The Orwellian double speak of Turnbull and Brandis is almost humorous until you remember there are real people being affected by their hypocrisy. It certainly takes some audacity for Coalition members to try to portray themselves as champions of the LGBTI community. Eric Abetz notably tried recently and did a pretty good job of keeping a straight face whilst doing so. And here they are doing it again, painting themselves as the party for progress and those who will not support the plebiscite as standing in the way of marriage equality.
The reasons for not having a plebiscite have been made clear. It is costly, superfluous, harmful and pretty much contrary to our system of parliamentary democracy. If you want a good example of why governments don’t make decisions this way look at the Brexit referendum. Despite all that, I was on the fence for a while about it, seeing it as the worst way to move forward but the only way being presented. But the LGBTI community has spoken pretty loudly and generally consistently in rejecting the plebiscite. That is good enough for me. And I agree, human rights should not be the subject of opinion polls.
On the other hand, if the senate rejects the plebiscite, the reason for not having a parliamentary vote have not been made clear at all. Turnbull’s blustering boils down to the argument that, “If we can’t do it our way, we won’t do it at all,” which is a pretty juvenile attitude to bring to a negotiation. But that is because this was never a negotiation. Rather it is a pretty obvious delaying tactic from a party that opposes marriage equality but has no defensible reasons with which to make their position overtly.
Massive high fives to all the great people getting involved with campaigns around important issues of mental health and suicide prevention for veterans and others. I have seen a lot of people sharing the 'It's ok to talk' hashtag for Beyondblue and I was recently nominated to take part in the 22 push-up challenge by a guy that I respect and admire a lot. I've done a lot of push-ups in my life (I know it doesn't exactly show) and never for a particularly good reason, so accepting the challenge might seem like a no-brainer. But I'm a bit unusual like that... After some thought I chose to decline the challenge.
I have to apologise for the lack of activity on the site recently. I have been away for the best part of three weeks so have had little opportunity to post anything new.
While I have been out of the country, I have kept a bit of an eye on what is making national news. Sadly something that seems to have had a lot of press is the supposed underperformance and failures of our Olympians. I made a comment about the pathetic media coverage already, but feel I need to expand on it further.
Sadly, the family of Sarah Paino will never get justice. What would justice for the loss of the loved daughter, partner and mother look like anyway? They will always have lost her and sending the driver to jail for ten times as long would not change that. Unlike The Mercury, I am conscious of the need for sensitivity in discussing this case as it is obviously a highly distressing subject for friends and family, but I feel it is something that needs some balanced commentary and I have seen little of that so far.
It is not often that sports commentators go close to eclipsing Bruce McAvaney and Brian Taylor for awkwardness and stupidity, but the Olympic rowing commentary surpassed it with ease the other night. It was characterised by ridiculous armchair psychology, non-sequiturs and stories that seemed to go nowhere. But even that paled into insignificance compared to News Corp coverage of the Campbell sisters’ 100m freestyle final.
Before the bodies are even cold from the latest atrocity it is not hard to imagine Hanson, Bolt and Christenson- and the racist groups they champion- salivating in anticipation of the inflammatory rhetoric they will soon unleash.
PETA is hardly the most widely respected organisation and is known for courting controversy with its animal rights campaigns. The group’s recent intrusion into public dialogue over the naming of Eggs and Bacon Bay was hardly their most extreme or offensive effort.
For those who don’t see marriage equality as a big deal, let me say this:
My wedding day was perhaps the happiest day of my life to date. That our parliament would deny the same happiness and recognition to same sex couples at the behest of bigots and church groups (many people fit into both of these groups) is horribly wrong.
The Coalition was quick to get to work after the election. Not to reconnect with disillusioned voters, but rather to begin softening the ground to break promises they took to the election. I am not even sure if I am disappointed that the promised plebiscite seems to be drifting further and further into the future. But I am concerned at how strenuously government MPs have been making the case to backtrack on proposed changes to superannuation.