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Australian gov't accused of 'excessive and unnecessary' secrecy

6 Comments
By ROD McGUIRK

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Australia is like a perfect model for what USA wants to be. mostly white, drinking, sport loving rednecks.

30% of Australians were born overseas, two of the three biggest sources of immigration are China and India and have been for a long time. The Philippines and Vietnam also make it into the top six. My neighbours on one side are Chinese, on the other Russian Jews. My local shopping centre is Indian-dominated (that's a good thing). My background is mixed European, my wife's completely non-Anglo. Yet you have the confidence to come on making statements like this? Hate to break it to you, but if you really do have many friends here, it might be your friends that are the white, drinking, sport loving rednecks. As for having travelled a lot, I don't believe you, unless you were doing it in the 1950s with one eye closed.

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I lived in Australia briefly from 1990 to 1991 and felt that both state and Federal governments had an authoritarian streak and found the civil servants to be kind of surly too.

I'm surprised, because 1990/1 was pretty much the midpoint of two of Australia's most enlightened governments of recent times, the Hawke and Keating Labour administrations, of which I would have thought someone with the views you've previously expressed on JT would have been a supporter. Indigenous reconciliation, a national superannuation scheme, closer ties with Asia, ending gender discrimination - a classic contemporary small-L liberal agenda, with the added bonus of enacting long-needed economic and financial reforms and demonstrably efficient fiscal responsibility. Probably the biggest mistake was Bob Hawke's decision to join the war with you guys in Iraq in '91, but then a lot of Australia's mistakes involve America. I don't know what State you lived in, so I'll reserve comment on that, but the "civil servants were kind of surly"? Come on now.

In my opinion the rot really started with the Howard Liberal (conservative) Government in 2001, using the beat-up of a supposed threat from refugees/asylum seekers to bring in draconian border protection laws to put those people away beyond public and media scrutiny outside mainland Australia. That, and the realization they could get away with it, continues to this day, and successive conservative governments have done nothing but tighten the screws, which is what we're reading about in this article. The current Defence Minister you mention (Peter Dutton) is also the previous Immigration and Border Protection Minister and has been crucial in setting the hardline agenda on this and other issues.

I think I made the right decision.

Maybe you did, for you. But most of the 180-190,000 immigrants who've made the decision to emigrate to this country each and every year after you went home, many of them from countries with much more widespread restrictions on personal liberty, would probably disagree with you.

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2019-05-16/bob-hawke-legacy-nine-things-he-got-done-in-office/6514794

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/dec/31/balancing-security-and-privacy-bob-hawke-faced-dilemmas-familiar-today

https://theconversation.com/how-paul-keating-transformed-the-economy-and-the-nation-131562

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whistleblower_protection_in_Australia

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This sounds more like the behavior of the CCP than that of the government any developed representative democracy. I lived in Australia briefly from 1990 to 1991 and felt that both state and Federal governments had an authoritarian streak and found the civil servants to be kind of surly too. It was one of the things that convinced me I didn't want to immigrate there after all. From the article here and another in the defense press discussing how their Minister of Defense has basically stopped talking to the press and has prohibited subordinates from speaking to the press without his permission I think I made the right decision.

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Australia is like a perfect model for what USA wants to be. mostly white, drinking, sport loving rednecks.

Wow. Talk about a sweeping generalization!

Generalization aside, Australia is too far left, has strict firearms regulations, not to mention that the population rejected becoming a republic. Not very ‘American-like’ at all, apart from it being multicultural.

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Oh, it’s an RSL (Returned Services League), not RSA. Other countries have similar organizations as well.

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Australia is like a perfect model for what USA wants to be. mostly white, drinking, sport loving rednecks.

5 eyes, secret US bases, military parades and ceremonies, hatred of indigenous and Muslim peoples, and a church and an RSA in every town.

but I have many friends there and travelled a lot . Kinda love the place.

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