When I was a kid, we used to live in a democracy, a place where you could walk and talk without fear or favour, without being afraid of having every word recorded for potential use against you.
Sometimes you could even disagree with politicians, and the press could report the truth without having to divulge confidential sources (where they didn’t involve security or defence).
If the management of the current APEC conference has created one thing, it is the myth of the Australian democracy.
The police state we live in has been created through the excesses of Government and the incompetent ineptitude of the Opposition.
Governments lock people up at whim by using various fictions and abuses, people can walk and talk only where the Government says they may, the press cannot protect confidential information sources that point to Government and ministerial lies. Even here in the ACT, the right to protest against human rights abuses has been restricted because of discomfit to the embassies of some countries.
Let’s be quite clear about it the totalitarian regime doesn’t exist in the Afghan mountains or the Iraqi oil fields.
It is here, in Australia, in the hearts and minds of our political leadership.
Encouraged by a feckless Opposition, we see the deceptions of an election-driven Federal Government creating “law and order” division to wedge our communities, to spy on our citizens and to stifle debate.
And through it all we see the silence of the lambs in the muted outcry of a Federal Opposition completely disinterested in protecting basic democratic ideals.
In fact the only “rights” being protected are the political “right wings” of Government and Opposition.
The true champions of democracy, the Parkes, the Menzies, the Langs, must lie churning in their graves as the democracy that they cherished becomes a dim and distant memory.