Australia is turning into a nanny state. Draconian rules from an incompetent government. A government that is failing to address important matters whilst diverting resources and attention to unnecessary agendas like those related to cigarette smoking. What will be the next freedom to be taken away from us? How much more will the economy, health services, the defence force and a myriad of other issues suffer at the hands of these petty law makers? Do these law changes even have a mandate? It there a majority within the commuity who are passionate about these changes or is it only a few extremist minority groups? Is this simply a crusade to feed the egos of politicians who wish to be perceived as visionary leaders?
Let’s fight together against this oppressive regime. Join me in taking up smoking. Blow smoke in the face of our incompetent government whilst celebrating our freedom of being able to choose to take a risk if we decide we want to. Smoke a cigarette in protest against the nanny state our great country is becoming. It’s not too late to stem this tidal wave of oppression.
Maybe one day we can live in a world where we are free to decide how we live our lives. A world where people are held accountable for their actions. Where justice is served to those who do wrong. Where people can’t make excuses and blame others. Where people can’t engage in litigation against others for their own mistakes.
With our powers combined we can make a difference. So grab yourself some cigarettes, share them with your friends and family, and help make Australia a better place.
read more on the philosophy page
Disclaimer: Smoking is bad for you. Do not smoke. However you should wear sunscreen.
If drugs were legal Henry Kwan would still be alive. The teenager took drugs expecting it to heighten his focus to help study for exams. Instead he had a psychotic episode and leaped to his death.
This tragedy is not caused by any inherent property related to drugs. It’s a consequence of banning drugs. This is what happens when drugs are illegal. Rather than getting a measured dose of exactly what you asked for prepared in a professional commercial lab, you play roulette with something of unknown composition and quality manufactured in a backyard lab.
Pushing drugs underground makes them dangerous and the result is often death. This effect is not unique to drugs. Drugs are not special in this regard. Ban anything and you’d get the same result. Ban cars and they would no longer be manufactured under strict safety and quality standards. Airbags and ABS wouldn’t exist because that technology is beyond what’s capable when manufacturing a car in a backyard. Wheels would fall of because they haven’t been designed correctly. Training to safely operate the car would not exist without government endorsement. Education on risks and how to mitigate them would similarly not exist.
Not only does banning drugs kill people, but it’s inconsistent with other laws. People are treated differently depending on what their recreational drug of choice is. Alcohol, caffeine and nicotine are legal but why are other drugs illegal? Because politicians and “family” associations enjoy the legal drugs but not the others? Is that a good way to decide law?
Actually drugs are no different to any other risk taking activity. Whether it be driving a car, eating unhealthy food or playing a physical contact sport. Safety is garnered through education, training, risk assessment processes, safe systems of operation and safety in design. All these methods of staying safe are lost when an activity is made illegal. Drugs are not special. Risks associated with drugs can be controlled with the same techniques used to control any risk. It is the law that make drugs dangerous.
So a girl feeding dolphins was bitten on the hand and the parents say they weren’t warned of the risks. They’re demanding that SeaWorld “make changes.” They posted a video of the incident to let other people know of the risks.
I’m not an expert on animals but I’d suggest that putting your hand near the mouth of an animal attracts the risk that you may get bitten on the hand. The risk grows when feeding the animal. It’s not rocket science.
The response from the parents is typical of a culture where banning cigarettes is seen as an acceptable means of protecting society. Hopefully these parents do not have access to a clever lawyer, else feeding dolphins may also get banned.
Governments are fostering a culture where people are no longer accountable for their actions. As we proceed down this path more things will be banned, insurance premiums will rise and litigation will rise. People wont be able to do the things they enjoy doing. Is the philosophy of banning helping to improve our standard of living and happiness? Freedom and accountability needs to be weighted up against, for example, the one in a million chance of getting bitten by a dolphin when feeding it.
I’ve seen a similar change in workplace health and safety. As safety paperwork becomes more arduous and micromanaged, focus shifts from performing duties safely and looking after workmates to ensuring the paperwork is completed and the appearance of safety is conveyed to management. Paperwork and micromanagement divert attention. There is no way around it. Human attention is a finite resource. Paperwork and micromanagement need to be balanced with accountability and a general culture of safety, otherwise safety suffers. The same applies to the banning of activities – our standard of living suffers.
So maybe our prime minister Julia Gillard knowingly allowed the misuse of union funds around 20 years ago. Is worth seeking the truth 20 years on? Should we care about what really happened regarding the AWU affair?
Many people claim it is so long ago that it’s not worth pursuing. If that’s the case then what is the time limit? How recent must a corruption allegation be before it’s worth pursuing? It’s completely arbitrary to specify a time. There is no time limit. Either we have a philosophy of seeking the truth or we don’t. Anything else is more of the same that you’d expect from labor and their supporters – make it up as you go politics and arbitrary decisions lacking a consistent philosophy.
