My Blog

Start Thinking for Yourself

Okay. I know that I’m going to be controversial with this blog post, but I’m feeling incensed enough to speak up…

During the week of November the 5th, fireworks go off at all times of the day and night in celebration of Guy Fawkes’s failed attempt to blow up the Parliament in England. This is something that I have grown up with and the sounds and colours that light up the sky are etched upon my heart as well as my mind.

So, I was surprised that my wife asked me whether I had read the report that a lady had a petition signed by over 30,000 people asking our government to outlaw the sale of fireworks to the public here in New Zealand.

Her motivation, it appears, was that her pet dog had been scared by the noise of the previous year’s private fireworks displays…

Really? Because a pet had been scared!

Not because there was a maiming, a loss of life or a serious accident that was caused as a result of the misuse of fireworks…because an animal has been spooked!

I know that there is a risk that the animal lovers amongst us will be alienated by my comments – hear me right – even I have a cat, so I can empathise with this woman’s plight.

So this got me thinking.

I’m not upset because the focus is on an animal and that it has been put at a higher level than an unborn child or an old person, but because the default position here is to create a nanny state and to have all our decisions made for us.

The risk is that we remove our ability to think for ourselves by instigating new legislation. This is a massive danger that if unaddressed could lead to self-destruction.

So to help you avoid the ‘Nanny State’ that we seem to be heading towards, here are five things that I would encourage you to consider:

  1. Common Sense isn’t as common as we think! The logical resolution to the pet’s discomfort lies within the hands of the users of the fireworks. Being sensible as to when we use them and how they are used doesn’t need a university degree. In the evening, and over a short period of time (say a week either side of Guy Fawkes night) would be a good start.
  2. Limiting the sale of fireworks isn’t the solution. We already limit the sale of fireworks to a specific timeframe and through licensed distributors. No doubt the banning of their sale will just drive the industry underground and a black market will appear sooner or later.
  3. Stupid is as stupid does. You cannot legislate against stupidity and Forrest Gump’s words ring loud and clear in my ears. If we try to bring everything down to the ‘lowest common denominator,’ then we will end up dumbing down our nation as opposed to helping it grow in intelligence.
  4. Lead by example. If this lady could gain support for what in my opinion is an absurd cause, then we can and should take the lead on a cause that we are passionate about. Maybe we will be able to address the balance of sensibility over time?
  5. Speak your mind. Don’t let others with a political agenda stifle you and your voice. I’m a tolerant person, but I object to those who try to label me as a ‘fundamentalist’ or ‘conservative right.’ I don’t call them names and I pray that they can practice what they preach. In the interim, I will not bow down to political correctness and I will speak my mind!

So start thinking for yourself before they outlaw that as well!

Nsanz GSF