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Posted
30 November 2005

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Silence is Offensive

SA Premier Mike Rann obviously hasn't spent much time on FidoNet, otherwise he would have heard the unofficial network motto: "don't offend, and don't be too easily offended". Falling squarely in the latter category, he declares to the ABC that he's offended at the idea of a minute's silence:

I find it deeply offensive that people have called for some kind of minute's silence for the death sentence if it's actually passed in Singapore. I also find it offensive that people are talking about trade embargoes.

Certainly odd things to be offended about, when there's plenty of other provocative aspects to the Van Nugyen tragedy. How about being offended at the barbaric way in which he's going to be executed? How about the application of the death penalty, which surely everyone outside the Singapore government independent judiciary thinks is grossly unjust? Why not be offended at the callous way in which his mother was notified about the execution of her son? (Next time why don't they just send a text message and save themselves a stamp?) Yes, how about being offended by the terrible destruction wreaked by heroin?

And last but not least, how about being offended by the lives ruined as a result of gambling? Gambling addition (his brother's, in this case) is something which seems to have been an undeniable causal factor in the whole sorry story, but which seems to have got off scot-free in the public debate.

It seems to me that there is plenty of tragedy to go around, which makes it in my view perfectly understandable that people might react in different ways, especially showing respect for the poor bastard and family.

Me, I'm calling for a minute of no heroin injecting. I hope Mr. Rann doesn't get too offended about that.

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