Fifteen million dollars (Aust.) is roughly the cost required to produce these booklets. $15,000,000.00. You'd think that the money might be spent on a better option for Australia's defence against terrorism. Sorry, I forgot to mention that you don't only receive the booklet, but also a fridge magnet. Unfortunately these don't have any useful information such as "Duck and cover in the event of a terrorist attack", only a number to ring if you see anything 'suspicious'. Sound familiar? Goodbye 2003, hello 1984.

The problem is, this 'information' for the Australian public isn't just another case of a balls-up for the Australian Political System, it's a fully fledged scare tactic to convince us that we're living in a world that isn't safe anymore. While undoubtedly the world has changed since the September Eleven, and more recently the Bali bombing attacks, there is no need to feel that we most report in to the government when we see something questionable. A rational person would phone the police or some equivalent if they thought they might be endangered - a 'National Security Hotline' is a laughable prop in the ineffectual War On Terror. At least it would be laughable if it wasn't fucking serious.

So when you receive this in the mail, write in large letters: "return to sender". Just don't let your neighbours see you doing it.
Xenex: Rats. And I thought I was being original. So how come he's the Lord Mayor of Brisbane while I'm still writing for E2!?

Update 11/02/2003: It didn't come in an envelope, rather a plastic wrapped package, so it's difficult to pull the 'return to sender' gag. I put the whole kit 'n' caboodle into a brown envelope, with a piece of paper saying:

"Mr. Howard

Stuff it up your arse."

Hopefully that gets the message across.