Belief versus human rights

13 Jun

After my blog yesterday on Prime Minister Gillard’s belief that homosexuals should not be allowed to marry, I became embroiled in several robust Twitter fights. One of the points of contention was that the PM, like anyone else, is entitled to her personal beliefs. I was threatened with Voltaire, told belief does not require any knowledge, described as intolerant and blind to the mote in my own eye,  and finally accused of risking the downfall of the government and an Abbott ascendency, by criticising Ms Gillard’s personal belief about same-sex marriage.

While there’s a good community here at Sheep, Rupert Murdoch I’m not.

Be that as it may, the fights led me to thinking about belief. While I agree that everyone is entitled to their beliefs, I don’t agree that everyone is entitled to act on those beliefs to the detriment of others. Once a belief is extrapolated from the personal realm and used to determine the lives of others it is no longer personal, it is political.

Personal belief can legitimately determine the course of one’s own life. If you don’t believe same-sex marriage is right, for example, then don’t make a same-sex marriage. Nobody in our country will force you into an arrangement that powerfully disturbs your moral sensibility.

What disturbs me, however, is the argument that personal beliefs ought to be set apart from the interrogations we are at liberty to apply to all other human processes. The personal belief is elevated to the sacred, inspiring respect and reverence simply because it is a personal belief, and regardless of its substance. While I find this bizarre, hinting as it does at some transcendental exterior governance, I have little problem with it, as long as the belief remains in the realm of the personal. When it becomes prescriptive, I argue that it is no longer protected from scrutiny and critique by reverence.

Tony Abbott, for example, holds a personal belief that abortion is wrong, as well as being opposed to same sex marriage. In this article titled Rate of abortion highlights our moral failings Mr Abbott explores his personal beliefs about this procedure, including his belief that abortion is a lifestyle choice made to suit the mother’s convenience.

Of course Mr Abbott is entitled to hold these beliefs. Anyone can believe anything they want. He is not entitled to impose his beliefs on others. When he does, the belief has ceased to be personal, and has become political.

If I am expected to unquestioningly respect Ms Gillard’s personal beliefs on homosexual marriage, I gather I am also expected to respect Mr Abbott’s beliefs on abortion and refrain from challenging them?

What about Hitler, because no argument about belief is complete without a reference to Hitler. Hitler’s personal belief was that  human beings who did not fit his ideal didn’t deserve to exist. Including homosexuals. When Hitler’s personal belief burst out of his private realm, millions upon millions of human beings were starved, tortured and murdered. Yet Hitler’s personal belief ought to have gone unchallenged because personal beliefs are sacred?

I could go on with endless examples of the dire repercussions of actions based on personal beliefs, but I know you’ve got my drift.

Perhaps a belief can be considered sacred only as long as it remains personal. Once it affects anyone other than the believer it is no longer personal, and no longer entitled to protection from interrogation.

Were I to be given the chance, I would ask Ms Gillard if she has reasonable, plausible evidence for her core belief that homosexuals should not marry. I use the term core belief  because I’m assuming that the PM has actively thought about her position on same sex marriage and has come to a state of justified true belief. Otherwise we would be dealing with something more akin to superstition, of the kind practised by Jim Wallace and the ACL.

The reason I care about this has nothing to do with marriage, about which I personally give not a toss. It has to do with the right all homosexuals have to be treated equally. It is about the right homosexuals have to be recognised as being as fully human as heterosexuals, and as entitled to participate in our institutions to precisely the same degree. This is not, in my opinion, a matter for anybody’s personal beliefs to determine. It’s a matter of human rights.



57 Responses to “Belief versus human rights”

  1. Elisabeth June 13, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    Splendidly put.


    • Jennifer Wilson June 13, 2012 at 10:01 am #

      Thank you.:)


      • doug quixote June 13, 2012 at 7:16 pm #

        Disagree – so long as the party and/or leader are moving broadly in the right direction, that is where your support should lie.

