Minegraft

This is an interesting illustration of where priorities lie:

The Queensland Government has called for mining company CEOs and union representatives to attend an urgent safety forum this Wednesday after the death of another mining worker.

On Sunday 27-year-old Jack Gerdes suffered fatal head injuries at the Baralaba North coal mine, west of Gladstone.

He was found “entangled in an excavator access ladder” about 2:00am, the Department of Mines and Energy said.

Six hours later, another man in his 50s was seriously injured in fall at a mine in Collinsville in the Bowen Basin.

The death takes the fatality total to six over the last year — making it the worst year for mining deaths since 1997.

If you’re in the developed world (i.e. equipment and work methods are modern) and you’re having an unacceptable number of workplace accidents there are two things you need to improve: training and supervision. When my outfit in Russia was having a lot of minor injuries and near misses to do with scaffolding back in 2006, they stepped up the training and awareness (with a focus on the daily toolbox talks) and increased the number of supervisors. As a result, the safety statistics improved. This is what needs to happen in these Queensland mines. However:

Shortly before the State Government headed into crisis talks this afternoon, it was revealed a mining safety committee has been idle for six months because it could not reach a gender quota — during which time four miners have died.

This situation is laughable, but the absence of some taxpayer funded talking shop is not the cause of the accidents. What it does tell you, though, is how the government views workplace safety and what it chooses to prioritise. It’s also a tacit admission that this committee isn’t really concerned with safety. If it were, it would have met regardless of the gender quota.

Queensland Resources Council CEO Ian Macfarlane said it nominated two female candidates for the committee six months ago, but they were knocked back by the Government.

I can’t even begin to imagine how bad a blatant diversity hire would have to be to get knocked back for inclusion on a state-level safety committee. Then again, maybe something else is going on here which I can’t see. But I found this LinkedIn post interesting:

I’m not sure who Penelope Twemlow is but she seems to have made a decent career from simply being a woman “in business”, and her LinkedIn profile reads as though an algorithm trawled a year’s worth of Accenture presentations and spat out the most commonly found words. Although to be fair she has been a principle health and safety consultant for a whole four months, which is presumably why she’s weighing in on this.

What seems pretty clear is she doesn’t know a lot about mining, which is why she’s so confident there are “plenty of incredible women” working in the industry. What she thinks makes a woman “incredible” are probably those attributes she likes most in herself, i.e. staggering levels of self-belief, ambition, and self-promotion, but these likely differ from what those who run mines want when they’re looking for a safety rep. There will be some decent women in the Australian mining industry, but there won’t be “plenty” and the ones who are genuinely good won’t want to sit on some pointless government committee. However, you can be sure that Penelope Twemlow knows a few hundred women who would love such a tenure and all think they’re incredibly brilliant. Hey, some of them might even know the difference between a coal mine and a land mine. But what they really need is some decent on-site supervisors and safety training.

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Where do you stand on Israel?

A week or so back Israel Folau, the Australian rugby player who’s been ostracised for exercising his religious freedom in a way which displeased the LGBTQ political lobby, decided to set up a Go Fund Me campaign ostensibly to help him with his legal fees. Now I don’t suppose Folau needs the money – he’s been a top-class professional athlete across three sports since he was 18 years old – but he might have done it to gauge how much support he had. Turns out it was quite a bit and the fund quickly passed five figures, leading the Sydney Morning Herald to abandon journalism for activism and ramp up the pressure to get the appeal shut down. After all, the last thing progressives want is for a designated wrongthinker to have an avenue of financial and moral support once the moral gavel has fallen.

Sure enough, once the inevitable mob had formed Go Fund Me dug around in their terms of service and discovered they reserve the right to yank any funding campaign on a whim, which they duly did. The smug grins of the SMH activists probably didn’t last long, though. Within hours the Australian Christian Lobby had set up an appeal which, when I looked this morning, had attracted over $1.9m dollars. That’s a lot of money, and I expect many donors aren’t even Christian but are seeing this as a way to signal their opposition to the increasingly restrictive speech codes being forced on Australians by their employers and with the full backing of politicians.

But the saga doesn’t end there. Via William of Ockham, the Sydney Morning Herald is now urging the government to intervene:

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission has been asked to investigate the Australian Christian Lobby over its role in helping Israel Folau raise more than a million dollars for his legal fight against Rugby Australia (RA).

