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Chockstone Forum - General Discussion

General Climbing Discussion

 Page 1 of 6. Messages 1 to 20 | 21 to 40 | 41 to 60 | 61 to 80 | 81 to 100 | 101 to 119
Author
OT: Human Rights Framework

dave h.
30/04/2010
1:26:39 AM
So recently I was wondering what people thought about the following topics:

1) The federal government's recent 'human rights framework'
The framework provides funding for education about human rights, streamlines existing anti-discrimination laws, and requires each Bill introduced to Parliament to be accompanied by a Statement of Compatibility (IE compatibility with Australia's international human rights obligations).

2) Specifically, the decision not to enact a federal Charter of Rights

3) The need for laws protecting human rights.

Feel free to challenge any of the assumptions present in the above statements (do human rights exist at all? Or only so far as the law recognises them? Or to the extent that they can be enforced? etc)


I don't recall seeing too many thriving political threads on Chocky before. If there are no takers I guess this one will sink quietly...

ajfclark
30/04/2010
7:56:35 AM
No one mentions the name of the political thread that's thrived on Chockstone for fear of it coming back from the dead and that's even with all the fun it was to watch Evan and Tony B go on about submarines and graphs and conspiracies...

evanbb
30/04/2010
8:27:53 AM
It's the thread that can not speak its name.







I don't know what you're talking about AJ. Looks fine to me.

ajfclark
30/04/2010
10:24:48 AM
There's too many apostrophes in that sentence isn't there? Even without the stray apostrophe I'm not sure what you're saying....
Wendy
30/04/2010
10:29:23 AM
All right, my climbing partner is running late so I'll dive in for a little politcal debate even though I haven't been following this at all ...

Australia has a problem with human rights charters because we would be in breach of them. Quick to mind are our treatment of refugees and the conditions many Aboriginal people live in. I suspect some of our "anti-terrorism" laws are on the fine line. Rates of incarceration of Aboriginal people are questionable. Numerous other social and health issues that are massively under funded leaving people living with abuse, violence, disease and mental illness.

Of course human rights don't actually exist. We have been constant abusing what are now considered "rights" throughout history. They are a statement of what we now consider to be fair and just treatment of all people, and I would say that many people hold beliefs and attitudes that are not consistant with them as well as our government both through its actions and failure to act not respecting them either.
Wendy
30/04/2010
10:39:47 AM
Sort of vaguely on topic is Gordon Brown's little interlude yesterday. Of course, he made a bit of a gaff saying somewhat impolite stuff about someone, but I think there's something else rather important in here. The woman was making racist statements about Eastern Europeans. So he called her a bigot. Well, a spade's a spade. But somehow the fact that she was spouting rather popular, but incorrect and racist beliefs about Eastern Europeans (kind of similar to what many Australians have to say about Asians and not dissimilar to the illconsidered panic about the innundation of boat people) has been put aside. Shouldn't we be standing up against these sort attitudes? Whilst he didn't make the most sensitive comments about it, I'm still impressed that he holds values that stand against those sort of beliefs.

evanbb
30/04/2010
10:51:30 AM
On 30/04/2010 Wendy wrote:
>Sort of vaguely on topic is Gordon Brown's little interlude yesterday.


Most sensible people I've read are saying exactly that; that he rightly called a spade a spade. Further, her ideas are dreadfully racist and probably incorrect.

cruze
30/04/2010
11:02:51 AM
You think it was a gaff?
Methinks you have been taken hook, line and sinker.

ajfclark
30/04/2010
11:04:04 AM
I didn't see the incident but this woman didn't have red hair did she? Wasn't Pauline heading to England because there were too many immigrants here?

Hendo
30/04/2010
11:24:00 AM
One problem with immigration is a conflict in cultures. Often immigrants want to preserve much of the way of life they had in their previous location. The existing population also wants to preserve their existing way of life. Both parties wanting to live as they please makes sense from an individualís perspective but it doesnít work. So you have a clash of cultures (and culture correlates highly with race) hence racism etc. The immigrants are often just as guilty of discrimination (including racial) by rejecting what already exists, infact I think that is worse. You can call someone from the existing population a Ďbigotí, racist etc but their concerns about a change in their way of life are the same as those of the immigrants, there isnít that much difference.

To me it makes sense that if you donít want to change your culture then donít go and try to immigrate somewhere else and on the flip side donít let too many immigrants come to your home so that they are able to avoid integration (a few are much more likely to integrate well due to not having an option).

It makes sense to me that the existing population (should) have the power to impose their own way of life and make any demands they like of any immigrants since they are already running the show and people can mostly choose to not immigrate if they desire. If that means limiting immigration or making polices to force integration etc then that is fine.
widewetandslippery
30/04/2010
11:29:38 AM
No one has rights only the privileges afforded to them by there enviroment.

evanbb
30/04/2010
11:43:24 AM
On 30/04/2010 cruze wrote:
>You think it was a gaff?
>Methinks you have been taken hook, line and sinker.

What do you mean Cruze? Just that he did it intentionally to garner the 'hard on racists' vote?

