In recent months the Australian government has used the COVID-19 pandemic as cover to launch a raft of new policy initiatives in concert with the latest war plans of our "dangerous" Anglo-American allies. These include: new defence and force structure plans; new powers for spy agencies to ramp up police state laws; escalated spying, including on your bank account; an increase in the capacity for cyber warfare; and a crackdown on social media freedoms. With parliament being suspended twice in five months, government ministers have been able to ram this agenda through with little scrutiny. In mid-2018 independent MP Andrew Wilkie declared "Australia is a pre police state" (emphasis added). There is no longer any doubt that we have arrived. The Australian Alert Service has exposed this agenda and the covert means by which it is being carried out in a series of articles:
- "Governing by decree" (15 July 2020) reveals the legislative tricks government ministers are regularly using to legislate without a parliamentary vote. These can even be used to amend past legislation without due process or scrutiny.
- "Dutton moves to expand police state under cover of COVID-19" (3 June 2020) reports on the ASIO Amendment Bill 2020, which contains provisions that can be decreed by the minister alone, and are not able to be blocked by MPs with the usual procedures. The bill, which has been under review by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security and is not yet law, would lower the age for detention and interrogation of children to 14 years of age and limit the ability of detainees to choose their own lawyer.
Also reviewed is the Telecommunications Legislation Amendment (International Production Orders) Bill 2020 to legalise the long-term information sharing between Five Eyes nations, which allows our intelligence agencies to spy on us by accessing partner surveillance data.
- "Morrison’s indefensible Defence plan re-commits to Cold War with China" (8 July 2020) reviews updates to the nation's defence plan and increased military spending directed at consolidating Australia as an Anglo-American outpost in the spurious “dominant global contest of our age”—between the US and China.
- "COVID-19 ramps up corporatised ‘Western’ censorship agenda" (20 May 2020) documents the collusion between governments, intelligence agencies and social media platforms in an effort to control public opinion and suppress dissent under the guise of "fighting fake news".
- "Spies on the rise as nation gets battle-ready" (15 July 2020) reports on the upgrade of spying by the Australian Signals Directorate (ASD), whose big recruitment drive is justified by exaggerated claims of cyber-attacks on a range of critical infrastructure and services. Conveniently, the increase in surveillance includes greater access to customer bank data justified by the economic consequences of the COVID lockdown. Bank regulator, APRA, is now working closely with both ASIO and global intelligence agencies.
War and fascist controls are the age-old reaction to a financial crisis like the one currently underway, but there is another way out—through economic development and cooperation. Join the Citizens Party in organising a coalition across parties and institutions to bring this about.