Policy on the run

An angry and frustrated Communications Minister forcefully warned the Prime Minister and his cabinet colleagues yesterday that they risked being embarrassed over the new terror provisions ­because they had taken a decision without full knowledge of the repercussions for internet service providers and the public.

Oh dear.

A government that can’t keep it’s promises, can’t balance the budget, makes things up as it goes along. Where have we heard that story before?

To be fair, when Kevin Rudd couldn’t think of anything to do, he invited 1000 of his closest friends to Canberra. Abbott has confected a national security scare. Not that there is a heightened risk mind, just the government has to spy on all its citizens.

Soon someone will be saying this is a government that doesn’t dot the i’s or cross the t’s.

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78 Responses to Policy on the run

  1. Rural Roger

    Too right. They aten’t just mssing the dotted i and crossed t. They have made a bloody mess of the budget, stuffed up the whole thrust of the restoration of plain speaking and now want to get into our digital undies.
    Abbott is a dill. Brandis is a dill. Pyne is a dill.
    Bishop is clearly the last man standing, so to speak. Time to give her a go. Before some idiot thinks a PPL can fix it all up!

  2. incoherent rambler

    Such draconian law making may be required in a time of war.
    So, are we at war with Islamic jihadists? The answer should be yes, but these laws aid the enemy.

  3. Senile Old Guy

    Every time I hear “it’s only what’s on the outside of the envelope” I shudder because (a) this is stupid and wrong, and (b) why should the government be free to read what is on the outside of every message I send?

    The fact that it is recorded already is irrelevant. The issue is not whether it is recorded but whether people should be able to trawl through it at will.

    It is now clear that Abbott runs a great opposition but is useless in government.

  4. blogstrop

    the government has to spy on all its citizens.

    No. It only has to spy on the ones we told them wouldn’t assimilate and have a generally very poor attitude.

  5. Joe

    No! It’s patently clear that the federal “feral” bureaucracy runs the government and elected officers from both major parties do not have the knack of making them kowtow to the elected governments policies.

    SACK THE LOT.
    CLOSE IT DOWN.
    SALT THE EARTH.

  6. Dr Faustus

    This level of stupidity can’t be explained away as a Team Abbott policy-on-the-run brain fart. Or blamed on bad salemanship.

    It is an almost exact re-run of Roxon’s aborted 2012 proposed data retention scheme - shredded at the time by the Coalition (and even the Greens, FFS).

    Dropping this turd on the counter is weapons-grade stupidity.

  7. Infidel Tiger

    A good government that has lost its way.

  8. goatjam

    A good government that has lost its way.

    Or a bad government that has found its way.

    David St. Hubbins: It’s such a fine line between stupid, and uh…
    Nigel Tufnel: Clever.
    David St. Hubbins: Yeah, and clever.

  9. john malpas

    It shows that voting is a waste of time.

  10. MemoryVault

    Combine this . . . .

    It is an almost exact re-run of Roxon’s aborted 2012 proposed data retention scheme – shredded at the time by the Coalition (and even the Greens, FFS).

    with this . . . .

    No! It’s patently clear that the federal “feral” bureaucracy runs the government and elected officers from both major parties do not have the knack of making them kowtow to the elected governments policies.

    and you start to get to the truth of the matter.
    That truth is that the politicians no longer run this country, the bureaucrats do. And the politicians prefer it that way. Actually taking responsibility for, and running a government department, takes a lot of time and effort pollies would rather invest in TV interviews, radio talk-back, or even down the local shopping mall kissing babies.

    This surveillance of metadata is a hobby horse of some high-ranking bureaucrats somewhere – I suspect ATO (tax), Human Services (welfare payments), and Attorney General and/or Communications (digital copyright infringement), and has little to do with catching terrorists, who can be readily found on Facebook, Twitter and You Tube anyway.

    As Dr Faustus correctly points out, it has been tried on before, under a different grubbermint, and if it fails this time around it will simply be put on the backburner for a future grubbermint.

    Those of you old enough will remember when tax evasion was going to be eliminated, if we introduced retrospective legislation for Bottom of the Harbour laws? Crime was going to eliminated, if we disarmed the population. Permanent financial stability was ensured, if we just taxed super contributions. Tax would be forever fairer and simpler, if we just had a GST.