Asked by whom?

A number of complainants, however, have confirmed to the Herald that they have raised their concerns with the charities commission over the fundraising role played by the ACL.

So it’s basically another attempt to sabotage Folau’s ability to raise funds. For all we know there might be no more than two complaints, both originating from the offices of the Sydney Morning Herald.

According to the ACNC, a charity must be able to show that the use of its funds furthers the charitable purpose in which it is registered, meaning the ACL would need to prove it is “advancing religion”, for example, by agreeing to help raise money for Folau’s individual purposes.

I’d say defending an outspoken Christian who is being persecuted for his religious beliefs is doing more to advance Christianity than the combined efforts of the Pope and Archbishop of Canterbury over the past twenty years.

“We got legal advice on this before we went ahead with it,” [ACL’s managing director Martyn] Iles  said. “Israel Folau is not a member and our charitable purpose is to advocate for changes in law and public policy and the advancement of the Christian religion. This is a religious freedom issue which for law has implications for law and public policy.

Quite, which is why it’s attracted so much support:

“Over 15,000 people have donated and the average donation is about $100 and about 10 donors per minute. That’s pretty incredible stuff. There’s a lot of juice left in this.”

It’s as if a lot of people understand this is a lot bigger than what Folau thinks about homosexuals. Which brings me onto this story:

A disabled grandfather has been sacked by Asda for sharing an ‘anti-religion’ sketch by Billy Connolly on his Facebook page. Brian Leach, who had worked at the Asda store for five years in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, was let go by the supermarket after a colleague complained the comments in the sketch were anti-Islamic.

Now Britain is not Australia, but the progressive mindset which dominates the ruling classes and the subsequent authoritarianism is much the same in both countries. We’ve arrived at a situation whereby expressing Christian beliefs on social media gets you fired while disrespecting Islam on social media also gets you fired. I don’t agree with other commentators who say blasphemy laws are being applied in the UK, this is something else. Far from being inconsistent, the two approaches are quite logical once you understand the objective of those in charge is to denounce, undermine, and ultimately destroy what was until recently the prevailing culture in the developed, Anglo-Saxon world. In practice, this means those who rule over us will pick and choose who can say what and when as they see fit, and deprive us of our livelihoods should we speak out of turn. For now, this means Christians cannot say anything mean about homosexuals and ordinary folk cannot say anything which might be perceived as a slight against Islam.

And you can be sure this won’t stop here. I expect Folau will soon find his bank withdrawing their services, sending him a curt letter that he has 14 days to find an alternative (having made sure the other Australian banks will also deny him). What then? Will his phone company cut him off because the Sydney Morning Herald is piling on the pressure, backed by various government bodies stuffed with vinegar-drinking cat-ladies and the sort of men who, when they were in school, told the teacher which kid drew the picture on the blackboard? Nobody should feel too sorry for Folau, but this is about much more than a multi-millionaire sportsman. What happens when they start coming for ordinary people, like a grandad who works in Asda for example? What happens when they come for you?

People, especially politicians, often get asked where they stand on Israel. I think that question may develop a second meaning, and one no less important than the original.

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Unfinished Izzyness

Staying on the topic of Australian labour laws and following on from this story, Israel Folau is back in the news:

Sacked former rugby international Israel Folau has launched legal proceedings with the Fair Work Commission against Rugby Australia (RA) and NSW Rugby for breach of contract.

Folau’s lawyers said under Section 772 of the Fair Work Act, it was unlawful to terminate employment on the basis of religion.

I had a feeling he might do this. Folau got into trouble for expressing views which form the basis of several mainstream religions, including his own, on his private Instagram feed. I don’t have much faith in any Australian judge not just ruling however progressives demand, but on the face of it I think he has a case. How can an organisation claim it does not discriminate on the grounds of religion – which is a set of beliefs – and then fire someone for expressing those beliefs outside the organisation?

RA and NSW Rugby released a statement confirming they would maintain their ground following Folau’s decision to launch legal action.

The organisations stated they “did not choose” to be in this position but they were committed to upholding the values of “inclusion, passion, integrity, discipline, respect and teamwork”.

Inclusion? That’s the word you’re going to go with here? And I notice you didn’t include tolerance.

