"[Tim] Wilson says his agenda at the Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) will be to promote liberal human rights, 'like freedom of speech, of association and of movement, of religious worship, of property rights, and the rights of individuals to determine how to live their lives'." (Freedom fighter, Tim Elliott, GoodWeekend, 22/2/14)
Hm... with an agenda like that, you'd imagine that Australia's new Human Rights Commissioner would have a pretty damn good nose for human rights abuses, though I must say that the qualification "liberal human rights" doesn't look all that promising.
Still, with the taxpayer forking out $325,000 per year for Wilson's salary, you'd expect some value for money, right?
For example, you wouldn't expect him to shoot his mouth off about an issue without first brushing up on it, would you?
And you'd probably expect him to have sufficient intellectual and moral wherewithal to see through a transparent attempt to suck him in.
Sorry to disappoint:
"I was very fortunate to go on the Rambam Israel Fellowship program by the Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC), so I did a tour of Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and we went down to Sderot... it was an incredibly rewarding trip in terms of seeing Israel, understanding Jerusalem, how the West Bank is divided, and that you really can't understand it until you go and see it. It was one of the most rewarding and fascinating experiences." (Speaking his mind, The Australian Jewish News, 21/2/14)
Hm... You really can't understand it until you go there. Really?
Oh well, I guess then he won't be requiring $20,000 worth of taxpayer-funded books and bookshelves like Senator Brandis, the bloke who appointed him - just enough for airfares. Lots of airfares.
OK, so maybe Wilson's just not at his deepest in an interview. How about on paper then:
"In Tel Aviv I met up with my media colleagues participating in the Rambam Israel Fellowship programme organised by AIJAC. The comprehensive introduction to Israel included a tour of the old city of Jerusalem and the ancient fortress of Masada, and meetings with politicians, academics and journalists. Our Palestinian guide took us to the Aida refugee camp in Bethlehem for an uneventful, educational experience about how the locals live. The local Palestinian kids decided to perform and threw rocks at the nearby Israeli soldiers. The soldiers also performed by firing two tear gas canisters in the sky, before one landed 5 metres away, bounced and laid to rest at my feet. Sadly I couldn't find a T-shirt that said 'I was tear gassed by the IDF and all I got was this T-shirt, stinging eyes and a decongested nasal passage.'" (Notes from abroad, The Spectator, timwilson.com.au, 29/11/13)
OK, so his wit's a bit on the limp side. What about Sderot then? Surely, surely, if anything will, a visit to Israel's Stalingrad should elicit the kind of scepticism you'd expect from someone hoovering up 325,000 taxpayer dollars per annum?
More fool you:
"Tear gas is nothing compared to the experience of the small township of Sderot. If Sderot residents hear the words 'red colour' in Hebrew, they have 15 seconds until it rains Qassam rockets sent from the Gaza Strip only a kilometre away. That isn't very long, especially as it took 5 for our bus to stop and open its door. I counted. Fortunately, Hamas weren't in the performing mood the day we visited. I have only one bit off advice if you are considering travelling to Israel: go!"
Hm... another blank. This is getting kinda frustrating. I mean, I'm actually starting to wonder if we're getting value for money out of our freedom fighter.
Maybe he'll come good on the premier free speech issue of the day, BDS:
"I want to make it clear that I want BDS advocates to 'out' themselves, so people can hold them to account." (tweet, 17/12/13)
Jeeesus! Enough already, I want my money back!