        Look at the whole picture; don’t fail to see the wood for the trees.


        • Hypocritophobe June 13, 2012 at 7:40 pm #

          The problem is you really need to dilute the definition of broad to believe Labor is Labor.
          And if what you say is applicable DQ, why did Labor axe Rudd.
          OK so they SAY he was a megalomaniac.
          I say BS,he was a threat to a few wankers with union cred who had a plan different to his.
          Gillard was talked into abandoning everything to wear the mask of a leader and nothing else.
          I ‘hear you’ DQ, saying we can never risk Abbott,but all ‘that’ community argument is doing is licensing Labor to self destruct anyway.
          This WILL end in tears.With any luck it will take out Gillard and Abbott.
          Libs must be loving the success of their divide and conquer and watching the true believers cannibalise each other.
          Come back PK.
          Gillard has no visible substance.And I reiterate this is not just on SSM.
          Labor NEEDS a leader.They are a bloodbath waiting to happen.


          • doug quixote June 13, 2012 at 8:23 pm #

            No. Gillard is the one.

            Rudd was and is a psychopathic individual, but only slightly more so than Abbott. Neither of them have any empathy, other than as an intellectual understanding. Rudd is also a control freak and a ‘my way or the highway’ personality, with a Messiah complex.

            Gillard is a human being.


            • Hypocritophobe June 13, 2012 at 9:09 pm #

              We’re all human beings.
              Gillard has the PH ship.She needs to lead and to have a suite of qualities suitable to be a Labor PM, who is not a puppet.

              And yes DQ, she is not Abbott.

              But within the choice we have;
              She is not Abbott- by a mere bees dick.And as I say,this is not of her doing.Which amplifies her unsuitability to continue as PM.

              IMO, Every day that she politically fellates the string pullers, she squeezes Abbott closer to the lodge.
              If she cannot be ‘the’ JULIA GILLARD (Labor value driven PM), why bother?


            • Marilyn June 15, 2012 at 6:04 am #

              Wow, so Rudd is the one who apologised to the Stolen generations, Gillard is the one who wanted to flog refugees to Malaysia to die and you claim she is the human one?

              You need to get over your pathalogical hatred of Rudd, he was and is better then her.

              Imagine Gillard out every week cooking for the homeless?

              And the policies she is implementing are all his that she has brutalised and ripped us all off.


            • doug quixote June 15, 2012 at 6:50 am #

              Has Rudd ever shed a tear in his life? (Other than over his own sacking, that is). He may have an intellectual understanding of “sorry” and a concept of others’ pain, but it is my view that he has no emotional empathy. Same goes for Abbott and Assange.

              Gillard is a fully rounded human being.

              As for policies, she does what she has to do – get over it, Marilyn. Sit on the high ground and throw brickbats if you like, but don’t expect any good results from it.


            • AJ June 15, 2012 at 8:16 am #

              If you want “My way or the Highway” thinking you only need to live in Qld or the NT for a while, birthplace of One Nation, Bob Katter’s Australia Party, Joh Blow etc and of course Kevin and for that matter the Trade union movement. I don’t believe Kevin is as bad as some of the characters you will meet in that lot! I think he presented as a bit of an “overspun, American-style personality all-polished-up-leader- product”. Not Hawke-like common man material at all! Unfortunately he didnt realise the same image polishers also DID include steak knives with the product which became his undoing. Gillard, its true, appears to be more flexible and prepared to negotiate, empathetic? yep which is fine if you need a mother figure, not sure she has learned the lesson though you have to chose carefully who you get into bed with (politically). Off Topic: I have taken to nicknaming Gillard as Wilson – no, not the soccer ball in the Tom Hanks film, its just that every time she gets up to speak she appears to mutter “Bloody Kevin” under her breath 🙂


          • helvityni June 15, 2012 at 8:25 am #

            AJ, are you sometimes calling Gillard Wil, short of Wilson?


