The Null Device

Father knows best

Tony Abbott's bold campaign of restoring 1950s-style paternal authority to Australian society through legislation has suffered a setback with the withdrawal of a bill giving parents access to their teenaged childrens' medical records, overriding doctor-patient confidentiality. The bill suffered a blow after a Tory backbencher, a former doctor, threatened to cross the floor over it. Dr. Mal Washer asserts that the bill would cause vulnerable teenagers in troubled domestic situations to avoid medical help and thus falling through the cracks, and recounted an incident of a teenaged girl who committed suicide because help was not available.

The values of the Howard government embody an authoritarian, paternalistic strain of Australianness, much like those embodied by numerous outback patriarchs in films from The Cars That Ate Paris to Welcome To Woop Woop. Ostensibly laid back, relaxed and comfortable, and if you're in the majority, you'll have it easy. However, if you don't fit in with the Herald-Sun-reading majority, you'll find things getting difficult for you. The sooner you get the message and learn to conform, the easier you'll make it on yourself. But it's for your own good; after all, father knows best, and a country, like a family, is best ruled with a firm hand. Or, as the convict saying goes, cop it sweet.

There are 2 comments on "Father knows best":

Posted by: Richard Tue Jun 15 23:15:40 2004

Ding dong another stupid Bill is dead.

Posted by: dj Wed Jun 16 00:36:07 2004

i expect we can expect to see a eugenics program soon? after all, we've already got Costello almost promising medals for mothers.

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