Friday, April 07, 2006

Te Radar: Policing stupidity can mean policing stupidly

The police seem intent on making life more difficult for themselves by trying to thwart the principles of Darwinian evolution, and its central concept of the survival of the fittest.

In an attempt to manufacture some much-needed good news, the police this week launched their latest initiative to crack down on people flagrantly breaching the laws of both the land and common sense.

Members of the constabulary will now travel in randomly selected train cabs to ensure that those ignoring warning bells and crossing perilously close to the front of trains, are prosecuted. One has to ask: Why?

Certainly, it is traumatic for train drivers who have the misfortune to hit someone, but for the followers of Darwin the police's actions are throwing a major spoke in the evolutionary wheel by allowing the stupid to continue to live, perchance to breed.

It was said that having police travel in train cabs would reduce these accidents, of which there are clearly too many. Personally, I suspect it won't, but at least the police will be able to be on the scene quickly.

What was most perplexing about this initiative was that the police made no mention of how they would pursue the offenders. It isn't as if they can commandeer the train.

It seems to me that while it is virtually impossible to police stupidity, it is possible to police stupidly.

Thankfully, the police were not dragged into the crime story that led the news earlier in the week; that the dastardly Russell Crowe had, during the course of his oddly entertaining concerts, smoked tobacco on stage.

Given the reaction from the anti-smoking zealots, one would have thought that he had thrust the cigarettes into the mouths of children and forced them to inhale, exclaiming: "Are you not entertained?"

To be honest, if he had done that, I probably would have been.

Given the disdain which the David Brent of Australian pub rock appeared to be feeling at being on stage in the show I saw in Auckland, I began to suspect that he was only smoking in a desperate attempt to end both his, and our, suffering. Not for our Russ the glorious ignominy of autoerotic asphyxiation. Rather he seemed to prefer the slower suicide of tobacco.

Of course, Australians appear to be not averse to committing crime.

For those still unsettled by Australia thrashing us in the Commonwealth Games, it appears they have upstaged us again.

An OECD report says Australia has the highest rate of victims of crime in the developed world. Before you gloat, we were second.

In response to their ad campaign "Where the bloody hell are you?" the answer seems clear. We are all staying home to stop people from robbing our houses.

Perhaps this is why Australians are also the world's largest consumers of Ecstasy. No wonder they are so infuriatingly cheerful.

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