Hanlon a minute

Hanlon’s razor is a principle or rule of thumb that states “never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity”.

This describes my default position whenever I try to parse the statements of politicians. Only theirs words however, not their actions; the motivation behind these are usually painfully obvious as the trusty revealed versus expressed preferences test explains.

Politicians’ words are often a tricky minefield to navigate though. For example, should the public be wearing masks to combat the virus? Well, no AND yes and you’ll be fined if you don’t keep up with the changes.

Experience has taught me to use Hanlon’s Razor as a safe heuristic to quickly make sense of a politician’s pontificating. For a single statement made by a single politician, it’s rarely wrong. They’re all dumber than bag of hammers and usually a one off statement is simply that lack of intellect revealing itself in verbal form.

When several, seemingly unconnected, politicians make similar or even identical statements, we should probably consider being a little more sceptical of relying on Robert Hanlon’s shaving device.

For example; in the same 24 hour period, Boris Johnson claims lockdowns, not the world’s 2nd largest per capita vaccinated population, reduced deaths and Greg Hunt’s suggestion that, even if Australia ever got its shit together and vaccinated the population, we won’t be leaving the country for several years.

Well, aren’t we just living in a very connected world, eh? Two senior government officials on different sides of the globe decide to downplay the effectiveness of vaccines, one of whom has spent the previous 6 months reminding his country on a daily basis that “normality” would return once enough people had done their civic duty and had the vaccine.

Coincidence? Conspiracy? Collective incompetence? Cowardice?

Your guess is a good as mine.

The one thing we can probably bet the house on is we will not be getting on a plane to an overseas holiday or be welcoming friends and relatives from overseas any time soon, regardless of vaccination status, vaccination passports or any other factor.

Bill’s Opinion

There’s been too many of these coincidences to be ignored. From the lockstep changes over last year of every national leader’s position on masks, school closures, lockdowns, herd immunity, not overwhelming the hospitals and now the effectiveness of vaccinations, the pattern has become too obvious to be ignored.

Hanlon’s Razor suggests we should consider a kinder explanation before assuming bad intentions. My view on these frequent coincidences is now not that we have incompetent leaders, I’ve always assumed that, but they compound their stupidity with cowardice.

No democratic leader is going to risk being accused of having “blood on their hands” by returning those freedoms we used to believe were rights while there is a risk of a single death by this virus. Regardless of any other cost.

Lastly, if your income relies on incoming tourism or overseas visitors such as students, what would the rational response be to Greg Hunt’s latest statement?

Yep, close up and go do something, anything, else.

“I felt a great disturbance in the force, as if a million Australian hospitality workers cried out and were suddenly silenced

We sleep soundly at night…. redux

……because rough men stand ready to visit violence on those who would harm us.

Winston Churchill

Today is a lazy repost of this entry.

Why? Well if journalists are able to reprint the same story with new pictures but no additional evidence of war crimes, I’m allowed to recycle my response to their bullshit too.

Pretend fellatio in a bar describes pretty much every senior grade footy club everywhere in the world after 9pm on a Saturday night. If that’s a war crime, please send a postcard to my new address in The Hague.

I really have no idea what goes on in bars the SAS drink in after a day out on patrol being shot at with live ammunition but, unless they actually commit a crime in said bar, it’s their business and I thank them for their service.

So, feel free to re-read “We sleep soundly at night….”:

Victoria Cross recipient Ben Roberts-Smith was photographed cheering on an American soldier drinking from the prosthetic leg of a suspected Afghan militant whose death is now the subject of a war crimes investigation into the war hero.

The world is divided in to exactly three types of people;

  1. Those who see the photo above and think, “so what?”,
  2. Those who see the photo above and think, “that’s disgusting, get the lawyers in The Hague on the blower”, and
  3. Those who see the photo above and think, “the infidel dogs in the west must die”.

The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald have obtained two photographs that show Mr Roberts-Smith, the country’s most decorated living soldier, posing with the prosthetic leg which was used as a novelty drinking vessel.

Obtained” or, in English; “paid top dollar for“.

The photographs appear at odds with claims made by Mr Roberts-Smith’s lawyer in the Federal Court last year that the war hero was utterly disgusted by the use of the leg as a drinking vessel. Lawyer Bruce McClintock stressed Mr Roberts-Smith “never drank from that thing … Because he thought it was disgusting to souvenir a body part, albeit an artificial one from someone who had been killed in action.”

