116 thoughts on “In the press

  1. The current drafted dual citizenship changes make it so a person can lose their Australian citizenship if they possess a “thing” related to terrorism, or if they are convicted of a terrorist activity or “certain other offences”.

    Now, a couple of days ago on this thread, I related the matter of how the Canadian PM got rid of that staunch anti-whaling campaigner, the captain of the Sea Shepherd, by cancelling his passport while he was out of the country. He faced no charges, had no warrants for arrest, owed no money, and was born and bred a Canadian.

    The LNP has put up draft legislation which means the possession of a thing deemed terroristy can be and probably will be used as grounds to remove your Australian citizenship. If you don’t possess a thing, they can still get you on “certain other offences.” Chilling doesn’t even begin to describe it.

  2. Does it count as a “Godwin” if you point out that the ‘Nuremburg Laws’ stripped citizenship from people in roughly exactly the same manner as the laws the ALP/LNP fascist duopoly are about to pass?

    If so, I’d wonder whether “Godwin’s Law” needs to be reviewed, maybe amended or qualified to fit our present circumstances. It’s almost as if the term itself was created to neutralise criticism of situations identical to those of 1935 Germany.

  3. @Megan
    Personally, I don’t think Godwin’s law applies when what is happening so closely resembles something the N@z!s actually did, as in this case. It just becomes a fair comparison.

  4. @Megan
    No, that’s a valid comparison, IMHO. Given the significant desire for these changes retrospective, it means that at any time in the future, should an LNP minister decide that your conviction for destroying government property a decade a go (graffiti on a building), or for painting “No War” on the sail of the Sydney Opera House some fifteen years ago, could see your passport and citizenship revoked. At any time, for something foolish done many years before, the axe could fall. If I were David Hicks or Mamdouh Habib, I’d be consulting with lawyers about now.

    It simply isn’t right to put such power into the hands of a minister, especially when this government consists of so many people who were also in the Howard government, under which the Hicks and Habib affairs happened. That government dissembled every step of the way; no reason to expect different this time ’round. Chilling.

  5. You have to admire the way the ALP rises above morals, ethics and the popular will sometimes…

    They have now voted with their LNP fascist duopoly partners to slam through the laws making offshore concentration camps “legal”, even though the LNP wouldn’t do the same for them:

    The opposition leader, Bill Shorten, told parliament on Wednesday evening: “Sometimes in life the very people you attack are the very people you need to turn to.

    “This is one of those times.”

    “We will vote for this bill because there are some things more important than partisanship or political agendas. We will vote for this bill because we are guided by our compassion,” he said.

    Shorten pointed out that the Coalition was quick to oppose the then Labor government’s Malaysian people swap deal in similar circumstances, under the threat of a high court case.

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    “Labor is determined to be better,” he said. “My job as opposition leader is to put the country first.”

    The opposition spokesman on immigration, Richard Marles, said the government demonstrated “appalling partisan politicisation” of the asylum issue by voting down the so-called Malaysian solution.


    “They seek our support and we give it even though, four years ago they turned their back on us,” he said.

    Shorten said he hoped debate would shift from the “toxic, malignant, poison of Hansonism that seeps to surface of our politics”.

    “That genie needs to be put back in the bottle.”

    You’ve got to hand it to ALP supporters. Without them the ALP might not be able to run arguments like that with a straight face. They are the best asset the LNP has.

    Slow clap. Well done. I wouldn’t have thought it possible, but you guys are GOOD.

    Make sure you all go along to support the “ALP 4 Refugees” rallies over the next few days and weeks. Remember – a vote for the ALP is a vote for the LNP’s inhumane, cruel and illegal continuation of the ALP’s cruel, inhumane and illegal refugee policies.


  6. Flashback to September 2011:

    TONY Abbott appears to have sunk the government’s chances of reviving its Malaysian people swap – which would leave Labor without an asylum seeker policy and facing the prospect of increasing boat arrivals.

    Mr Abbott told Parliament: ”It is not the opposition’s job to support bad policy from a bad government. It is not the opposition’s job to save the government from a mess of its own making when there is an alternative.”

    The Coalition has said it will wait to see the proposed amendments that would ensure people could be sent offshore, including to Malaysia and to the opposition’s chosen destination of Nauru. But Mr Abbott’s remarks were so strong that there seems little chance the Coalition could now back the legislation.

    Two interesting points there:

    1. The “mess of its own making”, was the ALP’s attempt to do LNP cruelty with a distinctive ALP twist. The High Court ruled that out and the ALP was begging the LNP to throw them a lifeline.

    2. The LNP said “Nup, send ’em to Nauru”. And the ALP was desperately trying to be cruel to refugees in any place except one called Nauru – for no other reason than its name!

    My hatred for the ALP is not shallow, ill-considered, uninformed or invalid.