In general, I tend to agree. Politicians rarely do anything by accident. Even things that appear to be accidental.

cruze
30/04/2010
12:00:39 PM
Yeah so far I haven't seen anyone else put forward a conspiracy type theory for it. Just thought that I would throw it out there.

Everything a career politician does is so carefully managed because it is so carefully scrutinised. He strikes me as an intelligent individual who wouldn't forget that someone had pinned a microphone to him. Then his choice of words - they aren't exactly harsh. The word "bigot" is pretty tame in modern usage but might strike a chord with older lefty voters. Immigration is such a massive issue in UK at the moment with such massive flux from the opening of the EU national borders and a traditional hardcore right wing group (hence the potential popularity of the BNP). Then again I am not really a British political expert by any means.

All publicity is good publicity. Showing weakness can be endearing, etc etc.

dave h.
30/04/2010
8:00:55 PM
Sorry I was unclear AJF, I didn't really have one question in particular. I'm just interested in what people think generally about human rights, and about whether or not the government's stance is acceptable.


The Feds recently released their Human Rights Framework. You can read the link for more information. The decision was also taken not to enact a Federal Bill/Charter of Rights. (I suppose what really pisses me off are the arguments deployed against such a charter - in my view they're often mistaken or intentionally deceitful). And I also want to know whether people think laws protecting human rights are necessary or not. (Bearing in mind of course that when I say 'Bill of rights' or charter of rights I'm not talking about transposing the US Bill of Rights to Australia.)


Wendy, I appreciate your comments and agree that part of the government's reluctance is probably due to our noncompliance with many of the treaties we've signed or ratified. Further agree with your remarks that many people hold attitudes inconsistent with what

Without wanting to over-analyse something you wrote hurriedly, you said "Of course human rights don't actually exist..." In a similar vein our controversial friend WW&S comments " No one has rights only the privileges afforded to them by there enviroment." It seems to me that history can't assist those who argue for the existence of rights, nor those who deny them.

I'm curious as to what both of you mean when you say that human rights do not exist. Do you mean that they're of little value unless they can be enforced?

WW&S, I'm sure you don't actually think this, but the logical extension of your position as you have presented it is an acceptance of the evils done in genocides. After all, the Sudanese being killed at the moment don't have the right to life and safety. That is a privilege, which their environment does not afford them.

I'm sure none of us are entirely happy with that position...
Wendy
30/04/2010
8:27:04 PM
On 30/04/2010 Hendo wrote:
>
>It makes sense to me that the existing population (should) have the power
>to impose their own way of life and make any demands they like of any immigrants
>since they are already running the show and people can mostly choose to
>not immigrate if they desire. If that means limiting immigration or making
>polices to force integration etc then that is fine.
>
We should be living in the bush and believing in the Dreamtime then. It's a bit holier then though to say anything like that in Australia. On top of the original invasion, we are an immigrant nation - our population is made up of many nationalities, all of whom have contributed something to how we experience Australia now. And whilst there may be racism on both sides, somehow saying some racism is more acceptable than other racism is also exceptionally bodgy. And i think immigrants generally do a lot of integrating in our society and I struggle to think of a time when I've felt an immigrant imposed their culture on me in the way our culture in imposed on them. So they might want to use their language, follow their religon, keep in touch with others of their culture, celebrate important events, wear significant clothing to them - no skin off my nose. Some of this is even fun and interesting. And it's actually good for people to keep in touch with their own culture and know about where they came from. There's a whole bunch of things in Australian culture that are much more in my face that I don't particularly like.

On why I say human rights don't exist - I mean intrinsicly. They are a manufactured concept, and I happen to think they are rather important, but I was just pointing out that they aren't some innately understood and agreed to things by all people. What we now consider human rights are a reflection of our values and what we consider to be just and fair.

martym
30/04/2010
9:19:53 PM
On 30/04/2010 widewetandslippery wrote:
>No one has rights only the privileges afforded to them by there enviroment.

Put another way - the earth is a big house, and the tenants have breached their lease agreement.

No one's mentioned Abbott's population cap yet!
It's going to be an interesting run to the election (especially for the Greens) if Population & Immigration are back on the agenda. The way I see it, you can focus on the environment, or on population - one negates the other (at least in this world)
I can imagine Tony Abbott preaching: Compulsory euthanasia past a certain age; bring on "Children of the Corn Down Under"

Hendo
30/04/2010
10:17:57 PM
On 30/04/2010 Wendy wrote:
>We should be living in the bush and believing in the Dreamtime then.
>It's a bit holier then though to say anything like that in Australia.

It was inevitable that Australian aboriginals were to be displaced. It is not conceivable in my mind that the continent we live on would remain unconquered long enough for the aboriginals to develop to the point where they could repel others. Can you imagine the world today with a continent this size only occupied by aboriginals living in their traditional manner? If it wasnít the English then some country; eg. the Dutch, French, Spanish or more recently Japanese or Americans would have taken over.

The aboriginals certainly donít seem happy about what has happened to them, but the fact is they could not and did not prevent themselves being displaced. So that infact sounds like an argument to be proactive in protecting and maintaining your way of life, lest we turn out like they have. The difference is now that we have the power to choose who comes here and what they do, Iím sure the aboriginals would have liked to have this ability.