He’s not drinking from it. He’s next to a person drinking from it, neither of whom probably realised that, years after risking their lives on our behalf, investigative journalists would be frothing up a story where front line soldiers in Afghanistan are judged by standards applicable to wine bars in Glebe.

The fake limb gained further notoriety earlier this month when photos of soldiers and non-commissioned officers drinking from it were leaked to The Guardian. The photos supplied to The Guardian did not include any images of Mr Roberts-Smith posing with the leg.

In other news, I visited Dallas once but the authorities are still struggling with collecting the evidence necessary to convict me of assassinating JFK.

The Guardian story, written by freelance journalist Rory Callinan, included photos of two soldiers with faces blurred posing with the boot. The story claimed “rank-and-file” soldiers believe they have been unfairly criticised by the Brereton report and suggest that drinking from the boot could be classified as the war crime of pillaging because the leg was property taken without the consent of its owner.

Rory Callinan’s Twitter feed is to be found here. It is fair to say he posts little else other than allegations of Australian war crimes and the reporting of the investigations. That’s fair enough, he can be a single issue journalist if he wants. Readers may wish to bear this obsession in mind when reading his output, however.

“…drinking from the boot could be classified as the war crime of pillaging“. Perhaps this is technically correct, but when detailing the backlog of various breaches of the Geneva Convention to be prosecuted and in what order, this may be close on the list to the whole of class detention your child got last week because two other kids were misbehaving. Collective punishment is a war crime under the 4th Geneva Convention, after all.

Perhaps it’s time for a comment from an adult:

Australian Defence Association chief executive Neil James wrote on Friday that, “to our national detriment, much of the public discussion on war crimes alleged to have been committed by Australian soldiers in Afghanistan is focusing on secondary, peripheral or irrelevant issues.”

Quite.

Bill’s Opinion

Unfortunately, I’ve no doubt war crimes have been committed in my name. I am certain, at times, armed forces acting for my country have shot first, asked questions later. After the fog of war has lifted, it’s correct to investigate these incidents and take appropriate action against the individual and to examine whether it indicates a culture that should be addressed.

However….I don’t give a flying fuck about our “rough men” drinking out of a dead Taliban’s false leg. In fact, send me the GoFundMe page link and I’ll chuck a few quid in to buy a round of beers for them.

My suspicion is this is the view of most people outside of the ABC, Sydney Morning Herald and Grauniad’s news rooms.

Whither Australia’s Federal Government?

If you observe Australian Federal politics for a short while, you may draw the conclusion the current Prime Minister provides about as much national utility as a chocolate teapot. However, should you be masochistic enough to observe Australian Federal politics for a longer time, you will realise this “as useful as tits on a bull” characteristic is common to ALL of the modern era Prime Ministers. It’s a feature of the system, not a bug.

It is possible you are unaware of the, cough, subtleties of the political system in Australia. I certainly was prior to moving here. If this doesn’t describe you, save time and skip the following 3 paragraphs.

Australia has a federated system of states, similar to, yet different from, the USA. This is documented in a rambling and confused constitution which reads like a bunch of vested interests wanted to copy the American version but without any of the annoying parts describing the rights of individuals, inalienable freedoms and primacy of self-determination. Frankly, it’s a dog’s breakfast of a document, although it does perfectly demonstrate the nation’s ongoing struggle with English prose.

The important part is that it is a federated system of quasi-sovereign states, where state governments have far more power than someone from most European counties would intuit.

If that wasn’t obvious prior to 2020, it became painfully clear during the response to the pandemic as state premiers opened and closed domestic borders in a spirit suggesting they felt Queensland and New South Wales had no more in common than Spain and Gibraltar. Meanwhile, the powerless Prime Minister and his ministers mouthed silently like fish washed up on the shore.

The “lived experience” of this system is a confused mess of inconsistent laws and competing regulations (up to 11 versions) for a population similar to that of London and the Home Counties.

Practical examples of this include;

There are countless examples such as these. It’s analogous to the American version of states within a republic but without the justification which comes from the sheer size of population. Both versions probably made huge sense before easy transport and communications, but only one still works as an effective ongoing experiment to test new legislation in a limited jurisdiction. Australia’s federated system of states seems to add unnecessary friction and cost to day to day life when one can travel faster than a horse and communicate quicker than a letter.

