State Government In Australia Seeks To Issue $12k Fines If You Insult Its Gaming Minister Michael O'Brien

from the please-don't-be-insulted-by-this-article dept

Pickle Monger alerts us to an effort in Victoria, Australia, by the current government to pass a law that could lead to fines up to $11,945 if you dare to insult gaming minister Michael O'Brien. The law claims that it is "reasonably necessary to respect the rights and reputation of the minister and authorised persons" which includes a ban on any attempt to "assault, obstruct, hinder, threaten, abuse, insult or intimidate" gaming minister Michael O'Brien. His political opponents are using the opportunity (before the bill passes, only, of course!) to mock O'Brien and the bill. But, his office is actually trying to defend the bill:
Asked why the new "offence" law was necessary and what its intention was, a spokeswoman for Mr O'Brien, Emily Broadbent, tried to deflect attention away from the minister, despite his title being clearly attached to the legislation.

"This provision protects officers of the gambling regulator from bullying or intimidation when exercising powers at the direction of the Minister for Gaming," she said.

"The minister can look after himself, but does not believe that those working on his behalf should have to put up with harassment."


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 7:37am

    LOL! That is all.

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 1:45pm

      Re:

      Hey Minister Head up yer Ass:
      You are the ugliest looking human being I have ever seen.
      Now go and fine me.I am poor and unemployed.Guess you will now have me put in Jail with a sentence of hard labor since I can not afford to pay you off.

      Yours Truly,
      A.J.Off

       

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    identicon
    Pixelation, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 7:40am

    Behavior

    "The minister can look after himself, but does not believe that those working on his behalf should have to put up with harassment."
    What are they up to that they automatically assume people will ridicule them? Perhaps they should change their behavior.

     

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    AJ (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 7:42am

    "This provision protects officers of the gambling regulator from bullying or intimidation when exercising powers at the direction of the Minister for Gaming," she said."

    A law that protects officers from bullying/intimidation/harassment? Someone needs their man card pulled!

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 7:43am

    In Thailand, lèse majesté only applies to the head of state.

     

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    Anonymous Poster, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    What a pussy.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 7:45am

    So where will people be posting pics of this guy with a dummy (binkie) and baby's kerchief cap? Cause seldom have I seen someone make Radar O'Riely look macho like this guy does.

     

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    WysiWyg (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 7:56am

    Legal?

    Wait, what? Are you saying it's legal to assault a "gaming officer"? Yowsa.

     

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      MAC, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 12:57pm

      Re: Legal?

      They already have laws on the books to deal with these things...

      It appears that the Gaming Minister wants additional protection for some reason.

      We here in the USA have a storied history of making fun of, poking fun at and generally being disagreeable with politicians.
      Assault is assault, let the police and judges deal with that one.

       

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      Blatant Coward (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 2:27pm

      Re: Legal?

      No we are saying we will mock him, and you. Are you him? If so we shall taunt you a second time as well!

      Just not right now, the paint drying is getting exciting.

       

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    Lord Binky, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 8:07am

    I think this is a fair law to introduce, I know I don't want to be bullied or intimidated. And if rudely not holding a door open for me is an insult and therefore illegal, that sounds like the law is working as stated. Clearly I would not be the one intimidated or bullied in that situation.

     

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    Jimmy the Geek (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 8:15am

    That's just what I hear.

    I hear Michael O'Brien does it with Pokemon.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 8:50am

      Re: That's just what I hear.

      I heard he likes Mudkips.

       

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        The Devil's Coachman (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 5:44pm

        Re: Re: That's just what I hear.

        Rumor has it he is fond of certain farm animals, and I believe I heard that sheep were the preferred type. The younger ones seem to be the most frequently chosen, or so I have heard.

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 8:19am

    Instead of worrying about insults and intimidiation, maybe they should be more concerned about bribes and kickbacks.

     

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    Rattran, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 8:24am

    The Gov't can't take time to worry about corruption when there's important legislation about preserving the dignity of a Minister to consider.

