Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Australian Bill of Rights well overdue!

Well I'm not even halfway through Geoffrey Robertson's book A Statute Of Liberty and it's already prompting me to make Invader Zim style clawing motions in the air at the injustices and utter stupidity detailed in the book from Australias history.

Sure I already realised Australia needs the protection and guidance that the rest of the democratic world enjoys from a Bill of Rights, and sure I knew that racism was a big part of federation and that much of our freedom of speech etc in australia came mostly from assumptions and conventions that could be wiped away ata single penstroke... but when the subject was taught at school and even at TAFE such points are danced around or briefly mentioned. The utter catastrophic fragility and patchwork of flaws just doesn't get emphasised enough by half.

This is a deep problem in Australia. Growing up in the bush I saw it all the time. The 'she'll be right mate' attitude of shut up, don't worry, don't fuss, leave things alone.

It's a deadly attitude. It costs lives. It's the height of utter stupidity. A lazy fatalism. A resignation to negligence.

This is not the only attitude in Australia. We've had plenty of brave folk who have spoken out. But we don't celebrate them. We generally just celebrate sportsman, as if only the physical feats of just men and only in the arena of competative sport is all that matters.

Well this 'young country' has to start to grow up. It's well nigh that we start to take seriously the matter of formal federal protections of Human Rights in Australia.

I urge everyone to get involved in raising this subjects profile while the community consultation is going on. It's media coverage seems to me woefully insufficient, most people have hardly heard about it, have little understanding of the importance of it and have no idea how much the freedoms they expect in life exist only at a whim of government with little if any recourse at all.

Especially considering that Australia was fundamental in the drafting of the now 60 year old UN Decleration of Human Rights that we are the last modern democracy to lack a bill of rights is a profoundly collossal embaressment and we really need to return to our position as a leader in international human rights rather than a straggler right at the very back of the drove!

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