            • AJ June 15, 2012 at 8:29 am #

              Actually, yes your right Helvi, thats even better 🙂


            • helvityni June 15, 2012 at 8:57 am #

              Oh dear, wrong spelling ,wrong message: Will, not wil…
              Yesterday I left the N out of frontage and ended up with frotage…
              Time to start using the spell check, otherwise I’ll get the pedants chasing me again.


  2. gerard oosterman June 13, 2012 at 9:17 am #

    Yes, but putting her (Julia) beliefs aside and supporting ssm she would be accused of ignoring those that are against ssm. So, what then?


  3. Tim June 13, 2012 at 9:24 am #

    I agree with the message here. However, as I am sure you would admit – defining ‘human rights’ and even determining if they actually exist is a very real debate in itself. This poses a real issue for this argument.


  4. CrazyHorse June 13, 2012 at 9:49 am #

    a lot of beliefs, especially religious beliefs, are only personal by way of a person declaring they uphold a doctrine of some kind, or a version or a doctrine.

    Chrys Stevenson has discussed a possible political-religious reason for Julia Gillard’s public views on ssm –


    • Jennifer Wilson June 13, 2012 at 10:01 am #

      Yes, thank you. This is a good link, everyone, if you’re interested in the PM’s motives.


  5. helvityni June 13, 2012 at 9:56 am #

    Talking about beliefs, I don’t beleve Abbott would make a good PM. I also believe that looking at the other option Gillard is the better one, whatever her beliefs are about marriage, gay or hetero…


  6. samjandwich June 13, 2012 at 10:13 am #

    “Once a belief is extrapolated from the personal realm and used to determine the lives of others it is no longer personal, it is political.”

    Jennifer I like the way you throw out these statements which seem to just cut through the bulls shite and render everything just blindingly obvious.

    And I should qualify this by saying that my alter ego Sam Jandwich made a similar statement on this very interesting (though IMO ultimately flawed) article on OLO by Dr Elspeth McInnes, on changes to family law: . This is another example of the way, a culture of non-criticism builds up around, let’s say, conventional ways of thinking.

    I suppose the difficulty with criticising people’s beliefs is that to do so effectively means you are directly criticising the person who expresses that belief. When someone says “i commit to this”, and you debunk whatever “this” is, you are effectively saying “i have no respect for your capacity to make decisions about this whole entire subject”. (oh, though some people are more vulnerable to this than others… I have a lot of respect for whatever Michael Kirby says… but he’s a christian – which I find impossibly incongruous. And yet I still respect whatever he says, because it’s well thought-out and well-explained. Oh well, perhaps Julia should try that!)

    But anyways, I still see this in terms of democracy. We don’t vote for dispassionate, rational bureaucrats; we vote for individuals. And while it behooves them to state their position on issues like this before going up for election (since those who don’t usually get found out pretty quickly), I think it’s a deeply intrinsic feature of democracy that, once in, a politician can act on their beliefs all they like. Voters need to take just as much responsibility for misinterpreting politicians as politicians do for misrepresenting themselves.


    • gerard oosterman June 13, 2012 at 10:25 am #

      While sauntering around The Family Court some of you might like a dekka at this from Le Salon des ABC refuses.


      • Jennifer Wilson June 13, 2012 at 10:38 am #

        Thank you Gerard, I haven’t got round to editing this for Sheep & I apologise.


        • samjandwich June 13, 2012 at 11:38 am #

          Yes thanks Gerard and good article. I’ve always had a hunch that the English-speaking world is more marinated in the attitude of “children should be seen and not heard” than other places… and it’s interesting in this context to think about how there are seemingly some people, like prime ministers, who are entiteld to hold beliefs at all, while others are not. Why is that?!

          That was a rhetorical question btw 🙂


        • gerard oosterman June 13, 2012 at 1:08 pm #

          That’s ok. Anytime will do.


