Dear Christian: The Prime Minister told us earlier this
week when he unveiled the proposed national package of anti-terrorism laws that
unusual times call for unusual measures. We are being called upon to sacrifice
our civil liberties to preserve our civil liberties. But what sort of
sacrifices are spin doctors being call on to make in the war on terror?

Dear Peter & Renaldo: Politicians and spin doctors are being
asked to make the ultimate sacrifice. They’re being asked to shed what few
skeins of dignity and credibility they retain. The terror laws are a
Commonwealth/state package, so let’s take examples from the day after the
terror summit from both levels of government.

Education Minister Brendan Nelson, that
“unequalled political harlot”, as our friends at Mumble Politicsso aptly described him, ducked a do at Sydney Uni on Wednesday not because of
demonstrators, but because he wanted to save police resources.
Funny. Harlots are usually used to back alleys – and I remember sneaking
through a few of them with another education minister, Amanda Vanstone, to
guarantee the show went on despite demonstrators. Still, that was before
September 11.

Even better, though, was some spin offered
up by NSW Roads Minister Joe Tripodi, the factional excrescence who turned an
episode far more serious than the one that destroyed John Brogden into the
basis for a successful career.

The Daily Telegraph
claimed on Wednesday
that the Cahill Expressway, the road that runs across Circular Quay (and
is the subject of a famous painting by Jeffrey Smart) is in
danger of falling down.
“Two State Government reports warn the Cahill Expressway fails
engineering
standards and could partially collapse in the event of a train
derailment or
earthquake,” it stated.

Big Joe had a response, though. “Mr Tripodi
said the Government had been reluctant to publicly release some engineering
reports into the Cahill Expressway because of fears they could fall into the
hands of terrorists,” AAP reported.

No doubt he said it with a straight face –
despite the mental anguish offering up such unadulterated bullsh*t must involve.
See the sacrifices the war on terror is demanding from pollies and spin
doctors?

Peter Fray

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