Democracy Disaffected Downunder

Created: Tuesday, 08 November 2005 Written by Max
Star InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar InactiveStar Inactive
Max Gross maintains his rage, his disaffection and his vodka spritzer.

While the Busheviks defend their inalienable Amerikkkan right to torture whomever they like in secret CIA gulags for their phoney “war-on-terror” (and-a-partridge-in-a-pear-tree), our very own mad bomber, Germ W. Howard PM, perfects his fine art of domestic terrorism by manipulating fact and fiction for his own devious political ends. "When it comes to the safety of the Australian people and the security of this country there is no room for political manipulation and I have not sought to do that in relation to this issue and I will not in the future." - John Howard PM, November 8 2005

“Sedition: incitement of discontent or rebellion against the government; action or language promoting such discontent or rebellion”
– The Macquarie Dictionary

No Caption

Learning of an impending ASIO raid, last week the Mendacious Midget had a cunning plan to help boost his mean and tricky ideological agenda, and declared he had received specific intelligence of a possible attack, but could give no further details for “operational reasons”.

That sure pissed off a lot of cops, and jeopardised a year-long operation by State and Federal police targeting terrorist suspects in Sydney and Melbourne.

Never shy of politicising the most critical issue, the Rodent has claimed extraordinary new counter-terror legislation is urgently needed to prevent “London-Style” terrorist acts, but similar laws were in place in the U.K. at the time of the bombings. But in fact, the “bombers” were under surveillance for prior to the bombings and were assessed as posing no threat! Meanwhile, a completely innocent man was gunned down and the incident crudely covered-up, all in the name of Tiny Blur, the Brit PM.

But here’s the kicker Downunder. Police carrying out the overnight raids in Sydney and Melbourne used search warrants issued in the established manner: by a judicial officer. No dodge, no special new (secret!) laws.

The suspects were charged immediately, not spirited away to prolonged detention o­n a whim, a nod and a wink. And these blokes have already faced court. Even our cold-blooded Attorney-General Philip Buttock was prompted to mutter that the accused will have the presumption of innocence. Yes, although the rest of his cadaverous expression remained as rigid as ever, we saw his lips move!

In fact, senior police have said that while last week's feral amendments to anti-terror legislation had been a help, the raids would have taken place anyway!So much for the Rodent’s whipped-up hysteria about a terrorist plot. The raid was already planned, as he very well knew when he so dramatically recalled Parliament.

In other words, as o­ne commentator has pointed out, what we saw – thanks to the vast media presence due to a mysterious (government?) tip-off – ASIO and the police, acting o­n sound information, using current operational powers, and observing all the rules of law. Habeas corpus remains intact. And no expanded sedition provisions. For now.

So what are these 16 blokes accused of? Reports conflict but so far, according to lawyer Rob Stary, his clients had o­nly been - and would o­nly be - charged with membership of a prescribed but unidentified organisation. Freemasons?!

Stary said police did not find weapons, chemicals or any other materials that could have been used in a possible attack. The Victorian and New South Wales Police Chief Commissioners, however, have already apparently decided the outcome for the courts:

"These are serious charges and serious offences," Vic Police Chief commissioner Christine Nixon said this morning. "There was sufficient evidence for a significant attack." She reckons the men were expected to face further charges involving "a range of state-based offences". Credit card fraud? Outstanding parking fines?

The real danger to our way of life lies not from these “terrorist suspects” but the next wave of the Germ’s “anti-terror” legislation, with dangerous new powers far beyond anything used during these raids.With draconian "control orders", repressive "sedition" clauses, open-ended incarceration-without-charge, and secrecy more characteristic of Stalinist Russia, clearly the Howard government’s aim is to silence dissent. After all, as the PM’s new workplace “reforms” start to hit home, there will be a great many pissed-off people out there reaching for brickbats and union membership applications.

The PM calls it “reform” but I call it a terrorist assault o­n ordinary working men and women, their families, and those struggling working-poor and unemployed Australians whom the Mendacious Midget wouldn’t deign to micturate upon if they were o­n fire.

In every factory, office and fast food outlet, its five minutes to midnight as the clock counts down o­n the castrated Senate’s brief, token parliamentary “review”.

Law Society of NSW president John McIntyre rightly reckons "The government's lip-service to basic parliamentary procedure means that potential flaws in the proposed counter-terrorism legislation are likely to go undetected and could be an unnecessary erosion of the fundamental principles of the rule of law."

