Qantas CEO Alan Joyce has had a taste of his own medicine. Forever a boss ramming social activism at shareholders’ expense down the throats of passengers and staff, China is demanding that the airline remove “Taiwan” off its maps and the airline is likely to comply. True colours. While happy to pontificate to others, Joyce falls into line when real dictators bark orders. So much for the social justice of Taiwanese clientele. Sold down the river without a fight.
Why didn’t Qantas engage the Dept of Foreign Affairs to officially complain about such a ridiculous request? Even if it is odds on that Foreign Minister Julie Bishop would chicken out of such an opportunity, it is a precursor at how China is happy to bully its neighbors around even on trivial things such as in-flight magazines. Then again why wouldn’t the Chinese do this if they know how quickly and easy they can get compliance?
Tyrannies don’t do diplomacy. And too many democracies don’t defend it.
Ahhh. Where have we seen this before? 2016 US election? Brexit? Yes. It’s the name and shame game. Make people feel that failure to vote “yes” in the same sex marriage (SSM) plebiscite makes Australia as backward as predominantly Muslim countries (which ironically are the same countries the liberal left will scream unwavering support if any criticism is thrown at them, despite their stance against homosexuality), a few former communist states and Thailand. The irony of SSM is the campaigning and advertising is probably the worst spent money ever. How?
If I asked all the Aussie people who adorned their page with “I’m voting yes” I’m guessing 99% had already made up their mind and nothing would change it. So any “No” campaigns should have slid like water off a duck’s back. The same goes for those in the no camp. 99% have probably made their mind up and no amount of “Yes” campaigning will change that. Posting memes which aim to shame people has the opposite effect by further cementing their “No” vote.
I’m not confident this plebiscite will pass. No amount of tears from Senator Pratt, $1m from Alan Joyce, rainbow banners forcibly added on my blog draft page or friends telling people they have a moral obligation to vote Yes will have any effect. Why the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) is charged with handling the plebiscite and not the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) is beyond me .
Going a step further, we see that the ABS has sent multiple ballots to some addresses because of outdated information of former tenants, rogue postmen have threatened to use torches to throw out “No” votes they find and a government that introduced emergency laws to ban free speech on SSM. Personally I think the plebiscite fails but the more concerning thing about the SSM debate has been the attack on free speech. How?
Anyone that would seek to tamper with an official vote (mail tampering is an offence), vote multiple times or seek to get people who are in the “No” camp deregistered from the medical profession or think government leaders using tax payers to support the “Yes” cause only to influence an outcome indeed would place Australia in the right column which contain countries that in many cases don’t believe in democracy. Having emergency laws on free speech to curtail it in a way that would only punish the “no” side tells us all we need to know. A gay journalist can happily tweet he’d “hate f*ck the homophobia out of conservative politicians” and that is passed as a racy joke but if conservatives said they’d “hate f*ck the homosexuality out of a gay progressive politician” they’d be hounded into the courts.
Indeed Australia is rightly positioned in the above column. Just the heading of the study should be “rights to free speech” not “equal marriage rights”
I don’t care much for corporate politics. There is no place for Starbucks to pour its identity politics inside my bitter brew much less Qantas’ CEO Alan Joyce use the airline to support gay marriage. As far as I am concerned tennis star Margaret Court has no need to publicize she won’t fly Qantas for this either. She could just make a conscious personal decision on her next holiday to fly Singapore or Virgin. Simple. No need to tell anyone else.
Virtue signaling on either side is irrelevant. People can make (and have made their) minds up already on gay marriage and any other political stance. It isn’t up to Alan Joyce or Margaret Court to use the “airline” as a tennis match.
Let Qantas live on the quality of its service, destinations and prices rather than its views on political matters. What next shareholders funds will be used to spray Qantas aircraft in rainbow livery or a pink tail? Every video on inflight entertainment will have a mandatory 15 minute lecture on gay marriage?
My only question is why has Mrs Court decided to voice her opinion on Qantas now? Joyce has been vocal for quite some time on the matter.
Perhaps John McEnroe puts it best for both players “you can NOT be serious!”