A few years ago I wrote a play that examined the taking away of some of our rights in the wake of the September 11th attacks. My stage manager’s parents came to see the show – they were from Czechoslovakia. The next day, my stage manager informed me that they thought that I was “very brave”.
They don’t understand, I thought at the time, I’m hardly likely to be thrown into a re-education camp over a play.
Of course, they would remember the liberalisation in the Prague Spring where the Czechs got a taste of freedom before the Russian tanks reminded them exactly who was in charge, so I could understand how people with that sort of background could misunderstand that Australia is the sort of country where freedom is not just valued but is so much a part of our “fair go” ethos that anybody speaking out against Australian values will be sent back where they came from jolly quick. No Australian government would ever take away our rights! Well, certainly not by Liberal Government, although Labor keep chipping away at our freedoms to abuse non-Australians or to horse-whip our children into sensible behaviour.
But the price of freedom is eternal vigilance. (Mm, who said that? Possibly the same person who said that the wages of sin is death, but the working conditions are good…) And given the raising of the alert level, we all need to be on the look-out for those who seek to destroy our way of life.
Which bring me to Myra Gold. Because I’m not sexist, I’m not going to mention that she’s a sixty year old grandmother, I’m going to go straight to the heart of the matter. A few days ago, the police became aware of her activities. (At least, I’m presuming it’s a few days ago, but for all I know there may have been a surveillance operation going back to the turn of the century.) While Mr Abbott said his government had no specific intelligence*, I just wonder if it was her activities that led to the raising of the terrorist threat from “Medium” to “Well-done”.
You see, Myra Gold had hatched a plan to disrupt the G20. Thankfully, the police stopped her in time. (I’m tempted to say in a dawn raid, but the article only said that she was asleep at the time and I know that people of my age can drop off at all hours of the day.)
You see, Ms. Gold had printed stickers.
Of course, you’ll say that there is nothing wrong with printing stickers and I’d have to agree with you there. It’s like being a bigot – people have the right to do so. But this is not merely about the printing. Apparently, she planned to display them. IN PUBLIC.
The stickers said: “G20 benefits the 1%”
Now, if any of the world leaders happened to spy that, then they’d have to shut the whole G20 down and send all the world leaders home. (Except for Putin, because, of course, Abbott is going to let him come…)
I just find it strange that in today’s environment we didn’t have this success of our police force splashed over the front page of the newspaper.
Perhaps it’s an operational matter…
*This is similar to his lack of specific knowledge about James Ashby, not a comment on the lack of intelligence in his government. He doesn’t often point that out, although he did say when talking about the lack of women in his Cabinet that none of his female MPs had the ability of people like Barnaby Joyce or Christopher Pyne.
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