Government of the bureaucrat, for the bureaucrat, by the bureaucrat

Who would have thunk it.  A government filled with no-one who has ever run their own business, has passed another virtue signalling law that will achieve nothing.  Nil, nada, nought, nuffin.

Which government you may ask?  The NSW Liberal-National government following the footsteps of the Commonwealth Liberal-National Government.

And when Spartacus says no-one who has ever run their own business, he is not referring to people who have worked in the private sector but rather people who have never run their own business, who receive nothing before the tax man and the salaries are paid.  The ones who have an ever growing bureaucratic compliance activity list which achieve nothing but keep the government active and busy.  The ones on whom layer upon layer of idiotic laws and regulations fall, distracting from, you know, the act of running a business.

You see, the NSW Government has just passed a law requiring companies to report on modern slavery:

the Modern Slavery Bill of 2018 (the “NSW Act”), which requires companies with employees in NSW and with an annual turnover of over AU $50 million to release an annual statement that details the steps taken to ensure their operations and suppliers do not engage in modern slavery.  The NSW Act has no effective date yet.  Implementing regulations are expected to further define the contours of this new law.

Bonza!  But wait, there is more:

NSW Act comes on the heels of a similar law proposed by the Australian federal government, raising questions of overlapping responsibilities on companies.  The NSW Act adds to the increasing number of supranational, national, and sub-national laws that place direct obligations on certain companies to report upon efforts to identify and mitigate human rights risks such as human trafficking, child labor, and other forms of forced labor – often collectively described as “modern slavery” – from their global operations.

The NSW parliament is not only dumb enough to pass such virtue signalling laws but too lazy to define “Modern Slavery” in the act, leaving it to bureaucrats to define it and subsequently re-define and re-define and re-define it as is their capricious desire?

Hey Bob, if you have nothing do to next week, can you work up a new definition of Modern Slavery and update the regs.  Not urgent.  Only if you have nothing better to do.  Gotta keep that budget ticking.

And what will this legislation achieve?  Other than of course stopping businesses from conducting business?   Perhaps nothing, nil, nada, nought, nuffin.

There must be a “Modern Slavery” conference coming up somewhere in Europe or the the USA next northern summer.

Next on the “keep the bureaucrats busy but kill the business hit list” are probably further laws requiring businesses to:

  1. report on domestic violence detailing the steps taken to ensure their operations and suppliers do not engage in domestic violence;
  2. report on paedophilia detailing the steps taken to ensure their operations and suppliers do not engage in paedophilia;
  3. report on domestic violence detailing the steps taken to ensure their operations and suppliers do not engage in domestic violence;
  4. report on carbon pollution detailing the steps taken to ensure their operations and suppliers do not engage in carbon pollution;
  5. report on water usage detailing the steps taken to ensure their operations and suppliers do not engage in excessive water usage;
  6. report on smoking detailing the steps taken to ensure their operations and suppliers do not engage in smoking;

and on and on and on.

And when will it end?  Clearly not with a Liberal-National Government.  Perhaps it might end when there are no more businesses left because the cost of doing business is too high.

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28 Responses to Government of the bureaucrat, for the bureaucrat, by the bureaucrat

  1. Have they created a Minister for Slavery and Department of Slavery yet?

  2. Dan Dare

    It’s too late.
    Any attempt to repeal these “laws” could never be successful in the virtue signalling and politically correct climate that now exists.

  3. Petros

    Hopefully we will see more and more headlines like this.
    The wealthy need to move overseas and take their money with them and then maybe the morons will realize that they need to offer these people something to keep them here. At least in those high-taxing European countries people get free education, free or cheap healthcare, most get aged pensions, and generally very good public transport. What do we get? Bugger all, just the high taxes.

  4. Tel

    The NSW parliament is not only dumb enough to pass such virtue signalling laws but too lazy to define “Modern Slavery” in the act, leaving it to bureaucrats to define it and subsequently re-define and re-define and re-define it as is their capricious desire?

