Standing up against Nannies

I’ve written a few times (here, for example) about ‘the nanny State’, and the way in which well-meaning people want to protect ourselves from ourselves by making illegal things that we like to do. Of course, virtually all domestic law is about protecting us from us, but every now and then I want to cry ‘Enough!’ And I do so in this essay, which is about the efforts of a Green MLA in Canberra to protect us, or more specifically, her grand-daughter, from the wicked writing on Wicked camper vans.

If you haven’t come across a Wicked camper van, then here is a photographic example:

If you travel our fair land by road you are likely to see such vans almost anywhere. I’ve seen one in Birdsville. Would I rent one? No. Would I write on my own car, let alone write stuff like that? No. Do I need to be protected against such writing? No. Am I offended, outraged or appalled? No. You just shrug, and ignore it. Life is too short.

Before I go any further, I should say that the Green MLA who felt otherwise, Caroline le Couteur, is someone I like. Elected several years ago, when the Greens had three seats in the Assembly, she turned out to be a useful and generally sensible MLA. She didn’t make the cut at the next election, but came back last year, as one of two elected Greens MLAs. But we all have our weaknesses, and this is hers. Here is the beginning of what she wrote in the Greens Magazine.

I often visit my daughter and granddaughter in Byron Bay, where Wicked Camper Vans are a regular sight. I have always been horrified and repulsed by them, and concerned that my granddaughter will normalise their violent, misogynist, racist and homophobic messages. In particular, I worry about the negative messages she and her friends may internalise about being female and the standards of behaviour from men they may come to accept.

I can’t say that I am an authority on Wicked camper vans, but I haven’t seen any homophobic ones, or violent ones, or racist ones, or misogynist ones. Maybe they exist, and if I saw one I might ponder. What I have seen are slogans or text that suggest that those who drive the vans and their companions enjoy an active sex life — or at the very least, they have no objection to driving around in a van that carries such a suggestion. I remember surfie vans of the distant past that had slogans on them like ‘Don’t laugh. Your daughter may be inside’. I don’t remember any public fuss about them, though no doubt there were people who were appalled, outraged and offended.

My second point here is that one’s grand-daughter, and I have seven of them, is going to be exposed to all sorts of cues and signals that will be mysterious when she is young and sometimes require explaining. That is a job for parents, and even for grandparents. The Wicked van example is not, in my judgment, a matter for law. If your grand-daughter reads the text on the van in the photo above, and asks what it means, you need to come up with an explanation that works, given her age. You don’t need to take a deep breath and start on the birds and the bees. You could even say,’It’s supposed to be a joke, but I don’t think it’s funny.’ Children find adult jokes hard to comprehend, and you’re unlikely to be pressed further. In any case, you’ll have a lot of such explaining to do. Practice makes perfect.

Now Caroline le Couteur took comfort from the Queensland Government’s recent venture into law-making on this matter. Last month it passed a law that would allow a government department to instruct the van owner to remove writing or images on the vans that had been deemed to fall outside the Advertising Standards Bureau limits. If they didn’t do so within fourteen days, the vehicle could be deregistered. Who pressed them to do so? Among others, the Royal Automobile Club of Queensland, no doubt responding to letters from offended, outraged and appalled members. Since Wicked camper vans are a Queensland company, there was some worry that the company could simply move shop, and go to New South Wales.

And on that point, here is Caroline le Couteur again: I am pleased and relieved that my colleague Shane Rattenbury, as ACT Minister for Justice, Consumer Affairs and Road Safety, last week took a stand against Wicked Campers and the attitudes they promote — outdated attitudes which have no place in our community, harm our women and distort the perspectives of our men. From now on, vehicles de-registered in other states for bearing offensive slogans such as those displayed on Wicked Campers cannot be registered in the ACT. There are currently no Wicked vehicles registered in Canberra, and these laws will help keep them out. 

Well, since the vans are registered, at least for the moment, in Queensland, it is unlikely that any would be registered in the ACT where, as is well known, citizens have high standards of behaviour and all attitudes are uplifting — apart from their approval of porn shops and brothels, which are, of course, only for visitors. And I can’t resist the next little bit:

In this way, Canberra is continuing to show leadership with a commitment to challenge attitudes that underpin domestic, family, and sexual violence against women. It is well known that the attitudes casually displayed by Wicked Campers play a large part when it comes to this kind of violence.

I thought it was Queensland that was showing the leadership. Actually, there was a fuss about Wicked vans three years ago, and Commissioner Tim Wilson of the Human Rights Commission* then said, among other things, that Government shouldn’t be going around telling people what they can and cannot say, unless it leads to direct and explicit harm. Just removing things that are offensive, while it may seem attractive, is a very dangerous precedent at least because people always have very different views about what is offensive and therefore should be limited. He got a lot of stick for saying that. And while Ms le Couteur thinks it  ‘is well known that the attitudes casually displayed by Wicked Campers play a large part when it comes to this kind of violence’, I’d be astonished if she could show any evidence to that effect.

It is easy to stand up against censorship when the majority is with you. It is much harder when what is being attacked is something you don’t like all that much yourself. But that is the test. I think that Wicked camper vans are displaying coarse humour. I wouldn’t engage in it myself, at least on my website, or in public. But it would be idle, let alone untruthful, to say that I haven’t engaged in coarse humour in the past. If you don’t like this sort of stuff, ignore it. You don’t have to watch it on television, or buy magazines that use it. If you feel strongly about Wicked vans then write to the company, and urge others not to hire the vans. But bringing out the big Government stick to ‘stamp it out’ on the excuse that your grand-daughter might ask questions hard to answer or might develop bad messages about men, seems quite over the top to me. That is not what governments are for.

If you are worried about ‘negative messages’ that might be ‘internalised’ then do something about it as a parent or grandparent. That’s part of our duties as parents and family. You want to stamp it out? Be very careful. One day people you don’t like might want to stamp out what you are saying or doing. That is the trouble about democracies. You have to allow other to say things you don’t like, so that you have the licence to say things they mightn’t like.

*He’s now the Liberal MP for Goldstein in the House of Representatives, and openly gay.

End note: It is pretty clear what this essay is about. If you want to say something about global warming or Trump, or Turnbull, or indigenous people, or the Australian economy, then this is not the thread to use. Go to the March Off-Topic thread instead. I will reject comments that are irrelevant to this topic, and make this part of the general rules about posting.

Join the discussion 113 Comments

  • Doug Hurst says:

    Agree 100% Don. If you don’t like it, ignore it. I don’t like the level of public vulgarity these days, but see it as a cultural issue, not a legal one.

    Older people tut tutting about the behaviour of the young probably suffer from poor and selective memories. I don’t, so I try not to judge to harshly.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Good one, Don.

    But I think the Nanny Industry these day covers just about every aspect of our lives so it may be difficult for you to isolate O/T.

    With Nanny red tape factories taking over the world, requiring huge bureaucratic mechanism at enormous taxpayer expense, any rational type would have to accept these low cost, practical, holiday systems that deliberately offend the stupid as part of their advertising campaign.

    As long as it doesn’t go too far I find it somewhat refreshing.

    I love when it offends the brick-thick “progressives”.