“We will defend those values and the right for all people to feel safe and welcome in our game regardless of their gender, race, background, religion or sexuality,” the statement said.

We welcome people regardless of their religion provided they don’t express its underlying beliefs, even in a private capacity. This article does a good job of explaining the Gordian Knot identity politics has tied for itself:

Sport is to be commended for striving to uphold the best values of a modern society, but what happens when those values clash — the human right of sexual orientation versus the human right to freedom of religion?

Does quoting from the Bible constitute hate speech? Was Folau inciting violence?

There is little to no distinction between the “public face” of a sport and the “individual” who may want to express his or her own views or religious beliefs — as they are entitled to under the charter of Human Rights.

His Instagram account doesn’t describe him as a Wallaby or mention rugby at all. It says, “Israel Folau. Living for Jesus Christ. #TeamJesus.”

All eyes will be on the outcome of this court case. I hope Folau wins, but I won’t be holding my breath. Ultimately, it will come down to who sits higher in the victim hierarchy and we already know that gays outrank Christians by a mile and a half. But the courts are going to have to tread carefully because gays don’t outrank certain other religions, and unfortunately for progressives discrimination laws lump all religions in the same basket. The head honchos at world rugby must be praying Sonny Bill Williams doesn’t tweet anything similar before the world cup starts.

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Israeli Thought Crimes

This isn’t surprising:

Israel Folau’s contract has been terminated by Rugby Australia after he said “hell awaits” gay people in a social media post.

The Waratahs full-back, 30, was sacked in April but requested a hearing, which was heard by a three-person panel.

They found him guilty of a “high level breach” of RA’s player code of conduct and have upheld the dismissal.

It’s not the first time Folau has got into trouble for expressing views consistent with his unapproved and unprotected religion.

The fundamentalist Christian posted a banner on his Instagram account in April that read: “Drunks, homosexuals, adulterers, liars, fornicators, thieves, atheists and idolators – Hell awaits you.”

This is another example of tolerance and diversity only extending as far as government-approved opinions. Note that Folau is not demanding homosexuals be punished, nor is he refusing to play with them. Instead, he is expressing his religious views that homosexuality is a sin for which they will ultimately pay in the afterlife. A charitable interpretation is he’s not even being malicious, he genuinely fears for such people and wants to save them. His opinions on the fate of homosexuals are derived directly from his religion, which in theory he has the freedom to practice. But as far as Rugby Australia are concerned, he’s free to practice Christianity provided he doesn’t pass remarks on what that entails. This doesn’t sound like an organisation which embraces diversity or practices tolerance.

The other daft thing is Heaven and Hell are religious concepts, and Folau is clearly using the term “hell” in it’s religious context here. So unless you’re religious like Folau, the whole idea of Hell ought to be meaningless. In which case what’s the problem? Homosexuals seem to be taking offence that Folau is condemning them to a fate in an afterlife they don’t themselves believe in. They might as well fret about stepping on cracks in the pavement.

Rugby Australia is a foundation member of Pride in Sport Index (PSI), which is a sporting inclusion programme in Australia set up to help sporting organisations with the inclusion of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex community.

And to the exclusion of practicing Christians whose views have brought no problems whatsoever to the game (unless you count Michael Jones refusing to play on Sundays).

“We commend Rugby Australia, as well as New South Wales Rugby Union, for their leadership and courage throughout this process,” said PSI co-founder Andrew Purchas.

Chucking outspoken Christians under the bus to appease the gay lobby is hardly courageous. What would have been really courageous is for Rugby Australia to state that Folau is entitled to practice his religion and express the views derived from it on his social media platforms.

“Their swift and decisive actions shows that homophobic and transphobic discrimination is not acceptable in sport and individuals – irrespective of their social or professional stature – will be held accountable for their words and actions.”

Held accountable for their actions, eh? Funny, these are the precise sentiments which have just got Folau fired. What we’re seeing here is new quasi-religious dogma pushing out the old. Only Christian societies had a 2,000 year run. How long do you think modern society will last in its current guise?

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Endorse it, or else

Remember when gay marriage was all about liberty and equality? It seems like a long time ago indeed:

One of Australia’s leading wedding magazines, White, is shutting down following its refusal to feature same-sex weddings.