These annoyances and inefficiencies impacted Australians infrequently and not greatly enough to become a political movement prior to 2020. From March 2020, the various and differing state responses to the global pandemic starkly exposed the flaws in the system.

We could spend much time here discussing the seemingly random, unconnected and different state laws Australians were subject to during the previous 12 months, pointing out the illogical border closures seemingly dependent on whether the neighbouring state was governed by your fellow political travellers rather than location and number of cases.

The topic of this post is not “Whither Australia’s State Governments?” however. Today, we are wondering what exactly is the bloody point of all the various sociopaths, incompetents, rent-seekers and clock-watchers we are paying for in Canberra? A shorter version of that question is, “what’s the point of the Feds?”.

From what we’ve learned this year, the main duties of the Federal Government seem to be limited to the following:

  • National defence,
  • International Diplomacy (with the caveat some states have been running side campaigns in this area),
  • Immigration,
  • Central banking and the national economy,
  • Collecting income tax and distributing much of it to the states,
  • Erm, that’s about it.

So why then, for example, would the Federal Department of Health need 4,000 full time employees? The department “oversees” the state health departments, doesn’t have any hospitals, and probably doesn’t even employ more than a few dozen medical professionals.

It also failed spectacularly to secure enough vaccines from a diverse selection of pharmaceutical suppliers, despite having been given a 12 month grace period whilst we’ve been locked in a quarantined country. A luxury most other countries did not have. The words, “you had one job” seem somewhat appropriate.

There’s also a Department of Social Services with 1,887 souls desperately doing something, anything, every working day to justify their salary and pension, despite all of the actual governmental social services being delivered at a state level.

Rinse and repeat this question for every federal department listed here, with a particular curiosity for the 107 employees overseeing the $21m spent each year on Food Standards New Zealand.

It’s become painfully obvious over the last year that, regardless of which party is in power, the Federal Government isn’t fit for purpose. If you are unconvinced, let’s try a thought experiment to imagine what Australian life might look like in a version of reality where the Federal Government was fit for purpose.

Obviously, a centrally procured and “needle ready” national vaccine programme, would seem to be a desirable outcome. Also, perhaps it wouldn’t have taken over 12 months to negotiate a standard national policy to determine why and when lockdowns and internal border closures would be enforced.

What about in a regular, non-pandemic year?

How about a national standard for all medical qualifications? Followed by a national standard for any other profession which doesn’t have a specific regional flavour to it?

Or perhaps a joined up immigration system where infrastructure such as roads, housing, health and education capacity were planned and implemented in sync with the new arrivals?

We might expect a fit for purpose Federal Government brokering agreements to standardise rail gauges and facilitate inter-city rail links capable of speeds greater than Stephenson’s Rocket.

The outcomes we can observe in non-pandemic years should be evidence enough of the pointlessness of the Federal Government in its current form. What we experienced during the pandemic simply made it all the more obvious.

Bill’s Opinion

It won’t surprise regular readers of my minarchist instincts. The less opportunity an unelected bureaucrat has to interfere in my life, the happier I am. So, obviously I was in favour of immediately firing as many of them as possible anyway, even before making the observations above.

The post-2020 difference though, is I now have a very clear idea of which career politicians should be given their marching orders first; everyone in Canberra. Raze the buildings, salt the earth, remove the place name from the maps. Replace it with something a fraction of its current size and, while we’re at it, distribute it around the country. There’s a reason why Canberra has the best restaurants in Australia….because you’re picking up the bill for the food and wine every night.

It would seem to me that, based on the dog’s breakfast of a constitution and 120 years of legal precedence, the role of the ideal Federal Government can be summed up in one noun, “diplomacy”.

All we actually need from the Feds is to maintain appropriate relations with other countries (including “muscular” diplomacy, where required) and to use the same diplomacy skills to broker frictionless relations between Australian states and territories.

I’m not even convinced we necessarily benefit by the setting of interest rates and collection of income taxes to be undertaken at a Federal level. Perhaps what’s good economically for Sydney isn’t the same as that which would benefit Launceston, and the ability for their respective state governments to independently course-adjust would be more optimal?

Ultimately, my ramblings on this subject were just an exercise in complaining; there’s zero chance the Canberra political-industrial complex will countenance a change and, unless the people of Melbourne, Sydney, and Brisbane* decide to march on the ACT with pitchforks and singing La Marseilles, nothing will change any time soon.

