Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese has just announced that a Federal Labor government would end the Coalition’s program of forced handshakes.
Reacting to Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s “Bringing Disaster to Disaster” tour of fire-affected areas, and the PM’s insistence on grabbing hands to shake when his offer of consensual physical contact was declined, Mr Albanese said: ‘No handshake, no fistbump, no high five will be forced upon the people of this great country.”
“Within the first hundred days of a Labor government, we will legislate that the only legal unwanted hand-to-hand contact will be if one of the people involved is under arrest.’
The reaction has been swift. Hillsong founder Brian Houston has demanded that the right to ‘bestow one’s holy touch’ be enshrined in upcoming religious freedom legislation, while an IPA spokesperson has insisted that the powerful be allowed and able to grab the less powerful by whatever is in arm’s reach.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton’s office has denied rumours that his supporters have stopped doing the numbers for a potential leadership challenge while they locate someone willing to let him touch them in public.