larrikin image bill of rights
(Image: Unsplash/M J S)

Do we need a Bill of Rights? Or is it too late anyway? And what is the truth underlying the larrikin image? Crikey readers share their thoughts.

On whistleblowers

Kyle Hargraves writes: While the majority of the world was gaping at the event of the Twin Towers almost 20 years ago a few had the presence of mind to declare that legislation would be forthcoming that could never be enacted without such a display of “justification”.

Cocooned in our safe Orwellian playpen, does anyone think that a committee, comprising either side, in the federal parliament would be disposed to push the “reset” button to where matters were circa year 2000? I’ve set my stopwatch and await someone mentioning a (cough) Bill of Rights (just like Uncle Sam’s).

James O’Neill writes: A Bill of Rights may not be a perfect or complete solution but I have yet to see a persuasive argument that Australia’s unique absence of such a safeguard (among the 47 or so comparable nations) somehow enhances our liberties or access to vital information. We are now paying the price for our refusal to take this issue seriously for too long. In all probability it is now too late for effective remedial action. We have only ourselves to blame for decades of arrogance.

On ‘larrikins’

Gregory Bailey writes: Bear in mind the larrikin image, whilst appearing reckless and rebellious, is in truth quite conservative. Larrikins do not change the world and in the long term normally flow with the status quo, as reflected especially in the figure of Bob Hawke. I would expect nothing else of Katter, and Morrison would try this on if he could see some advantage in it.

Send your comments, corrections, clarifications and cock-ups to [email protected]. We reserve the right to edit comments for length and clarity. Please include your full name if you would like to be considered for publication.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey