Culture

Tony Abbott Is Going Full Commando To Save Australia From Terrorists, People On Welfare, Human Rights

Nothing distracts from your government being unpopular like a dose of the scares.

To make a clean break with the now-legendary Week of Good Government, during which he ignored a scathing report on children in detention and made an unnecessary Holocaust reference on the floor of Parliament, Prime Minister Tony Abbott released one of his fairly rare YouTube messages on Valentine’s Day, a day on which he had lots of spare time because no one loves him anymore.

Mentioning the Martin Place siege and ISIS in Iraq and Syria as examples of a growing national threat, Abbott flagged a bunch of vaguely threatening-sounding changes to national security arrangements that he’ll outline properly this time next week. It’s in a similar vein to his announcement in September that “the delicate balance between freedom and security may have to shift,” presumably because nothing distracts people from how badly your government’s polling than a good dose of the scares. More importantly, it’s a sign that the government’s getting ready to tip the scales even more in favour of “security” at the expense of human rights and due legal process, whether or not any of the changes actually make people safer.

“It’s clear to me, that for too long, we have given those who might be a threat to our country the benefit of the doubt,” Abbott said. “There’s been the benefit of the doubt at our borders, the benefit of the doubt for residency, the benefit of the doubt for citizenship and the benefit of the doubt at Centrelink.”

This isn’t the first time the government has tried to conflate social security with national security — much hash was made of the fact that Martin Place gunman Man Haron Monis was on welfare, as though that somehow had something to do with his also being violent and erratic, and Scott Morrison has promised to bring the same Rambo-like rigorousness to the Social Services portfolio that he did to Immigration, declaring his intention to be a “tough welfare cop” soon after his appointment in December. How exactly collecting a welfare cheque equals a national security threat has never been made entirely clear, but it’s fair to assume your fortnightly Newstart allowance will now be available only once you’ve sung the national anthem in its entirety (including the lesser-known fifth verse that’s uncomfortably warlike) and sculled a tinny of VB to prove your trustworthiness.

“And in the courts, there has been bail, when clearly there should have been jail,” Abbott continued. Presumably this is again in reference to Monis, who was out on bail for sexual assault and accessory to murder charges when he walked into the Lindt cafe, but considering tightened bail laws have already come into effect in NSW — under which Monis would have been locked up — it’s difficult to know what Abbott is getting at, unless he’s calling for even stricter bail conditions. Restricting bail even more than we have already could lead to some pretty serious infringements of human rights like the presumption of innocence, but that doesn’t seem to be weighing on the government’s mind.

Nor do the ever-increasing concerns around the government’s proposed metadata legislation, which has telcos frightened of the potential problems of collecting literally everyone’s information and large parts of which the government itself doesn’t really seem to understand. “This will make it easier to keep you safe and we want to get this legislation passed as quickly as we can,” Abbott said, without giving any evidence that collecting an entire population’s metadata makes people safer (probably because there’s no evidence suggesting that’s the case).

“We are a free and fair nation. But that doesn’t mean we should let bad people play us for mugs, and all too often they have,” Abbott urged, seemingly unaware of the irony of that statement coming out of the same mouth that demonised the carbon tax as the end of civilised life and promised no cuts to all the things that have now been cut. Whether or not measures like the metadata legislation become law are ultimately up to the Parliament, but if the public reaction is anything like last time, it’ll take more than Looking Tough to distract people from how badly the government’s going.

Comments

Comments

  1. jim cavill says:

    it what Fascists do when in goverment nothing to supprising there

  2. Terry Wrist says:

    Yeah, if people don’t want to work they shouldn’t have to.Im sure working taxpayers have no issues supporting unemployables like Mon Ramis or whatever his name was.

    Also RIP to those killed in the recent islamic terror attack in Copenhagen.

  3. ScreamFace says:

    Once again these guys are reading 1984 as an instruction manual.

  4. MsDemeanor says:

    Tones wants you all distracted and looking away from the trainwreck that is his tenure as PM.

  5. kathy lee says:

    ew..”abbott” and “going full commando” in the same sentence is worse than a photo of him in his dick togs.

