Monday, August 20, 2007

A few notes

Photo: water cannon in action.

I will not be able to post tomorrow, too much to do in trying to catch up, so a few comments now.

A few week's ago I was driving into the city when I saw out of the corner of my eye this convoy of vehicles coming up behind. They actually scared me.

They looked a bit like police vehicles, but of a dark threatening colour that I had not seen before. I kept on looking at them. Then, as they drew level, I saw they they belonged to something called the public order and riot squad. I knew that the NSW Government had recently established a riot squad, something that did not make me happy. But "public order"? That's a term that would make George Orwell happy.

Australians used to laugh at and feel superior about overseas countries with all their police stuff. Not any more, I fear. The NSW public order and riot squad is now the proud owner of a water cannon. Apparently for use in some unspecified emergency.

But how dumb can you get. Now that we have it, some bloody idiots will not be able to resist the temptation to provoke its use in order to send photos around the world. Again, we do seem at the moment to be spending a lot of time creating things that we fear.

Still on silly moves, my daughters' school has now apparently added to its security restrictions with a new rule stating that students cannot be in a class room after hours without a teacher present. Just as well it has only come in now, since both girls have spent hours in class rooms and the ILC after hours without teachers catching up on work.

For those that remember the hospital from the Yes Minister series, I am sure that all schools would be both safer and tidier without the inconvenience of students. Still, I had thought that schools existed to serve students and parents.

Neil (Ninglun) has responded to my last post on the decline of Australian literature. My own views are firming up here. Its perhaps not the decline in Australian literature I should be talking about, but the decline in the centrality of Australian writing more broadly defined.

I will do a post on this to test my ideas and expose them to discussion. Now I must finish.

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