|When the going gets tough ..|
Some people believe that with the right incentive-based management system
that even public
servants can be made to work productively and conscientiously. Of course
people who believe this are unreformed socialists, but they are not
totally wrong. With a sweet enough carrot and big enough stick, even government employees can be
made to, grudgingly, do their job occasionally. Like the NSW police force for
today announced that eight males, aged between 16 and 21, had been arrested
over the violence at the beachside suburb of Maroubra on December
Of course one can't lay all the blame at the police. A systemic culture of
corruption a decade ago
was replaced by a systemic culture of donuts and multicultural
sympathies. The new social-work-environment
didn't offer the same rewards for taking bribes, but at least the job wasn't
hard: leave the ethnic gangs alone, and harass middle-class family men for
speeding by a few Ks or failing to indicate correctly on a round-about.
But public pressure after the Cronulla riots was building steadily. Police
arrested many of the rioting white thugs, but none of the ethnic gangs which
terrorized southern Sydney in the days (or rather nights) afterwards, and people
weren't happy. Police tried to bury a video showing a man being set upon and
beaten by around 40 men 'of middle eastern appearance'. Police denied that the
tape existed until it was televised, and then started finger pointing at each
other. People were even less happy.
Then there was the issue of the 'missing' police radio tapes which
reportedly contain instructions to police officers to ignore convoys of
Middle-Eastern gangs. It was an 'internal procedural matter', and hence it was
'inappropriate to comment'. People probably had had enough, and even the NSW
police were forced to actually do something.
All this makes the next NSW election hard to call. Is the ethnic violence
issue going to decide the next election? How much concern is there about ethnic
violence in Sydney at the moment? There are many people who will quietly vote
for any party which offers a plausible solution to the problem - but how many?
Morris Iemma and Peter Debnam are doubtless examining this issue carefully, but
their tried and true popularity gauges may fail them.
One Nation took many people by surprise because they didn't detect the
undercurrent of anger and dissatisfaction with leftist political
correctness. Knowing what people really think is a hard thing to do. People
tend to socialize with people who think the things that they do - and
politicians (almost by definition) socialize with the lowest class of
humanity. Chatting to other politicians, and Canberra
call-girls (most of
whom seem to be ANU students) doesn't give a
really balanced view.
Political parties try to overcome this natural bias by using 'focus
groups'. They get about a dozen swinging voters, ply them with a few beers and
videotape the conversations. This is a good mechanism, but it doesn't pick up
the silent undercurrents. If the media, the politicians and the intellectual elites
have been screaming 'RACISM!
RACISM!' for the past
decade, most people will keep quiet about ethnic violence concerns in the
company of strangers - even under the tongue-loosening effects of mild
But at least the police have been forced to their their job for a
change. And it could be said that under the right incentive-based management
system that even politicians can be made to work productively and
conscientiously. Unfortunately the democratic process isn't it.