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How long will Home Affairs’ security ambitions be contained?

Crikey readers on Peter Dutton's security push, celebrity endorsements and spinning the climate crisis.

Peter Dutton national security

Home Affairs’ obsession with growing Australia’s surveillance state may have hit a roadblock, but parliament will need to step up if it expects to keep a lid on Peter Dutton for long, Crikey readers advise. Elsewhere, readers tucked into Scott Morrison’s penchant for celebrity endorsements and gave some reasoning to recent bureaucratic spin on Australia’s climate crisis.

On Home Affairs’ surveillance ambitions

Nicholas Pavlovski writes: In regards to Andrew Hastie knocking Peter Dutton’s Identity-matching Services Bill 2019, I immediately recalled the Australia Card hoo-hah back in 1985-1987. John Howard pushed for it to be taken seriously in 2005. With john Howard now treated as god-emperor-behemoth of the Liberal Party, maybe Peter could dust off the Australia Card, receive a holy blessing from John and push for that instead.

June MacDonald writes: Peter Dutton needs careful scrutiny. The scope of the new bill (as you report on it) needed to be sent back. Australia is a democracy – not a totalitarian state. The LNP ‘s claim of ‘keeping us safe ‘ has worn thin.

Frank Dee writes: The surveillance dictatorship keeps creeping in and the arguments against it from the opposition just get fainter and more feeble. Keep up the good work, Keane. We may owe you, and what remains of the free press, a debt of gratitude.

John Hall writes: Home Affairs is becoming a clear and present danger to our tottering democracy. I thank Mr Hastie for his common sense and condemn Dutton for his police state mentality.

On celebrity endorsements

Dennis Pratt writes: If only Skippy the Bush Kangaroo was still alive. We need a new environment minister.

On spinning the climate crisis

Roger Clifton writes: Public servants must protect the status quo of their ministry and phrase their reports in the language of the minister of the day. Jo Evans is being very bold in using the term “climate change” to a government that denies the phenomenon. Further, by applying value terms such as good and bad, she risks implying that the government should actually do something about it. There are rumblings deep in the monolith; you can hear the teacups rattling.

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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R. Ambrose Raven
R. Ambrose Raven
1 year ago

We do not appreciate that Australia’s ruling class has already enacted sufficient laws for a police state; our ruling class, like those of fellow warmongering Western nations, is now working to manufacture consent for the mass repression that laws already permit.

Despite having passed more oppression laws than any other country post-2001, a political (Labor class traitor / ilLiberal Party) and oppression apparatus that constantly needs its ego stroked, demands ever more – measures even Pinochet or Batista or Suharto would have thought extreme.

Observe the contempt for the Rule of Law shown by those who claim to value it. Plenty of Aborigines are in jail, but not one bank executive from thieving from clients rather than from their own bank. In 2018, the UN working group on arbitrary detention first condemned Australia’s indefinite incarceration of refugees and asylum seekers as arbitrary and illegal. None are more senior. Nor do our decision-makers ever say that “rules-based international order” should be either consistent or just. Certainly they never practice any such thing.

Fair laws and fair administration are important protections for ordinary people given today’s political structure that values casual criminality, equally obsesses with imprisonment as the only answer, and a media that promotes division (except when its own privileges are threatened).