    It is pretty moronic but the pressure was coming from the EU, and what is really happening here is getting minimum wage laws imposed by the back door on third world nations as well as outlawing child labour. The design is to force buyers to not purchase anything made by children, so then in order to achieve that they need to start regular inspections of the entire supply chain. Oh course, we already went down this path of telling third world nations what was for their own good and finding ways to force compliance.

    https://www.cato.org/publications/economic-development-bulletin/case-against-child-labor-prohibitions

    In 1993 Sen. Tom Harkin (D-IA) introduced the Child Labor Deterrence Act, which would have banned imports from countries employing children. In response, that fall Bangladeshi garment companies let go approximately 50,000 children. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, “It is widely thought that most of them have found employment in other garment factories, in smaller, unregistered subcontracting garment workshops, or in other sectors.”2 That makes the introduction of the bill seem simply ineffective. The Department of Labor is sugarcoating the situation. Paul Krugman summarizes what happened more bluntly: “The direct result was that Bangladeshi textile factories stopped employing children. But did the children go back to school? Did they return to happy homes? Not according to Oxfam, which found that the displaced child workers ended up in even worse jobs, or on the streets—and that a significant number were forced into prostitution.”3 Based on the information they have, families tend to choose the best available job for their children. Taking that option away does not eliminate the necessity of work; it forces them to take a less-desirable job. As repulsive as a child working in a sweatshop may be, it is not nearly as repulsive as a child forced into prostitution through the actions of unthinking Western activists.

    Thing is for groups like the International Labour Organization, the outcome for the workers is largely irrelevant, so pointing out the problems won’t make any difference. They exist partly to reinforce their own sense of self-importance and partly to block the supply of cheap goods to the West. Same problem with minimum wage, the ILO doesn’t care about creating unemployment and pulling away the ladder for anyone else to work their way up. They just don’t like cheap imports.

    Better to support an honest tariff and campaign on the cost of goods going up. Don’t pretend to be a do gooder.

  5. duncanm

    Glad I’m not running a big company – my 11yo swept and vacuumed yesterday for some under-award wages.

    Don’t tell anyone.

  6. Entropy

    You are t looking at this the right way Duncanm. All these regulatory requirements for big companies can be absorbed by their large corporate departments with their armies of clipboard warriors. You know, telephone sanitisers and the like. And in a limited market it is easy to pass on the costs to the consumer schmuck.
    The real purpose though is to create barriers to entry for the growing smaller companies nipping at their heels. They don’t have an established corporate bureaucracy and thus it is an impediment to their growth while they have to learn how to accommodate these rules. Their cost structure gets higher as they have less ability to amortise the cost.
    You might be tempted to argue that it will not make much difference when we are talking $50 million companies. To which I say, at first. Because inevitably the Reg will expand coverage over time. Because the regulators will realise that the new requirements aren’t catching anyone, and it isn’t effective enough for be big corporates protecting their turf. So rather than junk the useless things, they will keep expanding the net looking for proof of nefarious activity. The ultimate target will be family backyard operations.

  7. v_maet

    Any legislation that is written without definitions of the major focus areas should be immediately voided.

  8. Entropy

    True. This actually is an appalling bit of badly written legislation. The kind of thing a senate is supposed to send back with a request to start again.

  9. Tintarella di Luna

    Any legislation that is written without definitions of the major focus areas should be immediately voided.

    The NDIS comes immediately to mind, the definition of disability is so elastic that every Australian could be deemed disabled. The NDIS legislation appropriates to the Commonwealth responsibilities which, from Federation to 2013 ,it never had and knows nothing about — and snuffling into the Commonwealth trough are the lees and dregs of the former state departments which have abandoned their responsibility bringing their own noxious mindset spreading their toxicity to a denser bureaucracy.

  10. Nerblnob

    Big companies have been enforcing this awful bullshit for a few years now, as well as the child labour policy that Tel mentions.

    At first, for SMEs seeking work off these BigCos, it was just a case of agreeing to abide by the BigCo policy.

