Category Archives: Politics

Why does the Australian Christian Lobby exist?

I guess I should be thanking the Australian Christian Lobby. Not being an avid watcher of commercial television, I completely forgot that Californication was being shown last Monday. Never fear, however, the ACL’s predictable bleating about the show’s “gratuitous sex” generated considerably more media coverage for the show than it otherwise would have received, which prompted me to, err, obtain the first episode – and as far as black-comedies go, it wasn’t too bad.

I’ll leave aside the issue of why these holier-than-thou organisations are forever whining about sex on TV, yet so very rarely make a peep about violence – although I will note that the ACL did bang on about Channel Seven’s “City Homicide” show, also. I don’t recall them ever making any noise about the very excessive violence and torture in 24, but I guess it’s just possible that they were elated that the bad guys were almost always of Middle-Eastern appearance.

What I would like to know, though, is why the Australian Christian Lobby even exists? This is Australia. Our constitution guarantees freedom of religion. There’s probably not a better place in the world to be a Christian, because our society tolerates pretty much any belief, provided that you don’t go trying to ram it down their throat. We certainly don’t have the sectarian violence that Northern Ireland put up with for so many years. We give religious organisations tax-breaks. We even put up with the religions that are racist, sexist and aren’t particularly tolerant about non-believers.

I can only conclude that the ACL exists because these people, not content with living their lives as they see fit, feel a need to force the rest of us to live that way too. In a liberal democracy, there is simply no need to argue for stricter laws to match those of your religion; there’s nothing stopping you from adhering them as you wish (with the usual caveat of not hurting anyone else).

Don’t want to work on a Sunday? Well, don’t. But don’t stop me from shopping on the only day I find it convenient because your supreme-being tells you it’s a day of rest. You don’t want your kids given sex education? Fine, have them removed from class – and accept the consequences of an increased risk of teenage pregnancy, because no amount of your god-bothering is going to stop them if they want to. If other parents are happy about it, then there’s no reason for you to oppose it. Don’t like Californication? Well, for Christ’s sake, don’t watch it. Surely the name would have been enough of an indication that it might offend?

Want your kids protected from the evils of teh Interweb? PUT THE DAMNED COMPUTER IN YOUR LIVING ROOM WHERE YOU CAN WATCH WHAT YOUR KIDS ARE DOING! Sheesh, does social conservatism always come with a free frontal lobotomy?

How hard is it to use a fax machine?

You’ve got to love Wilson Tuckey. Wilson sent a fax to the Prime Minister to ask him to quit, but then accidentally sends it to a good number of other backbenchers, too.

I’m trying to figure out how this can happen. Put the paper in, type in the number, press the big green button. I suspect that if this really was an accident, rather than a publicity stunt, then a member of staff probably misunderstood their instructions.

I’d love to know why politicians are still using fax machines for such correspondence. It’s just asking for the cleaner to pick it up at its destination and sell it to a journalist for some quick cash…

One out of three ain’t bad?

Depends whether you consider the creation of thousands of McJobs to be a good thing, I guess.

It is time to resign, Kevin Andrews.

It is time, Kevin. The alternatives are fairly clear: either a terrorist has been let out into your hastily invented “home detention”, instead of the customary way in which they are treated, or you have put an innocent man through hell in an attempt to save your government’s political life. Australia’s reputation as a fair country is now completely in tatters and I am disgusted by your conduct.

No more of this no-apology, no-resignation nonsense that we have come to expect from the other weasels in your government. You have continually reminded us of your Christian beliefs. Prove it. What would Jesus do, if he wasn’t a work of fiction?

One of the stupidest political ideas that I’ve seen yet.

A Victorian member of parliament, Evan Thornley, has suggested that parents should be able to vote on behalf of their (underage) children..

I can’t be the only person who is fed up with hearing the word “family” coming from politicians. The “family” is constantly used to justify everything from censorship, targetted tax-breaks, government handouts and plainly blatant discrimination. Premiers resign to spend “more time with their family” (it’s so nice that their generous superannuation allows them to do that), fringe religious extremists start political parties to push their beliefs onto society, using the family as a front, and both sides of politics harp endlessly about working families, as if the rest of us are merely layabouts. Now someone wants to give a weighted vote to those people who breed the most children?

It’s one thing to want to lower the age at which a person may vote, but it’s quite another to disenfranchise the childless.

This comment, however, amused me greatly:

Mr Thornley said last night: “Families are currently underrepresented in our democracy. They pay but don’t have a say.”

Umm, Mr Thornley, it’s not called the Singles Tax Benefit. I don’t mind that taxes go towards this (and, in fact, encourage it), if it is properly means-tested, but please, the money isn’t coming just from families.

Sadly, as a result of Steve Bracks’ resignation today, Mr Thornley is likely to be in the Victorian cabinet, at this time next week.

More on this at Larvatus Prodeo

Guilty until proven deported.

Foreign Minister Alexander Downer:

“Every time there is somebody arrested and facing charges, there’s some sort of controversy about ‘oh the poor thing, he must be innocent, this is all being cooked up for some particular reason’.”

I guess presumption of innocence is no longer a core Australian value.

Thankyou, Peter Costello

…for the most enjoyable day of politics-watching I’ve had for a long time.

Australia’s pathetic media

There are plenty of reasons for John Howard and his vile government to apologise, but forgetting the name of one of his party’s candidates for the next election is probably the least of them:

Forced to apologise? Hell, half the time I can’t even remember what I did an hour ago, let alone the names of 226 MPs, Senators or prospective parliamentarians, and I’m half his age.

This is a non-story. Why aren’t these useless journalists getting him to apologise for taking the country to war on a lie?


Threats to Australia: terrorism, high interest rates … and now wall-to-wall control:

Prime Minister John Howard has repeatedly warned about Labor governments having nation-wide control, arguing a balance was needed.

Never mind the fact that it would take a near miracle for Labor to get control of the Senate, John, with the Greens on 13%25. Hopefully Australians will learn not to make the mistake of allowing an outright majority there, again.

The Mad Monk wants a return of corporal punishment

Just when you think the federal government is incapable of dragging Australia any further back in time, one of the luddite ministers whips out the time machine and cranks it back to 1940.

This time, it’s Catholic supremo Tony Abbott, who continually attempts to guilt trip us over not giving a toss about religion – and then demonstrates once again that he probably didn’t take in much from reading that New Testament thingo which is apparently fairly central to it all.

Good ol’ Tone wants a return of corporal punishment in schools:

“I mean, we’ve taken corporal punishment out of the schools because we think that’s brutal and yet our playgrounds seem to be becoming more brutal than ever,” the minister told the Nine Network.

Yep, you read it right. We’re sick of kids beating each other up. Let’s stop them from doing it … by giving them a good, hard thumping. Yeah, that’ll teach ’em what’s acceptable in society.

It’s quite intriguing that the conservatives in government would be pushing this line, right now. They’ve spent the last couple of years arguing that public education in Australia has a skewed curriculum, and they’re very suspicious of what teachers here might be telling their children – and yet, this guy is openly canvassing handing the same people a licence to hit the kids?

Surely, even if they’re in favour of disciplining their own children in this way, they wouldn’t want someone else to be doing it?

Elsewhere, Suz at Lavartus Prodeo asks if Abbott is trying to get the Education Minister’s job. Oh, I can see it now … compulsory religion classes.