…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger
It is not too original title, but the government made me do it. Specifically the Australian Competitions and Consumer Commission (ACCC) by its Safety Alert brochure Blind and curtain rods.
If you ever wondered why the tsunami of Chinese shoddy* and toxic products and produce is not challenged or stemmed by any governmental authority, there is the answer. All those over-paid and otherwise unemployable lawyers are too busy producing the ‘educational’ material for distribution to the great, unwashed and obviously ignorant non-public servants.
With the senior political aristocrat Alexaner Downer, ex-Liberal, the ambassador for the Chinese conglomerate Huawei, infamous for its intellectual and other espionage, and with the ex-alcoholic trade unionist Bob Hawke, the ambassador for everything Chinese, Kerry Stokes, still not rich enough from peddling Chinese propaganda and with Gough Whitlam, ex-ALP, the living, albeit senile inspiration for anybody with socialist and totalitarian tendencies, it is no wonder that the pre-emptively-soiled-panties public servants dare not to antagonise the Chinese politburo. As long as Humphrey Applebys and aspirants are making a good living; the conscience, the nation and the real, struggling Australians be dammed. Still, they have to find an excuse for their existence.
The booklet which attracted my attention in a public library is a perfect example of the depth the socialist nanny state is prepared to sink to, though I doubt that any real nanny anywhere was ever as dense as Mr Rod Sims the chairman of ACCC (23 Marcus Clarke Street, Canberra) who bears the ultimate responsibility for this tragicomic waste of public funds. Oops, what a notion! A public servant responsible for anything, especially the waste of taxpayers money? It would be the end of the (ruling class) world as we know and hate it.
The encouraging subtitle of that leaflet is LOOSE BLIND AND CURTAIN CORDS CAN KILL, but it is not a SAS manual. Don’t take my word for it, pick up a copy and see your taxpayers’ dollar at work for yourself. In the meantime, heed the exhortation to “Only buy new curtains and blinds which have warning labels to remind you of dangers to children”. One can easily imagine a mother whose child came to some injury reproach herself, “if only I had bought curtains with warning labels!”
The other pearls of wisdom:
Move anything a young child can sit in, stand in or climb on .. away from cords/chains – even those tied around a cleat, as your child may be able to untie them.
Do not let your child play near cords/chains they can easily reach.
Use at least two screws to fix each cleat … in a place that is out of reach of children.
Never leave your child alone in a room with cords/chains they can reach.
Those otherworldly, patronising advices are astonishing. (A film sequel – Home alone with cords ?) It seems that whoever wrote it not only never had a child but has never even seen one. Perhaps I am unfair – maybe the public servants’ children do not think for themselves and never tear themselves away from watching “their” ABC. However, in my experience, normal children can move furniture, can make and climb on the most unlikely contraptions, can open locks, can untie knots which would stump Alexander the Great and most importantly, are adventurous, ingenious and anti-authoritarian. I realise that this is anathema to our social engineers, including those in ACCC, and that’s why they work so hard to eliminate it. A person who can think for herself or himself is unlikely to vote Greens/Labor.
Australian Consumer and Competition Commission commissars are so proud of their efforts that on their website the Blinds and window fitting is a “hot topic”. It seems, on ACCC figures, that on average every two years a child dies in a blind cord accident**. That is very bad, but I recall what a young single mother told me when I mentioned the ACCC blind cords leaflet to her. Accidents happen and if you do not get burned, you won’t be shy, whatever the parent or the government may say. So as soon as her child started moving around, she got on all fours, crawled through her house and removed from the lower levels anything too dangerous or too valuable, knowing well that protecting her child from all the dangers would lead to potentially more serious dangers and injuries later. All parents know that and if they do not know, they ought not to have children anyway. And if they do, however high the pile of governmental booklets is, they, and their unfortunate children, are, unfortunately, beyond help.
At the end of the leaflet there is the obligatory disclaimer: The information in this publication is for general guidance only. It does not constitute legal or other professional advice, and should not be relied on as a statement of law in any jurisdiction. /Should it have a warning label?/ You should obtain professional advice if you have any specific concern.
*/ The last century expression “jerry-built” now has been replaced by “China made”.
**/ According to the most recent national data, between 2004 and 2006, the leading cause of death among children aged 0-14 years was injury. In 2006, assault was the third most common type of injury causing death for Australian children aged 0-14 years after transport related deaths and drownings. Of the 241 Australian children who died in 2006, 27 were due to assault related injury, compared to 66 deaths of children from transport accidents and 46 drowning deaths (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2009). A 2003 report by the Australian Institute of Criminology estimated that, on average, 25 Australian children are killed by their parents each year (Mouzos & Rushforth, 2003).
(In 2010/11 twenty-eight children between 0 and 4 drowned.)