*sorry Darwin, Adelaide and Hobart, but you’re not relevant. As for Perth; go on, we dare you to declare UDI; we’ll invade and take over those mines within 15 minutes…to save them from China.

Hey, hey it’s offence archeology

It’s a slow news week in Australia. Nothing much worth reporting about; the flood waters have subsided, Federal parliament is on holiday from their rapey calendar, the number of covid cases is back down to zero, and we’re not due a new Prime Minister for weeks yet.

To pass the time, the Sydney Morning Herald news room has borrowed a silver DeLorien, revved it up to 88mph down a deserted George St. and has discovered an important crime against humanity to report upon.

The serious and sober investigative journalist Andrew “Deep Throat” Hornery, kicks us off.

Broede Carmody, who looks like he was yet to be conceived when the show last aired, also piles on….and, just to ensure he got the roadkill, he reversed back over it again.

Rebecca Shaw offers us more of the same.

Someone who reads the news off an autocue at SBS gets in on the act.

Finally, back to the SMH with Julia Baird adding to the canon with this one.

When I say “finally”, obviously I don’t mean that’s the end of it; the former news outlet has clearly found a safe target with which the journos can contrast their prescience and righteousness and will continue to ejaculate column inches until the data analytics team point out nobody is actually reading them.

So, what is this sordid story of evil racism and what lessons can we learn?

Well, you may wish to sit down before you read any further as I have some disturbing news for you….

You won’t believe this but a light entertainment TV show made in the 1980s doesn’t, upon review, pass the 2021 Reinheitsgebot.

No, seriously; some of the jokes relied on crude racial stereotypes, sexist and gauche humour which, by today’s standards, are unacceptable.

Shocking, isn’t it. What a marvellous public service the brave and selfless staff at the Sydney Morning Herald have performed to inform us of this.

Andrew Hornery, for example, had to decline a cushy ex-pat posting to Basra in order to bring us the important and vital revelations that a 40 year old TV show didn’t age well.

This truly is the work of a future Pulitzer Prize winner. One can easily envision Mr Hornery being called in to news studios during the twilight of his career to be asked for his opinion, à la Bob Woodward, on the latest scandal. And, as with Woodward, nobody will be interested in a damn word he says until he delivers the moneyshot, which, instead of “worse than Watergate“, will be, “worse than Hey Hey, It’s Saturday“. Bang! Mic drop.

Bill’s Opinion

The previous post here was a defence of some aspects of “cancel culture”.

The problem is, of course, lazy journalists take the admirable theme of reviewing the past to learn by our mistakes as an excuse to churn out hundreds of column inches pointing out the bleedin’ obvious: we were all different back then.

What I’ve yet to read is an explanation why the show (which I’ve never seen, by the way) was cancelled? Could it be the ratings had fallen because it was out of touch with the mood of the audience?

What would that say about the discerning Australian public? That they rejected cheap humour based on lazy stereotypes?

That would be inconvenient to the narrative, wouldn’t it?

In the meantime, can someone send a few DVD box sets over to the SMH with the back catalogue of Til Death Do Us Part, On the Buses, The Goodies, The Dukes of Hazzard and, heaven forbid, The Black and White Minstrel Show?

That should keep them busy right up until the point the newspaper is finally closed down.

In defence of “cancel culture”

A wander around the web will reveal many examples of the so-called “cancellation” of historical figures for transgressions against the moral standards and Overton Window of 2021.

As with much of what passes for grown up conversations these days, it’s usually virtue signalling bollocks with no tangible benefit to society, but plenty of Wokémon Points for the complainant.

This one for example, calling for the retraction of an obituary written before the birth of nearly everyone currently alive today. That nobody on the editorial team at Nature Magazine thought to suggest to Danita Brandt that she might find better targets for her energy, is remarkable. After all, we’ve clearly solved all the major issues of the planet if one of the major scientific publications feels it’s time to go back and clean up a bad opinion from 1923.

However, and this may be an unpopular opinion with my regular readership, not all of these calls are without merit.

Here’s an example: Ben Boyd.

He has a road named after him in Cremorne, Sydney, a town in the south of the state of New South Wales, a tower and an entire national park.

What did he accomplish in his life to receive such an ongoing legacy from the people of New South Wales?

