Posted by: jkirkby8712 | November 6, 2010

Changing a culture.

I was watching the debate on the TV last night – between John Brumby [State premier & leader of the Labor Party in Victoria] and Ted Baillieu [Liberal Opposition leader] – in the lead up to the Victorian State election on the last Saturday in November. As usual in these things there were a range of issues covered, but I did note in particular the various responses to one particular issue, the question of the increasing levels of violence in our city streets and on our trains, etc, and the question was asked of each leader as to what they intended to do about the problem, if re-elected.

I made  a brief comment about this on Faceback, and did receive a couple of interesting, which without naming the people concerned, I thought it was worth making a note of. I began with the note that: –    Ted Bailleau missed the point tonight – asked how he would change the culture of violence in the streets, trains, etc –  oh, more police, more presence on the trains, more power to act. His own words – ‘To change the culture you have to have more police”.  He repeated the Coalition’s pledge to add 1,700 more police and 950 Victoria Police protective service officers on all metropolitan and major regional train networks.  But is that going to change the culture Ted – may drive the violence underground, move it somewhere else!  On the other hand,  John Brumby got the point – you change the culture through the schools, education programs, things like the cyber bullying program, etc. Sorry Ted, you slipped up there! ……………………… A few friends responded with some views and comments of their own

[CF]: If that was the ABC radio I was hearing this morning…I wish my other half had rung in with his comments!! I think they’re good but he’d never make them public 😦 Security guards it was said were guarding the trains not the people….but apparently their powers are limited unlike police anyway…I’ve observed they’re recruiting for more police currently.           [Me]: Yes, my son spent 18 months as a security guard with the railways – and yes, they were ‘guarding’ the trains – from vandals!!!       [RP]: I agree, prevention better than cure- just need to address things like that really early in life- good teaching and environment for each and every toddler and preschooler.      [AP]: In my partial opinion, I didn’t like the fact that Ted needed notes to push his message, Brumby, was non scripted, plus I don’t recall, but I could be wrong Ted mentioning education, his main push is Law and Order, and this is worrying. We in Vic don’t live in the Bronx, and I am very concerned that if Ted keeps telling people what an unsafe place we live in people will start really believing this spin, most of all the elderly, who will deadlock their homes to the extent that in the event of a fire etc they won’t get out.  I don’t deny that there are some safety issues but the way that Ted and the boys are playing it, it’s like we are not safe to walk out our front doors, and in my opinion this is dangerous.        [Me]: In this case A, I do agree with you, lol, I’d like to see less emphasise on the ‘fear’ side of it. Sure, the public needs to be aware of dangers, and take precautions accordingly. however, it does all go back to education, and way we teach our society to behave and/or react responsibly to other cultures, religions, beliefs, and the kind of ideas R suggests. This also needs to tie in with employment opportunities, youth training – bored and idle ‘youths’ [young, old, male, female] are a recipe for problems, potential violence through frustration, lack of opportunity, and so on.  Last night’s debate was interesting and worthwhile, but in some ways, I felt both leaders were a little backward in coming forward – a reluctance to promise too much too precisely. It would be useful to have a forum of that nature here in this electorate – we’ve heard from the Liberal & Labor candidates, not much from the others, presume there are some. I wonder if there is any plan to bring them all together, and address the issues that more directly affect this area, in addition to their feelings on the broader scale of things?       [RP]: Here, here- fear is MUCH overused- disgusting really- from refugees to this. [CF]:  Ann I think I agree with you whilst the world has problems living in fear is no good. [RP]: Especially irrational fear- what a waste! And what a distraction from the real issues.  Like when the American right gets all bogged down in hunting out immorality in a sexual sense and forgets about the immorality of the violence of its overseas adventures or poor healthcare system.

Apart from that topic, the two basic differences between the leaders – well, it was what was to be expected of course. The Premier pledged that education, hospitals and more jobs would be at the heart of a returned Labor government. I mean at a State level, who wouldn’t promise attention to those kind of things. And not surprisingly, Ted Baileau emphasised an end to a decade of waste, and a tough new regimen to tackle crime.

Meanwhile, I think the issue that shown both leaders up a bit was the unconvincing manner in which they responded to questions about the allocation of preferences to the Greens [the third major Party in the coming election]. While I thought too much time was wasted on that aspect [by the panel and debate host posing the questions] both Brunby & Bailleau seemed unable to satisfy those questions. And as one of the papers noted this morning, the ‘Opposition leader is stubborn and he failed, yet again, to put his position on the table about whether he would be preferencing the Greens in crucial inner Melbourne seats’.  I got a bit frustrated with all that – it would seem to me, that where there are only three principal candidates, neither party could really avoid allocating their preferences to the Greens, and that would probably cancel their value out in any case. Of course, there are usually a number of minor candidates stand in the city seats, who while having no chance of being elected, can often cause problems for the majoe parties under our preferential voting system. But the newspaper article seemed to be suggesting that this preferencing debate is threastening to derail the Coalition’s campaign for election. Although mind you, John Brumby was not strong on that aspect either, in that he was far from convincing in saying whether or not Labor would form a minority government with the backing of the Greens, were that necessary. He stuck to the line that Labor was going out to win the election in it’s own right, and anything beyond that was supposition!!

Leaving that aside, we had a beautiful warmish day in this part of Victoria, which gave me no excuse to avoid the mowing of the those lawns and a few hours gardening. Mind you, by the end of all that, the ‘old legs’ were beginning to complain a little, and when we went out for a walk later in the afternoon, the legs convinced their owner that it should be a short walk!  I followed their advice!

As for this evening, well many tasks one wanted to get on with, but instead, read another chapter of the book I purchased yesterday – John Howard’s biography ‘Lasarus Rising’, and while I might be considered a little biased, I am so far finding it fascinating reading – in fact, although e are only into the early chapters, dealing with his early life, I finding it quite a comfortable writing style to read, hope it stays that way. Later, with the house to myself again [daughter away for the night, somewhere], I decided to ‘borrow’ her DVD player, and sit down for 3 hours with one of the DVDs that my son gave me for my birthday – the Series 1 and 2 of “24” featuring that secret agent Jack Bower!  This is one of the few TV series of recent years that I watched and enjoyed religiously, and I found it interesting revisiting the opening ‘chapters’ again, minus the advert breaks! I think I have watched all of the 5 or 6 series that have been screened out here. It will probably take me a while to get through these 12 DVDs that make up Series 1 and 2, as I seldom make time for that kind of TV viewing! Tonight was an exception, couldn’t be bothered doing anything else!! Incidentally, it got to 22 degrees in Sunbury today, almost Brisbane weather, and at this point in time it is a mild 14 degrees!



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