Cage match

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Last updated on July 27th, 2017 at 01:14 pm

Janet Albrechtsen on proposed anti-terror laws:

The greater the number of progressive pen pals spilling their outrage on the Fairfax letters pages, the more likely it is that the target of their anguish is good public policy.

And Time’s Steve Waterson:

The country’s leaders need to reconsider these ill-conceived, hastily drawn laws. Whatever they think they are protecting, it is not the Australian way of life.

Good public policy or a menace to our way of life? Read both pieces and applaud/expose their qualities/flaws in comments.

Posted by Tim B. on 11/01/2005 at 09:11 PM
    1. Such has been the frenzy over at Fairfax and at like-minded media outlets, the anti-terrorism laws have been declared unconstitutional even before the legislation has been settled, passed by parliament or tested in court.

      Works both ways, Janet:  Such has been the fawning allegiance over at Murdoch and at like-minded media outlets, the anti-terrorism laws have been unquestioningly supported even before…

      Aaah, it’s all fun and games.  But once she gets past the cattiness, Janet makes some darn good points about the delusions of bill of rights supporters.  We shouldn’t put any more power in the judiciary’s hands than they already have.

      Posted by slammer on 2005 11 01 at 10:33 PM • permalink


    1. I’d already formed a view prior to reading the items back here– this confirms my opinion.

      Posted by Habib on 2005 11 01 at 10:33 PM • permalink


    1. Specific terror threat announced by PM

      Posted by JamesP on 2005 11 01 at 10:35 PM • permalink


    1. Agreed Habib.

      F*ck this for a row of sh!thouses.  I don’t see why we should have these laws enacted purely because the govt today is too gutless to turf the bastards out and ban any more coming here; let alone threatening an eye for an eye:

      You set off a bomb in my town, I’ll wipe Damascus, Mecca, Medina, Amman, Cairo, Riyadh, Tehran and/or Karachi off the map…

      They’ll work it out pretty damn fast.  The Japs did.  Two blinding flashes of light and we haven’t heard SFA out of them for 60 years.

      Posted by murph on 2005 11 01 at 10:38 PM • permalink


    1. Right, murph me old mate. Yer under arrest. 7 years for inciting hatred over the internet. That’s several million people you’re threatening to murder. And I reckon one or two of them are not even terrorists.

      You sound suspiciously like…a terrorist, yourself…

      Howard’s laws are meaningless in terms of reducing the risk of terror attacks. Obviously they can’t possibly work. But if it means we can lock up murphs, I’ll go along with it.

      Posted by Nemesis on 2005 11 01 at 10:54 PM • permalink


    1. Its an interesting point Habib,
      being in Asia and listening to the Government talk tough on bird flu, i.e, closing customs posts, controls on imports, etc, shows we can have a few balls when we want to.

      Isn’t a few nutters planning a bomb in the same league? After all, plenty of Emirates flights leave Australia every day.

      Posted by Nic on 2005 11 01 at 11:09 PM • permalink


    1. Yeah, Nemesis, Murph’s threatening people with his ICBM arsenal. Put those back in your gun-safe, Murph.

      Posted by C.L. on 2005 11 01 at 11:12 PM • permalink


    1. Nemesis, I do believe you are mocking murph’s Way of Life™. I thought that attacking the customs and beliefs of others was wrong. Please enlighten me, I’m so confused.

      Posted by Andrea Harris, Administrator on 2005 11 01 at 11:15 PM • permalink


    1. Murph, murph murph…. You have to look at the root causes. Didn’t reading the Fairfax letters teach you anything?

      Mark Steyn’s latest – “Confrontation is a good thing” may help.

      Posted by Dan Lewis on 2005 11 01 at 11:23 PM • permalink


    1. The stink of moral equivilence still follows Nemesis where ever he goes.  Man, Nemmie, that shit didn’t fly here last year, what do you think is different now?

      Posted by Sortelli on 2005 11 01 at 11:41 PM • permalink


    1. #3-thx for the link, Howard sure gives good furrowed eyebrow.  National security editor of The Australian, Patrick Walters, said Mr Howard’s statement pointed to “an imminent threat to Australians”.

