Sunday 21st of September 2014

when the adults are in-charge .....

when the adults are in-charge ....

from politicoz …..

All politicians have "car crash" interviews.

Attorney General George Brandis had his yesterday. A day after being rolled by Tony Abbott on his efforts to repeal section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act, Brandis fronted Sky News' David Speers to explain those aspects of the government's proposed new anti-terrorism laws which aim to survey online communication. He couldn't, because the government obviously hasn't settled on what "metadata" it wants internet service providers (ISPs) to retain, or even what it means by "metadata". Abbott himself had set the tone on ABC radio. Espousing their unhelpful "front of the envelope" analogy, Brandis and Abbott come across as technological unsophisticates, which can be amusing to watch until one thinks about the privacy and cost implications. ISPs and telecommunications companies remain entirely confused about what they might be asked to do.

Although he's not a member of cabinet's national security committee, the one minister who could reasonably be expected to explain something of the technical side of the government's proposals – Communications Minister and former internet entrepreneur Malcolm Turnbull – had been sidelined by Abbott, and not for the first time. Turnbull's concerns about the metadata proposals were reportedly ignored by Brandis, but the two are apparently meeting today after Brandis withdrew from Human Rights Commissioner Tim Wilson's free speech conference to attend an MH17 memorial

The metadata announcement adds to a reputation the government has developed for bungled and half-baked policy announcements – others include paid parental leave, the 18C repeal, Gonski school funding, the FOFA windbacks and the budget itself – which create immediate confusion and which need to be revised by backtracking ministers.