  7. AJ June 13, 2012 at 10:18 am #

    Austalia sufers from the lack of a Human Rights Bill, however when it is discussed it tends to be debated between the free choice and responsibity line. To some extent we have this in workplaces for example where OH&S considerations over-ride free will and a procedure needs to be followed. Reponsibility has long left government ranks until we are instead left with Representative government. Responsibility has been delegated to public service and individuals as the anti-welfare line takes hold. For instance the number of people now eligible for welfare is being diminished by governments of both sides as they struggle to cope with population growth and budgets. Heading back to the original post, Gillard is trotting out an old 70’s line about marriage, The 80’s brought the generation that gave rise to women asking for a commitment and often accusing men of failng to commit. Unfortunately the bias (now being evened out) in the Family Court caused the risk of divorce to be punitive and many men instead chose to stay single, become ex-pats or abandon familes once the gun was held against their head in terms of responsibility for their kids. The whole marriage act needs reformation to change the emphasis from a merely financial arrangement to one where a less nerve ridden togetherness is possible for those that want to raise kids together. Its a minefield and an area of nanny state politics that needs reform – but who’s reform is the question. Perhaps it argues for less legislative approaches in peoples personal lives?


    • hudsongodfrey June 13, 2012 at 10:33 am #


      The problem I see for human rights bills it that it seems to set a minimum standard of good behaviour to be enforced rather than a maximum to be aspired to. We may be somewhat naively be presumptive enough to deem enforcing human rights necessary for the Chinese, concerned enough to do something to help Zimbabweans or compelled to act to stop what’s happening in Syria right now. But to introduce change to the social institution of marriage by coercion seems… I dunno… extreme to me!?

      I strongly support same sex marriage, but I would overwhelmingly prefer to see it welcomed and accepted over time because couched in the very meaning of inclusiveness is acceptance of diversity in recognition of how it benefits us. If you want the community and especially those who’re resistant to this change to bite back against it then enforcing it would pretty well guarantee their dissent.


      • AJ June 13, 2012 at 10:35 am #

        I completely agree, hence my last line


  8. hudsongodfrey June 13, 2012 at 10:22 am #

    Well put Jennifer, though Godwin is hovering….If you go the Hitler route in the article it probably means nobody can reply. Consider me anomalous if you will.

    Just to cheer you up I noticed that Christina Rad posted a video* on “Raping Islam” in the past few days. So if you think you’re getting hate mail, spare a thought! Here’s this young atheist woman in Romania, a country that is 90% Christian, and not just Christian, but Orthodox Christian, so you know that she gets feck all sympathy for her views there, and yet she repeatedly goes balls out with her attacks on religion’s scared cows, (to use an ironic metaphor if ever there was one).

    You make a good case, and I’m sure Julia has some personal beliefs, but it may well be the case that she believes in “the numbers” more than she believes in, her “private views”, “core promises” and “party values”. And in case you’re wondering all those terms in “quotations” are just coded rhetoric for I want to keep this job!

    The problem of course is that Julia is herself either the scared cow or the fatted calf depending on which side of politics you’re readers are on. And I do think you run into the very real problem of holding practical ideals as opposed to the kind of impractical ideology that ultimately falls prey to its own excesses after a fashion.

    I mean its fine to metaphorically tear things down with a critique if you, Christina or even the Murdoch press just want to write what you feel and perhaps for a range of reasons attract the kudos or patronage of others. But in practical terms I want neither to live an a theocracy nor see it as equitable to put the gay minority in charge of everything no matter how fabulous they promise to make it. So if we can’t have it all our own way we have to pick the lesser of two evils in politics, much as we despair of the paucity of those choices, and try to persuade our chosen party to do the right thing.

    For the record I think you tried to be persuasive rather than critical for its own sake. I would prefer that Labor used its numbers to throw more weight behind securing the passage of same sex marriage of course, but at the end of the day anyone who likewise supports marriage reform needs Abbott like a hole in the head!

