Not contradictory…fair.

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A lot is made of the Australian ‘Fair Go’ attitude. We will go out of our way to give anyone a chance. Of course, there’s a flip side to that, anyone abusing that fair attitude is dealt with harshly. Mostly this is seen in what is called “Tall Poppy syndrome” where the community seem to go out of their way to condemn a celebrity who they recently revered once they have fallen short of expectations. As of today I have another example of this attitude, and it has to do with speeding.

Australian’s love their cars. Our land is wide and we as a nation love to travel. In conjunction with this we love to speed, some would argue that’s what cars are meant for. If I’m driving safely why can’t I speed? Fair? Of course if you’re caught speeding…watch out.

This article states that many Australians hold a contradictory view when it comes to speeding. Many believe that speeding penalities should be the same as they are at the moment or harsher, but many of us to believe that we can safely speed. I’d like to challenge the statement that this makes Australian’s contradictory. In fact, this view is in line with the cultural view of ‘Fair Go’.

It goes like this: if you want to speed, fine, we won’t get in your way. BUT, if you get caught…expect the heavy hand to crush you and for society in general to ridicule you.

Some people say our irreverant attitude to the law is a heirloom of our convict beginnings. Creating a nation out of group of people that made a living out of bending the rule of law. Robyn Williams, an Australian social commentator says that our nation is really only in its teen years and is still feeling out what it can and can’t do. This teen rebellion/experimentation manifests itself in such social attitudes.

I tend to think it’s just human nature to try and get away with something that authority tells them they can’t do. Tax salt so the average man can’t afford it, got to the ocean and make it yourself. Tell a group of scattered colonies that they can’t have their own government, they go out and create one of the most powerful nations this world has seen. Tell that same nation that having a black president is ludicrious idea… I personally think that such as attitude, positively directed is a wonderful catalyst for change, and if it means I’m looked at as a little contradictory…so be it.

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One response »

  1. I don’t believe I can safely speed, and I do think the penalties are just.
    I do agree with you about human nature, but don’t think it’s unique to Australia.
    I also think Australia as a whole, may be in our teen years, but we’re reasonably mature teens. More so than some other young countries.

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