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More bollards

January 31, 2017

From Mark Steyn discussing the need for more bollards in relation to Australia in general and Malcolm Turnbull in particular.

One radio show and two TV shows in a little over 24 hours is almost like a real day’s work. But not quite enough apparently:

Mark,

Has your enthusiasm for writing insightful, erudite, and thoroughly entertaining commentary disappeared? Between quoting yourself, reprising episodes of your failing TV show, and entertainment reviews there is very little reason to click anymore.

Angelo DePalma, PhD
Newton, New Jersey

To be honest, I’m not sure where insightful erudition gets a chap these days. Last month, apropos an Islamic maniac mowing down Christmas shoppers in Germany, I wrote:

The less obviously evasive responses were almost as dispiriting. An English tourist visiting from Birmingham complained that in his native city ugly bollards line the sidewalks to obstruct any similarly homicidal lorries in the vicinity, but that Berlin had none. The Christkindlmarkt is a German tradition dating back to the Middle Ages: Munich’s is over 700 years old. A society that can only hold three-quarters-of-a-millennium-old traditions behind an impenetrable security perimeter is a society that will soon lose those traditions. My own preference, as I’ve stated, is that, if free countries have to have unsightly security controls, why don’t they have them around the national borders rather than around every single thing inside those borders?

I then asked:

Why do people like that Birmingham tourist think the answer to more and more Muslims is more and more bollards?

I don’t think I type the word “bollard” more than once a decade. So it was what passes, more or less, for an original thought these days, rather than the self-quoting Mr DePalma decries. The column was prominently published in Melbourne’s Herald Sun and other influential Australian newspapers. Indeed, The Herald Sun is the highest-circulation newspaper in Australia, with over a million and a half readers in a nation of less than 25 million people. What the paper says is read by almost everyone who matters in Melbourne, throughout Victoria, and in Canberra.

Nevertheless, a few days ago, in Melbourne, another maniac, self-described as a “Greek Islamic Kurdish Angel of Cult” for whatever that’s worth, used his vehicle to mow down another bunch of pedestrians, three fatally. Is the Melbourne motorist really an “Islamic Kurd”? Or just a nut riffing on the fashions of the day? Either way, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull immediately called for more bollards:

The Prime Minister pointed to boosting the number of bollards, which prevented the Bourke Street driver from entering a certain area, as a measure to be seriously considered…

‘A vulnerability we need to address’: Malcolm Turnbull calls for more bollards in busy pedestrian areas

We’re gonna need a lot more bollards!

The Premier of Victoria, Daniel Andrews, agrees. More bollards!

While a lot of work had already been done to safeguard the city – including the use of bollards – “if we have to do more, then absolutely we will,” he said….

“A lot of bollards have gone in, in recent times, but if we have to do more, then absolutely we will.”

I think open societies hunkering down behind ever more bollards is pitiful. But I argued all that last month in Australia’s biggest-selling newspaper, and a fat lot of good it did. So much for insightful, erudite commentary, in the most influential press outlets in a comparatively small market.

And yes, Mr DePalma has, I’m sure, noted that I quoted myself yet again. That’s because I’ve said it all before.

What does Malcolm actually believe that will allow him to deal with our problems? He leads a party of the right none of whose values he shares, but they are onto him. He will do the right thing because doing the wrong thing will upset more than half the party he leads. A stupid way to run a government, but when all is said and done, it is better than having the other side run things who would be infinitely worse.

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