Thursday, April 13, 2006

Is “Australia” being excised from Australia?

Well, that’s the only logical handle I can put on the news in today’s Oz.

Note the three (!) warning bells in this one short sentence:

“Cabinet is believed to have gone for the idea because it is simple, will work effectively in the Papuan case and does not contravene Australia's international treaty obligations.” (same URL).

I guess that excising Australia from Australia is “simple” to the extent that it doesn’t involve (yet) the detailed time-tabling of cattle-trains, et al (aka Excel spreadsheets are a bitch). But the other two are a bona fide paired doozy: the new measures are (unofficially) narrowly targeted – so as to “work effectively in the Papuan case” – *and* do not contravene Australia's international treaty obligations. Who would have thought that Australia's international obligations were quite as elastic as this? Criminal fuckers who have trashed “brand Australia” and who seem to be getting off scot-free, that’s who.

In a related observation, I can’t help but notice PM Howard’s impeccable timing in dropping this bombshell so as to land on this very morn, so displacing a fair few inches of newsprint that might have otherwise gone on previewing his Cole inquiry appearance. But it gets better: Good Friday-eve is only matched by Christmas Eve as a day for burying bad news. In fact, it may even be better: Good Friday-eve is the busiest day of the year in the nation’s airports. Which means lots of sound-bites are going to be heard this evening by bleary people, only too eager to turn off their brains at the first available opportunity.

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