Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Get over it!

Which Townsville housing development, top right or bottom really looks most like the 1975 East German housing block pictured top left on today’s front page?

In typical Bully style and on a slow news day, it’s time for a bit of a beat-up. And in the process, why not give a free ride to the Prince Regent, Cr Crisafulli.

As chairman of Council’s Planning and Economic Development Committee, the pretender to the throne of King Les has been copping a fair bit of flack for his appalling Cape Pallarenda decision (see: Another win for the developers). And what better way to distract the punters and redirect any residual anger than to use a couple of well-tested tactics learnt by the prince from his mentor the Monarch of Herbert, Peter Lindsay:

1. Shift the focus to a different level of government.
TCC has made and continues to make some truly dreadful and certainly uncreative planning decisions, so let’s get stuck into the State Government.

The reality is that around the country, State Governments can veto local government planning decisions just as the Feds can overrule State decisions in environmental planning and other areas. It has been that way for decades and for good reason – Local Government decision-making is arguably more open to graft and corruption, less focused on the greater good and more swayed by the NIMBY (Not In My Back Yard) factor – see 2. below

2. Frighten the bejesus out of the punters.
NIMBY is a world-view that runs deep in the Australian psyche and there is no more effective way of diverting attention or whipping up a bit of a storm than to appeal to this unsavoury undercurrent. The most common and effective NIMBY frenzy targets (in rough order) are:
  • paedophiles (including former paedophiles)
  • boat people (as opposed to illegal immigrants or asylum seekers per se),
  • blackfella rough-sleepers,
  • blackfellas,
  • the mentally ill, (See Catherine Jones' excellent piece Fairfax's National Times today: It's not right to demonise mental illness
  • whitefella rough-sleepers,
  • Public Housing tenants,
  • the poor, and then
  • teenagers
The story is a shameful beat-up by the Bully, playing to the Prince Regent’s tune in order to distract attention.

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