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#15189620
Caitlin Johnstone*: Australia’s not a free country. State surveillance and autocracy are rife because we have no bill of rights

Image

*By Caitlin Johnstone, an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia.

The Australian government has been on the receiving end of more and more criticism for its Covid response lately, not just domestically but from overseas.

There’s a lot to criticize, from soldiers patrolling state borders and policing the streets of Sydney, to people being arrested for merely posting about lockdown protests on social media, to police accessing QR-tracing information and firing projectile weapons at lockdown protesters, to news broadcasters naming and shaming Covid patients who violate isolation orders, to the frequently ineffective hotel quarantine system for travellers being replaced with purpose-built quarantine facilities and Orwellian surveillance apps. The states of both Victoria and New South Wales have begun moving toward reopening after the Delta variant proved zero-Covid goals unattainable even amid strict lockdowns, but will do so by adding Australia to the growing list of nations that have implemented the dangerously authoritarian policy of vaccine passports.
Also on rt.com How Australia’s zero-covid strategy turned into a total shambles thanks to our inept leaders

And there are other aspects of this trend that have nothing to do with Covid. One of the most controversial recent developments in Australia’s escalating government overreach (and potentially the most consequential in the long term) has been the hasty passing of a new law greatly expanding government surveillance powers, which allows law enforcement to hack into people’s devices and collect, delete, or even add to and alter the data therein, as well as take control of their social media accounts, supposedly “in order to frustrate the commission of serious offences online.”

Critics tend to lump this sweeping surveillance state escalation in with authoritarian policies related to the pandemic, but the bill makes no mention of Covid; its proponents cite its utility in fighting terrorism and child exploitation. Indeed this bill, which will certainly lead to myriad abuses, is just the latest in a continuing expansion of government surveillance powers in Australia that has been going on for years. This video from The Juice, for example, was made in 2018, criticizing Canberra’s assault on encryption:
n reality, while the pandemic has certainly been a major factor in exacerbating civil rights erosion, Australia’s Covid response has simply added to a problem that had already existed and was only getting worse. The 2019 report by Civicus Monitor, a global research group that tracks fundamental freedoms in 196 countries, downgraded Australia from an “open” country to one where civil space has “narrowed,” citing new laws to expand government surveillance, prosecution of whistleblowers, and raids on media organizations.

And this ongoing trend can be largely traced back to the fact that Australia is the only so-called democracy in the world that has no national charter or bill of rights of any kind. A tremendous amount of faith has been placed in state and federal legislators to simply do the right thing, which has proved foolish and ineffective. Professor George Williams wrote for the Melbourne University Law Review in 2006.

Australia is now the only "democratic" nation in the world without a national bill of rights. Some comprehensive form of legal protection for basic rights is otherwise seen as an essential check and balance in democratic governance around the world. Indeed, I can find no example of a democratic nation that has gained a new Constitution or legal system in recent decades that has not included some form of a bill of rights, nor am I aware of any such nation that has done away with a bill of rights once it has been put in place.
Why, then, is Australia the exception? The answer lies in our history. Although many think of Australia as a young country, constitutionally speaking, it is one of the oldest in the world. The Australian Constitution remains almost completely as it was when enacted in 1901, while the Constitutions of the Australian states can go back as far as the 1850s. The legal systems and Constitutions of the nation and the Australian colonies (and then states) were conceived at a time when human rights, with the prominent exception of the 1791 United States Bill of Rights, tended not to be protected through a single legal instrument. Certainly, there was then no such law in the United Kingdom, upon whose legal system ours is substantially based. This has changed, especially after World War II and the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but, by then, Australia’s system of government had been operating for decades.
#15189621
Australia is not a free country. Westerners are trained to believe that that’s what you call any wealthy English-speaking nation with liberal cultural values, but really it’s just a continent-sized US military base with kangaroos. Human rights are allowed only where they are convenient, which is why they are continually disintegrating.
The first mistake in believing that Australia is a free country is believing that it is free. The second is believing that it’s an actual country.
As Julian Assange put it shortly before the Australian government allowed him to be silenced and then imprisoned for journalism exposing US war crimes:

"I love my birth country, Australia, but as a state it doesn’t exist. Here is why: it had its prime minister denounce me, moved to cancel my passport, secretly passed data on me to US intelligence and has never made representations on my behalf. It is owned by US+UK corporations. Before WWII, Australia was dominated by the UK – of which it was a colony. After the war, it subordinated itself to US hegemony. A brief attempt at an independent Australian foreign policy in 1975 resulted in a US+UK-backed constitutional coup".