    • margaret says:

      Yes ‘refreshing’ that’s the word for those Wicked slogans! Thanks once again for illuminating the discourse.

      • tripitaka says:

        Indeed Margret it’s so awesome for me to explain what they mean to my lovely grandchildren. Broadens their mind in such a wonderful way and provides a perfect opening for me to explain what happens to a society when men who fear losing control of the culture, want to go back to the good old days that they imagined existed in neanderthal society.

        It’s another nail in the coffin that old white men are building for their unenlightened sons.

        And we see again from the drongo, what motivates righties – the desire to offend. Such deeply philosophical people are they not?

        • spangled drongo says:

          Makes you wonder how the easily offended ever make it in this cruel, real world.

          If only we had more cotton wool!!

          Grow up, trip luv.

          • margaret says:

            Free speech – isn’t it great?!
            I wrote this earlier in the day on the ‘bad boy’ essay but that’s now virtual fish n chips wrapping so, even though it’s in relation to Don’s wish for more people like “Santa” here for your delectation is ‘catch of the day’.

            “I wish there more like him today, able to assemble the elements of their own position, examine them critically, and write about their view of the world without turning everything into ad hominem.”
            You yearn for this … and yet … isn’t ad hominem simply part of the free speech that you believe in?
            You seem happy enough with Wicked Campers using demeaning advertising at a level that impacts the whole society and its attitudes, yet you bemoan the opinions expressed on the character of the people elected to govern ‘we the people.’

          • spangled drongo says:

            “….yet you bemoan the opinions expressed on the character of the people elected to govern ‘we the people.’”

            The bureaucracy aren’t the elected, they’re the out-of-control nannies.

            That’s what makes it a “somewhat refreshing” experience.

            This absolute antithesis of what issues forth from the “progressive”, card-playing hypocrites.

            And if you choose to take this personally, that’s OK.

            But just be aware that this Wicked reaction is quite a normal and expected reflex.

            If you’re both wise enough you might mention to your grand daughters that this is why people resort to this sort of advertising.

          • spangled drongo says:

            “Free speech – isn’t it great?!”

            Well, marg, it’s necessary and you shouldn’t be precious about it.

            You see, we have this stupid woman in charge of the Human Rights Commission:

            “Professor Triggs told the sell-out audience “there has never been a more important time to stand up for laws which prohibit racial abuse in the public arena’’

            “Sadly you can say what you like around the kitchen table at home,’’ she said.”

            How could we possibly have a HRC commissioner as obtuse as this?

        • dlb says:

          Yes, isn’t it wonderful how modern western culture champions the rights of women.
          Sort of becomes confusing when the advocates of multiculturalism accept cultures that are Neanderthal to medieval in their treatment of women.

        • margaret says:

          Yes, I cannot wait for the opportunity to play my own role in the sex education of my granddaughters, perhaps as we travel along the Great Ocean Road one day the opportunity will come up as the eight year old (who was rather fond of princesses as younger girls are, susceptible to the relentless advertising of their delightful prettiness, beautiful gowns, hourglass figures, the colour pink in all its fairy floss fluorescence ad nauseum brainwashing- guess what – it worked a treat! Thanks guys!), fluently reads that slogan as we travel behind the van and says, “what’s a slut Margy?”.
          Roll on the day tripitaka I bet you can’t wait either!

        • JMO says:

          “Old white men” that is a ageist, racist, sexist statement. I have raised this before in a previous post; as an old white male I am so offended by your statement Tripitaka and your insinuation that I am part of the “building for their unenlightened sons” Tripitaka how could you be so inconsiderate, vulgar and ignorant. I have done thei best I could do to raise my son, he is now an adult has a secure full time job, drinks rarely, does not smoke and is a respectful member of the community. I am considering lodging a S18C complaint (and I doubt you can weasel out using S 18D).

          In the meantime, Don can you please ban this person from your blog.

          • tripitaka says:

            But JMO the point is that the argument by the nanny state fetishists is that nobody gives offence; offence is always taken. I’m quite sure that is what David whats his name said.

            So clearly I did not give you any offence and if you did take offence you better give it right back because it is not yours to take.

            Got it old white man? Or are you suffering from alzheimers and any other of the personality disorders that old white men who can see their power slipping away suffer from. I do feel sorry for you being as your life is so difficult and you are so unhappy but there is therapy available and drugs to help you and it is your choice to continue to suffer rather than adapt to the shiny new world that women are building.

            Feel free to continue to complain about everything that enlightened people are doing to make a better world so my young white male sons and grandson can grow up to be happy men.

            You want me banned! Well isn’t that just typical of snowflakes. 🙂

          • spangled drongo says:

            So take that, JMO!!

            Just because trip luv has the thinnest skin, casts the most aspersions and is the biggest hypocrite and whinger of all doesn’t give you the right to complain.

            You’ll probably find she has an application in for a nanny job.

          • JMO says:

            Tripitaka It is obvious you were waging it when politeness, as well courteousness, was being handed out. The evidence you have shown on Don’s blog is one of rudeness, combative and downright belligerence. These traits seem to be all par the course and normal behaviour to you.. You blame Don as not having a clue, this just shows your utter ignorance and complete disrespect to a person who was a vice – Chancellor of University of Canberra- and of course ideologue ignorance, I am amazed how Don puts up with you, I have yet to see any evidence where you have added any constructive entry on this blog.

            You come across as the epitome of a luny left green fairy who become vexatious, vile and viscous (just plain nasty) towards anyone who has the slightest different view and behaves accordingly. The upshot is if you keep walking this path you will spend your life being just plain nasty whilst worrying, fearing even, the future.

            You poor, poor wretched person. I feel too sorry for you to respond or write anything further.

  • dlb says:

    I would imagine conservative governments of the past such as Bjelke Petrsen’s banning slogans from vans. Not so much for their misogamy, but just their sexual content. I dare say there would be a number of conservatives today happy with such restrictions on free speech / public display.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Nanny rising….

    Andrew Hastie on freedom of speech in parliament this week:

    “Back to the topic of the Racial Discrimination Act and 18C. This is part of the question: what sort of a society do we want? Do we want one regulated by the state, or do we want one regulated by the citizenry? Do we want the state as the main protagonist or the supporting act? I think we have seen with the QUT case and the Bill Leak case that 18C has allowed vexatious litigation to creep into our society, where people are being inhibited in the exercise of their freedom of speech. We are seeing creeping political correctness across the board. We are seeing it in universities and schools. Not every Australian fully understands what 18C means, but for a lot of people it is emblematic of that creeping state interference and political correctness.”

    But I’m sure Canberra would prefer to “show leadership” and restrict FOS as much as possible.

  • Neville says:

    I must admit that I’ve said some rather stupid and ignorant things in my teenage years. But today I don’t like highly offensive material on public display where kids might see it.
    But adults should be able to read, view or listen to any material that is within the law. I don’t like nazis telling me how to think and what I should think about and I obviously wouldn’t force others to bow to my ideals or lifestyle either.
    I well remember Dad pulling me into gear in front of some mates when I made some ignorant comment about young women. Dad said ” listen you silly young B you do realise that every girl has the right to say no don’t you?” I said something like ” yeah of course I do Dad.’ Dad was as tough as nails but he respected women and later told me I should start to wake up to myself.
    But my mates thought my response to Dad was a great joke and ribbed me about it for quite some time. Peer pressure is a real problem for young people I think.

