|A Clear and Present Danger|
Exactly what skills are befitting of a politician is not always clear, but
loud protestations of valuing justice, liberty and freedom must rank pretty
highly. Probably on par with the firm belief in the virtue of ever more
regulating the lives government subjects. But surely the most important ability
is the ability to bluff, as indicated by the the fiasco surrounding the newly
introduced terrorism laws.
Around three weeks ago, the State Premiers (and two self-important Chief
Ministers) met with Little Johnny to discuss possible 'anti-terrorism
laws'. The Labour Premiers went into the meeting determined to flex their political
muscles and give Little Johnny a hard time over violations of civil liberties,
personal freedom, and even a little thing called The Australian Constitution.
It's not clear what Little Johnny said to them in their meeting, but it
must have scared the living daylights out of them, because they came out of the
meeting looking like lemmings. Ignoring the little matter of John Stanhope's
little indiscretions in posting proposed legislation on his website, and his
desperate face-saving after the event, it is clear that something at the
meeting changed his mind.
And it was probably as simple as this:
'ASIO have told me there is highly likely to be a terrorist
attack in the near future. If you don't pass this legislation, and people die,
then I will finish your careers by saying 'that Premier wouldn't pass the
legislation which would have saved those people's lives'.
Even the True Believers would have to be wearing their balaclavas backwards
not to see the logic of this statement. So it would really come down to how
likely they though a terrorist attack was. Unfortunately the only one to
actually know this was Little Johnny himself. Johnny was holding all
the cards, and all he had to do was to wink and say 'trust me - these ones
are hot!' The True
Believers, including Kim (Fatboy) Beasley, folded.
Little Johnny out-maneuvered his opponents again.
But since the laws were passed, there has been silence from ASIO. Shouldn't
raided the wrong address and assaulted the hapless occupants before being
paying them an undisclosed sum in compensation by now? C'mon guys - you
needed these powers for a reason - now use them. Have you already rounded
hundreds of terrorist wannabes up into holding cells in Manus Island without
trial? Nothing so exciting.
Lady liberty is alive and well and being held in indefinite preventative