    These and many more examples originated in the bureaucracy, NOT with the politicians. All were attempted and failed at least once before being accepted. ALL were abysmal failures at their stated purpose, but resounding successes in their TRUE purpose, which was to transfer ever more power and control to the bureaucrats.

  11. Yohan

    The government has been good at reacting to issues not of their own making. The Indonesian spying scandal, Holden’s and Toyota, the illegal boats, staring down Qantas and SPC, MH17 e.t.c

    The problem is when they then move on to promoting their own vision and policies. It almost like a series of comically incompetent announcements designed to piss of every segment of society.

    Knights & Dames
    Internet Filtering
    Raising Taxes
    Vouchers for divorce counselling
    Income Management for Everyone on Welfare
    Paid Parental leave
    Trying to argue the budget on the ‘fairness’ issue
    Sue mums & Dads for torrent downloading

    …. and now the free speech backdown.

  12. .

    That truth is that the politicians no longer run this country, the bureaucrats do.

    Mass sackings. That crazy motherfucker Graeme M Bird was right on this at least.

    This surveillance of metadata is a hobby horse of some high-ranking bureaucrats somewhere – I suspect ATO (tax), Human Services (welfare payments), and Attorney General and/or Communications (digital copyright infringement)

    Back to the good old days of catching people selling copies of Commodore 64 games for $5 a pop.

    Well, I feel safer now.

  13. Yohan

    Seriously there is such a problem here. I have always though it is Peta Credlin who is the issue, but maybe Tony Abbott just really does have a tin ear and no feel for what the electorate wants, like some commentators have mentioned.

  14. Roger

    Not that there is a heightened risk mind…

    I wouldn’t be so sure of that given the present climate. Notwithstanding that, the metadata grab is indefensible; I wouldn’t be surprised if there wasn’t another embarrassing back down in the near future on it.

    I think we’re seeing yet more evidence that our political class is inept (besides one or two exceptions who prove the rule).

  15. H B Bear

    Add Abetz and his 40 dole applications a month to this list of “KRuddesque” policy developments. Floated for half a day and then straight to the Therese’s forgettery.

    Howard’s B Team are looking worse every day.

  16. .

    Anyone realise that Abetz’s policy is going to mean recruiters for BHP’s CFO are going to get 20,000 applications from those out of work and no capacity or intention of ever getting the job?

  17. ella

    “not that there is a heightened risk mind”

    I belong to the IPA and have financially supported their attack on restrictions on free speech.

    How about George Brandis tells us just how high the risk has become by inviting Muslims into
    Australia.

    The truth, and nothing but the truth.

  18. Dr Faustus

    The problem is when they then move on to promoting their own vision and policies.
    +1

    Team Abbott seems to think they explained their policies well enough from Opposition – evidence: they were voted in – and all they need to do now is trot out the ‘mandate’ argument to the Senate. Nobody in Government seems to care that, from the outside, they look exactly like a Clown Circus in rehearsal.

    A massive government-to-punter communication failure, the like of which we haven’t seen since Gillard/Rudd in 2010/13.

  19. goatjam

    Tony Abbott is the best Prime Minister that Australia has seen since Krudd Mark II

  20. Roger

    How about George Brandis tells us just how high the risk has become by inviting Muslims into
    Australia.

    Yes, we need to have a full and frank public discussion of this, Ella. There are also the current revelations of a slackening of investigations for years now into illegal entry by plane on falsified documents. A case can be made that our immigration policy and its implementation is no longer serving the nation’s well being but actually undermining it. We need to hold the politicians responsible accountable.

  21. Sinclair Davidson

    Gentlepeople – just a reminder that there have been no terrorist attacks in Australia, by Moslems or anyone else. As far as I can see the Moslem community have been verballed by the PM on the 18c issue. Ironically that, itself, is a violation of 18c.

  22. Alfonso

    ‘It shows that voting is a waste of time.’
    Indeed, it suggests that an Establishment oligarchy sets the band of acceptable politics for the plebs.

  23. .

    Is what you are saying seditious, Sinc?

