Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

Rudd incites violence

Posted by Dave Bath on 2008-01-11

In an ad on TV last night, the federal government, (the buck stopping with Rudd), incited violence – serious enough to cause death of victims.

Promoting celebrations on Australia Day, the ad depicted a nerdy canvasser berating a citizen for being a couch potato rather than having a BBQ, seeing the fireworks, or "exercising your democratic right to give dead-arms" while punching the citizen in the upper arm.

Dead-arms, like dead-legs, are not light touches, not mere slaps on the back, but hard enough to cause actual damage, typically internal bruising.  Thus, the advertisement encourages what can only be called physical assault.

If the person on the receiving end is a haemophiliac, it cause even cause death.

The new federal ALP government, which promised to control government advertising, has let this through?  Even if the ad was planned by the previous Howard government, its release cannot be excused.

Of course, as argued in the high court by the Commonwealth (see Jesus was a terrorist: Solicitor for Commonwealth of Australia), politically motivated violence is a terrorist act.

I wonder if anyone does strike anyone in the upper arm on Australia Day, or indeed any other day since such violence is our "democratic right", will they be charged with assault, terrorism, or have an excuse to get away with it.

What would the politicians with responsibility for this ad were repeatedly given dead-arms by a large number of people on Australia Day – would they be justified in making a complaint to the police, or would they be considered by the courts to be explicitly "asking for it", the same way a masochist might want to be bound and whipped?

Personally, I think the ad should be withdrawn immediately, with the advertising agency, the broadcaster, the public servants and politicians involved being at least censured, if not investigated.  If this doesn’t happen, others inciting violence to the same degree (and remember, dead-arms can kill under certain circumstances) can argue that they only exhorted, in an ironic or rhetorical manner, punching people in a manner similar to that explicitly considered reasonable, without prompting by a need for self defence, by the government.


4 Responses to “Rudd incites violence”

  1. clubwah said

    I’ll give a dead arm to any bastard who accuses me of not being a true Australian for going out on a stinkin g hot day to share a park of beach with thousands of other people I don;t know and probably hate. I’m sick of all this bullsh*t jingoism that surrounds Australia Day – they might as well have an add that encourages people to drape Australian flags around themselves and go to Cronulla to rough up Muslims.
    That said this ad would be an Australia Day Council initiative and would have went to air whether or not Rudd had been prime minister.

  2. Ben M said


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