Diary

Gadfly
Flint’s tone deafness

Until he popped up on Monday night’s Media Watch, Gadfly thought Emeritus Professor David Flint must have disappeared from the mortal coil.

But there he was looking as splendid as a pox doctor’s apprentice on Sky “News” telling that other old stager Alan (The Parrot) Jones that Joe Biden’s election victory was a fraud, a “self-evident” fraud.

In response to Trump’s claims of victory, Flint “can’t understand why journalists are throwing around the word ‘unssubsstantiated’ ”.

He must have forgotten that the courts, and even the Trump-loving attorney-general William Barr, have found no evidence of electoral fraud. Something to do with lack of evidence as opposed to a warm feeling in the groin.

For years an increasingly unglued Flint insisted that The Mad Monk must be restored to his rightful place as PM. It was an exhausting campaign; now it’s Bone Spurs’ turn to be restored. As the one-time professor put it: “There’s a lot going for President Trump. He has a very good chance provided that people are courageous, they don’t surrender and they do their duty, particularly the judges.”

Only on Moloch’s Sky News, where this self-evident flatulence is called a “brand value proposition”.

The rights stuff

It was Human Rights Day on Thursday, marking the 72nd birthday of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. To make the moment especially meaningful, the Rule of Law Institute sent out a little education brief about the importance of rights and freedoms.

“Here in Australia, our system of governance is built on principles that support all human rights for its citizens [but not for refugees or asylum seekers]. One of the principles is the presumption of innocence.”

Burrowing deeper into the missive we find a clear statement that the presumption protects people “from being coerced to give testimony, to incriminate oneself, to have one’s case heard in open court…”

Something must have happened at the top of the Rule of Lawyers Institute, where we find former Moloch man Chris (The Tamil) Merritt as vice-president.

In his days scribbling for The Catholic Boys Daily, The Tamil was incensed that Victorian appeal judges had thrown out the conviction of milkman “Jihad” Jack Thomas, because a friendly plod from the Australian Federal Police had coerced his confession.

Further, The Tamil felled small forests for articles lambasting the very idea of a Human Rights Act.

Robin Speed, the king pin of law shop Speed & Stracey, and the founding father of the Rule of Lawyers Institute, was incandescent that the New South Wales Law Society council in 2017 supported same-sex marriage.

He wanted the president of the society at the time, Pauline Wright, to back off or resign immediately or face “legal action”.

We haven’t heard much from his institute about Bernard Collaery, Witness K, Witness J and David McBride – who have faced or are facing secret trials at the insistence of Pantsman Porter. It’s cherrypicking time at the Rule of Lawyers Institute.

Champion of justice

Pauline Wright has now moved on to be president of the uber lawyers conglomerate the Law Council of Australia and on Monday she announced that Queensland barrister Stephen Keim, SC, was awarded a special gong as an “outstanding example to the Australian legal profession”.

She added that Keim “has spent his career fighting injustice. He’s never been afraid to take on cases that attract controversy…”

Indeed, and his recognition by the LCA will be giving seizures to the inner circle of the Nasty Party.

Keim acted for the Indian-born doctor Mohamed Haneef, who Grecian 2000 enthusiast and Howard-era Immigration minister Kevvy Andrews and attorney-general Fabulous Phil Ruddock wanted put away on faked-up terrorism charges.

More recently Keim acted for Daniel Love and Brendan Thoms, two Indigenous men Benito Dutton regarded as “aliens” and wanted expelled from the country for prior criminal offences.

A majority of the High Court in February said Aboriginal people could not be “aliens”, they did not fall within the aliens’ power of the constitution and could not be regarded as “unlawful non-citizens” liable for deportation.

Not being able to deport Aboriginal people was a shocking setback for law’n’order, according to foam-flecked politicians and scribblers, such as The Tamil.

Indeed, the cabinet in determining the recent appointments to the High Court agonised over whether the contenders would be supporters or opponents of the Love and Thoms decision.

Sovereign pill

In other corners of the law’n’order business, things were not looking so bright for the “sovereign citizens” movement.

A gentleman named Ross James Bradley was before the Queensland Court of Appeal, applying for leave to appeal a District Court decision that upheld an earlier decision of a magistrate who fined him $150 on one count of unlicensed driving – with no conviction recorded.

Ross was not having a bar of it. He argued that a police officer had no power to charge him or commence proceedings.

