Modia Minotaur

Trawling the airwaves to spare you the agony!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Extremists Ransack Parliament

OK - last week I brought you, via Jon Stanhope's website, the details of the proposed anti-terrorism legislation and, in particular, the things that you could expect to be thrown in jail for seven years for. In particular:

- `Urging the overthrow of the Constitution or Government'

Now, I'm no constitutional law expert (the reason those guys earn millions of dollars per year is that they have to read the bloody thing - a cornerstone of Australian polity in the past century seems to have been to deliberately make it such a snooze as to deliberately discourage people from doing so), but doesn't the following sound just the tiniest bit unconstitutional and the teensiest bit like throwing the normal procedures of governance right out the window like a couple of drunken teenagers trying to hide their stash?
Tough new counter-terrorism laws will be rushed into federal parliament on Melbourne Cup day in what the opposition says is an extraordinary abuse of power.

About 90 minutes after the race that stops the nation, draft laws allowing people to be arrested and detained for up to a fortnight without evidence or charges will be unveiled in their final form for the first time.

Punters will still be picking up their winnings or tearing up their betting slips as Attorney-General Philip Ruddock outlines the full provisions of the Anti-Terrorism Bill.

In an unusual move, the government will force an immediate debate on the legislation, giving the opposition only 10 minutes to examine the draft laws rather than the usual fortnight.


Yes, once again in case you missed it ... RATHER THAN THE USUAL FORTNIGHT ... that's TEN minutes. ONE ZERO. 10. One third of an episode of The Simpsons rather than the time it takes to get from Sydney to America on a passenger liner.

And let's not forget - that's not ten minutes on any particular day. That' ten minutes on Melbourne Cup Day. You know - when everyone's pissed and has just won the office sweep and what have you. `An unusual move' is putting it mildly, a little like saying `Crikey - it was a bit windy in New Orleans the other day, eh?'

I'm almost wishing they do pass these stinking laws so some particularly clever judge somewhere manages to put the whole front bench in the slammer on a technicality. Yes, Mr Farr - sometimes we are a little cranky over here on the left - but sometimes there's not a whole lot to laugh about.


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