Sunday, January 08, 2017
ABC sob story unravels
Remember the kid tied to a chair in that Four Corners "expose" of the Darwin Correctional Centre ? The kid's name is Dylan Voller.
As usual, a lot of the truth is missing from that criminal investigation report by the ABC (sadly nothing new). How much of this is correct though?
Note, the following may be a little back-to-front in its layout and timeline.
Before you break out the tissues consider this. In 2012, a Salvation Army officer named Andrew McAllen would regularly visit Voller in jail for a welfare check. His mother didn't really care what happened to him. Andrew would bring him sweets from the vending machine in the prison lobby.
He forgot to bring change for the machine one day and turned up empty-handed. Dylan bashed him with a fire extinguisher, causing blindness in one eye and requiring an airlift to Darwin for emergency surgery.
Gerald Tasker from O'Brien's security was the one who secured him in that chair after that incident as the ambulance officers needed the area secure to remove Andrew.
Dylan's mum saw $$$ and sued with no success. She is an expert at working the system. In the lead-up to the story being aired, she applied for restraining orders on all the people who know her kid personally.
After she lost, a human rights organisation from Melbourne offered to take on the case after promising her a big cash payout when they win.
Anticipating a big payday she has bought a new car ($60k). Not bad for a dole-bludger who hasn't ever worked.
They lost the case last month so the previously restricted footage has been released.
It's also an amazing coincidence that the show aired on the same day the Chief Minister launched his election campaign.
And this is how Voller ended up in the restraint chair - a very different story to the one presented to us by the ABC, isn't it?
Islamic school future in doubt after losing funding appeal
SYDNEY’s biggest Islamic school has been stripped of $19 million a year in federal funding after a tribunal ruled the money had been misused.
The Malek Fahd Islamic School, which has 2500 students in three campuses in Greenacre, Beaumont Hills and Hoxton Park, now faces immediate closure.
The federal government froze funding last year amid concerns that money had been funnelled to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, now known as Muslims Australia.
The school appealed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), which has now ruled in the government’s favour.
In a ruling published today, the AAT found that Muslims Australia had been charging the school too much rent.
It found that the school had been operating "for profit", with profits benefiting Muslims Australia.
A Malek Fahd Islamic School spokesman today said it would use school funds to appeal against the AAT decision in the Federal Court.
Federal Education Minister Simon Birmingham today said he had contacted NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli to try to "minimise the impact" on the school community.
"While this is a difficult time, I remain committed to ensuring that all school authorities meet the requirements of the Education Act to ensure that our taxpayer dollars and any private investment by parents is being spent to benefit Australian students," he said.
"Australians rightly expect that every taxpayer dollar committed to school education is genuinely expended on school education."
The school received a total of $76m in federal grants between 2012 and 2015
The school’s future was thrown into doubt in 2016 after the federal education department revoked its funding because a review found it was operating for profit.
The Administrative Appeals Tribunal has upheld that decision, finding that while improvements have been made to how the school is run, federal funding would continue to leak to the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils.
Federal grants account for two-thirds of the school’s funding and Senator Birmingham said it was "entirely a matter for the school" if it closed.
He said the federal and state education departments would help students "transition into other schools in the area". "I know they are innocent students as are their families and the hard working teachers," he said. "I do feel for them (but) we have to ensure taxpayer dollars are used for the benefit of students."
Coalition MPs Cory Bernardi and George Christensen to speak at anti-Islam group dinner
TWO federal government MPs, Cory Bernardi and George Christensen, are set to attend a $150-a-head dinner to help an anti-Islam organisation fund a defamation case.
The two Liberal Party politicians will attend the Q Society’s function in Melbourne next month, with Senator Bernardi listed to give a speech.
The Q Society’s website states that guests will see Senator Bernardi and Mr Christensen in Melbourne on February 10, while Sydney guests will meet Angry Anderson among others on February 9.
"In Sydney you’ll meet Angry Anderson, Ross Cameron, Larry Pickering and Gabrielle Lord, while in Melbourne we are joined by Senator Cory Bernardi, Dr Mark Durie and George Christensen MP," it stated.
The $150 ticket price is said to include "a sparkling welcome, a variety of fine finger food and a generous serve of free speech".
