Gillian Triggs fails the “Pub Test.” Again.


Professor Gillian Triggs is again in the news for making idiocy sound normal, after her latest ruling that the ANZ Bank should apologise to a convicted armed robber for declining to employ him in the, errr bank. Even more insultingly, she recommended the bank ‘update’ its policies, presumably so they reflect the superiority of her own progressive views on these matters.

Perhaps, to prove its enlightenment and demonstrate its ‘updated’ policies, the ANZ should immediately begin a recruitment drive at Long Bay jail. In the Professor’s world, a world in which the deposit of human rights law has the general status of an Old Testament theophany ( * an appearance of God in human form), it is entirely congruous that a bank should employ a person who has served time in jail for robbing a bank, even if that person conveniently leaves the fact off their application.

imageWithin the corridors of academia, and more latterly, the even more well remunerated corridors of the public service, sheltered from the world of workplaces, lunch rooms, and pubs, and far removed from the dim witted suburban bogans whose stupidity extended even to the election of the Abbott government, the Professor is blissfully untroubled by trifling matters such as common sense. For her, the appearance of a sentence in a section, inside a clause, inside a sub-clause, bequeathed from on high by the United Nations, acquires a status not unlike the giving of the law to Moses on Mt Sinai.

In the work places, and the lunch rooms, and the pubs of Australia, convicted bank robbers who served time in jail for robbing banks do not, in fact, work in banks. But not in the parallel space occupied by Professor Triggs and the many superior types like her who ‘know’ the law, who are well read on the separation of powers, and frankly, untroubled entirely by such meaningless indicators as common sense, the ‘pub test,’ or the court of public opinion. Nor need they be concerned by distractions like the ballot box.

It’s a shame the Professor, in her role as protectorate of our human rights, doesn’t seem to care much for the many decent, law abiding citizens, who never have cause to appear before a judge, nor ever trouble the local police – but is instead obsessed with the rights of murderers, bank robbers, and other unsavoury types. Demanding a bank apologise for not employing a bank robber might, apparently, make perfect sense on the flagstones of a law faculty cloister, but it will sound – to use the colloquial term – like complete bullshit to the vast majority of the punters who fund the Professor’s position.