Thursday, October 07, 2004
Let me give you a personal perspective on terrorism. Half of my family are from Northern Ireland "bandit country". Go there now and you would be amazed by the degree of fortification of police stations. Think yourselves lucky that your local cop shop may be nothing more than a portacabin. In a small town of around 10 pubs, 5 catholic, 5 protestant the fireworks always flew on a Friday night. The violence spread to London and a pub I used to frequent in Ealing was bombed. This threat of dying from the indiscrimanant terrorism from both sides was very real. Yet somehow, people got on with their lives and were not afraid. Despite the many wrong doings of the Thatcher government, conjuring fear was not one of them. There was no "Vote for us or die" campaign. Contrast this to Australia where no attack has occurred on the mainland (although I'm not saying it wont) and we are scared shitless. Why is this? The rubbish bins have been removed in train stations (is this because governments think Osama "bin" Laden is a nickname for incenduary penchance? I hope there isn't a Mohmed Pub Falah out there). We are told to be alert, not afraid while the government is frightening the bejesus out of us. Howard wants us to feel secure as Australians while sticking a fire cracker up our clackers. The only reason I can think of is that the fear of America has spread here just as all other cultural exports, I wish I could offer something more intelligent. But then I wish the government could too.