Arrest this man

Andrew Cooper has an op-ed in The Australian this morning. He makes some astonishing claims:

My crime? Well, I haven’t committed one.

I think the law enforcement types refer to that as being unrepentant. He is denying both his crime and his guilt.  His crime is that he is a conservative traitor – an agent of foreign influence. Worse, an unregistered agent of foreign influence.  If he were not guilty the government bureaucracy would never have asked him to prove his innocence.  But if he has nothing to hide, he has nothing to fear.

But his crime get worse. Not only is Andrew Cooper unrepentant, he is a recidivist.

At midnight, the clock expired and I am now liable for referral to the AFP for arrest and criminal prosecution. As a happy coincidence, I am flying to the US as the deadline passes and I would be lying if I said there was not some small relief in that.

Even as his role as an agent of foreign influence is being exposed he is in the US receiving updated orders from his shadowy masters.

~+~

I think it is important to be clear what is happening here – a bureaucrat is accusing Andrew of what is effectively treason and asking him to prove that he is not a traitor.  Here is Senator James Paterson being sensible.

James Paterson told Sky News that was an “abominably wrong call” and someone might need to pay the price. The Liberal senator said targeting organisers of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) conference isn’t what the register was designed for.

Indeed – yet here we are.  The parliament needs to stop passing laws that are vague and give unelected bureaucrats executive and judicial powers without any democratic oversight.

Update:

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40 Responses to Arrest this man

  1. stackja

    Bureaucrats draft laws.
    MPs vote legislation to give bureaucrats powers to do what bureaucrats want to do. What could possibly go wrong?

  2. Does this legislation actually give these bureaucrats such powers, or are they interpreting the legislation to suit their own ends and over-stepping their remit?

  3. I might add that all laws that are enacted have behind them an ‘intent’ set by Parliament. The bureaucrats must abide by the intent of the laws and not interpret them to suit their own ends. Legislation can’t be too prescriptive, else it too becomes unworkable.

  4. zyconoclast

    Here is Senator James Paterson being sensible.

    James Paterson told Sky News that was an “abominably wrong call” and someone might need to pay the price. The Liberal senator said targeting organisers of the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) conference isn’t what the register was designed for.

    Did the good senator vote against this legislation?

  5. RobK

    Unbelievable.(an expression, not statement of fact)

  6. feelthebern

    Lock the traitor up!
    Even better, put him in stocks in Martin Place & hand out the rotten fruit & veg.

  7. Dr Fred Lenin

    Writing laws is a perk of the lawtrade ,it follows a certain pattern ,never use 10 words when 485 will say almost the same thing ,always slip in a few ambiguities so the law turns into a nice little earner for the trade in the future , never ever use plain English the wrong peopke might misinterpret it and understand something only we should know . Conservativism is a dinosaur ,a thing of the past and should be ruthlessly supressed as It leads the peasants to think for themselves ,not be guided by their betters .
    Modern progressive globalism is the ultimate re interpretation of Marxism a and this time it will work ,it didnt quite succeed in the past because it wasnt woke like it is today and didnt have soros supporting it altruistically , It preached ae were all equal and ignored the celebration of differences of sex,race , colour , the important things . It was also led by old white men ,who though good Marxists were not woke enough , unlike todays generation ,who are thoroughly indoctrinated now the march through the institutions is a success .
    Issued by the left wing morrison government disinformation comisariat of the attorney generals dept.

  8. tombell

    Some extracts from the legislation below. Let’s just look at the concept of undertaking an “activity” under an “arrangement”. you can read all about naughty activites in s12 yourself. It’s all so woolly as to be meaningless. Assume Abbott discusses delivering a paper @ CPAC with the organizing body. And yes – like anyone addressing a public forum he hopes to persuade by force of argument. And yes, the people who may be swayed by this Svengali may- just may- include elected officials. Hey presto it’s an “arrangement” arguably in breach of the Act. This Act is a disgrace. Period.

    3 Object

    The object of this Act is to provide for a scheme for the registration of persons who undertake certain activities on behalf of foreign governments and other foreign principals, in order to improve the transparency of their activities on behalf of those foreign principals.

    11 Undertaking activity on behalf of a foreign principal

    (1) A person undertakes an activity on behalf of a foreign principal if:

    (a) the person undertakes the activity in any of the following circumstances:

    (i) under an arrangement with the foreign principal;

    (ii) in the service of the foreign principal;

    (iii) on the order or at the request of the foreign principal;

    (iv) under the direction of the foreign principal; and

    (b) at the time the arrangement or service is entered into, or the order, request or direction made, both the person and the foreign principal knew or expected that:

    (i) the person would or might undertake the activity; and

    (ii) the person would or might do so in circumstances set out in section 20, 21, 22 or 23 (whether or not the parties expressly considered the existence of the scheme).

