Senator David Leyonhjelm enjoys offending people but can't take it himself, says Colin Claridge.
Senator David Leyonhjelm enjoys offending people but can't take it himself, says Colin Claridge. MICK TSIKAS

Technology, controversial senator have common ground


Whether they be the latest craze or a select group of politicians, one thing they have in common: they can become dangerous if not properly controlled.

No doubt, one form was a popular gift this Christmas. Like most technology, they are becoming less expensive but these devices aren't toys.

As we've seen over recent weeks, misuse has caused major airport closures and disruption to airborne firefighting operations. The potential for negligent use is clearly evident.

And as we saw last year when a military parade in Venezuela was attacked, this technology can also have more sinister uses.

So the question has to be asked whether or not current laws and regulations governing the use (or rather misuse) of drones are adequate?

It just seems to date that we've managed to avoid disaster more by good fortune than by good management. We have some significant penalties in place, of course, but they only deal with the aftermath (providing the culprits are apprehended).

Should we be looking at these devices not as toys but like any other vehicle, requiring a registration process? Should we be looking at an educational licensing process for owners of these contraptions?

The intention would be not to interfere with the general population's "fun” but to add a layer (hopefully) of safety for the general population against the idiot element.

And that is what good regulation should aim to achieve. By all means, we need to remove ill-conceived regulations which place obstructions on people's ability to run businesses or enjoy their lives.

But we need to also guard against certain politicians who have an ultra-aversion to even the most proper of regulatory structures. It would be nice to live in a Utopia where everyone got to do what they want and where everyone was respectful of each other.

But we don't.

I get really tired of politicians of the ilk of soon-to-be-ex-Senator David Leyonhjelm, droning on and on about Australia becoming a nanny state.

I haven't experienced that as a reality to be honest. Considerate people in this country still go about their affairs being able to enjoy life and not interfere with anyone else.

Some of the regulations Leyonhjelm rails against are those designed to stop the idiots from interfering with the rest of us enjoying life.

That is not a nanny state. That's just common sense in operation.

It's the people like the Senator, who want to say what they want and do what they want and to the billy-o with the rest of us, who complain. They get their kicks from being obnoxious and don't like anything that stops them from doing so.

Leyonhjelm's made a career our of being obnoxious. Few follow his unrealistic vision of Australia; where one can smoke wherever they want to, where public schools and hospitals have all been sold to private operators (something that would surely be a disaster for regional communities) and whose concept of "free speech” actually means being offensive.

Funny thing about Leyon-hjelm is that he enjoys offending people but has a sad history of not being able to take it himself.

It remains a fault in our current electoral system that individuals such as senators Leyonhjelm (NSW) and Anning (Qld) can be elected on such pathetically low percentages of the vote.

We all know Accidental Anning received just 19 first preference votes at the last federal election.

In Leyonhjelm's case, he only received a smidge over 3 per cent of the NSW vote.

They may be from either side of the border but both have many things in common: They've drifted from one party to the next and seem to operate under the delusion that their small electoral support somehow equates to "the silent majority”.

I suspect Queensland voters will rid themselves of Anning as soon as is possible. Fortunately, this is one of the few occasions where Queensland not having an Upper House of State Parliament acts in our favour. He can't follow the same route as his comrade from south of the border.

Leyonhjelm, perhaps finally realising he has no chance of retaining his Senate seat, has decided to run for a seat in the NSW upper house. He's hoping that his droning will resonate with that tiny percentage of that state's voters who find his Dystopian views appealing.

You know, for someone who drones on about small government, he seems unseemingly desperate for the taxpayer to continue funding his lifestyle.

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