This latest ruckus between the Abbott Government and the ABC, in relation to a young man on QandA that had a criminal record (threatening to kill government officials), making statements and asking questions about the Abbott Government’s proposals to strip citizenship from duel citizens and potential sole citizens – has really given me the shits. I don’t mind that the Abbott Government were offended with this man’s comments (although, on reflection, I think if anyone else had said them they would have been extremely valid). What concerns me is the Abbott government believes it has the right to interfere with the editorial running of the ABC. Disagree, claim bias, bag our national broadcaster – go nuts – but a government doesn’t have the right to sack or appoint journalists, dictate editorial policy or bully the ABC. Some conservatives get cranky when lefties are on the ABC and lefties get cranky when conservatives are on the ABC and that is the way it should be. If you believe the world is flat and was actually created in a week – bring it on. If you think life was brought to this planet from aliens in space ships – let me hear it. If you think telling Australian jihadists the Australian government is going to do exactly what extremist Islamic groups are telling them to do ie give up or take away their Australian citizenship, is a totally insane plan and playing into these lunatics hands then let’s hear that too. Surely it’s better to put these nuts on trial and into prison rather than summarily remove their citizenship. I’m all in favour of ‘speaking softly and carrying a big stick’ but the Abbott Government seems to have got this policy upside down. We are screaming at these misguided nutters and whipping them with a wet lettuce. Am I cynical enough to think that this has nothing to do with addressing fundamental reasons why Australians are taking up arms to support radical causes but a message targeted at Australian families to whip up fear … yes I think I am cynical enough. And quite frankly it makes me sick to the stomach. Fear is the glue that binds people to support the status quo. Playing politics with people’s lives is not acceptable.
Tim Benson, Publisher
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