Let’s see, there was the slavery* of 119 Pacific Islanders whom he brought to Australia, the fraudulent use of the deposits in his Royal Bank of Australia, and his attempt to be kingmaker for a Pacific island empire.

Everyone makes a few mistakes in life, but nobody is completely without redeeming qualities. With that in mind, what acts of altruism and selflessness can we find to justify the continuation of the name of the Ben Boyd National Park?

Nada. Nuthin’.

Maybe the evidence of his public service or charitable donations exists but it’s failed to make itself visible to me after a reasonably extensive search.

Bill’s Opinion

History is political. There’s never been a moment in human existence where truly objective retrospective analysis was possible, everything we look back on is through the filter of today’s reality.

Note, for example, I haven’t condemned Boyd for his extensive whaling activities. This was fully-accepted at the time and, until the invention of the clean-burning kerosene lamp in 1857, was an industry vital to human society.

His other activities listed above were well outside the accepted norms of his time, not just today’s. Slavery as a concept had long been unacceptable to the British public, his blurring of the definition and the use of contracts with the Pacific Islanders was seen for what it was by the local magistrates at the time.

His fraudulent banking scams were as unacceptable then as now, even if we’ve still not eradicated them in Australia.

As much as I find most of the so-called “cancel culture” ridiculous, this seems like a simple one to form an opinion on. There’s no need to tear down a statue or burn a book, just rename the park to something else we can show a little more pride in.

Parky McParkFace, would be fine.

* this was in 1847, 40 years after the British government abolished slavery. What he attempted was called “Blackbirding” which is a euphemism for indentured servitude. There’s little to no chance the islanders had any idea what it was they were signing up to. Quite how that differed from slavery was probably a very convenient technical point.

Jenna Hates men…

….who won’t fund her friends’ Quangos.

Although, it’s probably a safe bet she hates men in general. You’d likely get about 3-1 from Ladbrokes if you could bet against her misandry, particularly since the messy divorce and the birth of his new baby.

Anyway, the usual unreadable prose is offered today, relying on the tried and tested recipe of taking three unrelated reasons to clutch at pearls, then thread them together with a pure weft of golden tenuousness.

The conclusion to these appeals always seem to use the same formula too; everyone else must change and, by the way, pay.

Today, for example, something something consenting adults are having sex in Canberra, something something two allegations of sexual harassment, something something human rights, something something, you need to pay:

So much of this is easy. It’s about money. But it is also about will. And so far this government has not shown it has it. And I do not know whether even the current events are enough to push it to act. No matter what the now paused Gaetjens’ inquiry reveals, nor the Foster review nor Kate Jenkins’s review, nor last night’s embarrassments.

Bill’s Opinion

Do the left have any other emotional response than to project?

The people most likely to say words to the effect of, “the tories are fixated with money” just happen to be the ones most eager to get their hands on your money.

What’s particularly amusing is their inability to see the disconnect between the following two positions:

The government is venal, incompetent and analogous to some of the worst humans to have ever walked the planet”.

And:

This crisis requires government intervention and legislation to give them more power over our lives”.

Imagine the level of cognitive dissonance needed to simultaneously despise the power of the government but remain optimistic it’ll all be fixed once we replace them with the next lot and let them spend more of our money.

If you’ve lived long enough to suffer male pattern baldness or the menopause and you still have such childish thoughts, you may want to spend some moments in quiet reflection.

Finally, the William of Ockham solution to sexual harassment and worse in the Federal Parliament building is very straightforward; make it subject to the same legislation they’ve imposed on remote aboriginal communities and for the same reason.

Ban alcohol in the Australian Capital Territory.

What’s good for the goose is good for the Canberra.

The life of Brian

Here’s one for the coffee table collection, Brian Hartzer’s autobiography:

For those who’ve arrived here since our mildly unhealthy obsession with Brian’s Wokepac subsided and have therefore missed all the fun watching his slow-moving car crash of a career, perhaps start with this and then read any of the subsequent posts under the Wokepac category.

I’m sure the book will be a fascinating read, explaining the key to Brian’s excellent and almost magical ability to connect (or engage, if you will) with the average Australian.

Most management books seem to have seven rules. Seven is a good number for bullshit advice.

What might Brian’s seven rules consist of, perhaps?