    *I’d post a link but it tends to embed rather than just linking, which makes me feel like I’m taking over and stealing your thunder. People can do a search on YouTube, I mean how many videos do you think you’d find with “Raping Islam” as the title.


    • Jennifer Wilson June 13, 2012 at 10:38 am #

      Just quickly, I deliberately went the Hitler route because of the Twitter battle in which someone breached Godwin’s Law! But I take your point.
      Also, I don’t mind videos embedded.


      • hudsongodfrey June 13, 2012 at 11:06 pm #

        Well I guess the good news for next time is that Mike Godwin is on Twitter at @sfmnemonic so next time it happens you could always tweet him for support. Yeah it is the real guy!

        As for videos I’d be careful what you wish for given that every time one quotes almost anyone contemporary the source can probably be found on Youtube, even Leonoard Cohen Videos 🙂


  9. 8 Degrees of Latitude June 13, 2012 at 11:33 am #

    Threatened with Voltaire! Another aid to misplaced quotation 🙂

    I agree with your sentiments, but this particular skirmish in the War of Seminal Change is taking place in an environment in which – in Australia – it is profoundly unclear where the real collective view of the community currently resides.

    Marriage, as a vehicle for licensed cohabitation, needs review and amendment. I don’t think we’re quite there yet.

    We will be one day. Keep up the good fight!


  10. Hypocritophobe June 13, 2012 at 11:39 am #

    After listening to Gillard trying to get a foothold yesterday by reading a fake sentimentalised speech to a room full of greed Meisters and power junkies (something to do with our stellar economy, and Aussie business), I have had a few fears confirmed.
    She mouthed the pre-written words with total insincerity and unfamiliarity. It sounded like a year 4 primary school students creative writing.
    ‘ bla,bla is making more noise at the moment than hail stones on a tin roof.”

    OM? Which brings me to the crux of this political nightmare.
    Gillard is either (A) has no beliefs(therefore no conviction is possible), (B) she is weak (C) she is trying to look pathetic to get sympathy.
    I’m not stupid enough to consider the latter, so all I can say is that the greatest asset to Abbott’s installation just has to keep on doing what she is currently doing.
    And at the end of this bizarre experiment being played by the Labor party,one thing is for sure.
    I seriously doubt whether a populous as gullible and pathetic as ours will EVER revisit a female PM option again.Certainly not in the foreseeable future.
    On that level, Gillard should have at least as many enemies in the feminist movement as she does allies in Twitterslovakia.
    I am not enjoying the excruciating pain of watching such a blatant exercise in sado masochism, and all the other sick behaviour currently swamping Canberra.As each day goes by I hunger for someone to finally let Abbott do his thing.
    Collectively we deserve it,for swallowing and tolerating the sewerage the msm uses to manipulate our lot.That manipulation covers everything from our daily lives,the economy and every single policy,social or otherwise.
    Aussie Lemmings, all headed for the same cliff,and some of us knowing why, does not make the journey any more enjoyable.

    As for the Twitter groupies attack,the comments I saw were drawn from people claiming nothing other than blind loyalty to Gillard.Indeed one woman was a failed Labor candidate, doing her best(no doubt) to impress the nouveau-Labor Brethren.
    What I read into that and the headings on their Twitter page,is that the kind of the belief they have is like a blind religion.
    Just accept it for how it is,no questions asked.
    In their eyes Julia can do NO wrong.
    Zealot anyone?Cult?
    Call me old fashioned,but if Gillard,Rudd or anyone else’s fan club reckon an individuals current or future political role outweighs the public good, or worse those individuals just read what is scripted,enact what is demanded etc., then I ‘want my money back’,If you vote Labor you should get Labor.
    “At least she’s not Rudd or Abbott” is wearing very thin.She has no visible sign of substance.None.
    She is not her OWN person!!!

    As an aside,Rudd’s critics often play ‘he was the control freak’ card.
    And he was axed by way of factional overlords.
    Gillard is the opposite,hanging on by the skin of her teeth,with no conviction of her own,no plan, no direction.Hanging on because Rudd’s enemies let her.

