We in NSW had a government that was Labor and should have been for the people but it lost its way and became more interested in internal wrangling and self promotion. Consequently, it was dismissed as is as it should be for effective working of democracy. However; another important requirement for effective operation of a democracy is the availability of a credible alternative government and unfortunately, here in NSW we didn’t have this.
The previous Labor government was inadequate in that it forgot what it was elected to do and became ineffective. However, with all its faults it didn’t want to turn back the clock. We now have a government which, as with all conservative governments, wants to go back wards and has no real dream for the future of this State.
When I first arrived here in Australia way back in the fifties, they had these oppressive laws which allowed the police to charge people for such petty, and undefined things, like swearing and even walking on the wrong side of the pavement. These laws were repealed and we got down to some sort of self discipline and language selection.
Now we are back to the situation where a policeman can impose an on the spot fine for swearing when swearing isn’t defined under the law. For example, when I was young my mother would carry on no end if I said “Damn”, now days I don’t think that any one now would remember that Damn was once considered a swear word. However, if I should use damn in front of a policeman of my era, he could book me which is absurd in the extreme.
Perhaps the O’Farrell government has realized that it can pay off the state debt by standing at a bus stop when all the private school students are going and coming from school and imposing on the spot fines for swearing. These conservative politicians seem to live in cookoo land, English is a live language which is changing with the passage of time and I have lived long enough to be aware of a great many of these changes. The use of language is often not too nice to hear for the older people in the community but it is not so unacceptable as many of the acts of vandalism which seem to be so prevalent now days.
I am not an expert on the effects of swearing, but I understand that psychologists actually can prove that the use of strong expletives is a relief to tension under certain circumstances. Can you imagine hitting your finger with a hammer and saying “Oh Dash it ” and have some passing copper slap an on the spot fine on you because he considers it swearing. It’s laughable, and they say they are a responsible government.
Another example of a lack of understanding of real life is this legislation to effectively deny the public servants access to a fair means of arbitration. O’Farrell says that he will demand actual productivity gains before there will be any pay increases, a real economists solution to a problem. The trouble with this argument is that it presumes that every one is working inefficiently and ineffectively, as are most economists. If a nurse is working 17 hours a day and is fully occupied, how can she possibly increase her productivity other than by doing 19 hours a day. I’m sure that such an increase in hours would be well offset by a decrease in effective operation. Most economists wouldn’t understand the need for efficiency as they are very rarely correct in their forecasts and predictions and being wrong has no effect on any outcomes!
If any other profession was to be wrong in its work place as often as politicians and economists, there would be chaos!