He told the District Court that the laws of Queensland do not apply to him. Walter Sofronoff, the president of the Court of Appeal, pointed out if that were true, “it would be hard to understand why the applicant was agitating his complaint before this court, which is one that has been established under laws that he says do not apply to him”.

It seemed like a bit of an own goal for Mr Bradley. The opening sentences of his outline of arguments had the judges stumped:

“My BRADLEY person (conjoined with the BRADLEY ‘spiritual’ family body politic) is my own ‘body politic’ by succession, at Law. It is my natural body incorporated at the supreme Christian Law and is my own jurisdiction.”

President Sofronoff was unkind enough to refer to this as “a jumble of gobbledegook”. Maybe the High Court can sort it out.

O come all ye fawners

There were a lot of brown noses traipsing around Sydney’s Bellevue Hill last Christmas, following boy wonder Lachlan Moloch’s end-of-year drinks for the rich, powerful, faithful and wannabes.

It wasn’t only Schmo and relentless urger Josh Frydenberg who dipped into the taxpayer slush bag to pay obeisance to the Moloch heir; the shadow treasurer, Jim Chalmers, did the same, although on a commercial flight from Brisbane.

Such is the embarrassment of being seen in Moloch’s hate-for-profit orbit that a flack merchant for Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese would not confirm whether his boss was slurping down fizzy drinks and quaffing larks’ tongues in aspic on the lawn at Le Manoir.

Nor would Benito Dutton.

Fortunately, for everyone who did turn up, Stuart Robert wasn’t there. The tired old captains of industry, the hordes of News Corp hacks and editors along with Sky News blowhards were bad enough. Any sensible person would have rushed home to have a shower.

Can’t wait to hear what happens during this year’s festivities.

Hillsong soul-searching

The New York Times had a disturbing report last weekend about the United States east coast branch of Schmo’s favourite local happy-clappy church, Hillsong, and its leader and founder, Brian Houston.

The unwanted attention arose from Brian’s sacking of Carl Lentz, the “pastor” in charge of Hillsong’s east coast business operations. Carl has a stunning record as an extracurricular horizontal folk-dancer, which was too much for Brian.

In a video conference dealing with the whole ghastly episode, Houston spoke of the church’s discovery of “more than one affair. They were significant.” By all accounts Lentz was not much more than a rolled-gold spiv.

The New York Times observed that Hillsong is more than a church, it is a “brand”, with its own look and sound.

It’s a “culture” that worships wealth, while volunteers are required to cater to the leaders as “royalty”. The Times’ national correspondent on religion, faith and values, Ruth Graham, wrote that among the parishioners she interviewed there was “a sense that for all the celebrity surrounding the church, its soul was harder to find”.

What it does offer is a slick concert, with a message that is supposed to leave people “feeling better about themselves”, so the donations flow freely. Nothing like the thundering sin-and-damnation sermons offered by the old-school churches.

The poor Hillsong volunteers had a rough trot, according to the Times article, working 12 hours or more a day and then being treated as low-status workers by church leaders.

This is where a lot of Schmo’s ideas originate. Praise be.

’90s decrees angle

Good news for the forces of mediaeval darkness.

According to the Launceston Examiner, Tasmania’s spiritual leader, Senator Otto Abetz, is assured of the Nasty Party’s top spot for the 2022 federal election. Life wouldn’t be the same without Otto languishing on the backbench and delivering razor-sharp questions at senate estimates to ABC executives about the communist sympathies of Bananas in Pyjamas.

Others on the Nasty ticket are not convinced that Otto, 62, can give the nation his best for another six years. He’s a magnificent example of what happens when a dusty moth hatched in the backroom emerges from its chrysalis and flutters into the front room.

Apple Islanders must be suitably impressed with Otto’s observation that the emergence of China is akin to the rise of Nazi Germany and his insistence that Australian Chinese condemn the Communist Party of China.

However, the Burnie Advocate issued a dire warning only last week. “If the Tasmanian Liberal Party does this, they are seriously devaluing the role of their senators. And it will be a step back to the 1990s for the party.”

Surely, the 1990s are far too dangerously modern. 

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This article was first published in the print edition of The Saturday Paper on Dec 12, 2020 as "Gadfly: Flint’s tone deafness ".

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Richard Ackland is the publisher of Justinian. He is The Saturday Paper’s diarist-at-large and legal affairs editor.