by William Puisne
England soccer manager, Roy Hodgson, had a PC poison dart shot at him for telling this joke;
After using only monkeys in space capsules, NASA decided to send a man into space with a monkey.
Following launch, the intercom crackled, “Monkey, fire the retros.”
A little later, “Monkey, check the solid fuel supply.”
Later still, “Monkey, check the life support systems.”
The astronaut is annoyed and testily radios NASA, “When do I get something to do?”
NASA replied, “Feed the monkey in half an hour.”
Raceophobic, islamophobic, homophobic, lesbophobic, fatophobic, transgenderophobic, youthophobic??
Come off the grass.
Nevertheless, a complaint was made. The remark was capable of offence. And he had to apologise – to the universe at large – saying he hadn’t intended any hurt.
Just one more success for the PC brigade.
Prosecuting people in the news in these mushrooming hurt feelings courts is great fun.
It wasn’t so bad when they blethered about being offended and there was no law about it. No court. No penalty. Just the ABC and Fairfax. But things are different now.
Al Gore, upped the ante recently when he said that anyone holding a view different to his on Climate Change was a racist. This meant that if one of Australia’s Offended Feelings Tribunals held that such a view was, in fact, “racist” then penalties would follow for disagreeing with Tim Flannery or Christine Milne.
Gore’s outburst is not unique.
In May just gone, the French Assembly legislated the word “race” and the word “racist” out of all French laws – to combat racism !! Blind Freddy predicted in his weekly address to the Futurologists Society that the French will later pass a bill outlawing the word “poverty” and everybody will then be rich. Same thing with “disease”.
Now, any remark or phrase does not have to be objectively offensive. It does not have to be offensive by any known standard. It only has to be offensive to someone who claims he/she was offended.
In Victoria, there is the case of Tess Corbett. Tess Corbett was Bob Katter’s candidate for Wannon. She runs a kindergarten and told a local reporter, “I don’t want gays, lesbians or paedophiles working in my kindergarten”.
When asked if she considered homosexuals to be in the same category as paedophiles, Ms Corbett replied “Yes”. “Paedophiles will be next in line to be recognised in the same way as gays and lesbians and get rights.”
Objectively, the additional remark was capable of being interpreted as a prediction that paedophiles will eventually be recognised by the law and society as homosexuals have been. And she doesn’t want any of them to work in her kindergarten.
But the fact that it can easily mean that was not enough for homosexual activist Gary Burns who took her to the institutions that deal with this sort of thing.
In 2009, the same Burns took action against Jeff Kennett, for making comments in 2008 which, like Corbett’s remarks, appeared to equate homosexuality with pedophilia. A conciliation hearing was held in NSW, with Kennett listening to Burns’ demand that he apologise publicly to the gay community and donate a sum of money to a homosexual organisation. Kennet told him to rack off and Burns dropped the charges.
He was luckier this time. His target was not the resourceful Jeff Kennett.
The decision of the Tribunal on Corbett was, “[A]ny pronouncement that ‘brackets’ . . . homosexual people with paedophiles is capable of . . . urging [people] to treat homosexuals as deserving to be hated or to be regarded with serious contempt.”
So it isn’t what she said, it isn’t what she intended, it is what her expression was capable of.
On that same principle, if one walks down a street with a gun in his pocket, he is capable of bank robbery. If he has a long bladed knife at home, he is capable of murder. If he is a man he is capable of rape. A citizen, simply because he has a tongue, is capable of saying that the tribunal’s deputy president Michael Chesterton has announced a decision that is as mad as a two bob watch, and that Gary Burns action in prosecuting Tess Corbett is that of a publicity seeker.
In short, it doesn’t matter in the end what one says, it is what the Thought Police and the Naughty Thoughts Court says words are capable of meaning, even if taken out of context.
There is a NSW Supreme Court Appeal Court decision involving a man in just such a position. He was tagged with a shottie and a balaclava in his car. Must have been intending to stick someone up… or something… said the police.
“Come off the grass,” said the Court.
Is this why all these ridiculous “Tribunals” exist? To avoid having to prove guilty intent?
And substitute some kind of Monkey Law?