46 thoughts on “Now that’s what I call sedition

  1. Further to Obseva’s links – doesn’t “obscene tsunami of spin” remind you of “nattering nabobs of negativism” and other examples of arch alliteration’s awful aid?

  2. the take-the-job-or-else stuff is meaningless piffle.

    its like saying to the unemployed you can’t have the dole if you refuse a million US dollars.

    There, that’ll get them off their backsides.

    So observa, offer me a job or a million dollars or be quiet.

  3. Fyodor Says: Robertone, If I tell you you’re a joke, will you laugh?

    Sorry pal, would still prefer to laugh at you!

  4. If you find the first million too hard Meika, do what most business types do. Give it up and go for your second.

  5. If it helps I am prepared to burn a few flags.

    I am concerned about the direction we are going in with these anti-terror laws. Why is there no viable opposition party?

  6. Anyone who thinks anti-sedition powers won’t be abused needs to have a look at how they have been abused in Australian history. Prime Minister Hughes used them to send in the army to prevent the printing of Queensland parliamentary debates, on account of arguments therein urging a ‘no’ vote in the then upcoming referendum on conscription.

    Savage’s article was not in my view primarily satirical, it was merely designed to illustrate precisely the kind of free speech to be criminalised by the legislation. Roberto reckons Savage is a dill for pointing out that urging disaffection with the Queen is to be criminalised. Seems to me he needs to argue the case why it needs to be and what public benefit the creation of such an offence will bring. Meanwhile, name-calling in the absence of argument needs to be fingered for the cheap and cowardly debating trick it is.

    In my view what is truly horrifying about the legislation, though, isn’t the revival of the arcane crime of sedition, it’s the draconian secrecy provisions about the use of detention and control powers. Truly we are creating a secret police when it’s an offence to mention the mere fact that someone has been locked up – potentially indefinitely. From whom are such provisions meant to protect us – certainly not terrorists, as fellow terrorists would be in the know about a colleague being nabbed. And remember – the people we’re handing these powers to are the same malicious Inspector Clouseau types who brought us the WMD about which we had absolute certainty and no room for doubt of any kind. Their political masters brought us kids overboard. Is it coincidental that they are bringing in Peter Reith-style industrial relations, with balaclava-clad thugs and attack dogs ‘protected by law’ at the same time as these secret police provisions? The sedition definition is so broad as to capture many forms of industrial and political action. Does anyone seriously suggest we should trust Howard and Ruddock to act in good faith during the looming major industrial confrontations, when they can have anyone secretly disappeared at a whim?

  7. You’re right Terje, the anti-terrorist laws, as proposed, threaten executive tyranny.

    And if the Queensland Solicitor-General thinks that the Commonwealth Constitution affords any protection through purported separation of judicial and executive powers provisions, he’s dreaming. That’s why we need a proper Bill of Rights.

    Greg Craven is also dreaming. This is what he said on the 7.30 Report last night: “Because it would effectively be a challenge based on chapter 3 of the Constitution that there had been a breach of the basic judicial suppositions of that chapter. The judges could not be required to act in a way that was incompatible with their office as judges and one has to remember that this is in fact a High Court; that if it is obsessed with anything, it’s obsessed with precisely that chapter of the Constitution – chapter 3 in judicial power.”

    Does he seriously believe that Howard, Ruddock, and the majority of the present bench of the High Court give a tinker’s curse about “basic judicial suppositions” which are nowhere enunciated in Chapter 3 of the Constitution?

    However, there is a narrow beam of light, at least in Victoria. Here is the appropriate section of the Victorian Constitution:

    “86. Power to Judges to award habeas corpus

    “The Court constituted by a Judge may award a writ of habeas corpus for bringing any prisoner detained in any gaol or prison before any Court to be there examined as a witness.”

    It’s up to Victorian judges to use this power to remove persons from Howard’s oubliettes so that the conditions of their incarceration may be examined.

    Hip Hooray for good old Victorian, liberal constituionalism!

  8. Hal9000 has hit the nail on the head. What a strange coincidence that wide ranging sedition laws are being promulgated at the same time as Dickensian industrial relations legislation will be rubber-stamped by parliament.