    It’s a matter of time to end this panto.
    Hideously, inevitable, excruciating time.
    Even if the HSU thing decimates the entire Liberal front bench,we still end up with a Thunderbird for a PM.

    Oh well it IS Australia.
    “Rough enough’s, good enough.”


    • helvityni June 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm #

      Hypo, let’s take Julia and Abbott aside and look at the other polticians on either side, what do you see; some very good competent and compassionate on Labor side…the only tolerable on the other side is Turnbull…that’s my story 🙂


      • Hypocritophobe June 13, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

        I take your point Helvi,
        but the level of talent will still be subjected to the same behind the scenes control, and lack of leadership.
        Rudd at least attempted to lead.He was scuttled.
        Gillard is just going through the motions.
        I agree that MT ‘looks’ politically appealing.

        I’m not going to vote for a party abusing the Labor name and replacing its values with Liberal ones.EVER!

        I will never donkey vote either.
        If anything I hope we are approaching the death of the 2 party system,because Labor has lost the plot.Liberal never had it.


        • paul walter June 13, 2012 at 6:29 pm #

          Begs the question, doesn’t it Hypo?


          • Hypocritophobe June 13, 2012 at 7:02 pm #

            I found a worthwhile contribution to help answer that ‘begged’ question…
            (Saw it on Twitter)

            “Anyone who votes Liberal should be thanked for taking break from orally pleasuring their neighbour’s dogs.”

            and for some very funny half time snacks,
            go here….



            • paul walter June 14, 2012 at 1:33 am #

              That’s putting it very directly, Hypo.
              The failed recall vote for a corrupt governor in the US “red” state of Wisconsin was but the latest in a long series of examples that have people of over single digit intelligence scratching their heads, as to how working-class people could remotely even consider putting or leaving a conservative “austerity” government in power on the verge of a recession.
              This is particularly after the naked and revealed abuses that occured during Cheney/Bush era- the incredible $trillion squander on munitions and war, followed by the inevitable consequences of neolib policies, the Great Goldman Sachs Heist that constituted the GFM.
              I can understand that contractor types now outside the crumbling union system could adopt could vote on self interest over solidarity.
              But if you see as yet more evidence of the atomisation/alienation of society and people and the breakdown of culture in the anthropological sense,
              The lack of sophistication shown by the public in the Abbott/ Gillard (notwithstanding Gillard’s own fumblings) election is to me evidence of a breakdown in Zeitgeist and purpose. Donald Horne mourned the death of the Australian Project. But I think neoliberalist ideology, the doctrine of fetishism,dislocation from reality and denial, “self” valorised and exclusive and expediency and authoritarianism seen as virtuous, sees the Death of Australia as only an example of a wider trend, as those who watched the Panorama doco on the ruin of Michigan and Detroit on SBS a night or so back, would recall.
              Abbott will be the first Tea Party governor of the 51st state, and the electorate’s stupidity will ensure the accelerated dismantling of an already fragile civil society.


        • AJ June 15, 2012 at 11:27 am #

          On your point regarding the death of the 2 party system. This has been raised throughout Australian History, sometimes with success (DLP, Aust Democrats, One Nation etc) – On that point I wonder have you ever taken any of the political compass tests? I was surprised to see where I consistently land. One quick and easy one is at if your interested. Some of them are much longer and time consuming but in my case ended up with the same result. There’s more than one kind of leftie after all


    • Jennifer Wilson June 13, 2012 at 4:25 pm #

      You’re good at finding stuff out Hypo I had no idea someone in that fight was a failed Labor candidate.


      • paul walter June 14, 2012 at 1:37 am #

        Sorry, more typos, mid rave. I know what I mean (I think), which ought to be of great consolation to my friends and enemies alike.


  11. Hypocritophobe June 13, 2012 at 3:36 pm #

    Another ABC proof reader gem.
    Speaking of Abbott……..

