Balneus

Australian Lefty on Politics, Governance, Science and Info Management

What rights would bogans defend?

Posted by Dave Bath on 2007-07-23


Given the common attitude of writers to editors published in the Murdoch press (and to a lesser extent, Fairfax), the loss of civil rights is a minor matter compared to the risk of dying from terrorist action.

I tried thinking of a "freedom" even bogans would demand in spite of the loss of life: the "right" to choose the color of their cars.

Many years ago I wrote a risk-management system to track the attributes of vehicles in the Melbourne Metropolitan Board of Works and the damage from accidents.  The biggest factor was the color of the car.  White was safest, yellow marginally lower.  Red was shocking, and there was little difference between all other colors (including metallic sheens) which were safer than red, but much more dangerous than white.

Similar results came from later studies by various automobile associations like the RACV and NRMA.

It’s all to do with the visibility of the car, whether by other drivers, or more importantly, innocent pedestrians (including the proverbial kiddie chasing a ball across a street).

So, laws that allowed only white or yellow cars would save lots of lives.  But how would the car-owners of Bogansville react to such a frightful attack by the government on their god-given freedoms that are guaranteed by our Bill of Rights most believe we have?

And on a similar theme, how would the capitalists react to stricter penalties that might limit the many workplace accidents?

Can you think of any other "rights" they’d defend, even though the privileges mean lots of Australians are killed or maimed (never mind the economic impact) each year?


The link for bogan above is to Wikipedia, the Uncyclopedia entry is extremely close-to-the-bone and almost too accurate for that satirical site.

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3 Responses to “What rights would bogans defend?”

  1. And on a similar theme, how would the capitalists react to stricter penalties that might limit the many workplace accidents?

    Can you think of any other “rights” they’d defend, even though the privileges mean lots of Australians are killed or maimed (never mind the economic impact) each year?

    Christ, this is getting tiresome. You could prevent heaps of workplace accidents just through tying the workplace up in so much red tape and imposing ‘safety taxes’ on anyone who goes to work (for their own good of course).

    You could just regulate and tax cars out of existence as well and that would reduce accidents.

    But, would any of these actions make life better? Everything we do has a level of risk. Allowing people to walk out their front doors kills a certain number of people each year. Allowing people to drive kills 30 every week (in Australia).

    What we should be trying to do is maximise the living/risk ratio. Maximum living for minimum risk. Who decides how to measure the ‘living’ component, and what the optimum ratio is? Really only the individual can do that themselves. Blanket laws which try to protect people from themselves don’t take this into account.

    Only an absolute moron would suggest that people are ‘bogans’ if they don’t support blanket bans for their own good.

  2. Dave Bath said

    Michael:
    The point was that difficult-to-quantify risks (in terms of lives/dollars saved) are used are being used as a pretext by the federal executive and legislature to restrict very fundamental guarantors of liberty, yet only the chattering classes protest.

    The thought experiment was to imagine choices that non-chattering classes would be angry about if those choices were removed, despite the measurable deaths and economic damage caused by irresponsible use of that choice.

    If bogans and uber-capitalists defended the “rights” I indicated, yet ignore the significant inroads on individual liberty by this government for dubious benefit, then I would be accusing them of hypocrisy.

  3. And I’d agree. I support the War on Terror, but in times like this it’s very easy for a government to grow it’s tentacles and still call itself a democracy. Which is what our current government has done.

    Yeah, it’s not exactly the most pro-freedom government we’ve ever had. It’s just that the pro-freedom alternatives seem to be a bit thin on the ground.

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