The Green Party released their IR policy today saying they can deliver industrial peace in our time. Labor released their policy on Tas forests, promising a scientific assessment to decide which forest areas will be protected. I thought the Green Party would be outraged that they’ve just got another review with an unknown result not being delivered until after the election, especially after they’d already handed over their preferences. However, on reflection I guess they couldn’t really do anything other than praise it effusively – they would have looked pretty silly doing anything else, given that they’d already handed over their preferences. The Wilderness Society gave a more balanced assessment, noting that we won’t know until this time next year what areas are going to be protected.
The suicides of some of the people arrested in the child pornography raids raises some difficult issues. On an issue as absolutely vital and fundamental as this, it is hard to be anything other than uncompromising. A strong message has to be sent that this activity is utterly unacceptable in every way. Presumption of innocence also has to be maintained, which is harder in such an environment. Balancing all these factors out is difficult, but given the lack of serious action on a whole range of child protection issues over so many years, I think there’s still a way to go before the rights of children are getting enough weight. The threats to kids are still far too significant and the seriousness of efforts to tackle these threats are still too piecemeal.
Flew out of Brisbane again today – probably won’t be back until election eve (have to vote myself in amongst everything else). I managed to read the first 5 or 6 chapters of the Pig City book while on the plane. It’s quite readable, which I wasn’t sure it would be. It convinced me that I must go and buy the recently issued CD package of the first 3 albums recorded by The Saints – I’ve got bits and pieces of their stuff on tape and vinyl, but having the lot on CD would be good (once again expanding my musical horizons by buying stuff I already own or know). Will provide a more full ‘book review’ once I’ve finished.
I’m doing an Online forum on the ABC site after tonight’s 4 Corners (which is on the Howard-Latham contest). I’ll be interested to see how much attention the Senate contest gets in the actual report. I know I can’t really be objective on this, but I’m starting to get a little bit surprised that the prospect of the Liberals getting de facto control of the Senate (i.e. half of the seats) is getting so little media attention. Having a major party control the Senate will have a much be more far-reaching impact than the decision of who ends up as Prime Minister. I’ve done a couple of Online forums before – they certainly have their limitations and stretch my speed typing skills to the limit, but it’s always good to try different ways of connecting with people about politics. I expect I’ll get a few more people repeating the misinformation about preferences, but hopefully there’ll be a few worthwhile comments or queries.