7 December 2005

"When I hear the word 'culture'..."

Now kids, who said "Whenever I hear the word culture, I reach for my revolver!"? Answer below.

I have previously commented on the sedition provisions of the Anti-Terror Bill which last night the federal government jammed through the Senate after cutting debate short once again. So now we have the whole ugly mess in law whether we like it or not.

Even Ruddock agrees that the sedition schedules are badly worded and has already promised to review them next year. So you pass laws that you know are inadequate,
then review them, then come back to Parliament to make changes? As John Faulkner had it on Monday:

These are bad laws written for bad reasons. The government acknowledge that these laws are flawed. They have admitted that they need to be reviewed. But, rather than allow proper legislative process with adequate scrutiny and amendments, the government propose passing the laws first and fixing them later. A responsible government one might think would get the laws right before they got them passed. A responsible government might try to fix the problems in the laws before innocent people's rights and liberties are unnecessarily infringed.

Contradicting Philip Ruddock, Peter Garrett released legal opinion on the sedition clauses which found that they could lead to artists being prosecuted for free expression. Confronted with this, Ruddock simply asks us to trust him.

Far more interesting than attempting to read the actual bill, is having a look at the Bills Digest from the Parliamentary Library on the proposed legislation. Bills Digests are prepared by staff of the Parliamentary Library who are experts in their particular fields. They contain histories of the issues, discussion of various points of view and conclusions about their probable effect.

The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) have been extremely active in elucidating the effect the sedition clauses could have on artists and journalists, and actively campaigning against the measures.

Now Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre in Sydney have issued an open invitation to all artists concerned about the implications of the legislation to make a work that expresses the right to freedom of expression as a means of protesting against the Federal Government's legislation.

Artists Against Sedition Laws Exhibition will open on Monday 12 December at 6pm. All work submitted will be exhibited.

Most developed nations have long since withdrawn sedition clauses from their statute books on the grounds that they can and have been used by unscrupulous governments to silence dissent. Countries that still retain active sedition laws include China, Cuba, North Korea, Singapore, Hong Kong, Syria, Zimbabwe and now Australia.

Now is it just me or is there a pattern here?

ANSWER: it was Hermann Goering.

1 comment:

I am the Queen of F*%&ING EVERYTHNG...OK!! said...

Trust someone who said the "children overbaord" fiasco never happened, oops yes it did but I was'nt told, ooops it was'nt really that bad..yeah, right. I'd rather wrap myself in a the carcass of a cow and trust a croc infested river crossing than Ruddock on sedition laws being applied correctly. If the law does not allow you to tell any one you have been held...how is anyone ever going to know if you have been held illegally???People go "missing" in those other countries never to be seen again.