First published in New Matilda.
Posted on August 14, 2016
Breaching your privacy is core government business these days.
The Turnbull Government with all its usual arrogance dismissed the calls for greater privacy protection for individual data and to postpone or reverse decisions to hold identifying data in excess of four years. It had intended to add to the personal data collected in the census whatever other information it had collected on individuals from Centrelink, Medicare, health departments and God knows where ever else – a sort of ‘Australia Card’ on steroids.
You don’t have to be paranoid to believe that slime bags, like the Attorney General George Brandis, not only want your metadata, but anything else they can collect in order to facilitate keeping their captive populations servile. From ASIO, ASIS, Borderfarce, and secret police, the various shadowy defence force intelligence units are all out there engaged in surveillance of one kind or another. Add CrimTrack, the pseudo spooks who hide in security/intelligence units in universities and in right wing think tanks – they might not contribute much in terms of actual information but can be counted on to obfuscate, deflect attention, explain away and cover-up the front line agencies infelicities of style or sheer brutality.
Should you have any doubt about the level of viciousness of what these spooks are capable, you only have to look at how they treat refugees and asylum seekers incarcerated in our off shore concentration camps in Nauru and Manus. They combine to cover up the violence our governments inflict in our name, they hide the sexual assaults of women and children. They turn back asylum seeker boats and even handover asylum seekers directly to troops of the countries from which they fled.
If this was not the case then why is it necessary to have laws that make it an offence to describe what is happening in these concentration camps and on vessels at sea. Why do they do everything they can to prevent journalists getting to Manus and Nauru? Ministers in the last four Australian Governments have authorised the carrying out of crimes against humanity and they should be taken before the International Court of Justice, in the Hague, and made to account for their cruelty to asylum seekers, arriving by boat, in Australia.
They should also be held to account for the continuing discrimination and subjugation of many Indigenous Australians in rural and remote Australia. They should have to answer for what was done in the Northern Territory Intervention. Now I know that many of you will say they didn’t mean to do it, that they are just hopeless, that they couldn’t organise a piss-up in a pub. And to you I say yes, they are hopeless and yes, they couldn’t organise a piss-up in a pub. But I would add that simultaneously they are overwhelmingly a mean-minded bunch of lying bastards who should be tarred and feathered.
Copyright © 2023 John Tomlinson