"This is an excellent opportunity to mingle with outspoken advocates for Liberty and Western values and show your support for this important cause."
The organisation’s website says all proceeds of the dinner will go towards the legal expenses of the Q Society and two individuals in a Supreme Court defamation action initiated by Mohamed El-Mouehly of the Halal Certification Authority.
"All proceeds and donations go towards the legal expenses incurred by Q Society of Australia Inc, Kirralie Smith, Debbie Robinson et al. in the defamation action initiated by Mr Mohamed El-Mouehly (Halal Certification Authority Pty Ltd) before the NSW Supreme Court. This is a landmark case with considerable ramifications for freedom of expression in Australia," the website states.
Mr El Mouelhy from the Halal Certification Authority is suing the Q Society and two of its members.
Senator Bernardi has been making waves with suggestions of starting a breakaway conservative party. He launched a new Australian Conservatives group after the Coalition’s dismal federal election results.
Senator Bernardi has also been talking in favour of US President-elect Donald Trump’s policies, and posted a photo of himself wearing a "Make Australia Great Again" cap while overseas on a three-moth secondment to the United Nations.
Meanwhile, Mr Christensen told Parliament he was concerned about "the rise of Islamism in this country and those who are willing to commit violence in the name of that ideology".
"I think we should consider some tighter controls on borders such as restricting immigration from countries where there is a high prevalence of violent extremism and radicalism," he said.
Former prime minister Tony Abbott and other Coalition MPs have called on the MPs to stay with the party, saying any disunity would be a "catastrophe".
ABC, Greens, Labor conceal AHRC’s Gillian Triggs’s blunders
The unfailing ability of Gillian Triggs to contradict herself and mislead her interrogators at parliamentary committees has to be seen to be believed. The trouble is much of the media prefers to keep this bizarre and regular spectacle from the public.
Perhaps the one thing more extraordinary than the Australian Human Rights Commission president’s capacity to frustrate these inquiries is the way other publicly funded institutions run a protection racket for her. As the unofficial patron saint of virtue signallers, Triggs has her sins either ignored or censored by Greens and ALP political operatives, as well as the ABC and much of Canberra’s press gallery.
Few episodes provide a clearer insight into the partisanship of our media/political class and the fact-free nature of their ideological battles. In this post-truth realm, a member of the so-called elite is given immunity from mainstream standards and the media/political class suppresses her failings because they want to share in the objectives and virtues she professes.
The ABC’s treatment of Triggs demonstrates how the public broadcaster often functions as an arm of green-left propaganda rather than as an objective public information institution. This matters because it has a profound effect on our political debate.
The ABC’s connivance helps swing the tide of national debate away from the sensible centre, luring politicians ever more towards the crowd Robert Manne calls the "permanent oppositional moral political community". Little wonder we see the return of Pauline Hanson and the balkanisation of political discourse.
This week, the morning after Triggs’s latest humiliating appearances before parliamentary committees, fresh calls were made for her to move on. For comment, RN Breakfast turned to its Canberra-based reporter Alison Carabine, who is bound by ABC standards of objectivity and fairness.
"Clearly it’s a political witch-hunt by the government," said Carabine. "This is a government which will not brook any criticism, and Gillian Triggs has been at the vanguard of criticising the government, keeping it under pressure, in particular with its detention of children offshore and on the mainland. Gillian Triggs, Justin Gleeson — they’re just two statutory officers who have dared to criticise the government, the government retaliates by consistently hounding these people in a pretty egregious manner."
If this were true it would be a national scandal. But it happens to be the exact opposite of what has transpired. Gleeson, for instance, resigned as solicitor-general after revelations he had secretly briefed the opposition.
But let’s return to Triggs. The AHRC president invited criticism when she revealed to a committee hearing in November 2014 that she had delayed an inquiry into children in detention for more than a year while Labor was in power, and when thousands of children were being placed in detention.
In that disastrous appearance, Triggs contradicted herself numerous times in attempts to justify this behaviour. She denied having raised the proposed inquiry with any Labor minister before changing her story and eventually, under questioning, admitting that she had raised it with not one but two ALP immigration ministers.