    Then that clearly wasn’t interfering with your business enough, so they demanded that you devise your own policy that wasn’t just cut and pasted.

    I got away with C&P for a while. A quick internet search had found this one: https://www.kcl.ac.uk/governancezone/Finance/Modern-Slavery-and-Human-Trafficking-Policy.aspx and I just changed some names. Then some genius decided we’d better write our own.

    I’d already been through that with other compliance statements. Once I found a consultant in Perth who said they were sure that statement they’d provide for us would be accepted , because they’d helped write the policy. I said, “That’s kinda corrupt” and got a shit-eating grin.

    But that’s what it is, that’s what the whole fucking circus is, and you can throw Fair Trade and every other employment scheme for over-educated middle class [email protected] in the same bucket. One great productivity-sapping scam.

  11. Nerblnob

    And what Entropy said. It’s already happening.

    the first time I was asked about child labour I laughed and said, “Well, we don’t employ anybody under 50” but nobody else laughed.

  12. struth

    It certainly won’t end while we are in the UN.

  13. Crossie

    Which government you may ask? The NSW Liberal-National government following the footsteps of the Commonwealth Liberal-National Government.

    Why would this be a surprise? The same few Malcolm thugs own NSW Liberals and Nationals that own the federal party. Gladys is a goose they are force feeding to sh*t all over us because nobody else wanted that ignominious job.

    No matter, state election is next March when they will find out how much people like being treated like mushrooms. I thought recent SA election results would have tipped them off that they are overreaching.

  14. Crossie

    Modern slavery? That would be taxes taken by force from hard working people and given to others without the taxpayers’ approval.

    We have reached the point where politicians no longer represent their voters and it seems nothing will change. The only thing left is direct referenda voting for each piece of legislation. If we are going to be ruled by idiots then let’s have the majority idiots prevail.

  15. Tim Neilson

    Dear Sirs,

    I am a victim of modern slavery.

    I am constantly being compelled to spend hours performing tasks which I don’t want to, without receiving any payment in return, but being threatened with punishment if I fail to accomplish them. The list of tasks grows ever longer. The punishments get more severe.

    The perpetrators are the Commonwealth of Australia, the People’s Islamic (and LGBTQWERTY) Republic of CFMEUistan (formerly known as the State of Victoria) and the Soviet Socialist Municipality of Yarra.

  16. I couldn’t count how many hoops of compliance there are for me to jump through.
    Few of them make any difference. I spent hours, nay days, writing up “plans” that will never be read by anybody, and looked at only by the relevant compliance officer.

    Under duress of judicial punishment, I’ve just had to write up an explanation (it was called a “procedure”) of how I “train staff to handle ‘No Smoking’ signage”
    In the appropriate place on the form I wrote “Staff are instructed that a ‘No Smoking’ sign means No Smoking”
    It looks rather lonely in one corner of the half an A4 page allocated to writing about “staff training”.

    The compliance stasi consequently are currently giving themselves brain-hurties trying to find a way to fault my “training regime”.

  17. .

    I’m sure there are a few cases of illegal brothels and some people smugglers breaking slavery laws; truly it is one crime we want to relegate to the past, but this is also really just virtue signalling. In Australia proper, it is very rare.

    Has anyone ever seen a real-life slave in their previous work, where they work now or at a shop they buy stuff at?

    The irony being the govvy. spivs run around with their taxpayer-funded iPhones.

  18. Mother Lode

    are expected to further define the contours of this new law.

    What an odd thing to say.

    OK, I will put it out there that ‘contour’ is not a legal principle.

    If it is to be a law, then you would think clarity to be the issue, and following from that details about the upcoming law would also be aimed at clarity – so bringing in this vagary is just bureaucratic wankery. It is the sort of thing Humphrey Appleby would say to the minister to keep him confused, off balance, and reluctant to say something in case he inadvertently revealed his ignorance.

    Who are these people?

