As the federal government pushes ahead with its divisive new laws to strip terror suspects of their citizenship it is perhaps worth pausing briefly to consider its objectives.
While it is ostensibly about keeping us safe, it is clearly about Abbott securing his leadership of the illiberal party by catering to the demagogues on the back bench.
This far right, anti-terror cabal is the same constituency who brought Abbott to power when he decided that climate change was ‘absolute crap’.
And of course, out there in voterland there is a solid base of rednecks still clinging to the quaint notion of a white Australia who are happy for brown people to be presented as a threat to national security and sent back to where they came from.
The upshot is that if you oppose legislation empowering the immigration minister to unilaterally revoke citizenship then you’re ‘rolling out the red carpet to terrorists’. This is plain silly. But what exactly is the threat of terrorism in Australia?
The past does not always enable us to predict the future. But it can be a useful guide.
There have been three people killed by terrorists in Australia. Ever. Two in the 1978 Hilton bombing. Man Monis killed one in Martin Place last year. By contrast, approximately one woman is killed by her partner in Australia every week. Year in, year out.
For this government, the means always justify the ends. But the end state that we are being protected from is a gross illusion. It is akin to keeping us safe from wind farms.
Dave Lisle, Mullumbimby