Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Howard's 5 Step Plan

Step 1:

Put the fear of God in to them by telling them that there's nasty people who want to bomb them, and that we need to change the laws to get the brown bastards - that'll distract 'em.

Step 2:

If they're suspicious of Step 1 and think it's a bit of a "look over there" ploy - which it is - raid a few houses in Sydney and Melbourne using, I dunno - about 400 officers - a big production piece, maybe even tip off some sections of the media to ensure good coverage.

Step 3:

Let the Labor State Premiers have the first crack at the media. They'll say stuff like; the raids stopped "the terrorists" in their tracks, thus 'confirming' their guilt before charges are heard. And it came from them, not me - too easy!

Step 4:

Get Costello and Ruddock to soften the public up by saying that the arrests wouldn't have been possible without the legislation changes.

Step 5:

The icing on the cake if you like... I come out and say - using amazingly flawed logic - that, "the raids have vindicated the decision to rush through the legislation". Genius! Before any charges have even been heard, the average Aussie will see me as their saviour, allowing me to pass whatever legislation I see fit, using 'my record' as my guarantee. The predominantly conservative Australian media will no doubt get behind me, everyone knows that stories about terrorists sell papers.

And the beauty of the plan is that I've had this 'intelligence' for about eighteen months and - as I didn't tell Tony Jones on Lateline last night - I've been saving it up for the perfect time... that time has come.

On a related note -

Thank you Crikey for some responsible journalism:

Hugo Kelly writes:

The bulk of today's charges appear to have been laid not under last week's new terror amendment, but under existing legislation on "membership of a proscribed organisation" – that's according to Melbourne lawyer Rob Stary, some of whose clients were among those charged.

That hasn't stopped politicians jumping at the chance to talk up the supposed significance of the terror amendment. Treasurer Peter Costello went on television linking last week's law change to the raids. Steve Bracks emphasised its importance in a media conference this morning.

When those charged appear before an open court and a jury (all under the existing legislation), getting any sort of fair trial will prove a tough challenge. With everyone from NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney to a hyped-up media dicing with the notion of a presumption of innocence, the seed has already been planted that the community has been saved from a horrible terrorist attack.

"Let's hope we have prevented a large-scale terrorist event," Peter Costello said this morning, pumping up the fear-factor. "This does really illustrate that the threat of terrorism is real."

We await the evidence, which apparently includes telephone intercepts, and look forward to seeing it tested in court. Of course, after the current bill goes through, even Rob Stary, who went on Melbourne radio this morning, might be committing an offence punishable by seven years' jail.

The point is that it has always been illegal to conspire to cause harm in a myriad of ways, and certainly to actually commit the offence rather than to simply to conspire.

What is different under the new regime is that the need to prove just cause for a warrant or an arrest is being removed; the right to face one's accusers and test the evidence is removed; and we are required to trust the word of the various police and security agencies when they tell us someone has been naughty.

This trust should be placed in the context of our knowledge and experience of such agencies around the world.

Now - can we clarify the proposed legislation with regard to 'sedition' and how it relates to bloggers?

Listening to: Art of Fighting - Second Storey


At 8:42 pm, Blogger ozbhoy said...

I despair for the future of this country.

Fear and paranoia are rampant, the health system is being dismantled along with education and human rights as well as workers rights.

Well done to the christian right.

How on earth can anyone be a winner out of all of this?

At 9:18 pm, Blogger Steph said...

The lack of search warrant, and the proposed shoot to kill laws, scare the hell outta me.

It will be interesting to see what real evidence is produced in court. I predict race riots in this country before long. The tension is simmering and about to boil over. It might even incite some impressionable teens to terrorism. After all,what would they have to lose in a country that doesn't want them here and thinks the worst of them anyway?

At 4:05 am, Anonymous lori said...

I had a debate with my mother over this. They were arrested under the current laws and yet somehow we need better legislation? For what? How's this for a theory: Being a member of an opposition party, which has been declared a terrorist organisation. It could happen here one day!


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