“Wild accusation, colourful paraphrasing and repetitively themed doomsday imagery are the hallmarks of political emotionalism, a persuasive doctrine that undermines realism as the evidentiary standard in Western academe, law and government. It is accompanied by the use of anecdote and emotion in the place of objective fact and causal reasoning.”
An outstanding analysis of Australian Human Rights Commissioner Jillian Trigg’s report on Children in Detention should be read, marked learned and inwardly digested. It is scandalous that something so shabby and biased gets produced with such fawning approval by the ABC and Fairfax.
Apart from the plain political bias and intention to embarrass the Abbott Government when it has vastly improved the situation of detained children from the ALP disaster, the emotionalism, methodology, and generally superficial nature of its analysis is laid out clearly in Oriel’s stringent criticism.
In the absence of a scientifically valid method to demonstrate causality, the inquiry yields data that is largely known, namely that some people report ill health during immigration processing and some commit harm to themselves or others.
The most serious allegations of child physical and sexual assault receive curiously little attention, with a note that they have been referred to a government department. If child abusers are in the general population of immigration centres or have been given residency in Australia, why doesn’t the commission recommended their deportation?
Suggestive but fallacious implications about ill health and abuse are made:
The research indicates complex causality underlies reported ill health among aspiring immigrants, which may include experiences before arrival. It also may include vested political interests, as we learned from recent reports refugee advocates were coaching self-harm among immigrants in detention centres. The inquiry did not study complex causal pathways, and the systemic statistical bias arising effectively nullifies the validity of its conclusions.
In conclusion, this is not a pursuit of justice:
It is clearly unacceptable that emotionalism should supplant impartial inquiry and objective truth in the pursuit of justice. The National Inquiry into Children in Immigration Detention fails the test of scholarly objectivity, political impartiality and public reason that distinguishes the free world of liberal democracy from its tyrannical counterparts. In so doing, it fails the Australian public, genuine refugees and children who deserve so much better than to be used as political fodder in a tired old game.