Jesuit compares PM to Sir Joh on human rights
Lawyer and human rights cmpaigner Fr Frank Brennan SJ has likened Prime Minister John Howard's administration to former Queensland Premier Sir John Bjelke-Petersen's government in its record of human rights abuses.
The Catholic Leader reports that Fr Brennan recalled the struggle for Aboriginal rights and the right of peaceful protest in Queensland, before an audience at the launch of UnitingCare Queensland in Brisbane.
"In hindsight we can see that the protestors and the Church leaders did make a difference to public attitudes and to Government policy," he said. "These are not issues of ancient history. Our present Prime MInister has much in common with Sir Joh."
Fr Brennan said that each enhanced his popular appeal by abusing the rights and dignity of a minority - for one it was demonstrators and for the other asylum seekers.
"While one politicised the police, the other has politicised the defence forces," he said. "And each has been in government long enough to undermine the professionalism of the public service."
18 Apr 2002