CLArion July 2021: Power battle over rights and Parliament’s role

Senate and Joint committees are fighting ongoing battles to reclaim power to the Parliament after years of dominance by the Executive,  the small group of Ministers and the Prime Minister who run the nation day-by-day. The Executive Ministers have wrestled power away from Senators and MHRs over decades and through both Coalition and Labor rules…but now parliamentary committees want to put human rights front and centre in all money bills, and also take control of supervising and approving delegated legislation (laws made without having to be passed by both Houses, usually written at the say-so of the Executive).

Federal law enforcement enters strange period

Powers-promoting TV appearances – actually, PR bids for new laws – by top police and politicians are a worrying new trend AS SEEN ON TV. The behaviour of the Coalition Government and ’The Community’ (as the security agencies and police bosses describe themselves) is a worrying new trend in how Executive government, uniformed elites and secret spooks aim to manipulate the Parliament and the people to their own ends. A recent blustering briefing on TV raised more questions than it answered, questions that demand transparent answers from the AFP hierarchy. Would the AFP have ’shopped’ the Bali 9, two of whom were executed, under the apparent new AFP arrest rules?

Parl committee wants human rights front and centre       

         
In what would be a revolutionary development, a parliamentary committee wants all Appropriation Bills – the legislation allowing the government, its departments and agencies to spend money – to be compatible with human rights, and to say so up front. The Human Rights Committee argues that government spending impacts either positively or negatively on Australians’ human rights, so people should be told up front what the ramifications will be. CLA welcomes the initiative, which should spread through all levels of government.

Call for WA govt to rein in integrity-lacking police 

The untrustworthy WA Police have done it again, ignored clear ‘community rules’ and played smart-alecs to abuse data privacy and potentially blow up trust in the system of Covid-19 venue tracing to save lives and prevent pandemic spread. It’s time the government realised WAPOL must be reined in, and that Police-Investigating-Police (PIP) must stop

Police infiltrate iPhone privacy

Once again, for the umpteenth time during the Covid-19 pandemic, police appeal to have gone overboard the moment a new restrictions regime is implemented. They seem to be pre-ordained to use excessive intrusion and invasion of privacy in the first instance, before public complaints eventually force them to take a more reasonable and balanced approach. Why is there always a problem? Is it bad leadership, or bad training…or both?

Federal govt to silence protest by charity crackdown

The federal grovernment is trying to stop protest against activities like fracking, geneically-modified crops and animal cruelty (among others) by a third-party, ’thought police’ approach to making charities responsible for activitie about which they are unaware and over people aover whom they have no control. Welcome to the world of political ideology gone rampant, as Paul Gregoire reports.

Afghanistan: Australia cuts and runs – what about those left behind?

We must do much more for the Afghani people who worked with and helped Australia during our long deployment there, says Dr Tony Murney, who served several tours. Abandoning those who helped us would further destroy our international reputation, he says. Prime Minister Scott Morrison cannot simply walk away, leaving real people who provided real services to Australians during times of great stress and danger. Australians were once admired for courage and dependability…no longer. We should take responsibility for the consequences we have created.

CLArion June 2021: Wrong priorities mean rights fight is harder

Governments’ abnormal priorities founded on warped ideologies and broken promises are skewing important decisions around liberties and rights issues. Citizens are having to fight for basic health and disabilities spending, and charities are under active national assault. However security services and matters military are being showered with excessive funds, while crime dogs get $0.5m each. With the pandemic sure to impose continuing stresses on daily living for another year or more, the nation is in the run-up to an important federal election, maybe just a few months away, in which it is hoped public values, personal morality and political philosophy may pay a greater role than personalities.

Police Investigating Police (PIP) must end everywhere

Domestic violence cases where police are the perpetrators, or where they ignore women’s pleas for help, are highlighting how the system of police-investigating-police (PIP) means officers can get off scot-free in cases where their actions should be brought to public account. Even the Queensland Parliament is complaining that the PIP system doesn’t work, and must change.