Governing by fear alone
Tony Abbott’s so-called Liberal government seems determined to run Australia by fear.
For reasons it can’t adequately explain, it has begun introducing a raft of laws affecting the personal privacy of internet users and whistleblowers and raising the threat of jailing journalists who “disclose information” about special security operations.
There will soon be a new department of Homeland Security.
Why? Probably because the USA has one.
This “Liberal” government, with links to US Tea Party nutters, seems hell bent on making Australia look like the USA in every possible way.
Why? Because it can.
The Labor “Opposition” waved the Bills through before a public outcry caused Opposition Leader Bill Shorten to have second thoughts (or first thoughts maybe).
The news media is not happy about what it sees as a threat to free speech and its cherished freedom of the Press.
Why? Because the security legislation does not specifically say journalists will be liable to 10 years jail, but it does not specifically exclude them either.
Read what the ABC’s former Media Watch presenter Jonathan Holmes has to say about Attorney-General George Brandis’ vagueness, waffleness and hypocrisy on the subject.
Read also what Brandis had to say about the former Labor government’s restrictions on personal freedoms in a speech he titled The Freedom Wars on 27 May, 2013, when the Liberals were in Opposition. Why are the “Liberals” such liars, such hypocrites?
Rupert Murdoch’s son and heir apparent Lachlan is not happy about the new security legislation either, expressing his thoughts on the ABC of all places. His father wants the ABC defunded, chopped up, sold off and disbursed. At least half of the Western world must be hoping Lachlan’s views on Press freedom and the use of its power will be more reasonable than his old man’s.
And when a real lawyer takes a closer look at a single section of the ASIO Act, Section 35P, we get some startling clarity.
The raft of Bills restricting citizens’ freedoms were preceded by a good old fear and scare campaign, and the radical Islamic movement ISIS (or Daesh) provided the catalyst.
The former Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott, pounced on pictures and videos of Islamic terrorists beheading and displaying severed heads of their victims in Syria and Iraq. Some of the terrorists were Australian citizens.
This was followed on 18 September by raids by some 800 police on homes in Sydney and Brisbane. There were two arrests and a deadly plastic sword, a child’s toy, was seized (it’s since been returned).
When it looked like the USA might act against ISIS in Iraq or Syria, Abbott couldn’t wait. He jumped the gun, sending fighter jets to a standby base in Saudi Arabia along with a few hundred SAS troops (commandos) to train or re-train Iraq’s army. The jets sat on the tarmac for weeks awaiting “legalities” and the SAS still has not entered Iraq. Some Iraqi military commanders have made it clear the SAS is not needed and not welcome.
Some may recall on election eve, 6 September, 2013, there was an embarrassing moment when it was accidentally revealed that the “Liberals” had some diabolical plan for spying on citizens who used the interwebs. Oops, that should not be in the policy statement. That’s a mistake.
Since then citizens have had to endure the farce of various government ministers trying to explain what metadata is and what it isn’t. Apparently it’s not data at all — it’s only an envelope.
Here is some clear-cut evidence of how Right-wing forces use lies, fear and smear to influence public attitudes. The speaker, Richard Berman, is a lawyer, a public relations expert, a former lobbyist and an anti-union campaigner.
Prior to all of the above we have had Abbott and Treasurer Joe Hockey’s campaign of fear and uncertainty, cut-backs, abolitions, new taxes and price rises all due to a “Budget Emergency!” which Hockey has since admitted was a farce.
There will be a federal election sometime in September 2016. I can’t wait for that one.