William Roper: So, now you give the Devil the benefit of law!
Sir Thomas More: Yes! What would you do? Cut a great road through the law to get after the Devil?
William Roper: Yes, I’d cut down every law in England to do that!
Sir Thomas More: Oh? And when the last law was down, and the Devil turned ’round on you, where would you hide, Roper, the laws all being flat? This country is planted thick with laws, from coast to coast, Man’s laws, not God’s! And if you cut them down, and you’re just the man to do it, do you really think you could stand upright in the winds that would blow then? Yes, I’d give the Devil benefit of law, for my own safety’s sake!
“A Man For All Seasons” Robert Bolt
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Robert Bolt. Mm, I suspect no relation to Andrew, who does a neat little backflip, with a half-pike just so we don’t notice. When commenting on the recent Q&A, he wrote this:
And that goes to the wider issue: how and why did the ABC get together such a collection of Muslim firebrands savaging Australia? How grossly irresponsible to give viewers the impression that every Muslim in our country was like every Muslim on Q&A – militant, damning of Australia and full of excuses for extremists. How dangerous to give any extremists the idea that their rage against this wicked country was justified.
But it was his neat bit of “framing” his audience to see a conspiracy that most impressed me:
Naturally, host Tony Jones has stacked the panel: two Muslim activists (who do most of the talking), plus one MP each from Labor, the Liberals and Greens.
Stacked the panel. Mm, is he suggesting that they were all lefties apart from the one Liberal? Or is he suggesting that because you have two Muslims to three “Aussies”? (yes, I know there’s no need to comment) Or is it the fact that it’s three men to two women? (Four, if you count Jones). Exactly how was the panel stacked? Because there was nobody from the IPA? Or the Australian Defence League? No Christians?
As for the Muslim activists this is from the bio for one:
Dr Anne Aly is a research fellow at Curtin University, Perth, with a focus on radicalisation, counter-terrorism and countering violent extremism.
Anne leads the Countering Online Violent Extremism Research (COVER) Program at the university’s Centre for Culture and Technology. Her research focuses on the use of social media by violent extremists and strategies to interrupt online activities, including understanding of the audience and the role of victims and formers in counter narratives to extremism. She has written over 50 publications on topics ranging from Islamic identity to counter narratives and the policy response to violent extremism. Anne is the author of four books including Terrorism and Global Security: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives– Australia’s first text book on terrorism and security.
Randa Abdel-Fattah was born in Sydney in 1979. She is a Muslim of Palestinian and Egyptian heritage. She grew up in Melbourne and attended a Catholic primary school and Islamic secondary college where she obtained an International Baccalaureate…
During university and her role at the ICV, Randa was a passionate human rights advocate and stood in the 1996 federal election as a member of the Unity Party – Say No To Hanson. Randa has also been deeply interested in inter-faith dialogue and has been a member of various inter-faith networks. She also volunteered with different human rights and migrant resource organisations including the Australian Arabic Council, the Victorian Migrant Resource Centre, the Islamic Women’s Welfare Council, the Palestine human rights campaign and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.
Say No To Hanson? We can do without activists like that, thank you very much. Send her back where she came from… Sydney, wherever that is!
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Last night a man was shot by police. A policeman is in hospital with serious wounds. These events are tragic and I’m not making light of them. The man is alleged to have made threats against the Prime Minister (who is currently out of the country). Whether these threats involved a knife or a chaff bag is unclear at this stage.
My “chaff bag” comment is not meant to be flippant. It just strikes me as inconsistent that we can dismiss a threat to one prime minister as just being “a figure of speech”, but another will be used by many people as justification for a range of measures. And yes, it’s true that this has resulted in a violent altercation.
Of course, I have sufficient respect for the law not to speculate too much about something that is still being investigated. It’s just the inconsistency that troubles me.
But then there’s a lot of inconsistencies that trouble me. A few days ago, the terrorist threat was raised to high, but we were told that there was no particular threat.
Then we had the raids. Which we were told had been part of an investigation which had been going on for months. And that an attack would have been carried out within days. No imminent threat?
We’re told that the PM and Parliament are a potential target for threats. (Hasn’t this always been the case? If you say no, look up the meaning of “potential” or ask yourself why John Howard wore the bullet proof vest when speaking to good, old responsible Aussie gun owners.)
Tony Abbott tells us a few days later that all that’s needed for an attack is “a knife, an iPhone and a victim”, but he adds:
“Terrorists want to scare us out of being ourselves and our best response is to insouciantly be fully Australian, to defy the terrorists by going about our normal business,” he told reporters in Sydney.
Abbott went on to tell us that orders to carry out demonstration executions had been sent to the the “small networks” of followers in Australia and other countries.
So, let’s make sure that those “small networks” didn’t miss the orders by broadcasting them on the nightly news. Let’s tell everyone that how easy it is to become a terrorist – all you need is “a knife, an iPhone and a victim” (an iPhone? Did he get paid for product placement? Can’t you be a terrorist with a Samsung?)
Then say that you need to be “fully Australian” (this is code for trust me, I really have renounced my British citizenship) and just say “She’ll be right, mate” and go off to work.
When I added music to a slide show which I posted on the internet a couple of years ago, it was down within minutes. Yet video posted by ISIL stays there and nobody takes it down. Some sort of perverse respect for freedom of speech?
And it concerns me that the Murdoch media can completely ignore hundreds of thousands (world-wide) marching on climate change, but find it worth writing stories about less than a hundred protesting the building of a mosque.