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Three Minute Silence

Entry 586, on 2007-08-08 at 14:44:43 (Rating 2, News)

Recently New Zealand has had a few examples of horrific cases of child abuse. No one seems to know quite what to do about it, so one group decided they would have a three minute silence today to protest against this abuse. Apparently some lanes were blocked on one of New Zealand's busiest streets: the Auckland Harbour Bridge, even though police had requested people not stop there to avoid accidents.

But what was the point of this? Maybe it could be seen as a consciousness raising exercise, but with recent news reports that is hardly necessary. What it really was is an attempt to raise the profile of people like Christine Rankin, a particularly silly woman who is the chief executive of a group called "For the Sake of Our Children". She had said that drivers should feel free to stop their cars wherever they were to mark the silence. A useful contribution to solving the problem or a publicity stunt? I think I know which it was!

The people who are guilty of this abuse aren't going to see a few people being silent or parking their cars on the bridge and say "I see what a bad person I've been and will never do anything like that again". More likely people who have never abused anyone will be inconvenienced and possibly put at risk by this little stunt.

Its all part of the way some people think. There's a culture amongst leaders and senior managers that they must be seen to be doing something. Often they have no clue what to do, but instead of studying the problem further they do something superficial or even counter-productive. I don't condone sitting around and studying a problem ad infinitum either, but there has to be a sensible solution between a knee jerk reaction and endless procrastination.

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