  24. Sinclair Davidson

    Yep – just not a Team Australia player.

  25. Alfonso

    ‘no terrorist attacks in Australia, by Moslems’.

    Noted. Now consider the 20 Muslims doing gaol time for planning murderous attacks that were stymied.

  26. Sinclair Davidson

    Now consider the 20 Muslims doing gaol time for planning murderous attacks that were stymied.

    Excellent news – so the existing legal framework is working.

  27. Roger

    But how many attacks foiled, Sinclair?
    And how many home grown jihadis in Syria soon to return?
    I don’t believe this is an invented threat.

  28. goatjam

    The threat is valid, the solution, not so much.

  29. Alfonso

    ‘so the existing legal framework is working.’

    And the first you’ll know that it isn’t will be a loud noise. None of Tone’s mass surveillance is necessary with simple profiling.

  30. Roger

    The threat is valid, the solution, not so much.
    Yes, I don’t agree with the metadata grab, goatjam.
    The present intelligence measures can deal with the threat if the appropriate levels of vigilance are maintained by the security services.

  31. Sinclair Davidson

    None of Tone’s mass surveillance is necessary with simple profiling.

    Maybe, maybe not. I get get checked for explosive residue every single time I go to an airport. Every time. Once in Sydney I got pulled out of the same line twice for swabbing.* Clearly short, fat, bald, middle aged men wearing a suit and tie are a threat to national security.

    * Shoudn’t complain really – after the second swabbing I got fast-tracked to the front of the queue. (Insert jokes about queue jumpers here).

  32. .

    I trust airport security the same way I trust a travelling second hand market.

  33. Roger

    I get get checked for explosive residue every single time I go to an airport.

    So do I, but I’m sandy haired (greying), blue eyed and fair.
    I maintain they pick me to prove they aren’t profiling!

  34. Alfonso

    Profiling will get you through 100% unmolested 99.9% of the time
    You’re not the demographic, presently that’s deliberately ignored for ideological purposes.

  35. .Dr.Sir Fred Lenin

    We need a grass roots party ,to represent the Real Australian People,and the non muslim migrants who actually work for a living. An updated One Nation type of party ,patriotic,non PC ,a party that makes people really work and pay Taxes for the general good,Defund all socialists and untidy nayshunists,only admit skilled migrants,we dont need peasants and labourers any more,curb the lawtrade which costs billions a year,curb the corrupt unions,defund humanities courses at unis,re educate teachers and oay the skilled ones well,sack the aparatchiks in all jobs.And get rid of professional politicians who only give you rudd,gilliard- brown,abbot governments,useless drones. Wake up Australia!

  36. struth

    The basic fact is the government are using Islamic terrorism to justify this intrusion yet still keep importing them.
    Until they stop all Muslim immigration they cannot justify this at all.
    Until they are seen at Muslim rallies arresting the racist violence inciters they cannot justify this.
    Good god this is all insane.

  37. Alfonso

    “The basic fact is the government are using Islamic terrorism to justify this intrusion yet still keep importing them.”

    As they say 5+.

  38. Sinclair Davidson

    The basic fact is the government are using Islamic terrorism to justify this intrusion yet still keep importing them.

    Actually no. According to news reports Australia is exporting terrorists.

  39. Joe

    Excellent! Don’t let them back in.

  40. notafan

    Wake up Australia!

    Party

  41. Alfonso

    According to news reports Australia is exporting terrorists.

    Indeed, and importing the raw material that makes the export trade possible.
    A couple of decades assimilating the incumbents without any additions might be tres smart.

  42. struth

    Yes, tongue in cheek , Mr Davidson, so my reply must be…….we aren’t exporting enough.

  43. notafan

    According to news reports Australia is exporting terrorists.

    Australia is manufacturing and exporting terrorists.
    What a brilliant growth industry to have.

  44. I am the Walrus, Koo Koo K'choo

    Actually no. According to news reports Australia is exporting terrorists.

    We import the raw materials, transform them into WMD and export them again.

    With no guarantee that the WMD won’t be ‘returned to sender’.

  45. jupes

    You’ve been spanked by Alfonso, Sinc.

    4 – nil by my count.

