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Snuffing out any opposition

"Bit by bit the Government is snuffling out the last flares of opposition, wherever it spots them, however feeble. Having won four elections, control of the Senate, the devoted support of the Murdoch press and talkback radio, the Government is still not content. It has planted hard-right warriors Keith Windschuttle, Janet Albrechtsen, and Ron Brunton on the ABC board to change its culture. It has undermined the independence of academics with its broad-brush sedition and anti-terrorism laws that have caused researchers to abandon studies on terrorism lest they be spied upon or detained."

Adele Horin, writing in the SMH, hits the nail on the head. The starting-point of her op-ed piece is the following:

"You would think a bunch of community legal centres that dispense advice to the down-and-outs might lie beneath the Federal Government's radar. It has a war on terrorism to wage, a war on drugs, on the unions and on the Labor Party to execute.

But no, the redoubtable Attorney-General, Philip Ruddock, found time from his musings on torture to kick the boot into these barefoot lawyers who earn half the going salary of their private sector counterparts. Their alleged crime is to dare to dissent from the Government on aspects of family law and anti-terrorism laws and its Achilles heel, industrial relations.

Their punishment, he indicated, is likely to mean future funding contracts will prohibit the centres from engaging in advocacy, community education, or law reform."

Read the full piece here - and be concerned how this Federal Government is trampling anything in sight which seems to be opposed to its entrenched hard-nosed positions.


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