According the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Committee, the Five Seditions are as follows: under the Criminal Code amendments, a person commits an offence if:
- He or she urges another person to overthrow the Consitution or goverrnment by force or violence;
- He or she urges another person to interfere with parliamentary elections by force or violence;
- He or she urges violence within the community betwen groups (racially or ethnically defined)
- He or she urges another person or organisation to assist the enemy
- He or she urges another person or organisation to assist those engaged in armed hostilities with the Australian Defence Forces.
I’ve been drawn to comment about the sedition laws in Australia before.
I feel quite guilty about having a go at Australia because I’ve got friends and family there, and regular readers as well. So, F&F&RR, please don’t take this the wrong way, but it does occur to me that the five seditions are somehow designed to distract us from the bizarre events going on in Aussie at the moment. I heard an interview on the radio the other night with an Aussie trade union commentator who was in no doubt that this side of the Tasman was the place to be. Interesting, because the leader of our National party was devastated because he was of the opinion that the recent Aussie tax cuts would have 100% of the thinking kiwi population zooming over the Tasman in a flash lapping up the liberal largess of the Howard government.
We all like a good tax cut, of course, but then we hear about one of our brothers has been up to. Derryn has no need to urge the people to feel hostile towards the Australian Defence Forces – they’re doing a bang up job of that all by themselves.
Of course, NZ isn’t exempt from silliness – perhaps it’s in the water, or because they’ve unbundled the local loop. One of the loopiest thing I read lately has to be the story spun by Aussie Federal Indigenous Affairs Minister, Mal Brough. Those Aboriginals up in the far north Queensland are about to get a billion dollars spent on something. It must be important, given the volume of money. They’re going to have a meeting to discuss the spending of the billion dollars of Aussie tax payers’ money. That’d be the same tax payers who have just had tax cuts promised. Makes sense, having a meeting or two. Unfortunately, it’s unclear where the money will be spent. Of course it is, they haven’t had the meetings yet. Ok, so they’re going to spend a billion dollars, in an Aboriginal context, on something as yet unknown, because the meetings haven’t happened yet.
Sure. That seems sensible, rustle up a little consultation, and then make the plan. Except guess who’s coming to dinner. We can save money by not inviting the Aboriginal leaders. They’re not invited to a national summit on the violence in Indigenous communities. Indigenous communities means Aboriginal communities. And yes, the leaders of the communities are not invited to a national summit on the violence in their own communities. Must be some secret politicans’ business being corroborated there…
There’s clearly some deep subtlety going on in Australia that is beyond my ken. And barbie. I don’t understand. This is not ‘Mr Howard, please explain.’ This is something else. What I see is billions of tax payer money invested in a military might, repaid with blundering with the seemingly simple task of bringing the first Australian casualty in Iraq back home, although the second head to roll is apparently less of a roll and more of a rotate; and another billion to be invested in dealing to Indigenous community violence when the Indigenous community leaders aren’t invited. And the Australian tax payer is invited to believe this is all sensible and above board.
Now, I know the Aussies don’t need me – another whining kiwi, over there stealing their jobs, and sucking down billions in tax cuts. I know that Aussie has enormous mineral wealth and so a billion here or a billion there – what’s a billion between mates (but not you elders) ? I know about gold, and how not everything that glitters is gold. But as for being Brash and rushing over to Aussie for the tax cuts?