  46. Sinclair Davidson

    We only do spanking on my birthday and it never involves anyone called “alfonso”.

    More seriously though – I’m not buying into the implicit view that lunatics behaving badly is an inherent feature of a particular community.

  47. H B Bear

    According to news reports Australia is exporting terrorists.

    Actually Snic I think they are FIFO terrorists. The lure of that disability pension and some Sydney backyard tabbouleh beats a vague promise of 72 virgins unless things get a bit too ‘splodey in the meantime.

  48. jupes

    More seriously though – I’m not buying into the implicit view that lunatics behaving badly is an inherent feature of a particular community.

    A pitch-perfect example of the weapons grade wilful ignorance that will be the death of Western society.

  49. Sinclair Davidson

    jupes – no. At some point we have to recover our civilisational mojo and change people for the better before they change us for the worse.

  50. jupes

    At some point we have to recover our civilisational mojo and change people for the better before they change us for the worse.

    What point do you suggest Sinc, entry perhaps? And change them how?

    Do we give them money and a western education, you know, like the 9/11 hijackers?

    Do we give them lessons on the history of the Jews and explain to them that Allah doesn’t really mean all that mean stuff about Jews and Kaffirs in the Koran?

    Do you think they will believe us when we tell them that a bloke who had 11 wives, including a six year old, kept slaves and killed adulterers probably isn’t the ideal man to model your own life on?

    “Civilisational mojo” and wishful thinking just doesn’t cut it in real life.

  51. .

    Why is that relevant? It is illegal here and now.

  52. Sinclair Davidson

    Jupes – through the lived experience. Consider the US experience compared to the European experience. Our American friends – despite their faults and ghastly food – have a very strong sense of national pride and civilisational pride too. They don’t seem to have any of the problems that, say, the Europeans have.

    The other argument I would make is this; Those Aussie exports that are exciting us so aren’t terrorists because they are Moslems, they are just bad people.

  53. Dr Faustus

    At some point we have to recover our civilisational mojo and change people for the better before they change us for the worse.
    +1

    We have no choice other than to do this – although I don’t have a clue how it can be done practically under the present circumstances and with the present cast of players. I do know, however, with terrible certainty, that invoking an unexplained, fortune cookie concept like ‘Team Australia’ is a counterproductive waste of time and emotion.

  54. Roger

    I’m not buying into the implicit view that lunatics behaving badly is an inherent feature of a particular community.

    Whoever said it was? I’m with Solzhenitsyn – the dividing line between good and evil runs through each individual. But some ideologies are inherently oppressive and violent and foster the evil in people, and I’m afraid there’s plenty of empirical evidence through history that Islam is one of them. Indeed, just read the Quran.

    Furthermore, I don’t think the jihadists creating mayhem in Syria and Iraq are lunatics; I think a psychiatric assessment would find most of them perfectly sane. They are not mad, they have succumbed to an evil ideology. That, I think, is why the West is taking so long to realise what it is up against – we have lost the ability to conceive of evil.

  55. nerblnob

    Sinclair is right. Australia needs to project values that immigrants buy into, something that it did effortlessly before multiculturalism became official policy rather than accidental (and temporary) fact.
    I suggest you do this by applying law impartially without racial or religious or “cultural” exceptions.

    The early Afghans, the 50s and 60s Turkish immigrants (“Crazy John” Ilhan’s ilk) were not Australia-hating terrorists.

    Now all seems lost in a swamp of relativism and nanny-statism.

  56. .

    Indeed, just read the Quran.

    I’m not being a smart arse here but if you knew nothing about Judaism or Christianity and read the Talmud or Revelations…what would you conclude?

    Plenty of Muslims outside of the ME are fine. The ME is the problem.

  57. jupes

    They don’t seem to have any of the problems that, say, the Europeans have.

    Well, except that the 2013 Boston Marathon was interrupted by an inherent feature of a particular community a bombing.

    And the WTC was subject to an inherent feature of a particular community a bombing in 1993.

    And Fort Hood was subject to an inherent feature of a particular community a mass murder in 2009.

    However no one has been hacked to death in the street yet so, yeah, it’s all going swimmingly over in the US.