      Posted by slammer on 2005 11 01 at 11:42 PM • permalink


    1. oops let me finish!
      #3-thx for the link, Howard sure gives good furrowed eyebrow.  This bit’s a bit odd:
      National security editor of The Australian, Patrick Walters, said Mr Howard’s statement pointed to “an imminent threat to Australians”.
      Quoting one of your own journos as an expert? That’s, er, different.

      Posted by slammer on 2005 11 01 at 11:44 PM • permalink


    1. Jeez. Murph, how many times have I told you not to play with those bloody ICBMs? Now put the them away NEATLY. And if you leave one more 500 kiloton MIRV on the coffee table, it’s no ice cream for you for a week!

      There you go, Nemmers, all sorted mate!

      On a serious note, Waterson does not get it, he is still stuck on stupid. The telling words are that terrorism cannot be defeated until the communities it shames are on-side. The unspoken (but very clear)assumption is that the Muslim communisty in Australia is ‘shamed’ by acts of terrorism.

      What if they are not? I went for a wander around Lakemba recently with a Lebanese Maronite mate, who passes for a Muslim. Far from being ‘shamed’ by Bali (that was the latest at that time) it was being celebrated. Celebrated.

      From this day well spent, it became apparent to me that the best you can probably hope for is indifference to terrorism from the Australian Muslim community, and closing of ranks around domestic muslim terrorists when they crop up here. What really surprised me was the volume of very, very, very radical pro-terrorist literature on open display. This included videos of beheadings and other murders,and so forth.

      SO I think that Waterson is basing his comments on his projection of what he thinks Muslims are like, and he thinks their worldview accords to his, and they are just like him, except for the odd clothes.  This is completely wrong.

      Waterson’s comments strike me as very superficial; in essence he does not know what he is talking about.

      He also makes the unspoken assumption that Howard is actively malicious, and therefore not interested in good public policy. This is simply untrue. I remember when he was Leader of the opposition, when it was Opposition policy to SUPPORT Government policy where it was considered to be good public policy for the country’s benefit. This cost him political opportunities he did not have to forego – if he was merely an opportunist git like the present ALP front bench.

      That also weighs against Waterson.

      Albrechtson’s is the better argument.


      Posted by MarkL on 2005 11 01 at 11:54 PM • permalink


    1. While I’m sympathetic to sensible improvements to anti-terrorism legislation, the article linked in #3 just makes me go WTF.

      INTELLIGENCE agencies have received specific information about a terrorist threat to Australia which today prompted the Government to rush through its anti-terror laws to help avert a possible attack.

      Claiming that an imminent terrorist danger can be prevented through the passing of legislation is surely a novel concept, to be kind. I don’t think even John Kerry was that bold.

      Posted by PW on 2005 11 01 at 11:57 PM • permalink


    1. C’mon guys: let’s forget about this terrorism studd and deal with the big issues.

      Posted by Villeurbanne on 2005 11 01 at 11:58 PM • permalink


    1. Arggghhhh – ‘stuff’. PIMF.

      Posted by Villeurbanne on 2005 11 01 at 11:58 PM • permalink


    1. Frankly, I don’t find these articles helpful, though Albrechtsen’s ‘off topic’ warnings about a bill of rights and judicial activism are spot on: just another means for so-called progressives to get round voters and their elected representatives.  What I’m missing in all the rant is a few simple answers.

      Do existing laws adequately cover this threat?  If not, how do they fall short?
      Do the new measures adequately fill the gap or are they overkill?  We need details about proposed and existing legislation.

      I am absolutely against laws which would deny anyone the right to say a certain belief was a fraud. Nothing should be off limits to free discussion except calls to kill.  murph, above, wants to blow off some hot air – I hope.  There’s a big difference between that and recruiting suicide bombers.

      The way through the middle of all this is not easy.  ‘Progressives’ have always felt free speech should only be about the kind of talk they find acceptable; they are not too concerned about civil liberties when they are boundary riding for muticulturalism, for instance.  Authoritarian conservatives are sometimes over-eager to give police forces too much power.

      Nevertheless we are at war.  It is a strange war that we haven’t learnt how to wage because Islamists use our liberties against us, including the use of our own media as an essential strategic tool and the exploitation of our political differences. We have got to find a way to get at them without shitting in our own nest.