Founders Luke and Carla Burrell, who are Christian, say the magazine became the target of a damaging campaign after Australia voted to legalise same-sex marriage last year, and a number of advertisers withdrew their support.

Earlier this year, hundreds of wedding industry professionals boycotted the magazine over its lack of LGBTQI diversity.

I suppose there’s no government involvement so it’s just people voting with their wallets, as is their right. It’s all a bit puritan, though:

The couple said they did not want to “create a social, political or legal war” that would only divide people and do “more damage than good”.

But they said they received a “flood of judgement” and were not given enough time or space to work through their thoughts and feelings.

“It’s a long and continuing journey, it’s not black and white, there are so many grey areas that need to be explored.”

Gay marriage has gone from a fringe issue which no mainstream politician would risk their neck to endorse to one where businesses are being closed down because their owners don’t agree with it, all in the space of a decade.

Former contributors told Hack in August they did not want to force the magazine to publish same-sex weddings, but only to make their views clear.

And if those views differed from yours, you’d boycott them. I have a feeling that, when the battle lines really start to get drawn up and serious civil unrest beckons, a lot of people will consider the issue of gay marriage when choosing sides. The way it’s been brought in, and subsequently used as a political tool, seems to have hacked off a lot of people who aren’t saying much, but the murmurings are there.

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Thoughts on Perth, WA

I’m now back in France, having arrived yesterday from Perth. As such, I’m trying to shake off the jet lag. Despite having lived in Melbourne I forgot how damned far away Australia is from anywhere. The flight from Perth to Abu Dhabi was over 11 hours; if I’d been asked to guess before booking it I’d have said it was around 6 or 7.

I went to Perth for one reason, and that was to visit people. I’d spent my three months of gardening leave travelling and catching up with pretty much everyone I knew, and with a spare month before my MBA starts I decided I’d take the plunge and go see all the people I know in Perth who I’d not seen in years. If I didn’t do it then, I probably never would. I stayed with a family I knew in Sakhalin, two adults and two girls aged around 6 and 8. They live in Cottesloe not far from the beach, and I had an opportunity to wander around the neighbourhood.

From what I could tell from the very large and expensive houses that dominate that area, Australians are to architecture what Germans are to fine dining. Some houses seemed a combination of several styles, as if the architect couldn’t decide what to go for so just used all his favourite features in a single design. One I saw looked like a British council estate bungalow which had been scaled up three or four times with a porch held up by a row of Greek columns. A lot of them are the ultra-modern box-style, which don’t look too bad in themselves but appear odd beside the old colonial-style houses. Obviously there’s no requirement in Perth for new houses to blend in with the surrounding ones. Some are described as Tuscan-style, and while I can see what they are trying to do they sort of look as though an Australian architect designed it while on the phone to his mate who was looking at a postcard his aunt sent him from Italy. And as I saw in Melbourne and Hobart, over half the houses had tin-roofs. In the UK, corrugated iron is usually reserved for farm buildings and warehouses, but in Perth they’ll build a $3m stone house with a swimming pool and landscaped lawns and finish off the roof, and even sometimes the walls, with the same stuff. Uninsulated. My guess is it was a cheap solution 50 years ago and Australians have simply got used to it.

The beach was nice if a little short of topographical features: no rocky coves here, it was straight beach and sand dunes for a couple of thousand miles in both directions, broken only by the harbour at Fremantle. They’d built a cycle and running path alongside and when I went there on a Saturday morning it was filled with beautiful people in lycra; I’d found the same thing at Melbourne’s tan track. There were also plenty of people surfing and kite-surfing, the water turning turquoise halfway through my trip when summer suddenly arrived making it look very inviting. Up until then it was a brownish colour and choppy. The wind in Perth, coming straight off the ocean, is strong.

I went into the city centre several times to meet people, and I think I’d seen most of it by the first afternoon. The two tallest towers belonged to Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton respectively, letting everyone know why the city is there and who’s in charge. The oil company Woodside moved into a brand new tower when I was there; I suppose it seemed like a good idea back when the oil price was over a hundred. Perth is a town of boom and bust – or rather, one big boom and then a bust – and everyone I spoke to referred to the boom era at least once. The place didn’t look as though it was in a slump though, and it seems to be slowly recovering. I wandered through the shopping district thinking it was a lot like Melbourne (particularly the covered pavements with the perpendicular shop signs hanging perpendicular), and then along Langley Park by the Swan river. It was nice, but perhaps not for the whole afternoon.