    “Professor Shine concedes “there’s no way in the world” cane toads can be eradiated from Australia.”

    Looks like a promotion to ‘Senior Editor’ in the political area, is well overdue for this diligent soul.They can afford to spend all day telling us the same BS, over and over again,but are far to busy to ‘check’ the ‘spell check’ box.


    • samjandwich June 13, 2012 at 4:27 pm #

      Hehe, I heard on the radio this morning that the 59th World Ploughing Championships will soon get under way, and that the Australian representative is a Mr Tilling 🙂


      • hudsongodfrey June 13, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

        I never thought I’d ever call somebody a harrowing wit!


    • helvityni June 13, 2012 at 4:53 pm #

      Hypo, you are making me feel bad now, I too often forget to check the the spell check box…I feel claustrophobic typing into those little boxes and I feel like to get out… 🙂
      The smiley is there to indicate that I’m not totally serious…


      • Hypocritophobe June 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm #



  12. Marilyn June 13, 2012 at 4:48 pm #

    I frankly don’t care what Abbott or Gillard believe, the convention against all forms of discrimination and the universal declaration of human rights forbid any form of discrimination.

    That should be the decider, not homophobic dinosaurs from the ALP and Liberal religious fruitcakes.


  13. gerard oosterman June 13, 2012 at 7:34 pm #

    Is it safe to discourage all of the sheeps to not drink Gloria Jeans coffee?


    • paul walter June 13, 2012 at 10:24 pm #

      Has an ambience of atroturfed racketeering to it..we may have missed, but for Gerard’s keen eye.
      I thought the thread had started to “wander” and it’s no longer “facing the wrong way”, eg in the direction lemmings and the Gadarene swine travel.


  14. Hypocritophobe June 13, 2012 at 9:32 pm #

    I saw another strange occurance on twitter today.
    People commenting about the ABC apology to Morrison.
    From the Tweets I get the gist.
    Up front I will say I am not a tweeter or that I saw the ABC footage.
    What I will say is this.
    I challenge any person to read some of the comments on the Online Drum,when the topics are about Indigenous/refugee/ Muslim or other races.
    Tell me the Moderation fits within a tolerant viewpoint,or even compliant with human rights law.(Don’t even dare visit feminist/gay issues)
    I am all for free speech subject to the barring of obvious vilification/xenophobia/hate.
    Our tax is being pissed, spewed and shat up against a wall to feed a bloated retirement village for lazy journalistic impostors,which is rapidly approaching the same talent/integrity vacuum proportions as that of the MSM.
    Why would that be?


    • doug quixote June 14, 2012 at 6:32 am #

      The transcript :

      I think that it is a cynical manipulation of an underlying prejudice in the Australian community and that it has very little policy merit. It is fraught with problems and it is really awful actually and I think Scott Morrison in particular as a spokesman in this area has just pushed way beyond acceptability in a way that he is willing to pander and manipulate that level of prejudice in what is essentially a racist manner.”

      Seems unexceptional to me, and about right. The word pandering in this context means :

      “Pandering is the act of expressing one’s views in accordance with the likes of a group to which one is attempting to appeal.”

      Is that not just it? And is it not racist?