    • margaret says:

      Neville I hope my response isn’t destined for the off topic thread but it shouldn’t be as it’s directly related to your comment. Adolescent boys are on a learning curve for future intimacy in sexual relationships. Good fathers often try to steer that curve in a good direction. Your father tried to pull the rug from under the callow remarks instigated by peer groups. I recall a paragraph in a short story that is the only thing I remember about the story! It was set in the fifties or sixties. A father was driving his son somewhere and the son’s eyes were caught by a group of young women enjoying each other’s company in the town. Father notices son’s attention and offers this pearl of wisdom “You can’t fuck them all son, remember that.” To me, that points to the inherent and continuing imbalance in male/female relationships when the concentration is on men fulfilling their own sex drive. It’s why the Wicked Campers have that sort of slogan.

      Imagine the reversal “In every jock there’s an insecure man who worries that his penis might not measure up.”

      How would that go on a Wicked Camper?

      Just riffing Neville not to you in particular because I see that you don’t much like the slogans up for public viewing either.
      I think it’s a big plus when boys grow up in families where there’s a sister or two and parents who believe that son’s and daughters should have equal opportunities both in education and sexual expression as they grow to maturity.

  • Chris Warren says:

    So if Canberra University vans were emblazoned:

    “Come at UCAN where all sluts get A’s.”

    Would a respectable VC really just

    “shrug, and ignore it. Life is too short.”

    Or would staff be directed to remove such slogans?

    • Don Aitkin says:

      Chris, go back and read the essay again. You’ll find the answer there. If you need further help, it’s in the second paragraph under the photo.

    • Chris Warren says:

      So I assume by that, you are implying there is a basis for directing that some slogans should be removed.

      In other words, in a civilised community free speech is not absolute and Caroline le Couteur is doing exactly as she was elected to do.

    • PeterD says:

      Hi Chris,

      You raise a highly unlikely case study where the University itself enhances enrolments by promoting a highly sexualised ‘rooting’ culture.

      The facts are universities have to deal with many more realistic issues, as illustrated recently by the advocacy group End Rape on Campus Australia, that has made a submission to the Human Rights Commission which will bring down a report on the issue later this year. Key points they focused on were:

      * There were 500 official complaints of sexual assault or harassment at universities over the past five years
      * Of the complaints, 145 related to rape
      * Only six people were expelled as a result of of the complaints


      In the context of today’s column, ‘nanny’ suggests unnecessary intrusion into our lives by government controls. So the best response to wicked camper vans displaying coarse humour is to shrug it off, ignore it as Don suggests.

      The complexities and subtext of Caroline le Coureur’s case study can’t, in my view, be resolved by the blunt instrument of the law, not should attempts be made to do so.

      The issue of vulnerable, innocent granddaughters is worth considering. Many young girls today are far more worldly and have been exposed to much more on television screens, social media etc than those, for instance, who were teenagers in the 50s, 60s, 70s.

      Simon Sinek spoke this week about how open access to mobile phones, and to the addictive culture of Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat etc, cause considerable harm to teenage girls, especially if they have unfettered access to these media too early[boys too].

      So the simple point I am making is that ‘nanny’ responses often focus on the superficial elements of control when there are many complex cultural issues lurking beneath the surface. It is sometimes proposed by people who are genuinely concerned about an issue and do not have solutions.

      • Chris Warren says:


        Yes – there is no chance that UC vans would ever have such a slogan.

        The point is that free speech is not absolute and the democratic processes we have created are there to establish legitimate standards.

        You my be right that “‘nanny’ responses often focus on the superficial elements of control when there are many complex cultural issues lurking beneath the surface.”

        What are examples? In the hire-van case an overwhelming motive must have been commercial gain particularly expanding their market into Redneck territory.

        There were certainly savage elements of control under Menzies that we now regard as ludicrous. You can see a reasonable range of banned books from this era, now on display at the National Archives in Canberra.

        Tagging females as “sluts” in public currently crosses the line. Let these rednecks spray paint such thoughts on their own bedroom walls. In the future this may change as the feminist movement is trying to reclaim this term in their so-called “slut-walks”. I do not think they have had much success.

        If the reasons are not substantial enough, then there should be no nanny response. But this does not apply to boosting sales by derogatory allusions on the back of vans.

      • margaret says:

        The ‘nanny’ word is really interesting Peter D. It carries the connotation that women (crone women) are the unwelcome, harping moral compass for “free wheeling” men. So old-fashioned, so telling of the men in power and so derogatory.

        • PeterD says:

          Hi Margaret and Chris,

          On the term ‘nanny’: just as the Orwellian term ‘big brother’ conveys Party/revolutionary ever-watchful surveillance.

          I think the point you’re making is that there are far more female, negative gender laden terms that pervade our language than male.

          Chris makes the point about the savage elements of control under Menzies and books such as ‘Lolita’, and ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ come to mind. Obscenity was the filter at the time but changes have certainly occurred since the 50s but one could argue that these novels are basically about derogatory men in sexual dominion over women.

          There are always other thematic perspectives, of course: love, eros and lust; pedophilia and inappropriate relationships; pushing the sexual mores of the day etc.

          Is it a matter of one theme only or more complex subtexts? With literature I would argue the latter.

          • margaret says:

            Yes, I think I was making that point Peter (the word slut does come to mind as having no male equivalent), but I was unable to articulate as lucidly as I would like as didnt switch left brain brake on and right brain wheels were spinning. Also, didn’t attend a uni to do an undergraduate degree and roam freely and without care or responsibility on the campus having conversations and joining political organizations and so forth, honing my skills for the art of war and corporate power positioning, no instead I became a sort of a nanny – a Primary school teacher.
            Hark, I hear the sound of a distant violin.

          • PeterD says:

            Hi Margaret,

            Language is dynamic and changes over time. For many people these days the term ‘nanny state’ simply means “the government regarded as overprotective or as interfering unduly with personal choice” but in its etymology there are derivatives from ‘nanny’ in child-raising.

            Again, with the passage of time, there are evolving male equivalents in contemporary society for ‘slut’ such as rentboy, gigolo, masseur, male escort, male prostitute and even for the adjective ‘sluttish’ there are more gender-neutral terms such as promiscuous or wanton.

            You wrote ‘I became a sort of nanny – primary school teacher’. Both nannies and primary school teachers have important influences upon young people, depending on their personal/professional qualities and are valuable roles in my view although it is true that their remuneration does not reflect this.

            You equate an undergraduate degree with roaming ‘freely and without care or responsibility on the campus having conversations and joining political organisations and so forth, honing my skills for the art of war and corporate power positioning.’

            This may have been true for a very small number of people at a certain time but is far from the reality for most people and certainly from the realities nowadays. Students commonly work part-time for 22 hours a week. I have been a student at five Australian universities and have sufficient opportunities to observe the realities of campus life. All Australian university degrees seek to promote graduate attributes which include ethical behaviour and to suggest the art of war and corporate power’ are end-goals is, frankly, inaccurate. It might be truer to say that some students enrol in courses such as Medicine, Law, Management, Engineering etc because they perceive higher levels of income for graduates in these fields.