Possibly the biggest culture shock I received was when my host family sat down to eat at 6pm. Coming from France, I wondered whether this was a late lunch but it turned out to be dinner. Then at 8:30pm everyone took off to bed, leaving me wandering around in the dark. I awoke the next morning at about 7am and thought I’d get up to say hello to find the parents gone to work and the kids with the au pair getting ready for school. Their father had got up at 5:30am to go surfing, too. Later I was out with a blog reader for a drink and we finished up around 8pm. I walked through deserted streets to the railway station, where I joined about 5 other passengers going in the direction of Fremantle. I think much of this is explained by the fact it gets light at 6am, dark at 6pm, and there is no daylight savings time in Western Australia.

Perth wasn’t as expensive as I was expecting, and much cheaper than Paris for food and booze. One evening I went to a birthday party held at a French restaurant, and found it staffed by French people and the food excellent. Otherwise I was mainly eating decent burgers and the sort of meat-cheese-chips-sauce melanges you only find in Australia. I also ordered a rack of lamb ribs in Fremantle which had been brilliantly marinaded before overcooked.

As in Melbourne, I found the Australians extremely friendly and pleasant to be around, but the place itself rather dull. As my holiday wore on I reached the same conclusion of Perth that I did of Melbourne: if you have a good job, it’s a great place to raise kids. From what I could tell everything worked, it was safe, the weather was great, the schools good, there was plenty of space, and you had everything a family could want or need. But if you were a single bloke I think you’d go a bit nuts after a month; it’s not like you could drink all night if the bars empty at 8pm. Interestingly, I met two foreign wives – one French, the other Russian – and both said they find Perth to be a cultural desert and they’d like their children to spend at least some time back in the motherland before they reach adulthood. Like anywhere, I guess it comes down to what stage your life’s at and what you’re doing with it. So with that, I’ll say I had a great time in Perth and it was absolutely wonderful to see people I’d not seen in years, as well as meet some new people who read this blog. But Perth isn’t a place I’ll be hoping to live in any time soon; I would definitely go back for another visit, though.

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African gangs and racist stubby holders

The incomparable Steve Sailer brings us news from Melbourne:

According to the Australian Establishment, Melbourne has two African gangs problems: the African gangs of street criminals themselves, and, far worse, the Australians who have noticed and even talked about this new problem that the politicians have imported for them to endure.

How can Australia be a democracy when rifts are turned into election issues? The essence of democracy is that elections shouldn’t decide anything.

I understand a good portion of those African gangs are Sudanese, whose presence in the city I heard about during the first week of my arrival. I was in the gym at the astoundingly expensive and very average Novotel watching the news, and a story came up about how a bunch of policemen in the Melbourne suburb of Sunshine had been distributing racist stubby (drinks) holders. They then showed a picture of one of  the offending items:

At which point I stopped the treadmill and said, “Eh?” Apparently, the above image was so racially aggravating to local Sudanese that three police officers were eventually sacked, because:

“Mudfish” is a type of fish and is a common food in many African countries. It is used by some people as derogatory slang for Africans.

Is that cartoon fish with human arms and hands unmistakably a mudfish? Judging by the photos, mudfish don’t even have barbels; it looks more like a catfish to me. And a Google search of “mudfish Africans” brings up several pages of how to catch one but not a single item which might indicate who these “some people” using it as derogatory term might be.

At the time I assumed this would be laughed out of the police complaints office, but oh how naive I was! Now bear in mind I’d spent the previous 10 years living in Kuwait, Dubai, Russia, Thailand and Nigeria where political correctness of this sort simply doesn’t exist. Certainly, in none of those countries is the local police going to find themselves in trouble over complaints made by foreigners, let alone refugees complaining about drinks coolers. I didn’t realise it at the time, but this was my first real exposure to how utterly craven the ruling classes in the west had become. Take this statement:

Chief Commissioner Ken Lay said the police force would not tolerate racist behaviour in any form.

“There is large numbers in the African community that were enormously disturbed by what has happened,” he said. “It sent a very bad message to the broader community that police were not tolerant.