Could we respectfully offer the following:

1. Over-promote people based purely on genital configuration and rig the quota numbers, if required

2. Attend every woke event in the calendar

3. Don’t pay attention to the Risk Department when they suggested the IT systems were enabling 3,000 cases of child sexual abuse

4. Assume everything is going to be great now we have 50:50 diversity in leadership

5. Ignore the year on year decline in share price and market share

6. Front up to APRA with a pathetic and worthless mea culpa

7. Resign as an absolute professional failure, after destroying shareholder value and the credibility of a 200 year old bank whilst maintaining the highest relative operating cost base in the industry

Bill’s Opinion

There are people to take advice from and there are people from whom it’s best to learn by doing the opposite of their example.

Brian is in the latter category.

Don’t be too surprised to find his next career move is Celebrity Strictly Ballroom and I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here.

Today’s Gell Mann example

“Briefly stated, the Gell-Mann Amnesia effect is as follows. You open the newspaper to an article on some subject you know well. In Murray’s case, physics. In mine, show business. You read the article and see the journalist has absolutely no understanding of either the facts or the issues. Often, the article is so wrong it actually presents the story backward—reversing cause and effect. I call these the “wet streets cause rain” stories. Paper’s full of them.

Pay attention at the back….

Cyber attack on hospitals results in cancelled surgeries.

And on the same front page:

NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller is spearheading a push to introduce consent technology via an app.

Mick Fuller is NSW’s top police officer. We pay him $649,500 to keep us safe from harm and lead the citizens through times of crisis with a quiet and commanding gravitas-based leadership.

One can only imagine the clown-like thought bubbles and word salads we’d be subjected to if we paid him something closer to the median annual salary which, depending on where you look, might be about a tenth of what he’s pulling.

A source close to the HQ* of the NSW Police Dept. has leaked the following suggestions to keep women safe that didn’t quite make it on Mick’s press statement:

  • Dress shop front mannequins as NYC Guardian Angels and locate them on train station platforms at night.
  • Any women who have a Tinder swipe left to right ratio greater than 1:2 are to be designated as too attractive to be allowed out in public without wearing a full yashmak and are limited to low alcohol drinks in bars and other hospitality venues.
  • All boys of high school age are to register on a centrally-held database once they’ve achieved “2nd base”, along with details of the skatepark or children’s playground in which this milestone was reached.
  • Nobody who has watched Last Tango in Paris is able to purchase butter, salted or unsalted, without the appropriate Service NSW QR code.
  • Women who commence extra marital affairs with men who rely on the “my wife and I sleep in separate bedrooms and are more like good friends than lovers these days” defence, are able to anonymously download their lover’s official NSW shagging records for confirmation.

Bill’s Opinion

No, this is fine. I can’t see any issues arising with the possibility of a central database tracking citizens’ sexual activity being in the hands of government.

I mean, it’s not as if we get a mea culpa about a massive data breach every couple of weeks, is it?

Also, I’m sure there’s absolutely no possibility someone who’s a bit rapey could use your thumb to open your phone after you’ve been rohipnol’d…..

Probably the worst part of this story isn’t the window-licking reporting of this brain fart with the obvious amnesia about how frequently we read of data breaches. It’s the fact it was floated by the person who, apparently on merit, made it to the tippety top of the competence hierarchy of the police force.

It’s quite an achievement, but perhaps Mick Fuller makes Cressida Dick look capable, which is really bad news for the many Brazilians living in Sydney.

*our source is currently unavailable for further comment as he’s just scored a fresh bottle of turps and is sheltering from the rain under a sheet of cardboard.

Australia’s lack of ambition

Stars lobby for Netflix to face 20 per cent local content quota.

Seriously? Just 20%? You’re selling your talent short, guys.

Why not 50% or even 75%? If “Australian content” is so good, surely we should be pushing for more of it? Who doesn’t like “Australian content”?

In fact, why not 89.56161 (recurring) %?

Who on earth wouldn’t want to be faced with pages and pages of Netflix options of shows featuring stars and A listers such as Simon Baker, Marta Dusseldorp, Bryan Brown and Justine Clarke?

We’ve all enjoyed their back catalogues, haven’t we?

Well, at least you’ve heard of these people, right?

Clue: Baker has starred in a USA TV crime series. As for the others, your guess is as good as mine; it’s probably safe to assume they’re panellists on some crappy quiz shows on the ABC.

Anyway, we digress.

