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(Image: AAP/Mick Tsikas)

News last week of the proposal by the Home Affairs Minister, Peter Dutton, to increase surveillance powers had many Crikey readers dismayed at the continued erosion of civil liberties. And Janine Perrett’s column about the blissful break from politics inspired others to tell us about what you learnt while our politicians were in lockdown.

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Peter Dutton’s surveillance:

David Ritchie writes: The ever-increasing erosion of civil liberties and encroachment of security/intelligence services powers is disgraceful.
Since 9/11 both sides of politics have been a party to it, but for the Liberals to accelerate the process is even more alarming and would have most liberal political theorists turning in their graves.

I had always thought these sorts of laws (with draconian punishments) and controls would come from the socialist left, NOT from the Liberal right. But Dutton and his cronies have proved me wrong.

Sandy Schmidt writes: Now that Laura Norder is back in town (aka Dutton) I am astounded why anyone would download this tracing app under the guise of COVIDSafe.

Marian Arnold writes: The scariest part of this is will the Labor Party wave it through for fear that it will be labelled soft on terrorism and hence hoist on its own petard in the event of gaining power and seeking to review the draconian laws that so appeal to Dutton?

The break from politics:

Ian Ferrier writes: Alas the autumn holidays are over and here we go again with our political leaders going at it as usual.

None of them seem to get it, do they? We’re not interested in the jibes at their opponents or them patting themselves on their backs.

I wish they would just do the right thing for the WHOLE country, not what pleases their backers and ego.

We should demand that no one is allowed to be elected unless they’ve actually worked in the real world for at least 10 years and understand what it’s like outside their political party bubble.

They have had a circuit breaker; now is the time to gets things working better for everyone.

Marcus Wigan writes: The dominance of issues requiring some technical understanding, be it medical or IT, became so glaringly obvious when contacting politicians offices during this brief lull. When contacting politicians’ offices on the app issues, for example, the sheer gulf of ignorance that became apparent was disconcerting.

I gained a very visceral understanding of the depths of scientific ignorance and essential dismissive bad faith towards community input from many that I also came to understand just why trust in government has fallen so low.

Not something I wanted to learn.

Peter Fray

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