    Today a few dozen more refugees were secretly shuffled off from Darwin to Nauru, including a newborn baby. There many of these children will be abused. All of them will be tortured. The ALP wants a medal for helping the LNP ensure this continues. And it thinks it is “compassionate”.

    You people are vile.

  7. @Megan
    Both LNP and ALP have plumbed some real lows in how they deal with asylum seekers travelling by sea. We all know that dealing with asylum seekers, and dealing with the pernicious and invidious human trafficking (extorting/blackmailing relatives to pay for the release of relatives, as per the recent Four Corners program) trade is essentially a wicked problem, one with myriad factors and few simple options; given this knowledge, we need a government that can swallow its pride, join forces with parliament as a whole, and establish a working group which can create a policy that can work, respects people’s human rights and our international obligations, and is owned by the parliament, not just the government of the day. Until it is taken out of the hands of one government, or the next, and is made the responsibility of the entire of parliament, this crazy battle to the bottom of the barrel is never going to stop. We have committees and things which work well on other policy matters, so why not on this matter?

  8. @Megan

    ‘Roughly exactly’? What does that mean? If it’s rough it’s not exact and if it’s exact it’s not rough.

  9. If there are two laws, one which provides for one group of people to be stripped of citizenship on one basis and the other which provides for a different group of people to be stripped of citizenship on a different basis, are those two laws:

    (a) exactly the same?
    (b) roughly the same?
    (c) roughly exactly the same?
    (d) not the same?

  10. If that part of my comment at #3 is vexing you, remove one of those words. Or both if you like.

    Or re-word that part to read: “…stripped citizenship from people in roughly the exact same manner as the laws…”, whichever you feel like.

    The important thing is the fact that the ALP/LNP fascist duopoly will slam through laws that fit any of those descriptions.

  11. > ALP/LNP fascist duopoly

    I think probably the best way to categorise “fascism” is as a post-modern reaction, trying to jury-rig an approximation of the old hierarchical social order out of the pieces that are left behind after a revolutionary episode smashed the old order’s theoretical underpinnings. It’s a really distinctive thing; you look at a fascist social order and you’re put in mind of a “cow” made up of a horse smeared in thick layers of clay. It’s not something that you see in the ALP. The LNP? Absolutely, but not the ALP, because the ALP doesn’t have the fakeness. “Thuggish” or “vile” are fine words, and have the advantage of being accurate.

  12. Colin, to use a W Bushism, I think you misunderestimate the ALP’s capacity for fakeness.

    As I’ve said many times before, I use Mussolini’s general definition of “fascism” as “corporatism” or the unifying of the corporations and the government into one ruling body.

    I use “duopoly” to drag the ALP into the indictment because one half of this fascist duopoly could never get away with it if challenged. The ALP’s crucial role in this is to play the part I think you have ascribed to it – pretending not to be fake.

    I would like to see the word “fascism” brought out of the naughty room and used again – appropriately – in common usage to talk about the reality we have. It is instructive to remember that the original ‘anti-fascists’ in the 1930s were trying to warn the world, including very actively here in Australia, about the coming horrors and were viciously silenced by the pro-fascists of the time.

    The ALP is also thuggish and vile I agree, BTW.

  13. @Megan

    The Australian Parliament adopted a Naturalization Act in 1903. This was the first Commonwealth Statute dealing with nationality/citizenship. It allowed for a certificate of naturalization to be revoked if it had been issued on the basis of a false statement. It was amended in 1917 to allow a certificate of naturalization to be revoked for any reason at all. That was before the concept of fascism had been invented.

    These historical facts are inconsistent with the idea that any law that allows people’s citizenship to be taken away is fascist.

    Perhaps you didn’t mean to suggest that that any law that allows people’s citizenship to be taken away is fascist. But it seemed as if that was what you were suggesting. If your meaning was different, I can’t tell what the difference is supposed to be.

  14. You’re joking, right?

    Fascists do lots of things that are bad. Lots of those things, like killing people, have been done historically by people before anyone invented the term “fascist”.

    The ALP/LNP fascist duopoly is passing laws allowing stripping citizenship.

    Fascists in 1930s Germany also passed laws like that.

    To be clear: The ALP are fascists.

  15. @Megan

    You’re joking, right?

    Fascists do lots of things that are bad. Lots of those things, like killing people, have been done historically by people before the concept of fascism was invented. Therefore it is wrong to say that everybody who kills a person is a fascist. Herman Webster Mudgett killed people, but he was not a fascist. John Bellingham killed Spencer Perceval, but he was not a fascist. Leon Czolgosz killed William McKinley, but he was not a fascist. The killers of Anne Marbury Hutchinson were not fascists. The killers of Daniel Thomas Edgerton were not fascists.

    In the same way, it is wrong to say that everybody who passes laws that allow stripping citizenship is a fascist.

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