Alison Tilley
Alison Tilley

Paranoid about the secrecy bill?

They say paranoia is just being in possession of all the facts. Clearly the minister of state security knows more than I do — he accuses us of “war talk” in relation to the secrecy bill. What? Not just that but we apparently have engaged in “personal attacks on members of the ad hoc committee working on the bill”. Eh?

There I thought I was doing my normal round of parliamentary submissions, one or two interviews, several tweets, and in fact I have been engaged in war talk, and in personal attacks on people.

Apparently the minister thinks, “this type of engagement is unwarranted and does nothing to add value to the debate and the work that is currently under way. If anything, it is dangerous and misguided”.

Really? Dangerous? Now look, I think I can craft a mean sentence every now and then, and I have been known to say a few cutting things, but I hardly think that puts me in the category of dangerous. Except … well you know, in the world intelligence, all is not as it seems. Perhaps, as I walk around saying things like, “The secrecy bill is a bad idea” people collapse behind me like dominos, just out of view.

In fact, as I type, there are people gasping for breath as my sentences whack them in the midriff … or not. Come on.

What really is dangerous is having a bunch of spooks that take themselves so seriously that they have actually tabled a bill allowing them to control all the information out there that isn’t a weather report (although, actually, I think those could be legitimately classified), and expected that we would all tap our noses, or whatever spies do, wink, nod, and pass to the other side of the road. Real people get that this is about real information, about their money and their government, and they just aren’t buying it.