Carmen Lawrence is spot-on when she says the sedition provisions and other aspects of the anti-terrorism bill gives the Rodent’s menagerie "extraordinary powers" that contravene fundamental rights of speech and assembly, and the right to trial.

“Am I being seditious,” asks Keysar Trad, founder of the Islamic Friendship Association of Australia, “if I question the decision of my Government to send our children to occupy another country, using our tax dollars to do so, and to kill in my name? Am I exposing Australian troops to danger if I call for their withdrawal from a theatre of war that is replete with contamination from depleted uranium?”

John von Doussa, the president of the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission, says the new powers are more like those of a police state. He says the bill will "seriously fail the human rights test" and contravene the International Convention of Civil and Political Rights unless it allowed courts to review the factual merits of control orders and preventive detention.

Not that such trifles bother Johnny Germ. After all, his mentor is the scarcely sane U.S. Presidense George W. Bogus, whose Veep, Dick Slimy, is doing all he can to make torture and death by torture legitimate tools of the CIA trade.

Here, thank Dog, sanity prevails in the form good folk like Mr von Doussa, a former Federal Court judge, who points out that the defining characteristic of a police state was police exercising power o­n behalf of the executive without being effectively subject to the courts. "Regrettably this is exactly what the laws which are currently under debate will achieve," he said.

When he says the Federal Government cannot be trusted, you know he’s got the Rodent’s number alright!

Just last week, during the parliamentary fracas prompted by the PM’s unjust and discriminatory Industrial Relations legislation, Attorny-General Buttock copped flak for refusing to say whether the media could be charged with sedition under the proposed anti-terror” laws. The sedition proposal is Buttock's creation, not dependent o­n the cooperation of the kowtowing states. As the Shadow Attorney-General, Nicola Roxoff, exclaimed” "If he can not explain it, we really have to worry."

No shit, Nicola! Trust your mechanic?

It’s obvious that laws designed to suppress the free speech of ordinary citizens and restrict the ability of the media to report o­n terrorism issues would not have made any bloody difference to today's raids. And the suspension of habeas corpus - the rule of law requiring someone to be presented in court before being locked up – has nothing to do with nabbing terrorists and everything to do with screwing with our “way of life”. Just like Johnny Germ's Industrial Relations legislation. WorkChoices? BossChoices!

But of course, when the PM speaks so solemnly (such a nice old gentleman!) about protecting our way of life, he isn’t referring to YOUR way of life or MY way of life, but the way of life of mean and tricky old pointy heads like himself!

Why else would the Germ want to amend the Crimes Act 1914? So he can jail anyone advocating or encouraging any act having (or purporting to have!) “seditious intent”. What the...

Here’s a direct quote from the o­nly copy of the legislation that’s come to public light (thanks to the very right honourable Chief Minister Jon Stanhope of the ACT):

“Anti-Terrorism Bill 2005

Schedule 7 – Sedition

4 At the end of section 30A

Add:(3) In this section:seditious intention means an intention to effect any of the following purposes:

(a)     to bring the Sovereign into hatred or contempt;
(b)     to urge disaffection against the following:
I.     the Constitution;
II.     the Government of the Commonwealth;
III.     either House of the Parliament;” and so o­n...

You get the picture. That, my friends, is a brush that tars just about anything and everything. And it has no place in law in any country purporting to be a Democracy. Straight up, the Rodent’s sedition provisions are:

• Unnecessary, because current law already prohibits inciting crimes, membership and funding of terrorist organisations, and racial vilification.

• Dangerous, because by their nature they are political and have been used against Gandhi, Mandela, etc.

• Too broad, because any person or organisation could be charged with sedition without, as existing law requires, having urged force or violence.

• Unfair, because the sedition laws reverse the o­nus of proof. The accused will be assumed guilty and will need to prove their innocence. It will be almost impossible for them to do this under the proposed legislation.

But allow me to finish this depressing spray with an uplifting quote from an article by Canberra writer Chas Savage (HOW’S THIS FOR SEDITION, The Melbourne Age, 24 October 2005):

“I openly urge disaffection with the Government of the Commonwealth. Its leaders behave with the morality of the gangster. They are shameless in their pursuit of their own self-interest and in the efforts they make to maintain their control o­n power. They plunder the public purse to benefit their own careers and to maintain their own grip o­n power. They reward incompetence and cruelty; they themselves behave incompetently and cruelly.”Ahh! I feel better already!

This was Max Gross for, disaffected, disinfected, and disconnected. Now where’s my bloody baseball bat? And who drank all the vodka!