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Zed’s view: MLA’s must support all laws all the time.

By johnboy - 16 August 2011 10

Liberal Leader Zed Seselja has put out a huffy media release railing against Labor for failing to support his motion of no confidence in Speaker Rattenbury.

“Shane Rattenbury has publicly and repeatedly stated that he ‘supports illegal protests’,” Mr Seselja said.

“Shane Rattenbury is not just any Member of the Assembly, but the lawmaker tasked with upholding order for the lawmakers themselves. It’s indefensible for any lawmaker to support unlawful behaviour, let alone the Speaker.

“ACT Labor today admitted that Shane Rattenbury’s endorsement of this illegal action is unacceptable, but refused to stand up to the Greens, and instead chose to nurture its clearly biased relationship with the party.

“For ACT Labor to agree these actions were wrong but choose to preserve this relationship is clear disregard for the people of Canberra, who rely on the Assembly to advocate on their behalf. They have trashed the Assembly for the sake of their coalition.

Anyone would think Shane had committed illegal acts himself.

What’s Your opinion?


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10 Responses to
Zed’s view: MLA’s must support all laws all the time.
Grail 8:53 am 19 Aug 11

justin heywood said :

Destruction of anther person’s property is not ‘civil disobedience’ as I’m sure Rattenbury knows. How would society function if we all felt we could simply tear down whatever we didn’t agree with?

Do those same standards apply to the people who want to build things which will damage our world? How would society function if we all felt we could build whatever we felt needed to be built? Who cares about our neighbours having access to their driveways, or the sun, or the sky?

Are the people protesting against GM canola ignorant arrogant fanatics, or do they have valid concerns about crops that cannot be killed with herbicides? Is protesting against GM food products fanatical? What about when the company who stands to benefit financially from a product being found safe, is the same company running the research project to determine “safety”?

What is the protocol for determining food safety in GM crops? At present the crop is compared to equivalent crops of the same type. This GM wheat would simply have been compared to existing wheat. The comparison involves only known knowns. Known components of the existing strain, and a list of known toxins and allergens.

The current protocols for food safety do not involve long term tests in humans or other animals. The current protocols for food safety to not include measures regarding the propensity for cross pollination, hybridisation, genetic stability, impact on soil, toxicity to non-human species, competitiveness, or difficulty to control.

When a GM scientist tells you “this crop is safe”, what they are saying is, “we have checked this crop against a list of known toxins and allergens, so it’s not going to kill people in ways that we have tested for, and we have compared the food parts to existing plant food parts, and it should be as easily metabolised as existing strains.” The scientist making that statement hasn’t determined how easy that plant is to control in the wild. There is no concern for the ability to cross-pollinate and mutate. There is no documentation about what the cut-off point for residuals is: do they stop analysing stuff once the proportions drop below 0.1%? Or 0.01%?

It’s like someone building a nuclear reactor saying, “this reactor can withstand any earthquake we’ve had for the last hundred years, it is safe!”

Ask someone with an egg allergy what concentrations of egg protein are required for them to react. I know one person with an egg allergy who will react to the traces of egg on a frying pan that was used to cook eggs, which has subsequently been washed thoroughly and rinsed, and left to dry for a day.

We already have non-modified organisms that are considered noxious pests: Patterson’s Curse (aka “Riverina Bluebell”) is a classic example. We now have “Roundup Ready” Canola which is going feral due to it’s resistance to herbicides. What interesting features does this GM wheat have that aren’t tested for and can’t be tested for until we’ve seen a feature of the organism which makes a scientist say, “oh, that’s interesting”?

It would also be a good idea to read up on “The Green Revolution” – a company had produced a strain of rice which had twice the yield of “natural” rice strains. But to get that yield it required the heavy use of fertiliser and pesticides. The use of that strain (IR8) produced twice as much rice, certainly, but at the cost of dependence on industrial fertilisers, and the death of the rice-paddy ecosystems. Without the use of fertilisers, IR8 was actually less productive than traditional strains.

