In Australia, the federal government’s propaganda tends to condescendingly heckle citizens about various issues that are pretty much always best left to the individual’s discretion – not unlike the output from NuLabour’s Ministry of Truth – similar beast, albeit with a more sinister bark. So in Britain you get this (probably one of the more egregious examples), and in Australia, this (ditto).
On balance, the naff Australian stuff is the lesser of two evils, but it is still deeply irritating, patronising bilge. Take the abovementioned ‘understanding money really pays off’ campaign the government is running via billboards and television commercials. Thanks so much for spending my tax money on delivering that sterling piece of advice – let me just make a note of it on my invisible typewriter. The most wasteful entity in society is wasting more of our money by telling us to mind our pennies! That is rich – even if we are not.
Still, it is exactly the sort of hypocritical, wealth-destroying enterprise one would expect the government to embark upon. However, it is pretty depressing when your (private sector) employer gets in on the act. I arrived home today to find the company I work for have decided to post me a brochure titled ‘Safety At Home’. Apparently “every day is Safety Day – think safety 24/7”. It is full of handy tips along the lines of “don’t hold any part of your body over a boiling kettle – steam can be hotter than water” and “read labels before use…take notice of cautions and warnings” and “try not to stick your head in the oven when the gas is on but not lit – unless you feel suicidal. If you feel only slightly suicidal, keep reading this brochure and you will want to get it over and done with in no time at all.” And in the foreword from our CEO:
We have produced this booklet as a reminder of the simple [really, painfully, embarrassingly simple – JW] things that we can all do outside the workplace to make sure we’re thinking safety 24/7 (…) stay safe and keep well.
Where does a nice big steaming hot mug of “fuck the hell off!” flung at your nether regions fit into your Safety at Home recommendations, Mr CEO? And get the hell out of my house while you are at it, you finger-wagging ponce. Shareholders bankroll enough useless expenditure via the taxation system as things are; corporate nannies are not welcome. Give us our money back.