Thursday, December 13, 2012

the cameron clause

We’ve all done it; told ourselves to fight our basest urges, only to give up and give in without having really enjoyed being base while the idea was fresh in our minds. [If you are struggling to follow that intro please don’t ask me to explain it, because I’m not sure I could]. Or if you never have base urges, how the heck did you stumble across this blog?

The latest temptation to base behaviour is the 202 page long draft of Nicola [don’t look at me I didn’t vote for her] Roxon’s new Human Rights and Anti‑Discrimination Act 2012.

It is not only stupid on many, many levels, it’s scary. I’ve got another 30 years of political incorrectness in me, but I think I’ll have to try and use up all my credits before the next election.

Where is the line between a nanny state and a fascist state? It’s not on page 202.

Once upon a time politicians understood it’s impossible to cover every possible contingency in a new law.

Here is a list of the sorts of people the act wants to protect from offence:

(1) The protected attributes are as follows:
                (a)  age;
                (b)  breastfeeding;
                 (c)  disability;
                (d)  family responsibilities;
                (e)  gender identity;
                 (f)  immigrant status;
                (g)  industrial history;
                (h)  marital or relationship status;
                 (i)  medical history;
                 (j)  nationality or citizenship;
                (k)  political opinion;
                 (l)  potential pregnancy;
               (m)  pregnancy;
                (n)  race;
                (o)  religion;
                (p)  sex;
                (q)  sexual orientation;
                 (r)  social origin.

[Please pay particular attention to the many ways the good people of Frankston will be spared the usual slurs.]

Well, if Penny Wong is trying to sell it, it must be fair dinkum, don’cha reckon?

Oh, sure, the intentions of the act are noble, but the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Or, as I might have to say once the act receives royal assent, where do gooders go, punishment is sure to follow. I might have to be careful what I say because I daresn’t give offence to god fearing people.

This thing starts with a whole bucket-load of definitions, quickly followed by a couple of 44 gallon drums full of exceptions to the rules about not discriminating. I particularly like this bit:
          (1)  This Act binds the Crown in each of its capacities.
          (2)  However, this Act does not make the Crown liable to be prosecuted for an offence.

See, the guvmint can continue to discriminate under lots of laws especially the immigration act. This is a useful catch all.

The govmint can continue to insist those in categories e) h) or q)cannot migrate to Oz to live wiv their partners. It’s the freedom from discrimination you have when you don’t have freedom from discrimination.

Before we get down to the nitty gritty of where we will be able to say what under this act [if anything] just check out what “disability” will mean:

disability means any of the following:
                (a)  total or partial loss of bodily or mental functions;
                (b)  total or partial loss of a part of the body;
                 (c)  the presence in the body of organisms causing disease or illness;
                (d)  the presence in the body of organisms capable of causing disease or illness;
                (e)  the malfunction, malformation or disfigurement of a part of the body;
                 (f)  a disorder or malfunction that results in a person learning differently from a person without the disorder or malfunction;
                (g)  a disorder, illness or disease that affects a person’s thought processes, perception of reality, emotions or judgement, or that results in disturbed behaviour;
and includes:
                (h)  behaviour that is a symptom or manifestation of a disability referred to in any of the above paragraphs; and
                 (i)  having any of the following because of having a disability referred to in any of the above paragraphs:
                       (i)  a carer, assistant, interpreter or reader;
                      (ii)  an assistance animal or disability aid.

Yep, anyone with the name Cameron [gaelic for crooked nose] will probably have to change their name. Just in case someone else with a similar malformation of body part takes offence.

And I’ll be able to save more than $120 a month on non-PBS drugs, and behave like an arsehole all the time cos g) and h) say so. The stress of living with a conscience is much worse than the stress of trying not to be politically incorrect.


  1. You, politically incorrect, I think not FC! Laughed out loud when I read the rules of discrimination 1 and 2, all bases covered. Did you ever watch 'Yes Minister' the most brilliant take on ministerial affairs ever. I do have PC issues myself, especially after a glass of wine haha !

  2. Grace, I think you would be fun with or without the wine primer!

    When I got to the "disability aid" at i) ii)it took me a while to work out they meant a person, not just a wheely-walker. Where is Sir Humphrey now we need an interpreter?

  3. I wasn't sure whether to be amazed, appalled or just plain astounded when I first discovered that many Acts of government apply for - AND receive - exemptions for violating the current discrimination laws with current government policy. Then Clink gets to explain it to the people who it affects and get blamed for it. It takes a staggering level of egotism and cluelessness to think that's OK, doesn't it?!?!

    1. Why do I insist on thinking about such sickening things? Is it because I think I need an excuse to resort to emotional eating? Do I have heretofore unacknowledged masochistic tendencies?

      Hmmm... egotism... cluelessness... Okay, I'll vote for you next time. Seriously.

    2. Oh gosh, it occurs to me that my last comment sounds ambiguous or somehow sarcastic. I trust you know what I mean.