Archive for December 30th, 2008

The Sensational Security Fiasco

There’s a bit of a hullabaloo going on in the media today about a supposed lack of security guards at a New Year’s Eve dance event in Melbourne.

The event in question is called “Sensation” and until now, I’d never heard of it. Well, actually, I had seen the name, but didn’t really bother finding out what it was…which was probably a good thing as it’s not really my cup of tea (and it could be argued that it wouldn’t suit people who measure events in terms of cups of tea anyway). It does occur to me now that the myriad of people I know who have left Canberra for Melbourne this week are probably going to that event…I’m glad that I wasn’t present when the idea of going was floated as it would have made for a very boring conversation.

Anyway, back on topic, there are supposedly going to be 50 security guards, although organisers have claimed on 3AW that the number will be closer to 200, for the 40,000 people expected to attend, which works out at 800 people per guard (or 200 people per guard if the organisers are to be believed), a number which falls short of some supposed benchmark of 2 guards for the first hundred people and one guard for each hundred thereafter.

Surely though, the number of guards plus the uniformed and plain-clothed police who will be there is plenty for what will almost certainly be a festive and fairly pleasant event. The people who are whinging about a lack of guards really need to remember that security guards are not riot police, and are really just a form of crowd control and a deterrent to those who may want to cause mischief. There is almost nothing that they can do to prevent or stop a riot should the conditions be right for them…that’s when you call in the police and let them deal with it.

Sometimes I think the people who are whinging about this (as the latest thing in a long series of “whinging because we can”) won’t be happy until there are two security guards for every attendee. They don’t seem to realise that nobody would actually attend such an event, and they would avoid “organised” events if such rules were put in place, effectively leading to impromptu events in suburban locations, which are prone to gatecrashes, and the exact trouble that these organised events tend to discourage.

Virtually mandating that people attending these organised events end up dancing with the security guards is not helpful to anyone, and it’s about time that the people who in reality want to ban organised (and impromptu) events, and are using this security hoopla as a thin veil to do so, should just follow my lead, and go to bed before midnight on New Year’s Eve.

Samuel

1 comment December 30th, 2008 at 01:36pm

Here’s an idiot who needs to be caught

A mere click away from the WIN News videos that I posted earlier today, in the “related videos” section of YouTube, I came across these videos of an idiot hooning around Canberra’s streets on a motorbike, in one case reaching 212km/h on ANZAC Parade which is a 60km/h zone, and reaching plenty of other ridiculous speeds on other Canberra roads, in traffic.

Edit: It looks like The RiotACT stumbled on this a few days ago, and the Canberra Times have a story this morning about Police trying to find this menace.

For the record, this article on this blog was written at about 7pm yesterday. End Edit.

It looks like they may have run a red light towards the end of the second video as well…almost a certainty considering that they were slowing down but still travelling in excess of 100km/h when the video faded to a different clip just as they were reaching the stop line.

The sooner this idiot is caught and stopped, the better. It’s just a pity that the numberplate which appears briefly is unreadable.

Update 3:42pm: Thanks to Kenneth for a link to an ABC News article which notes that a man is being questioned by police over the videos.

I congratulate the police on their swift work, however I am taken aback by a section of the article:

Superintendent [Matthew] Varley has also criticised internet users who viewed the video.

He says viewing the video might encourage others to drive unsafely.

“We want Canberrans to recognise themselves that simply promoting this sort of behaviour, viewing this sort of behaviour and commenting on it online encourages this sort of thing and it’s quite simply a stupid irresponsible act that puts other people at risk,” he said.

“If you see people driving around at excessive speeds, report it to us at the time so we can take some action at the time as well.”

I must say that I find the comments of Superintendent Varley somewhat perplexing considering that the online community did a lot of the legwork on this case (see the work done by The RiotACT in unearthing various online profiles which apparently belong to the creator of the videos) and have been highly critical of the rider in the videos. It would also be fair to say that a number of people have reported these videos to Police after watching them.

In my view, Superintendent Varley needs to remember that watching the videos is not illegal, and in a democratic society the public is entitled to discuss such things. Whilst it is possible that Superintendent Varley is venting at the few people on YouTube who seem to be encouraging the creator of the videos, his comments are too broad, and are enough to prompt me to write a letter to him expressing both my concerns about his comments, and my thanks for his, and his team’s, prompt action. End Update

Samuel

4 comments December 30th, 2008 at 11:07am

WIN News Canberra vs WIN News NSW/ACT

On Friday I noted that WIN News in Canberra was actually a state/territory edition for New South Wales and the ACT produced in WIN’s Wollongong studios. I also noted that I believed it was of a higher quality, and provided a better insight in to the news than the usual Canberra bulletin.

