Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has officially banned sex between cabinet ministers and staff, having changed the ministerial code of conduct. The provision targets all the ministers, no matter if they are married or single.
Introducing his decision, he denounced the affair of his deputy PM Barnaby Joyce’s with his former staffer Vikki Campion, which prompted the move, calling it a "shocking error of judgment."
The scandal burst out a week ago, as the media reported, the Leader of the National Party Barnaby Joyce, a Catholic and a family man who made a name for himself rooting for “family values,” had impregnated his former media advisor. He also reportedly kept silence about their relations when the woman got two highly-paid government positions. The news came hot on the heels of speculations that Joyce had accepted, rent-free a townhouse from his wealthy friend, after asking him for this favor, despite it being clearly prohibited by the ministerial code of conduct.
The decision prompted heated discussions online, with the hashtag #bonkban trending on Twitter.
Some questioned the practical aspects, asking who’s going to be sex police in this case…
So he will personally police this policy!?— Linda Saul (@Goodixlady) 15 февраля 2018 г.
Wondering how he is going to police a Sex Ban? Sex Police with Special burst in the room Powers?— ☠☠☠Deb☠☠☠ (@FallenAngel_Deb) 15 февраля 2018 г.
The timing also seemed perfect.
Public Service Announcement: You have until the end of the day to break up with your politician boss. Just a day after Valentine's too. #bonkban— Jen Dudley-Nicholson (@jendudley) 15 февраля 2018 г.
Some aspects are not regulated yet, as the commentators point out.
Others are puzzled that such a rule is needed.
How disgusting that they need a rule for this. How about rules for decency and humanity and respect. Does it all have to be in the rule book in order to punish the ones who don’t comply? I’m embarrassed appalled and revolted by all of them.— Tina (@itstina_sydney) 15 февраля 2018 г.
Many users are furious about the fact that the PM addresses only this matter instead of tackling real problems.
prohibition is the most dopey and ineffective of all public policies. this is not about private #sex lives; it's about public probity. the ban is a silly smokescreen #auspol #sex @TurnbullMalcolm @Barnaby_Joyce #ethics #politics— Michael Short (@shortmsgs) 15 февраля 2018 г.
Sex in the office hasn't just bothered Australians this February. Earlier this month the US House of Representatives passed a sex ban for their members andstaff.