Recently I heard about a suffragette who threw a brick through a window early last century. Because of this, we should have never given women the vote.
Ok, ok, I know that’s a ridiculous argument for two reasons:
Why should the violent actions of one person deprive others of their rights?
Women in Australia already had the vote when this happened. This was in the days when Australia thought that they could do things without waiting till everyone else did it.
So, while almost everyone can see how ridiculous the logic of voting “No” to women’s right to vote just because some of them grew a little bit uppity and did things like throw bricks or – even worse – behaved in an unladylike manner, it seems that some people are calling the assault on Tony Abbott a turning point in the marriage equality debate.
Ok, I know that it’s Tony Abbott. And I know that a lot of people will have no sympathy and crack jokes and talk about Karma, but that’s only to be expected from the front bench of the Liberal Party, it’s when people who don’t normally support violence join in that I become concerned.
We should condemn it because violence only leads to more violence. And it only gives the “No” campaign a chance to distract from the actual question being asked.
And we shouldn’t get caught up in conspiracy theories just because it’s Tony Abbott. He claims to have been assaulted and it’s not like the man isn’t trustworthy.
Granted, it was very convenient that it should happen at this time. And it was very convenient that the man was wearing a “Yes” badge so that there was no doubt that he was one of those awful people who wants to get rid of Christmas and not someone from the renewable energies lobby. So whatever your natural inclination toward a conspiracy, it’s worth noting that the police have a man in custody, so I expect that he’ll explain that why he did it and plead guilty. Or claim he didn’t do it and plead not guilty.
And, before all those people who reminded us about the presumption of innocence when George Pell was charged start pointing out that this guy too shouldn’t be judged without a trial, let’s now let the law take its course and not mention it again because the man should be given the opportunity of a fair trial.
Ok, I realise that doesn’t suit people who want to use this to argue that you have to vote “No” because this just shows you what sort of people want you to vote “Yes”, but if they stuck to their arguments that relied solely on why two gay people shouldn’t be able to marry each other, the whole debate would be over in two minutes.
“I’d like to say that gay people shouldn’t be allowed to get married because I don’t like it.”
“Any other reason?”
“Yes, it inhibits my religious freedom.”
“But surely you don’t think that other people should have to live their lives according to your religion.”
“Why on earth not?”
“Ok, any other reason.”
“Um… it might lead to other things.”
“But that’s not what’s being asked.”
“Ok, well, let’s stick with God doesn’t like it because you can’t argue with that.”
“Stop bullying me! I demand religious freedom!”
Still, I do find a certain irony in the fact that the man who set up the plebiscite in 2015, and who assured us that there’d be no problems with having a debate, is the one who’s now telling us that we have to vote “No” because – according to him – the “Yes” campaign have turned nasty.
Ok, let’s stop letting the whole marriage equality thing dominate everything. And let’s insist that we don’t talk about Tony’s alleged assault while under investigation. Let’s look at what else has been happening this week.
Mm, I suppose we could consider what Malcolm Roberts is telling the High Court. He thought that he was an Australian citizen and had no citizenship anywhere else even though he became an Australian citizen at nineteen years of age. Why? Well, his sister said so. He didn’t ask her for empirical evidence. Why would you? I mean, lots of us have siblings and why would you ever doubt anything they said to you? Seems fair to me. And when he signed a form saying that he was British, he was young and didn’t read it. Seems like the sort of man you want deciding the country’s future. However, by the time he stood for the Senate, he realised that there was a chance that he might be a British citizen, so he sent off an email to ask if he was. Being unfamiliar with the internet, he didn’t realise that, while one can create a name for one’s own email, if one wants the email to get to another person, you have to find what their address is and not just make one up. Once he realised this, it only took him a few days to work out how to find the British people who could renounce his citizenship and with all the speed of the US processing of asylum seekers on Manus and Nauru, he took steps to ensure that he only had allegiance to One Nation.
Or we could wonder how the party which so strongly argued that putting a voluntary cap on poker machine losses was a ridiculous “nanny state” idea, now wants to roll out the cashless welfare card to more electorates. Apparently, it’s not being a nanny state if they’re the ones doing it. I’m just wondering why the big NSW clubs haven’t mounted the same strong campaign against the welfare card that they did against the voluntary cap.
But maybe we’d be better off just not thinking. It seems to work for many of our politicians.
- Person charged with Abbott’s assault says that it was nothing to do with his position on marriage equality.
- Malcolm Roberts found to be UK citizen at time of nomination.
- NSW clubs still have no problem with nanny state when Liberals are the ones doing it.