The Rudd government is forcing it's ministerial staff to answer an invasive questionnaire detailing extremely personal & private details. Questions about sexual preference, previous sexual partners and drug use are required to be answered to gain security clearance to work in certain areas of the government. More than 300 ministerial and electorate staffers have been told the security form is designed to protect them from blackmail. yes, blackmail.
The reported information required of the ministerial staff:
-Have they had a homosexual experience
-Whether they have cheated on their spouse
-Give details about sexual habits
-Details of their illegal drug use
This includes names and dates.
There are so many arguments against this type of questioning that I am surprised it was even suggested. Is blackmail such a priority and if so, when did it become an issue? Do we have a problem with blackmail that we don't know about? Incredibly, this information is only useful for blackmail because of current government policies and attitude that deem these issues as something shameful or morally wrong. It's this practice that allow normal human behaviour to become a weapon.
Civilisation naturally progresses towards a more tolerant and diverse society but is occasionally hindered by the usual religious and conservative forces that need to proselytise their own standards and morals. With religion now becoming something our leaders are happy to endorse, the religious right, ultra conservatives and homophiles etc. get more say in how the government promote acceptable social standards.
The recent influence of the religious right has alienated families that don't fit in with preferred family model of Man, woman and children. Same sex couples, unmarried couples or single parent families are now seen as a target of the MSM, moralists and according to the government, blackmailers. Promiscuous behaviour from the past is also fair game and your private bedroom activities are no longer between you and your partner(s). Recreational drug use whether current or in the past is no longer harmless and only senior ministers or state leaders can admit to that crime.
The obvious question is who manages this information and how safe is it? Would you want bureaucrats in charge of your most private details? It just expands what information can be blackmailed. It also sets up the individual for scrutiny for the rest of their lives. I am sure the AFP would push for this list to be available for their use, as would ASIO, The ATO, various Royal Commissions and god knows who else.
For some reason I can't see senior government workers disclosing the information targeted by this move. Imagine being faced with the question about whether you have ever used illegal drugs? What if 10 years prior you had used speed several times over a 3 month period or you had done what a million other Australians had done and popped a ecstasy pill? It would be very easy to just ignore it as opposed to be on some database as a amphetamine abuser. It will undoubtedly raise the issue of what is deemed as drug abuse and if that person is capable or trusted enough to do the job they have been doing successfully for the last 10 years. I won't even get into marijuana use for the number of dope smokers being employed in these positions is going to be high.
The whole point is that these issues are just not that critical to most of the public and are only seen as inappropriate because the government says so. If the government left society alone to balance their own morality then most wouldn't give a toss about sexual preference or recreational drug use. The issues of one's own private affairs like whether they cheat on their spouses or their sexual habits will most likely never be admitted to on a disclosure form anyway so it only forces trusted staff members to lie. Then it becomes a trust issue and there's no doubt it could be used later in their professional life.