  15. paul walter June 14, 2012 at 7:17 am #

    Ok, On the issue itself. Why the f–k is it even being debated, this late into the twenty first century.
    Once again the wowsers, prigs and control freaks, descendants of the WASPS of my generation, are out there micro managing other people’s lives for them, except there is always that hint of a Mengele streak with them.
    They are the Brig Wallace, Fred Nile and Lyons Forum types here and their affiliates off shore are found controlling the largely semi-literate and reactionary Tea Party movement. Oddly, am responding once again to some thing the new poster, Nick, pointed out earlier ( in the other thread, yes, got ’em tangled up).
    He said, more or less, that it’s also dangerous to underestimate the issue, don’t turn off.
    Gay people hurt like everyone else. As some one who, like just everybody else, has suffered rejection or hurt at the hands of others, it ought indeed be very easy to put an arm round the shoulder of a gay friend (I hope I still have a few) when they are on the stinking worst of a bad day. Would I be alive still, if not for the kindness of others, including several gay mates, at different times on a bad trot of my own?
    A tiny bit of legislative adjustment that ought not be significant in the least to most straights, who ought to be sorting out their own hangups instead of being preoccupied with a small and generally unobtrusive sub group, as a sign of welcome and inclusion also.
    Secondly, an old reason and one I’ve used attacking indifference on other social issues and its (Godwinned) the Niemoller line, that if they came for the Jews, freethinkers, intellectuals, gays and commos and even religious dissidents, and any one else who could think for themselves or looked a bit out of place, at different times previously, what then would be likely my eventual fate?
    I wish the rednecks and their MP reps, on both sides of politics, WOULD grow up about it, and commit to a rational approach.
    With this, we actually have something of a rerun of the nonsenses up in QLD, including right across their parliament itself, over the RU486 couple a cup of years ago and there was enough cruelty and depression came out of that, also.


  16. paul walter June 15, 2012 at 10:55 am #

    Not Gillard v Rudd again.
    They have good and points like you, me, Abbott and everyone else.
    No, I don’t beleive that Rudd is a sociopath, but has had ego problems, which is part of why he is on the outer just now. Yes, he WAS ironed out by the (rightist) factions, that was squalid, oth,
    But the reality is the Gillard Labor is there and just by a nano just now and that is all that stands between Australia and the austerity imposed on other countries where conservatives have got in.
    Gillard and co at least don’t valorise the Great Tea Party Hoax, although sadly they ARE largely complicit with it and seems also as deeply infatuated with the New Secrecy as the Howard government.
    The brutishness of the New World Order thrives on scapegoats, of course. There have to be external and internal threats to scare the people into believing the leaders, which is done through the press and media.
    The people seem like fearful peasants of a bygone era, with witch hunts for refugees, welfare recipients, (wicked) foreign “others” in places like Afghanistan, gay and know-all “others”and indigenes within and dumbed down.
    Belief is a powerful thing and the politicians know that trying to talk the people out of their neuroses is fraught; easier just to go along with it, or worse still make a virtue out of it with jingoistic nonsenses of the Morrison type.
    So what cards have been dealt? Pretty average, by the look.
    It increasingly looks as if we are aboard a runaway train.
    Either way, we get politicians, so am back to Gerard’s default of a day two ago.
    I’ll probably vote Green, exhausting preferences down to Labor, unless there is something strategic in voting other ways.
    Either way, things therefore don’t look good for minorities, given the current national zietgiest and state of the major parties.
    As I write, am listening to ABC news.
    Defence minister Smith is persevering with cultural reform in the armed forces (the Tories would have done this?). Gillard is blowing the whistle on O’Farrell, who seems into some sort of NSW rip-off involving pensioners and is then blaming it on the federal government and Brit PM Cameron is being grilled by the Levesen Inquiry on his incestuous relationship with the Murdochs and Brooks, while England is into some sort complex manoeuvre involving currency to avoid being dragged into Europe’s problems.
    Gerard, have you got the salt and vinegar out?

    Btw, also Assange appears to have won a stay of execution in a court case just decided.

    Now, can someone give me an intelligent alternative, as to the next election?


    • gerard oosterman June 15, 2012 at 11:15 am #

      Oddly enough, (and I never thought I could steep so low), I have taken to having it with gravy now. I remain faithfull to the ALP diet , no matter what, and remain slim through thick and thin.
      It’s still so much more nourishing than the offal and tripe from ‘the other side’. The sneering instant mashed potato lips.

      I like the humaneness of the ALP, warts and all.

      Here something for some light relief.


      • paul walter June 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm #




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    […] Belief versus human rights ( […]


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