What’s the opinion worth?

November 7th, 2005

As an opinionated Australian who is very vocal about her dislike of the Prime Minister, the government, many of it’s policies and even more of it’s Ministers I am wondering just how must freedom of speech I actually have. 

Schedule 7-sedition.
Crimes act 1914

4. At the end of section 30 A


(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 Parliament;

(c ) to urge another person to attempt , otherwise than by lawful means, to procure a change to any matter established by law in the Commonwealth;

(d) to promote feelings of ill-will or hostility between different groups so as to threaten the peace, order and good government of the Commonwealth.

Under this government’s proposed sedition clause in the anti-terrorism legislation I am not the only Australian to ask this question.  Comedians, satirists and commentators are seeking advice and clarity with regard to their rights which might include urging others to feel disaffection with the Government, the constitution or parliament.

Professor George Williams an expert in constitutional law at the University of NSW has stated,

"But the possibility that you could be jailed is enough that people will question whether they want to make the comment in the first place…why would you risk it? It is a very risky thing to play with free speech…it should not come down to trust."

I guess I’ll have to be careful and avoid saying things like HoWARd is a terrorist. 

  1. Manipulating Australia’s fear of being overrun by queue-jumpers and the assertion that children were thrown overboard
  2. Manipulating Australia’s fear of an attack on the west by Saddam and the WMD falsehood.
  3. And now the fear of a specific homegrown attack somewhere in Australia (or its territories) by extremists that hate our way of life.

"Whatever will happen, will happen at an appropriate time, if at all" – Attorney-General Phillip Ruddock.

The A terrorist manipulates the a population by using fear. 

fear disables... 

Image from here     

The Carnival is in town…

November 3rd, 2005

If your motivation to leave the mainstream media is to browse through blogs because you want to laugh, cry, be challenged, excited, educated or entertained then wander on over to the fabulous feminist marquee set up by Susoz at personal political

She has brilliantly put together a compellation of superb posts from blogs that focus on feminist ideas and interests. You will not find a more eclectic group of single-issue bloggers anywhere…oh and be prepared to expand your blogroll, we really are that good.

join in the celebration  
Image from here  

Next few days crucial

November 2nd, 2005

The PM tells us that it is just coincidental that his announcement that Australia is facing a possible terrorist threat has been timed to avoid scrutiny of the industrial relations and counter-terrorism laws. 

"Now if I had made the calculation that I’ll put this off for a few days so people won’t accuse me of that, and something were to happen, people would have every right to condemn me unconditionally." -John HoWARd

This is brilliantly circular isn’t it.  HoWARd won’t outline the specifics of the threat.  The legislation will go through because there is a threat. Naturally the threat will be averted because we have legislation to do so.  We may or may not ever hear the details of the threat and Australians will applaud him because hero HoWARd spared us from the threat being realised. Does anybody realise exactly where the threat is here?   

Do Not trust HoWARd   

Too alarmed to be alert

November 2nd, 2005

On the same day that Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews tabled the Work Choices Bill, HoWARd, with his wingman Ruddock has told Australians that there is a specific terror threat to Australia.

During the press conference, after fending off specifics, HoWARd implored Australians to just get on with their day-to-day events.

Really, in what order should I worry in an Australian-kind-of-way.

Should I start with collecting my daughter and her friends so that they do not travel by train through the heart of Sydney?

Or should I start with working through lunch and staying back late so that I impress my employer so that when the next round of supervision comes I will be assessed as a triple A rated worker?

Or should I start by telling all my peaceful, intelligent, olive-skinned young male cousins to never ever run with a backpack…

The alert levels do not need to be officially raised for me (and mine) to be alarmed.

Update: Very Alarmed.

beat the rush; work and play in chains cahined
Image from here