     

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    MrWilson, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 8:31am

    And what if one of the gaming minister's staff feels intimidated or harassed by this law? Can a law break itself?

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 8:57am

    How appropriate, paper-skinned men using paper to shield their delicate selves. Natural predators include termites and common sense.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 9:02am

    Next thing you know, it will be punishable by death.

    No dissent you serfs! You MUST obey his lordship, you must do it with a happy face.

     

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    Overcast (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 9:02am

    But I must add... if there's nothing for him to hide; why would this matter?

     

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    Thomas (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 9:08am

    Politicians...

    here would absolutely love such a law! No more snarky remarks by anyone, no criticism by the bloggers. It would be so great for them! A great way to silence opposition. They could argue that even criticism is an insult so you would get fined. The agencies like the FCC, FDA, DOJ, TSA would love it as well.

    Wonder if it would make it through challenge at the SOTUS? Maybe the Supremes aren't that corrupt (yet).

     

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      Someantimalwareguy (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 9:44am

      Re: Politicians...

      here would absolutely love such a law! No more snarky remarks by anyone, no criticism by the bloggers. It would be so great for them! A great way to silence opposition....
      No, they would hate it as they would not be able to go after their opponents with attack ads. further, the MSM would balk at this as they would not be able to use twitter and FB commentary as "real news".

      Next, being naturally ornery, Americans, who would never even consider being confrontational or "off color", would participate in open ridicule of anyone trying to get such a law passed as they so richly deserve...

      In the words of a great Internet meme: Good luck with that! LOL

       

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    ethorad (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 9:36am

    Useful law

    Because currently in Australian law there's no way to punish people who assault, obstruct, hinder, threaten, abuse, insult or intimidate others.

    Not sure why the much needed law to protect citizens currently only applies to O'Brien and his department. Presumably this is a trial period before it is rolled out along with similar laws to prevent theft, fraud, bribes, arson, drug dealing, blowing things up, and selling adult computer games.

    I'm glad Australia is finally stepping back from pure anarchy and joining the civilised world.

    Welcome, Aussies!

     

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      PrometheeFeu (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 10:04am

      Re: Useful law

      No, the laws against bribes were rolled back after it was found this unnecessarily impeded government officials from making money.

       

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    mike allen (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 9:52am

    what a wuss and ugly one too
    perhaps i may get fined from the country down under.

     

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    PrometheeFeu (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 10:01am

    I think such a law is necessary. The shithead should be respected.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 10:44am

    Is this per person or per offense? Because there's a finite quantity of wealth in this world...

     

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    ScytheNoire, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 11:01am

    Insult Away!

    Let the insulting begin and good luck fining the non-Australians.

    Australian Gaming Minister Michael O'Brien is a moron who is nothing more than a corporate shill.

     

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    Kurata, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 11:09am

    And here I thought insulting people was not allowed to begin with.

     

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    MAC, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 1:04pm

    Stupid, stupid little brains...

    They all have:
    'Stupid! Stupid little brains!'

    from Plan 9 from Outer Space (the first 8 failed)...

     

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    TheBigH (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 1:14pm

    Australia already has laws in place to deal with assault and threats, and ones which deal with obstruction of officials in their duties. But insults? No public figure is, or should be, immune from criticism or ridicule.

    Michael O'Brien is a precious, wall-eyed little git.

     

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    John Fenderson (profile), Oct 24th, 2011 @ 3:49pm

    Disappointed

    I was really looking forward to reading how the non-parody trolls would defend this. I'm so disappointed that there aren't any. Yet.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 6:30pm

    Parliamentary Privilege

    Anybody know if parliamentary privilege would still trump this law? If politicians can't insult the hell out of each other in parliament anymore things sure would be different... Don't know how they would get anything done anymore if they were fined so much every time they open their mouth.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2011 @ 11:03pm

    So with this new law it would be legal to insult (but not spit on) the Premier of Vic whoever he is (case law from Jeff Kennetts time), but not on the Gaming Minister???

    Yes, I am an Aussie who lives in Vic and I agree, he is a Pussy.

    (AC because well...)

     

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