Lame parrots try to defend Internet censorship

[Update 21 December: If you’ve just found this post through recent links just before Christmas 2008, you might also want to check out some of the later material which I list at the end of the article.]

Scan of letter from Anthony Albanese MP

Anthony Albanese, my federal MP, replied to my letter about Internet censorship. It’s nothing but platitudes and a regurgitation of Labor’s policy-speak.

Network engineer Mark Newton met with his local MP Kate Ellis in Adelaide yesterday. She too had nothing but canned responses.

This is not good enough.

The same goes for “pro-family” lobbyists like the Australian Family Association’s Anh Nguyen in Online filtering recognises families’ concerns today, or the people quoted in the Courier Mail‘s Web filter ‘needed’ to protect kids from porn on Friday.

Detailed, coherent critiques have been put forward addressing the technical, economic and policy flaws in clear, straightforward language. If you can’t counter those arguments with evidence and logic, not more “think of the children” hand-wringing, then we must stop wasting time and taxpayers’ money on this “filtering” folly. Now.

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Petitions might finally make a difference

Maybe those annoying socialists on King Street will finally achieve something with their endless petition-signing. Chairman Rudd will require parliament to formally consider and report on all petitions.

More than a million Australians signed 900+ petitions during Howard’s final three-year term. A grand total of 2 were responded to in some way. The other 99.8% were tabled and ignored.

My local MP Anthony Albanese, the “manager of government business” in parliament, says petitions won’t need to be sponsored by an MP any more. He reckons citizens have a basic right to petition parliament. And they’ll look into electronic petitions too.

That, and Julia Gillard’s announcement that NGOs receiving government funds would no longer be prevented from making political statements, are clear sings that maybe Kevin Rudd actually means what he says about strengthening the parliamentary system.

John Howard, grindingly inadequate

I was busy yesterday, so I didn’t have time to write something appropriate for the Prime Minister’s 68th birthday. After all, a birthday deserves something significant — in this case something which properly expresses why I think this man, John Winston Howard, has to go. Not necessarily his party, you must understand, but him. Personally.

However, thanks to Andrew Mathas, I’ve discovered that my very own federal MP Anthony Albanese said it all for me — and he said it more than 9 years ago. I couldn’t possibly match this invective! Read on…

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Why The Greens won’t win Marrickville

By all rights, The Greens’ candidate for Marrickville in the forthcoming NSW state election should be a shoe-in. This is The Greens heartland, and Fiona Byrne is a local councillor and presumably knows her patch. Labor incumbent Carmel Tebbutt, the Princess of Marrickville (so-called because her husband Anthony Albanese, the Prince of Marrickville, is the Federal ALP member for the equivalent district, Grayndler) has to dissuade us from thoughts that the NSW ALP government is rotten to the core. And environmental issues are at the top of the agenda.

But it won’t happen. And here’s why…

Earlier tonight, my post-gym dinner-and-drinks led me to the Carlisle Castle Hotel. It was a quiet night, and my gym partner and I were almost alone in the front bar until Fiona Byrne and her entourage turned up after a candidates’ forum at the Newtown Community Centre.

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