[This article was first published in Crikey on Monday 2 March. Nothing’s changed since then.]
The villain gets thrown off the cliff. He bounces off the rocks into the river and his limp, bleeding form is flushed downstream. Hurrah! But just as our heroes down their first celebratory drinks, the door bursts open and the villain is back — soaking wet and angrier than ever…
“The Government’s plan to introduce mandatory internet censorship has effectively been scuttled,” wrote Asher Moses last Thursday when independent Senator Nick Xenophon withdrew support for the Rudd government’s internet “filtering” plans. Opponents of Senator Conroy’s scheme popped open the virtual champagne and started sending congratulatory messages to anti-censorship lobbyists.
But as blogger Kieran Salsone’s headline put it, “Twitterati blow load over Xenophon: Lobbyists still without cigarette”. Despite Senator Xenophon’s announcement, nothing has actually changed and Senator Conroy has yet to comment.
True, any legislation would need support in the Senate from the Coalition or all seven minor party and independent senators. With the Coalition expressing grave reservations and calling the proposal insulting, and with the Greens and now Xenophon opposed too, any legislation would be blocked.
Blocked, that is, unless someone changes their mind.