Begun in 2008, it's unlikely that I'll regularly make entries to this blog, so do check my main site at www.fourhares.com

This blog is more likely to include posts of a political nature - and one that requires sisu on the part of many!

Archives dated prior to March 2008 are entries moved across from either LiveJournal or Octant.

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Oft fear of an evil drives us to another worse

Those words, penned in 1674 by Nicolas Boileau-Despréaux (Canto I, l.64) in his L’Art Poetique, has unfortunately so many resonances in today’s socio-political climate.

At one level, this can be seen on a common basis as one boards flights: the fear of some flight incident is driving society to measures reminiscent of fascism – and the stupidity of what is or is not permitted onboard getting increasingly prison-like. One needs only reflect on what is already available from a business or first-class seat to consider the stupidity of preventing, as one of hundreds of possible examples, nail-clippers as part of one’s cabin luggage!

If J. G. Bennnett could write in the first volume of his Dramatic Universe that ‘security can only be achieved at the cost of freedom’, he certainly omits to also clearly state that the kind of ‘security’ achieved cannot be secure.

‘Oft fear of an evil drives us to another worse’

Locally, this has been repeatedly implemented by our local State Government (currently a Labor regime of the worst type). The worst has been the legislation pertaining to the creation of the V.I.T. (the compulsory body that teachers teaching in schools have to register with and pay an annual fee to – that’s correct, in order to be allowed to work, one has to PAY an annual fee!). This body has basically been given a carte blanche as to what it may or may not do. And of course, whenever it desires to its power some additional area, it merely has to mention what it wants to its mates currently in government for the legislation to get incrementally altered its way, henceforth claiming that its own hands are bound by the legislation. A case in point is that as of last year, a person who has a teaching degree from a University and is even deemed to be qualified to teach by the VIT (as if the former is not all that should be required! What an insult!) may be deemed to suddenly no longer be qualified some five years later – even if that person has taught in a school for those five years in a highly effective and appropriate manner. Why? because of a new imposition that a teacher must now also subject him or herself to a minimum number of hours of ‘inservice’.

Frankly, I may want to focus on my teaching and my enjoyment of the same. Currently, due to both my temperament and perhaps also my age, I happen to enjoy attending various conferences (but these are my business alone, and I should not have to report to the VIT what I do!). Does attendance to those make me a better teacher!? Some perhaps assist, but most are an utter waste of time… In any case, a teacher does not suddenly become LESS qualified to teach over time! Nor, for that matter, should a willing teacher who has recently retired suddenly be unable to take on replacement teaching tasks a school asks of him or her simply because the VIT has decided that since the person has not paid his or her annual forced fees, it makes the person any the less a teacher.

Basically, the VIT is an insult to both the teaching profession and to education in general.

Similar examples can also be found in registrations for taxi drivers; in the manner in which roads have an increasing number of theft-cameras (a more appropriate name to what used to be called ‘speed-cameras’, recently inappropriately renamed ‘safety-cameras’: they have nothing to do with safety!); airports (already mentioned); and even the now relatively old ‘zero’ blood-alcohol reading for new drivers (which has altered our culture to one that encourages binge-drinking in the young).

‘Oft fear of an evil drives us to another worse’

Both the State of Victoria and the ACT have of more recent times legislated a Bill of Rights. And now there is talk of the still new Federal Government wanting to also introduce one. Frankly, not only is there no need for such, but these cannot be used to encourage Justice in unjust states (one need look no further than the former USSR or the USA to find many such examples, both of which still allow a sentencing to death).

Better for each law reform to be guided by reflections as to whether or not Justice is therein reflected, than to let down our guards and permit the introduction of laws to be deemed fine simply because of an over-arching principle of ‘Human Rights’. I for one see this trend as another example of the fear of unjust existing leading to wanting ‘rights’ bills… to what derision in judgement will this lead, and how will considerations of Justice as a Virtue be diminished?

‘Oft fear of an evil drives us to another worse’

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