Peter Dutton national security

On the police state

Angela Giblin: Yes, I am convinced that Australia is becoming a police state. Worse, many Australians seem to be untroubled by this situation, or unaware of it.

John Gleeson writes: You could have mentioned that the media is as usual, asleep at the wheel, or alternatively cheering on Morrison and co, or increasingly cowed at the ABC. Such is the state of reporting that the only coherent voice apart from Crikey is First Dog On The Moon. When the only informed criticism in popular media comes from Brenda, the Civil Disobedience Penguin and friends, then we are definitely on the way to a police state.

Neal Ames writes: The moment you ask the question “Do you think that Australia is becoming a police state?” you have answered your own question. If it occurs to you then it must be. To fully inculcate society into its acceptance you need to move your citizens into a Kafkaesque state, where they not only believe they are being observed, but that they act guilty even when they are not. This is now where we are. Maybe an engaged society could pull back from here, but unfortunately our own apathy will ensure that our politic will continue to take us past the tipping point (if we haven’t passed it already), and then there will be no way back. Sigh.

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On Clive James

Toby Borgeest writes: Guy Rundle’s necessarily frantic and and hastily-organised reaction to la mort de James was brave and true, but had he or anyone else been afforded more time the obit would be no less difficult (“Influence of the French revolution? Too early to say.” Zhou Enlai). In my own frantic and hastily-organised reaction, I remember fondly the bons mot (“book of my enemy”, “condom full of walnuts”), but more particularly that the Late James (Cultural Amnesia, 2007) was the final reveal. The man loved words and games, and he hated Stalin. For “Stalin”, insert Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Mao, academics of most stripes, theorists of every stripe. James was the most jocular of haters. And the least. Read him on Sophie Scholl. I would have much more to say, but it’s too early today.

Joe Boswell writes: Guy Rundle’s piece on the late Clive James passed over his contribution to the under-appreciated field of royal wedding memorabilia. Each day I gaze on this wonderful creation and its extraordinary verse: “Whatever beverage brims in this cup / Thank God for PRINCE CHARLES when you pick it up / And as you quaff it, bless that same grand Planner / Who gave him for a bride the fair DIANA.” For me, not even Shelley’s Ozymandias captures so succinctly how the passage of time inevitably crushes our hubris and presumption.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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