Thursday, March 01, 2007

What did they fight for?

So you risk your life for your country, for freedom and your local RSA has a few pokie machines that you like to put some money in from time to time for a bit of fun as you sit with a beer with some mates of yours. You’ve looked into the eyes of danger, maybe even directly into the eyes of those who would strip away what freedoms we have for the sake of racial superiority, the great people’s revolution or the emperor. You know how to handle your own money, shit, you handled a gun or even a plane or a boat. You can look after yourself, you helped look after the whole country and its allies. However few bother to give a damn.
People like the snivelling little upstart who is the gambling inspector. Maybe he was some young whippersnapper, dressed smartly in his Hallenstein’s suit, with his nasally whiny voice pointing out how your RSA doesn’t have a gambling licence and had failed to pay the problem gamblers levy (you can’t remember the last time anyone there had an addiction, except for Jimmy but hey it was only when he had had a few, and was remembering his best mate who he had to leave for dead). Looking into the eyes of that little bastard, what does he know? He wouldn’t even get his shoes dirty, and I’m sure he’d cower if you threatened to punch him.
Maybe he was in his 50s, one of those who is just a bit too young to have been in Vietnam, with his grey shoes, his polyester suit, large tufts of hair either side that he wets and pulls over his bald spot, sneering and officious with no respect. He thinks you’re just a bunch of gun loving old bigots, and don’t understand your responsibility to society – what a bloody arsehole – never worked a productive day in his life.
Both of them are the sorts I thought I’d fought to avoid, like the joyless telltale at school who ran to teacher because someone was smoking behind the bikesheds. Sticklers for rules, couldn’t turn a blind eye to those who did more for the country in one week than they will in a lifetime. No respect. No fucking respect.
Like Director of Gambling Compliance, Mike Hill – Director of fun regulation more like. How about the prosecuting lawyer, Mark Woolford, wonder what sort of kick he gets out of prosecuting an RSA and removing a source of fun for its members. He doesn’t believe that they have private property rights though and that people who gamble take the risk themselves on the RSA’s property. It doesn’t matter as he gets paid far more than the members even did. I wont blame Judge Lindsay Moore, though he didn’t need to have the machines forfeited – they do own them after all, not the state, though give him his due for discharging the manager without conviction. He was just doing his job.
That Green MP Sue Bradford is into all this though, remember her, the one who went to Maoist China, the same government whose soldiers would bury our guys standing up in holes in the ground to be prisoners in Korea. What does she know,

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good post. The thing that never ceases to amaze me about our forebears who fought in the Great War and WWII is their youth, the great responsibility that was thrust on their shoulders, and the extraordinary things that ordinary people did in wartime, e.g., 25 year olds leading squadrons and battalions; my Uncle Roy bailing out over Belgium after his bomber was destroyed by a German nightfighter - and he a cabinet-maker from the Hutt Valley; my next-door neighbour who was a Kiwi gunner on HMS Warspite.

Your post points to another truth - the appalling way our society treats our elders, as though they are children.