1 Jul. 2008

World Youth Day legislation

It will be made illegal to 'annoy' World Youth Day pilgrims, on the pain of arrest and $5,500 fines.

This is an extraordinary bias towards the rights of pilgrims at the expense of the rights of ordinary people, towards visiting outsiders at the expense of locals.

The NSW government is engaged in a wholesale sponsorship of World Youth Day that I think may be understood by reference to 3 factors:

1. (Maybe) Catholics are perceived to be an important electoral constituency

2. (Maybe) Catholics have serious weight within the NSW ALP, particularly the Right

3. (Definitely) the NSW government is dominated by and headed by a Catholic.

It's both emblematic of and the apogee of the blurring of church and state in NSW.