Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Letter of the week: Clover Moore = Alan Jones?

The widening cultural gap between regulators and the rest of us was beautifully expressed in a Sydney Morning Herald letter today. The sad thing is, the Law and Order class will never understand.
The zombie-like security process at the Jack Johnson concert occurs often enough, but rarely on this delicious scale. That is, the middle-aged leisure classes who bray for ''law and order'' and curbs on those outside their own lifestyle are finally subjected to their own rules. To sinfully paraphrase William Makepeace Thackeray: it is one thing to hoot in agreement with Alan Jones and Clover Moore from a snug armchair at home. It is another to experience the reality first-hand.

William Cattell Sydney
What's most interesting is the comparison of Clover Moore and Alan Jones, who are usually cast as mortal enemies. But they share this in common: Raising a moral panic and then demanding heavy-handed regulation to solve the 'problem'.

Yesterday the state government revoked Clover's Late Night Trading Development Control Plan, a surprise move that has Clover spitting chips, accusing the government of caving in to the AHA and the alcohol industry. While this may be true, I'm cheering because it's a great outcome for youth culture, youth employment and my right to live in a global city with a 24-hour entertainment precinct.

And after Clover used her casting vote "with great pleasure" to order the demolition of the caretaker's cottage and ending Rory Miles' hopes of continuing to run the adjacent Rushcutters Bay Tennis courts, I am truly over Clover. Rarely have I seen such a ruthless trampling of clear community desires.

The action casts Clover as an old, out-of-touch dictator rather than the resident-friendly progressive pollie she likes to portray. She has destroyed a community for the sake of her old-maidish Tidy Towns obsession. As one older man said from the gallery at the Council meeting after her vote: "Shame, Clover - you're a disgrace to Australia".


Anonymous said...

(sorry... unrelated to article) Someone who understands basic economics!! -->

The Editor said...

Yes, that Independent story is significant. Note that critics of the legal regulation argument don't actually come up with any facts or logic to rebut it. They just use pejorative terms such as "doesn't know what he's talking about" and "irresponsible", reading straight out of the prohibitionist handbook.

If you had a good argument, wouldn't you use it?