Friday, August 21, 2015

Dangerous bullshit

That's the only way to describe National's attempt to distort health and safety laws to pander to their cronies:

The Government's health and safety reforms have taken a farcical turn, with mini-golf and worm farms included in the high-risk categories but not cattle or sheep farms.

Workplace Relations Minister Michael Woodhouse released a draft list of industries deemed high-risk and which would require health and safety representatives at workplaces.

The high-risk category covers "other livestock farming", so cat breeding, rabbit breeding, worm farming and alpaca farming are all designated high risk, as are arrowroot, bamboo, flax seed, ginger and lavender growing.

However, beef and dairy farming are absent from that list.

Farming, which is almost entirely sheep, beef, and dairy, has killed 108 people over the last five years, including 12 so far this year. But apparently that's not a high-enough body count for National. So farms where people die get exempted from the law, while others are covered. Its such naked cronyism towards their donors and supporters that not even National can pretend to have a principled reason for it.

A "health and safety law" which fails to protect people in some of our most dangerous workplaces is not worthy of the name. Like the IPCA, its a scam, an exercise in political dishonesty designed to create the illusion of safety while providing no such thing. But the consequence of that dishonesty is that people will die needlessly. And the people who vote for that? They're nothing less than murderers, who should be held to account.