Tony Abbott really does seem to be losing it.
Faced with a Human Rights Commission report highlighting the plight of more than 300 children still in detention, Abbott chose to attack the Commissioner. To be fair, the number of children in detention has come down from its peak of 2000 but this does not make the plight of those who remain in detention any less inhumane.
Abbott attacked the commission for being ” partisan”. How on earth can you be partisan on human rights? Either the rights of these children have been abrogated or they have not.
President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, Professor Gillian Triggs thinks they have. Scott andTony disagree. To paraphrase the famous words of Mandy Rice Davies “well they would wouldn’t they.”
It is true, but also sadly true, that most Australians agree with the approach that both sides of politics have taken to “stop the boats”. However, many would think that the government has taken things too far in detaining children in appalling conditions.
But Morrison and Abbott don’t understand this. And Abbott’s attack on the Commissioner into Parliament is yet another example of his belligerent approach to any form of criticism.
But attacking the Commissioner is an act of incredible political stupidity. Abbott has nothing to gain from doing this. Most Australians will be appalled at what he has done. For a man whose nett approval rating is well below zero, this looks like death-wish politics.
But this little outburst has demonstrated that all the rhetoric about “I’ve listened and I’ve changed” is just a cynical ploy to stave off criticism from within his party.