On Gillian Triggs and Tim Wilson

Garry Muratore writes: Re. “Rundle: Gillian Triggs leaves Freedom Boy in her dust” (Thursday)

Guy Rundle’s piece on the difference between Triggs and Freedom Boy contains a very accurate description of poor Tim being “a Henry Bucks shirt mannequin who became an MP”,  however I need to correct the record. Tim didn’t get his picture with a Big Mac, in fact it was a near perfect product placement selfie of a McDonald’s coffee taken purely to troll the hundreds of people who were protesting the opening of a McDonald’s in Dandenong, assisted by 90 tax payer funded Public order response officers.  For the opening week, VicPol decided to become the defacto security team for a corporation that ruthlessly used the Supreme Court of Victoria to sue eight members of the Tecoma community simply for waving banners.

After Tim posted the pic on Facebook I somehow managed to engage him on Facebook chat to inquire why our newly minted Freedom Commissioner thought trolling a community was a good idea. I was amazed that he engaged me for nearly five hours. Tim argued that McDonald’s “property rights” trumped our communities human rights and he was fully supportive of the action McDonald’s had taken. As the debate wound on — and I discovered Tim has the debating skills of a year 10 schoolboy — he tried to minimise his actions and told me that he visited the protest site as a private citizen, not as the Freedom Commissioner (Yep, he drove, or perhaps used a comcar, 40kms just to get a coffee).Other gems of Freedom Boy’s wisdom: when he was there he saw no protesters, therefore the community was accepting of the McDonald’s presence.

I pointed out the community can’t be there 24/7 as we had, well, jobs and stuff. Tim, like most Liberal pollies, seem to think that all protesters come from Fitzroy, are funded by Centrelink and get bussed in for the TV crews. With every debate point I made he simply dismissed it and tried another feeble effort, finally he just ended the thread. I kick myself I never screen captured the exchange as it demonstrated that Brandis’s handpicked commissioner did not care one iota about the rights of communities and more importantly the basic right to protest. A postscript: although the Tecoma store opened it trades poorly and is not supported by the local community. We are told it is one of the worst performing stores in Victoria. So I guess you can add Tim’s support of Tecoma McDonald’s to the list of achievements during his tenure in the shadow of Gillian Triggs. 

On Matt Canavan

Mungo MacCallum writes: Re. “That’s a spicy constitutional meat-a-ball! Section 44 is an indigestible mess for Signore Canavan.” (Thursday)

Regarding the Canavan fiasco (good Italian word): In the Menzies era Canavan would not have been called a wog — that meant Asian, although it has since been broadened to include all foreigners. In the 1950s, Canavan would definitely have been called a wop. Or more loosely a dago, although strictly that meant Spanish. Believe me, I know — I was there.