Human rights

Tim Wilson's resignation is his greatest contribution to human rights

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Tim Wilson was promised Gillian Triggs' job as head of the Human Rights Commission, but now is entering Federal politics instead. Contributing editor-at-large Tess Lawrence reports on a blatant abuse of our political system.

THE RESIGNATION of Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson may well be regarded as his greatest contribution to human rights.

Too cruel? No. Too kind.

Last February, Independent Australia published an exclusive story revealing that Wilson had been 'lured' from 'his role as a director of the Institute of Public Affairs, often described as a conservative think tank by some, a non-think tank by others' and outrageously promised the job of the still incumbent fearless President of the Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs by then Prime minister Tony Abbott and the Abbottoirs.

Our exposé sent Wilson and his Liberal Party facilitators into a hive of apoplexy and naughty, naughty words. Likewise, in other circles, it caused great merriment and feasting. And naughty, naughty words. 

We wrote:

That promise was also allegedly more recently affirmed in secret discussions held at the behest of the Attorney General George Brandis, himself acting on direct instruction from besieged Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

...In a vain attempt to shut her up, President Triggs has been subjected to an sustained and malicious political assassination campaign authored by the tenants of the ( then ) Prime Minister's office.

Despite merciless onslaught, Triggs has been consistent in refusing to resile on her statutory, ethical and humanitarian obligations. One expects no less of a champion of human rights. Better she is a slave to the truth and the facts rather than a slave to government.

Given that Tim Wilson's IPA had already preposterously called for the Human Rights Commission to be abolished, his appointment to the HRC in December 2013 was a decision mired in controversy and disbelief.

In a cruel blow to rob disabled people to pay for Tim's $400,000 plus salary and expenses, high profile Disability Discrimination Commissioner Graeme Innes was publicly humiliated and effectively sacked. Disability lives don't matter, apparently.

At the time, Professor Triggs had been under constant assault and strange indecent vilification by the government, including in Parliament, where Tony Abbott and his shoulder parrot Brandis, spouted that his government had lost confidence in Professor Triggs.

All the while, Triggs remained steadfast to the raison d'etre of the HRC and defiant of the Abbott-led bullying.

Moreover, she drew widespread public support and admiration for doing so.

From our story:


President Triggs has proved a fearless public servant, a formidable human rights advocate and guardian of those denied a voice and consigned to the marginalia of justice — especially children.

In particular, both her public statements and a recently tabled report The Forgotten Children: National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention (2014) damning Australia's degraded legal and moral conduct on the plight of those children in offshore detention centres, has incurred the wrath of the Coalition Governent intent on daily painting a whitewash over the black history of our bulk violations of human rights and industrial strength abuse of children, including violence and sexual abuse.


Our ghastly chief lawman, Attorney General George Brandis, who has grown proficient in the ruthless bartering and manipulation of justice and humanity in Australia, has also forged a well-earned reputation for being Tony Abbott's lord high executioner as well as a knight of the Monkey Pod Round Table.

Not only was he Abbott's messenger sent to tease Wilson from behind the IPA's uncluttered desk by promising him the HRC's top job, but he had also devised a way (or so he thought) to get rid of Gillian Triggs. 

It became clear that they couldn't hound her out, nor could they smoke her out. So they tried to bribe her away from her job. Silly billies.


The bribe was a device to sew together the bureaucratic lips of the steadfast and courageous Commissioner Triggs. Moroever, the bribe happened a mere eight days before the above damning report, The Forgotten Children, was tabled. Coincidence? As if.

Why hasn't there been a proper investigation into this sordid affair and the role played by George Brandis and others? Why do we cop such blatant political abuse?

Shadow Attorney General Mark Dreyfus, who now has that shonky weasel ex-minister Stuart Robert in his legal crosshairs, referring his shameless misconduct to the Australian Federal Police, has already nailed Brandis over his outrageous refusal to hand over that which belongs to us and the nation – his diary appointments – specifically in matters relating to massive cuts made to legal aid funding without due consultation.

Brandis has unsavoury priors and the Wilson-Triggs debacle remains a continuing case in point.

More from the February article:

The admissions that Chris Moraitis, the servile secretary of the Attorney General's department acted as an emissary for George Brandis in a botched attempt to bribe Professor Triggs to resign in exchange for another job with the government, smacks of the corruption of the separation of powers endemic in certain matters and findings brought before the New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).

At the time, the then Minister for Communications, Malcolm Turnbull, seven months away from being sworn in as Australia's 29th Prime Minister, attempted to ameliorate the vitriole against Triggs, albeit tamely.

This morning on his personal website, Tim Wilson posted a notice of intention to formally resign as a Commissioner for Human Rights effective from Friday, to seek Liberal Party pre selection for the Federal seat of Goldstein in Victoria.


Of course, it was also self-endorsing pimping for his pre-selection.

It is worth noting that in this post, Wilson pointedly and ungraciously made no personal reference to his female nemesis Gillian Triggs. Surely a hate that dare not speak its name. Apart from his staff, he mentions only fellow Commissioner Mick Gooda by name.

IA's expose halted the coup for Wilson to supplant Triggs and put a major journalistic spanner into his pre-meditated career path, that depended on the white anting of his boss and participating in political skullduggery. Call me naïve and a hopeless romantic. I had expected better.

Now Wilson has wasted all that time, money and expenses the nation has inadvertently invested in him – and caused us further expense with ducking off early.

Prime Minister Turnbull should use this opportunity to reinstate a Disability Discrimination Commissioner:


Goldstein's departing Andrew Robb has annointed a female to replace him. Thanks mate, you patronising and duplicitous git.

That of course puts Georgina Downer, who ought not to be tainted by the dismal and spurious business/politico ethics and conflicts of interests that are the professional habitue of her father, former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and current High Commissioner of Australia to the United Kingdom.

No names or pack drill, but the general feedback from some within the Human Rights Commission and supporters think that that for some time, Wilson's presence has undermined morale and that the HRC will be a happier and more cohesive workplace.

Hopefully a few of the obvious wrongs will now be sorted in Australia's human rights.

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