If we ignore a corruption allegation against our prime minister it’s fostering a culture where corruption is allowed to proceed. Let this one go because it happened a while ago and it sets a precedent for allowing more corruption to occur. Those that are corrupt will push the boundaries of an inconsistently applied principle. It’s reasonable to test a corruption allegation regardless of when it happened. Actually there is no time limit. The philosophy is, seek the truth. If the prime minister is not guilty it doesn’t mean we’ve wasted our time. That’s the price we pay for keeping politicians honest.
Even if Julia Gillard is not guilty in this case, I still find it disturbing the apparent conflict of interest present in the labor government from their entrenched history with unions. Many labor chiefs have an association with unions. It reeks of corruption, regardless of the specifics of this particular case. I’m not happy with allowing our country to be run by a group so intimate with unions. We need a more balanced government. One that knows how to run the business of a country’s economy. One that can adopt a philosophy and apply it consistently.
Danish lawmakers have scrapped the fat tax – a tax designed to encourage people to eat healthy food. The Danish tax ministry quoted:
“The fat tax and the extension of the chocolate tax – the so-called sugar tax – has been criticized for increasing prices for consumers, increasing companies’ administrative costs and putting Danish jobs at risk”
Sounds exactly like the taxes recently introduced by the Labor government in Australia. Sure the stuff being taxed is different, but I’m talking about tax philosophy. I’m talking about how governments go about maintaining a healthy economy whilst at the same time achieve other social and environmental goals. The consequences of the Danish fat tax are exactly the same as the consequences of the carbon tax and mining tax. Australian jobs are at risk and living costs are forever increasing.
Is taxing stuff the answer? Is adding to our already high cost base the best way to go when we already can’t compete in international markets? Manufacturing, tourism and retail continue to decline and the new taxes keep rolling in.
Mette Gjerskov, the Danish minister for food, agriculture and fisheries, said during a news conference:
“The fat tax is one of the most maligned we [have] had in a long time. Now we have to try improving the public health by other means.”
You mean there are other ways of achieving a goal apart from decimating business through tax hikes? Labor take heed. We need a government that can manage the budget and lower the cost of Australian business. The current government in Australia is exactly the opposite.
I thought news on high profile job cuts and factory closures came in at around once a week since the Labor government came to power. It seems that rate is accelerating to a few examples every week. The latest is Qantas. A few days ago it was Holden. Prior to that it was car parts manufacturer Autodom.
Qantas is in trouble. They can’t compete with international airlines. Our corrupt union run government is fueling the high costs that are making Qantas uncompetitive. In Australia, under a labor government, job cuts would usually be countered by workers going on strike. Maybe I don’t understand business, but wouldn’t striking make your position worse as a worker in a company struggling with high costs?
I continue to worry about Australia’s future in an international economy. Something needs to change before we price ourselves out of every industry and have nothing left. I don’t think labor’s universal strategy of increasing taxes will solve this.
The Greens party and some antiquated union believes there should be a ban on live animal exports. Processed meat exports are more profitable they reckon.
I’m no expert on the meat industry but I’m pretty sure companies exist to maximize profits. Live animal exports are there for a reason. It wasn’t pursued randomly. For example the countries that import live animals may want them live so that they can process the animals themselves for religious reasons. I don’t think the Greens are in the best position to gauge economic decisions. Companies are pretty good at that.
I’ve said it before – no knee jerk reactions from the government this time round please. Any changes need to be to the satisfaction of all stakeholders. Banning live exports so that countries import their live meat from other sources does not improve animal welfare. In fact it makes it worse – there’s a good chance an alternative live animal exporter will not have the standards of Australian exporters. Animal welfare is worse and Australia loses business. If we ban our exports that does not change a country’s demand for live imports. What are we trying to achieve?
It’s rare that a week goes by in Australia and there’s not some news about a factory closing and jobs being lost. This week it’s a high profile company – Holden. Automotive manufacturing in Australia is no longer competitive in international markets due to rising costs. This has manifested as reduced demand for Holden vehicles and the announcement this week of the axing of 170 jobs at the Elizabeth manufacturing plant in South Australia. Many people are prediciting this is just the beginning of Holden’s eventual demise.
Along with tourism and retail, manufacturing in Australia is in terminal decline. It’s too expensive. Rising costs means we are no longer competitive in a world economy. The Gillard Labor Government is fueling these rising costs with a continual introduction of new taxes and tax hikes and by pandering to unreasonable union demands that force Australian labour rates to unsustainable levels. What do you expect from a corrupt union run government that lacks any ability to manage a budget?
The Australian economy is faring ok as we continue to be supported by the remnants of the mining boom. Our ability to rely on mining has already been diminished through the mining super tax which is reducing our international competitiveness in the mining industry. What happens when mining eventually declines? We’ll have nothing left. Our economy will be devastated Maybe labor will counter the problem by increasing the carbon tax and mining super tax whilst getting us to learn Asian languages? This is what Gillard suggested in her Asia white paper. Is learning an Asian language going to give us a competitive edge in a market where we are too expensive? Wouldn’t reducing costs be a better alternative? If I was running a business I’d rather hire a translator and have a lower cost base so that I could focus on delivering a cost effective product.
The Labor government is adding to the cost base of Australian businesses. Australia cannot tolerate this burden forever. I hope this arrangement is corrected by a change in government before it’s too late.