Vive Le Canada

Australian Minister says the emperor has no clothes
Date: Wednesday, November 23 2005

by Emma Tom
The Australian
November 23, 2005

AMANDA Vanstone has done the unthinkable. She's pointed out that the emperor is stark raving nude, that his flash new anti-terrorism clothes are nothing but thin air.

"To be tactful about these things, a lot of what we do [vis-a-vis national anti-terrorism measures] is to make people feel better as opposed to actually achieve an outcome," the Immigration Minister told a bunch of Rotarians in Adelaide.

She then said what we all secretly think and joke about: how easy it would be to bypass the post-September 11 plastic fork-fest and hijack a plane. (Her recommendations include holding a shattered wine glass to an important carotid artery and stabbing an HB pencil into John Howard's eyeball before wiggling it brainward, the pencil being mightier than the sword.)

Not surprisingly, the detritus is hitting the fan. We're ruled, after all, by a regime that insists conscience votes be the exception rather than the rule. Baby-kissers from all sides of politics aren't supposed to speak their minds. Their job is to toe the party line and regurgitate the party spin. Pointing out that the emperor is not only naked but performing Puppetry of the Penis-style sleights of hand with his wedding tackle is definitely not OK.

Silly Vanstone. Tactless, kamikaze, observant Vanstone.

Labor - as it so often does - is demanding a resignation. But in this case, the woman known as a political hyena seems to be channelling the little kid in The Emperor's New Clothes, Hans Christian Andersen's classic tale of vanity, cowardice and mob mythology. She's the only one willing to risk vilification by telling the terrible truth: that a large part of the Government's anti-terrorism agenda is about helping us sleep better at night rather than keeping us unexploded.

Full story:,5744,17333434%255E12274,00.html

[Proofreader's note: this article was edited for spelling and typos on November 24, 2005]


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