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Stanhope’s defiant stand grows

By Kerces 18 October 2005 23

Jon Stanhope’s latest on the terror laws is that he’s ordered the ACT Parliamentary Counsel to draft our own version of the Federal Government’s counter-terrorism laws.

He wants to ensure whatever laws are eventually passed in the ACT comply with his baby the Human Rights Act, passed last year. This could mean the ACT ends up with different counter-terrorism laws to the rest of the country.

John Howard’s also changed somewhat on his stance on the importance of the draft. Originally he said what Mr Stanhope had put on his website was only a draft and that changes had been made since then. Now he’s saying the changes that have been made are only “cosmetic” — implying the draft legislation is reasonably close to what the actual legislation will be.

The Sydney Morning Herald is commenting on the state of agitation Mr Stanhope’s move has put the Federal Government in. They were counting on having very tight control over the passage of this legislation and basically he’s blown this to bits. Now they might actually have to let their backbench and the Senate have a good look at the legislation before pushing it through.

Readers of both the CT and the SMH have got plenty to say on the matter (as do, I’m sure, many other people but those are the two I picked).

The Canberra Liberal Party had a fun day yesterday pulling out their books of insults again and calling Mr Stanhope a spoilt child and ego-driven. Brendan Smyth has come up with a whole list of what he calls “hotheaded lapses in judgement” by Mr Stanhope (you can read my views on the childishness of all politicians here).

The Chief Minister faces a censure motion in the Assembly today over the whole affair, but no doubt the Labor majority will overturn that.

And finally, Geoff Pryor thinks Mr Stanhope’s stolen the wheel from under the PM’s nose.

UPDATE A couple of Murdoch press reactions below.

Piers Akerman says Stanhope’s being irresponsible and immature.

SHOWING once again he is not the best man to have on your side in a firestorm, ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope, on whose watch Canberra burnt two summers ago, has abandoned all ethical and security considerations in an attempt to undermine the Federal Government’s proposed anti-terrorism legislation.

The Australian’s editorial is running with the line that this shouldn’t be turned into a civil liberties debate because there is a real threat and so the laws are necessary.

UPDATED: [ED – Murdoch henchman catspaw and fat sack of crap, Piers Akerman, does a lovely roundup of the Chief Minister’s greatest hits before running off the rails and hysterically announcing that, locked as we are in global conflict with “terror”, all measures are necessary. — WHOOPS Umm, yes Kerces had that one under control.]

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Stanhope’s defiant stand grows
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Maelinar 11:47 am 21 Oct 05

umm Chris you’re a little off the mark there buddy

You’re excluding the patent ‘innocent until proven guilty’ throwaway line, it doesn’t matter if the Brazilian had been wired to blow himself up, he was innocent until proven guilty.

I know it’s a bad analogy, since a suicide bomber by proving himself guilty has already put himself outside the arms of the law, but there are other factors involved such as cordon and control points, spot checks, security barriers etcetera which were all feasable options to stopping this guy (if he was guilty) becoming the latest rasberry smear on a wall somewhere.

As I have indicated earlier, yes the new laws will give them the right to hold you for a little bit longer than the usual suspects, but that’s also in respect to the damage that can be done in that time being a little more lethal than holding some guy in a prison cell while you’re trying to find the cocaine he flushed down the toilet.

I am in no way saying that I support these laws, and I’ll talk about the PM’s game he’s playing a little later, but what this is is a reaction to actions that have been taken by terrorists in the past, and the realisation that the damage they can cause is enough to send Australian troops into foreign countries.

I’m sure it wasn’t an easy decision to make, because we are sacrificing a little of our own freedoms, but as I said earlier, there’s that other thing called ‘suing their assess off’ which will make them think long and hard about randomly picking you up off the street to check out who you think is going to win the Melbourne Cup.

While you are correct in saying that the Police would have been quite impressed with themselves had they found this guy with some bombs strapped to himself, until they had proof of that, which they didn’t, he was an innocent bystander, which as it turns out, he was.

The taking of human life should never be put in charge of a human. It is not something that you can delegate responsibility for either, as in the policemen who shot the brazillian guy had ‘orders’ to do. I say that as an ex soldier who has been overseas on operations prepared to kill people on behalf of Australia.

As a soldier in a battle, obviously the situation is a lot more different. You are enacting a policy of the Australian Government, by force. The same might be said of a policeman enforcing the law shooting an armed opponent in self defence. Shooting an unarmed person fleeing with several aimed shots to the head is very different.

The PM is a very canny man. He’s allowing the other side of the story to be brought out by the state premiers, who as much as they might like to stand up and say they are important, are merely token caretakers of the remains of the English colonialism that is the history of Australia, whatever they might say about it, the fact is that as a majority government, they can do what the hell they please, and the labour led states are all in a world of hurt.

Now if the Nationals were going on about it, that’d be a different story. He’d be faced with a few bench crossers, and that’d make them review the policy. As it stands, it’s all talk, no action, and that’s just the way he likes it.

terubo 11:31 am 21 Oct 05

The PM didn’t allow Bracks & Beattie to do anything – “Lateline” did, on Weds night. The PM would rather Bracks & Beattie had shut up.

Chris 10:11 am 21 Oct 05

Au contraire Thumper, I think the PM is playing the Game of the Foxes, and by allowing premiers Bracks and Beattie (even Gallop’s getting into the act)make strong, stirring doorstoppers about ‘shoot to kill’ he’s giving them a little glory-time, for which no doubt they will be appreciative. The shoot to kill legislation has been on the books for police for years (since i was a cubbie reporter trailing forlornly around the Sinnie courts)-just because the Brit coppers shot the wrong man doesn’t mean the legislation is flawed – what is our Brazilian had been wired to blow himself and others up ? The coppers would have been heroes, right ?

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