Liberal Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells questions ASIO director general Mike Burgess (Images: APH)

While first Canberra and then the nation became preoccupied with other matters, the farce of ASIO's "reclassification" of potential terrorist activity unfolded further as, in estimates, director-general Mike Burgess played patsy to Senator Concetta Fierravanti-Wells and her attempt to dodge the reality that right-wing terror represents one of the major threats to our safety today.

To recap: ASIO has recently reclassified specific terror threats as general ones, relabelling Islamist terror and right-wing terror as "religious" and "ideological" respectively. This move appears to be in response to ideological pressure from within the Coalition to sever the visible public link between the mainstream right, and the increasingly deranged and violent far right growing in numbers across the western world.

Burgess' and ASIO's weak and compliant response to this demand only serves to de-concretise the real threat of right-wing terror, the specific milieu from which it emerges, and to legitimise what ASIO has always loved to do most -- treat left-wing protest and civil disobedience as part of its remit in fighting "subversion", and infiltrate such groups, thereby corroding democracy and a pluralist open society.