Monthly Archives: August 2012

Why’s everyone so down on the Gillard Liberal Government?

I don’t understand why everyone is so down on the Gillard Liberal Government.

Last week they secured our nation’s borders from a tiny number of vulnerable people seeking our protection as per the treaties we signed back when we thought it’d be good to be decent human beings. Together these people were going to cost us a tiny fraction of what we’re going to spend cruelly locking them up indefinitely to teach them a lesson. We were in serious danger of being guilted into doing something humane and principled, and the ALP leader’s adoption of long-standing Liberal Party policy has saved us from doing that.

The Gillard team has also worked really hard to make sure that we don’t get the idea that our government will protect us from persecution by other countries. Every Australian will have been reassured to see this week that Australians being chased for “treason” by the US will have to flee to the Ecuadorian embassy instead.

The Prime Minister has consistently made a point of defending marriage by advocating against people getting married, and stood up for religious freedom by implementing whatever policy will make the Australian “Christian” Lobby say slightly less negative things about her. She generously gave them one of the most powerful arguments for the law discriminating between people on the basis of gender, when she pointed out that she doesn’t personally want to get married, so, you know, why should gay people have the right to make that choice for themselves?

And today this brave Liberal announced plans to increase the amount ordinary Australians pay to subsidise the education of the kids of the rich. Hey, if poor kids wanted a reasonable chance of competing for scarce university places and jobs then all they had to do was choose to be born to more affluent parents. The rich kids made a better decision in that regard and therefore deserve to have the government lock in their advantages over the kids who chose poorly – that’s just being fair.

Gillard has given us the kind of good, honest conservative government that Australians voted for at the last election. I don’t understand what all the fuss is about.

For those who’ve come across the seas, we’ve got expensive facilities in which to imprison you indefinitely

The House of Representatives divides on the critical issue of whether there should be any limit on how long we lock up genuine refugees who’ve committed no crime:

Or:

But, voters – it’s not all your fault: the 99% of MPs on the left side of the photograph don’t represent 99% of the population. If the MPs in the House of Representatives matched the way people actually voted in 2010, there’d be 18 people on the right.

Which is still pretty pathetic. Actually, yes – go with that sense of shame.

Aunty Tom

Sue Ann Post writes in the King’s Tribune that she’s a lesbian who is not interested in being monogamous, and is not interested in getting married. Which is her own business, and none of mine.

What IS my business, and that of any person opposed to pointless discrimination against people based on their gender, is that Sue uses her personal choice (well, not choice, since it’s presently made by the state for her) to justify advocating that the law continue to discriminate against other lesbians and gay people:

Let me say up front that as someone who has been ‘out’ as a lesbian for 27 years, I just don’t get this push for gay marriage. I don’t understand why it has become a headline issue in the push for equal human rights, especially when our rights in other areas are being slowly eroded by some state governments. In the ‘80s we fought for the right to be different. Now it seems that we’re fighting for the right to be the same. I don’t get it.

Having our relationships recognised as valid and legal is one thing, but why on earth go as far as wanting to get married? I’m not the only one who thinks this way. One of the saddest things I’ve seen at a Pride March was two years ago where a lone, brave man carried a sign saying, ‘I don’t want to get married. Do I still belong?’

Of course you bloody belong. The point is that the government shouldn’t be denying you that choice. And Sue-Ann, fighting for equality is fighting for the right to be TREATED equally even though we’re all different.

It infuriates me when someone from a discriminated-against group decides they’re not interested in the thing denied them – as is of course their right – but then takes the absurd leap to asserting that it doesn’t matter if it’s denied to other discriminated-against people who do want to partake in the thing denied them.

It’s incredibly selfish and arrogant – why should her sexuality give her the right to take rights from others? If she supports the state blocking someone from marrying their partner because of their gender, what does it matter that she also partners with people of the same gender?

It also completely misses the point. The people advocating for marriage equality aren’t campaigning to force Sue-Ann to get married: even when they succeed, she’ll retain – actually, gain – the choice not to marry. But she is advocating that lesbians and gay people who do want to marry continue to be prevented from making that choice.

In any case, Sue Ann, the fight for marriage equality is only partly about the specific gay people who want to marry. More importantly, it is about gay people not being treated as second-class citizens by the law; about gay people having the same rights as straight people. Whether you want to marry or not, whether being treated fairly appeals to you or not, supporting legislative discrimination against gay people is a dick move.

Even if you’re a lesbian.

ALP and Liberals bent on another destructive US copyright agreement

When the ALP and the Liberals are determined to sign us up to another liberty-destroying, overbearing US “copyright” regime (in which we adopt the harshest aspects of their ludicrous laws – see here for the most recent absurd example – but without their Constitutional protections), thank God that one party in the Parliament will stand against it:

“Not content with supporting the ill-fated Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, which would endanger the legal status of generic medicines and was overwhelmingly rejected by the European Parliament, the Trade Minister is now pushing for an Agreement that offers no protection for copyright exceptions enshrined in Australian law.

“ACTA was an absolute dud, and the Government wanted to jump on board before the Australian Law Reform Commission’s inquiry had even warmed up.

“Now, information on the negotiations of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement revealed over the weekend show the US and Australia want to defeat a proposed clause protecting domestic intellectual property laws.

“New Zealand, with the support of Chile, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam, proposed this clause to permit a signatory to ‘carry forward and appropriately extend into the digital environment limitations and exceptions in its domestic laws’. Only the United States and our own government oppose this perfectly reasonable provision. Why is the Government promoting the erosion of our independence in this way?

“There are two inquiries currently underway into the future of Australian copyright laws in the digital age. Shackling our intellectual property laws to a Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement dominated by the United States would render them virtually worthless. The Australian Greens urge the Government to back New Zealand’s proposed protection for independence and to reject any Agreement that puts the civil liberty and welfare of Australians at risk.”

That’s Senator Ludlum, and I’m bloody glad we have him there to make the point. If only we had a few more Greens MPs whose votes could stand against any legislation associated with such a “treaty”.

Yea! Hills.