fact a later essential poll contradicted that improvement, if democracy in this country is now carried out by weekly or monthly opinion polls (as Robb seems to suggest) then firstly, shouldn’t Tone have stepped down months ago? Secondly aren’t all politicians now obsolete? Doesn’t seem that bad really. Apologies if I’m sounding a bit like Russell revolution-is-my-Brand (who at some point in the recent past switched “messiah complex” from the name of one of his shows to a description of his life), whatever my dissatisfaction with the status quo, I realise social change is a bit more difficult than verbosely hoping really hard; nor do I think that reinforcing the idea of us peasants needing someone from higher up to save us (even if they do speak in an exaggerated cockney accent) is all that helpful. I imagine even after mass starvation or clouds of radioactive ash, when the small remaining pockets of humanity form into cannibalistic raiding parties, people will sit in their caves and sing a variation on that time honoured ditty “Sure being lead by bloodthirsty brain hungry warlords has it’s problems, but it’s the best system we have available to us. Things may not be perfect but there is still scope for gradual change, remember when Bloodsniffer was in charge? We only got to eat the toes and the ears; ever since Brainsipper took over we’ve been allowed to share the brains!”
Realising Malcolm Turnbull has hijacked their “not-Abbott” tactic, after he called Tone “a very intelligent, courageous, brave man, a very thoughtful guy” (which seems like a statement of support but in reality is an attempt by Turnbull make himself look Prime Ministerial and beyond pettiness), Labor have been forced into uncomfortable territory and made an actual meaningful policy statement. Short William – who according to Stanky Johnny has been emboldened by the sizeable chunk placed into party election coffers after his covert marketing campaign for a popular fried chicken chain’s burgers – outlined proposed changes targeting corporate tax avoidance which he claimed would bring $1.9 billion in new government revenue. For those hoping this is the start to a new period of finger-lickin’-good opposition, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. Labor looks to be reverting to spineless-type on metadata legislation, which looks set to pass metadata retention laws in return for small and largely superficial amendments.
Lastly this week, Senator David “dickhead clown” Leyonhjelm discussed indigenous constitutional recognition, labelling it rather puzzlingly “a perverse sort of racism.” Leyonhjelm elaborated, “it is likely that some Australians do not respect the cultures, languages or heritage of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. What is the parliament doing to these people when it asserts that the people of Australia respect Aboriginal cultures? It is casting them as un-Australian.” As much as I wish the term “un-Australian” would disappear, I’m not really sure what point Leyonhjelm is trying to make; why shouldn’t bigots be made to feel “un-Australian”? I’ve heard it thrown around more than enough times by bigots as code word to express their xenophobia or other prejudices. Why shouldn’t they have a taste of their own medicine?