      I don’t know but the general agreement between Canberra and the Labor state governments is a sign, perhaps, that Howard, once more, has got it right.  There seems to be a few people about who need a good looking at – which current legislation won’t allow.  We can’t loiter over this; lives are at stake.

      Posted by Inurbanus on 2005 11 02 at 12:06 AM • permalink


    1. Let me summarise Albrechtsen’s article:

      “(1) The proposed laws are good because their opponents are dingbats.
      (2) I will now have an OT rant about judges and a Bill of Rights.”

      Not exactly convincing.

      I will support the new laws when I see a clear explanation of how existing laws are unsatisfactory, and in what reasonable circumstances the new laws would be useful. I would prefer this explanation to come, not from a pollie, but from a CT professional such as the Director-General of ASIO or the head of the AFP.

      Posted by Lionel Mandrake on 2005 11 02 at 12:07 AM • permalink


    1. We shouldn’t put any more power in the judiciary’s hands than they already have.

      slammer—it’s easier to hang a judge than rebuild a skyscraper.

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 11 02 at 12:07 AM • permalink


    1. Albrechtsen’s article is weak.

      She does not actually discuss any of the proposed measures in the anti-terrorist legislation. She just criticises the concept of a Bill of Rights. Just shooting fish in barrel.

      What’s her opinion on imprisoning a father for five years because he told his wife that their 16 year old had been detained as a terrorist suspect?

      Posted by pog-ma-thon on 2005 11 02 at 12:21 AM • permalink


    1. Can’t agree with that, Richard, respectfully. In a democratic society, it’s harder to hang a judge than build a skyscraper. And it should be.

      Posted by C.L. on 2005 11 02 at 12:28 AM • permalink


    1. Judging by the noise the state premiers are making, and the recent history of the federal judiciary (re: asylum seekers), its starting to sound like those control orders are going to be classed as “administrative decisions”, and will be able to be appealed before the AAT.

      Posted by 2dogs on 2005 11 02 at 12:35 AM • permalink


    1. Hmmm. Just read Howard’s revelation of a specific terrorist threat. Like most things from Howard, the information lacks anything, well, er, specific.

      Nothing new there, I suppose, but I note also that Kim Beazley has seen the info about the “threat” and wants to rush the legislation through. Surely that should worry even you lot?

      Mind you, there is a hole in the Lane Cove Tunnel. Now that’s scary.

      Posted by Nemesis on 2005 11 02 at 12:37 AM • permalink


    1. Albrectsen’s wrong! Waterson’s right!


      Cos his surname looks almost identical to mine. I’ve been reading down the comments thread jumping at all these criticisms directed at myself. It’s about time someone stuck up for me.

      Posted by James Waterton on 2005 11 02 at 12:47 AM • permalink


    1. Sorry, Janet, I dicked up your last name.

      Posted by James Waterton on 2005 11 02 at 12:51 AM • permalink


    1. Emesis- Yes Murph is such a “terrorist”that he shares a site with the likes of you.Didn’t mummy tell you not to play with the bad guys.We might be catching.Obviously you think you stand a chance of a hearing by bothering to post here at all.Which means you don’t really think this site is all that bad.Work it out,silly.

      Posted by crash on 2005 11 02 at 01:27 AM • permalink


    1. Murph! You get in here this instant!

      I just got a call from Mrs Smith about her top paddock. I know she told you and that Tim Blair kid that it was OK to hunt rabbits there.

      Nobody gave you permission to use of of the SATANs to do this. It would not have been too bad if you’d used one of the Mod II’s with the eight 750 kiloton warheads. I know those work pretty well against rabbit burrows. But you just HAD to use the Mod I.

      How many times have I told you the 25 megaton warheads are only for New Year’s?

      So I want you to go over to Mrs Smith’s place and start cleaning up the mess you and Tim made. Her dunny just landed in Singapore and her chooks will never be the same again.

      Bloody kids.