>And i think immigrants generally do a lot
>of integrating in our society and I struggle to think of a time when I've
>felt an immigrant imposed their culture on me in the way our culture in
>imposed on them. So they might want to use their language, follow their
>religon, keep in touch with others of their culture, celebrate important
>events, wear significant clothing to them - no skin off my nose.

I live in a part of Sydney that has been overrun by Asians. I do not want to live in an asian culture, however our political arrangements have allowed it to be forced upon me. Iím happy for these people to live in an asian culture, but do it in asia, not in my home. I donít know your circumstances but if your home town became a place occupied >90% by another type of people living a different way of life, speaking a different language etc and you no longer feel welcome or at home, you would probably feel the same, itís natural, it would be unusual to think the other way.

More broadly Sydney is divided into racial enclaves and the above has happened all over the place. Most places I go there are social groups based on race/culture. It doesnít make for a cohesive society.

Hendo
30/04/2010
10:54:54 PM
Dave, as for human rights,

On 30/04/2010 dave h. wrote:
>So recently I was wondering what people thought about the following topics:
>
>
>1) The federal government's recent 'human rights framework'
> The framework provides funding for education about human rights, streamlines
>existing anti-discrimination laws, and requires each Bill introduced to
>Parliament to be accompanied by a Statement of Compatibility (IE compatibility
>with Australia's international human rights obligations).

I think anti-discrimination sentiment is getting a bit too much momentum. People are different hence discrimination is necessary and unavoidable, you canít see everyone as being identical. Whether people think they discriminate or not they do it all the time and mostly it isnít bad. I donít know if I want the law trying to say I am identical to everyone else.

>
>2) Specifically, the decision not to enact a federal Charter of Rights
>
>3) The need for laws protecting human rights.
>
>Feel free to challenge any of the assumptions present in the above statements
>(do human rights exist at all? Or only so far as the law recognises them?
>Or to the extent that they can be enforced? etc)

I agree in some ways with the idea that human rights are fictitious, human rights are not universal, one clear reason being because not everyone will agree with them. Certainly they only exist in the human imagination, they are not fundamental rules of nature. They probably conflict with many Ďrules of the jungleí which are still here and always will be no matter how hard we try to meddle with them. Then you have the problem that if you give people something it isnít respected nearly so well as if they have to earn it/fight for it (look at the way public infrastructure is treated by many). Having said that you can argue that we have progressively earned the ability to create laws for human rights and this is the eventuation of an ongoing battle. If you try to define something complex such as this it wonít be perfect and you will only be able to change it with great difficulty.

In general people are not equal and should not expect to be. Iíd like to keep ideas about my and others Ďrightsí up in the air a little and open to argument. Some of the ideas sound nice and happy if you donít think too hard but in many respects I donít really have too much faith in the practical implementation of laws.
Wendy
1/05/2010
8:12:23 AM
On 30/04/2010 Hendo wrote:
>
>It was inevitable that Australian aboriginals were to be displaced.

Displaced is such a nice way of putting it. Attempted genocide doesn't sound so acceptable. Of course there is a long history of european nations invading and overtaking other nations. That doesn't make it ok, and one of the wonders of having a concept of human rights that has been legally recognised is that we can now use them to prevent things like that happening again. In the modern, educated world, we should be able to live with many cultures side by side. Part of the reason that we do have racial enclaves in Australia is that we still have widespread racism and this is one way of protecting themselves from it.

I'm sad that living in a multicultural community makes you feel so threatened. Integration works both ways, and it's always an opportunity to learn about other countries, another language, eat different foods, whilst sharing your knowledge of Australia. And Australia really isn't being overrun by Asians, or indeed any nationality that people seem to consider a threatening culture. 8% of the population is of asian descent. British and NZ migrants way out number them, there being a bit over 1.5 million of people born in those countries currently resident in Australia and about 90% of the population of European descent. About 65% of people practice some form of christian religion, compared to 1.7 islam and .7 hindu. If anyone was to feel threatened for the loss of their culture, it should be these minorities. Societies don't become cohesive because we force other people to be like us. Australian policies have moved from assimilation to multiculturalism for a reason - assimilation (which is effectively what you are calling integration) didn't work.

Another thing I regularly wonder, what aspects of Australian culture do people percieve to be so threatened by other cultures?

Wendy
1/05/2010
8:39:06 AM
Another thought about enclaves - we have enclaves of all sorts. We have rich areas, poor areas, areas dominated by students or pensioners or young families, or gays or upwardly mobile young people. I happen to live in a town known for climbers and artists, but the general area is notable as the bible belt of victoria, national party heartland and in the hey day of One Nation, home to the Victorian branch.

These happen for a variety of reasons - some of them economic, some seeking similar people, some of them about accessibility, some from the tendency of humans in a group to mould to the common ideas and be a little like sheep. I don't think all the conservatives in Victoria moved out to the Wimmera on purpose (although most of the climbers and artists did). Just thought this was worth thinking about this tendency before getting stressed about racial enclaves. And similarly, there are plenty of people of different cultures spread out around the country as well. And in a racist society, it's quite a brave move sometimes.

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