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Saturday 2 February 2013

Goodbye to the Evil Queen of Plain Packs

Lately I've been avoiding Twitter much in the same way that public health advocates avoid being honest or facing the truth about the harm their policies cause.  I know Twitter exists; I simply choose to ignore it.  When I have used Twitter this past month, it has been only for the amount of time it takes me to post up a link to this blog.  I haven't been reading anyone's tweets -- I just post up my blog link and then shut it down.  Yesterday, however, I figured I'd catch up a bit on what people were tweeting, and that's when I saw Alex Deane's semi-ambiguous tweet that read:
UK followers, please forgive a tweet that won't mean anything to you. *ahem* Nicola Roxon BYEEE BYEEEEE *ahem* that is all.
In this case, Alex was wrong to assume this wouldn't mean anything to UK folk.  I am very much aware of the evil queen of plain packs, Nicola Roxon.  And I suspect that most or perhaps all of my regular readers in the UK are aware of Nanny State Nicci, too.  She is, in my opinion, a despicable human being. With the obvious exception of those crusading in public health (also despicable people, mostly) who adore Roxon, you do not have to search the Internet for very long to discover that a great number of Australians truly dislike most everything about her for countless reasons.

But anyway, Alex's tweet left me wanting to find out what happened to Roxon. I grinned, wickedly, as my mind raced with all sorts of horrific possibilities and scenarios in that all-too-brief moment before I searched on Google for an answer. Did she get hit by a bus? Caught in a raging flood and swept away into oblivion?  Perhaps struck by a small meteor?  Alas, Google disappointingly confirmed that none of these things had happened. It turned out that the Australian news sites were reporting on rumours that Roxon was going to resign from her Attorney General role and ultimately from politics at some point later in the day. 

Roxon's resignation did happen.  She cites wanting to spend more time with her family as her reason. Personally, I don't buy it.  When politicians suddenly resign and say they are doing so in order to spend more time with family, it's almost always a cover story designed to hide something most unsavoury, some kind of political scandal. "Resign now and we won't leak the story to the press" blackmail kind of thing. There's no evidence of a scandal involving Roxon, I admit. But I do wonder... it is possible. Or could it be Roxon knows that there is little chance of Julia Gillard's evil, misandrous, nannying government obtaining a majority at the next general election? Get out now while you still can.

Whatever the real reason is for her departure, Australia will be much better off without the likes of Nanny State Nicci bullying them into submission at every opportunity.  Oz still has to contend with Roxon's ideological clone Tanya Plibersek, the other third of Gillard's now-shattered triumvirate in power. For the time being anyway.

It's obvious that I am no fan of Roxon. I believe she epitomises almost everything that is wrong with our increasingly risk-averse society.  I certainly don't like anyone* who teaches any child to say "front bottom" instead of the word vagina, as evidenced by this Q&A in July of last year:
TONY JONES: But what is it about the word "vagina" that people find offensive?

NICOLA ROXON: I don’t know. I do admit, because I have a seven-year-old, that "front bottom" is slightly more popular in our house.
She goes on to explain that she believes children should be taught the correct terms for their genitalia, but "not at a ridiculously young age."  What is a ridiculously young age in her view? I don't know, but considering the trend towards the infantilisation of adults in Australia (and elsewhere), I'd have to guess any age under 35-years-old is probably considered ridiculously young to Roxon.  This idea that we need to hide everything from children is misguided. The right age to tell children the correct names for their genitalia is the very first time they ask about it, and maybe a bit sooner depending on circumstances. Boys have penises, and girls have vaginas (cue clip from the film Kindergarten Cop). It really is that simple. There is no reason to hide it from children. There is nothing offensive about these words.

Roxon's arguably dubious parenting skills aside, it was her zealous crusade against smokers and for plain packaging of tobacco products as Health Minister that will be her everlasting legacy.  She is a True Believer, a zealot of the worst kind, a grand inquisitor of the New Inquisition against smokers (and drinkers).  I sometimes wonder what makes the prohibitionists tick, why they aggressively lobby and campaign for policies of the denormalisation of smokers under the guise of protecting the public's health. Increasingly, I find it's one of two things: Somebody in their family died from cancer, or they are devout religious extremists incapable of tolerating those who do not believe as they do. In Nanny State Nicci's case (as it is with many of the nannying tyrants I've blogged about), it's the former -- her father died from cancer.  This alone does not explain why some people feel obligated to control other people's lives through excessive and harmful legislation, but a death in the family most often seems to be their initial motivation towards activism.

So, let's cheerily wave a two-fingered goodbye to Roxon, the evil queen of plain packs. One does wonder, though, what will she do next? Is her reign of terror truly coming to end? What sort of organisation outside of government would welcome her with open arms and embrace her intolerance?  Perhaps the answer to those questions is best left to the Root of All Evil's pal, the aptly-surnamed Dr Rimmer, who tweeted:

Me thinks he's on to something there.

*(If you believe that calling a vagina a "front bottom" is acceptable, if you use this term yourself or teach your children to use it or some other stupid euphemism for their genitalia like "hoo-hah," please kill yourself. You are everything that is wrong with the world we live in.)