You’ll not tolerate racist behaviour in any form, but you’ll invent it where there is none. Now the Sudanese would have learned from this. They tested the water and found they could get policemen fired in their new home simply by making the most silly of complaints, and now – five years later – they’re running riot around Melbourne confident that the ruling classes who took their side previously will continue to support them. The rot set in a long time ago, and nothing is going to change until those in charge are run out of town on a rail and left to die of thirst in the desert.

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Flip-Flops and Carrier Bags

William of Ockham risks legal action over exclusivity rights to bring us this story about carrier bags:

In Australia, most states/territories, with the exception of New South Wales, have banned supermarkets from giving away single use plastic bags with shopping.

In response to this, the duopoly of Coles and Woolworths have removed said bags from New South Wales’ stores too. I’m sure this decision was reached for purely environmentally-righteous reasons and not simply because running two different processes and sourcing operations is inefficient.

Only a few days later:

Supermarket giant Coles has buckled to the backlash from its customers over paying 15 cents for reusable plastic bags and will now give them away to shoppers for free indefinitely.

A year ago the retailer announced it would phase out single-use plastic bags in its supermarkets by July 1, but appeared to be caught unprepared for the negative consumer response that followed.

So customers find carrier bags useful and prefer them to be free? Who would have thought? The hand-wringing middle classes didn’t like this though, among them the otherwise sensible Claire Lehmann, founder of Quillette:

Whereas I’d say it takes a lot more balls to reject pointless middle class environmental posturing than to go along with it. Good on Coles’ customers! Alas, my celebrations were to be short-lived:

Coles has done a double backflip on providing free plastic bags and will recommence charging customers for them after coming under fire from green groups and consumers for giving them away for free.

In a message to the retailer’s 115,000 staff on Thursday, Durkan said the ban on single-use plastic bags had been a “big and difficult” change for customers.

While customers had been growing more and more accustomed to bringing reusable bags, many were still finding themselves one or two short at the register.

So in the absence of a law banning free bags in New South Wales, who is driving this campaign against customers’ interests?

Environmental groups, including a vocal Greenpeace, and like-minded shoppers had heaped criticism on Coles for deciding to go back on its original plan to only temporarily provide reusable bags for free.

Ah yes. As usual, it’s a loud minority of wealthy middle class do-gooders via multi-million dollar lobby groups masquerading as charities. That Coles sided with them over actual customers says a lot about modern corporate management.

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Gloves Off!

As a transgender female I have often been bullied, intimidated and harassed. These experiences left me with mental scars.

moans one Melissa Griffiths in The Guardian.

And much of this assault happened in public. One day I was walking through a train station towards an escalator when I was approached by a man. As we both went down the escalator he put his hand on my leg and moved it up towards my genitals.

Any man who goes around putting his hand up the dresses of transgendered women in public is likely to be mentally ill and in dire need of help.

“No!” I said. He stopped and moved away from me. I was too stunned, scared, and shocked to do anything more about it.

Perhaps not as shocked and stunned as he’d be if he moved his hand up a little higher, but his reaction is fully consistent with one who isn’t in possession of a full set of marbles.

I went home thinking there must be something wrong with me.

Lord no.

I began to believe that being treated like this is part of being a woman, when it is not and should never be.

So you never consulted with any women about what being a women entails before transitioning? You just went right ahead and learned on the job, as it were? Sounds like something a reasonable person would do.

We must value ourselves and recognise we are worthy, because we deserve dignity and respect.

Dignity and respect are earned, not demanded.

People can say you “brought it on yourself” or the perpetrator is “known” for it, or is “just joking around”. When you mention it to someone or even dare to complain about it, they try to dismiss it, telling you to move on, forget about it. But you can’t. The damage is done.

The damage is done all right, but I’m not sure some nutter’s hand up her dress is the main culprit.

This ends now.

If part of being a woman means seeking out high drama, Ms Griffiths is taking to her new role like a duck to water.

We can no longer allow our schools and workplaces to act as breeding grounds for bullies.

Sorry, is this about bullying at school or sexual assaults on escalators?

If we stand back and do nothing, well, nothing will change. This is why I decided to become involved with Now Australia: I want to change society and the workplace for the better.

Society must change at the whim of a bloke in a sun dress.

Too many people suffer in silence. In my community, the rates of suicide and attempted suicide are among the highest in the country.