I notice that YouTube user canberratelevision has posted highlights of both the state/territory bulletin, and the Canberra bulletin from the 17th of December. As such, here they are…decide for yourself.

WIN News Canberra: 17th December 2008

WIN News NSW/ACT: 26th December 2008

Samuel

December 30th, 2008 at 09:56am

Or you could just wait for a real storm…

What a pity it is that there isn’t going to be a natural thunderstorm around 11:59 on Wednesday night in Sydney. Just think of all the money that the New South Wales government could pump in to schools, roads and hospitals:

From The Australian:

SYDNEY will usher in 2009 with a $5 million pyrotechnics display using almost twice as much fireworks as last year.

More than five tonnes of fireworks will explode over Sydney Harbour, in what event organisers have dubbed the Midnight Creation Storm.

The fireworks display will feature ‚Äústunning new effects like lightning, thunder and rain,” Sydney New Year’s Eve Creative Director Rhoda Roberts said.

Which makes me wonder why the weather bureau haven’t noticed the impending storm. Their forecast calls for “mostly sunny” weather.

That said, Ms. Roberts has a theory as to why the Sydney forecast hasn’t change, which she explained to The Sydney Morning Herald:

“As we go into the countdown and the fireworks begin, you really are going to be taken away to another world.”

My question though, is where are all of the climate change alarmists? Why aren’t they complaining about the pollution from the fireworks:

More than 5000 kilograms of explosive devices will be fired into the sky, 2000 kilograms more than last year, at a cost of $5 million.

On the bright side, at least we haven’t been fed the usual nonsense about the fireworks being great for the economy, because think about it for a moment, about the only people to make money out of new year’s eve are licenced premises, taxis, and whichever television network has a bunch of inebriated hosts ooohing, aaahing and rambling at the fireworks. The first two would happen regardless of the fireworks, just in a more distributed manner, and the latter, well they’re on all three commercial networks this year as Seven and Nine have worked out that there are fireworks outside of Sydney…wouldn’t be nice if these were people from whom we could be spared.

Samuel

December 30th, 2008 at 06:54am

Thus, I Laughed

When an email from GetUp about climate change was forwarded to me earlier this year by a friend, all that I could do was laugh…I couldn’t even muster up a full rant due to my amusement.

It wasn’t the fact that it was an email pushing the “humans are destroying the planet” line, asking for people to sign an online petition that caused me to be amused, it was the fact that this friend, who I consider to be quite intelligent, had fallen for GetUp’s version of the story which, as usual for this mob, was quite a twisting of the truth.

Perhaps this press release which has crossed my desk late yesterday from The Australian Environment Foundation will adequately explain what I couldn’t find the words to explain after receiving that email and falling in to a fit of laughter a few months ago:

Australian Environment Foundation
Media Release
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Monday, 29 December 2008
Getaway GetUp on the ETS

GetUp’s global warming television ads (to air today) are dishonest and inaccurate, according to Dr Jennifer Marohasy, Chair of the Australian Environment Foundation.

“For all sorts of reasons a number of groups, of which Internet campaigners GetUp.org.au are one, are pretending that the Rudd Government’s proposed Emissions Trading Scheme is a minor 5 to15 percent adjustment to our way of life”.

“In fact, the government’s ETS will reduce the amount of energy available to every man; woman and child currently living in the country by an extraordinary 35 percent, absent the discovery and implementation of an unknown source of carbon free energy in the next ten years”.

Dr Marohasy said that this would be the equivalent of closing down all of Australia’s manufacturing and half its rural industries.

“Or thought of another way, it is the equivalent of closing 72% of our current power generation capacity (stationary power)”.

Dr Marohasy said that population growth masked the severity of the scheme.

“Our natural birth-rate plus immigration intake adds around 360,000 to the population every year, roughly the equivalent of another Brisbane every 5 years – 20 percent growth in 11 years – making 35% look like 15%”.

Dr Marohasy said that it was understandable that groups like GetUp that stand for nothing and are opposed to everything would want to downplay the severity of the government’s proposals.

“If GetUp has nothing to complain about they are out of business, so of course they want to portray the government’s decision in the ‘worst’ light”.

She said that the government also has a vested interest in downplaying the severity of their scheme.

“Kevin Rudd wants to convince Australians that it won’t hurt one little bit, so he’s happy for groups like GetUp to criticize him for being John Howard lite.

In fact, the proposed ETS will make Australians poorer; while it is richer, not poorer nations that are better able to protect their natural environment”.

Sources:
http://www.climatechange.gov.au/inventory/enduse/pubs/vol1-summary.pdf
http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/3101.0/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brisbane

– ENDS –

I just love the “groups like GetUp that stand for nothing and are opposed to everything” quote, and I hope this story gets a good run in the media today.

Samuel

December 30th, 2008 at 04:43am


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