What’s radically changed in between these two headlines and caused Abbott to now classifiy the country as being likely to be the victim of a terrorist attack?
Very little. Except we now have a prime minister desperate for media coverage in which he saves Australia from the battalions of baddies lurking around every corner intent on killing or maiming each and every voter.
And if that takes orchestrating a nation-wide scare dressed up as both an awareness campaign and a response to alleged physical danger; well so be it.
This was John Howard in February 2003:
It would almost be funny – except that cynical political moves like this sometimes have a nasty habit of turning into self-fulfilling prophesies.
A frightened and resentful populace may begin to discriminate against and socially isolate groups they have been told they should fear and resent, while the behaviour of equally fearful or aggrieved people within these groups may become volatile.