The Pencil Guy: Hourann's illogical blog

Forgetting what political freedom means

Over east, The Age was reporting yesterday that a comfortable two-thirds majority of voters support rather draconian measures (like locking people up without charge) in the name of preventing terrorism. I guess that when you lead a comfortable life in a house you bought with Honest John’s low interest rates, it’s easy to forget what it means to live in a politically free democracy.

I had been avoiding any mention of the new “anti-terror” laws because the presence of a sunset clause makes me less worried than I’d normally be, even if a decade is a long time. But the problem with draconian laws, as apartheid South Africa can attest, is they’re that much more dangerous when there’s public support for them.

I suspect everyone is scared by saturation media coverage of terrorist attacks that scream out YOU’RE GONNA BE THE NEXT VICTIM. Danny Katz (reprinted in yesterday’s West Magazine, with Carnegie replaced by Wanneroo) puts it nicely: “they were definitely terrorists … because the tram posters told me so”!

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