Terror-fy

The first part of this week involved activities to do with the proposed terror laws. I attended the first day’s hearings of the Senate Committee inquiry into the legislation. The transcript is now available here. A couple of quotes taken from that Hansard featuring responses Mr Geoff McDonald, Assistant Secretary of the Attorney-General’s Department are…

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Displaying my seditious intent – Urging disaffection against the Commonwealth Government

Having recalled the Senate yesterday, at one day’s notice, to pass an ‘urgent’ amendment to the Criminal Code, the Government also finally tabled the formal version of their terror legislation. The government also finally recognised that a Senate Committee Inquiry of less than five days duration into major legislation impacting on the freedom of every…

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Democratic terrorism

Last night I attended a Ramadan Iftar dinner, held in the Great Hall of Parliament House in Canberra. The dinner was hosted by the Australian Intercultural Society as part of bringing people together to mark the Islamic holy month of Ramadan via participating in a traditional “Iftar” breaking of the fast dinner. This was one…

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Bali – nothing to justify terror

As mentioned below, the Senate devoted most of Tuesday to a condolence debate on the Bali bombings. It isn’t a good idea to get stridently political too close to such a traumatic event. However, I do find it a bit irritating when I hear gratuitous demands of the Indonesian government that they ban Jemaah Islamiah….

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Give me liberty or give me death

I have a sinking feeling about how the public ‘debate’ around terrorism and security is going to play out and the inevitable power grab that is coming from the federal (and possibly state) governments under the guise of greater community safety. The square-jawed rhetoric from John Howard – and Tony Blair in the UK –…

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I is for ID Card

Peter Beattie and John Howard seem to be boosting the idea of a national ID card with the enthusiasm the major parties often seem to have (when they are in government) of giving governments more power. The Democrats – under Janine Haines’ leadership – were crucial in stopping a national ID Card being introduced in…

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Troops back to Afghanistan

I have mixed feelings about the imminent decision by the Government to send some Australian troops back to Afghanistan. As a matter of principle, I don’t believe any Australian troops should be deployed to a new theatre overseas without a vote of Parliament, except in cases of extreme emergency. I’ve had a Private Senators Bill…

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Thoughts on the London Bombing – #2

Today’s Age newspaper carries comments from 5 different Australian Muslim and Arabic groups and representatives. All condemn the bombings and some also rightly call for a rethink on the tactics and approach to the so-called ‘war on terror’. I for one don’t want my country to be permanently in the middle of a war we…

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Some Thoughts on the London Bombings

Tragedies such as this are awful not just for those directly killed and injured and their friends and families, but because they engender such fear in everybody. Fear and uncertainty creates dangers of their own and it is important that these natural reactions are not exploited or responded to irrationally. I’ve received a few emails…

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John Howard weak on security

The ABC news website is easily my most frequently visited site and their election section is quite comprehensive. Antony Green does a fairly comprehensive analysis and Matt Liddy has a good, eclectic election blog at http://www.abc.net.au/elections/federal/2004/weblog/default.htm (which mentioned this blog, so he obviously notices the important things.) It also mentioned a site I hadn’t seen…

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Lots of places, lots of topics

It feels like it’s been a long week – one with plenty of opportunity for blog bits, but inspiration and availability of a computer never seemed to coincide. It started in Alice Springs and then took me to Orange, Canberra, Brisbane, Gold Coast, Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne. Our attempt to draw attention to indigenous issues…

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