A cunning plan?

The IPA has highlighted the threat to our liberty from the Gillard Government’s proposed changes to anti-discrimination laws. As noted by Simon Breheny of the IPA

The draft laws will punish individuals who express political opinions, if someone is offended by those opinions while working. Andrew Bolt was censored for talking about race. The Gillard government wants to censor talking about politics

 I think the Government has even more sinister intentions. What better way to protect one’s mates in the public sector than by having an anti-discrimination law based on political beliefs? This will make it very difficult (and costly) for an Abbott Government to purge the public sector (this includes not just the APS itself, but the many Federal agencies for which the Government has patronage) of hostile operatives who are politically aligned to Labor. The public sector is already stacked heavily in favour of Labor (with a few notable exceptions of genuinely impartial public servants) and I can see Labor working overtime to increase the number of its supporters in key posts before the election.

The proposed laws are a real threat to liberty in Australia, and a threat to our democracy as a whole.

About Samuel J

Samuel J has an economics background and is a part-time consultant
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87 Responses to A cunning plan?

  1. Scapula

    Yes, bring back the right to political strikes and the right to talk about politicsand have political opinions while working will flourish.

  2. Pickles

    They really are dynamiting bores aren’t they? All right, if them’s the rules….

  3. Pedro

    The exposure draft defines political opinion as a protected attribute and has this section

    “19 When a person discriminates against another person, and related concepts
    Discrimination by unfavourable treatment
    (1) A person (the first person) discriminates against another person if the first person treats, or proposes to treat, the other person unfavourably because the other person has a particular protected attribute, or a particular combination of 2 or more protected attributes.
    Note: This subsection has effect subject to section 21.
    (2) To avoid doubt, unfavourable treatment of the other person includes (but is not limited to) the following:
    (a) harassing the other person;
    (b) other conduct that offends, insults or intimidates the other person.”

    You need to read on, its a nighmare
    http://www.ag.gov.au/Humanrightsandantidiscrimination/Australiashumanrightsframework/Documents/Human%20Rights%20and%20Anti-Discrimination%20Bill%202012%20-%20Exposure%20Draft.dot

  4. Scapula

    So someone is at work and up pops a communist who starts singing the Communist Manifesto in ancient Greek and that’s not a problem?

    In the US election bosses were sending workers intimidating letters threatening their future if Obama is elected and this should be tolerated?

  5. twostix

    In the US election bosses were sending workers intimidating letters threatening their future if Obama is elected and this should be tolerated?

    Back here in reality it’s unions and leftists who bully and cajole people in the workplace based on their political beliefs.

  6. Tom

    If good people do the civilised thing and keep rolling over, the leftist march through the institutions will not stop until the whole world is like the EU, the 40% will be expected to provide all the government benefits for the non-productive 60% and business will be relocating to wherever it can survive without bureaucratic strangulation. The zombie simpletons of the left, including our trolls, don’t understand the endgame looks like communist Europe in 1960 with everyone living on Soviet wages in small high-rise apartments.

  7. Alfonso

    Alas, Tony who refuses to guarantee the repeal of S18c in its entirety and its intentions…….will very likely do nothing about this when PM after it’s all established as the correctness de jour.
    If you don’t believe me ask him at a small gathering.
    He’ll dissemble like he does re 18C.
    Our little Statist and next LibLab PM.

  8. Scapula

    I can’t really find the IPA argument as we’ve just a media release to go by, and they seem intent on downplaying the ‘while working’ part of this purported attack on free speech.

    I can see why political agitation by either management or labour or by either side of politics should be banned ‘while working’, but I can see why casual political conversation might be seen to be in danger if the Act is interpreted too broadly.

  9. entropy

    I would imagine that after Christmas the practice of parachuting hacks from the Minister’s office into mid level APS positions will accelerate.

    It didn’t help the hacks in Queensland (and depressingly the LNP replaced them with their town), but a doubt Abbott will approach the cauterisation with the same zeal.

  10. Sinclair Davidson

    This will be great for the 7 conservatives that work in the universities.

  11. Cato the Elder

    But the 15% are in control, so there :P

  12. Gab

    The exposure draft defines political opinion as a protected attribute and has this section

    So if someone at work takes offense at another person’s political opinion, that person can the other to court merely for opinion and without any substantiation? This is diabolical.

  13. Cato the Elder

    So many, Sinc? Clearly the NKVD have been less than diligent

  14. Brett

    Australia is lost. Labor stacks the public service and institutions and passes legislation that is a weapon against different opinions; and the conservatives have never shown the courage to remedy the long march. It’s time to leave.

