In just 24 hours Tony Abbott performs greatly and also appallingly.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott says the Australian Human Rights Commission ought to be “ashamed of itself” over its children in detention inquiry, which he says is a blatant attack on his government.
The commission report – tabled by the government on Wednesday – called for a royal commissionafter finding there were 233 recorded assaults involving children and 33 incidents of reported sexual assault. It also reported there were 207 incidents of “actual self harm” and 436 incidents of threatened self harm.
In an interview on 3AW radio in Melbourne, Mr Abbott slammed the commission, questioning the timing of the report.
“Where was the Human Rights Commission during the life of the former government when hundreds of people were drowning at sea?” Mr Abbott asked on Thursday morning.
“Frankly this is a blatantly partisan politicised exercise and the Human Rights Commission ought to be ashamed of itself.”
When asked whether he felt any guilt over the horrific findings in the 315-page report, Mr Abbott replied: “None whatsoever.”
“The most compassionate thing you can do is stop the boats. We have stopped the boats.”
The 315-page report interviewed children in detention from January 2013 to March 2014 under both the Labor and Coalition governments.
But the Abbott government is questioning why the commission announced the inquiry in February 2014 once it had come into power, rather than when the Labor government was in power and the numbers of children in detention were at its highest. The last national inquiry of children in detention by the commission was in 2004.
Mr Abbott said Gillian Triggs, president of the Human Rights Commission, should instead be thanking the former immigration minister Scott Morrison for dramatically reducing the number of children in detention.
“I reckon that the Human Rights Commission ought to be sending a note of congratulations to Scott Morrison saying ‘Well done mate because your actions have been very good for the human rights and the human flourishing of thousands of people’.”
It was an appallingly partisan hatchet job on the Coalition, and Abbott was great calling a spade a spade.
But then later that day:
PRIME Minister Tony Abbott was met with opposition outrage when he described rising unemployment in the defence industry as a “holocaust of jobs”.
Mr Abbott was answering a Labor question about the latest unemployment figures, including a rate of 7.3 per cent in South Australia where defence industry jobs have traditionally been strong.
“Under members opposite, defence jobs in this country declined by 10 per cent,” Mr Abbott told parliament.
“There was a holocaust of jobs in defence industries.”
Mr Abbott subsequently apologised and withdrew the comment. He replaced the word “holocaust” with “decimation”.
“I shouldn’t have used it, I did withdraw it and I do apologise,” he said.
You should only use the term holocaust if you are talking about the extermination of six million people in WWII, and not any other context.