  19. OK, I will put it out there that ‘contour’ is not a legal principle.

    Is ‘reasonable’ a legal principle?
    It certainly gets a pretty fair run in some legislation. Not sure I could think up a broader term than ‘reasonable’ – pretty much makes your legislation say whatever you want it to say on the day.

  20. Suburban Boy

    Note that the NSW law does not require a business to take any steps, merely to report each financial year on any steps it is taking.

    The content of such a report each year should be as follows: “Nil.”

    That complies with the requirements of the law, and incidentally indicates to the officials the contempt in which they are held by the business owner.

  21. Note that the NSW law does not (yet) require a business to take any steps

    FIFY

  22. Kneel

    “…release an annual statement that details the steps taken to ensure their operations and suppliers do not engage in modern slavery.”

    Simple enough – a single word should do it:
    Nothing.

    There you go – I just reported on what I did to prevent modern slavery and it took all of 30 seconds!

    I didn’t so anything because IT’S NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY.

  23. JohnA

    Nerblnob #2765294, posted on July 17, 2018, at 8:36 am

    And what Entropy said. It’s already happening.

    the first time I was asked about child labour I laughed and said, “Well, we don’t employ anybody under 50” but nobody else laughed.

    However, the concept of child-labour laws and slavery laws requires businesses to breach the anti-discrimination laws by
    a) knowing the age of job applicants
    b) knowing the personal status and income of their employees
    [and of their suppliers],
    then DISCRIMINATING according to age and invading the privacy of their employees to ascertain their status.

    So the new law requires a business to break an existing law.

    Only a bureaucrat could dream up such a state of affairs and still enjoy their work…

  24. Dr Fred Lenin

    These bastards should not be allowed to pass any laws without it passing a referendum the People giving them permission to pass it ,no legistlation without a referendum you are servants not masters , do as you are told or nick off.

  25. Nerblnob

    Kneel:
    “Nothing” is not an acceptable answer to the corporate machine, as I have found out.

    In one case just to get a $2000 freight bill (for an aborted job) paid.
    I mean this is fucking petty cash.
    First, you have to understand, that drilling is incredibly time-dependent so trusted clients are supplied on the basis of a phone call followed by an email to confirm. And SMEs sure need the business in the wake of recent downturn.
    But with this trusted client, their system had changed.
    Couldn’t pay us direct but had to be paid by their procurement company, who …
    Couldn’t pay us until we were in approved vendor system. No exceptions.
    Couldn’t put us in vendor system until we published the correct policy.

    Other companies doing this set the bar at $50m turnover or 200 employees or something, thus excusing smaller specialist suppliers, but it ALWAYS escalates to total blanket no-exceptions. It’s just easier for the functionaries.

    Excuse the swearing but you are just seeing the tip of the iceberg here. It’s far worse than even the paranoid nutters think.

  26. Nerblnob

    The other thing is that uncertainty is the enemy of business and the friend of lawyers and bureaucrats and other bloodsucking layabouts.

    If there is a line somewhere that you will be penalised for crossing, unless you have vast resources, you don’t spend an awful lot of time and money trying to define exactly where the line is.

    Just just stay the fuck away from anything that seems like it might be anywhere in the vicinity of the line, thus everyone overcompensates, and that is how the ratchet works.

    Needless to mention that child labour, slavery etc is already forbidden by law so why do you have to publicly state that, in essence, you follow the law? This is already pervasive in “responsible” drinking, driving, etc policies.

  27. Whalehunt Fun

    Stop worrying. All a company needs to do is publicly affirm that it approves of slavery, and then report that it has taken absolutely no steps to ensure that its operations and those of its suppliers do not depend upon slavery as this would not be in the best interests of shareholders. Report completed. Loons, pedophiles and cretins that inhabit parliament treated with the contempt they deserve. Job done.

  28. Whalehunt Fun

    Apologies, Suburban boy and Kneel and others already explained.
    Never ever ever do business with the govt or any org that asks for any of this sh/t. Scandi companies are serial offenders. I do not never have and never will give a flying flick whether my suppliers are enviro vandals. Will never ever ever do business with Scandies.

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