    (2) For the purposes of subsection (1), it does not matter whether consideration is payable.

    arrangement includes a contract, agreement, understanding or other arrangement of any kind, whether written or unwritten.

  9. C.L.

    This law was passed in response to the Dastyari scandal – ie, a senator doing the bidding of China.
    So the Liberals passed a law exempting all senators and parliamentarians from registering their ties to foreign powers. Stuff you simply couldn’t make up.

  10. Bruce of Newcastle

    Seeing that all people in Australia, except for aboriginal people, have come from other countries, or their ancestors have, it is clearly necessary for every non-indigenous Australian to register as a foreign agent.

    And since all aboriginal people have ancestors who came to Australia within the last 60,000 years they should all register as foreign agents too. You can never be too careful, after all.

    I for one welcome our new marsupial masters.

  11. C.L.

    Very weak stuff from Paterson in the video. Continued Porter’s “vewy vewy angry” theatre and didn’t want a bar of the suggestion that those responsible be sacked.
    Richardson was far more on-song.

  12. Old School Conservative

    Agreed C.L.
    Patterson refused to take that important step of calling for the sacking of the public servants involved.
    Another wet lettuce leaf approach so beloved of the LINOs.

    Still no contribution to the debate from Morrison.

  13. feelthebern

    This is a good example of how Chain Of Responsibility (CoR) software can be very useful.
    If this regulatory action was coded (similar to the way a lawyer or accountant code client files to track hours).
    And then every participant in the decision chain who viewed it was recorded, there would be an undeniable chain of responsibility.
    And hopefully accountability.
    Considering how bureaucrats at a state & federal level are forcing this kind of CoR on so many other parties, why shouldn’t they be subject to it to?

  14. FelixKruell

    Indeed – yet here we are. The parliament needs to stop passing laws that are vague and give unelected bureaucrats executive and judicial powers without any democratic oversight.

    Excellent point. Nice when the consequences of bad drafting are made apparent so soon…hopefully a lesson is learnt.

  15. Arky

    This is a dirty, deliberately designed charade to make implementing legislation written to stop the foreign undermining of democracy.
    Get a clue.
    Next time you write the legislation name the bloody country it should be directed against.

  16. notafan

    I agree CL.

    Bolt was right about KKK.

    Graham wasn’t defending her either

  17. Arky

    This is a dirty, deliberately designed charade to make implementing legislation written to stop the foreign undermining of democracy impossible.
    [Left out last word.]

  18. Arky

    All the people involved in drafting and implementing this and fucking it up need investigating for ties to a certain large communist regime.

  19. Des Deskperson

    Here’s something interesting:

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/government-warned-nine-over-foreign-influence-in-explosive-one-nation-broadcast-20190813-p52gl9.html

    It appears that AGs went after the Nine Network after it aired footage of former One Nation Queensland leader Steve Dickson visiting a strip club.

    ‘In a letter to Nine chief executive Hugh Marks, warned Nine’s broadcast might need to be registered under the foreign influence transparency scheme if it was “done on behalf of a foreign principal”, although said it could also be exempt because Al Jazeera had issued a public statement denying involvement in the broadcast.

    “Nevertheless, I strongly encourage the Nine Network to undertake a self-assessment of its registration obligations and, if registration obligations apply, to register as a matter of urgency,” the department official said in the May correspondence.”

    While I am not suggesting at all that the cases are parallel, AGs does seem to be throwing its weight around fairly indiscriminately, including at ‘progressive’ leaning organisations. It is a reasonable assumption that the heavy-handed letter quoted above uses similar language to the letters sent to, among others, Tony Abbott.

    I know that many Cats loathe Al Jazeera and love Steve Dickson, but this has broader implications.

  20. Art Vandelay

    James Paterson told Sky News that was an “abominably wrong call” and someone might need to pay the price.

    In that case, Paterson and his fellow Liberal Party halfwits who voted for the legislation should all fall on their own swords.

  21. Roger

    A not unfamiliar situation, I’m afraid.

    I was once requested by a bureaucrat in Foreign Affairs to prove I had not relinquished my citizenship.

    It was an absurd demand made without any evidence to substantiate the suspicion, the purpose was apparently simply to throw a spanner in the works of a business endeavour.

    That was in the 1990s; public servants have been out of control for quite a while now yet ilLiberal governments keep giving them more power over us.

  22. dover_beach

    The parliament needs to stop passing laws that are vague

    No, no, the legislation is deliberately broad. It is at pains to include, not exclude. A further problem with the legislation is that it doesn’t seem to care about the idea of the proximity of influence. It doesn’t want to distinguish between a conference and a former PM or current parliamentarian in the pocket of a foreign government or doing the bidding of a foreign corporation.