      Posted by MarkL on 2005 11 02 at 01:41 AM • permalink


    1. Yes Nemesis there is a hole it the Tunnel.
      Source Oz -‘The N.S.W. (Labor) government has held back more than 2,000 pages of documents relating to the tunnel because of fears they would prejudice the government and rta in legal action over an “incident” in the tunnel.The opposition joined forces with the independents.Mr Tripodi tabled the SIXTEEN CARTONS of documents at 3PM,THE SAME TIME AS THE FIELD JUMPED IN THE MELBOURNE CUP.(NB- Was it the ABC’s radio national franny who BEGGED the Howard government NOT to present the Anti Terrorism Laws on CUP day when “ALL AUSTRALIANS WILL BE DRINKING AND GAMBLING”.
      Anyhow now that the tunnel has inadvertantly almost swallowed an entire block of apartments whole (at present teetering on the brink)Bob Carr must be thanking his lucky stars that he was savvy enough to get out just in time……

      Posted by crash on 2005 11 02 at 01:42 AM • permalink


    1. Waterson is into rhetorical overdrive. He would have us believe the government is breaking new ground in authoritarianism. No one denies we’re at war, albeit against an elusive enemy, and the last time we were in a global-spanning conflict, we had the National Security Act 1939–40 under which internees were locked up. So harsh measures under threat of attack are not new.

      Posted by slatts on 2005 11 02 at 01:52 AM • permalink


    1. O.K so everyone who doesn’t want anti terrorism laws introduced now will sign up to be human shields to protect the remainder (majority)of Australians if we are attacked.Being as how they want us all to suffer for their moral indignation.Presumably they speak for(condemn) their families as well.

      Posted by crash on 2005 11 02 at 03:31 AM • permalink


    1. I will not pretend to have read the proposed legislation, however I am with Murph and Habib on this one.  One thing you can always count on from Police types is that they want more powers.  It is always too hard to do things by the book so they want new and better ways to cut corners.

      The scary thing is how often they simply start with the proposition that a person is “as round as a hoop” and go from there.  I see nothing to suggest that our Federal cops and ASIO (who after all are an internal spy organisation and thus are a form of secret police) are any different from our State police.  I will however concede that they can’t all be as thick as two short planks.

      I am inherently suspicious of a package that is being rushed through with a minimum of consultation on the strength of little more than ‘trust us, it is important’.

      Posted by Just Another Bloody Lawyer on 2005 11 02 at 03:37 AM • permalink


    1. #31 See above -TRUST him he’s a lawyer…

      Posted by crash on 2005 11 02 at 03:43 AM • permalink


    1. Waterson says do whatever is necessary, for as long as it takes, to identify and ruthlessly eliminate the cancer

      …radiation therapy? or the knife..

      Posted by rog on 2005 11 02 at 03:50 AM • permalink


    1. I’m fine with things as they are… really!
      New laws rushed thru without consultation?? pfft! I live in the country – you city types can ‘splode’ or ‘fry’ at the convenience of your local irate ‘insurgents’.

      Posted by Lucky Nutsacks on 2005 11 02 at 03:50 AM • permalink


    1. o/t “Kim Beazley has unveiled draft legislation aimed at highlighting a new front in the debate on terror laws.This would outlaw “hate speech” by creating six NEW federal crimes.
      They would target threats of violence to people and property based on RELIGION,RACE,COLOUR,NATIONAL ORIGIN OR ETHNIC ORIGIN.
      While religious vilification is already unlawful in Victoria,the Beazley bill would introduce similar “protection” around the nation.” the Australian.
      Well we’ve seen how well that Victorian legislation works haven’t we……..

      Posted by crash on 2005 11 02 at 03:50 AM • permalink


    1. Another important security action in the early days of WW2 was the Australian federal government’s use of a regulation of the National Security Act to ban the Communist Party of Australia and other anti-war groups (incuding fascist parties) in June 1940. Governor General, Sir Henry Gullet, was permitted to identify Communists as a “voice of avowed enemies … of Australian and Allied war efforts”.

      The Soviet Union and Nazi Germany signed a non-agression pact in 1939 (terms of which included dividing democratic Poland between the two ‘proletarian’ dictatorships) and the CPA followed the COMINTERN line to oppose Australia’s contribution to the United Nations war effort: “The further the war develops, the more the very stones cry out that it is an imperialist war and expose the hollow lies of the Labor Party leaders that this is a war for democracy and a new order” (Communist Review).