  9. OK – Fydordill and Katz and Hal et al are right. It’s all one carefully engineered conspiracy to manicle the working classes to the imperialist, capitalist system once and for all. With the conspiracy managed in the shadows by the Illuminati and the Bilderbergers.

  10. Streuth I can see where the govt is coming from. When you really look about you there’s sedition everywhere
    Those miserable ingrates. Just wait til I err.. we get my hands on those Workplace Agreements. I’ll give them some warm fuzzy socialism. A Kim Jong Il clause about criticism of the fearless leader, will be first on the agenda. That should keep them happy that I’m no RWDB.

  11. Are the secrecy provisions workable? If I say “Chas Savage is safe but not able to be contacted just now” won’t you all know what I mean?

  12. Libertie, egalitie, fraternatie – all under forocious assault in my homeland at once. So, who exactly is winning the WOT?

  13. Any truth in the rumour that Sheikh Omran is taking an quick trip with 79 like minded punters to the Cairo Cup next Tuesday?

  14. The Howard govt’s proposed anti-terrorism/anti-free speech legislation is yet another mind-boggling example of the Coalition’s commitment to free trade.

    Yes. That’s right. Free trade.

    Consider: If the laws are passed, Australians will no longer be able to criticise the government. This will open a whole new market of what I like to call ‘abuse outsourcing’. Australians will be able to pay foreigners to criticise Australia. In turn, as more ‘anti-everything’ legislation is passed, foreigners will call upon Australians to voice dissent about their countries on their behalf. Eventually, a new equilibrium will arise, where those countries with a comparative advantages in muck-throwing will achieve economic dominance as the new century continues.

  15. alpaca Says: October 27th, 2005 at 8:47 am “Consider: If the laws are passed, Australians will no longer be able to criticise the government.”

    If that is the case, surely it would have been easier, to have just scrapped elections altogether! Those elections cost a bundle. And while we are at it, just downsize and privatise the Parliament (state and federal). And while they are at it – local government as well. The end result, no government – the ultimate anarchist heaven.

    Imagine the cost savings from no (inefficient and ineffective) political advertising.

  16. That’s not “no government”, any more than symmetrical transactions with asymmetrical boundary conditions make a free market. That’s secret government, that’s what that is.

  17. The trouble is when you have a government which has allowed 9 young Australians to be endangered in Bali, which locks up its own residents, incarcerates children, deports Australian citizens, allows hundreds to drown at sea, then it appears that they want greater rights to treat people badly you have to think that they will.

    The secrecy of its introduction after a briefing from the organisations advising there were weapons of mass destruction mean that reasonable people will understand the satire of Mr Savage. The irony was quite clear but would have been clearer for those who have Asperger’s by labelling the item as Satire -a dark vision of the future.

  18. Hal9000 wrote:

    “Anyone who thinks anti-sedition powers won’t be abused needs to have a look at how they have been abused in Australian history. Prime Minister Hughes used them to send in the army to prevent the printing of Queensland parliamentary debates, on account of arguments therein urging a ‘no’ vote in the then upcoming referendum on conscription.”

    We don’t even need to go back that far.

    Queensland residents old enough to remember Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Terry Lewis and the Rat Pack and the findings of the Fitzgerald Inquiry won’t need too active an imagination to know what could have been done with the “anti-terror” powers by those gentlemen.

    Likewise for NSW residents old enough to recall the Hilton bombing frame-up by NSW Special Branch and that body’s ecumenical definition of “security threats” to include anyone parked near Trades Hall on the night of a Labour Council meeting, and any truck hire firm which hired out a PA truck for the May Day rally.

    Oh, and Victorians will recall those lovable rogues from ASIS and their memorable counter-terrorism training run in clown masks at the Melbourne Sheraton Hotel in 1983, whilst South Australians will recall Roma Mitchell’s findings on that State’s Special Branch in the late 1970s, and people out west will recall the WA wallopers’ enthusiasm for invoking obscure sections of the Police Act against trade unionists in the Pilbara in 1979.

    Don’t get me started on the imaginative uses to which Forestry Tasmania and Pol Lenin could put such powers, based on a single phone call from Gunns, to deal with pesky greenies.

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