[LINK] Labor caves in, Fascist Dutton wins the day

Kate Lance kate at lancewood.net
Fri Dec 7 10:06:29 AEDT 2018

 “We offer to let the bill go forward, without the amendments which are
 needed...provided the government agrees on the very first sitting day, to
 pass the amendments we say are needed,” Shorten said.
Does anyone seriously believe Morrison and his thugs will do this? They'll
just sit back and laugh at Labor's gullibility and claim some pathetic
reason they can't possibly do it. Unbelievable.

Regards, Kate

On Fri, Dec 07, 2018 at 09:20:13AM +1100, Roger Clarke wrote:
> This morning's news says:
> > Australia’s law enforcement agencies have a wide range of new
> encryption-busting powers after Labor dropped all opposition to a highly
> contentious bill and let it pass without extra changes it claimed all day
> were needed. ...
> [Just when you think Australian politics can't lower its standards any
> further, Labor manages to behave in the most cowardly way imaginable.
> [Questions also need to be asked about the constitutionality of the process
> that Shorten's 'low-target' strategy enabled:
> > Labor's shift caught even the senate off-guard, and led to farcical
> scenes as senators learned that the amendments they were debating had been
> pulled.
> [The Senate then failed to exercise its responsibilities as a house of
> review, and delay consideration of the Bill until the next sittings.
> [Whether or not the amendments that Labor pretends that it's negotiated are
> ever passed, the statute is a nonsense, but a seriously trust-destroying
> one.
> [We've reached the point at which a considerable number of laws on the books
> have to be simply ignored by business, and by the public generally.
> [If that offends your sensibilities, take into account the fact that
> Governments and government agencies routinely ignore the law.
> [A great many laws are not enforced.  Some are recognised by the public
> service as being outdated or just plain idiotic, and not acted on.  Some
> (such as requirements for reporting and audit) are not noticed, or are
> performed years late.  Some agencies and functions that are required by
> statute are not funded by the Government of the day (the farce with the OAIC
> being a case in point).  Appointments to statutory offices are commonly
> delayed for long periods.  The AFP ignores cases it doesn't want to pursue,
> including ones which would be inconvenient to the Government of the day.
> The DPP does the same, citing of course lack of resources.  And the last few
> months have seen serial admissions by ASIC and APRA of abject failure to
> fulfil their statutory responsibilities - with no retribution beyond a day's
> 'shaming' in the media, and later a Royal Commission Report which will fail
> to recommend sackings and prosecutions, effectively absolving all of the
> criminal behaviour that has gone on in the financial services sector.
> Regulatory processes can be applied to people, but applying them to
> organisations is regarded as being just too hard.
> [I started my working life a bit over 50 years ago with positive impressions
> of the way that the (Australian) world functioned.  As I gathered
> experience, across many different fields, I worked at fixing problems that I
> ran into, and developing and improving systems that supported data
> management and decision-making.  But the optimism has been ground out of me
> by the absence of commitment and professionalism in government and business,
> and the way in which people with limited competence and no principles
> (beyond unshakeable belief in self-promotion) shuffle their way to the top
> of the pile and infect the organisations that they 'lead'.]
> Australia gets world-first encryption busting laws
> Labor passes bill without changes it claimed were needed.
> Ry Crozier
> itNews
> Dec 6 2018
> https://www.itnews.com.au/news/australia-gets-world-first-encryption-busting-laws-516601
> Australia’s law enforcement agencies have a wide range of new
> encryption-busting powers after Labor dropped all opposition to a highly
> contentious bill and let it pass without extra changes it claimed all day
> were needed.
> The bill passed into law by 44 votes to 12 in the senate, having already
> cleared the lower house where just two MPs voted against it.
> The law gives law enforcement the power to ask technology companies to
> create - and then seed - a vulnerability on "one or more target technologies
> that are connected with a particular person".
> Passage of the bill was achieved after it looked destined to fail.
> It was only a last-minute offer - made through a press conference by
> Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus on
> Thursday night - that cleared its path.
> Shorten said that Labor wanted to pass the encryption bill into law tonight
> “so we at least give our intelligence agencies some of the tools they need”.
> “We offer to let the bill go forward, without the amendments which are
> needed...provided the government agrees on the very first sitting day, to
> pass the amendments we say are needed,” Shorten said.
> “What we say to the government right now is if you agree to do the
> amendments that you’ve already agreed to do to the encryption laws in the
> first week of next year, we will pass the encryption laws - unsatisfactory
> as they are - right now.
> “I’m not willing to go home and see a terror event happen - which we’re told
> is less likely than more likely - but I’m not going to have on my conscience
> [Prime Minister Scott] Morrison’s hostage-taking tactics where he cancels
> his own work, goes home and lets Australians swing in the breeze.”
> Shorten indicated Labor had reached agreement with the Coalition on the five
> sets of extra amendments the party sought to introduce to the senate
> tonight.
> As a result, he was seeking a commitment that agreement would carry in good
> faith if Labor waived the encryption bill through the senate.
> The leader of the government in the senate, Matthias Cormann, said the
> government would accept the offer.
