As the world knows now, Clementine Ford has (conditionally) apologised for her sidesplitter “Honestly, corona virus isn’t killing men fast enough” and the Melbourne City Council is letting her keep her mitts on their thousands. But where’s the apology for her TikTok video mocking workplace deaths and injuries?
“Well, I guess it’s time now to head out to my important and dangerous job,” Ford begins, made up as a parody of a blue-collar worker. “The job that I have that’s important and dangerous because I’m a man.”
As Corrine Barraclough observed in these pages on Sunday, “Men account for 95 per cent of workplace deaths. And that’s funny?” Ford’s coronavirus gag was stupid. This is callous. It requires an apology; much more than her other “joke”.
Ford has won support from a strange source, the Labor Member for the state seat of Footscray, Katie Hall.
Worker safety was a key raison d’être for the union movement and the ALP. Indeed, the government that Hall is part of passed strict new industrial manslaughter laws last year. Under the changes, employers who cause a workplace death face fines of up to $16.5 million and individuals up to 20 years in jail.
So what part of Ford’s laughing at workplace deaths and injuries does Hall find “important”? What part might be “important” to her colleagues? Why isn’t Hall — and other Labor parliamentarians, let alone the union movement — demanding an apology for Ford’s cruel mockery of one of their key constituencies? It should certainly be forthcoming.
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