Dr Peter White's Blog

Thoughts and comments from Dr Peter White -- political, philosophical, spiritual, musical and more

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Location: Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

I am retired from the Uni. of Queensland, and have numerous interests inside and outside of the uni. I play classical, bluegrass, country and folk guitar (hows that for a mix?) I am a member of the Australian Labor Party and am currently branch secretary of the Mt Coot-tha branch. I'm also involved in developing virtual reality builds and websites. Never bored!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Just because you're not paranoid...

The so-called free world is getting less free by the minute. In that bastion of individual liberty and freedom, the US of A, individual freedoms are quietly being curtailed, generally with the approval of the body politic -- to supposedly prevent terrorists. In the UK -- ditto. And now in the land of Oz (Australia), the current government (very conservative, although they call themselves Liberals) is attempting to put forward very harsh anti-terrorist laws that will effectively give the government power that folks like Saddam Hussein et al. would wish they had. Ironic, isn't it?

Thanks to one Chief Minister (of the Australian Capital Territory), the proposed anti-terrorism laws are now available on the Minister's personal website (go to http://www.chiefminister.act.gov.au/whats_new.asp?title=What's%20New for access) for all to download and read, much to the discomfiture of said Liberal government.

Proposed laws such as this gives a clear win to all those who don't like democracy, where there are personal freedoms and fundamental human rights, such as the need for proper arrest and trial procedures, and not holding people against their will with no recourse to legal assistance, or charges being laid. The excuse this time is terrorists. The excuse next time will be because someone said something that the government of the day didn't like. Where is the line drawn?

The spin doctors of the right will certainly type and mouth soothing phrases; the spin doctors of the left are all in Brazil and don't want to be involved; the left in Oz has become the right -- the Laberals.

Where does all this leave the people?

Your guess is as good as mine. I suppose that some of us will think the laws are wonderful. Others won't care at all. Still others won't know. And the rest will take to heart that wonderful horror film slogan:

Be afraid. Be very afraid.

Enough for now.

PB White