back to article Australian politicians 'resisted' debate on new spook powers

Australian politicians from left, right and centre took little interest in new laws designed to help the nation's security forces, according to the nation's former Attorney-General Nicola Roxon. Roxon's steady term as the nation's pre-eminent law officer sailed into stormy waters when she suggested data retention laws for …


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  1. Paul J Turner

    Not too quick on the uptake

    "Disappointingly, even senior and experienced MPs were shunning a chance to be in debates on complex issues"

    It couldn't be that they understood perfectly and wanted no part in more spying on the citizens of Australia then?

    I think we can see who was the one not listening.

    1. veti Silver badge

      Re: Not too quick on the uptake

      Pretty sure they understood perfectly, and didn't want to share in the blame.

      It's a no-win question. Whatever answer you come up with, one side or another is just waiting to shovel manure on your head and paint you forever as a dupe or stooge of $INSERT_BOGEYFIGURE_HERE. Any sane politician learns quickly how to recognise questions like that, and avoids them like the turd sandwiches they are.

      As AG, Roxon couldn't avoid it, so naturally she was anxious to share the blame as widely as possible. Unfortunately for her, she failed to dress it up as something more attractive.

  2. Persona non grata

    Attorneys General always fall under the power of their department, the most authoritarian we have. Roxon was just a puppet for a public service that is lazy and intellectually corrupt.

  3. pdf

    Left, Right and Centre

    I think you mean Centre Right, Right and Far Right - that better describes our political factions.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Big Brother


    You'd have thought Wilkie would have shown some interest, him being a former spook...or maybe not, him being a former spook.

    1. Adam 1 Silver badge

      Re: Wilkie

      ... a former spook who exposed the Howard government's "artistic license" about Iraq's WMD.

  5. Anonymous80

    Another Politician acting unprofessionally

    ASIO has too many powers already. They don't answer for any decisions they make in any open public forum! It just points out once again how politicians are so out of touch with real Australians. This is exactly why there is a rise of "alternative" parties in Australia. Take the now National (slightly) Better Network, Banning legal refugees, our Infrastructure deficit, Middle class welfare, the rise of the Nanny state and Clean Energy Failure. We could be such an amazing nation if we got our politics in order. Our major political parties are simply self serving and lack any clear vision to make difficult moral decisions to better our nation! Its embarrassing.

  6. Denarius
    Thumb Up

    colour me astonished

    Oz pollies acting rationally despite pressure from a pressure group? Makes me feel a little better. No doubt they will get over it. Lots of new senators that seem to be of questionable rationality in basic world view assumptions.

  7. Rattus Rattus


    The article says "Australian politicians from left, right and centre", but then goes on to say "The committee's members included representatives from the Labor, Liberal and National parties, plus independent Andrew Wilkie."

    Where's the "left", then? For that matter, where's the centre?

  8. kneedragon

    I read the Roxon diatribe this morning, and mostly agreed with her. But on this subject, I am (for once) glad politicians are lazy and slow and not keen to meddle. I forget exactly what powers and data retention policy the Spooks and police had asked for, but you can bet it was 3 times what they had and double what they thought they needed. In this limited and specific area, I'm glad the politicians for once sat down and shut up. ... It didn't make Nicola happy, though... She'll get over it. I was quite worried the Labour Party were going to get wiped out at the last, but they got together enough support to earn a normal, dignified defeat after two terms, and will now endure 2 terms in opposition. Hopefully the new bloke will not upset the other children as badly as Kevin, who seemed to inspire some liking and admiration from a distance, but none at all from the people immediately around him.

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