This call for legislation mandating the origin of the entertainment offered by Netflix raises many questions. Questions such as:

  • Why is there so little Australian content on Netflix?
  • Of the existing Australian content, how popular is it with the Australian public relative to content from other countries?
  • What’s the international worth of this Australian content? Are other countries lining up to buy it off us faster than we create it?
  • Who the fuck are these so called “stars” and couldn’t they even get Huge Ackman to join them, given his track record of turning up to the opening of anything more significant than an electricity bill?

Bill’s Opinion

There’s a few things going on here. Firstly, this is a very Australian response to the reality and impact of market forces; seek government intervention in the form of protectionism, regulation and subsidies.

From car manufacturing to baked beans, there isn’t an industry in the country that, even before the luxury communism of covid, didn’t benefit from taxpayer largesse. Australia went from being a nation of ex-convict sheep farmers without a chance of leaving to a nation of farmed sheep without a chance of leaving.

More amusingly though, this is the type of lunacy we get when people who get paid to play “let’s pretend” for a living try to interfere in economics and business. That they’ll even get an audience in Canberra for this stupidity also tells us much about the IQ and real life experience of the political class.

In the meantime, anyone with an understanding of economics or recent experience with paging through reams of unpalatable viewing options of woke, race baiting, climate change pushing, unfunny, uninteresting and, frankly, preachy bollocks on Netflix, will be able to tell you what the likely unintended consequences of this will be; cancelled subscriptions.

If your “Australian content” is so good, sell it to us and the world like France does with series like Bureau des Legendes or Dix Pour Cent. Don’t force it on us like medicine.

Toot toot chugga chugga big red car….

Consent craving

As is often the case, multiple stories on a similar theme are suspiciously appearing in the media and on people’s Creepbook feeds at the same time.

Exploring the reasons behind the coincidence of the trend, the narrative, can be the theme of another day.

Meanwhile, the current cause du jour is sexual harassment, rape and murder of women by men.

It shouldn’t need to be said, but I’m certain we can all agree those are bad things. Reducing them from our societies should be high on the priority list of everyone.

Note, I didn’t say “eliminate”.

It seems to me, the nexus of anger is to be found between the concepts of reduce and eliminate.

There’s clearly anger. Anger at the murder of Sarah Everard, anger at multiple sexual assaults and allegations of sexual assault by various political workers in Canberra, anger at domestic violence and the fact it’s committed mainly (but not exclusively) by men.

One of the banners at the Australian protest stated we should, “End Rape Now”. I would love to hear the placard owner’s thoughts on how a transition to that world might be achieved.

Banners at the London protests took issue with the fact it isn’t always safe for a lone female to walk on the street.

These statements of protest are clearly well-intentioned uses of rhetoric and hyperbole, but are they helping?

To return to that nexus; if you believe a world with zero rapes is possible, calling for a curfew for men would make sense.

If you rejected that idea, though, the screaming around the theme “all men are rapists” has the effect of drowning out a more sober discussion about practical actions to achieve reduction.

A related conversation was had between a group of fellow parents at our local high school recently; “the school should teach our children about consent“, was the cry.

An unpopular opinion was offered by one foolish soul:

a) I send my kids there to learn maths, English and science. I’ll teach morality, thanks.
b) If your kid doesn’t already know how to respect other people’s bodies by Year 7, YOU are the problem.
c) “Consent” has a specific legal definition which no teacher I’ve met would be capable of teaching in a one hour struggle session.
That went down like a cup of cold vomit, obviously.

Bill’s Opinion

Unusually for Spiked, this is sensible take on the problem.

It is not safe to walk home alone. It’s never been safe to walk home alone. Regardless of whether you are female or, and I cannot stress this strongly enough, male.

As Brett Weinstein stated recently, we are all descendants of rapists and murderers. The statistical probability you aren’t is so unlikely it’s not a credible option. Genetically, we have the capability within us. The miracle is that it doesn’t happen with much greater frequency.

To consider a zero rape world feasible is to believe millions of years of genetics can be overridden for 100% of the population 100% of the time.

If this describes your view, may I politely suggest you meet more human beings.

If you have a son, teach them to keep their hands to themselves unless invited. If you have a daughter, teach them most men are lovely, but some are cunts and they don’t often wear badges to explain which group they are a member of.

In the meantime, if you want to feel safe walking the streets, don’t do it after 6pm if there’s a “man curfew”; the men who stay home won’t be the ones you need to be concerned about.