Anyway, it’s a mess.

So what to do about all this? If you read social media comments from people in the Northern Hemisphere, the answer is that Australians should wage a civil war against their government, which, from where I’m standing, is hilarious, partly because they’re talking about a populace whose entire cultural value system is built around being laid-back and unbothered, and partly because most of those commenters are Americans living directly under the single most tyrannical regime on earth who have yet to put their much-touted Second Amendment toward practising what they preach.

There’s a lot that’s going to have to shift before Australians gain stable protections for their civil liberties, which will necessarily have to include not just some kind of bill of rights but becoming an actual republic and finally getting that ugly old woman off our coins and ending the illegitimate US military occupation here once and for all. This will not happen until there’s an expansion in public consciousness of the need to do this, which may or may not be born out of conditions getting a lot worse before they get better. It may also be born out of a critical mass of Australians deciding they’re fed up and beginning a real push toward becoming a free country.

Bottom line: the answer to the question of what needs to happen for Australia to move toward health is the same as the answer everywhere else. We’re just going to have to wake up. Human consciousness wants to awaken, and it will shake us in whatever ways we need to be shaken in order to make that happen. This is a hell of a time to be alive.

https://www.rt.com/op-ed/534371-covid-f ... veillance/
#15189636
colliric wrote:Yeah.

Assange is a fucking hero.

No wonder he grew a Ned Kelly beard....


Why is the Australian government so afraid that they have to abuse people in the name of law?
Looks like its time to hold an election and see if the majority approve of the Gestapo tactics.
From what we understand about the Australian citizens, they appear to be very docile and placid. We guess that's part of living down there. But that passive nature is what is doing them in.
Looks They are being boiled slowly.
:lol:
#15189639
It didn't use to be that way, but Australia has become full of sensitive woke morons in the last two decades. Following the United States own self-destructive embracement of SJW politics.

The election is due next year unfortunately. At both a State and Federal level for me.
#15189643
I think it has always been this way. 'She'll be right mate' alongside an expected state welfare safety net is a cultural trait ingrained into the psyche of most Anglo-Australians. I noticed it in the 90's when I got here I see it now more prevalent than ever before, intertwined with new woke politics among the younger generation. So you have a militant, authoritarian younger populace that seeks to police words you say and to introduce constraints on the street level coupled with an older apathetic populace essentially towing the government line, a government that is calling for more constraints and more nanny state on the broader level.

Which would be fine if we were heading in some sane, national-socialist direction that would benefit us, but we're not. We're heading toward more social degeneracy and more corporate political control.
#15189657
Igor Antunov wrote:I think it has always been this way. 'She'll be right mate' alongside an expected state welfare safety net is a cultural trait ingrained into the psyche of most Anglo-Australians. I noticed it in the 90's when I got here I see it now more prevalent than ever before, intertwined with new woke politics among the younger generation. So you have a militant, authoritarian younger populace that seeks to police words you say and to introduce constraints on the street level coupled with an older apathetic populace essentially towing the government line, a government that is calling for more constraints and more nanny state on the broader level.

Which would be fine if we were heading in some sane, national-socialist direction that would benefit us, but we're not. We're heading toward more social degeneracy and more corporate political control.


