Thursday, May 29, 2008

Australian greed

Those wacky Australians. I see in the news that an Australian diving charter company “lost” a couple of divers on the Great Barrier Reef last week. There was a massive search for these two people and after 19 hours in the water they were found, alive and well. The couple appears to have handled the situation in good spirits and have sold their story to a newspaper in England for a stack of cash ($1,000,000.00 according to one report I heard), and good for them. The Australians, upon hearing of the couple selling their story, figure that they should pay some money towards the costs of their rescue, which had involved seven helicopters, three other airplanes and a half-dozen boats. Queensland state Premier, Anna Bligh, has said, “If they are going to profit from their story I don’t think a contribution back would go astray.” Really, Anna? And if they had not profited, or even survived this thing, how would things work then?

These people were tourists in Australia and for the experience they took a tour to the Great Barrier Reef. After a while the guy running the boat they’re on looks at his watch and figures, “Crikey, look at the time! It’s time for a couple of dozen beers!” So he counts up the tourists and rather than counting ten, or whatever, he counts ten-ish. Apparently this is good enough so he fires up the engines and heads in, leaving our pair in the water. The couple in the water are where they should be, they have not gone “out-of-bounds” and they have done nothing wrong, unless you count assuming that the boat guy can count, ‘wrong’. They are not at fault here. It is only through the skill of the air-sea rescue people that they were found and I would think that Australians would be grateful that these people survived. Instead it’s the “victims should pay” thing and that’s just wrong.

Here is my plea to Australians, as fellow members of the Commonwealth; Please do not fall into the practice of many Communist and military dictatorships and expect the victims to pay for the misfortunes that befall them. We have all heard the stories of how the Soviet Union used to charge the families of those it murdered for the bullets used to kill their loved ones. It’s a slippery slope. First you expect the victim to help pay for their own rescue from something that was not their fault, next you’re charging people for the bullets used to kill them. This is just nasty and I have higher expectations of you as fellow subjects of Queen Elizabeth II. Thank you.

Anyway… Humouroceros

An Australian bill collector after another victim


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