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Chief Turnip Acts Like Goose

October 15th, 2005 at 09:00pm

The Chief Turnip of the ACT, Jon Stanhope, has released a confidential document on his chief ministerial website (Warning, site contains large scary pictures at the top of every page).

The document he leaked was a confidential draft copy of the federal government’s anti-terrorism legislation. This was given to each of the state and territory leaders as part of the briefing they received on the new legislation.

The draft legislation is due before Federal parliament in a couple weeks, and will probably be refined by then, so not only is this leak a breach of confidentiality, it is also unwise and irresponsible. Not only has the chief turnip broken the trust between the federal and ACT government’s, he has also placed further sensible and logical revisions of the legislation at risk.

I will admit that it does appear to have a few rough edges, but these would have been revised before or during their time in parliament, and the early release has provided extra amunition for a propoganda campaign from the “no anti-terrorism legislation” camp. Already Green’s senator/leader Bob Brown has said that it contains a section which enables police to shoot to kill, and frankly, I don’t think anti-terrorism legislation would be complete without such a clause, and I strongly suspect that Mr. Brown has taken it out of context, and omitted any safeguards/regulations which would be part of the paragraphs in question. The federal government aren’t stupid enough to just hand out guns to the police and say “If you see something, shoot it.” They know that the “rogue senators” wouldn’t stand for it, and neither would the other parties.

ACT Shadow Attorney General Bill Stefaniak produced a press release in which he stated the obvious and true facts of the matter:

“I have to question the judgement of the Chief Minister to circulate this document on the world wide web when it clearly states on the front page ‘Draft-in-Confidence”
“To my knowledge no other Labor state leaders have sort to betray the Federal Government’s confidence in this manner.”
“Mr Stanhope was the biggest critic of the Anti-Terror approach that the Federal Government was proposing to take, but then, after a special briefing at the COAG meeting he finally realised the Prime Minister’s number one goal is national security.”
“Why then has Jon Stanhope betrayed the trust of the Federal Government and his state colleagues in posting what is a very private and confidential document to his personal website for all to see?”
“This is not a smart move and shows a severe lack of judgement on the part of the Leader of this Territory.”
“Jon Stanhope has embarrassed the ACT in his actions and will never be able to be trusted with confidential material of this nature again. “

Perhaps that is just it, perhaps the chief turnip only pretended to be pleased about the new legislation so that he could leak it in an unfinished and rough state which could ultimately destroy it. If so, then this has to be one of the worst cases of political grandstanding in the history of Australian politics.
Regardless of his intentions, he has leaked a confidential government document, and deserves to be punished. If his intentions were as I stated above, then a charge of treason should also be considered…after all, isn’t an attempt to unfairly influence the proceedings of potential anti-terrorism legislation an unusual form of terrorism?

I haven’t read the draft legislation yet, but I will make sure I get read enough to get an overview of it. As unfortunate as it is, the draft legislation has been viewed by so many people now, that it would be impossible to remove it from public knowledge, and to not get see some of it now would open myself up to manipulation by those of Stanhope’s ilk. I will not store a copy of the draft legislation on this site, but I will retain my two-pages-per-page double-sided copy of it for now, and if requested, I will shred it and make sure I don’t disclose any of the contents.

For now the offending document can be viewed from the Chief Turnip’s website (warning, site contains a large scary picture of Stanhope on every page), but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is removed sometime soon…even if a court order is required.

Chief Turnip Stanhope is an outright twit, and shouldn’t be allowed to hold public office, he is a danger to our society, and can never be trusted with confidential documents ever again. The release of the draft legislation will hamper efforts to logically fix up any problems which may be part of the legislation, and has almost certainly fueled a proganda war between the “for” & “against” camps, as can be seen in the incredible amount of press releases relating to it.


Disclaimer: Neither I, nor anybody related to this website can be held responsible for any consequences that may occur should you decide to view the confidential draft legislation, information provided here is for informational purposes only and does not constitute a recommendation, direction or otherwise that you should view the confidential document. Should you choose to do so, it is at your own risk. Comments which contravine this notice will be removed without notice.

Entry Filed under: Canberra Stories,General News,Lunacy/Idiots,Samuel's Editorials

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  • 1. eebl  |  October 17th, 2005 at 3:01 pm

    In all honesty, Jon Stanhope putting this up shows the man has balls, not that he’s a lunatic or an idiot.

    I say this because such legislation like this threatens the liberty of a nation as great as ours, it threatens the very things our society is built on, Justice, Democracy, what people like John Cooke faught and died for. The Current Anti-terror legislation seems to work fine, ASIO’s anti-terror powers have been used less than 10 times since introduced.

    All that this legislation will do is make people more scared and agitated, not to mention put even more stress on the already freaked out Muslim population of Australia.

  • 2. Samuel  |  October 17th, 2005 at 3:20 pm

    Sure, there are a few rough edges on the draft legislation, or at least the version which Stanhope released (which is out of date according to John Howard), but I just can’t see the senate passing it if it isn’t in the national interest. All it would take to defeat it is one Barnaby Joyce type action, and if that happens then so be it, and the legislation can be further revised.

    Admittedly government leaks do happen, but if Stanhope had shared some confidential legislation of his own to say, Brendan Smyth for example, and then Brendan were to leak it, would Stanhope be telling us that it is good for the territory to see the confidential document, or would he be calling for Smyth’s head…the latter I think. I seem to recall an incident a few years back where there was some kind of leak from the ACT opposition and Stanhope wanted people sacked, but whenever one of his staff does something wrong (eg. Aiden Bruford) they are “model citizens” and “they show potential”.

    Stanhope has broken the last bit of trust the federal government had in him, and he has made it difficult for future ACT government’s to be trusted.

    eebl, we both have government jobs of one sort or another, what would happen to us if we leaked confidential documents? We wouldn’t have jobs would we…so why is Stanhope allowed to get away with it?

  • 3. eebl  |  October 17th, 2005 at 6:22 pm

    I agree that we’d be screwed, but if it was something which threatened to turn the country into a policed state, i’d do it, too. Plus most of our confidential stuff comes from above, and with Stanhope, his above can’t fire him.

    You know me, Sam, I’m an advocate for any abnormal act against the Howard government 🙂

  • 4. Samuel  |  October 17th, 2005 at 6:24 pm

    Would that include mailing curried turnips to senior government ministers?

  • 5. eebl  |  October 17th, 2005 at 6:26 pm

    It would.

  • 6. Samuel  |  October 17th, 2005 at 6:29 pm

    That would be cruel and unusual punishment if the curry was from a particular curry eater that we both know…the smell would be bad enough, probably would be destroyed by ASIO at the Fyshwick mail centre.

  • 7. eebl  |  October 17th, 2005 at 6:30 pm

    The Posties would be too freaked out by the fact it was curried and therefore from the middle-east to do anything BUT call ASIO.

  • 8. Samuel  |  October 17th, 2005 at 6:42 pm

    I have an interesting and somewhat related exclusive story coming up in the next few hours which involves a similar sort of scare surrounding public transport. Unfortunately no curry is involved in that story.

    Do you think ASIO would blow up the suspicious curry, blowing up potentially dangerous items (including potential bombs) seems to be standard procedure for some peculiar reason.

  • 9. eebl  |  October 17th, 2005 at 6:44 pm

    I think the idea is if they blow it up and it happens to be a bomb and therefore detonate all over the place, then they have a scapegoat — whoever planted it first.


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