I often add postscripts to the end of posts to provide updates. Tonight I thought that I should put the recent lot into a single post.
In Bill Henson, art and child pornography I made a brief comment on the controversy currently obsessing Sydney, whether Henson's photos of young children should be classified as child pornography.
Coming home from work I had no choice but to listen to another round. John Watkins, the NSW Deputy Premier, commented that Australians had become more socially conservative over the last twenty years. I am sure that this is true.
I find the current debate confusing. I remember the sexual drives, tensions and conflicts of my teen and early adult years too well to be too censorious on sexual issues. My problem is that the discussion combines so many issues as to be a total mess and also appears to hark back to a Victorian age that I thought was long and rightfully gone.
The only positive that I can see from my viewpoint is that the issue has again awakened my interest in looking at social history to delineate some of the major changes. I suppose that that's a plus.
As I write, NineMSN is running an on-line poll on the question should L-Platers have to do 120 driving hours before obtaining a driver's license.
I took looked at this in Saturday Morning Musings - the burden of compliance. I suggested that, from a practical viewpoint, this was poorly judged and socially discriminatory. That remains my view. However, I note the figures on the NineMSN poll are running at 23,481 in favour of 120 hours, 8,982 against. So I am very clearly in a minority.
In a comment on the burdens of compliance post, Kangaroo Valley David referred, among others, to the Opes Prime case. He said in the context of compliance and rules: So, if not abolished then at the least ignored, and at morally worst, subverted.
David makes a fair point, and Opes Prime does bring out some of the conflicts.
The failure of the ANZ Bank to declare a substantial interest in certain companies appears to have been treated as a technical breach. However, to my mind, this misses the point.
The purpose of the disclosure rules is to ensure an informed market. Had ANZ in fact declared a substantial interest, then clients of Opes Prime might have realised that the shares that they thought were theirs in fact belonged to the ANZ. I am not a lawyer. However, I would have thought that non-disclosure in these instances was more than a mere technical breach.
I am not opposed to regulation per se. However, creation of a legal and regulatory environment that breeds selective disregard of, or at least movement around, the law creates problems.
At the big end of town, there are legions of high paid specialists to help companies and wealthy individuals. Every so often the really greedy or sometimes just the unlucky are lopped off.
At the opposite end of the spectrum are the parents and kids who will work round what are in fact unworkable driving regulations by falsifying log books. Again, at least some of the gross cases will get caught.
Just as the Opes Prime case has led to moves to tighten corporate regulation, so the NSW Government will be forced to work out new ways of combating these breaches of the law. I am not quite sure how they might do this. Perhaps create a new compliance division within the NSW Roads and Traffic Authority?
And so the process continues.