"Australia is in a way a feudal extension from Britain. It never did make the peoples breach with right of nobility and authority. That was done in the US. Influenced by still instituted European Viking settled in America of peoples right to own property and land, and moreover to claim land, as Viking law allowed. The newcomer came to Australia under the crown as convicts that did not claim land and assume the right to defend themselves as led to making of the United States. By this neither were the native people recognized as free people, they were treated like convicts from the very beginning of no rights. All this needs to be corrected or there will civil uprisings, Australia needs a settled constitution of equal rights and of historical respect".
Thorsteinn Hakonarson
#15189789
"Australia is in a way a feudal extension from Britain. It never did make the peoples breach with right of nobility and authority. That was done in the US. Influenced by still instituted European Viking settled in America of peoples right to own property and land, and moreover to claim land, as Viking law allowed. The newcomer came to Australia under the crown as convicts that did not claim land and assume the right to defend themselves as led to making of the United States. By this neither were the native people recognized as free people, they were treated like convicts from the very beginning of no rights. All this needs to be corrected or there will civil uprisings, Australia needs a settled constitution of equal rights and of historical respect".
Thorsteinn Hakonarson


Australia had a chance to gain complete independence from Britain and to be armed with US-style individual rights in the 1990s when there was a national referendum. But it was rejected outright because the majority of Australians still love the mother country where their ancestors came from as Queen Elizabeth is printed on their banknotes. Australia still needs British migrants to fill up the empty continent that is largely devoid of humans. If it is completely cut off from Britain, Australia will be overwhelmed with Asian migrants, which is the biggest fear. When you meet educated individuals exerting a civilizing influence on the people in Australia, they usually have a British accent.
#15189866
ThirdTerm wrote:Australia had a chance to gain complete independence from Britain and to be armed with US-style individual rights in the 1990s when there was a national referendum.

NO that was not on the referendum, what was on was becoming republic with the president being chosen by 2/3 majority of parliament. While there was probably enough support for a republic there was not enough support for that particular form. John Howard the prime minister was a monarchist and he controlled to some extent the question put to the Australian people,

ThirdTerm wrote:But it was rejected outright because the majority of Australians still love the mother country where their ancestors came from as Queen Elizabeth is printed on their banknotes.

It was rejected for two main reasons (i) the Australian people were not keen on the politicians selecting the president (ii) natural suspicion of anything proposed by the chatting classes and elites. Aided by the astute political moves of the Prime Minister John Howard who as I much as I loathe him, was very canny operator.



ThirdTerm wrote: Australia still needs British migrants to fill up the empty continent that is largely devoid of humans.

Most Australians are pretty comfortable with it being that way. There no much rain or top soil,


ThirdTerm wrote:If it is completely cut off from Britain, Australia will be overwhelmed with Asian migrants, which is the biggest fear.

Links to Britain are increasing tenuous and not a factor in almost anything. the Asian Fear can be whipped up by politicians like John Howard (who blew up the long standing agreement of Australian politics to keep migration out of politics) But it's not a problem.

ThirdTerm wrote:When you meet educated individuals exerting a civilizing influence on the people in Australia, they usually have a British accent.

Sometimes yes sometimes no sometimes they have an Asian accent. Who very highly value education.
#15191792
Murdoch newspapers are coming under attack from the nutcase left, simply for reporting the facts that the Dictator, his government and Victoria Police brutality are entirely responsible for this disaster. Let that sink in.

They're trying to drown out the factual reporting on intense Police Brutality.
#15191801
Potemkin wrote:Shocking news: penal colony acts like penal colony.


That joke didn't make sense in the 1990s.... Sadly it does now.

They want to silence the Murdoch papers for being brave enough to cover this shit and say it as it is.
#15191865
Wow, someone censored and deleted my post with those Covid-19 inspired Police Brutality videos from Rita Parhni? Also why no explanation?

Well I guess I'll have to post the uncensored (warning it's pretty violent) full audio and video version of the worst one:


This is what Australia has become. I promise no more Twitter vids for a while if that's why you deleted it.
#15191873
Russianbear wrote:Caitlin Johnstone*: Australia’s not a free country. State surveillance and autocracy are rife because we have no bill of rights

Image

*By Caitlin Johnstone, an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia.

