Thursday, February 19, 2009

Guerilla gardeners

I watched with some interest the first episode of Guerilla Gardeners this week.  Apart from the editor or producer of the show over-egging the "this is really risky" angle of their work, I thought it was pretty good.  

Over the last year, I've poked my nose into some pretty blighted and neglected sites around Canada Bay, and if we were to wait for government at any level to beautify them, we'd be waiting several lifetimes.  No government ever has enough money and staff to beautify every rubbish covered, graffiti strewn, poorly tended vacant block.  I find it annoying that government departments continually proclaim that only they are capable of looking after the public realm; and then they turn around and plead that they are too poor/too understaffed/too busy to do anything - but if you dare to try and do something about it, you'll be dragged before a magistrate..

In my opinion, we the public entrust our elected officials and public servants with the care of public assets.  We pay rates, taxes, fees and charges for the upkeep of those assets, and for paying the wages and salaries of the officials appointed to maintain them.

We empower the government to do things on our behalf.  If the government, or its servants, fails in those undertakings, then it loses the moral authority to prevent the citizenry from undertaking those tasks themselves.

So as far as I am concerned, all power to the guerillas!

No comments: