Monday, 17 October 2005

The ACT city-state

Listening to:

Ella Fitzgerald singing Remember by Irving Berlin.

I saw a headline in today’s Canberra Times saying something like “Stanhope reckons ACT can inspire others as sustainable city-state”. Of course, the word “sustainable” suggests that he was saying something about the ACT’s environmental credentials. But I wondered about its general ability to inspire as a city-state within Australia.

Stanhope is the ACT’s chief minister, and won my approval when he put a draft of the federal government’s proposed anti-terrorism legislation on his web-site (here). John Howard packed a bit of a sad about this one, but it’s not as if Stanhope is revealing state secrets. This legislation, or something like it, is going to be on the publically available lawbooks soon enough. Indeed, Howard wants this to happen as soon as possible, and seems to be objecting to Stanhope’s actions on the basis that letting people get a good look at the bill might just lead to them coming up with unanswerable objections to all its infringements of our human rights.

But what the ACT really needs to be an admired city-state far and wide is better book shops.