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Stanhope says Howard to blame for terror risk

By Kerces - 9 November 2005 36

Chief Minister Jon Stanhope told the ABC today the increased terrorism risk in Australia was John Howard’s fault.

He said the Prime Minister should acknowledge that in fact our involvement in the Iraq war has come at a cost to our safety.

“To continue to heap on one group of Australians responsibility for the behaviour of people over whom they have no control, without at the same time saying: ‘and we the rest of Australia will accept our responsibility for what it is that we have done that has increased or enhanced the risk of terrorism’,” Mr Stanhope said.

“That goes straight to the heart of the Prime Minister’s responsibility and culpability in taking Australia into an illegal invasion and occupation of Iraq.”

He also said the arrests made in the police raids earlier this week should not be used by the Federal Government as a reason to backflip on the concessions they have made on the anti-terrorism laws.

UPDATE: Adding to these thought on the terror laws, Mr Stanhope’s put out a press release (text below) demanding to know what Shadow Attorney General Bill Stefaniak thinks of Howard’s terror laws given his recent attacks on the Chief Minister’s stance.

FURTHER UPDATE I’ve now found Bill Stefaniak’s press release that is probably what cause this fuss from Mr Stanhope. In it, he accuses the Chief Minister of going to ground after his “attempts to straddle the world like some Colossus of human rights” were shown up by the terror raids.

WHAT DOES BILL STEFANIAK BELIEVE IN?

ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope will make a submission to the Senate inquiry into the Anti-Terrorism Bill, outlining his lingering concerns with the detail of the legislation, and he has called on ACT Shadow Attorney General Bill Stefaniak to let the people of the ACT know where the ACT Liberals stand on the substance of the Bill.

“Mr Stefaniak has been extremely vocal over the past few weeks, launching almost daily personal attacks on me, but not once has he actually come clean and told Canberrans what he, a man who sets himself up as the alternative attorney general of this Territory, actually thinks about the detail of the Prime Minister’s draft laws,” Mr Stanhope said today. “In fact, Mr Stefaniak is even on the record boasting that he hadn’t read the draft laws that have been the subject of the debate. Yet he has the gall and presumption to criticise me for trying to extract the best, fairest and most workable laws for the people of the ACT.

“One can only assume that Mr Stefaniak would, if given the opportunity, have signed on the dotted line without even reading the draft laws. One can only assume that, given the chance, he would roll back the concessions made by the Prime Minister over recent weeks, concessions that have only been extracted because of the public scrutiny and considered debate the draft laws have received.

“One can only assume Mr Stefaniak would reinstate the shoot-to-kill provisions that were contained in the original circulated draft, that he would gaily countenance the locking up of children without charge and without access to their parents, that he would gladly sign away an individual’s right to judicial review on the merits.

“Mr Stefaniak evidently believes that the so-called delay that resulted when the Prime Minister shifted the sign-off deadline in response to concerns raised by the Premiers and Chief Ministers — a delay that amounted to a whole four days — was an unacceptable price to pay for the significant concessions that were achieved over those final hours. One can only assume that he, a lawyer by training, would have been happy to give the nod to laws that would almost certainly have been found to be unconstitutional.

“But of course it is impossible to know with any confidence what Mr Stefaniak believes about these and other issues that go to the heart of our legal traditions and our democracy, because he has so steadfastly declined to engage in a single moment’s worth of debate in relation to the contents of the anti-terrorism laws. The people of Canberra already know what Bill Stefaniak thinks about me — he has issued no fewer than eight media releases on that subject over the past few weeks in relation to the anti-terrorism debate. What Canberrans deserve to know is what Bill Stefaniak thinks about anti-terrorism. On that, they haven’t a clue.”

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Stanhope says Howard to blame for terror risk
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Thumper 11:24 am 11 Nov 05

Slightly different circumstances there Col.

Samey same South Vietnam. Totally different circumstances.

Cheers

colsim 10:29 am 11 Nov 05

I’d feel better about “our” troops staying around to clean up the mess if it wasn’t being handled in such an outrageously corrupt fashion (not by us, don’t get me wrong).

I was reading the other day that 3 days after the US guy in charge before the elections (Bremer?) sacked the 500,000 Iraqi soldiers who were to have a large part in the post-war reconstruction, Halliburton was awarded (without going to tender) a $7 billion contract to do the same thing. (And I’m sure everyone is aware that VicePresident Dick Cheney used to hold a senior position at and own a shirtload of shares in Halliburton)

Australia pulled out of the collossal fuckup that was Gallipoli without it being such a big deal, I’m not sure why this is soooo very different. (Yeah, during as opposed to after I know but fuckup nonetheless – and Gallipoli didn’t put a dirty great bullseye on us either)

Spitfire3 10:23 am 11 Nov 05

I agree, totally spot on. Laws is a tool. Sam’s allowed to admire him if he wants, but that makes me think that Sam’s admiration-meter needs a tune-up.

annie 4:01 pm 10 Nov 05

No, no, Thumper. You were spot on. He is a tool.