That’s because your community is rife with mental illness and rather than getting treatment their fantasies are indulged. When reality inevitably bites, they can’t cope. Now, are you helping or hindering?

Interestingly, the true figures around sexual harassment in the transgender community are yet to be measured.

The true figures around sexual harassment of bluegrass-loving cricket fans are also yet to be determined.

There is evidence to suggest that particular groups, such as young people, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander people, lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans (LGBT) people, people from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds and people with a disability may experience higher rates of sexual assault and sexual harassment than the general Australian population.

This appears to be saying that sexual assault of minors in Aboriginal, Islander and foreign communities is rife.

I have heard many stories of what transgender people go through, in job interviews or the workplace.

Questions regarding their abilities? Concerns over the mental health? Doubts over whether they can work in a team or handle criticism?

Imagine being a transgender woman in an interview situation, nervous yet excited about the prospect of finally gaining employment.

I’m trying, but I keep getting hung up on what I’ve been doing to date if not working.

You arrive only to have the information sheet on a clipboard chucked on your lap.

Are you sure you’re not confusing this with a public hospital?

Once you fill out the form, it’s picked up by an employee wearing gloves. GLOVES.

Really sure?

If this is not intimidation, then I don’t know what is. This happened to somebody I know who prefers to remain anonymous.

The horror. Only now is the full trauma of living life as a transgender woman becoming apparent.

When one goes through these experiences, there is often nagging self-doubt. Sadly, stories like these are not uncommon.

Another interviewer was wearing socks?

We must create workplaces free from bullying, intimidation and sexual harassment.

And gloves, apparently.

We now have an opportunity to do this, as well as support those who are suffering in silence.

Could their silence also not be a sign they are quite content and don’t need your “support”?

The mission of Now Australia is to clean up toxic workplaces.

Nothing in the article indicates she has any experience of Australian workplaces, unless the interview room counts.

Our message will be heard across the land.

Including those Aboriginal towns, which doubtless you’re intending to visit? Do let us know how that goes.

(H/T William of Ockham, who asks in relation to the picture which accompanies the article: Session musician for The Sweet, Mud or Slade?)

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Victim of entitlement or diversity?

This is an interesting story:

A SYDNEY barber says he’s distraught and unable to sleep after a woman took legal action against him for not cutting her daughter’s hair.

Sam Rahim, who runs a barber shop in Hunters Hill Village in Sydney, said he was devastated when he was taken to the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission after refusing the woman’s request on the grounds of being unqualified.

Just before Christmas, a woman came into his shop and asked him to cut her daughter’s hair, according to Nine News.

When he tried to direct her to a salon up the road, she stormed out in anger.

“The reason we rejected it is because it is a barber shop,” he told Today this morning. “I only specialise in cutting men’s hair. I’m not qualified to cut females’ hair. That’s pretty much it. I’m surrounded by hairdressers.”

He said when women come into the shop he just points them to the nearest hairdressing salon. “They are literally a 20-second walk away.”

The woman took her complaint to the Human Rights Commission, claiming he breached anti-discrimination laws and embarrassed her daughter.

So did this woman not realise that a barber is not the same as a hairdresser, and cutting men’s hair is a lot different from cutting women’s? Is this an example of modern entitlement culture? Or is there something else going on?

In a statement to the Nine Network, the complainant claimed Mr Rahim never said he was unqualified to cut women’s hair.

“A claim has been brought against Hunters Hill Barber Shop in the Federal Circuit Court for an alleged breach of the Sex Discrimination Act. The basis of the claim is that the barber shop refused to simply run the clippers through my daughter’s undercut, because she was a girl.

“I indicated to him that I did not need him to style, cut or trim the rest of her hair, which is styled in a ‘bob’.

“Mr Rahim’s explanation was that he wished to keep his barber shop for boys and men only. He never said he was not qualified to cut women’s or girls’ hair, as he has incorrectly reported to the media.

Hmmm. Could this be a diversity issue of the type that now has lowly bollard suppliers thumbing through Sunseeker yacht catalogues?

Over-entitled, permanently aggrieved suburban mother versus member of a protected class. Good luck disentangling that one, Australia!

(What the barber should have done is put the No. 1 head on the clipper and given the little brat a French Foreign Legion cut. Viz had a gag along these lines with One Cut Wally.)

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