            One of the great attributes of people who are retired – and I include myself in this category – is to look to the present and the future rather than to the past. It is great to be able to surprise grandchildren, even in areas of social media and using computers etc. The worst thing that can be said of grandparents was that they died at 60, 65, 70 etc and were buried at 85 etc. Bryan Roberts writes that many people ‘would be horrified at the extent of ‘adult’ knowledge their young ones possess, and the ages at which they acquired it.’ I agree entirely with this view.

            One example of what I mean by present issues can be found in a talk by Simon Sinek at

            For many grandparents these days perennial issues remain around politics and the role of the [nanny?] state but concerns around parenting, the role of discipline[or lack of] and bringing up happy, well adjusted children are also fundamental.

          • margaret says:

            Of course, how could I ever forget Richard Gere in American Gigolo. It’s not a word used now though. Imagine calling a guy who ‘scores with the ladies’ a gigolo, and yet a gal who ‘scores with the gents’ is a slut. Could we swap those words perhaps, that’d be good.
            Last night I rewatched Brokeback Mountain on SBS. It’s a true love story and so powerful (just an aside but I have yet to see a similar love story between women so wonderfully translated to film).
            Ah, my bitterness seeped through in that comment about university campus life – I well understand what it it like now and was like in the nineties and noughties as my three children went to ANU, UC and Sydney University at various stages of their education. They worked in delis, cafes, call centres, as dish hands, waiting, serving in candy shops – (one daughter was sacked at 18 for being a little over generous in the amount of licorice bullets dispensed into a customer’s sweet bag 🙂 ).
            As far as my own education went – it hasn’t finished. I liked Teachers College and because it was two year training and a bond to go where you were sent within NSW, I had interesting experiences. I liked kids and still do. I only taught for five years full time and with a family I did remedial reading, esl, relief and then worked in libraries. I did upgrade to diploma and was then able to study a postgraduate certificate in an interest of mine through Deakin distance ed.
            Far too much information but I think it shows the versatility of women’s lives from the sixties onwards when in earlier times only privilege (and requisite brains) took women to university.
            I like the past, I like to sing in chains and I like to keep up with things and stay hopeful for the future and that’s because I and most women have learned to live within the contradictions that exist in their minds and lives.
            Yes, I saw SimonSinek on the ABC. I’ll watch the video because I am a curious person. My granddaughter, the eldest one does already know ‘the facts of life’ – quaint expression isn’t it – but that’s not the same as being disrespected by the word slut or the c word.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          Depends what reference you have for it, I guess. To me it is the Nanny for children in the 19th century. Christopher Robin had one, or at least A. A. Milne refers to Nanny somewhere. That’s my compass point — the caring woman who looks after little kids, but shouldn’t be looking after grown people.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Here is one:

            If I open my fingers a little bit more,
            I can see Nanny’s dressing-gown on the door.
            It’s a beautiful blue, but it hasn’t a hood.
            Oh! God bless Nanny and make her good.

          • spangled drongo says:

            But the whole world are kiddies now, Don:

            When nannies grow clever
            I hope they won’t never
            Make children wear socks.
            There’s paint on my new ones,
            My Sunday best blue ones
            I left on the rocks.
            The apple tree slitted
            The socks nanny knitted,,,,,

          • margaret says:

            “The term “nanny state” likens government to the role that a nanny plays in child-raising.”
            Yes, only the Brits could have thought of it, since the aristocracy depended so heavily on them and the kids grew up so well-adjusted 🙂

          • tripitaka says:

            This is interesting and a real question that libertarians never are able to answer.

            When does a child become an adult; one of those individuals who are able to make choices freely and rationally?

          • spangled drongo says:

            Marg, d’you think kids are better brought-up these days?

            Back when “children should be seen and not heard” the progeny of these more affluent families under the stern-but-kindly discipline of a nanny (who was herself under similar discipline) arguably grew up to be better people than their modern contemporaries.

            It was more a minimalist culture, like school teaching, where they were in much more control with much less regulation.

            My kids (even with no nanny) got bottom-smacked when necessary, were well disciplined and always knew where the line was drawn and consequently became responsible, well qualified and capable citizens.

            My grandkids who have good homes but under modern nannyship are not shaping up that way at all.

          • PeterD says:

            Hullo spangled drongo

            You pose the question above: do you think kids are brought up better these days?

            I posted this URL previously: Simon Sinek’s [he’s not a parent, is in his early 40s and bases his views on research only] ideas are worth a look at

            It’s probably true that parents now in their 40s came out of more disciplined family environments but their children[i.e. the grandchildren of some who post on this site] do not encounter the same degree of discipline nowadays. Contemporary thinking around discipline would probably frown on bottom-smacking but would endorse the clear limits of behaviour your postings refers to.

            Here are some published comments on family discipline:

            “It is not because cash-strapped parents are having to send kids to school before they are ready, as claimed this week. It is because parents are clueless about discipline and disinclined to learn. And that goes for families with money, and families without. The problem is compounded by children arriving at school on stomachs that are either empty or pumped with mood-altering levels of sugar

            Too many parents would rather give in than stand firm. They don’t set, or don’t stick to, limits on screening to avoid confrontation. They don’t withhold sugary treats, or take the time to cook a wholesome meal, because kids won’t like it. And they don’t set boundaries in case kids cross them and you’ll need to discipline them, which will make you unpopular.
            Parenting is not about winning friends; it’s about influencing people — small people who rely on adults for guidance, for nourishment and for the best possible start in life.”

            Source: K. Lang Brisbane Courier Mail 8July16

            In terms of bringing up girls in the 60s, my mother and my sister were strong feminists and believed that it was harder being a woman and that many problems could be blamed on other people and an unfair world out to drag her down. It seems to me, however, that there are other more critical challenges for parents today.

            Bringing up modern children – boys and girls – is extremely challenging because of the busy lifestyle of both parents, the immersion of the young in modern technology and social media etc. A most substantial question to ask is, when children are in their teenage years, do they have the qualities to resist peer-group pressure, to see through elements of our phoney culture, to be critical of the advertising world and the false images (particularly for girls) that leads to stress? It’s also a point worth noting and I hope it’s not a sexist one, that teenage girls are streets ahead emotionally of their male contemporaries. Boys in fact often experience many challenges and a book by Steve Bidulf(?) has sold 4 million copies. Does that suggest something? Interestingly, he’s now turning to write a book on bringing up girls!!!!

            A final point is that nannies are still doing a roaring trade in financially well-to-do families: I know a mother who has a live in Philippino nanny for her two young children. In addition to the growth of nanny employment is outsourcing of jobs such as gardening, pool maintenance, dry-cleaning, cooking etc. In the 60s, 70s this would be regarded as dereliction of duties but today becomes a simple time-management strategy if one can afford it.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Thanks, Peter.

            I wonder why modern parents have to equate love and respect with indulgence?

            There was always a generational gap between parents and children and possibly it is wider these days but even so it can still be bridged yet this bridge is failing like never before.

