1st of July 2021
Being rather parochial, we tend to favour homegrown solutions to guard against assaults on our way of life, our democratic principles. However, rather than cast a worldwide net to see if we can pinch an idea; thinking it through and developing a homegrown solution is always more effective.
It is more our faith in the ability of our community to logically and pragmatically deal with the problems that surface and an ability to cast aside the raucous views of minorities, progressive, reformists, liberationists, socialists and all the others hiding their communist ideals behind a veil of allegedly innocuous political ideologies.
It is interesting how some will lecture us on what we should do, think or say, but fail to keep their own house in order? Stones and Glasshouses spring to mind.
Hypocrisy is now endemic in the chattering classes of the elites and is so widely and regularly exercised as to become the norm and acceptable, at least to that cohort.
There is, however, growing evidence of pushback gaining traction.
Often referred to as the silent majority, the community are now finding their voice, and it would be a foolish community leader that ignored this trend, or worse, are in denial of it.
Recent activity on our petition, at https://www.change.org/p/petition-to-the-legislative-council-of-victoria-give-democracy-back-to-the-people-with-recall-elections? is an example.
There is evidence that the political class is starting to listen because they realise to ignore the community sentiment, they do so at their peril.
We have many social issues that need to be addressed, none more pressing than in law and order, specifically Policing.
Contrary to my norms, an article by James Dudley[i], a thirty-two-year veteran of San Francisco Police, brought to my attention, certainly piqued my interest.
Dudley writes on the impact of the defunding push of Police Forces in the USA. He highlights the consequences and how ten (10) of the States that adopted that strategy have now reversed their position finding the consequences intolerable. Those States have now set about rebuilding their Police services, and that could take decades.
The most enlightening aspects identified by Dudley are,
- The act now, think later, approach to Policing by Politicians influenced by populist movements can have very dire consequences for the community, and ironically the causes that the populist movements promote.
- Political responses to minority disquiet can create a situation where a police force’s resources designed to deal with policing the whole community can focus too long on a social issue that takes Police away from their traditional role. This can cause greater long-term problems than those trying to be resolved. Failing to “keep smouldering problems from becoming raging firestorms”[ii] can be an extremely fraught strategy.
- Mental health, homelessness, alcohol and drug addictions and Domestic Violence (excluding the criminal aspects of these ills) are examples of tasks that have been lumped onto Policing and tasks for which they are not suited nor should be responsible.
On the last point, it has been too easy for those responsible to hive off their responsibilities to Police. Historically, there appears little push back from Police administrations, making Policing the dumping ground for problems by those who fail and who so readily abdicate their responsibilities. There is also a link to extremists promoting anarchy for ideological reasons. Hijacking what may be a legitimate community cause or concern and escalating it to achieve ideological goals completely unrelated to the original cause, is a strategy that is becoming far too common, and we must be alert to this behaviour.
Dudley provides sage advice within this article, and we should learn from the mistakes of others; however, the need for homegrown solutions remains an imperative.
Victoria is not at the stage of many American States that are now reaping the results of poor decisions, but we would be naive to believe ‘it won’t happen here’. Unfortunately, all the warning signs are already in place. We must be smart enough to recognise the signs and head the disaster off at the pass.
By quoting Gordon Graham, “Predictable is preventable,[iii] ” Dudley’s sagacity sums up why we need to take these issues seriously now and not wait for what would seem an inevitable outcome.