Monday, September 17, 2007

Furthur note on ram raid legislation

This matter of Federal government legislation and the unquestioned support it seems to have from the federal opposition and Territory Government has really been bugging me! I guess the reason I am so disturbed by the whole situation is that the laws are totally discriminatory!
On one hand we have the Government saying that alcohol and pornography must be
regulated / prohibited in Aboriginal communities because of the immense harm they cause... (I do not doubt this whatsoever!) But on the other hand these very same things are harming the broader society in the Northern Territory yet they are openly celebrated as a way of life!

Since consumerism has become the moral imperative for our society and we now live under the direction and care of national anti competition laws I have noticed a marked growth in the availability of both porn and grog in my town. It seems that according to the values of a free market society it would be immoral to regulate the growth of these legitimate industries. The resulting lack of regulation in the areas of aclcohol and porn seems to have led to the Adult shops (where pornographic videos are sold) promoting themselves extensively and even sponsoring public events; takeaway liquor licenses being granted without due regard for their location, i.e. just 50 meters from a primary school; and supermarket chains offering 20 cents per litre off petrol purchases for every $60 spent on alcoholic beverages.

In our society generally, binge drinking and sexual abuse appear to be increasing among young people. Yet under the ideology of market freedom and rampant consumerism it is deemed unfair to regulate the industries that supply the goods at the core of these social ills. They appear to be supported by our governments and treated as responsible citizens seemingly for the sole reason that they are successful businesses and generate wealth! Yet the suffering brought about by their wares is incalculable.

Since outback communities are by nature quite isolated, I wonder if anyone has visited all them all to inform, and explain to people the implications of the new legislation? Will the people actually be aware of the various changes in the law? How will their lives be affected? Without a permit system in place how will they be able to limit the movement of opportunistic visitors in their communities?

As the discriminatory alcohol and pornography laws are now in force many people, will find themselves liable to prosecution for conducting themselves in a way that is obviously condoned in non indigenous societies throughout Australia. When they come to Darwin they will see this hypocrisy clearly, how will this be explained?

Last week a government add on a Darwin radio station warned that from a particular date (only a week away from when I first heard the add) X rated videos would be illegal in my community and should be destroyed and disposed of. Legal action could be taken against people found in the possession of such videos! Theoretically Territorians could have assumed that this add was meant for us all and should therefore have rushed home and destroyed all their porn! However many would have also assumed that this law is not meant to affect people living in town. Surely we are impervious to the moral corruption that occurs in indigenous communities?

When I first heard the add I thought they must be serious about cracking down on porn. But then it seems that this is not the case. As a citizen of the NT I have the right to indulge in the watching of X rated pornographic material. It turns out that the average person in Darwin will not be affectedly these laws at all. Apparently the add is aimed at people on indigenous communities only. But this was not specifically mentioned. Maybe this is because it is assumed that listeners would know that these rules will only apply to a particular segment of our society! If this is the case then the discrimination is so entrenched that it no longer even has to be stated, we have been affectively apartheid in a matter of months!

In the words of Michael Long I would ask also, "Where is the love?"

If our government think the negative affects from these things are confined to Indigenous communities I suggest watching a great documentary series on SBS called Decadence

Decadence - Sex - 9:30 pm Sunday

'Pria reflects on how sex-saturated our modern culture is, with hard core pornography available on-line 24/7, and 70% of the net having pornographic content. He interviews NSW Police Commissioner Ken Moroney about how gruesome the cases of rape and sexual assault in this state have become, while Clive Hamilton laments the obvious link between porn and the commission of sex crimes.... (Commissioned by SBSi, in English) (Documentary Series) (Part 2) ...'

How will our government ever be able to address the needs of it's citizens
(Image above is a scan of a postcard. The origin of which I am currently unable to verify)


debmetal said...

Hi David,
I work for Amnesty International and have used your image of the sorry flag on our website with a credit pointing back to this page:

Please let me know if you would like me to remove it.
I'll check back here during the week.

Your blog is great!
Deb from Amnesty's webteam

David J said...

I am so sorry Deb,
Unfortunately this image does not belong to me and it seems I didn't attribute ownership on the blog (Shoddy practice really). I believe it was a postcard that I'd scanned. I am serching now for the email I'd sent to request permission.
If I do I will forward you the appropriate contact information for the rightful owners.

debmetal said...

Ok, David, thanks I will take it down until I hear from you.
Kind regards,