The Greens have today marked George Orwell's birthday, noting his seminal work, 1984, and its considerable value to policy makers within the Abbott government.
"When Mr Orwell penned 1984, he can scarcely have imagined that all these years later it would be such a foundational inspiration for government lawmaking on privacy, anonymity and free speech," Senator Scott Ludlam said today.
"Thanks to the work of Tony Abbott and George Brandis, and the enduring complicity of the ALP, Australians are to be subjected to driftnet electronic surveillance, two distinct regimes of internet site blocking, and indiscriminate biometric data collection every time they travel. Announced under cover of increasingly closed-minded and divisive national security sloganeering, each of these incremental erosions of hard-won freedoms have been made possible by the opposition's decision to not be an opposition.
"Mr Orwell would have been grimly familiar with the tightening grip of the national security state and the language used to justify it. Presumably he'd have sought to remind policy makers that 1984 was intended as a warning, not an instruction manual.