Trumble, mumble, stumble crumble: #MarriageEquality plebiscite fiasco

August 10, 2017

The strategy of the marriage equality opponents in the Coalition is to retain the conservative status quo at all costs, says Dr Martin Hirst.

THE OPPONENTS of marriage equality came a step closer to blocking the popular move yesterday when Liberal Party MPs decided by an overwhelming majority to stick to a policy of deflecting, pretending and ignoring good sense and common sense.

Good sense should have informed them that bringing the matter forward for a free conscience vote in both houses of Parliament is what the vast majority of Australians want them to do.

Common sense should have told them that sticking to the time-wasting and false “promise” of an expensive, but non-binding plebiscite on the issue would make Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull look weak, embolden his conservative opponents in the party and proven – once again – that the Liberals are a party of reaction, blocking and bigotry, not the hopeful, social progressives Malcolm desperately wants his dwindling band of supporters to believe in.

The position adopted 28 to 7 in the Liberals’ party room was to put the non-binding plebiscite position to the Senate again with the Plan B option being an even less legitimate non-compulsory and non-binding postal vote.

This strategy seems like a rotten compromise. It is. It represents Malcolm the Appeaser at his unprincipled worst. It is a terrible plan that has the fulsome support of all the opponents of same sex union. They are the real winners; everyone else, including Turnbull, is a loser.

Just take a moment to really think through what the Liberals endorsed last night:

  • Plan A represents an idea to the Senate that it has already rejected as unworkable, unnecessary and stupid, and which the ALP, the Greens and enough cross-benchers to sink it have already said they will block.
  • Plan B is to threaten a really awful Plan B – the postal vote – in an attempt to force reluctant senators to back Plan A ‘or else’.

It’s like holding a gun to your own head during a bank robbery while high on crack cocaine and threatening to shoot the puppy unless the bank-teller gives you all the five-cent pieces. And the bank-teller be like Mate, here’s all the rolls of zacs I’ve got. It comes to seven dollars, go buy an ice cream.

Read the rest of this story at Independent Australia


Outrageous misfortune(s)

May 21, 2010

On occasions I am gobsmacked by the awful things that happen in the world. There’s an outrage every day that can be upsetting, or make me angry; but of course I don’t just wander around in a slack-jaw daze. For the most part, I am able to moderate my outrage with a quick “Fuck you,” when some prick comes on the TV news to tell me how much better off I am now that GST is at 15 per cent and my rent’s gone up.

We tend to shield ourselves from “the horror, the horror”; then again, most of the horrible things don’t come to our attention. The news self-censors to ensure that we don’t get too depressed and turn on our masters.

Those awful things that do come to our attention are now so commonplace we are almost psychologically immune. When was the last time you were angered by a new wave of senseless killing in Baghdad, Kabul or Peshawar? Do you really care if the “red shirts” win or lose?

With this post I want to introduce a new category “outrageous misfortune”. A summary reminder that despite our ability for magical thinking there’s “shit happening” that we should be conscious of. Stuff that reminds us that there’s still a long way to go to make this lump of rock a really “wonderful world”.

Campbell quits amid gay sex club claims

A New South Wales government minister has been forced to resign his portfolio after a Sydney TV station revealed that the married man was visiting gay sex-on-premises venues.

That of course is not a crime in sexually-liberal Sydney, but David Campbell drove himself to the venue in his ministerial car. “Outrageous misfortune” indeed.

Channel Seven justifies its surveillance of Mr Campbell because he was seen as a “family values” politician. The serious implication here is that somehow family values are incompatible with being gay. Campbell was “accused” of visiting the gay club as if it was some sort of crime. It’s not illegal to be gay (even a closeted married gay)  in NSW; but the fucked up holier-than-thou moral police in the media sense blood in the water around state politics and so Mr Campbell is just meat to them.

He wasn’t a very competent minister and the Labor government in NSW is an electoral stinker, but outing Campbell in this cruel way is really not part of the game.

Emirati woman reports gang rape, hit with legal sex charge

We are no longer shocked by stories of woman being victimised and abused in Islamic countries, but we should not lose sight of the issue just because it is no longer unusual.

This is a particularly awful case. A young woman pack-raped in the backseat of a car. She is then charged with “sex out of wedlock”. The young woman had the outrageous misfortune to be born female in a disgustingly patriarchal society dominated by a fundamentalist clerical elite. However, we won’t be seeing any “Operation Emirati Freedom” anytime soon. This religious backwater is a glutton’s haven of oil reserves and a strong ally of The Great Satan.

Gay couple in Malawi sentenced to 14 years

Two young men expressing their love for each other. That’s OK right? Unless you’re a nasty bigoted God-botherer you should not have a problem with same-sex “relations”. This is the 21st century after all.

Apparently not in Malawi (nor in many other countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia).

Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, and Steven Monjeza, 26 were convicted of unnatural acts and gross indecency under laws dating from the colonial era. That last bit is the most worrying. The hangover of repressive laws from the colonial period that are still used to persecute locals.

Tiwonge and Steven had recently been through an informal “engagement” ceremony. They had the outrageous misfortune to be gay in a nation that won’t tolerate homosexuality. 14 years in jail is as good as a death sentence for these two young men.

One bright spark in this outrage though; Amnesty International is going to adopt the boys as prisoners of conscience and campaign for their release.