  15. Sinclair Davidson

    I’m trying to keep everyone’s spirits up.

  16. JC

    SamJ

    I don’t quite get how this would prevent the new Liberal government from going ahead with it’s plan of mass sackings in the APS and reining in the dole out to the Liars Party buddies around the traps.

  17. Samuel J

    JC – I think that the public sector employees would be able to claim that the Abbott government is discriminating against them because of their political beliefs. The proposed law benefits incumbents who will be difficult to shift. That’s my reading anyhow. No doubt they could be removed, but the cost would be higher (compensation for discrimination on political beliefs) which means that there will be less appetite for a Coalition Government to take undertake a thorough cleanup.

  18. Sinclair Davidson

    Samuel – are you sure? I seem to remember some court case where the judge found the government could sack people without worrying about this sort of thing.

  19. Sinclair Davidson

    On the other hand, if you can’t pick and choose who to sack, you can still sack them all.

  20. stackja

    The people can change the constitution anytime they want to and allow free speech. The parliament and the judiciary cannot override the will of the people. Despite what the ‘elite’ say. Gough had to bow to the will of the people.

  21. Jim Rose

    shooting themselves in the foot really. as per Hayek and Nozick, academics tend to be more to the Left because the relative rewards for talents.

    as the Left dominates the market for public intellectuals, they face a greater chance of offending someone in the workplace and elsewhere.

  22. Ant

    Labor doesn’t like to play fair. If it played fair it would lose all the time.

    This is why for me they’re no better than scum.

  23. Rococo Liberal

    Samuel J I suspect that there will be a defence for the Government in that the public servant who expresses political opinion in the workplace will be in breach of the requirement that the APS is neutral. They will therefore be sacked without recompense.

    If the ALP does pass this stupid law, I suggest that we on the right go on a feeding frenzy of litigation against the lefties at our work places. After all the mere existence of lefties is an offence against common sense.

  24. Rococo Liberal

    May I ask what happens to sec 18C of the RDA now the anti-discrimination laws are being reformed?

  25. Rococo Liberal

    Labor doesn’t like to play fair. If it played fair it would lose all the time.

    This is why for me they’re no better than scum.

    Sinistra delenda est!

  26. Sinclair Davidson

    I suggest that we on the right go on a feeding frenzy of litigation against the lefties at our work places.

    Yep – looking forward to it.

  27. John Mc

    I’ll tolerate legislation to ‘sanitise’ the workplace if it means I don’t need to hear another comment about ‘dead white males’, Jew oppressors or anything claiming freedom or free markets are bad.

  28. I work in such a refreshingly non-pc world (with occasional forays into pc artsy stuff) that I will probably end up missing out on all the litigating fun.

    God bless our bluecollar workers. Espesh the non-unionised ones.

  29. eb

    Umm… all this litigation is going to be against the bosses isn’t it? Its their responsibility to provide a “fair” workplace. So if somebody is offended they sue the employer.

    I don’t know how the employer is going to prevent the offensive political action though. If they sack the offender then they’ll be up for wrongful dismissal. But the Courts have never seemed to be worried about such things; if something bad happens the employer must be at fault.

  30. 2dogs

    I suggest that we on the right go on a feeding frenzy of litigation against the lefties at our work places.

    Best place to start: Catholic job applicant or employee to complain about religious bias at the ABC.

  31. Samuel J

    Sinc’s idea – sack them all – isn’t such a bad one. Why not start from scratch? The new Government needs to push the ‘reset’ button or ‘hard boot’ button and reinstall the software (ie public service) from the original 1901 version. And make sure that auto-update is switched off.

  32. Jim Rose

    offends, insults

    no more diatribes against abbott will be allowed.

  33. You’d save about $300B a year that way Samuel.

  34. 3d1k

    I’m horrified. You need to change the post heading from Cunning Plan to Cunning Stunt – evocative in some mysterious way.

  35. Scapula

    This discussion has not clarified the scope of this section in any respect.

  36. dd

    The point, scapula, is that it creates a whole new class of ways that employers can be prosecuted by employees; a whole new class of protections to stop anyone from being fired.

    Employers who cannot fire anyone – or who fear prosecution if they do – will not hire.

  37. Scapula

    That is a very vague explanation. What is this new class of ways?
    What is the precise section that is problematic? I did download the document, but it is very very long.

