Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Fear and disassociation

Reading the news in the Tellytubbygraph, and the hilarious comments thereon from both public and an apparent clique of paid lobbyists pissing in the fountain of public discourse, I am more and more of the opinion that many people are just not versed in the day to day business of life. Take this little op-ed about dogs.

Let me declare an interest here, on the whole I like dogs. They are an excellent guide to their owners. My own slightly scruffy mutt is somewhat excitable, loves new friends, and is only ill tempered when pushed to extremes. He, like his owner, loves having his back scratched and tummy rubbed and is a complete slut when it comes to affection. He's not terribly brave or clever, yet will stand his ground against all comers when the need arises. I love him to bits. Yet even so, there might be people who fear his exuberant and enthusiastic mode of greeting. Unlike his owner he is sometimes too indiscriminate in his affections. Ergo, he sometimes needs his boundaries reset. No big deal.

Now the above should not prove surprising. I grew up in a house where dogs and cats were kept as pets, and so received a thorough grounding in how to deal with them in all their moods, including unhappy visits to the vet. Giving pills to cats and other such hilarity were part of my boyhood training. How to approach a strange dog on and off his 'turf'; all that stuff. I have the scars to prove it. So in the Sticker household both owner and dog are what might be called 'well socialised'. Unlike some of the dog hating denizens of the comments section.

Now I can understand disliking or distrusting some of the more aggressive breeds, but hating all dogs? That's just plain irrational. Rather like hating all cats. That's a phobia not a reasonable response, and there should be no room on the statute books for phobias.

The aforementioned says a great deal more about dog haters as people than anything else. It bespeaks a fear of the world outside of their narrow little minds. More often than not they want a 'law' against everything they personally can't cope with, forgetting that laws need enforcement and that's why property / council tax is often so high. They dissociate from the simple truth that the more you want from Government, either local or national, the more you have to put in. They also seem to forget that Government at whatever level is horrendously inefficient. The bang for buck ratio being very poor indeed.

Governments are good at very big stuff, like roads, defence, law enforcement etc. That is because such projects require large investments of manpower and energy not available to most individuals or groups. What Government can't do is live your life for you or wipe your arse when you forgot; and it is unreasonable to expect such institutions to do so. For example; a Policeman's job is not to deal with every slight or hurt you might feel, nor should they be expected to do so. When they are asked to do so, the response is often a world weary "Oh what is it now?"

If you can't personally deal with dogs or other domestic animals the advice is learn a strategy or avoid them. If you can't do that then, tough.

The thought does occur that anyone demanding 'there should be a law agin it' should be asked how much they personally are willing to pay for said enforcement. Want cleaner streets? How often do you want them cleaned? A dog warden to clean up all the dog poo? Okay, put your hand on your wallet and shell out for his salary. Failing that, do something about it yourself. Clean up the dog mess or challenge the owners to do so in person. Most of us dog owners already do. It's not unreasonable.

The point is that big brother government is broke, and if you want anything more then you have got to pay for it; not your neighbour, or the guy at the end of the street, but you. What an excellent idea.

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