The truth of those deleted tweets

Barry O’Farrell writes: Re. “Bureau of Regret: the streets are paved with iPhones” (yesterday). While not disputing the intent of today’s article, can I just point out that my original tweet is still in my timeline and wasn’t deleted (and no, I can’t explain your pic).

Dept of Australia replies: Intrigue! Actually, there’s not so much intrigue as there is a Mundane Explanation; the one that’s in his timeline was posted a minute later than the one that was deleted. The difference between the two is the one that was deleted had a typo in it (“that” instead of “than”).

The fox in charge of the hen house

John Richardson writes: Re. “Committee recommends (marginally) reining in new security laws — but media still face jail” (yesterday). As far as most reasonable people are concerned, if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck and walks like a duck, there’s a pretty good chance it’s a duck.

That our spymasters and their corrupt political enablers want our spooks to be able to break the law with impunity is surely beyond the pale. To compound the affront, these same agents of totalitarianism would render journalists accessories to such crimes, by making it illegal to report them. While Australians might be desperate to trust their political leaders and those who would allegedly keep us safe is one thing, but it doesn’t take a Rhodes scholar to figure out that the day the fox is put in charge of the hen house, it won’t be long before we’ll be right out of the chicken business.

If the cynical manipulation of public opinion by the Abbott government in recent days hasn’t convinced Australians of the dangers of allowing our intelligence agencies to become a law unto themselves, then maybe they should reflect on the level of criminal abuse already being visited on our so-called democracy by those we entrust with its defence?

Whether it’s the scandalous attempts to cover-up our government’s illegal spying activities against the government of East Timor, arguably conducted to corruptly enrich private sector interests, gross abuses of human rights, the criminal activities condoned by the leadership of our central bank or any of the other 1500 high-level matters deemed too “sensitive” for the Australian people to know about and concealed by “superinjunctions” imposed by the Victorian Supreme Court over the past five years (almost one a day), surely we shouldn’t need convincing.

The successful passage of the legislation containing the benignly termed “national security reforms” will surely transform Australia’s status as a liberal democracy to that in name only.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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