Freedom – where did you go?

I woke up this morning on this bright and sunny day to read commentary in the morning paper about the term ‘guys.’ Apparently the Australian of the Year, David Morrison, found it within himself to announce his abhorrence at its use.

‘Those guys just weren’t up to it today,’

‘What’s that guy playing at?’

‘Thanks guys,’

These and other phrases like them are supposed to cause offence to women. The word ‘guys’ is seen by Morrison to be gender-specific. But relief is at hand – he tells us he’s not trying to be the ‘language police.’ Oh, no. He’s just trying to police language. Thank heavens we have someone to save us from ourselves.

Seems it’s a common thing these days, the ‘Nanny State Mentality.’

‘Nanny’ comes out to tell us off every other day. But Morrison isn’t alone amongst those who feel they need to tell the silent majority how to act, speak, and live.

In New South Wales, we have no right to silence, you see. So forget all those crime shows on TV where, once arrested, the alleged crim is told; ‘You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law…’ So much for not incriminating yourself!

At least in Queensland, I still have my right to silence. ‘Shhh – keep quiet, and get a lawyer – fast.’

Mind you, if you like motorbikes, don’t join a ‘group’ of ‘bikies’ – you might end up in jail. See, if you’re a member of a bikie gang, and an honest, law-abiding citizen, you could be arrested for associating with other bikie gang members. Anti-association laws are designed to enforce tough penalties on those alleged to be responsible for the vast majority of drug offences.

Yet the Brisbane Times has said that;

Despite police claims of bikies being major players in the drug market, six years of data show they were charged with less than 1 per cent of all drug-trafficking offences in Queensland.

Back down south and we have lockout laws, designed to counter drug and alcohol-fuelled violence in inner city areas, with last drinks at 1.30 and take-away closures at 10pm.

What’s the result of the lockout laws? Assaults have fallen. Yay, success!

Oops – not so fast. You see, as the Director of the Bureau of Crime Statistics, Don Weatherburn, was quoted as saying on guardian.com;

…assaults have been coming down in NSW since 2008 [well before the lockout laws were enforced], so [there was already a] pre-existing downward trend.

So, it seems, Nanny is alive and well across the eastern seaboard of Australia.

We’re constantly told that we need assistance and guidance in how to live our lives. The government knows best and passes legislation to protect us from ourselves.

Sound silly?

Consider nutritionists advice on diets, ‘junk’ food, exercise and alcohol.

The Obesity Policy Coalition is lobbying for a 20 per cent tax on sugar-sweetened drinks, the Australian Medical Association thinks Australians need a tax on ‘junk food.’ And some even believe we should introduce a tax on butter, cheese, milk, meat and oil.

The Rudd federal government increased taxation on pre-mixed drinks by 70 per cent, calling it an ‘Alcopop tax’ – according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, all this led to was a 20 per cent increase in the consumption of pure spirits. Case closed.

Sensationalists tell us almost every day that Australians have an obesity crisis, and that we drink to excess. This would certainly be true for some. But do we really need Nanny telling, commanding, ordering us to do things a certain way, their way? Each to their own, I say. Just don’t harm me in the process. In a free society we should be given the right to be the master of our own fate.

Classical liberalism has been superseded by social liberalism – defined as regulatory fixes for non-existent problems, or, to put it another way, the movement of society to a leftist philosophy.

Sit back, relax and enjoy – you no longer have to think for yourself. Government is now required to think for you.

This was put forward in the days of FDR and The New Deal, a program for its time. Yes, we need to ensure that no member of society falls through the cracks, yes, we need to ensure that everyone is protected from harm, but we also need to be very careful not to lecture to each other. And most of all, we need to ensure that government does not lecture to us.

In essence, it seems, in this society of ours, one of the finest democracies the world over, we are taking our freedoms for granted.

We legislate against speech, against information, against association, against choice. These are all implied freedoms in Australia, which makes them all the more contentious.

Even the Racial Discrimination Act tells us we cannot say anything which may offend. At least we have lobby groups like the Institute for Public Affairs to contend such laws. They say, at freespeech.ipa.org.au, that Section 18C of the Act;

…goes to the heart of this new anti-free speech climate…It is this section of the legislation which silenced [a journalist]. And it could silence you.

As the classical liberal, Edmund Burke, said

All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing

It’s time for Nanny to rest, for PC to go home, and for freedom to reign over all.

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