  58. jupes

    Those Aussie exports that are exciting us so aren’t terrorists because they are Moslems, they are just bad people.

    A pitch-perfect example of the weapons grade wilful ignorance that will be the death of Western society. BIRM.

    If they were not Muslim, they would not be terrorists. There are no Buddhists fighting in Iraq, Syria or Gaza.

  59. Alfonso

    ‘change people for the better before they change us for the worse.’

    If that’s the defence there’s no hope. Ask the French, Poms, Dutch, Danes, Swedes and soon the Italians for some data on that. They’ve been doing it much longer and not one wouldn’t deport the lot and go back to pre Muslim immigration culture if it were possible, which it is not.
    The results are unambiguous.
    The question is still: why import Muslims? What risk reward makes it compulsory?

  60. jupes

    Plenty of Muslims outside of the ME are fine. The ME is the problem.

    A pitch-perfect example of the weapons grade wilful ignorance that will be the death of Western society. BIRM. Again.

    Sure Dot, Muslims are perfect citizens in Nigeria, Kenya, Sudan, Somalia, Southern Thailand, China, India and the Southern Philippines.

    Oh and Jews live in the ME Dot. Surely you aren’t blaming them for Muslims behaving badly? Surely.

  61. Roger

    I’m not being a smart arse here but if you knew nothing about Judaism or Christianity and read the Talmud or Revelations what would you conclude

    Dot, not being a smart arse either, but I’m guessing you’ve not read either the Talmud or Revelation (no “s” on the end)? Or the Quran?

    Plenty of Muslims outside of the ME are fine.
    Thankfully yes; one only wishes they’d be more vocal in denouncing the Islamists. Why aren’t they?

    The ME is the problem.
    Yes, but the Quran was written c. a millenia and a half before the ME became a geo-political problem and it contributed to the ME becoming a modern geo-political problem. It can’t be read or understood outside of the context of the history of the ME. In the final analysis, unlike Christianity, both Judaism and Islam are religions rooted geographically in ME soil, two religions for whom “the land” of the ME is central.

  62. Sinclair Davidson

    one only wishes they’d be more vocal in denouncing the Islamists. Why aren’t they?

    Well how vocal am I in criticising people who do the wrong thing?

  63. jupes

    Well how vocal am I in criticising people who do the wrong thing?

    The problem with ‘moderate’ Muslims with regard to criticising the terrorists amongst them is that are virtually silent on the matter. They may be able to take advantage of George Brandis’ gullibility but Blind Freddy can see that they are pulling the piss.

    ISIS murders Christians and fellow Muslims by the truckload (literally) and it’s crickets and tumbleweeds, yet when Jews defend themselves against terrorists in Gaza, they are out on the street blocking traffic and making a nuisance of themselves. The Jew-hate is ubiquitous. Not only that, they elect leaders who praise terrorists.

    These are people who gather on the street to protest that someone named a teddy-bear Mohammed in fucking Sudan yet can’t be bothered to protest someone called Mohammed who flies a plane into buildings killing thousands of people, or a fellow Muslim Australian holding severed heads in Iraq.

    The ‘moderates’ enable the terrorists.

  64. Talleyrand

    However no one has been hacked to death in the street yet so, yeah, it’s all going swimmingly over in the US.

    Really. American Muslim television network CEO beheads wife

  65. “It is because the public are a mass — inert, obtuse, and passive — that they need to be shaken up from time to time so that we can tell from their bear-like grunts where they are — and also where they stand. They are pretty harmless, in spite of their numbers, because they are fighting against intelligence.”

    Alfred Jarry

  66. rafiki

    I have a couple of points to add to the vigourous and stimulating debate above.
    1. I was once married to a Muslim East African woman. She lived pretty much in the same way as Western women, down to wearing a bikini at the beach. She fasted, but made dinner for me, etc. But I was non-plussed when she expressed hatred for Jews. This was not from any experience of her own, and indeed I pointed put that many of our house guest were Jewish (and continued to be). What this told me, (and recently publicised videos of some Hamas TV children’s show also illustrate), was that this attitude was one inculcated from birth. It is but one example of very deeply-seated wildly conflicting views about human nature between our Western culture and others, and in particular, Muslim culture. Sure we have to accept that we can’t deport Muslims, even the violent ones (and violence is not confined to explicit terrorist attacks, but to urban violence of the kind seen after the Cronulla demonstrations). But the case for a pause in Muslim migration (and from Somalia) is strong. It will take a coupe of generations to assimilate the population we have now into acceptance of virtues such as tolerance, respect for the law, etc.

