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Anti-terrorism legislation: goodbye liberalism? « Previous | |Next »
November 29, 2005

The House of Representatives is currently debating the anti-terrorism legislation----the Anti-terrorism Bill (no 2) 2005. I heard a duty Minister say that the House of Representatives will vote on the anti-terror bill tonight at about 8pm.That took me back. Another example of the guillotine.

Why? Because the joint partyroom has yet to meet to discuss the terror laws. Yet even the Government senators on the Senate Legal and Constitutional Committee yesterday urged that the sedition provisions in the bill be dumped until a thorough review is completed; and it made 52 amendments in an attempt to temper the almost universal opposition within a legal profession that is deeply concerned the new laws will undermine the fundamental human rights Australians take for granted. The joint partyroom will meet later this week after they have passed the legislation . The talk is about revising the legislation after it has been passed.

So much for the democratic process in the House.

Attorney-General Philip Ruddock said he would not agree to the Senate committee's recommendation to remove sedition offences from the bill. What then will the liberal Members (Petro Georgiou given this speech), and Senators Marise Payne, Brett Mason and Nigel Scullion do? And George Brandis? They will not cross the floor.

The Government members so far are not even bothering to address the Senate's concerns about sedition reflected in Schedule 7 in their speeches, nor those raised by others about preventative detention or control orders. The speeches I've head this afternoon (MP for Patterson and Ryan are all about the evils of Islam, protecting the people from murderous terrorists being quite comfortable with the sedition provisions, and making snide remarks about civil libertarians. They show no concern about civil rights, do not address that Australia faces an increased terrorists threat because of the invasion of Iraq, nor the argument that the invasion of Iraq was meant to reduce the terrorist attack on Australia. There is a great silence about Iraq and their responsibility for the greater terrorist threat to the Australia's caused by Australia becomes a greater terrorist target because of Australia going to war with Iraq.

Silence. Just silence about the rights and freedoms being undermined and wound back. Yet aren't these liberties what distinquish Australia from totalitarian states? Exceptional times justify exception measures says the Attorney General.We have a state of exception as the norm.

These Government members are national security state apologists who use their defence of Australia's democratic values and principles as a fig leaf. They are not liberals. The state is to be all powerful in the face of violient and brutal destruction of global terror of evil men and women. The absolute rejection of terrorism in its totality is all that matters --it reminds me of this.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:12 PM | | Comments (0) | TrackBacks (1)

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Anti-terrorism legislation: goodbye liberalism?:

» Australian fascism? from Public Opinion
Gerard Henderon in the Sydney Morning Herald has an op ed. on the responses to the sedition provisions of the Howard Government's anti-terrorism legislation. He says: So it has come to this, apparently. The passing by the Senate of the Federal Governme... [Read More]