140,000 Turn In Bosses, Neighbours, Former Lovers To Tax Department
A short, but disturbing, piece from Ruth Ostrow on how, in only a few short years, Australians have utterly betrayed their anti-authoritarian centuries old history of not 'dobbing'.
Confidential phone-in lines for water wasters, minor tax cheats, neighbourhood speeders and illegal parkers have transformed Australians in just a few years into a nation of people who can't wait to get revenge on their fellow Australians by turning them into the authorities, for even the most minimal of crimes or discrepancies.
....at what cost to our national psyche and sense of fair play? Yes, we catch the cleaner or fruit-shop owner who tried to sneak a few quid under the counter. But what does dobbing do to our national identity?
...it seems we are turning into a culture of vengeful, envious people. We’re becoming authoritarian, which is out of keeping with the free-spirited, laconic, larrikin element of the Australian way of life. We came here as convicts, dobbed in no doubt, and have remained anti-dobbing thus far, in a country built on trusting thy neighbour. We like sorting out our own issues.I think dobbing is tragic. It belongs to fascist regimes like Stalinism. Governments that encourage vengeance or the betraying of trust may recoup a tiny percentage of money or power, but ultimately they lose far more. If you ask me, it’s bloody unAustralian.