by Dee McLachlan
What has happened to the Australian spirit? It’s embarrassing. Were our yellow-bellied parliamentarians shaking at the knees for their safety when they decided to encage themselves behind a massive security fence?
At least some angry politicians are describing the fence a “monstrosity” that is to surround Parliament House in Canberra. With the fence costing around $126 million, and with at least 20 mature trees removed, fortifications will only be complete around mid-2018. What were our representatives thinking? Were they were all duped — again — to enact more security measures?
One can understand that there would be a fence in Kabul, Afghanistan. It has gone through more than a decade of epic conflict. And Kabul is still a dangerous place.
In March 2017, a Military Hospital was attacked by gunmen, killing about 49 people. In May a truck bomb exploded near diplomatic buildings killing around 150. An attack in July left 31 dead, and in August another suicide bombing not far from the US Embassy killed more people. Yet, the fence being erected in Canberra looks more robust and “secure” than the fence around the Afghan parliament building.
More people die in Canberra from bath slips and bee stings, than from terrorism. But beware, lightning is a hidden terror for any politician living in Canberra.
Please Ban Fishing in Canberra — It’s Dangerous
The Canberra Times reported that “Anglers live dangerously with high risk of being hit by lightning strikes.” They wrote:
“Frequent bouts of lightning during recent storms in the Canberra-Monaro region highlight a danger of which some anglers may be unaware. Often, an angler fishing in an open area is the tallest object in the vicinity and thus a tempting target for a lightning strike. To make matters worse, most modern fishing rods are made of carbon fibre, which is an excellent conductor of electricity… several fly anglers fishing in a Monaro stream reported tingling in their fingers and hair standing on end after a nearby lightning flash.”
It sounds bloody dangerous. So why don’t they ban fishing.
Fortunately, the road accident deaths are below the national average in Canberra, so maybe our politicians will continue to use road transportation, and get chauffeured about in bullet proof cars. In 2015, amid a heightened terrorism alert then, the Sydney Morning Herald reported on the new fleet of AK-47 bulletproof BMWs that cost $6.3 million.
Reaction in South Africa
South Africa was once a police state, and people understand how freedoms are removed. This is what the Citizen wrote, in 2016, about plans to fortify the South African parliament with perimeter fencing, bullet proof glass and body scanners. In the article, entitled, “Creating ‘Fort Parliament’ expensive and undemocratic,” the Democratic Alliance (the opposition party) were quoted as saying:
“We will not allow the securitisation of parliament, which further separates the people from those who are supposed to serve them. We are deeply concerned over the increasing securitisation of parliament…”
A Fence Won’t Fix Broken Politics
Senator Nick Xenophon resigned from the Senate — ahead of the High Court decision about dual nationality. He is heading back to state politics in South Australia, despondent about “the malaise of the state and our broken political system,” and driven by the fact that both major parties “disappoint me to the brink of despair.”
It seems that Australian politicians are now so self-absorbed and drunk on their self-importance, that they are unable to look at anything with clarity, or any semblance of logical thinking.
The fence at Canberra could parallel a caged canary down the mine. It might be a gauge for our politicians, that are soon to suffocate from the stench they are creating – and Xenophon, sniffing the changing winds, well get out just in the nick of time.