  38. William Bragg

    Andrew Bolt was censored for talking about race.

    Bolt was not censored for talking about race. Repeating falsehoods over and over on the Cat does not make them any less false. It just shows up the ethic deficits of the perpetrators, who are willing to lie* to justify and promulgate their views.

    _____

    * I use the term “lie” here in the sense used by Cats, as reflected in their treatment of Gillard’s carbon tax statement, to mean any utterance that is or turns out to be incorrect, irrespective of whether the false aspects of the statement were intended.

  39. dd

    From the document that dot linked to above, here’s what will be prohibited at work.

    (3) Discrimination on the ground of any of the following protected attributes (or a combination of protected attributes that includes any of the following protected attributes) is only unlawful if the discrimination is connected with work and work related areas:
    (a) family responsibilities;
    (b) industrial history;
    (c) medical history;
    (d) nationality or citizenship;
    (e) political opinion;
    (f) religion;
    (g) social origin.

    This creates enormous scope for mischievous and frivolous lawsuits. In terms of disability,

    Disability: conduct not justifiable if a reasonable adjustment could have been made

    Hey, I’m all for looking after the disabled and given them a fair go. I’m just not sure that punishing people in this way is the way to do it. Given that a significant proportion of those on disability support have non-specific pain and mental health issues, this too opens a can of worms. What kind of ‘reasonable adjustments’ are employers going to have to make?
    What bureaucratic body will be in charge of deciding what constitutes a reasonable adjustment?

  40. dd

    affirmative action doesn’t count as discrimination.

    (1) None of the following is discrimination:
    (a) conduct that is a special measure to achieve equality;
    (b) conduct engaged in in accordance with a special measure to achieve equality.

  41. dd

    Bolt was not censored for talking about race.

    Yes he was. The pundits at crikey and the SMH continue to repeat that he wasn’t but this is plainly false on its face. He was prosecuted under the Racial Discrimination Act for discussing racial identity. Explain to me (I ask rhetorically) how, in your mind, that has nothing to do with race.

  42. Scapula

    Well thats a lot clearer, dd, but not quite as novel or threatening as ‘the Gillard government wants to censor talking about politics’.

    I still can’t see how political opinions while working are censored from what I just read.

  43. William Bragg

    I criticised the statement that ‘Bolt was censored for talking about race’, yet dd apparently thinks that unless I can explain how Bolt’s prosecution under the Racial Discrimination Act “has nothing to do with race”, that the original statement must be correct.
    Got to luv the logic on the Cats. Liars*, all.

    The key point, of course, is that there is no general prohibition “for talking about race” under the Racial Discrimination Act. Bolt was prosecuted for how he talked about race, not for talking about race per se.

    And if dd or others on the Cat can’t grasp that distinction, and are just repeating the Bolt falsehood unwittingly, it makes them no less liars.*

    ____________

    * I again use the concept of “lie” here in the sense used by Cats, as reflected in their treatment of Gillard’s carbon tax statement, to mean any utterance that is or turns out to be incorrect, irrespective of whether the false aspects of the statement were intended.

  44. Scapula

    Yes, Mr Bragg, there does indeed appear to be no law prohibiting talking about race or politics in any legislation.

    Apparently dishing out unfavourable treatment, harrassing, offending, insulting or intimidating a person for their political opinions while they are working is censoring talk about politics.

    I thought there was some clever argument the right was employing that I was missing, but there is none to be found.

  45. Tom

    intimidating a person for their political opinions while they are working is censoring talk about politics

    What part of that sentence don’t you understand, you witless clown? As SJ wrote:

    What better way to protect one’s mates in the public sector than by having an anti-discrimination law based on political beliefs?

    I was going to say I wouldn’t be surprised if you were one of the APS fascists using this legislative push to expand their power base, but not even I believe the APS has organised its sinecures so well that people can draw a salary while sitting at home and trolling oppositionist websites 24 houra a day. The hard-earned we gift you for your existence tells me how easy it is to game the welfare system.

  46. DriftForge

    The responsibility for discrimination simply has to be taken back from the government and returned to the people. The inversion of social process that this change has led to is steadily breaking down the basis of society.

  47. I criticised the statement that ‘Bolt was censored for talking about race’, yet dd apparently thinks that unless I can explain how Bolt’s prosecution under the Racial Discrimination Act “has nothing to do with race”, that the original statement must be correct.
    Got to luv the logic on the Cats. Liars*, all.

