Wednesday, June 08, 2005


Welcome to Fear Central

We’re quaking in our boots down here in Victoria. Our knees are knocking, our teeth chattering : We’re wetting our pants as a chilling climate of fear and dread takes hold in these trepidacious times.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself “ said President Roosevelt, and that’s exactly what we’re doing. We are fearful of fear, and the Government have been trying to keep from the public a secret report that proves just how fearful of fear we are.

Australia’s most popular newspaper, The Herald Sun, has been on the case, keen to tell us the truth : that we’re more scared shitless than we could possibly imagine.

Last Sunday the Herald Sun broke the big story about the secret State Government document. This incredibly expensive report called the Perception of Justice Survey, that the Government didn’t want us to have, was eventually obtained by the tireless reporters of the Herald Sun through Freedom of Information requests.

It blows the lid on the whole “Fear Frustration Strategy”, that the Government has been trying to secretly promote, and now we can freely fan the frantic flames of fear, as we have a right to do in a democracy.

Neil Mitchell has not be slow to act either, yesterday Mr. Mitchell launched into fear overdrive:

THERE'S an epidemic of fear in Victoria and this time the people deserve better than a pat on the head, some reassuring platitudes, and a series of feel-good TV commercials.

Usually, the politicians treat us like dills. They tell us we're ignorant and claim there is no need to be worried about becoming a victim of crime because statistics prove it is unlikely. But pumping out a statistical fog dodges the issue. Perceptions of crime do matter because they affect directly how we live.

Too right Neil, and perceptions of fear matter too. How does the average battler know how fearful to be unless he’s got some idea of how fearful everyone else is? This stuff needs to be out in the open. If we don’t feel scared enough then we get complacent. We start thinking about justice instead of punishment, rehabilitation instead of retribution.

Its high time that the State Government and the Justice System, started listening to the views of the people as expressed by the Herald Sun and started getting tough on the cause of our fear, Our Judges.

If we don’t act now, then the fear will become a self fulfilling prophecy, and goodness knows where that might lead, maybe Mass Hysteria.

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