Nine People We’d Rather See Wear An Electronic Tracker Than The Grand Mufti


Before we brush off the idea consider the names below, writes Max Chalmers.

When Palmer United defector Jacqui Lambie makes a point people listen. Sure, it’s usually a bad point, but you have to admire her ability to make it so loudly.

That’s why we shouldn’t dismiss out of hand her most recent idea: to track a notable Australian with an electronic device monitoring their movements. It may seem like a crazed assault on basic civil liberties but after George Brandis’ wave of anti-terror laws (see tranches one through three million) it’s really nothing too out of line with what’s already on the books.

So, in honour of the ever thought provoking Tasmanian, here are our humble suggestions for which Australians need to have their movements monitored 24/7.

1) Jacqui Lambie

Jacqui Lambie on the Liverpool Plains. (IMAGE: Kate Ausburn, Flickr)
Jacqui Lambie on the Liverpool Plains. (IMAGE: Kate Ausburn, Flickr)

Lambie’s freedom of movement has proved a bit of a problem – particularly for her – when it has involved walking into radio stations. The rogue Senator did just that today, telling ABC radio that Australia’s Grand Mufti Ibrahim Abu Mohamed should have his movements tracked because [reasons not found]. This follows Lambie’s other outstanding ‘fireside chat’ moment in which she made a public call-out for a well-endowed man with a fortune. No takers so far.

While she might see herself as a modern day Franklin D. Roosevelt, using the wireless to connect with a nation crying out for leadership, we think it might help her political longevity to stay away from the microphone. A well-attached device should enable our security forces to keep her out of the studio and out of trouble.

2) The Guys Who Beat Up Some Council Members Last Night Over Parking Meter Fees

Hating on parking rates is a great Aussie tradition but the group of concerned citizens who beat up a bunch of Councillors in Maribyrnong last night after they voted against repealing paid parking probably took it a bit far.

They definitely took it too far when, according to The Age, the group’s spokesperson said this:

“We applaud people in the Arab Spring standing up and saying this is not right. But when it happens in Yarraville, people say that we are yuppies.”

By deploying the state to keep an eye on these would-be revolutionaries ASIO agents will be able to track them to their cars and do us all a huge favour by engraving ‘you are not heroes, you’re yuppies’ on the bonnets with a fifty cent coin.

3) NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

Luke Foley, NSW Labor, Labor left
Luke Foley (we think, we’ve never actually seen him). (IMAGE: Kate Ausburn, Flickr)

We’re worried. Has anyone seen or heard from the NSW’s leader of the opposition since his drubbing at the last state election? If you find him please attach an electronic device immediately so the boys at NSW Labor HQ can track and return him safely to Macquarie Street. Then again, given the fate of other recent party leaders, it might be better for Foley’s sake to leave him wherever he is.

4) George Brandis

george brandis, attorney-general, liberal leadership, cebit, metadata, data retention
George Brandis at the CeBIT showfloor tour. (IMAGE: CeBIT).

Really love the surveillance state GB? Prove it. Have yourself electronically tracked for the rest of your term in office. If you’ve done nothing wrong, you’ve got nothing to hide. We’ll get you one that matches your trainers.

5) Miranda Devine

Miranda Devine on Q&A
Miranda Devine on Q&A

At a time when a trans-national terrorist movement is doing its best to undermine social cohesion in the west it’s important not to enable them, or allow anyone to assist them in their task. Desperate times call for desperate measures, we must destroy some liberties to protect others, and etc.

And that’s why Miranda Devine needs a GPS device attached to her wrist so that the alarm may be raised any time she reaches for pen, paper, or keyboard. As a fierce advocate for greater security powers it’s what she would have wanted.

6) Tony Abbott

Tony Abbott

Combine an unoccupied Kirribilli Lodge with the severely entitled mindset of a recently dislodged Prime Minister and you’ve got a recipe for a break and enter. Tony has been removed from the Lodge once. To make sure that doesn’t have to happen again – this time at the hands of the AFP – a tracking device would be of some service.

7) Jamie Briggs

Jamie Briggs. (IMAGE: CeBIT Australia, Flickr)
Jamie Briggs. (IMAGE: CeBIT Australia, Flickr)

Speaking of Mr Abbott, Federal Cities Minister Jamie Briggs reportedly tried to tackle the PM at a boozed-up party on the night Tony lost the top job. The one-time PM has already suffered the indignity of being rolled by Malcolm Turnbull. He doesn’t need to endure any further assaults. Not that Briggs will be moving anywhere too quickly in the meantime, the ill-fated tackle left the MP in crutches.

8) NSW Senator David Leyonhjelm 

new matilda, david leyonhjelm
Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm.

This is both for fun and safety. It’s fun, because it will annoy the hell out of the libertarian senator. It’s safe, because anyone as obsessed with guns as Leyonhjelm should probably be kept under close observation.

9) My Housemate’s Dog ‘Zali’

Pictured: a well-known national security threat.
Pictured: a well-known national security threat.

Not technically a person, though did once wander into my room and urinate. Wouldn’t mind keeping an eye on her movements from now on. Thanks for the idea Jacqui.

Max Chalmers is a former New Matilda journalist and editorial staff member. His main areas of interest are asylum seekers, higher education and politics.