> "I confirm that the government has agreed to facilitate consideration of
> these amendments in the new year in government business time," he said.
> "I also confirm that the government supports in principle all amendments
> that are consistent with the recommendations of the Parliamentary Joint
> Committee on Intelligence & Security (PJCIS) in relation to this bill."
> However, Attorney-General Christian Porter later said the consideration of
> the amendments was conditional.
> "To ensure the passage of the bill through the Senate tonight, the
> government has agreed to consider Labor’s proposed amendments in the new
> year if any genuinely reflect the recommendations of the parliamentary joint
> committee on intelligence and security," Porter was quoted by several media
> outlets as saying.
> Senate caught off-guard
> Labor's shift caught even the senate off-guard, and led to farcical scenes
> as senators learned that the amendments they were debating had been pulled.
> It was also a sizable backdown on Labor’s position throughout Thursday. The
> party repeatedly stated its support for the encryption bill was predicated
> on the approval of extra amendments to be raised in the senate.
> With the lower house adjourning for the year, that meant the encryption bill
> was as good as dead, since any amendments introduced in the senate would
> need to go back to the lower house for final approval.
> The first available option for that to occur was February 12 next year.
> But Labor shocked observers by saying the bill’s powers could not wait, and
> that it would pass the bill even though it considered the text “inadequate”.
> Earlier, Labor had said that the encryption bill as it stood did not even
> reflect the findings of a rushed report by the PJCIS tabled at nearly 8pm
> Wednesday night.
> The government started the day by providing Labor with a 50-page document of
> 173 amendments in response to the PJCIS interim report at 6.30am.
> The same set of amendments was published at 9.22am, giving MPs other than
> from the major parties no time to even consider their substance before being
> asked to vote on them.
> Even Labor complained that the few extra hours it had to go through them had
> not been enough.
> But it did not stop Labor passing the bill in the lower house and sending it
> to the senate.
> Deal scrapped
> By lunchtime, the encryption bill appeared destined to fail as Labor accused
> the Coalition of reneging on a written commitment between Attorney-General
> Christian Porter and shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus.
> The commitment was that “the government commits to introduce the new agreed
> amendments in the senate, subject to the passage of the bill through the
> House of Representatives without amendment”.
> Manager of opposition business Tony Burke and Mark Dreyfus said the
> government had reneged on that deal by introducing changes into the House of
> Representatives, and asking Labor to vote them through without having time
> to review them.
> Burke said that in the short time Labor had had to review the amendments,
> they fell short of Labor’s demands and the recommendations of the PJCIS
> report.
> Therefore, he said, “we will pursue further amendments in the senate which
> will then come back to this house for this bill to be finalised.”
> Porter countered that PJCIS’ late report - tabled a few minutes before the
> 8pm close of parliament last night - forced the government to alter its
> approach to the bill.
> “It is the case that I indicated in a letter that we were intending to move
> the amendments in the Senate,” Porter said.
> “That was based on an agreement between the shadow Attorney-General and I
> that the PJCIS would report [Wednesday] in a way that would allow us to move
> the bill through the House of Representatives yesterday.
> “So the undertaking to move the amendments in the Senate was based on the
> agreement that this bill would already be in the senate [by Thursday
> morning].”
> Porter also accused Labor of breaking the deal by having too many MPs speak
> during the debate, rather than simply pass the legislation up to the senate.
> “We agreed, if I recall correctly, that there would be a very small limited
> number of speakers so we would be able to facilitate this bill through the
> house yesterday, and that didn’t happen and that agreement was breached,”
> Porter charged.
> “The idea that we’re somehow in breach of an agreement is totally false.”
> Political pawn
> For a farcical period on Thursday, the encryption bill also morphed into a
> piece of political leverage.
> Labor and other parties had sought to pass a bill in the senate to allow
> medical evacuation of refugees on Nauru. Had that bill passed, it would have
> been sent to the lower house where the government appeared to lack the
> numbers to defeat it.
> In response, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he would consider closing
> the lower house early.
> Knowing the government was also desperate to pass the encryption bill, Labor
> tried to use that as leverage to keep the lower house open - long enough to
> also see the refugee bill through.
> The refugee bill was scuttled by filibustering in the senate, and the lower
> house closed for the Christmas break.
> However, the lower house’s adjournment meant it also could not consider any
> changes to the encryption bill that were introduced by the senate.
> That raised the distinct possibility that the bill would be delayed until
> February. However, Labor ended that possibility by backing down completely.
> -- 
> Roger Clarke                            mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au
> T: +61 2 6288 6916   http://www.xamax.com.au  http://www.rogerclarke.com
> Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd      78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
> Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Law            University of N.S.W.
> Visiting Professor in Computer Science    Australian National University
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