“DV Leave” Is Demeaning — And Dangerous — Twaddle

NO DEPTH is too low for Labor to plumb — and no pile of bullshit too shameful for it to propagate — as it pursues its grimy, unprincipled quest for votes with dishonest and in this case downright dangerous pronouncements. Its “initiative” of five days’ DV leave in minimum employment conditions is ridiculous, and could harm victims more than it helps. Domestic violence is serious. It must be addressed. But what Labor promises is reprehensible.

I am heartily fed up with what passes for “leadership” where the ALP is concerned, and the tuberculous secretions that party tries to package as “policy;” the depths Labor is prepared to plumb on the watch of its current “leader” are without end as it lies, schemes, and seeks to hoodwink votes from people it clearly believes are too stupid or too gullible to know any better.

Not content with a ridiculous and blatant revenue measure involving taxing cigarettes to the point of costing $40 per packet — which would make nary a difference to the chasm that is the budget deficit Labor left behind when it was thrown from office, nor address the arguably greater issues of problem alcohol abuse and obesity (the latter of which is set to unleash a diabetes epidemic that will put tobacco in the shade by comparison) — the ALP has now hit upon the brilliant idea of enshrining five days of “domestic violence leave” annually in legislated national employment conditions.

Whoever dreamt up this particular piece of insanity ought to be taken out and shot.

But first things first: those readers who are so inclined can read a dreadful contribution to Sydney’s Daily Telegraph, by Labor’s Employment and Workplace Relations spokesman Brendan O’Connor, here.

To say this is anything more than a stunt — and an especially insidious one at that, even when weighed against the ALP’s notoriously debased ethical standards — is something of an understatement.

Giving domestic violence sufferers their very own species of paid leave might sound stylish, but it is exactly the kind of lunacy that could do far more damage than good, up to and including helping to get people killed.

Some people who are victims of domestic violence work in jobs unknown to their partners and/or are fearful of work colleagues finding out what is going on at home. What is Labor going to do — blow their cover in the name of “workers’ rights?” Spare me.

Even if a domestic violence victim feels secure enough and courageous enough to confide in an employer, any bluntly realistic appraisal of typical workplace cultures (and more to the point, some of the people who pop up in those workplaces) is enough to ascertain that as soon as women begin taking designated “domestic violence leave” en masse, word will spread.

It shouldn’t, but it will, and anyone who wants to accuse me of a cynical view of people in making that observation really needs to get their head out of whichever orifice they’ve stuck it in.

What if some of those colleagues of a domestic violence victim — who know the spouse involved but is unaware of any violence taking place — get it into their heads to talk to the allegedly abusive spouse or, even worse, to confront him?

What stylish “policy” will Labor then dredge up to deal with the consequent rash of retaliatory beltings, rapes (or worse) that are doled out by abusive spouses after uninvited visits from do-gooder colleagues?

And who is going to determine what constitutes “domestic violence” for the purposes of legitimate use of the new benefit? The legal minefield this stupid policy could expose employers to is limitless.

Yet those same employers — burdened by Labor governments with red tape and costs, pilloried by the ALP’s union paymasters as the enemy, and targeted by Labor as “the rich” — are nonetheless expected to blithely fall into line with this proposed new regime in spite of the potential for legal action it exposes them to, to say nothing of the potential costs of the rest of their workforces arrogating to themselves an additional week of annual leave every year on the feigned pretext of “domestic violence.”

There are endless, very real and very frightening scenarios that a stupid plan such as this could be directly responsible for bringing to fruition: hardly the intention of the policy, to be sure, but evidence in spades that a grand gesture and glorifying in human suffering — this time, the sufferers of domestic violence — is of far greater importance to the Labor Party than any rational or meaningful assessment of the likely impact of such a measure.

And in any case, there are some telltale signs that this half-arsed brain fart of a policy is little more than a political battering ram.

Labor is asking Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull “in the spirit of bipartisanship” — which, whenever uttered by Labor, means doing whatever it likes unfettered — to support domestic violence and family leave.

But in a more sinister tone, it also says that if Turnbull is “unwilling” to introduce enabling legislation for domestic violence leave, it will do so itself: basically a challenge to the Coalition to have the temerity to fling what Labor claims are the best interests of domestic abuse victims right back in their faces.

Put more simply, it’s a challenge to the Liberals and Nationals to show their colours as the nasty bastards Labor runs around insisting they are with every available breath. Nothing more, nothing less.

It’s the same trap the Coalition fell into under Tony Abbott when in opposition: Julia Gillard said she wouldn’t attempt to legislate the National Disability Insurance Scheme without the Liberals on board, and she didn’t. Facing an electoral belting and safe in the knowledge her party wouldn’t be in office to pick up the tab, Gillard went ahead and did it: and now the Liberals suddenly have $24 billion in recurrent annual outlays to find to fund the NDIS, with a budget marooned in red ink due to Labor’s incompetence in office and its total intransigence where passage of any attempts to fix it through the Senate are concerned.

Nobody should say “ooh, Labor wouldn’t play petty games over something like domestic violence,” for the obscene reason that domestic violence is exactly the kind of issue Labor would play petty games over. It has done it too often in the past to deserve the benefit of the doubt now.

The story O’Connor’s article describes is heinous, and regrettably there are hundreds — probably thousands — more like it.

But what the ALP now proposes, with the attendant risks of blowing the cover of domestic abuse victims who want their privacy protected and/or who don’t want their situations known within their workplaces — for whatever reason, whether Labor deigns to regard those reasons as acceptable or not — could very well unleash all kinds of unforeseen consequences if ever legislated, up to and including getting “Claire” and others like her killed.

Domestic violence is a serious issue. It has caused a huge number of people — predominantly women — untold pain, suffering and loss. It has cost lives. And it is, to be sure, a national embarrassment.

But Labor’s policy is no solution, and deserves condemnation from anyone associated with the domestic violence community in the strongest terms imaginable. Had any serious thought gone into this initiative beyond the temptation to try to score points against the Liberals, the “policy” would never have emerged in the first place.

The victims of domestic violence deserve better. Labor ought to be ashamed of itself. But, as ever, it won’t be.