So Triggs’s problems did not start with criticism of the government over children in detention; on the contrary. She came under fire after she exposed her complicity in delaying investigations into this very issue. Eventually she began an inquiry into children in detention after the boats had been stopped, when the only movement of kids was out of detention. Despite the importance of this episode in generating a controversy that has consumed the AHRC ever since, the ABC has never reported this Triggs testimony. Instead, it runs a false narrative about Triggs being criticised for doing her job, rather than for not doing it.
Triggs fronted two inquiries this week. On Monday morning she apologised to a Senate estimates committee for a false denial at an earlier appearance. She had denied making comments highly critical of the committee to a newspaper. She suggested the editors had fabricated the quotes. But when the paper protested and mentioned a tape recording, Triggs recanted and admitted she had uttered those words. Messy.
Triggs was unconvincing as she tried to explain all this, blaming some confusion over differing headlines in the print and online versions. Headlines were not the issue. But the obfuscation and embarrassment were even worse in the afternoon when Triggs fronted the joint human rights committee looking at proposals to repeal or reform section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act. Asked about the controversial Queensland University of Technology case, Triggs clammed up.
"I cannot discuss the QUT case because of the absolute requirement of confidentiality," said the AHRC president, claiming the case was still sub judice (it could be appealed). Yet just last month, while the case was very much alive, Triggs appeared on ABC television’s 7.30 and gave a detailed defence of her organisation’s handling of that very same case. She answered more than a dozen questions on the matter.
Now, before a parliamentary committee, Triggs was shtum. "It is extremely inappropriate for us or for me to comment on this case in its detail," she said.
Liberal senator James Paterson challenged her: "If that is the case, why did you go on the 7.30 report on 7 November to discuss the case at length?"
"As you might recall," responded Triggs, "in that case I at length said repeatedly that I could not comment on the case; I could talk only about our processes, and that is what I have done over and over again. I cannot speak about the details of the case."
Not true. A transcript of the interview records that Triggs, once, said: "I have to remind you that this is still before the Federal Court." She did not say she could not comment and she did not resist answering. On the ABC, Triggs discussed the handling of the case in detail for almost nine minutes. Pressed again by Paterson, Triggs said: "With respect, if you look at the transcript, you will see that I specifically began that interview by saying, ‘I cannot comment on the details of this case.’ " Again, the transcript shows Triggs did not say those words, or answer in that fashion.
Regardless of the damage to the AHRC, some argue none of this matters, because Triggs’s term expires next year. But she still claims martyr status, and the green-Left and ABC portray her as the victim of a ruthless government. On the ABC, Carabine said that in the light of Triggs’s treatment, "no doubt any self-respecting human rights lawyer would think twice about taking up the job" of AHRC president.
The ABC also argues the Triggs position rather than the free-speech line on 18C. On RN Breakfast Hamish MacDonald said the concern about reform was what speech it "unleashes". This position would have it that we are a nation full of hateful racists just aching to break free from the constraints of this law.
Carabine also argued against reform and wasn’t even swayed by the ruckus over Bill Leak’s controversial cartoon depicting indigenous dysfunction. She said the cartoon "did cause considerable offence" but "the very fact that it could be published and the fact that the Press Council had a look at it and ruled that it was OK, that should prove once and for all that we do have pretty unfettered free speech in this country".
Consider that. A cartoon is published by a newspaper, the AHRC cites racism and publicly calls for complaints, three are formally lodged, the AHRC accepts them and begins its processes, thereby having the cartoonist denounced as a suspected racist while the Press Council takes complaints, considers them and moves on. And this is "pretty unfettered" free speech.
Never mind the QUT students strung out over three years, Andrew Bolt’s columns still banned from republication or how the Leak complaints have now been dropped but the stain remains. The ABC is as interested in the chilling effect of all this as it is in contradictions, errors and deceptions of Gillian Triggs.
Posted by John J. Ray (M.A.; Ph.D.). For a daily critique of Leftist activities, see DISSECTING LEFTISM. To keep up with attacks on free speech see Tongue Tied. Also, don't forget your daily roundup of pro-environment but anti-Greenie news and commentary at GREENIE WATCH . Email me here