An act of indecency

An act of indecency is something a right-minded person would consider to be contrary to community standards of decency or, to put it another way, something that offends against the currently accepted standards of decency or contrary to ordinary standards of the morality of a respectable person. These are definitions from various court cases or common law. So (almost) anyone on the street should be able tell you if something is indecent.


Australian law prohibits the commission of acts of indecency and a person committing an act of indecency can be even sent to jail. Examples of this is when somebody exposes their genitalia on the train to others or sends a naked photograph to someone else. Although these are not the most serious offences we certainly do not want to be a victims of them. But seemingly unconsciously we are victims of acts of indecency every day and those guilty of it go unpunished.

The Forbes magazine published a list of the 50 richest persons in Australia. The first 15 of those have a combined wealth of over US$56,000,000,000: Gina Rinehart has US$17.7 bn, Harry Triguboff has US$5.6 bn, Frank Lowy has US$5 bn and James Packer has US$4.7 bn. In comparison the minimum wage set by the Australian government is $16.87 per hour or $640.9 per week before tax. That means that earners of minimum wage would have to work 693,538,826 hours or 18,255,578 weeks or 351,068 years to earn as much as Rinehart has, who inherited it from her father. But I feel sorry for her, she looks quite sick, overweight and old for her age and above all lonely. Maybe it is what happens if you worry too much. Not about what, if any, will you eat tomorrow, but whether the community would finally charge her with the offence of act of indecency.

She of course would not like that. She invested significant amounts of money in various media outlets, including the Ten Network as well as Fairfax Media. Maybe it was also to promote her ideas of further tax cuts to her and her billionaire buddies and pays to workers matching the African standards of $2/day. This was slammed by Wayne Swan, the then Treasurer, as “an insult to millions of Australian workers” and it would have sounded a whole lot nicer if those in power would do more for the workers, for example taxing Rinehart and the likes, redistributing their wealth to the people who live in parking lots, under bridges or even to the refugees who, contrary to popular belief do not place a burden on our welfare system unlike Rinehart, Packer, Lowy and the other inhumanely rich.

The Australian Tax Office, which fired 3000 workers and offered the rest 0.8 % pay rise in return for 2 % more work, is powerless to deal with the rich who can buy lawmakers and heavily influence the work of the law enforcers such as the ATO. Until there is a new legal framework stopping tax dodging; money laundering through off shore branches, as used by Apple, Microsoft, Google, HP, Facebook and Twitter in tax havens such as Ireland; there will be no social justice. Again this may be legal at the moment, but certainly immoral, unethical and indecent to pay less than 10ยข in the dollar in corporate tax,

But let us consider how these persons suffer. Yes, the rich do suffer, although it is self-inflicted. They build their ivory towers with big walls and guarding it with private security so they do not have to look into our eyes. Imagine how scary would it be for them to meet us on the streets and maybe even talk to us and answer our questions. They go to exclusive private schools so they do not have to see poor kids either. They marry their own kind, just like the inbred “monarchs” on a far away island in the north, to keep the power and wealth under tight control. They make themselves believe they are doing their fair share for the community by throwing a few dollars onto some charity.

Should we try to embrace them and explain them what life is all about? Should we give them time to realise their mistakes and allow them to mend their ways? Or should we build a new system which completely disregards their “wealth”???