In perhaps one of the greatest ironies of modern Australia, we love to talk about how much we despise the nanny state, the way that multiple levels of government unnecessarily involve themselves itself in what feels like every facet of our lives. Yet when push comes to shove there is always someone to complain that the government “should have been doing more to protect people” when something inevitably goes wrong.
Rather than having the freedom to do things like safely modify our cars with the assistance of an automotive professional or build our kids a cubby house without going through a 90-day council approval process, some of our fellow Australian would prefer that we always have a way to blame someone else besides ourselves for our mistakes.
In days gone by, we used to gather around the BBQ to swap stories we heard from America, of spurious litigation and idiotic government intervention we couldn’t possibly imagine ever happening in our own nation.
We can get frustrated and upset with the government about the rising nanny statism that seems to be encroaching on ever greater parts of our lives with each passing year. But the truth is the problem isn’t just overzealous government’s looking to wrap everything in cotton wool.
It’s some of our fellow Australian’s who find a way to endlessly complain about anything you can possibly imagine, for reasons that frankly seem to escape the logic of a reasonably well adjusted human being.
The mere possibility that someone (who likely has far too much time on their hands) might fire up the old whaaambulance to complain, is the reason why we have very specific instructions for where onions must be placed on a Bunning’s sausage lest someone be horrifically hurt by slipping on a dropped onion ring.
When we talk about our country to foreigners we love to talk up our laid back way of life, the freedom that is being an Australian, the lifestyle of endless beaches and summer barbecue. Yet in reality 30 minutes later your foreign mate or family member could be back, asking why in your fantastic laid back country they got a fine for doing two km/h over the speed limit on the freeway?
If there is any nation in the world which should be the antithesis of the nanny state it’s Australia, yet we allow an extremely vocal minority to define our existence on anything from what wheels you can put on your car to building kids a cubby house.
I hope that in time Australian’s can come together to recapture the laid back spirit of the ‘Real Australia’ and consign the nanny state to the dustbin of history. Because frankly, we don’t need the government or some overzealous safety conscious person ensuring that the fun is sucked out of every facet of our lives, even the humble Bunning’s sausage sizzle.
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