Home grown extremists

John Richardson writes: Re. “Rundle: Tony Windsor urges civil disobedience in Shenhua mine protest” (yesterday). Surely one of the greatest achievements of former prime Minister Tony Abbott was amongst the least appreciated — his outstanding success in putting us in-touch with our roots: that very first band of asylum-seekers who arrived in 1788 to call Australia home.  More than 200 years later, as one of the proud defenders of “fortress Australia” (or “white Australia” as some so cruelly refer to it) our prime minister stood resolutely behind his country’s bipartisan strategy, designed to keep the latest flood of innocent asylum-seekers safe from themselves. And then, surely his greatest gift to a grateful nation: the inspiration of “Team Australia” suddenly appeared; a bit like a dangerous turd lurking in the grass. Who could not be proud to be a member of Team Australia? How better to gather a sense of purpose and belonging than by dressing up in the flag and believing that you are better than everybody else? Bugger egalitarianism; bugger worrying about your  mates; bugger the “fair go”. Team Australia is all about becoming a successful “lifter” rather than a “leaner”: making sure that you have a seat at the table; that you get your hand in your neighbour’s pocket before he gets his hand in yours. Winners are grinners.

But putting serious issues of philosophy to one side, being a member of Team Australia also requires a willingness to take responsibly and to stand up for what is right. That’s why I didn’t hesitate to write to our Attorney-General George Brandis last week to express my disappointment over the fact that some telecommunications companies were not ready to begin meeting their obligations to collect metadata on all Australians. I reassured the Attorney-General that as a proud member of Team Australia, I stood ready to support my government and to help it in a time of need. Without hesitation, I promised George that in future I would copy him on all my emails, so as to personally ensure he captured my data (I’m reliably informed that he was so taken aback by my selfless display, that he was rendered speechless).

But getting to the point (at last), I’m deeply concerned that a potentially violent extremist is now abroad in our country; namely the former independent member for New England — Tony Windsor. As the Attorney-General has pointed out to everyone who will listen, radicals become violent extremists and radicals are dreadful people who persistently “advocate thorough or complete political or social reform; who are members of a political party or part of a party pursuing such aims; who are revolutionaries, reformers or revisionists”: certainly those who would dare to engage in civil disobedience must be considered radicals & by definition, violent extremists — George says so!!

So now we have this Tony Windsor fellow advocating an alliance between farmers and those Aboriginal people who have always argued that they were “lifting” Australia long before the arrival of any European “leaners”, suggesting that 5000 “free radicals” from this group should deliberately engage in an act of trespass as a wilful challenge to those in authority. We’ll certainly need all the Border Farce we can get to overcome this existential threat.

Mike Wilson writes: Thank you, finally a political leader with the courage to stand up, get others to stand with him, and the wisdom to be guided by the elders to stop this destruction. This will become the flashpoint we have been waiting for. Good work, People.

Peter Fray

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