            Indulgence seems like the easiest solution but it mostly seems to breed entitlement and contempt.

            Today, these indulged children attack and threaten parents like I have never encountered before.

          • margaret says:

            I watched Simon Sinek. It was fifteen minutes of very interesting comment. I found it very relevant because my children are or have been in workplaces that they have had some sort of lead or supervise role with millennials. However they are often sandwiched, GenX, between the ones who believe they have all the answers at one end (all very nice for management to hear, even though they ‘know’ it’s just front and GenX will have to deal with that) and older management who know the ropes and are reluctant to let go at the other end.

          • PeterD says:

            Hi Margaret,

            You wrote: “my children had some sort of lead or supervise role with millennials.”

            That is precisely how I became aware of the clip – one of my adult children had to supervise a millennial.

            I suppose what this illustrates is that each generation has wonderful opportunities but that culturally, and in terms of socialisation processes, genes and many other factors, there are also challenging behaviours.

  • The tendency for regulations that present an appearance of virtue to be enacted with little consideration of need, cost or results has created an ever growing morass of restrictions, red tape and bureaucracy. The cumulative effect over recent decades has now reached a level where it is having a very real impact on personal freedom as well as being a significant impediment to almost any productive activity. The inability of the productive sector to bear the ever increasing demands of government as well as the restrictions has resulted in 2/3 to 3/4 of primary producers being driven from their livelihood over recent decades with a similar decline in manufacturing. Over this time the cost of food, clothing, energy and housing in Australia has also gone from among the most affordable in the world to among the most expensive.

    An easily accessible legal mechanism is badly needed whereby affected parties could challenge any regulation on the grounds of need, cost and effectiveness before a court empowered to nullify regulations found wanting in such regard.

  • Neville says:

    A good response from Chelsea Clinton responding to crude and rude comments about a photo of a high profile Republican woman. But I must admit it does look to be a strange way to sit on a couch at such a function. Perhaps that’s just me.

  • bryan roberts says:

    I suspect that margaret (and most parents and grandparents) would be horrified at the extent of ‘adult’ knowledge their young ones possess, and the ages at which they acquired it. They’ve probably heard all the ‘Wicked’ vans jokes years ago, but they’ll never admit it to their parents.

    Does nobody remember their childhood? Most of my class had read Lady C’s Lover (or the relatively few salacious bits) when it was ostensibly banned, and I read every ‘adult’ novel my parents carefully hid on top of their wardrobe.

    Children these days are probably regularly exposed to more serious porn than most adults have seen in their entire lives. Banning a few silly slogans on vans is a useless bit of virtue signalling.

    • tripitaka says:

      It may very well be what is called virtue signalling but there seems to be no research or reasoning that explains why some people are more prone to be virtue signallers than others. That would be an interesting topic.

      Or it may be the case, and this is a more logical argument that is backed up with supporting evidence, that there have always been stupid repressive laws made by governments and groups of well-meaning people who were able to get these laws on the books.

      For example in the 1950’s presumably the era when righties thought that freedom reigned supreme, there were still laws that dated from the time that puritans had the power to influence governments such as; no-one can legally swim in a place where any other person is likely to see him. (Penalty £l1.) The article doesn’t say what the penalty was for a woman to do this; perhaps it was simply unthinkable that a woman would do it.

      And a woman was not permitted to beat her carpets in a back street before 8 am (penalty £2). But lol I suppose a man could have beaten his carpet any old time he wanted. And old-age pensioners are not permitted to buy liquor from a publican. Wow that one is cruel. 🙁

      This idea that the nanny state is something new is just another example of some people throwing tantrums because everything isn’t the way they like it to be, and evidence that despite their claim that nothing offends them they do take offence at the normal tendency of societies to police the behaviour of members.

      Human nature is such that we do need a society to live in and we like our societies to be cohesive and for everyone in the group to behave in ways we like. We like to make rules and tell other people how to behave. There is nothing new in this. If the regulations are becoming more intrusive it is the fault of the toxic and dysfunctional right wing ideology that says that there is no society just an economy.

      So many of the things that are hated by the right, like having to wear helmets, comes directly from economic arguments such as; head injuries cost tax-payers money and tax-payers shouldn’t have to pay for individuals poor choices. The plethora of petty regulations the councils impose are all about protecting themselves from the growth in entrepreneurial litigation that has been encouraged by the idea that we are all self-serving individuals.

      And the health and safety regulations that are the result of lobbying by industry provide so many marvellous opportunities for entrepreneurs to make a profit producing the products that make us all so safe.

      If right-wing libertarians are genuinely interested in contesting this so called nanny statism, they’ll quit their fantasies of evil state oppression, and stop arguing that there is no such thing as society and only self-interested individuals and understand that the more they trash the idea of a society in which people trust their neighbour to behave decently, the more demand there will be from people who feel unsafe for regulations to limit the damage that can be done by indecent behaviour.

      • bryan roberts says:

        Am interesting rant, but a rant, nevertheless.

        “And the health and safety regulations that are the result of lobbying by industry provide so many marvellous opportunities for entrepreneurs to make a profit producing the products that make us all so safe.”

        And they are, of course, the first to clamour for regulation when an industrial accident occurs. Ever heard of a Union?

        • tripitaka says:

          So what that unions are the first to clamour for regulations to protect workers? That is what Unions are for and if not for bleeding heart lefties and Unions our wonerful civilisation would still be forcing children to work in factories and mines.

          Do tell why capitalists would forsake profits voluntarily?

          The fact is that it is lobbyists not unions who have been so effective in getting laws passed to ‘protect’ us from ourselves and are responsible for the plethora of stupid things that we have to put up with these days like the morning tea bikkies having to be encased in cellophane. Pffft

          • spangled drongo says:

            Trip thinks that the epitome of nannyism is the natural extension of her ideology when we are all employed by govt and the nannies reign supreme.

            Well, trip luv, its been tried before, not so long back with devastating results.

            What a short memory you have.

      • Don Aitkin says:

        A link to those 1950s rules would be helpful, Tripitaka. Even today’s law books will have some ‘offences’ that have been overlooked in the regular revision of statutes.

        • tripitaka says:

          Here tis Don. The article has not been corrected. I often think I should offer my services to do this. Trove is such a valuable source for anyone who is interested in finding out what really went on in our past and what the real Australian way of life was.

          I remember another funny ‘law’ that was still on the books and was laughed at some time ago that said a man could ask a policeman to use his coat to provide some privacy while he peed in the gutter.

          • Don Aitkin says:

            Thanks, Tripitaka. While the 1953 news piece was no doubt accurate at the time, there is a constant process of revising statutes. In fact, about three quarters of all bills in all parliaments are simply revisions to existing statutes. I’m sure that more could be done, but a lot is being done.

            Your last sentence sounds more like the outcome of a court case than an actual law.

      • dlb says:

        Yes, some interesting points you raise Tripitaka at 6.43pm March 4.

        One should realise “The right” are not just the libertarians but also take in the conservatives, who don’t necessarily agree with every man / woman for themselves. The conservatives traditionally champion societal groups such as the family and the church. They also favour traditional NGOs and charities, particularly ones with Royal in the name e.g. RSPCA. The conservatives have their rules and regulations too, its just some of their “rules” have often become no longer relevant to the modern world. So if you include the conservatives as part of the right, they are indeed part of the nanny state.

