Noely Neate

Noely Neate

Columnist at No Fibs
Female, Mother, Partner. Day job: small business owner, co-founder and community site co-ordinator on a regional portal. Doonan (the land of the dam and franken–spiders), Queensland.
Noely Neate
I am not a journalist, nor am I a writer. I don’t belong to any political party, though I will admit that back in the day I was a paid-up Democrat until Meg Lees screwed us over. Now, I don’t believe in political parties at all; I find them terribly UN-Democratic. In my preferred world I would have actual elected representatives whose primary responsibility was to accurately represent their electorates – not the party, not men in grey suits – the punters, then get together with all the other reps to compromise and work together to run this country/state/council. I know, I know … but a girl can dream!
Graphics kindly created by the very talented ‏@interrogativus

Graphics kindly created by the very talented ‏@interrogativus

Our esteemed Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his Attorney-General George Brandis are loving this war business. The word WAR, or if you want to be more high-brow about it ‘National Security’ is just magic. Serious voodoo. As soon as either is uttered, the press bow down at the Governments feet and question nothing! The likes of the Courier Mail and Daily Tele go to town with caps lock  in high demand on front pages more akin to a blockbuster movie poster than national news.

The opposition also goes AWOL as soon as the ‘national security’ mojo is invoked.

Look at the ASIO Bill, yes I know it has a big fancy name as part of Mr Brandis tranche – as an aside, who the hell uses a word like ‘tranche’ – of National Security Laws, the ALP muttered about ‘scrutiny’ and then just got into parliament and rolled over giving the Government free for all to spy on us. In a nutshell, pretty scary, no such thing as whisleblowers, the media should have been doing front pages photoshopping Brandis as Mao or similar totalitarian leaders, they have had practice before, just ask Stephen Conroy. Anyhow, what did the media do? Same as the ALP, sweet eff all. Bit of whining about press freedom after the fact, but that is it.

Why do you ask? Why would our elected representatives give Mr Brandis sole power to decide when these laws could be used to spy on us with no oversight at all? Why would our media not jump up and down squealing about Freedom of Speech? Well, WAR! National Security of course…

We now have the second tranche coming up, the Foreign Fighters bill, this one is a doozy, stuff like raids without a warrant, well, they will get one, at some stage, when they get round to it. Worse, if you see your neighbor being raided and gossip to someone about it, well, that could be 2 years in the slammer for you, thank you very much. Certain countries could also be declared off limits, cause terrorists of course, well, that is the purpose, but hey, considering Tones is pretty dirty with Putin at the moment, you never know, could toss Russia on that list to teach the buggers a lesson?

Go next door and ask your neighbor if they can explain the Foreign Fighters Bill to you? Chances are not high they can as again, media didn’t really bother to inform us, you know, can’t question WAR stuff too much, would be UN-Australian.

So again, Why do you ask? Why will a second set of draconian laws go through our Parliament, unscrutinised, with next to no oversight put in place? Well WAR! National Security of course…

The third tranche of national security legislation is Mandatory Data-Retention. This one will probably also not get queried too much past the usual mutterings as no-one really understands what Metadata is, certainly not our pollies anyhow, nor our media seem to. Particularly considering some of our Government agencies have ‘form’ and can’t even seem to handle the data they already have access to securely, looking at you ASIC, “OMG you mean one IP shuts down all those thousands of web sites”, of course, they did this twice.  Or Scott Morrison’s department releasing Asylum seeker info, again, not to be outdone by ASIC they did this not once, potentially putting so many in danger, but twice too, that we know of. The Government now want to have all our interwebz, to share with whomever they deem it necessary to share with, what could go wrong with that? To rub salt into the wound, ISP’s will charge us for the pleasure of hoovering it all up from us on behalf of the Government.

This will also end up getting the nod in Parliament and Senate. May be a bit of whining, but will go through. I am sure you are asking why again.

By now you can sing this refrain with me can’t you? ;-)  WAR! National Security of course…

stop-data-retention-fullWouldn’t it be wonderful to have access to the power of these magical words at home?

Kid: Mum can I borrow the car?
Dad: No
Kid: But, why? All my friends…
Dad: WAR! National Security
Kid:  [silence]

or better yet.

Husband: I can’t find the Milo in the pantry have you seen it?
Wife: No
Husband: C’mon love, really feel like a Milo tonight, where did you hide it?
Wife: WAR! National Security
Husband: [silence]

How cool would it be having the power of those magic words at home? No more discussions, debates, rationalising of decisions made, no double checking that you have stuffed up and the awesome bonus of getting to keep all the Milo for yourself?

Then again… If I sacrifice the thoughts of a private Milo binge and think about this tranche of national security laws – seriously, that is such a tosser word “tranche” – it really does make me want to cry.

So to summarise the sheer mystical power when WAR! National Security casts it’s spell:

The Government, to protect our freedom and way of life, will remove our freedom and way of life.

Got it!?

Then again, what the hell do I know? I’m just a punter ;-)

PS. Senator Ludlam actually does have a clue about metadata and has a #StopDataRetention meme contest happening, so knock yourself out if you are the creative type.

Noely Note: In all seriousness, neither National Security nor War should be something we make a mockery of and please be assured that I am not lampooning the actual ‘reality’ of what the people who fight in war (past, present or future defenders) or those who try to keep us safe regarding National Security. It is the Government seeming to over-reach, with very little scrutiny from either other MP’s in both houses of Government nor the much of the media which is a concern? My hope is that by using humour, this will blatantly point out how ludicrous, yet at the same time dangerous, it can be to treat a particular issue such as war or national security as a sacred cow not to be questioned. These new laws could very easily be abused, defeating their very purpose of ensuring our ‘way of life’ as they were intended and more ‘punters’ need to pay more attention to what is currently happening, in our name.