It’s fair and reasonable to ask why those who govern us are all of a sudden so interested in what we think.
It was a trickle at first, but now it’s a flood and it’s so bad they won’t start building a new toilet block without first asking us what we think.
The latest to come through into the email inbox last week was for “community input’’ into the design of a new park at Camden Valley Way in Leppington.
This one is part of a program that even has a catchy title: parks for people.
My first thought was, if the people design this park, what will the bureaucrats paid to do this work be doing – loafing?
Well, maybe that was my second thought and my first was: what a load of old…
Some councils are the biggest culprits of this trend, and this is interesting because they’re not so inclusive or transparent when it comes to information that the public ought to know about.
When it comes to overseas junkets or spending millions of our rate money on consultants they ask us just to trust them – funny that.
But all levels of government are getting into it and it has become a widespread practice to ask the people for their opinion on everything but anything remotely serious.
So the question we ask back in response is: why and what are you lot up to.
On the surface it seems a pretty harmless thing to do.
But time and effort goes into it, all of which cost money – our council rates and taxes.
From where we sit, the more it happens, the more it looks like a distraction strategy.
In fact it looks like it’s straight out of the Yes, Minister bureaucratic play book.
And just like that satirical but so true TV series, the public doesn’t get a say in any of the important stuff, such as the current lockdowns and restrictions imposed as part of the response to the pandemic.
We are never consulted on council rate hikes or tax increases – in other words anything important.
“You can’t leave important things like that to the public,’’ as Sir Humphrey Appleby would say.
But we are invited to have our say on silly things like naming a shop in an art gallery or a new policy on sporting facilities or name a koala competition.
Do these people really think we’re that gullible?
So let’s remind them one more time that you can fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool all of the people all of the time.