It’s come to this

To say I’m depressed about the current state of Australian politics would be an understatement. But of all the things that depress me, the possibility of a section 44 case against Josh Frydenberg is the most gratuitously awful. If someone had said, ten years ago, that the Australian-born son of a Jewish refugee was ineligible to stand for Parliament because he had failed to secure necessary documents from the neo-fascist government that currently rules Hungary, they would have been laughed at, and rightly so.

Yet, that appears to be the state of the law, as rendered by our appalling High Court. I don’t know what I find worst about this. Is it:

  • The gratuitous silliness of the specific rulings in s44 cases ?
  • The absurdity of legal literalism, particularly in the context of constitutional law, where unintended implications can only be fixed by referendum ?
  • The possibility that the Court will add hypocrisy to stupidity by finding some way of rejecting the case against Frydenberg, thereby showing that there was no need for any of the previous rulings?
  • The fact that the case is being brought by a defeated Labor candidate, cheered on by lots of Twitter users, most of whom are apparently on the left?

The only consolation is that, as in all previous cases of MHRs (but not Senators) found ineligible, Frydenberg will be able to fix things up (wasting time and effort that might better be spent running the country) and win the unnecessary by-election created by our finest legal minds.

66 thoughts on “It’s come to this

  1. rog don’t be an idiot. I just won the argument by dint of the fact that I was censored. Its not that anyone could have shown a logical error. I successfully turned the blood libel on its head ….. You can’t do that in our culture. I showed J-D was spinning nonsense by revealing the extent of the censorship.

    Take 9/11. You’ve all had 18 years now to find out who did it. Its all out there, its all proven. And its fundamentally a Jewish crime. But you are not allowed to say this and you are not allowed to think this. It took a lot of bottled racism for the culprits to pull off this crime. But to reveal to did it is held to be racist. Worse, or at least more socially unacceptable, than the performance of the crime itself.

  2. JD
    So you have shown with your examples, if anything, that you don’t know a priory what an effective threat is (so can’t base your actions, most of the time, on the knowledge that your ‘threat’ is going to be effective, unless of course you have a christal ball and I assume that you don’t have one).

    Why not escalate things with criticism. Look at Trump (as yet another counterexample to your ‘theory’). He is in position to make what you probably define as an ‘effective’ threat, but this does not stop him from spewing out threats.

    Again your example is not a counterexample to what I have claimed in my previous comment. You have claimed existence of something, wich in this case does not demonstrate non-existance of something else.

  3. Correction to my comment above: Look at Trump (as yet another counterexample to your ‘theory’). He is in position to make what you probably define as an ‘effective’ threat
    but this does not stop him from repeatedly engaging in criticism (of those he could threaten in your ‘effective’ way JD).

  4. Why not escalate things with criticism.

    Going from threat to criticism is not an escalation. The reverse is true. I escalate if I go from ‘You are depraved’ (which is a criticism) to ‘I will destroy you’ (which is a threat), not the other way around.

    Donald Trump is not in a position to make effective threats against Democratic politicians (what could he possibly threaten them with)? That’s why he abuses them: because he can’t get them to do what he wants.

  5. J-D
    Adding offence to injury surely is escalating things. Or do you thing that we should say “Adding injury to offence”?

    In either case I did not specify a direction.

    (Did I mention his criticism of the Democratic party politicians? No, I did not.)

  6. J-D
    Your examples are annoying as they are just that, examples, while you claim that they constitute a ‘proof’ of some idea you have (I am only going to reply to arguments that are logically sound from now on).

  7. J-D: it depends on how you look at it. Freydenberg managed to get re-elected despite obviously failing to demonstrate his eligibility, and John Mearsheimer is getting a kicking for pointing the legal system at the problem. So yes, he hasn’t been shut up, but at the same time Freydenberg escaped the challenge that took out a bunch of his fellow members. How did he escape? Cried of anti-semitism seem to have had a lot to do with it.

  8. … John Mearsheimer is getting a kicking for pointing the legal system at the problem …

    I don’t understand what this is a reference to. How did John Mearsheimer ‘point the legal system’?

    Freydenberg escaped the challenge that took out a bunch of his fellow members. How did he escape? Cried of anti-semitism seem to have had a lot to do with it.

    Who was silenced by them?

  9. Graeme, while I am inclined to agree with you the fact is that we did not decide to wait and sort this out properly, we kicked a bunch of people out of parliament for racist reasons… except that somehow one Jew escaped the kicking. Well, one Jew, a Catholic and probably a few others who I can’t be bothered remembering right now.

    I am a much stronger proponent of “equality before the law” than “we’ll get around to making sure the people we like obey the law too eventually”. If Barnaby Joyce has to obey it why doesn’t Josh Freydenberg? They’re both old white men in positions of power, but somehow the constitution only applies to one of them, and when it’s suggested that the other should also have to deal with it that’s anti-semitic?

  10. The inconsistencies in s44 treatment drags on and on. It always seemed odd that PM Turnbull (while politicising referrals) airily brushed aside questions about the Joshter so casually. s44 is a nonsense and should have been ditched at a referendum before this. Such a ref would pass,imho.

  11. The notion that Josh Frydenberg needs to have anything to do with the country that made his parents stateless after they fled the Holocaust is truly offensive.

  12. Jim Rose you are standing in it for sure…. “anything to do with the country that made his parents stateless after ” … 200yrs.

    “Birth certificates are currency. For some Indigenous Australians, their cost is too high”

    “Essential services can be taken for granted for those of us who have easy access to them…”

    …”The links that might be drawn between the stolen generations and the non-registration of Aboriginal births are clear. The Bringing Them Home Report references the facilitation of the removal of Aboriginal children via hospitals under assimilation policies. If children are born outside the purview of the state, then perhaps interventions by child welfare agencies can be avoided. These traumas and these stories are passed on. ”
    https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/25/birth-certificates-are-currency-for-some-indigenous-australians-their-cost-is-too-high

  13. “The notion that Josh Frydenberg needs to have anything to do with the country that made his parents stateless after they fled the Holocaust is truly offensive.”

    We understand that there is a tribe of people that hold bizzare grudges against the people of every country they ever lived in. Even though the communists murdered millions of Ukranians I’ve been witness to Jews ranting on outrageously about how badly their ancestors were treated by the Ukraine. These crimes against humanity are bad enough. But the crimes against history get tiresome after awhile.

  14. I knew the man behind this when I was a kid. He was a Nazi sympathiser, he believed in fascism, and he had a Nazi uniform which I saw with my own eyes. This would have been in the late 80s to early 90s. I expect he has targeted Frydenberg for precisely these reasons.

  15. “Grubby” politicians change laws to prevent being kicked out of parliament
    https://www.macrobusiness.com.au/2019/08/grubby-politicians-change-laws-prevent-kicked-parliament/

    Exclusive: Labor and Coalition politicians stitched up a deal to protect themselves from being kicked out of Parliament.

    In April, in the dying hours of the last Parliament, with the Federal Budget being debated and the election about to be called, Labor and Coalition politicians got the deal done….

    Section 44 and 45 of the Constitution disqualify people from Parliament on a range of grounds, including foreign citizenship, being bankrupt, having pecuniary interests involving Commonwealth funds and being a criminal subject to up to a year in jail.

    The changes, snuck through on April 3 and 4, effectively prevent any shrewd politician from being thrown out on those grounds…

    “It’s more likely we’ll have people sitting in Parliament who are not entitled to be there,” added UNSW Constitutional law professor George Williams.

    “There won’t be a route to get them into the High Court.”

    – quotes from the linked 10 daily article which also links to the shifty new liblab rules for House and Senate.

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