October 1, 2015
WELL, that didn’t take long. Just two weeks as Prime Minister and Malcolm Turnbull is already promising to lick the boots of the tyrants who infest the United Nations.
Yes, the Turnbull Government is asking for the tremendous honour of joining the UN’s Human Rights Commission.
And if we’re really good, Australia may join some of the moral paragons on that body supervising our human rights — China, Congo, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Qatar, Russia, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Vietnam.
No, that’s not a joke. These countries really are judges on a UN body meant to save us from exactly such thugs, thieves, theocrats and dictators. We will legitimise a pack of hypocrites we should shun and, in joining, will put ourselves at their level.
Sure, the Left is cheering, but check the company we’ll keep. Across the table will be Russia, which has stolen Crimea, invaded Ukraine and supplied to rebels the missile and the men that shot down the MH17 jet carrying Australian citizens.
Also rubbing shoulders with us will be the Saudi autocrats, about to behead and crucify Ali Mohammed al-Nimr, who protested for democracy in 2012, when he was only 17. And we’ll nod thoughtfully as the communist autocrats ruling China, Cuba and Vietnam define for us what should be meant by “human rights”.
I hope the UN’s showers are industrial strength.
Don’t believe the sanctimonious drivel about how joining such bodies does not compromise our beliefs. Horse manure. To win our temporary seat on the Security Council the Rudd government diverted hundreds of millions of dollars of aid money to African countries whose votes we needed.
Worse, to further curry favour with an important bloc of Muslim votes we saw Rudd as foreign affairs minister sucking up to Arab autocracies while attacking democratic Israel’s nuclear weapons program.
Then there’s the humiliating self-abasement in crawling for the votes of inferior countries. Labor foreign affairs spokeswoman Tanya Plibersek gave a perfect example yesterday, wondering whether “the massive cuts to our aid budget make it impossible for Australia to be a good global citizen”.
“The Australian Government will certainly have some explaining to do during the course of its bid for the human rights council spot.”
Pardon? We have to defend our human rights record to countries that have voted already for a gaggle of dictators?
Only a fool coached in our universities of Western self-loathing could think the UN is a better arbiter of our goodness than we are ourselves.
But I should cut Malcolm Turnbull some slack. Joining this sick circus might not be his fault.
Perhaps he simply couldn’t say no to Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop, given her secret help to snatch the top job from Tony Abbott.
I mean, have you seen how Bishop is partying at the UN? There she was again this week, addressing the UN General Assembly like a world leader, with her boyfriend rubbernecking beside her in a seat normally meant for officials doing business for Australia.
The day before, some anonymous leaker boasted to a friendly Fairfax journalist that the UN’s “doors ... have mysteriously swung open” to Bishop now that her boss was Turnbull and not Abbott, so rude to thugs.
Gosh, she’d even “received a last-minute invitation to attend a Sunday lunch being hosted by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for the leaders of about 20 nations to discuss climate change”.
Now, which serial leaker would have leaked that, Julie? And note how eagerly Bishop pays homage to the UN’s multi-billion-dollar green faith, like it’s the entry price to a feed.
Ooh, but how exciting it all is for Bishop. Between gigs at the UN, she even had a star-studded dinner party in Manhattan, which the dutiful reporter noted was “a more raucous affair”, “full of big names” including actor Hugh Jackman and wife Deborra-lee Furness, Mariah Carey, Robert De Niro and glamorous more.
Marvellous. Imagine how many more hot invitations come Bishop’s way once we join the Human Rights Council.
So I was not surprised that someone — you again, Julie? — briefed journalists how Bishop had tricked that silly Abbott when he tried to stop this bid, first launched by Labor, to join a council Abbott considered “discredited”.
According to a Fairfax reporter in New York, Bishop had “been ordered by Mr Abbott to abandon the bid, an about face that might have caused Australia diplomatic embarrassment”, but “Bishop was yet to carry out the instruction when Mr Turnbull deposed Mr Abbott”.
Smart work, Bishop! A cunning delay.
How the UN will reward you. How dictators will laugh. And how Australians will pay.