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:: Saturday, 4 January 2003 ::

Where is the right on this? Who cares? We do not need another whiner.

All this nanny-statism and big government. Why, tax dollars are being wasted on this 'alert not alarmed' business, according to Tim Dunlop and some of his readers.

What amazes me about this sort of paternalistic, nanny-state-government action is that it is not condemned by those on the right. This whole campaign is a classic example of government coddling, and of them treating us like idiots. As if we don't know that terrorism is a threat. As if we don't know that we should tell someone in authority if we see “something suspicious”. But instead of the outrage that is usually engendered by this sort of government paternalism there is a loyal silence from the full range of rightwing opinion.

Wha'? My elected representative who I elect to, among other things, protect this nation and its occupants as well, and who has access to my tax dollars should not actually use my tax dollars to try to do something about getting the population involved in watching out for terrorism ie to protect this nation and its occupants? Wha'? They should not use the money? They should not do anything at all? Or they should just not advertise? Or call for involvement from all the peoples of Oz? Of course they should do something. And a completely embrasive ad campaign which goes out of its way not to alienate Muslims, but instead treats that community like the Oz community it is, is hardly a bad thing. Dunlop and I will not see eye to eye about this.

The other amazing thing is the claim by Howard and others that this all about community involvement, that, as Howard has said, “everybody has a role”. Funny how conservatives/righties like the PM are happy to encourage this sort of passive, status-quo inducing "participation" but will condemn out of hand any participation that involves criticism of their positions. Thus it is good citizenship to ring up and dob in your Muslim neighbour if you happen to see him/her "looking suspicious" but it is completely unacceptable to question, say, the link between an invasion of Iraq and the quest to control world’s oil supplies.

Constant carping about oil and shit, about how awful Howard is, and all the rest, is often mistaken by the left for 'participation', but in reality it is just a giant waste of breath. Constant carping does not help anyone or anything. Because it fails to morph into an actual suggestion, or maybe a proposed solution for any problems we face. Dunlop acknowledges the terrorism threat. Good man. Dunlop fails to grapple with it, preferring instead to whine about righties. Not helpful.

I am happy with the ad campaign and mail out, and alerts and warnings etc. I do not think the ads and mail are too expensive. I think they are less than a dollar person in the country, and that is okay. We can do the ads and mail as well as other stuff with our tax dollars. That is alright by me. And I approve very much of my elected representatives taking care to include Muslims into the fold and not make them targets. (Some of them have proven quite able to do that on their own.)

I have not seen anything that worries me. But if I did, I would call the hotline. Because life is too short to have it cut shorter, and being snippy and unwilling to give John Howard a break is a lousy reason not to actually participate in fighting terrorism.

A lousy reason.

:: WB 8:44 pm [link+] ::

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