Vanstone Lets the Cat out of the Bag

In a speech to a South Australian Rotary Club, Senator Amanda Vanstone commented on the cost and effectiveness of national security measures: “(To) be tactful about these things, a lot of what we do is to make people feel better as opposed to actually achieve an outcome.”

Perhaps if there was not such an out of proportion fear campaign being perpetrated by Senator Vanstone’s government with the assistance of most of the main stream media, people mightn’t need all that public money spent trying make them ‘feel better’? As the good Senator herself said in her speech, “we should keep our perspective on these things.

I wonder if the ‘essential’ new terror laws fall into this category of being brought in to make people feel better, rather than ‘achieve an outcome’? Unfortunately, many people – particularly Australian Muslims – are feeling a lot worse and a lot less safe. A bit of a debacle all round really.

(A recording of parts of this speech by Senator Vanstone was played on this morning’s episode of The Insiders (although this part of the transcript doesn’t seem to be online) on ABC TV. It is also mentioned on Lavratus Prodeo).

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6 Comments

  1. Fear and feel-good politics is the worst thing to come out of post-WWII party political behaviour. Unfortunately liberty and democracy suffer first, both of which are more important than feeling good, or fearful.

  2. “I wonder if the ‘essential’ new terror laws fall into this category of being brought in to make people feel better, rather than ‘achieve an outcome’? Unfortunately, many people – particularly Australian Muslims – are feeling a lot worse and a lot less safe. A bit of a debacle all round really.”

    The new anti terror laws fall under the category of “using the terror pretext” to enhance government powers. I seriously doubt that the government introduces these laws with reluctance.

  3. The threat of deportation for no apparent reason doesn’t exactly make me feel better. I wonder how the underlying issues with the expulsion of Scott Parkin and the immigration components of these new laws are meant to address saftey?

    This is one of the main things about that particular rule that I simply don’t understand (anyone care to enlighten me?). I want to be able to vote, but can’t because I’m not a citizen. Under the new laws, residents must be in Australia for 3 years before becoming eligible (whereas its currently 2). Their justification for this change is:

    “The increase in the residence requirements from two to three years is to allow more time for new arrivals to become familiar with the Australian way of life and the values which they will need to commit to as Australian citizens. It will also assist with the identification of people who represent a security risk.”

    (Above quote from MP John Cobb in response to a letter I sent to PM John Howard – full text here)

    If citizenship isn’t a mandatory aspect of residency, how is this meant to help combat terrorism? Perhaps I’m missing something – or playing the victim – because to me it just seems like another attack on immigrants.

    Any thoughts?

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