December 23, 2005 | Graham

Patriot Act should have been front page downunder

George Bush has been having some problems negotiating an extension of his Patriot Act through the US Senate. In the latest manouevres the Act has been extended, but just for one month.
Bush’s problem has been obvious for a while, and should have informed part of the debate on Australia’s new terrorism laws. Afterall, if the US, which experienced the 9/11 attack, is having second thoughts about draconian legislation, then why aren’t we?
Perhaps the reason it has been missed in Australia is the annual Christmas lock-down with the “B” teams manning media outlets and politicians and their staff AWOL or indulging in silly season stunts like Warren Truss’s Air-Traffic Agreement with Santa.

Posted by Graham at 9:57 am | Comments (3) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. The fact that Bush is having trouble getting renewal for (some) parts of his Patriot Act does show how unnecessary our rush for extreme laws was. However, I’m not sure it’s the ‘B team’ factor that means it’s getting little coverage here.
    I suspect it’s more (a) the main interest for media is more on the fact something isn’t passing Congress/Parliament, rather than the actual content that’s causing concern. Given our laws were only opposed by about 10 MPs in a Parliament of 226 and were basically ticked off in advance by all the state Labor governments, that’s not an issue and therefore not much of a story;
    (b) the vast majority of the Australian media coverage that did deal with the content of our law (rather than any political drama) was focused on the sedition aspects of the law, mainly because of the media’s concern it might impact on them. Once that was perceived to be mainly addressed by amendments, the media campaign against the laws dissipated significantly.
    I guess the issue will bubble along in the USA for a while yet though, so one would hope it will get a bit of a run in January.

    Comment by Andrew Bartlett — December 23, 2005 @ 10:30 pm

  2. Maybe Howards a better liar than Bush,Howard can lie and look sincere,Bush lies and just looks shifty.

    Comment by John — December 25, 2005 @ 11:01 am

  3. Surely, a recent Howard’s legislation is a last resort to keep racism in Australia afloat.
    Many of cannot-read-even-a-plain-English migrants applaud this motion as they hardly understand a very notion of legislation where mercy of white supremacists rules.

    Comment by M.Kerjman — December 28, 2005 @ 2:26 pm

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