    The key point, of course, is that there is no general prohibition “for talking about race” under the Racial Discrimination Act. Bolt was prosecuted for how he talked about race, not for talking about race per se.

    So that makes it all okay then? Who gets to define how you are permitted (in a supposedly free country) to speak of certain things? It’s obviously not me, because I’m white and of the christian persuasion.

    I score a few points on the chromosome scale, but less as a conservative-type than one leaning more to the left.

    What colour are you, William? Perhaps you might find yourself in trouble if you discuss things out of your sphere of melanin.

  48. Should be called the ‘mandatory promotion of union reps’ bill.

    This will do wonders for the long term unemployed. /sarc

  49. Cato the Elder

    Well, it will certainly create more of them; and that has to be a good thing, surely?

  50. cohenite

    William Bragg says:

    Bolt was prosecuted for how he talked about race, not for talking about race per se.

    Bolt said that certain white aboriginals used their aboriginality to obtain preferential treatment.

    Bolt’s complaint was that the ‘white’ aboriginals did not need such preference.

    Bolt also questioned the right of the ‘white’ aboriginals to claim aboriginal status based on their upbringing as well as their ‘whiteness’.

    Defenders of the Bolt judgement argue that Bolt was convicted because the facts he used were incorrect.

    Those incorrect facts went to both the upbringing and the type of preference the ‘white’ aboriginals obtained.

    There were, therefore 2 types of issues in Bolt; the justification for claiming aboriginality; and the benefits for being aboriginal.

    Bolt seems to think he can’t talk about either; I think he is right; if that is the case what else is there to say about race in the context of aboriginality.

    Perhaps Bragg can advise us to what is acceptable comment about race, especially given this.

  51. Token

    Yes, Mr Bragg, there does indeed appear to be no law prohibiting talking about race or politics in any legislation.

    They don’t need to make a law, they have judges reading between the lines and making judgements based upon tone.

    We see the underlying principle that enabled that Mordy standard is being expanded now.

  52. cohenite

    And what about the race of corrupt fucking ALP politicians? Will you be pinged twice for talking about these grubs, one for race and for politics?

  53. dd

    Bolt was prosecuted for how he talked about race, not for talking about race per se.

    Okay, sure… I guess that’s true.
    So you’re saying that race itself is not a forbidden topic; it’s merely that some types of opinions about it are forbidden. Are you okay with that?

  54. Des Deskperson

    Two points:

    1: no-one is ever ‘sacked’ in the APS. The turnover of ‘political’ public servants when governments change, such as it is, is generally managed through mutual consent sweetened with redundancy benefits. ‘Politicised’ public servants tend not to want to work for a government they dislike.

    2: In any case, and certainly in my experience, claims about the politicisation of the APS are considerably exaggerated. The exception is at the agency head level where it is generally recognised that there has to be some sort of political empathy between the agency head and the Minister for effective cooperation. This is implicitly recognised in the Public Service Act, which sets out a very broad and minimalist framework for the appointment of Secretaries when compared to the strict merit provisions for the engagement of ordinary employees.

  55. Gab

    it’s merely that some types of opinions about it are forbidden.

    More precisely, it’s also about who gave the opinion as others have said the same as Bolt.

  56. Token

    More precisely, it’s also about who gave the opinion as others have said the same as Bolt.

    Wasn’t it just an amazing coincidence that the luvvie VC from Canberra had his statement cleared, where as Bolt’s needed to be sanctioned.

  57. Pedro

    Some people seem to be struggling with the mischief that will arise from the law if passed.

    It will be unlawful discrimination if one person in a work place says something about politics that another person finds offensive because of their political views. It won’t even need to be a supervisor doing the offending. It would be enough if a supervisor fails to protect the offendee from being offended.

  58. Is it possible for an incoming AbbottAbbottAbbott government to just cancel all the legislation that Labor have brought in?
    That would be the simplest way – just reset the laws to the end of the Howard years.

  59. Gab

    Our immediate future:

    A CZECH-BORN woman has been found guilty of racially abusing her New Zealand-born neighbour by calling her a “stupid, fat Australian”.

    Judge Brian Donohue however saw things differently.

    The word Australian was used. It was racially aggravated and the main reason it was used was in hostility,” he said.

    She was fined 110 pounds ($168) for racially aggravated public disorder, 50 pounds to be awarded to Ms O’Reilly and 500 pounds to cover all court costs.

    She also called her a “bitch” and threatened to kill her dog but none of that mattered,

  60. Louis Hissink

    Australian isn’t a racial term, it’s a term of nationality.

