"...you know have to accept that in our country we have our laws and we just administer our laws and Australia is traditionally a very egalitarian county. Therefore our laws apply to all people. We don't have exemptions from our laws for different categories of people. That's just the way we work in this country, that's just the way our country is and it will probably always be like that."
- Global Village Idiot Alexander Downer after PNG Prime Minister Sir Michael Somare was publicly forced to remove his shoes at a Brisbane Airport security scanner, "The World Today" ABC Radio, 8.4.05
I mention that in context with today's arrival in Sydney of White House Halliburton CEO Dick Cheney, having presumably obtained an entry visa from the Immigration Department despite (a) being a national security risk, and (b) being a person of disreputable character, being the subject of calls for impeachment from numerous city legislatures in the US.
NSW Police Minister John Watkins, acting at the insistance of the federal government, has authorised a special regulation to the state Firearms Act which will enable members of Cheney's goon squad to bear firearms whilst in Sydney.
The explanatory note to Firearms Amendment (Exception) Regulation 2007 reads:
"The object of this Regulation is to provide for exceptions to the provision of the Firearms Regulation 2006 that prevents the Commissioner of Police from issuing a firearms permit to an applicant who intends to possess or use a firearm for personal protection or for the protection of another person. Any such exception will be at the Commissioner’s discretion and will only be given if requested by the Commonwealth Government."
Good to see, also, that the Roads and Traffic Authority has established special event clearways in the Sydney CBD between 3pm tonight and 1am tomorrow. No such preparation when the Queen Mary 2 and Queen Elizabeth 2 docked in the harbour on Tuesday. Not as if the masses are going to flock to the Botanic Gardens to get a gawk at His Dickness.
Peacebus.com gives details of a proposed "Carnival of the Damned" to be staged outside the Shangri-La Hotel in The Rocks tomorrow morning, where Cheney will be addressing the "Australian American Leadership Dialogue" (dialogue? I thought it was an American monologue!).
The Peacebus page also outlines a preparatory liaison meeting between the demonstration's operations manager and a NSW Police liaison officer. Be mindful of this when the Murdoch comic books go berko on Saturday.