Gerard Luby (Chronicle, February 5) has pointed out that health and safety is a burgeoning industry, spurred on by rules and edicts from on high, promulgated in air-conditioned offices by people who are scared of mice.
This new industry is putting huge cost onto industry. One chap told me on small jobs it can be 70 per cent of the cost; it also causes huge time delays. These rules tell the worker he/she is not responsible for him/herself, the boss is. If you turn up not on top of your game and make a slip-up, it's the boss's fault, not the fact you partied or played video games, and did not get much sleep.
At Davos there was talk that, if you want to speed up your economy, cutting red tape was more of a driver than low interest rates.
Tamaki out of step
I couldn't help but be concerned at the ramblings of self-appointed Bishop Brian Tamaki during the celebrations at Waitangi this month. I wondered how inappropriate this was, and how he became permitted to speak at an occasion that promoted racial integration within New Zealand.
It brought to memory one of the many written quotes from survivors of the Auschwitz concentration camp: "Remember it didn't start with the gas chambers. It started with politicians dividing the people with 'us v them'. It started with intolerance and hate speech and when people stopped caring, became desensitised and turned a blind eye."
Followers of Tamaki would do well to remember these words.
Dave Scoullar makes the point (Letters, February 11) that religious views should be respected in discussions around social issues. I agree, insofar as they are owned as that, that it's their view or opinion. I think the difficulty that arises in such discussion is when proponents of religious views presume to speak on behalf of us all with their narrow world-view of how things should be.
This and the underlying themes of judgment of those who are not in sync with the religious view, particularly as pervades much of Christian doctrine, sets them up for critical appraisal and - in many instances, in my view - justifiably so.
Respect, as Dave points out, is always important. Equally important is accountability, which at times means we all have to face the scrutiny of others. I don't see why those with a religious view should receive any special exemption from this.
I consider there is learning to be had in considering the appraisals of others, if we are open to that sort of growth.
Tolerance and respect
I agree with David Scoullar (letters, February 11) that, in the current debate on social issues, respect should prevail.
The changes sought on these social issues are built around a philosophy of free will — the right to choose alternatives within the law. Changes you are free to engage with or not, as you will.
A different philosophy of free will is expressed in the Christian dogma, determining "moral behaviour" because "coercion" is the opposite to the "freely chosen" dimension in the exercise of free will. Religious convictions become a coercive dogma when they insist others must share them, out of fear or favour.
At this point, the validity of your expressed views may to be challenged with fervour equal to their expression. More so if they are perceived to be based on inherent hypocrisy, where lack of respect for others' beliefs is primary in the religious creed they are based on.
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