      The CPA’s trade union wing easily added sabotage to the polemic and a series of joint recommendations to ban “anti-war” organisations from all three defence services was finally acted acted upon by the government with the support of the opposition parties and the Australian Council of Civil Liberties.

      Regardless of the Japanese militarists’relentless drive towards Australia, the CPA spent much of the next two years operating underground and disturbing the war effort on the Australian home front through its pre-planned secret cadre network.

      Even during the critical ‘Battle for Australia’ in New Guinea (June-December 1942) Communist-lead port workers stuck at critical times. According to Kokoda historian Paul Ham, “Troops bound for Port Moresby sometimes had to load their own ships because Australian dockers were on strike. At Hamilton Wharf in Brisbane, finding no one to load the supplies and ammunition on board, the disgusted commander of the 2/1st Batallion shouted, ‘We’ll load the bloody thing ourselves.’”

      Fortunately, Hitler’s invasion of Stalin’s motherland caused COMINTERN to switch enemies and the CPA eventually about-faced: “The aggression of the fascists against the land of Socialism has changed the nature and course of the war and presented the international labor movement with new and decisive tasks. The central issue now is to ensure at all costs, the victory over Hitlerism” (Communist Review).

      The ban on the CPA was lifted in December 1942 after its leadership made assurances to the government of cooperation in the war effort.

      One biographer of Australia’s war-time Labor Prime Minister, said a “major source of concern to Curtin for much of the war was the ongoing conflict with sections of the trade union movement on the coalfields, which at times drove him to the point of despair” however “in this regard, Curtin was greatly assisted after his government lifted the ban on the Communist Party, which, as a consequence of Hitler’s invasion of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, now gave total ongoing support to the war effort.”

      Another added: “Australian Communists were now seen to be supporting the Allied war effort [and] the very big part that Russia played in the defeat of Nazi Germany further encouraged the growth of Communism in trade unions in Australia.”

      Posted by Geoffrey MG on 2005 11 02 at 03:57 AM • permalink


    1. The moonbats are getting lazy!

      The link at #3 juxtaposes a picture of the Prime Minister with an image of a scowling Anakin Skywalker, aka Darth Vader (part of some promotion it seems). Since the moonbats won’t take this free kick, allow me.

      What’s the difference between John Howard and Darth Vader?

      Answer: one is a vicious, dictatorial mass-murderer, the very epitome of evil. The other is a Star Wars character.

      Nyuk, nyuk.

      Posted by Lionel Mandrake on 2005 11 02 at 05:32 AM • permalink


    1. Thanks Geoffrey MG and MarkL for excellent contributions.
      Waterson’s article is summed up by
      “it would be prudent not to add real grievances to their paranoid fantasies.”
      – the usual appeasement line.
      Albrechtsen is right to point out that the legal context can be modified to suit the enemy.
      We are judged as weak if we will not legislate, fight (using our armed forces), or spend money (such as on deterrence of illegals).
      Determination has costs, lack of determination has unpalatable consequences.
      Let’s hear less about human rights from the surrender monkeys, and more about determined resistance, and offensive action, from the real defenders of our way of life.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 11 02 at 07:18 AM • permalink


    1. #2 Habib: I read your earlier contribution, and as much as I’d like to deport wannabe splodeydopes, what do you do when the bastards are born here? Some of the worst elements in places like Lakemba are Australian-born children of middle-eastern migrants.

      #4 Murph: the defence doctrine you wrote about is basically Israel’s “Sampson Option” – a WMD attack on Israel will be answered by nukes over every major middle-eastern population centre, thus holding the entire Arab/Muslim world responsible for Israel’s safety from WMD attacks.

      It’s worked pretty well so far . . .

      Posted by Oafish and Infantile on 2005 11 02 at 07:35 AM • permalink


    1. Since we are talking about spodeytypes, did you realise that becoming a suicide bomber is the ultimate admission of failure?
      This article drills down into the Mind of The “Islamic” Boomtown Rat.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 11 02 at 07:53 AM • permalink


    1. At times like this I am embarrassed and upset that I voted Liberal at the last election. Shame Howard. This is Socialist style social control.

