Let’s take a step back to January 23, 2013.
“The Australian Human Rights Commission does not protect human rights and should be abolished,”
Simon Breheny, Director of the Legal Rights Project at free market think tank the Institute of Public
Affairs will tell the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee today.
Then we go to the bottom of the media release.
Mr Breheny will be appearing at the inquiry with Chris Berg, Director of Policy and Tim Wilson,
Director of Climate Change Policy and the Intellectual Property and Free Trade Unit.
We can safely draw the conclusion from the fact Mr Wilson was appearing with Mr Breheny that Mr Wilson agreed with Mr Breheny – at least back in January this year he did.
Today he is a Human Rights Commissioner? On, I believe, a salary of over $300,000 per annum. It seems in Australia we now pay people to do a job they don’t believe should exist. Odd, don’t you think?
I quote from Mr Wilson’s own statement on his appointment (emphasis added):
It has been a great pleasure working at the IPA with so many bright and talented individuals toward the common goals we share: a belief in individuals and fostering a society where every person can seek to realise their maximum potential; the human rights of free speech, association, movement, worship, property and self-determination; voluntarism; restricting the power of over-burdensome government; and a strong, philosophical and passionate commitment to free markets and a free society.
I have personal reason to question this statement. Back in 2010 I was somewhat naive. I thought people in “research” institutions actually meant what they said! I read an article by Chris Berg of the IPA and for some strange reason thought he actually supported people fighting for individual freedoms, as I was at the time, and even asylum seekers. Chris Berg was one of the people I reached out to in my time of desperate need, fighting for my own human rights. I was never afforded the courtesy of a reply.
I thought to myself at the time, “so much for his spiel” and kept fighting. Looking at the above statement now, it reminds me of what I had read by Chris Berg. Great belief in individual freedoms – provided, it seems, the freedoms I WANT as a citizen (and am granted under the ICCPR) are not something our friends in high places disagree with. Surely choice of spouse is a basic self-determination right? Yes? I would like to point out the AHRC did protect my human rights, the IPA did not. Given at the time I was being shafted by a Labor Government, I would have thought the IPA would have loved the chance to spring to the defence of my individual freedom to choose my own husband and take a swipe at their political adversaries.
As I became more aware of how disastrously right our right wing had become (don’t forget I was right wing myself all my life) and I thank Malcolm Fraser for my education on that score, I realised our friends at the IPA weren’t exactly how they presented themselves.
Come forward to November 2013 and I read an article in The Guardian about plans afoot to repeal certain anti-discrimination legislation. My thoughts on that are outlined in How Does a Racist Hide Racism? The repeal was being promoted by Mr Brandis, the new Attorney-General.
Roughly five weeks later, Mr Brandis appoints Mr Wilson to a position Mr Wilson believes should not exist. I had put two and two together well before Mr Wilson announced publicly his intention to support the repeal of Section 18 C. Are you confused yet? Well, don’t be – it is often said the best way to change something is from the inside.
The United Nations has criticised Australia for not having a Bill of Rights. Now we are looking down the barrel of not even having a Human Rights Commission and certainly seeing our anti-discrimination legislation whittled away. Don’t be at all surprised if equality for women starts to be whittled away as well.
Given Abbott’s previous statements that all Australian children should read the Bible before they leave school and Mr Wilson’s desire that we have freedom to worship (but no mention of the freedom to NOT worship!) I am a little concerned about the survival of our secular society!
If we take Mr Wilson at his words above, I expect that he will work to ensure the following practical freedoms of individuals in this country:
- Reduction of the prohibitive Partner Visa fees to allow choice of partner (self-determination)
- Reduction in the Partner Visa processing times – these are human rights visas
- Resolution of the unfair treatment of New Zealanders living in Australia (every person can seek to realise their maximum potential)
- A Bill of Rights (a belief in individuals … and a free society)
- The freedom of all to live without ethnic vilification (i.e. KEEP Section 18 C)
- Ensure the NBN and the Gonski Report are implemented (every person can seek to realise their maximum potential)
- Removal of the PPL (restricting the power of over-burdensome government)
- Retention of the NDIS (every person can seek to realise their maximum potential)
Please feel free to add your freedom of choice in the comments!
Interestingly, I had (as I do) an enlightening exchange on Twitter in relation to Mr Wilson.
I’m guessing, right wing or not, I’m just not into the same freedoms as the people at IPA.
I have questions about the transparency of the recruitment process for this position. Was there any transparency? What was the process?
Jane Gilmore at The King’s Tribune has researched Mr Wilson’s ideological history very well. Do read Commissioner for Corporate Rights.
If regular readers are wondering, I have deliberately stayed away from the asylum seeker issue in this article. Time for that later.
Follow-up Articles on this site:
- Human Rights role ‘dubious’ (theage.com.au)
- Government appoints new Human Rights Commissioner (abc.net.au)
- Human rights appointee attracts critics (skynews.com.au)
- Tim Wilson Appointed To Human Rights Commission, Andrew Bolt won’t be DisAppointed! (theaimn.com)