Thursday, August 02, 2007

Howard to kill Teh Gay and Teh States with one stone

UPDATE: Ruddock was telling lobbyists this week that the adoption ban was off the table. Either Howard has blind-sided Ruddock (plausible) or Ruddock was lying through his caps (more plausible).

Farrrrrrk! What more can you say, really?

(thanks to Chris for tip)


Hrm. Seems we might finally get some action on HREOC's 'Same Sex: Same Entitelements' report after all. Just hazarding a guess here, though. Reasoning?

Because the malodorous swamp creatures are going to press ahead with the overseas adoption ban, after all. And this is the Howard government MO with fags and dykes: qualify one queer-bashing offensive with a 'but hey, we also did this one good thing!' defensive. It happened in 2004 when the private sector superannuation intederdepency reforms paired with the marriage ban.

Above my fury and urge to kill rising, rising, I'm actually a little curious. Why now? Why at all? I know the first 'stranger' adoption of a boy by two gay men happened in Western Australia in June but I daresay this is part of Howard's broader quest to decimate states and have complete, unfettered, 'mwuhahahahaha' evil laugh-type power.

Annabel Crabb nails this in her Smuh blog. Following Howard's effort at the Mersey Hospital in Devonport (side note: is it just me or does he ALWAYS have that look of utter horror whenever he comes into direct contact with any human being?), it's becoming clear his new desperate pre-election tactic is to play up a knight-in-shining-armour role in the marginals, that conveniently paints the state Labor governments in a bad light.

Mr Howard's solution (to state/commonwealth conflicts) is very different (to Rudd's) - if bickering over a particular area becomes chronic, then the Commonwealth should just sweep in and take 'em over. The appeal of this approach in the short term is utterly unmistakable. Just ask anyone in Devonport what they'd prefer - an orthodox federal system, or a hospital?
Just imagine, by the way, what must be happening right now in the offices of marginal Coalition MPs all over the country. Anybody who wants their house painted under the new Howard federalism would be a mug not to put in a call, wouldn't they? Anyway, election or no election, it's a debate very much worth having - it's just that up until now 'whither federalism?' hasn't exactly been a barbecue stopper. Does the Howard approach send us down the path of eventually abolishing the states completely?

Answer: Hell yes. Uniform state Labor governments have stuck in his craw for ages, and realising he has increasingly little to lose, he's treading a fresh war path against them. He's losing the war with the Murray-Darling takeover and hasn't really got a good solid boot into a jurisdiction since Stanhope's ACT government and quashing the civil union legislation - so recognising he's on solid ground with queer bashing, he now eyes the WA Carpenter government.

I don't think Labor will side with them on this. Given Rudd's reluctance to show a queer-friendly facade, he can at least fall back on the argument of trampling the autonomy of elected governments, rather than highlight the objective moral reasons why banning s-s overseas adoption is fucked up. But I presume Howard has made sure he's got autonomy-sympathetic defector Gary Humphries on the team before announcing this plan.

So I guess that's the 'why at all'. The 'why now' is quite interesting. Note: 'The Family Law (Same Sex Adoption) Bill is listed on the Prime Minister and Cabinet department's website as legislation 'proposed for introduction in the 2007 spring sittings'. Given the six-week parliamentary hiatus during election time, can we guess from this that they don't plan for the election to be until at least the end of November?

If this announcement doesn't coincide with positive action on the HREOC report, I think it would be safe to assume that Howard is eagerly burning what tiny little bridges remain to the queer vote. It certainly won't help Malcolm Turnbull hold onto Wentworth - although, that might be part of Howard's masterplan too.

Regardless, brace yourselves for another couple of months of political queer-bashing. This will be May/June '04 and June/July '06 all over again. Apologies in advance to all the same-sex couples whose families will be demonised, whose children will be victimised and bullied in the schoolyard with the PM's blessing, and whose difficult situation will be exposed and exploited for some cheap, cynical vote-scoring. All I can offer as hope is that this year might be the last for it.

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At 2/8/07 2:24 pm, Blogger Jeremy said...

On the plus side, I suspect the Liberal federal govt vs Labor state govts situation is about to reverse again, so Howard's efforts to increase Commonwealth power might come back to bite the Liberals after this year...

(Depending on whether the Greens or Fundies First holds the balance of power in the Senate, of course.)

At 2/8/07 2:30 pm, Blogger TimT said...

God, both the major parties are crap. Tell me again why we need compulsory voting?

At 2/8/07 3:04 pm, Blogger Sam said...

Tim: To point and laugh at the Fundie Firsters handing out how-to-vote FF cards on election day, of course.

At 2/8/07 4:11 pm, Anonymous B. said...

Those Fuckers.

At 2/8/07 4:29 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

There is an article in todays SSO quoting several prominent activists who spoke to Ruddock in July and were told that the adoption ban was off the agenda before the election. Clearly Ruddock was either lying through his teeth or the continual southward movement of the opinion polls has given the government incentive to move. I dont think this is going to get them much mileage with the electorate though.

It will be interesting to see Rudd's response though! Chris

At 2/8/07 8:17 pm, Anonymous OzBender said...

Why now? Because Howard is on the outer and he wants to kick us all while he can. If this is the quality of our leadership it makes me ashamed to be Australian. What a fucking joke. It makes so angry that every step forward is beaten two steps back by this Christian c***.


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