    Stupid Poms. Stupid Socialists.

  61. Gab

    It’s not only what you say, it’s the way you say it.

  62. Dr Faustus

    A major concern not touched on here, is that the main constitutional basis for the proposed legislation is the external affairs power. The stated object of the legislation is to give effect to a raft of UNHCR and ILO conventions – as they may be amended from time to time.

    So, in addition to creating a national standard for what is ‘reasonable’ social activity, the legislation binds Australian standards of ‘reasonable’ to standards set and amended by unrepresentative and unaccountable international authorities.

    These people are mad.

  63. Token

    “The word Australian was used. It was racially aggravated and the main reason it was used was in hostility,” he said.

    Is that because some people deem “Australian” as loaded with derogatory values-statements like “intrinsically racist & islamophobic”?

  64. Louis Hissink

    These people are not mad, their agenda was flagged a long time ago, is well publicised but the stupidity lies among us who never reacted to the early warning signs. Notice that the climate change agenda has also been turned up again after the US elections?

    Subsuming our sovereign rights to the UN has always been the goal of the Fabian socialists, yet not one conservative Australian commentator has even muttered the adjective.

    I woke up to it when the Keating government enacted Native Title legislation. At the time I voiced the opinion that Native Title was all about diminishing private property rights via the UN. My interlocutors were devout ALP types and their total silence on the matter confirmed it.

    Whether we like it or not, we are being gulled into a socialist system that most of us seem to prefer, but given the scientific fact the system doesn’t work, be prepared for a large number of illiterate aussies whinging about the good old times pre Gillard. These simplified discrimination laws are merely another shackle to be worn with acceptance.

    Mind you any culture that recognises human rights as opposed to individual rights deserves all the calamities it encounters.

  65. Tapdog

    It’s not only what you say, it’s the way you say it.

    And who you are and whether somebody wants any easy way to fuck you over.

  66. Ellen of Tasmania

    These people are not mad, their agenda was flagged a long time ago …

    They never even tried to keep the Gramsci-stuff a secret, but if you dare suggest an agenda, you’re labeled as a ‘conspiracy theorist’.

    These kind of changes to our laws are very thick salami slices – they must be feeling confident they are near the end of the sausage.

    Apathy, dependency, bondage.

  67. Rabz

    Mind you any culture that recognises human rights as opposed to individual rights deserves all the calamities it encounters.

    For ‘human rights’ read ‘group rights’.

  68. .

    Bolt was not censored for talking about race. Repeating falsehoods over and over on the Cat does not make them any less false. It just shows up the ethic deficits of the perpetrators, who are willing to lie* to justify and promulgate their views.

    He confused who someone’s maternal and paternal grandparents were and otherwise “offended” people by hitting them with a truth bat – i.e if you are a 1/4 black and live in the city with a job, you are not “underprivileged”.

    That’s what he got sued for.

    This William Bragg is an idiot and a loser.

  69. cohenite

    Mind you any culture that recognises human rights as opposed to individual rights deserves all the calamities it encounters.

    Well said Louis; BTW what the hell is happening at AAR?

  70. Louis Hissink

    AAR? I assume you mean AAR as in ASX code?

  71. Louis Hissink

    I guess the infamous Koongie Park prospect might have claimed another victim – North Broken Hill during the 1980′s had a horrible experience there, drilling costs then were $1100 per metre (current costs are $200 per metre). The place is like a porcupine and riddled with abandoned drilling strings. It’s claimed Kennecott, NBH, and others. I managed to leave 400m of RC rods and 2 hammers there during 2007 as well as 300m of diamond drill rods.

    It’s an object lesson in raw capitalism – you take a punt, spend you money and take a haircut. It might become interesting in 100 years when the known zinc deposits become depleted. Might because no one can forecast the future, and in any case humanity has never ever run out of anything save, perhaps, intelligence.

  72. ugh

    “So if someone at work takes offense at another person’s political opinion, that person can the other to court merely for opinion and without any substantiation? This is diabolical.”

    @Gab – I think this is more aimed at political appointments in the public service. When there’s a change of government, department heads are regularly fired and replaced with ones chosen by the new Minister, as the previous ones were selected by the last party, and there’s usually a degree of political affiliation.

    This bill looks like its aimed at stopping Abbott from cleaning out all the ALP’s political appointments after the election is lost – they will be able to sue the government for discrimination based on political beliefs.