  23. “I know that many Cats loathe Al Jazeera and love Steve Dickson, but this has broader implications.”

    Oh the never ending smugness and vapid moral superiority. I happen to personally know quite a few Cats and whilst they uniformly loathe Al Jazeera…probably because it is the mouthpiece of the Jooo hating, Hamas financing Qatari government….they also uniformly loathe Steve Dickson for being the numb skull idiot that he is.

    And DD….you don’t have a problem with Al Jazeera?

    And as I said yesterday…..Andrew Cooper is, thus far, the first and only recipient of a letter from the AG department threatening goal time.

  24. Dr Fred Lenin

    Its good to see the carefull planning that went into this law, its ostensibly to counteract Chinese infiltration by Aldi bag ,the department implementing it dont have anyone who speaks or understands Vhinese,well done .
    Does ASIO know anyone who speaks Vhinese ? There are Chinese speakers in Taiwan who are not communists you know !
    But that would be too easy wouldnt it ?

  25. Dr Fred Lenin

    As for MPs regretting legistlation they voted for ,the remedy is in your own hands ,resign from parliament , ,you are a failure ,you just admitted it, go back to your law office above the fish and chip shop .

  26. Elizabeth (Lizzie) Beare

    This is simply a clear case of willful misinterpretation of the intent of the poorly drafted law.

    Note: willful and with intent.

    Some lefty head (a senior one) in the bureaucracy needs to roll over this.
    Blind Freddie, that notorious observer of ridiculous events, can see why Cooper was fingered and threatened with imprisonment. Because they could. No other reason.

    Has Cooper received his apology yet? And a retraction of the letter? If not, why not?

  27. feelthebern

    Wasn’t there a regulatory impact study that highlighted this potential outcome?
    Or are regulatory impact statements a thing of the past?

  28. Megan

    Australia- rapidly approaching peak Stasi.

  29. Dr Fred Lenin

    I suppose they are formulating the letters to Keating. Carr Desparate Arry and the Aldi Baggers ?
    Have to be tactfull with former PMs and alp aparatchiks .
    Knowing how to speak Chinese is not required to detect bribery and corruption .

  30. candy

    Porter is afraid of being called of the “Right”, Alt Right, etc.

    In fact, the LNP peoples really don’t like being call a party of the “right” or “conservative” at all. They prefer “centre”.

  31. jupes

    Here is Senator James Paterson being sensible.

    No. That is James Paterson being weak.

    Bolta’s point about KK is spot on. If the government doesn’t repeal this stupid legislation, Labor will jail conservatives no doubt about it.

  32. Squirrel

    Looking forward to the ABC expose of how this shadowy right-wing conspiracy all leads back to Putin – perhaps the first Four Corners of 2020…..

  33. jupes

    While I am not suggesting at all that the cases are parallel, AGs does seem to be throwing its weight around fairly indiscriminately, including at ‘progressive’ leaning organisations. It is a reasonable assumption that the heavy-handed letter quoted above uses similar language to the letters sent to, among others, Tony Abbott.

    Don’t be so fucking stupid Des.

    Your point only makes sense if you actually believe that Tony Abbott is of equal danger to Australia as the propaganda arm of a terrorist supporting, racist regime. And that Cooper is an even greater danger.

    FMD

  34. cohenite

    If the government doesn’t repeal this stupid legislation, Labor will jail conservatives no doubt about it.

    Correct.

  35. nb

    Mr Attorney General, tear down this man.

  36. candy

    I wonder if the jail threat is still relevant in Andrew Cooper’s case? He sounds a little concerned?

    The AG has said the legislation will not be changed.
    I wonder if Porter is still contemplating following through with the jail threat. They really targeted him in particular.

  37. Kneel

    “(iii) on the order or at the request of the foreign principal;”

    So,if the head of the UN is not an Australian, and they ask Australia to do , the Australian govt would need to register as a foreign agent? The government is not an MP, is it? Nor a senator. Nor any other exempted entity.

    Just askin’… ’cause it’s already easy to show that’s just what has happened.

  38. I hope he gets political asylum in the US. Embarrass the crap out of useless, value free Morrsion, Porter and lunatic fringe dweller, Dep. Sec. Chidgley.

  39. Des Deskperson

    ‘Don’t be so fucking stupid Des.

    Your point only makes sense if you actually believe that Tony Abbott is of equal danger to Australia as the propaganda arm of a terrorist supporting, racist regime. And that Cooper is an even greater danger.’

    Well, that’s what AGs seem to believe.

    My point – perhaps made too subtly for you – is that this legislation apparently can be used – well. was used – to hassle any organisation that reprints or rebroadcasts foreign media – government or private – comments and views critical of Australian politics.

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