The Australian government has been on the receiving end of more and more criticism for its Covid response lately, not just domestically but from overseas.

There’s a lot to criticize, from soldiers patrolling state borders and policing the streets of Sydney, to people being arrested for merely posting about lockdown protests on social media, to police accessing QR-tracing information and firing projectile weapons at lockdown protesters, to news broadcasters naming and shaming Covid patients who violate isolation orders, to the frequently ineffective hotel quarantine system for travellers being replaced with purpose-built quarantine facilities and Orwellian surveillance apps. The states of both Victoria and New South Wales have begun moving toward reopening after the Delta variant proved zero-Covid goals unattainable even amid strict lockdowns, but will do so by adding Australia to the growing list of nations that have implemented the dangerously authoritarian policy of vaccine passports.
Also on rt.com How Australia’s zero-covid strategy turned into a total shambles thanks to our inept leaders

And there are other aspects of this trend that have nothing to do with Covid. One of the most controversial recent developments in Australia’s escalating government overreach (and potentially the most consequential in the long term) has been the hasty passing of a new law greatly expanding government surveillance powers, which allows law enforcement to hack into people’s devices and collect, delete, or even add to and alter the data therein, as well as take control of their social media accounts, supposedly “in order to frustrate the commission of serious offences online.”

Critics tend to lump this sweeping surveillance state escalation in with authoritarian policies related to the pandemic, but the bill makes no mention of Covid; its proponents cite its utility in fighting terrorism and child exploitation. Indeed this bill, which will certainly lead to myriad abuses, is just the latest in a continuing expansion of government surveillance powers in Australia that has been going on for years. This video from The Juice, for example, was made in 2018, criticizing Canberra’s assault on encryption:
n reality, while the pandemic has certainly been a major factor in exacerbating civil rights erosion, Australia’s Covid response has simply added to a problem that had already existed and was only getting worse. The 2019 report by Civicus Monitor, a global research group that tracks fundamental freedoms in 196 countries, downgraded Australia from an “open” country to one where civil space has “narrowed,” citing new laws to expand government surveillance, prosecution of whistleblowers, and raids on media organizations.

And this ongoing trend can be largely traced back to the fact that Australia is the only so-called democracy in the world that has no national charter or bill of rights of any kind. A tremendous amount of faith has been placed in state and federal legislators to simply do the right thing, which has proved foolish and ineffective. Professor George Williams wrote for the Melbourne University Law Review in 2006.

Australia is now the only "democratic" nation in the world without a national bill of rights. Some comprehensive form of legal protection for basic rights is otherwise seen as an essential check and balance in democratic governance around the world. Indeed, I can find no example of a democratic nation that has gained a new Constitution or legal system in recent decades that has not included some form of a bill of rights, nor am I aware of any such nation that has done away with a bill of rights once it has been put in place.
Why, then, is Australia the exception? The answer lies in our history. Although many think of Australia as a young country, constitutionally speaking, it is one of the oldest in the world. The Australian Constitution remains almost completely as it was when enacted in 1901, while the Constitutions of the Australian states can go back as far as the 1850s. The legal systems and Constitutions of the nation and the Australian colonies (and then states) were conceived at a time when human rights, with the prominent exception of the 1791 United States Bill of Rights, tended not to be protected through a single legal instrument. Certainly, there was then no such law in the United Kingdom, upon whose legal system ours is substantially based. This has changed, especially after World War II and the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, but, by then, Australia’s system of government had been operating for decades.


Honestly this Russian propaganda is getting boring. Just calling people fascist all the time is useless. When this stick was invented it worked to some degree but nowadays it is just useless. :lol:
#15191926
JohnRawls wrote:Honestly this Russian propaganda is getting boring. Just calling people fascist all the time is useless. When this stick was invented it worked to some degree but nowadays it is just useless. :lol:


"By Caitlin Johnstone, an independent journalist based in Melbourne, Australia".

Honestly do you understand English???
:)

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