Nanny State Fled

Adam Piggott has left his native Australia for the Netherlands, and found it a liberating experience:

Compared to Australians the Dutch have personal freedom. All those kids zooming around on bikes that I mentioned? No helmets. Not a single one. On several occasions I have witnessed a teenage boy giving his girl a ride on his bike. The girl is usually facing the boy, her legs dangling over the bike in a relaxed manner, as she casually smokes a cigarette. It is the epitome of freedom.

Kids don’t play in the street in Australia. Kids don’t get themselves to school anymore. The roads are clogged with parents driving their children here, and driving their children there. It is a sterile society.

Funny, sterile is the word I used when describing Melbourne:

Rather than being a hotch-potch of genuinely avant-garde establishments, they are regulated into places far more sterile than the author is making out.  Walk into any bar and you’ll see enormous signs warning people about drinking too much, detailing hefty fines for various alcohol related offences.  At some point in the evening a squad of police in high-viz vests may well come walking through the joint, and you can be sure none stays open beyond the permitted time (or opens if there are no office workers around).

From my point of view, I’d take a bit of groaning infrastructure over sterility any day.

At street level, it feels as though one has a lot more personal freedom in France than in Australia. Judging by what Adam is saying, the same is true for the Netherlands.

Welcome to Europe, Adam!


15 thoughts on “Nanny State Fled

  1. When we went to live in S Australia we were astonished to be told that you mustn’t drive with your elbow on the window-sill of the open window. Because then part of your body would be outside the moving vehicle and that was illegal.

    No wonder it was the first country with compulsory seat-belts. Contrary to their bombast, the Aussies have a remarkably high tolerance of being told what to do by jacks in office.

  2. I like the Dutch and enjoy Holland and returned there last year for the first time in twenty five years, although my experience has been limited to Amsterdam and Rotterdam in a holiday type atmosphere. My kind of coffee and a good all round craic. I come across Dutch expats in my line of work as well and quite enjoy the push and shove that comes along with their slightly aggressive approach.

    No wonder the Dutch guys from BAM got a 30% hardship allowance when they were posted to Perth.

  3. “Contrary to their bombast, the Aussies have a remarkably high tolerance of being told what to do by jacks in office.”

    Ex-prisoners. Different gaoler.

  4. It seems to be true that the English speaking countries, outside of America at least, seem to be more prone to this kind of soft totalitarianism – Scotland and Australia at the top, with England and Canada as runners up.

    Europe’s a mixed bag. The Nordic countries are probably more like the UK than they are to the Netherlands. But, as I think is the case with Germany, the view is that stupid people deserve what is coming to them and the process should not be overly interfered with by high vis vests and ‘danger’ signs. The Nordics, especially Sweden, have drunk the entire bottle of the SJW kool-aid unfortunately, and the politics are insufferable. The Latin countries could never enforce these rules even if they had them. Switzerland and the Netherlands probably come out close to the top with respect to civil liberties but the former has a reputation for being a very boring place to live, and I hear Dutch people live in the Netherlands. Outside of Europe many of the Far Eastern countries are hardly strong on civil liberties, but, nevertheless, they seem to be frozen in a 50s/60s time warp which means that traditional family structures (where they chose to have them) are intact and traditionally male liberties such as drinking, smoking and massage are still under no threat from the embryonic matriarchy.

  5. “Ex-prisoners. Different gaoler.” That won’t wash. The South Australians put up with all the govt bullying too, and they were the only convict-free state.

  6. Scots and Australians respond well to paternalism, but then so do the Germans. Like many I’m a fan of the Dutch, spent a lot of time working there in the past. If I were critical of cloggies it’s that they’re a touch hen-pecked, women rule the roost – although it makes for a quiet life.

  7. I lived in Sydney ’02 to ’03, I used to joke that a Sydney pub crawl went “go to first bar, drink a couple of schooners, go to second bar, refused entry because intoxicated”. On the other hand they do have drive thru offies. I got the impression that only drongos drank in bars, civilised people drank at home with their mates.

  8. One of the surprising things I found when moving to Victoria some years ago was just how tolerant of control Aussies were. People perceive NZ’ers as being more like this, yet you can get along in NZ quite happily with very little interference from the state.

  9. “When we went to live in S Australia we were astonished to be told that you mustn’t drive with your elbow on the window-sill of the open window. Because then part of your body would be outside the moving vehicle and that was illegal.”

    Yes, fun fact; laser pointers are illegal in most of Australia, as are slingshots. They also have the concept of ‘lawful excuse’, which is a complete obscenity in what should be a free society.

  10. RDFL junior results to have margins capped to improve player retention

    THRASHINGS are no more in all Riddell District Football League junior matches after the league introduced a new rule midway through the season. Margins will be capped in all under-12 to under-16 grades, with goalkickers and best players also not recorded on the league’s website for posterity.

    Capping margins at junior level is hoped to improve player retention. The score capping came into effect on June 18 after junior club presidents voted on the issue in May.

    “The margin is capped at 80 points in under-16s, 60 points in under-14s and 48 points in under-12s, which aligns to the length of time played in each of those age divisions,” RDFL operations manager Steve Williams said.

    “We ran a number of scenarios past the club presidents and the majority of presidents voted to implement the capping process as it now stands.”

  11. Pussified Australia? It’s just beginning!

    The mighty state of Queensland, 80% frontier and with macho-men aplenty, requires a Police Force that brooks no rot!

    Or so you’d think, however:

    Police have now sternly informed me that to do a walk-through of a pub, there is one non-negotiable condition:

    The bar staff MUST guarantee “officer safety”.

    I declined to make this guarantee.
    Plod are thus outfoxed.

  12. “The bar staff MUST guarantee “officer safety”.”

    lol, this used to be provided by a 6-cell maglite….

  13. I thought that would be much the other way around? Police to guarantee staff safety.

    BTW, I understand the safest time to drink drive in Melbourne is when it is raining. From a licence retention perspective. Plod can’t work in the wet, OH & S you see.

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