Green/Labour wowsers

Years back, when Labour and the Left had a half-way credible claim to represent the interest of workers, they were the people that supported a good family life; beer that wasn’t too expensive, an affordable smoke, and the right to have a bet at the TAB.

Today, the Left, be it the mad Green Taliban or the weak-kneed light-bulb-banning Labour mob, demand that everyone lives the righteous mung-bean eating life of a hemp-clad hippie.   Their way or no way.   What happened?

Australian commentator and University Professor Greg Melleuish identified the trend some time back in Australia:  the return of the Wowser, the obnoxious, controlling zealot who sees your pleasure and freedom as a sin.   And today they are not religious fanatics, they are Green and Left politicians:

WHEN we survey some of the more controversial incidents of recent times, from the attempts to place restrictions on poker machine players to the suspension of live cattle exports to Indonesia, there is a connecting thread that almost everyone has missed. This is the return of the wowser.

Wowsers want to improve people and make them better. To do so they have to prevent them from engaging in activities that they find immoral: be it gambling, eating meat, drinking alcohol, smoking or consuming junk food.

My father used to say that for such people if you were enjoying yourself there must be sin involved. 

This week’s debate about the excellent deal that our Government has done to secure a $402 million convention centre at NO COST to ratepayers and tax payers has exposed them further:  They hate business, but they also hate Gambling, a Wowser Sin.

If we limit gambling we can make people better. And, as we all know, it is a fact universally acknowledged that there is not a bogan out there who could not do with some improvement.

The Green and Labour objections are not just an anti-business philosophy; they are an ugly attempt to re-make the population in their own image, as Prof Melleuish points out:

In days gone by, the ideals of wowserdom were often linked with those of eugenics. People could be improved if only their habits and lifestyle were changed; if only they lived a more rational way of life.

Eugenics has often been misunderstood. For one thing it was embraced in countries such as Australia by people who considered themselves to be progressive, who we would describe as being on the left. For another it was as much about changing the environment as it was about selective breeding. It was about making better people.

It was not only Nazi Germany that engaged in activities such as sterilising the unfit. Many countries, including democracies, sought to improve their populations in this way.

It was not politics so much as religion that determined whether a government would seek to go down this road. Protestants generally did, Catholics did not. Fortunately, Australia had a significant Catholic minority.

In a slightly different vein it is worth observing that Hitler and his fellow Nazis were very concerned about cruelty to animals and introduced legislation that made Germany a world leader in this area. They restricted their cruelty only to those people whom they regarded as inferior, all in the name of improving the human race.

Wowsers and eugenicists generally go together as they see the key to a better world lying in the creation of better human beings. Eradicate evils and that will be possible.

The idea that it is the task of the government to improve the people who are entrusted to their care is very dangerous. Are people who do not eat meat or play the poker machines really better than those who do? Do we want the state to attempt to create a utopia of good people who have had their bad bits excised?


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story.  And when he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet.   Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet, and as a result he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist that takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him.  But you can’t ignore him.