Federal

Feb 2, 2018

Is this the most repressive government in our history?

The controversy over its foreign donation and foreign interference proposals confirms that this "Liberal" government is the most authoritarian in decades.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

If it wasn't clear before, the controversy over the government's proposals to reform donation laws and prevent "foreign interference" confirm that the Abbott and Turnbull governments have been the most repressive and anti-free speech and free press government since World War II.

The issue is best understood as part of a set of new restrictions across three different sets of regulatory proposals -- on foreign donations, foreign interference and charities.

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions

33 comments

Leave a comment

33 thoughts on “Is this the most repressive government in our history?

  1. Saugoof

    While it’s good to see the media combining their opposition to this, it really is nothing compared to the outrage that certain sections showed when Labor was in power and proposed rules that, while they were an overreach too, were nowhere near as far reaching and repressing as this.

  2. Xoanon

    For years the Libs could fool people into voting against their own interests, so they could gain power in order to serve their corporate donors. In this era of inequality the game is up, so it seems they’re trying to close down as many dissenting voices as posible. It is very disturbing, the start of a road that leads to an authoritarian state.

  3. Sleuth

    This is an authoritarian government intent on witholding
    all prevously available information from the public for devious purposes.
    A military government in waiting, prepared to crush any dissent by any means deemed necessary.

    One only has to look at the number of ex military figures from the governor general down,
    involved in political institutions.
    This country needs a break from militarism.

    1. [email protected]

      The Conversation currently has an article on the Cabinet cabinet farce. The comments so far have been only about how better to ensure perfect secrecy with respect to government business. Labor and Coalition alike. Never mind that this locked cabinet revealed shabby and secret conduct wrt to refugees and benefits, about mining. Good journalists tell us about secret, corrupt deals, backhanders to officials, FOI requests turned down, corporations and miners getting nearly always whatever they want. ‘Shithole’ states are not confined to Africa. If this lot , and perhaps not just the Coal-ition, do not clean up people may turn to fully blown fascism, if history is any guide. However: is rule by corporations any better?

  4. Bill Hilliger

    Whatever happened to to that LNP carpet beetle Michaelia Cash? Ever since the failed AFP on the AWA and misleading parliament she has been off the political radar. I do miss her highly aninimated bogan speak.

    1. X Ray

      To quote from Arthur Daley – Cash’s every utterance is “GBH of the ear’ole”

  5. Steve777

    The usual argument against laws like these goes something like “well you may trust the current government, but what about anyone who comes to power in future?” In this case, the argument is entirely redundant. I trust the current Government, which has always shown a strongly authoritian streak and which had shown itself on a number of occasions to be not above using the AFP and other instruments of power for political purposes, about as far as I could throw it.

    And look who is going to have major responsibility for administering them, the guy in charge of the intelligence agencies, the AFP, “Border Force”, the truly dreadful Peter Dutton, a man of profoundly authoritarian and anti-democratic instincts, who demonises minorities and the weak for political advantage, that I wouldn’t have anywhere near the levers of power.

  6. graybul

    In a tongue in cheek previous post . . . “farewell Australia . . . hello East Germany” I have expressed deepest concern about how this government has progressively, incrementally set about dismantling culture, values and behaviours previously taken for granted by Australians. The Prime Minister is to be feared. For he and his key Ministers capacity to abandon free, open discourse and increasingly dispense with an accountable, transparent governance. To say nothing about national reputational damage world wide. We are seeing lasting damage to our beliefs of a “fair go.” Bernard’s ‘alarm’ requires much more than verbiage.

  7. lloydois

    Too true Bernard. Turnbull the ultimate hollow man. This government close to an abomination.

    1. AR

      I wish that Talcum were merely hollow rather than full of shit. He’d do less harm.

      1. Karen Hutchinson

        …full of shit in Bottega Veneta no less, a greater harm unimaginable!

  8. Graeski

    So the question is, what’s to be done? Vote the bastards out while we still can (before they suspend the democratic process itself) is the obvious answer, but how is the average rusted-on right-wing voter, who is keeping them in power, to be reached or, more importantly, made to realise that the fascists he or she is voting for are about as interested in democracy and freedom as Hitler was in socialism? Because all we’re doing here is preaching to the choir …

  9. AR

    Umm… “treat as “espionage” merely the handling of unclassified information by an intelligence official and anyone who “procures” the handling of such information “… really, or is it the lack of a subeditor?
    It was fun listening to Blot ranting about the evil ABC subverting democracy by revealing the contents of these document to his tonguebath mate the Poison Dwarf and, with the usual lack of self awareness, akshally said, “I’ve done it but that was different!”
    Sure was, he did it in the service of the Reprehensible Rodent. Soooo different.

  10. Mike Smith

    LINO? I’m floored that you would suggest this.

    Do we have any hope that Labor will oppose it in the Senate, or will they spinelessly allow Malcolm to wedge them? (Again!!)

    1. AR

      Not a hope in Hell – no need to wedge them, they’d love it for when they everntually slither back into office. LINO applies even more so to the ALP, no longer the horny handed sons of toil or, as Kim Edward Beazley (snr) said, “the present Labor party which was once the cream of the working class is now the scum of the middle class“.
      Labor in Name Only.

Leave a comment

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details

Sending...