  73. cohenite

    the infamous Koongie Park prospect

    I was hoping it would become the the infamous Koongie Park prospect!

    I feel sorry for them; they’ve done everything by the book and last drill was a dud.

    So much for a new Audi.

  74. Token

    This bill looks like its aimed at stopping Abbott from cleaning out all the ALP’s political appointments after the election is lost – they will be able to sue the government for discrimination based on political beliefs.

    Do you think this is to stop the Coalition repeating the actions of “Can Do” by forcing the useless twits in the department of climate change from undoing the damage they have be wreaking on the country?

    I’m really [not] sorry, I can’t remove the rule whereby every housing development must be stopped in case a Sun Moth hatched because I’m ideologically opposed to your rule, and you can’t sack me or I’ll sue…

  75. ugh

    “Bolt was not censored for talking about race.”

    Bolt was censored for causing offence to specific Aboriginal people. Race was an integral part of the issue causing offence – ie Bolt’s implication that people had identified as aboriginal in order to receive benefits/jobs etc

    The only factual error related to ancestry – Bolt wrongly said one of the plaintiff’s grandfather was aboriginal, when it was in fact their grandmother (been a while since I read it – it may have been vice-versa)

    “Repeating falsehoods over and over on the Cat does not make them any less false.”

    And repeating your spin over and over on the Cat doesn’t make your point true either.

  76. ugh

    “* I again use the concept of “lie” here in the sense used by Cats, as reflected in their treatment of Gillard’s carbon tax statement, to mean any utterance that is or turns out to be incorrect, irrespective of whether the false aspects of the statement were intended.”

    Slow day for Gillard staffers Bragg?

    Call it George for all I care – we’re paying billions in taxes that we were promised would not be charged. Play all the silly word games you want – Gillard is still gonna pay for deliberately breaking that promise at the next election.

  77. cuckoo

    Well then I guess I’ll have to shut up at work and keep my conservative opinions to myself. Oh wait…I already do (Vic public service). While everyone around me regards these sorts of comments as normal tea-break chit-chat: “I don’t know who I hate more…Tony Abbott or Gina Hancock” (verbatim quote).

  78. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    These kind of changes to our laws are very thick salami slices – they must be feeling confident they are near the end of the sausage.

    Surely we can just toss these slices away pronto (i.e. change the laws) when sensible adults come to power?

    How about a retrospective rescind of all Labor legislation? Sounds good to me.

    If not, then immediately employ in the PS a few additional Liberal-leaning photocopy assistants who can become mightily offended by leftist twaddle and sue. Universities would be a classic workplace for such offense to be taken as the twaddle is so constant and loud. Special offense particularly to be taken at anyone senior opening their Labor-leaning mouth.

  79. I’m really [not] sorry, I can’t remove the rule whereby every housing development must be stopped in case a Sun Moth hatched because I’m ideologically opposed to your rule, and you can’t sack me or I’ll sue…

    Just one more law to change first when you’re the government.

  80. Lloyd

    Gab – I think this is more aimed at political appointments in the public service. When there’s a change of government, department heads are regularly fired and replaced with ones chosen by the new Minister, as the previous ones were selected by the last party, and there’s usually a degree of political affiliation.

    Political appointments are, well, political. Almost by definition the appointee must have some opinion or thinking in keeping with the Government. The appointee knows this before he takes up the job. If a rule exists to make their dismissal illegal then what is the point of winning Government? We may as well be in a dictatorship.
    Labor. Worst Government ever.

  81. “Well then I guess I’ll have to shut up at work and keep my conservative opinions to myself. Oh wait…I already do (Vic public service). While everyone around me regards these sorts of comments as normal tea-break chit-chat: “I don’t know who I hate more…Tony Abbott or Gina Hancock” (verbatim quote).”

    Sounds like a prima facie case right there. Care to be Exhibit A in the “one rule for them, and another rule for everybody else” hypothesis?

  82. Bingo!

    In the OZ

    “Union ties ‘basis for discrimination’”

  83. So how soon after the election can the next Government abolish this and all the other Trade Union Party legislation?

    Can they just defund the department responsible for administering it?

  84. johanna

    Departmental secretaries are employed under contracts which say they can be sacked anytime, no reason need be given. So these laws won’t affect them. They get hefty payouts if that happens, though.

    Apart from all the obvious things wrong with this legislation, the notion that employers are liable if an employee is “offended” is one of the most bizarre things I have ever heard. How on earth is an employer supposed to prevent someone from feeling offended?

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