        • tripitaka says:

          dlb, It seems to me that all the silly protestations about there being such a thing as a nanny state came from the libertarian ‘philosophy’ that rose to prominence in the 60’s; The fact is that conservative governments have always and for ever been telling people especially women what to do and how to live our lives. There has always been a daddy state.

          I remember my father, a progressive he would have called himself back in the ’50’s railing against the rules and regulations that came from the God botherers and the wowsers and the way they wanted to force everyone to live the way they believe people should live. It is ‘progressives’ who have been against the rules and regulations that take away individual liberty.

          The alliance between libertarians and conservatives that has dominated politics over the past decades has to end in tears soon.

          Libertarianism is against so many things that conservatives are very much for but they have been able to maintain a focus on the things they agree on. Both philosophies were able to support free market capitalism and the idea that ‘tax is theft’ and to focus on their aversion to ‘communism’.

          Both libertarians and conservatives can agree that inequality is simply a reflection of the fact that there are bad people and good people, there are lifters and leaners and the leaners are stupid and lazy.

          Conservatives who did have some understanding that there is such a thing as luck that has a role in the human condition were able to ignore that part of their philosophy in their indecent haste to accept the greed and selfishness philosophy and libertarians became glibertarians and were willing and able to ignore the ‘liberty’ aspects of their philosophy such as no prohibition on drugs or sex or religion.

          Phillip Soos explains that “Progressives are said to favour government intervention while conservatives tend to favour market outcomes. ……The evidence against this line of reasoning is transparently obvious when one examines the economic policies over the last few decades, especially with the ascendancy of rightwing political parties since the late 1970s and early 1980s.”

          And another argument that the real nanny state is helping the rich is by economist Dean Baker who debunks the myth that conservatives favor the market over government intervention. He argues that, in fact, conservatives rely on a range of “nanny state” policies that ensure the rich get richer while leaving most Americans worse off.

          You can google for this book that is available free to download.

          • margaret says:

            Lots to chew on there tripitaka if their dentures are up to it 🙂
            Yes the ‘daddy state’ is the overarching condition that we have, and no longer are prepared to, live in – the punishers and the straighteners – begone!
            Unfortunately there’s a battle to be had and because of the corporate giants that have taken over and reign supreme I am afeared.

          • spangled drongo says:

            Poor, deluded trip, has obviously failed all her life to understand that primitive god botherer culture she berates in white society while praising it in aboriginal society was simply a free version of the horrendously expensive, taxpayer-funded, nanny-knows-best culture of today.

            Not only a dumb, deluded proggy but a hypocritical one to boot.

            And trying to conflate this with free market control is a just more Marxist distraction.

            Lift your game, trip luv.

    • spangled drongo says:

      Bryan, today’s “nannies” have to appear to do good. It doesn’t matter in the slightest [as far as they are concerned] if the results are the complete opposite to what was intended as long as they can display and flaunt their concern.

      It’s called bum covering.

    • Don Aitkin says:

      My parents’ wardrobe only had a book by Marie Stopes, ‘Married Love’, on top. Even so, that was eye-opening for 12 year-old me, who had two brothers but no sisters.

  • spangled drongo says:

    When I was young, out west, we had nannies.

    They were called governesses.

    We called them goddesses.

    And hoped they embraced a philosophy like the Wicked add.

    But they were usually boringly virtuous (as most smart women were in those days) and by being that way often won themselves a fortune.

    The cards they played then were not the ones they play these days.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Gone to Off-Topic thread

  • Chris Warren says:

    Gone to Off-Topic thread

  • margaret says:

    “I think that we should be eternally vigilant against attempts to check the expression of opinions that we loathe …
    and believe to be fraught with death, unless they so imminently threaten immediate interference with the lawful and pressing purposes of the law that an immediate check is required to save the country”.

    • spangled drongo says:

      But does our ABC agree:

    • margaret says:

      “Meta-ness” – word of the day.

      “Judges, and politicians, are too often criticized for changing their minds. Are you not smarter today than you were 10 years ago? Twenty years ago? Have not life’s many “experiments” given you wisdom that you did not previously have? The genius of Justice Holmes’ dissent in Abrams wasn’t just its eloquence it was “meta-ness.” He was changing his mind about the need, the value, the glory, the benefit, of changing one’s mind and of accepting the changing of other people’s minds.”

      • spangled drongo says:

        Marg, I thought changing your mind WAS freedom of speech.

        “That, at any rate, is the theory of our Constitution. It is an experiment, as all life is an experiment.”

        I think the 20th century showed that FOS and free markets was essentially the only truly functional philosophy.

        Limits on things like shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre or teaching kids what to think instead of how to think etc. as well as minimal regs on markets have always been recognised.

    • margaret says:

      “Perhaps it is no coincidence that one of the most influential free-speech skeptics in America today is an immigrant. Jeremy Waldron is a law professor from New Zealand who teaches at New York University. In 2012, he published “The Harm in Hate Speech,” a powerful little book that seeks to dismantle familiar defenses of the right to indefensible speech. Waldron is unimpressed by the “liberal
      bravado” of free-speech advocates who say, “I hate what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” In his view, the people who say this rarely feel threatened by the speech they say they hate. Unfettered political expression came to seem like a bedrock American value only in the twentieth century, when the government no longer feared radical pamphleteers.”
      “This, in essence, was Justice Holmes’s rationale, in 1919, when he argued in an influential dissent that antiwar anarchists should be free to agitate. “Nobody can suppose that the surreptitious publishing of a silly leaflet by an unknown man, without more, would present any immediate danger,” he wrote. Free-speech advocates typically claim that the value of unfettered expression outweighs any harm it might cause, offering assurances that any such harm will be minimal. But what makes them so sure?”

  • Neville says:

    Gone to Off-Topic thread

  • Malcolm says:

    This is one topic that President Obama was really good at – he used a quote his grandmother “”Every time a fool speaks, they are just advertising their own ignorance. Let them talk. If you don’t, you just make them a victim, and then they can avoid accountability.”
    It’s pretty strange that left-wingers don’t see from the Brexit and Trump experiences that if you repress free speech with political correctness, people simply become resentful and quietly express their views privately, and eventually in the ballot box It is much better to have all opinions out in the open.

    • tripitaka says:

      There has always been political correctness. People have never been able to say whatever they liked. In the past the things that were politically and socially incorrect and could not be said without penalties were things like it is perfectly normal for men to want to make love to other men and women deserve the same rights as men do and that all humans are part of the same race.

      People did feel more free to denigrate minorities but decent people usually did it behind their backs and with some sort of humour and good nature.

      What is correct and what is not has changed and the way things were when people like you made all the rules and told everyone what was what was the ‘truth’ has gone never to return. We know now that wealthy white males are not the high point of evolution and that they don’t actually deserve to have the world set up so their preferences are the ones that everyone else has to accept.