    2. No-one has picked up the possible significance of Turnbull’s intervention, noting too that his meetings with Palmer are in very public places. he is at least putting himself ‘out there’.

  67. Tom

    “Changes which make it easier to prosecute, punish and indict Australians need to be very carefully considered and balanced against our hard-won and precious freedoms.”

    It’s a weird day indeed when I agree with communist totalitarian scum.

    H/T James Patterson, IPA.

  68. .

    Dot, not being a smart arse either, but I’m guessing you’ve not read either the Talmud or Revelation (no “s” on the end)? Or the Quran?

    I didn’t mean Talmud, I meant Torah.

    I’ve been subjected to most of the bible including revelation. The Quran starts of so boring I can’t go any further. I’m aware of the unsavoury bits. If you knew nothing about Judaism or Christianity – the bible would have some bizzare parts. Yet very few Christians want to go around killing people.

    It’s cultural, to some extent.

    Most Israels were refugees from Europe. I think this cannot be underestimated if we want to examine their success by any measure. Their Army was modelled on the British and they had the benefit of the best of European culture. Judaism has been peaceful since the fall of Masada. The Irgun and IDF have just exercised self defence IMO.

    I’m aware that religion forms part of your culture too.

    Most of this suicide bomber crap comes from the Iran Iraq War. No one was blowing themselves up (despite threatening to do so) to get rid of the Ottomans.

  69. notafan

    Rafiki I had the same experience with Eritrean Muslims who make comments about Jews and 9/11 that stunned me.
    Hatred of Jews is absolutely ingrained and it is irrational. Look at the Palestinian video about Syria that was posted here a couple of weeks ago.
    Every time I look at comments threads on ME english language sites about IS atrocities etc there are claims that IS(IS) is a Zionist front.
    The dude who spoke on the ABC about Hamas without challenge was the next week trotting out the blood libel on an Arabic language station.
    Scratch a little and there it is.

  70. .

    They’re mis/uneducated idiots. That’s the main problem.

  71. notafan

    Some of them are extremely well educated idiots.

  72. Now all seems lost in a swamp of relativism and nanny-statism.

    i.e. weakness. History shows that weakness is to be exploited. Better to be hated and respected than liked and disrespected. It will reverse only when strength is shown, and shown consistently.

  73. oldsalt

    Cycles of tolerance and intolerance. Nothing new. Vigilance, fight when we have to, be patient.

  74. Farmer Gez

    Please Liberal party, put Julie Bishop in charge before it’s too late. Shorten is about to pull off a “Bradbury”.

  75. Marion of the Glades

    Bishop it is. Ring the bells.

  76. struth

    You couldn’t say Bishop was a better choice than Abbott on this blog back around election time.
    The aloof and self righteous laughed it off.
    When Abbott started wetting his pants and showing his true colours, we who were not happy with him( and I was supporting Bishop and still am) were told to stop being hysterical.
    Calm down.
    Stop over reacting and well, blah blah.
    I think now I can ask, have there been any who now admit to their error and are embarrassed by their aloof, dismissive attitude?
    I hate to say I told you so but…………..I got given such stick, that well………well
    …..I forgive you.
    When you want something so bad I totally understand.

  77. Matthew

    Terrorism in Australia. Because of the immigration policy that we had to have (and still have to have, apparently).

    Why inflict this on ourselves? We are being told that we cannot have free speech and freedom in our society for fear of certain elements here. How about having a rational immigration policy? And if we can’t have that then no immigration at all.

  78. Makka

    ” I’m not buying into the implicit view that lunatics behaving badly is an inherent feature of a particular community.”

    Then you need to spend some time in the ME Sinc. From whence they come. I guarantee you , you will then change your tune. That said, surveillance of Australians is going too far. Stopping immediately the importation of the problem is IMO an Urgent necessity though.

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