Sunday, June 26, 2005

Freedom Of Speech In Taxis - Another Victim Of Bracks' Groupthink?

A new code of conduct being proposed for taxi drivers by the sinister sounding Victorian Taxi Directorate could see them suffer the following penalties simply for discussing their religion and politics:

retraining, a warning, or suspension or cancellation of their licenses -

It would seem that, following September 11, complaints against taxi drivers have risen 45%. At the same time, there have been isolated cases of attacks on drivers of African and Middle Eastern backgrounds. The solution of the officialdom under Bracks? Curtail freedom of speech in regard to politics and religion (I guess if people can't talk about how stuffed Bracks is, he might have a chance of staying in power).

Best of all, Bracks didn't even have to get himself or any of his crony ministers to jump start this plan, instead, he now has the bureacrats so well trained they do it for him without being asked:

The State Government last night said it had not seen the report, prepared for its own taxi reform working party. -

The State Government might not have seen the report itself, but in their hearts, I am sure Bracks, Brumby & Hulls are brimming with pride at how well the bureacracy have adopted their nearest and dearest ideals of how government should run every aspect of your life.

Ask most Victorian taxi users about taxis, and I am sure that drivers discussing politics and religion are not going to come up as problems. What is the real problem? Not enough taxi licenses. If the Bracks government issued more licenses, we would have a real choice: if the taxi driver wouldn't shut up about how Che Geuvera was a friend of the working man, we could just say "Thanks a lot," get out and catch the next taxi heading past. However that kind of solution, a market solution involving competition and choice, would stand against all the planning and regulation that the officialdom of Brackistan holds dear.

Thanks to James Kearney for the heads up on this story.


At 8:22 AM, Blogger Andrew Landeryou said...

I'm surprised this is your view, some of the vile anti-Americanism spewing out of the mouths of nutters driving cabs is quite chilling.

What do you say when you hear this sort of spray? In the past I've usually said nothing or just pretended to go to sleep. Sometimes I argue it out if the guy doesn't seem too mad but usually I just want to keep to myself without explaining to the fanatic why people like him are corrupting one of the world's great religion as an excuse for hate. This is not the sort of discussion I want to have with someone driving me around at 100 km/h.

I agree that we don't want to regulate everything but holding a taxi licence is a privilege not the right of every anti-Israeli fanatic with a funny hat.

I doubt the Government will implement this reform but they should.

Game on.

At 5:58 PM, Blogger JP said...

Taxi drivers have the right to freedom of speech, taxi customers have the right to get out, and taxi owners should have the right to fire taxi drivers whose views lose them business. State governments don't have the right to legislate what is and isn't acceptable for a taxi driver to discuss.

I would also say that I have a significant problem with the way the government restricts the number of taxi licences so drastically - they should be like truck drivers licenses, available to anyone who meets a minimum standard, rather than limited simply to a certain number, which gives them a value in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.

At 9:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Steve Bracks might be joy-riding fast trains in Japan but it’s the loony left in his government that have gone off the rails. One of their main icons for the 2006 Commonwealth Games, Cathy Freeman, is supporting radical animal rights group P.E.T.A. (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) which wants to ban guide dogs, police horses, pet shops and even fishing columns in newspapers.

(Source Sunday Herald Sun 1st May)

Bracks’s social engineers have just ripped the heart out of Australia’s heritage by banning the high country cattle grazing and now the loony left are suggesting taxi drivers should be banned from speaking about politics and religion. No doubt the last thing they want now is taxi drivers talking about Bracks’s track record. Since his government came into office in 1999, over 100 companies have moved off-shore or interstate destroying over 45,000 jobs.

(Source Sunday Herald Sun, June 26)



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