Toys R Them

…from the quill of Antisthenes the Younger

Let us reminisce over the times when Christmas were not just a two-month-long shopping spree in support of the Chinese economy, and when Australians could make at least some toys, albeit under duress, say during the war – see Nothing New Under the Sun 1916 just bellow.

Almost a hundred years later we are worse off, and not only as far as toys are concerned. According to the International Council of Toy Industries, 75% of all the world toys are manufactured in Communist China. In 2010 Australia made toys worth $18 million, out of which about $7 million worth was exported, but imported toys for the staggering $803 million. Australians cheerfully spend $539 per capita per annum on toys, all that supposedly for 4.22 million children under 14 years, which, unless my China made calculator made a mistake, comes to $2,900 per child every year. The above figures do not include computer games and more sophisticated electronic toys.

The annual tsunami of China made plastic rubbish submerging benighted parents and punters with under-age relatives provides numerous photo opportunities for ministers ostensibly responsible for our children safety. Thus we get news items of this sort:

A bathtime duck, a cuddly teddy bear and a children’s guitar are among thousands of toys pulled from shelves and crushed ahead of the busy Christmas shopping period. More than 11,000 toys which were deemed to pose a risk to children were seized after Consumer Affairs conducted almost 1000 inspections of toy retailers. The toys posed a variety of risks including choking, strangulation and piercing hazards with the potential to cause serious injuries or even death.

Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O’Brien played the role of the Christmas grinch, crushing the dangerous toys in an industrial crusher in North Melbourne yesterday.

“Toys that risk our children’s health and wellbeing must be permanently removed from the market place,” Mr O’Brien said.

“These toys have been crushed as part of court orders where we have taken retailers to court, taken action against them for selling toys which could hurt our kids.”

Other dangerous toys seized included a toy archery set, slingshots and miniature motorbikes.

Wow. O’Brien is taking on the whole Communist China manufacturing industry! Only joking, of course. Consumer Affairs Minister Michael O’Brien is a politician and archery, slingshots and motorbikes are definitely not politically correct. Ask Ms Milne, the Greensparty current fuehrer and the final arbiter of everything under the sun and beyond.

Thus Chinese communist approach to safety and human lives generally collides with ever expanding Australian bureaucracy. Of course, most of the Chinese products and produce imported to Australia is substandard, dangerous and often toxic. Chinese would not dare to export them to a truly sovereign country, one where rulers at least to some extent care about the well being of the population.

But back to Chinese dangerous toys and pre-Christmas media stunts. Aren’t we, by overprotecting of our children, making them less likely to survive in the future China dominated world? Panda may only pretend to surrender…


About Antisthenes

A Greek philosopher, a pupil of Socrates. Led a revolt, with Diogenes, against the demands of the city-state and the sophistication of life. Accepted the interrelation of knowledge, virtue, and happiness; and sought the ideal condition for happiness in return to primitivism and self-sufficiency. Rejected all social distinctions as based on convention, scorned orthodox religion as a fabrication of lies, and studied early legends and animal life in order to arrive at a true understanding of natural law. The individual was free and self-sufficient when he was master of his passions, secure in his intelligence, impervious to social or religious demands, and satisfied with the poverty of a mendicant. Needless to say, a person who on the Fog of Chaos adopted the Athenian philosopher's name has nothing whatsoever in common with him.
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