One easy way to identify a bad law, other than simply reading it, is to think about what types of conduct might fall foul of it. And it’s fun, too.
First, “inconvenience”. My preliminary list of things that could cause inconvenience to participants at World Youth Day includes being ahead of them in a toilet queue, obscuring their view of the Pope, or maybe just situating your convenience store too far away. Ironically enough, excessive security checks can also be a major source of inconvenience, as the citizens of Sydney may recall from the Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation summit last year.
It’s also inconvenient for participants to have to pay for things, or obey traffic laws or to have to rug up in cold weather. While solutions to the first couple are obvious – hand over your money and no-one gets hurt, and get out of my way as I speed away from the scene – the last is not so easily answered. Perhaps Morris Iemma and John Watkins want us all to walk around with giant heat-lamps making sure that the WYD participants aren’t cold because otherwise, you know, we’d be causing them inconvenience by letting them suffer like the rest of us 🙂
And while there’s some attempt to downplay the laws, with church officials saying that people shouldn’t be told what to wear, that’s exactly what happened to victims of abuse by the church; they’re being abused all over again – this time by the government.
Victims’ groups who met police in Melbourne on Tuesday were told they would not be allowed to protest in 40 designated areas, and that they must apply seven days ahead to hold a demonstration and their banners and T-shirts would be vetted.
Of course, it’s easy for such groups to make a come-back at police and the government:Â “We’re not anti-Catholic. We’re anti-abuse […] Who’s not anti-abuse?” Obviously Morris Iemma.