The Null Device

Censors, guns and money

Electronic Frontiers Australia, Australia's equivalent of the EFF, are pushing to legalise adult-oriented computer games. Presently, the video-game rating system is written with the assumption that games are for children; it only goes up to MA (i.e., 15 years or over), and thus any games deemed unsuitable for 15-year-olds are illegal. This has resulted in some games being banned outright, and others (including some in the Grand Theft Auto series) being bowdlerised for Australia's tender sensibilities.

Of course, getting such a change of law passed by the social-conservative Tory government (which, after all, is responsible for tightening up the censorship system to its present level of Mary Whitehouse-esque prissiness and banning a fuckload of things Britons and most Americans can see freely) would be a difficult task at any time. And now, it may be even harder, given that a Tory senator's career of swashbuckling high adventure has come to light. If Senator Lightfoot, alleged to have been gallivanting around Iraq with a gun and smuggling money to an oil company, is found to have been a political liability, the government's Senate majority may disappear, and were that to happen, they would be forced to go into coalition with religious-right party Family First, who make them look like, well, liberals (they are the ones demanding a Saudi-style national internet firewall). With that looming on the horizon, it may be prudent for them to bulk up their wowser credentials, and developing a reputation for being open-minded, tolerant or otherwise "soft on filth" would be exactly the wrong thing to do.

There are 3 comments on "Censors, guns and money":

Posted by: Graham Tue Mar 22 14:09:19 2005

The curious thing is that they seem to be bolstering their "good Samaritan" credentials with the Family First wowsers (who actually have a policy against mandatory detention, not that that makes any more liberal overall), with all that stuff about reconsidering the refugee applications of those who have changed religion - to Christianity, funnily enough. So that also ties into your theory.

Posted by: Adam http:// Tue Mar 22 22:39:46 2005

Wow, Australia is going through a tough time of changes. The whole anti-violence/censorship/anti-gun thing in Australia just blows my mind. I always thought Australia was really progressive and modern, but every so often they seem to revert back to the US equivalent of the 1950's.

Heck, that senator sounds like a fun guy to hang around with. However, somebody should tell him that he could do all those things and more in Thailand. ;-)

Posted by: acb Wed Mar 23 11:48:49 2005

What, running around with a gun and smuggling money to oil companies?