Ok, I’m not a dual citizen, so I’m pretty safe from the new laws going through Parliament. (I’d refer to them as “the new Bill”, but that sounds a bit like “the real Julia” and may start a whole conversation about how hopeless Bill Shorten is. I mean, one media article I read pointed out that his approval rating was 28%, which is almost as low as Abbott’s, and I’m aware that just saying the word “Bill” or “Shorten” may send the whole discussion off in a totally different direction.)
But looking at the three new categories which will automatically strip a dual national of their citizenship, they seem fair enough to any fair-minded, fair dinkum Aussie. (I am using the word “fair” here to mean “impartial” as opposed to “dark”. In much the same way that the Nazis used the word “Fair”, while Fox News’ motto “Fair and Balanced” may or may not refer to their use of blondes.)
1. Fighting for a terrorist organisation
2. Convictions for offences such as treason, espionage (does that include the fact that I said that I “spied” something in the paper the other day?) and parking in a no standing zone.
3. Acting inconsistently with your allegiance to Australia
Now, nobody could argue with the first one. After all, if one joins IS, Greenpeace or PETA what can one expect? Although the current government’s suggestion that the laws could be applied retrospectively does make one a little toey. Could they, for example, declare the Boy Scouts a terrorist organisation, and thousands of people who did little more than learn to tie a few knots be caught up because of ASIO’s concern that rope may be used to hold people hostage?
As for the second, I find it a relief that one has to be convicted for these offences. The way Mr Abbott was speaking the other day, it sounded like he thought that conviction was way too hard, because courts demand things like “evidence” and it can be hard collecting evidence. There are times when you just know a person is guilty and the need for a trial is silly. Even David Hicks, it seems, would have been found not guilty by a court. There are heaps more examples: Dr Haneef, Lindy Chamberlain. Gough Whitlam. (I’m not even going to mention that guy on the ABC the other night because apparently he’s consulting a lawyer over the fact that Mr Pyne refered to him as a “convicted terrorist”)
But it’s the third that I find most troubling, because, after all, it’s only a matter of time before the government says that we have this terrible situation where we can deport dual nationals but we’re powerless to act against our own citizens for doing exactly the same unpatriotic things that those heathen foreigner Australian dual citizens are doing. So while I support Tony Abbott and his government 100% in everything they do, because nobody can question my 100% ten flag allegiance (is ten flags enough? should I have twenty?), I do have the following questions – not criticisms, mind you, clarifications, because as we all know, criticism is showing a lack of allegiance.
- Is the holding of dual citizenship automatically inconsistent with one’s allegiance to Australia? I mean, go into the Collingwood members and tell them that while you’re a member, you also hold Carlton membership and see what happens. (Just look at the kerfuffle around Bill Shorten’s changing of football team allegiance and he did that well before he was elected to Parliament and not recently as some press reports suggested!)
- Does barracking for Greece, Italy, Holland, Brazil or any other team at the World Cup in games against Australia leave you vulnerable under the idea of acting inconsistently with your allegiance to Australia? And given that the loss of citizenship is automatic, will there be large battalions of police at any soccer game played in Australia ready to swoop on those with foreign colours? Even if the game is a so-called “friendly”?
- Will the directors of Australian companies have their citizenship revoked if it’s found that they imported workers on 457 visas when there were locals available for the same job?
- Are there any dual nationals working for the ABC or on its board who could lose their citizenship now that Mr Abbott has asked them which side their on?
- And, finally, is the fact that the PM needs to ask which side you’re on, enough to have one’s consistency with one’s allegiance considered proven. Or not proven, because it doesn’t have to proven in a court of law. It’s enough that you’ve acted inconsistently. So does the fact that your allegiance – like the ABC’s – isn’t clear mean that you’ve automatically forfeited your citizenship.
Of course, allowing Holden to go out of business could be considered a lack of allegiance to Australia, but only by the sort of left wing lych mob that deserve to be sent back where they came from even if we have to go back to the First Fleet to find out where it was! What we can do about the indigenous population, I don’t know!
Now I was going to spend today taking about Scott Morrison’s idea that getting a job was a great “prescription” for mental health problems and ask him while his government is good at writing out such “prescriptions” where are the chemists where one can get them filled. I also thought that the idea that was “leaked” and denied about rich parents paying for their free education deserved a long examination, both from an education point of view and from the idea that this government is very good at taking our taxes and then telling us that any services we get back in return are “free”. Still we do have a “budget emergency”, or has that passed? And I did want to make sure that everybody had noticed that even the announcement of the new reduced renewable energy target which allows the burning of wood to be considered part of the renewable energy mix was followed by the announcement of a $450 million wind farm.
But no, I spent my whole time talking about the citizenship thing. And terrorism. And Bill Shorten.
Mm, yep, it seems I am on Abbott’s side, because I suspect that’s exactly what he wants me to be talking about.
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