Election 2013 Notebook: February

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2 February 2013

Canberra is burning? Rats are leaving sinking rubber dinghy?

The weekend announcement of the resignations and exit from politics of Senate Leader Chris Evans (ALP: WA), also Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills, Jobs, Science and Research, and Attorney General Nicola Roxon (ALP: Gellibrand, VIC) is a traditional garbage day exercise – announcements designed to be buried in the trash of weekend distractions.

It seems, though, that these announcements are a little too big to bury under kitchen scraps and hangovers. It is an indication that Gillard’s ramshackle Labor minority is sickly and waning. Particularly if it is true the new Senate Leader will be the odiously ill-mannered, low-wattage bully, Steven Conroy.

Hopefully the reshuffle expected for tomorrow will not dissuade the Opposition and others from sinking more of Roxon’s Orwellian Anti-Discrimination Bill. Her departure is no loss to anyone, except her factional ally, Julia Gillard.

Is it remotely possible that the timing of dual resignations was designed to lessen an opportunity to ridicule Labor women as prone to leaving serious business as soon as maternal duties call? It’s not that this would be an unreasonable call for any parent to make, but the level of sophisticated debate in our House of representatives makes such an attack likely, whether there is a misogynism counter-attack or not.

The ensuing reshuffle appears to have forced Gillard to match two left faction losses in cabinet with Labor Unity’s Mark Dreyfus (ALP: Isaacs, VIC), her new Attorney General, and the NSW Right’s rising talent Jason Clare (ALP: Blaxland, NSW), who holds Paul Keating’s symbolically-laden former seat, and is now Cabinet Secretary as well as Home Affairs and Justice Minister.

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Roxon’s rocks in the head on discrimination

Historical union document demanding equal pay for Anorigines.
Historical union document demanding equal pay for Anorigines.

Following my previous, tongue-in-cheek comment on this subject, I received some feedback that I was not taking this ‘gravely important’ issue seriously enough. And I plainly wasn’t, but this analysis aims to ameliorate that ‘oversight’.

The draft Human Rights and Anti-Discrimination Bill 2012 presented by Attorney General Nicola Roxon represents at once bad law, politicisation of jurisprudence, and the deliberate ideological fabrication of a stereotype class of ‘victims’, encouraged to act on emotional hypochondria to assert that discrimination has occurred under vexatiously ambiguous new grounds that include language or actions subjectively judged to be insulting or offensive in relation to social origins or political views.

Under such broad terms, the Bill could easily become an instrument for grotesquely malicious and massively expensive actions, including some explicitly designed to curtail freedom of speech and political expression. More likely though, it is capable of encouraging mercenary exploitation with a view to compensatory damages payouts.

This is particularly the case since the Bill subverts the fundamental legal principle that guilt must be proven, instead requiring an accused party to prove innocence in a setting in which language and meaning are up for arbitrary interpretation based on alleged emotional responses by an aggrieved party.

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Roxon’s politically correctwitch-hunting season

‘I’ll have you up in front of the Commission if you call me Cretinous Plain Jane again!’

The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.

***

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.

– H L Menken

In the paralysis of non-government that is the Gillard ‘mousepack’ [1] personified, her Attorney general, Nicola Roxon, has come up, against all expectations, with yet another proof that well-meaning idiots are idiots all the same.

Continue reading “Roxon’s politically correctwitch-hunting season”

Roxon’s politically correct
witch-hunting season

‘I’ll have you up in front of the Commission if you call me Cretinous Plain Jane again!’

The worst government is the most moral. One composed of cynics is often very tolerant and humane. But when fanatics are on top there is no limit to oppression.

***

The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.

– H L Menken

In the paralysis of non-government that is the Gillard ‘mousepack’ [1] personified, her Attorney general, Nicola Roxon, has come up, against all expectations, with yet another proof that well-meaning idiots are idiots all the same.

Continue reading “Roxon’s politically correct
witch-hunting season”