Like a nuclear reactor, that strain of rice produced a very desirable output, but the consequences of normal operation were very undesirable.

And like nuclear reactors, it only takes one mistake to really screw things up.

justin heywood 7:36 pm 17 Aug 11

Grail said :

Have you guys actually read Shane’s comments on this matter? Go read them in the City News, p16 August 4-10 2011. He supports the rule of law, suggests that sometimes civil disobedience is justified

Yes, I read ‘Shanes comment’ on the matter, and I found it disingenuous in the extreme.

Destruction of anther person’s property is not ‘civil disobedience’ as I’m sure Rattenbury knows. How would society function if we all felt we could simply tear down whatever we didn’t agree with?

Rattenbury styles himself as an ‘environmental crusader’ as do many of his constituents, which is fine. But when you believe that your views are the only ones that count, when you come to believe that anyone or anything that doesn’t suit your world view can be destroyed, then you are not a crusader, you’re an ignorant, arrogant fanatic.

Grail 4:34 pm 17 Aug 11

Ben_Dover said :

Shane Rattenbury is not just any Member of the Assembly, but the lawmaker tasked with upholding order for the lawmakers themselves. It’s indefensible for any lawmaker to support unlawful behaviour, let alone the Speaker.

I agree. What is the point in having someone in Rattenbury’s position if they do not believe in the need for laws to be observed?

Have you guys actually read Shane’s comments on this matter? Go read them in the City News, p16 August 4-10 2011. He supports the rule of law, suggests that sometimes civil disobedience is justified (e.g.: locking miners out of your farm, sitting on the seats reserved for white people), but that any breach of the law must be prosecuted.

After all, what’s the point of civil disobedience if it’s not calling attention to asinine laws? Where’s the moral stand to be taken by civil disobedience that doesn’t risk something?

As for lawmakers believing in the sanctity of the law, how would laws get changed if the lawmakers didn’t think there was something wrong with them the way they are? It’s not like bills get drafted by magical law fairies, and the lawmakers then have to pass them sight unseen.

If you want Shane’s opinion, ask Shane. Not Michael Moore, and certainly not Zed who can’t seem to say anything original. Zed’s opinion piece seems to be a paraphrasing of Michael Moore’s letter in City News.

zippyzippy 4:18 pm 17 Aug 11

Hey, you left off the part of the media release where Zed says:

“I also condemn my former Liberal colleague, Steve Pratt, for his illegal graffiti action, and also for his promise to chain himself to a bulldozer to stop the data centre. I regret that I was completely silent at the time of these events and that I only developed this outrage when I realised I could aim it at someone in another party.”

Very noble of him.

Mysteryman 1:52 pm 17 Aug 11

Ben_Dover said :

Shane Rattenbury is not just any Member of the Assembly, but the lawmaker tasked with upholding order for the lawmakers themselves. It’s indefensible for any lawmaker to support unlawful behaviour, let alone the Speaker.

I agree. What is the point in having someone in Rattenbury’s position if they do not believe in the need for laws to be observed?

+1.

amarooresident3 1:23 pm 17 Aug 11

After nearly three years of this assembly that is the best they can come up with?

Ben_Dover 12:35 pm 17 Aug 11

Shane Rattenbury is not just any Member of the Assembly, but the lawmaker tasked with upholding order for the lawmakers themselves. It’s indefensible for any lawmaker to support unlawful behaviour, let alone the Speaker.

I agree. What is the point in having someone in Rattenbury’s position if they do not believe in the need for laws to be observed?

colourful sydney rac 11:45 am 17 Aug 11

That is the best the ACT Liberals can do? Smacks of political point scoring, nothing more, nothing less.

johnboy 11:34 am 17 Aug 11

mutley said :

“Anyone would think Shane had committed illegal acts himself.”

I thought he stated that he had taken part in such protests himself?

Not while speaker (that we know of).

mutley 11:31 am 17 Aug 11

“Anyone would think Shane had committed illegal acts himself.”

I thought he stated that he had taken part in such protests himself?

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