Thursday, November 12, 2015

Australia's continued slide to fascism

Recent observations by Andrew Wilkie in parliament.  10 characteristics of a "pre-police state".

Denying some citizens the right to access the legal system is wrong.

Incremental loss of freedoms, democracy deteriorating bit by bit.

1. Metadata retention. Govt knows where you go, what you look at, who you talk to. No warrant required

2. Media - used, manipulated, bullied

3. Manipulation of judiciary - Royal Commission

4. Secrecy - operational matters "on water"

5. Law - can be arrested on suspicion of terrorism with no evidence.

6. Some people can be incarcerated indefinitely without trial - asylum seekers

7. Complete disregard for international law and agreements - Refugee convention, rights of the child.

8. Parliament forbidden to debate or decide on important matters of state - e.g. bombing of Syria.

9. Safeguard mechanisms disregarded and people bullied - Human Rights Commissioner. Autocratic regime

10. Security agencies act beyond lawful powers. Australian Border Force operation on the streets of Melbourne - unlawful, beyond their legal power.

And Border Force now prevents people reporting brutality, rape, sexual abuse in immigration detention.

Update 28 Dec 2015.  George Williams, Professor of Law at the University of NSW writes that

An extraordinary number of Australian laws now infringe basic democratic standards, but we hardly bat an eyelid. The growing assault on our democratic rights, Sydney Morning Herald: