By Stephen Mayne

John
Howard is the past master of cooking up a national security scare as a
diversion – and yesterday’s effort with the white powder sent to the
Indonesian Embassy in Canberra was one of his best efforts yet.

All
the talk about lax security at Australia’s airports was suddenly lost
as our intrepid PM took on a demeanor equivalent to the 9/11 aftermath,
declaring that an unprecedented incident had occurred with a biological
agent arriving in the mail at Indonesia’s flagship Australian building.

Now
it looks like we’re probably dealing with some sort of slug repellant,
but the BBC has been reporting that anthrax was sent in the mail and
the Indonesian media is full of reports suggesting terrorists are alive
and well in Australia. One idiot slug poisoner out of Victoria does not
a terrorist nation make, but you wouldn’t believe it Googling the story
around the world today.

The media, especially Channel Nine, is
very much to blame for creating the Schapelle Corby bandwagon, but John
Howard cranked it right up yesterday in what was a completely
unnecessary over-reaction. Stay tuned for plenty of copycat acts.