      Posted by Gruntled on 2005 11 02 at 08:09 AM • permalink


    1. Socialist Style Control?
      You aint seen nothin.
      Read the Basra Butcher’s own account of the methodology of the types we are up against, then come back and have a whinge about Howard. Interview here.

      Posted by blogstrop on 2005 11 02 at 08:12 AM • permalink


    1. Hey Gruntled -That makes two of us- I’m embarrassed and upset that you voted Liberal too…..

      Posted by crash on 2005 11 02 at 09:33 AM • permalink


    1. #2- rather than piss-fart around with legislation which is already covered, how about legislation to strip citizenship, and deport vexatious individuals?
      Quite possible under the constitution- birth in this country was removed as grounds for citizenship some time ago; a full purge of enemy aliens and repatriation to their unpleasant origin is possible, legal and practical; it would require a government with enough balls (I like balls) to do so in the face of outcry from assorted pinheads.
      Why this would be a problem escapes me- I’d do it for laughs rather than national security.

      Posted by Habib on 2005 11 02 at 10:04 AM • permalink


    1. Cage match?

      Of course!  Tiger cages! Dayyum!  That’s what the legislation left out!

      “They were a good idea, not wisely set aside.” — Ben Franklin

      Posted by richard mcenroe on 2005 11 02 at 10:45 AM • permalink


    1. “the defence doctrine you wrote about is basically Israel’s “Sampson Option” – a WMD attack on Israel will be answered by nukes over every major middle-eastern population centre, thus holding the entire Arab/Muslim world responsible for Israel’s safety from WMD attacks.”

      Has anyone told them to take Baghdad off the map yet?

      Posted by Syl on 2005 11 02 at 11:40 AM • permalink


    1. CL, Nem etc etc,

      Here’s the jib:

      If Muslim terrorists get hold of multiple nuclear weapons and begin detonating them in Western cities, then what is the option?

      Posted by murph on 2005 11 02 at 06:30 PM • permalink


    1. I’m basically a libertarian. I son’t take kindly to having rights wrenched away for sheer political convenience. And Hussein wasn’t a fundy. He was your straight down the line military dictator.

      Posted by Gruntled on 2005 11 02 at 07:30 PM • permalink


    1. #5 Howard’s laws are meaningless in terms of reducing the risk of terror attacks. Obviously they can’t possibly work

      Really? My understanding (as I have not read the Legislation) is that it allows those planning an attack to be locked up, which the current laws do not allow.

      #31 I am inherently suspicious of a package that is being rushed through with a minimum of consultation on the strength of little more than ‘trust us, it is important’.

      Well it’s like this see, there’s this specific threat see, and to be able to lock these guys up before they kill you then this legislation is needed now.

      #38 – right on blogstrop.

      Posted by cal on 2005 11 02 at 10:20 PM • permalink


    1. #49   Sigh

      There is no specific threat per se,we are told there is a threat but you will of course notice that it has not been actually specified.  As for the timing if there is one thing that I have learnt in my career then it is this : I do not believe in the Easter Bunny, I do not believe in Santa Claus and I do not believe in coincidences.

      However I think there is a need for proper debate on the approach to take to domestic terrorism, we are supposed to be democracy after all.  One reason we need such a debate is that I think we should take the radical muslims at their word, they are at war with the West and we should be at war with them.  I think that the approach the British took with the IRA would be an enormous mistake.

      I do not balk at extraordinary measures but I do at being treated like a mushroom.  These laws strike me as being the security community’s wet dream.  The laws they always wanted but could never convince the government to pass.

      Oh and in relation to locking people up before they kill people.  If there is evidence of a plan and of any positive steps to carry it out then they can be arrested and charged and denied bail under existing laws.

      Posted by Just Another Bloody Lawyer on 2005 11 03 at 03:01 AM • permalink


    1. Gruntled

      Nobody ever said Hussein was a fundy.

      Posted by murph on 2005 11 03 at 05:44 PM • permalink


  1. I have a problem with Janet Albrechtsen’s artcle: Where can you get a Bex these days???

    Posted by kywong73 on 2005 11 03 at 07:48 PM • permalink