Kevin Andrews dabbling in policy spells T-R-O-U-B-L-E

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Kevin Andrews is putting his two-bobs worth in about Liberal Party welfare policies. Senior correspondent Barry Everingham says this spells 'Trouble'.

Kevin Andrews

ON MELBOURNE'S ABC 774 this morning, Kevin Andrews – Tony Abbott’s spokesman on the opposition’s welfare portfolio – said Abbott’s plans to cut welfare were “caring and compassionate”.

Now Abbott has absolutely no shame about anything and his policies in the main are thought bubbles which get refined on the backs of envelopes — but when Andrews gets in on the act, we are in huge trouble.

He is the troglodyte assoluta responsible for the degrading of Dr Haneef, who was demonised to the point of suicide by Andrew’s total lack of empathy to the man’s plight, which in the end cost the taxpayers a huge amount in compensation because Andrews’s charges were trumped up.

Abbott, of course, is trying to gazump the government’s own welfare plans, which will soon be announced and on paper, from what we already know, there seems be little difference between the two.

But conservatives always seem to go that further mile to make sure welfare recipients live a life of uncertainty – after all, they are not Liberal voters – so Abbott’s not really worried what they think. And having input from the likes of Kevin Andrews is very scary stuff indeed.

Andrews, like Abbott, is from the extreme right of the Liberal Party and totally at odds with the Party’s founder, Sir Robert Menizes, and many of those who followed him—Harold Holt, Malcolm Fraser, Sir Rupert Hamer, Sir Billy Snedden, Don Chipp, Malcolm Turnbull and Brendan Nelson to name but a few. All true Liberals in the Menzies tradition.

The shadow of Cardinal George Pell is never far from Abbott and Andrews which is also scary.

George Brandis: hounding David Hicks

And while I’m on the subject of “Liberal values” – an oxymoron indeed under the current leadership – I see George Brandis wants to further humiliate the hapless David Hicks by depriving him of the royalties which are his due after the success of his published memoirs.

While Hicks was incarcerated in the infamous Guantanamo Bay playpen for sick US Marines and subjected to unbelievable torture, the Howard Government, and to its undying shame, the ALP, did nothing to rescue him. Under Howard, Washington was running Australia’s foreign policy and what George W Bush – America’s most unpopular president and certainly that great country’s most intellectually challenged – said went unchallenged,

Brandis says that the royalties due to Hicks should be withheld under the proceeds of crime legislation.

Pure and simple rubbish.

Hicks was dragged handcuffed and shackled before a kangaroo court on Guantanamo Bay and, under duress after being tortured for years as reported on these pages, of course admitted to whatever trumped up charges were laid before him. Anyone under similar circumstances would also have pleaded “guilty”.

If any crime was committed, it wasn’t committed by David Hicks and in any case there was nothing, under Australia law, he could have been charged with.

I rest my case.

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