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Saturday, 21 April 2012

The Pussification of Australia

Dear Australia,

I miss you.

When I was a young lad I dreamt of visiting Australia. Not only was Oz this amazing and beautiful country, but the people didn't take shit from anyone.  Crocodile Dundee, Mad Max, and a few years later as an adult there was Farscape... Here was this little big island that could do anything.  Quirky, honest, proud, fair, hard-working...  Yes, I realise it is a romanticised vision. But you guys seriously fucking rocked in no small measure.  Everyone wanted to be an Aussie. I did. I practised my Australian accent for years.

Six or seven years ago I finally got to realise my dream.  I went to Australia and spent two weeks there.  Sydney.  What a beautiful city.  Just wow, guys.  The people were lovely; even that French guy hanging out at a beach-side restaurant taking the piss out of the English was charming. "Ah, the English," he said, with a sly wink.  "They arrive at 8 a.m., on the beach by 11, and by one o'clock I can light my cigarette off them."  I honestly fell in love with Australia, and at the time I really wanted to live there.  I just really connected with Oz in a way that I hadn't with any other country.  Well, I didn't move there for a variety of reasons, but now things have changed and I can't honestly envision even visiting Australia again.

So what happened?  Well, it seems to me that the proud people may have been beaten senseless by the horrific and tyrannical nanny state.  Australia's current government is... how shall we say ... er ... evil.  These do-gooder nanny busybodies are ruining everything that made Australia one of the best places on this fantastic planet.  But I thought, well, that's politicians for you; it's their job to be evil.  I bet the people don't really want to be babied.  Do Australians really want to be nannied?  I don't know, but I found it hard to believe that they did.  You can imagine how crestfallen I was when less than a year ago I read an article in the National Times that had a poll that said Australians wanted a nanny state.  Really?  This could not be.  I mean, what sort of people read the National Times?  I have no idea.  But look at the poll results of a mere 1620 participants who said they wanted to be told how to live their lives:

My heart was broken, definitely.  Sure, it's only 1620 respondents, but still... where was that Australian independence and spirit?  Aren't you guys supposed to tell the nannies to fuck off?

I read that article in July 2011.  I bookmarked it and I read it every now and then as a reminder of how people with good intentions can be really fucking hateful and evil.  It's a fair piece, with two anti-nanny views and two pro-nanny views.  You should read it.  Before you do, it should come as no surprise that the Root of All Evil wrote a brief opinion for this article.  And to be honest, I had completely forgotten that he had.  I will excerpt his piece here, and it helps explain everything you need to know about this hateful fucking nanny tyrant:

While you were sleeping last night the nanny state silently protected you, your family and your neighbours with mandatory smoke alarms and building, electrical and plumbing standards. The food you eat today will be highly unlikely to poison you, your children won't chew lead-painted toys, your car won't belch leaded smoke and lower the IQs of those most exposed, you won't be forced to smoke in your workplace on Monday and the state will guarantee that professionals and tradespeople you engage meet certain standards of competence - with remedies when this fails.

All this has been brought to you by armies of faceless, thankless researchers, bureaucrats, single-issue advocates and interfering politicians, many of whose names you will never know. But somewhere today, a chorus of hate-filled, self-righteous indignation will surface about the inexorable rise of the nanny state.
Political conservatives love recommending more education as a salve for every health problem. The argument goes: I haven't got the problem because I pulled up my own socks, weighed the risks and took responsibility. That's what everyone should do. The unspoken subtext here is a social Darwinism that basically says: those who are too stupid to act in their own interests deserve what's coming to them. So the child who has grown up thinking it's normal to drink litres of soft drink each week has herself to blame for her obesity?

And just what are these heinous erosions of freedom that ''nanny'' has destroyed? The freedom to not wear a seat belt? The freedom to have your cocktail of carcinogens packed in attractive boxes? The freedom to endanger others behind a car wheel with a lead foot or a skinful?

We began banning tobacco advertising in 1976 - 35 years ago. For no other products is there a call for a total ad ban.

Occasionally, those who know how efficient regulation is get carried away with paternalist zeal. They want to restrict people when they are only harming themselves - like banning smoking in parks. A healthy dialogue within public health keeps most of this in check. We have never lived longer or been healthier, thanks largely to nanny.

Simon Chapman is professor of public health at Sydney University. 

Did you notice the ease at which he shuns personal responsibility for a controlling all-powerful nanny state?  How he tries to make you feel guilty for making your decisions rather than letter the state do it for you. Notice how he says people are stupid by trying to assert their own free will, which he calls social Darwinism. Notice the inapt and incorrect comparisons to driving a car to cigarettes to wearing a seatbelt.  Is this the world you want to live in?  Chapman's ideal fucking world?  Or do you want to live in world where you do get to make bad choices from time to time, learn from them, be a better person for them, and then teach your children what you've learnt?  I'm going for the latter. Nannies be fucking damned.

I really don't know what happened to Australia. Maybe this fuckwit Chapman, his bedbug buddy Daube, and that hideous slag of a beast Nicola Roxon along with a host of other nannies have contributed to the decline of a once great, proud, rugged Australia that I loved -- that we all loved, that we all miss.  They've pussified Oz into a little big island of bleating sheep waiting to suckle on the government's nanny teat for nourishment and advice.  That's not the Australia I dreamt of.  That's not the Australia we loved.

Australia, I miss you.  Please come back, and I will come to you again. I promise.