      Wealthy white men are no longer the default person and no longer have a monopoly on truth. The fact is that denigration of people like Aborigines because of false beliefs about their character, intelligence and worth makes them resentful and more prone to not want to integrate and so causes problems for all of us. Why should a few nasty misinformed fools be able to create these problems for us all?

      So Obama says that fools should be allowed to speak their minds so we can all see how foolish they are. That is one opinion and it applies in some cases. It happens here all the time. Several old white men speak their minds and advertise their ignorance and reveal their psychological issues freely. No problem really except that Don could probably have some better conversations and commenters if a few of the drongo types ceased to dominate.

      What is it that you want to say but are worried about saying? I can’t imagine how much more abusive some men here could be and the only reason I can see for being as needlessly and uselessly abusive as some of you are is that this behaviour is a manifestation of a diagnose-able mental disorder.

      I find it pretty strange that you righties find anything significant in Brexit and/or Trump. Brexit doesn’t seem to have achieved anything real and Trump is quite obviously failing to make America great and is increasingly becoming a joke and making it clear that America is a failed state.

      Seriously, I live in a small town in Qld and I do know a lot of righties, people who abhor Labor and the Greens and will likely vote for Pauline Hanson if they the Hanson crowd are still around at the next election but they really can’t take Trump seriously. They think he is an idiot.

      I agree that there is a lot of resentment on the right but it isn’t because people are unhappy about not being able to speak their minds. My neighbours do speak their minds about lefites like me, Abo’s and muslims but never in the nasty and brutish way that some men here do. I think the resentment comes from the growing inequality that is happening all over the western world and that is proving that trickle down economics doesn’t work.

      People in my town are seeing that clearly now. They also are seeing that we do live in a society and we want the society/community we had back when there were public servants in town. The people who run the privatised services do not do the community things like going on the hall committee and supporting the Lions clubs and so on that the old ‘shiny bums’ used to do in their spare time back in the day.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Trip luv, how many cards in your pack?

        Do try not to play the blither card so much, for so long.

        It gets a bit boring.

      • bryan roberts says:

        “We know now that wealthy white males are not the high point of evolution”

        Perhaps you could start the diatribe by telling us exactly what you consider to be the high point of evolution, rather than what you consider not to be.

        • Chris Warren says:

          Maybe “wealthy white males” are the high point of the evolution of the global political economy????

          Gina Rinehart would naturally dissent.

      • dlb says:

        “My neighbours do speak their minds about lefites like me, Abo’s and muslims but never in the nasty and brutish way that some men here do”


        Plenty of silly, disparaging remarks fly around the comments section from some males. I agree better conversations could happen without such remarks, but brutish and nasty?

        Blaming wealthy white men is just as simplistic as blaming muslims, lefties and greenies for societies’ ills.

  • bryan roberts says:

    “My neighbours do speak their minds about lefites like me, Abo’s and muslims”

    Then this will come as no surprise. Both groups are attempting to adhere to primitive cultures within an incompatible social structure.

  • David says:

    Nannies like

    “oooh carbon tax the sky will fall in”

    “wind farms? We will all be ruined”

    “same sex marriage will undermine Western civilization”

    ” and I don’t like Welcome to Country ceremonies because they make me confront my white privilege.

    Like that you mean?

    • bryan roberts says:


    • JimboR says:

      “same sex marriage will undermine Western civilization”

      Now that you mention it David, isn’t Drongo our biggest nanna? He’s convinced the state needs to protect us from some unspeakable evil at the bottom of the slippery spoke. Nobody’s sure what it is, but I vaguely recall it involves, babies, bathwater, and possibly Labradors (although I may be confusing him with that other great nonna… Cory Bernardi on that one).

      Those that shout “nanny state” the loudest are often the ones quite keen to force their own “protections” on the rest of us. They’re the only ones who can see where the true dangers to society lurk.

    • spangled drongo says:

      “Nannies like…”

      A little confused as usual, hey, davie?

      I think you’ll find that everything you just mentioned is anti-nanny and the antithesis of what nannies are trying to impose on us.

      It sounds like you support them to the max.

      A real Nanny boy.

      Who’d ‘a’ thought?

      • David says:

        Like Joe Hockey who decided that farmers should not be allowed to purchase wind farms on their own land because they were such an eyesore for people driving to Canberra.

        • JimboR says:

          Or Cory Bernardi telling Muslim women what they can and can’t wear for various reasons including:

          . their unAustralian appearance might offend the rest of us
          . they need rescuing from their oppressive faith
          . they might be packing bombs under there

          Cory is the great great grandmother of all nonnas.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          I doubt that he said any of those words. I think he said that he disliked the look of them. In the essay I wrote at the time, I said that I rather liked the look of them. I just thought they were a complete waste of ,money.

          But of course if you have the link that shows that indeed he said those things, I will take back my doubt.

    • spangled drongo says:

      And look at that!

      Jimb supports your confusion!!

  • Ron Dent says:

    Once again Don you have livened up my otherwise dull day .

  • Ross says:

    Grandpa…what’s a slut?
    Grandpa… daddy calls me his little Princess. Am I his slut, too?

    Enjoy the drive.

    • Don Aitkin says:


      It occurs to me from time to time that you are young and, on this occasion, that you haven’t been a parent of a small child. Parents (I am the father of five and the step-father or another four, though not when they were young) are constantly being asked awkward questions by their kids. You have to learn how to answer them, judging the level of the answer in terms of the age and knowledge of the child.

      Do you imagine that if there were no Wicked vans parents would have no questions to answer from their inquiring kids?

      • Ross says:

        Father of two. One a girl. And yes, I have had to answer awkward questions, Don.
        Now that Wicked vans here opened up the debate for children and adults to discuss, how would you have answered that question?
        I can choose not to see a film. I can change the channel on the TV. I can ignore offensive comedians
        I’d love to ignore wicked vans knuckle dragging attempts at humor, Don.
        But when you’re stuck behind one, with kids in the car, it’s not that easy. Impossible, actually.
        I resent that.

        • Don Aitkin says:

          I understand that you feel strongly. I’m not sure about ‘resentment’. When you know what your resentment is directed at, you might know how best to respond. My position is that this is not a matter for yet another law. If you feel that what you have seen is deeply offensive, go to Wicked vans and tell them so. See if you can get a strolling policemen to do something about it. Engage in a little neo-graffiti, if you have a spray-can. But Parliament is not there to create a sledgehammer for a nut so that you don’t feel resentful.

          • JimboR says:

            You’re happy to involve the police, but not the parliament? If I were a backpacker who’d just forked out a major part of my holiday budget to a campervan hire company I’d expect it to be registered and street-legal throughout the country. I don’t want to pull into some remote outback town thousands of kms from the nearest Wicked outlet to be told my vehicle is illegal.

            I originally agreed with the thrust of your article, but now the thought of strolling policemen in remote towns hassling tourists by enforcing some local standard has got me thinking maybe there is a role for clear regulations.

          • WR2012 says:

            Actually Don, there was a yard in the centre of Cairns where WICKED parked their vans, and one morning WICKED arrived to see their vans covered in black paint including the glass windows. The hardware store did a good trade in black paint spray cans. It all happened about 2 years ago.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Having had a bit to do with little princesses, by the time they can read and understand the message they are usually able to cope with it particularly if the parent deprecates it.

