Friday, 28 March 2014

On 19 February 2014 the National Archives of Australia and Dept. of Immigration and Border Protection decided to limit information about Anthony John Abbott

While Anthony John Abbott was Federal Leader of the Opposition the National Archives of Australia displayed on its website a digital record of Richard and Fay Abbott’s application for assisted passage to Australia with their first two children, Anthony and Jane.

Sometime after Anthony John ‘Tony’ Abbott became prime minister this digital copy disappeared from view in the original record which still retains its "open" listing.

Now a restricted listing for “Anthony John Abbott” have been posted online by archive staff and, one has to pay $29.90 for a paper copy of an unspecified record pertaining to this person if access is granted.

The reason given for this apparent desire not to have information on the Prime Minister and his family as freely available to the general public as is the information on other living persons or their parents and grandparents is that: Information or matter the disclosure of which under this Act would involve the unreasonable disclosure of information relating to the personal affairs of any person (including a deceased person).

So it is perfectly acceptable to release the digital records of others and, therefore for the general public to know how many times former Prime Minister John Howard's father was absent without leave when on active duty in France during World War One or how many times many other ordinary servicemen caught a venereal disease or went before courts-martial during both world wars.

It is also acceptable for what sometimes amounts to idle gossip or vindictive accusation about ordinary Australians from as late as the 1950s, 60s and 70s (concerning treason/sedition or membership of the Communist Party) to be digitally available on the National Archives website, as well as copies of ASIO surveillance photographs of May Day marchers and Moratorium protesters, yet Prime Minister Abbott's history is to be hidden from general view. 

One can be forgiven for thinking that there is now one rule for the Prime Minister and another for the rest of Australia.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now now be fair. Lord Abbott the First can make up any law he wants as Dame Bronwyn Bishop will protect him. I just want absolute proof that he IS a citizen - otherwise turf him out. Deport him.