Malcolm Turnbull is a narcissist
Malcolm Turnbull should apologize to the government as soon as possible in order to save the children from the Nauru fiasco
The notion of "ministerial responsibility" means, among other things, that ministers are held accountable for what they say - right?
However, if you are the coalition government's immigration minister, you can get away with outrageous requests and allegations without suffering any apparent harm. At least that's the experience of Scott Morrison and Peter Dutton.
We were reminded when another report came out last week, commissioned by the Immigration Service and written by Christopher Doogan (attorney with experience in the private and public sectors) who is dealing with the expulsion of a group from Save the Children the 2014 government is dealing with Australian workers (SCA) from Nauru.
The report backs up the earlier findings of the Moss investigation and suggests that suspicions that the SCA staff caused trouble were unfounded, a preferred process was not followed, and the workers' withdrawal was not warranted.
"The information that was available at the time the removal clause was activated did not justify the release of the removal letter," says the report. If senior department officials believed that the SCA employees had committed violations, "it would have been reasonable to notify SCA of the claims and ask SCA to consider whether they are substantive".
It was not just the evictions themselves that had the most damaging effects on SCA. At the time, then Minister Morrison used a megaphone to amplify the message in a press conference. The story had already leaked to a popular Morrison outlet, The Daily Telegraph.
Morrison said service providers are “employed not to be“ political activists. ”" Making and exacerbating false claims - allegedly training self-harm and using children in protests - is also completely unacceptable, regardless of their political views or goals. " he said.
However, according to the Moss report, Morrison declined the apology, saying, “I have made no allegations; I have made allegations of a proper investigation. "
Doogan recommended that "in order to overcome the general conclusion that I felt that the issue of the write-off letter was not warranted," negotiations should begin to determine the losses suffered by SCA and the affected employees.
However, the effects of the government's first attack cannot offset anything. Justification and compensation usually do not completely heal such a wound.
Immigration and government have tried to minimize the attention of the Doogan report and keep those responsible as secret as possible.
The report was released last Friday in a classic exercise "throwing the trash away" on a dead piece of news. The document has been extremely heavily revised, both in terms of names and much of the content. Hence, it is impossible to know the details.
Current Secretary Dutton has not commented on the report - it is a departmental matter. The view that ministers are responsible for the actions of the departments - at least large ones - is apparently very old-fashioned.
Morrison, now treasurer, is well removed and there is little interest in gratifying him on his earlier comments. In interviews with Sky, 3AW and 2GB on Monday, he was not asked whether he takes a pugilist stance in the Save the Children affair.
No lawsuit will be brought - SCA has not yet received an apology for the good reason workers are being marched out of Nauru.
In the context of apologies, it's worth noting how quickly Dutton was apologized for apologizing insulting text about her for accidentally sending journalist Sam Maiden into the Jamie Briggs scandal.
In contrast, there was no apology from Dutton to the Green Senator Sarah Hanson-Young, which he dismissed last year for alleging she was spied on while she was in Nauru. Dutton said it was "an embarrassment for our country". Hanson-Young's claims turned out to be true.
Dutton viewed Hanson-Young as a soft target and was bold at the time and undoubtedly later, whether what he said was right or wrong. But he knew Malcolm Turnbull would be on his head if he didn't apologize to Maiden.
Negotiations with SCA started a few weeks ago - this is assumed on the basis of the Doogan report that the government has had for some time, and there will undoubtedly be compensation at some point.
But the government has already insulted the injury it caused by treating SCA workers. Since SCA's contract for the provision of services on Nauru expired at the end of last year, the tender for the new contract was designed in such a way that SCA could not submit an application. The contract went to Broadspectrum (the new name for Transfield Services), who runs the center. This further reduces the already minimal transparency of the events on Nauru.
Turnbull should ensure that SCA will receive a formal apology at the ministerial level to SCA for what happened in 2014. This shouldn't wait for the compensation negotiations to complete.
More importantly, Turnbull must rise to the challenge of the people detained on Nauru and Manus Island. Its failure to date has not been scrutinized enough by the public.
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