    But that’s FOS. It may offend or insult us but that is a very small price to pay for the luxury.

    Get over it rossie and jimb. You’re big boys now.

  • spangled drongo says:

    As a young boy growing up on a farm, 5 year old girls who were incredibly aware of the real world would tell me how they were faced with the problem of expanding their vaginas if they were ever to be able to produce a family.

    They were very frank and honest and philosophical about their problems.

    Darling girls. The world was their nanny.

    • margaret says:

      I am skeptical of your story. These are the facts according to an Australian parenting website.
      “Your preschooler might be very curious about bodies – his own and other people’s. For example, you might find your child looking at his own and other children’s genitals. A combination of natural curiosity and role-playing is usually a normal part oF childhood sexual behaviour.”

      • Don Aitkin says:


        Usage: Surely the are not the facts’. They are generalisations, qualified by ‘might’ (x2) and ‘usually’. Moreover, they aren’t any reason by themselves to be sceptical about the story. You might, of course, have other reasons.

        • margaret says:

          Facts qualified by ‘might’ then. Child development professionals vs Spangled Drongo is a no win situation for him.

          As a young boy growing up on a farm, 5 year old girls who were incredibly aware of the real world would tell me how they were faced with the problem of expanding their vaginas if they were ever to be able to produce a family.
          They were very frank and honest and philosophical about their problems.
          Darling girls. The world was their nanny.”
          If you cannot see the garbage in this post then I ‘give up’.
          Tripitaka please …

        • margaret says:

          My ‘other’ reasons then are that spangled Drongo talks a lot of shit.

      • spangled drongo says:

        Skeptical or sceptical, marg?

        If you had been brought up on a farm and seen all sorts of animals going through the difficulty of giving birth on an almost daily basis, AWA rams, stallions, bulls, roosters etc in full cry, you would have to be incredibly stupid to not be aware of and fascinated by the facts of life at an extremely early age.

        • margaret says:

          My own granddaughter role played giving birth after her brother was born, repeatedly but not graphically (making sense of her chafing position in the family) – unless an adult says to a child of 5 this is what will happen when you become a mother the child of five is unlikely to make the connection of needing to ‘expand her vagina’ for f’s sake … and as for being philosophical about it at the age of five – give me a break.

          • margaret says:

            ‘changing’ position in the family, not ‘chafing’ position in the family.
            Sure, farm kids see lots more from an early age but they don’t as a rule translate that to what’s ahead for them – (unless they have very base and crude mentoring)

          • spangled drongo says:

            Marg, you are making convenient and stupid assumptions. An intelligent young girl that is very involved with the birth of farm animals can examine herself and desperately wonder how she can ever produce children herself from that tiny orifice.

            The fact that she discussed it with me and not her mother was also interesting and expressed her “philosophy”.

            I could give you vivid detail of what she actually did about it to solve her “problem” at that very impressionable age but you are as obtuse as the blitherer.

            But with trip’s support you are bound to feel better about yourself.

            She is a lovely person and my wife and I still visit her.

  • JimboR says:

    I’m reminded of an AirAsiaX billboard on Sexton Hill from a few years ago. It was not long after they’d started flying from OOL to Thailand, and the billboard read: “Thailand, so cheap you’ll say: Phuket, I’ll go”. I remember have a good chuckle when I first saw it. There were of course complaints, although in this case the Advertising Standards ruled that it was not offensive (wisely in my view).

    Avis NZ weren’t so lucky with one of their TV ads. They had a few folk standing around a map with a pointer pointing to various towns, while saying “Whakamara, Whakataki, Whakapara. With Avis you can visit any Whaka you want”. For those unfamiliar, a M?ori ‘Wh’ is pronounced somewhat like an English ‘f’. That one did get pulled by the censors after complaints were lodged.

    • john says:

      Is the add on “youtube” anywhere?

    • JimboR says:

      I’ve searched high and low and haven’t been able to find it. If you do, I’d love a pointer. It was from quite a few years back now (maybe 5 or 6 years). I’m afraid searching on those town names won’t help, as I couldn’t remember exactly which Whaka towns they chose, so I chose those randomly to demonstrate the concept.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Can anyone stop Nannyism?

    “As of the end of April 2016, the commonwealth government maintained an estimated 1,181 entities, bodies, and administrative relationships.

    Of those 1,181 entities and bodies, 497 are estimated to be involved in policy design or enforcement of the federal regulatory system.

    It is estimated that 444 government bodies established by the Rudd and Gillard governments continue to exist, and 198 of these involved in the regulatory system.

    A large number of these bodies are regulatory agencies imposing excessive and unnecessary red tape upon the Australian economy, including the Fair Work Commission, National Heavy Vehicle Regulator, Safe Work Australia, and the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.

    The Abbott Turnbull government has indicated it has abolished 286 bodies since the 2013 election, but several bodies previously scheduled for abolition remain in place today.”

    • margaret says:

      Abbott’s nanny is the Catholic Church confessional – how much more of a nanny concept can you get than that? I’d bet he doesn’t use it as an article of his faith though.

      • margaret says:

        “The first time Tony Abbott made a big call as Liberal leader without consulting his troops, he mollified them with a combination of guile, self-deprecation and humour. ”Sometimes it’s better to ask forgiveness than permission,” a chastened Abbott told the Coalition party room, after promising one of the world’s most generous parental leave schemes.”

      • spangled drongo says:

        Yes. marg, the church was one of the original nannies but you lefty proggies are in denial that what you are obsessed with is nannyism on steroids.

        Whereas the “laws” of the church were optional and virtually cost-free, today’s nanny red tape is sending us broke from all directions.

        But the echoes of your anti-Trump screams are music to any conservatives’ ears.

  • spangled drongo says:

    Wonderful tribute to Bill Leak by Mark Steyn in the Oz.

    Showing what a nanny state we really are:

    “In the way of apparatchiks everywhere, Commissar Soutphommasane insisted that his ­verdict-first-trial-afterwards approach was all part of the vigorous public debate of a healthy democracy: “Cartoons will be subject to all matter of public debate. It’s a healthy part of our democracy that we have that debate.”

    To which I responded: “Sorry. A legal action is not a ‘debate’. Mr Leak is being ‘subject to’ not debate but state thought-policing — because ideological enforcers like Soutphommasane find debate too tiresome and its results too unpredictable. Which is why he gets a third of a million a year from Australian taxpayers to prevent debate.”

    For those smart enough to be subscribers.

  • spangled drongo says:

    One of our biggest, most painful and expensive nannies is the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission instigated by Bob Hawke in 1986.

    And Gillian Triggs, the bumbling head of that Commission is speaking at a Greens fundraiser later this month.

    Can you believe it?

    And more crazy nannyism to appease the stupids:

    Turnbull’s plan to use electricity to pump water up hill to make hydro electricity when it falls again takes 20 per cent more power than it creates.

    That’s to preserve some of the energy from the overpriced, highly emissive, polluting and eco-unfriendly RE systems that are otherwise nearly useless.

    So we spend another $2 billion to try to justify our earlier stupidity.

    Ah! Nannieeeeee!!!

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