Monday, February 02, 2009

Human rights - making a difference

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The Australian Human Rights Commission has opened up a dialogue with the Australian people. It is serious about recognising the rights of Australians. I think at this juncture its more important to consider why the right of rights is being raised. I would suggest it is because the government has evidence that people are perturbed by the way 'the system' operates. Identification of the problem is the first step. But what if the government is not interested in identifying the problem. It cannot just say there is no problem as that would invalidate all those Australians who feel the system does not work for them. So we have foremost a process which is intended to give the disillusioned hope. Hope of something better. The problem is that most of these hopefuls don't bother or don't have the resolve to identify why they are so perturbed. Its a responsibility they don't want to shoulder; whether its the responsibility for how they feel, or their lack of prosperity.
The way government resolves this issue is important. You can choose your friends, but you can't choose your government. Of course there is the rhetoric of choosing your government through the democratic process, but what type of choice is it when all the members of parliament are aligned with a two-party duopoly. That's like a choice between the Satan and God.
So the Human Rights Commission is I guess about to do a roadshow. The first one is on the 5th of March 2009. Most Australians will sleep right through it. Its not supposed to have significance, and it won't. Why? Because the framework was established to avoid significance. They wanted you to believe they were doing something, that they had you covered. The process however is all about appearances. Making it look like they are doing something. In fact what they do is just sabotage the process. Create a lot of smoke and haze.
After this series of presentations around the country you will find that you will be given the opportunity to lodge a submission. The problem is you submission, to the extent that you have something interesting to say, will not have its issues addressed. Basically the problem is - the process is not accountable. I've seen it all before. You make a submission and the government just flags an incidental, incontroversial, self-evident point and quotes that in their policy document. They can then say they sought views widely from all quarters of society. The reality however is they are whitewashing the pertinent and controversial issues to ensure that their agenda is upheld.
This is not new. We say it with the Australian Republican issue. The Howard government knew Australia wanted a Republic. It could have canvassed dissent, and gave us 3 options - monarchy and 2 different options for a Republic so that the Republicans votes would be split. This of course allowed the Monarchists to win. Instead it chose a compromised Republican option (indirect selection of president by parliament) rather than the directly-elected presidential option the people wanted. In the process the government made sure the people's vote failed. It was a sabotaged process, just as this Human Rights process is sabotaged.
Maybe the Commissioner of this commission has some integrity, but you can bet they have more ambition to achieve that they will not place themselves in a position of conflict. That remains to be seen. Do they think you achieve more with a consensus approach to ideas, or creating conflict. History tells me they will try to work behind the scenes to achieve their goals. I would suggest based on the speeches of the Commissioner that they are as clueless as the government. These people start out as idealists, but with no coherent ideas. Their souls are dead by the time they become commissioner, and they just don't believe in anything but their own ambition. The reason I know this is because who would try to work in a system which is corrupt at its root. Would you play soccer if your team had to play in bare feet, and the opposition was allowed to wear spiked shoes. That is the nature of the current handicapping system.

If you want to attend this facade - here are the details. Unfortunately I will not be in the country.
Seminar Invitation: A Human Rights Act, the courts and the Constitution
The Hon Michael McHugh AC, QC, distinguished jurist and former Justice of the High Court of Australia, will present his views on human rights in Australia and their protection through a Human Rights Act.
Venue: The Hearing Room, Australian Human Rights Commission
Level 8, Piccadilly Tower, 133 Castlereagh St Sydney
Date: Thursday 5 March 2009, Time: 5:15pm (for 5:30pm start) – 7:00pm
Light refreshments will be served at the conclusion.
Andrew Sheldon

ConvinceMe.Net - Anyone up for a debate?