  6. Robert Paton says:

    I was going to say the same thing Kathy, I don’t think ill be able to eat dinner tonight now

  7. Kinh Konn says:

    You have no right to make such an accusation. Liberals have made terrorism a key priority long before the leadership spill and it still continues to be a pressing issue in the world and this country. Whats more, they’ve had success stopping terrorist attempts (one quite recently) which makes your whole article (or conspiracy theory, if you prefer) look like complete an utter nonsense. Im sorry but this is seriously bad journalism.

  8. Maria Etheridge says:

    They were caught because of a tip-off from the Islamic community. Our security had no prior knowledge.

  9. Kinh Konn says:

    either that or the media wants people like you (who cant think for themselves) to think its a distraction

  10. justin says:

    Ppl like u are retarded. Stating the doll bludger stereotype like it’s a major norm. Only with Centre link plus the help from family get me threw Uni, which has landed me a job that drips with tax. And I would have done better at Uni if I diddnt have to fix all centre links stuff ups all the time, I never got the tiny but important payouts Centre link brags about handing out.only with missing classes and family help did I get threw. I hate u dumb ass, over simplifying fist shakers so much.

  11. pisswizard says:

    you again

  12. Steve says:

    Australians should feel lucky to have someone in charge like Abbott. We in Europe are getting swamped with fake muslim ‘refugees’, over 90% of ISIS supporters according to 2 recent independent polls. Most Europeans wish they had someone like Abbott, but it seems the Aussies don’t really understand how big the threat is. Instead, they come up with the same old and lame ‘human rights’ BS. As far as I am concerned, human rights of native people come first. Nobody asked the illegal immigrants to come here, they could have gone to some closer country in the Middle East. But I guess that’s not where all the welfare and social benefit goodies are, huh?

  13. Terry Wrist says:

    Must have been some uni if you don’t know how to spell “through”

  14. Terry Wrist says:

    Europe is also completely bankrupt.Huge social welfare programs and masses of unemployed migrants just doesn’t work economically.It’s gonna get real ugly as the economic situation continues to deteriorate over there.

  15. ben says:

    Jesus…. taxpayers have never covered anyone on any sort of welfare what so ever. This commonwealth has a currency of its own. The currency OR government pays for welfare of its people with its infinite supply of spending. It’s not your taxed working dollars. People should understand the government is lifting those people, not us… and we haven’t done so since we went off gold based currency… and what support was there before that time?

  16. Terry Wrist says:

    Reserve bank is not owned by the government, go look it up.Govt pays face value for money, it doesn’t print it’s own.

  17. MsDemeanor says:

    I can think for myself and you don’t need the media to see whch way this government is heading.

  18. Sarah says:

    What a leftist article. Its no wonder people have no clue as to what is ACTUALLY HAPPENING in their own country. Its because of articles like this. Ever thought that Tony Abbott is actually responding to a very real threat? Our treason laws are so weak now due to labour’s rein. I am actually glad that Tony Abbott is standing up and actually DOING SOMETHING ABOUT IT. but all you people seem to be focusing on is Tony Abbott supposedly trying to win more votes, and “looking tough”. Seriously WAKE UP AUSTRALIA. Dont believe everything you read in the paper. If Labour get another shot at “running” this country you will witness total anarchy, floodgates opened to mass immigration, and relaxation of border and treason laws. Who sent out the invitation for the boat people by relaxing border policies? Labour. And what happened when Liberals came into power? They got blamed for the refugees, and the state they currently live in. Labour PUT THEM THERE. We need to toughen up our borders, toughen up our laws before its too late.

  19. Austin Wonaeamirri says:

    If you want to live in a country where only the rich can have a decent life and everyone else who didn’t win the birth lottery is kicked in the teeth, abused, stereotyped and thrown on the scrap heap, and where there’s virtually no taxation, I suggest you go and live in Pakistan and stop bothering the rest of us about it.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/06/05/opinion/05kristof.html?_r=0

    PS- Of course, he wouldn’t want to live in Pakistan, firstly because he only wants the rest of us to live in a society like that, he doesn’t really want to live in that kind of place himself, and secondly because he’s a screaming racist and bigot, constantly trumpets violence involving Muslim extremists but always deliberately ignores massive religious/racial attacks on Muslims & Arab people generally.

    Je Suis Gaza.