Got to love that Bob Brown, though, don’t you? Now he’s demanding to know why the amendments weren’t introduced earlier, only a week after screaming his lungs out that they shouldn’t have been introduced at all. And he pulled exactly the same kind of stunt over the Bali bombings, first criticising the Gov’ over its long-term terror warnings prior to the event, then virtually accusing the Government of having deliberately allowed the bombings to occur because the warnings weren’t sufficient.
You'll recall that when John Howard demanded an urgent, if peculiar amendment to the criminal code last week to counter a potential but unnamed terror threat, the Prime Minister was almost knocked flat by the corresponding sonic boom of cynicism.
Yet during more than four hours of often acrimonious debate last Thursday when the Senate was recalled, the PM was ripped to bits by minor party senators.
Kerry Nettle regarded the urgent amendment as "rubbish, absolute rubbish". Her Greens colleague Christine Milne reckoned the Senate recall represented "a monstrous abuse of power and public faith". Bob Brown called it a black day, disgusting and immoral.
And if you think the Greens are now retracting their vehement criticism, consult your local faith healer. Brown didn't break stride yesterday, describing (accurate) newspaper reports about imminent raids as "criminal" and wondering in the Senate whether Howard hadn't "endangered the intelligence and security" of the counter-terrorist operation by not acting earlier to amend the law.
A few Labor MPs were left scraping yolk from their eyelashes - Anthony Albanese's specs will require a thorough scrubbing after his berating of Howard for playing politics with national security - but the Golden Faberge goes to Lyn Allison. Having initially complained about the Senate being recalled under "false pretences", the Democrats leader yesterday wondered if Howard hadn't personally contacted the cops and asked: "Is there not a raid that could take place at this time to justify it?"
What - a - prick.