I was just pointing out that the previous posts weren’t a seething cauldron of anti-Laws hatred.

Thumper 3:56 pm 10 Nov 05

Okay, the ‘Tool’ comment was over the top but I still don’t like him.

Cheers

Samuel Gordon-Stewart 3:46 pm 10 Nov 05

Annie, I agree, he doesn’t represent the views of most Australians on most occasions…hopefully I didn’t come across as saying that he does.

Iraq probably was a mistake (although I will admit to supporting it when we sent the troops), but I mostly agree with Maelinar that we need to stay to clear up the mess (although I’m not sure that petrol prices are indicative of the mess).

annie 3:38 pm 10 Nov 05

Samuel, I wouldn’t call the previous sentiments “anti-John Laws”, except for the “John Laws is a tool” part! We’re just saying he doesn’t necessarily represent the views of most Australians.

And Kimba, I wouldn’t agree that I have rose-coloured glasses on. Yes, I do concur with Colsim on that post, and I think going to Iraq was a big mistake, a campaign based on a lie.

But the whole issue is so complicated: it’s not just about a small section of fanatical muslims, or the actions and propaganda of a powerful country that’s feeling vulnerable and jumpy.

Samuel Gordon-Stewart 2:48 pm 10 Nov 05

I can’t let the anti-John Laws sentiment go by without putting my two cents in.

I don’t agree with everything he says, and I would say that is probably the same for most of his listeners, but I do have a large amount of respect for him. He is a highly successful person, which is the main reason I respect him. Very few people realise that he has acknowleged and apoligised for cash-for-comment, nor do many people realise that he has followed guidelines since. A lot of people despise him for cash-for-comment, and fair enough, it was the wrong thing to do, but he wasn’t the only person invoved, yet people treat him as if he was. Sad really.

As for Stanhope’s comments…just shut up and look after the ACT Mr. Stanhope…that is your job, if you can’t do it, resign or get voted out.

Thumper 1:29 pm 10 Nov 05

They’re all career majors….

Mr Evil 12:53 pm 10 Nov 05

True, and they’re all probably in the same jobs they were in 20 years ago too.

Maelinar 12:22 pm 10 Nov 05

Lol, with all probability no, they are the potatoes that are so old they get left in the sack.

They come from the same stock though, 20 years ago they may well have been the young potatoes out there playing touch.

Mr Evil 11:32 am 10 Nov 05

Mael, I can well imagine! Although, maybe those ‘potatoes’ are not the ones who are making the big decisions?

Maelinar 11:23 am 10 Nov 05

Mr Evil, from personal experience I wouldn’t count on it.

Wait till summer hits town and then take a bus down to Russell Offices for your lunch break, you’ll see all kinds of potatoes out attempting to play touch football.

Some of them would find it hard differentiating between the opening and the other side of a letter, it’s lucky perhaps that their mail gets opened for them…

kimba 11:19 am 10 Nov 05

Yes Colsim and annie keep at looking at the world through your rose-coloured glasses and all will be fine. It’s not the US spin on the “black and white line” that concerns me. It is the line that the fundamentalist clerics are pushing here in Australia and around the world. This is a holy war for them. They say it is all about East Timor or Iraq or Israel…and people like you blindly accept that.

Once, if ever, these issues are resolved I am sure all the terrorist and fundamentalist will pack their bombs away and will live happily ever after!

Mr Evil 11:18 am 10 Nov 05

Johnboy, I certainly hope that ASIO would be able to differentiate between the average backyard shed containing 5kg of fertiliser, 4lts of petrol, and a small amount of other ‘dangerous’ stuff; and a ‘bomb school’ shed containing 150kg of fertiliser, 100lts of diesel/petrol, 20 mobile phones and 800kg of rusty nails!

johnboy 10:31 pm 09 Nov 05

the issue isn’t that they’re dangerous muslims, the issue is that they’re dangerous.

Having said that I suggest all those with back sheds contemplate the bomb making contents of your shed’s contents in case asio come knocking with ill intent. Petroleum, fertiliser, caustic soda, nails, cleaning solvents…

my my quite a bomb you’re stockpiling for there.

In any event Bill is making a fool of himself again as the proposed terror laws which are the cause of all the fuss would not seem to have been needed here.

(yes i know there was a minor amendment last week but stanhope said he didn’t have a problem with it last week too)

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