'Denounced' for failing to keep lawn in check

LETTER OF THE DAY: I have been denounced. I have been informed on to the authorities. I am no longer safe to trust my neighbours.

Any of those who smile and nod as they pass me on the street, may be my denouncer. I am left to wonder and view with suspicion, all those around me.

What was my crime, what was the heinous violation of the peace and good order in my community? I failed to mow my lawn.

For a small while, during the wettest period of the year, while my attention was held by other works, I failed to keep my lawn in check.

My life fell below the acceptable community standards for Crows Nest, as those standards are defined by my denouncer.

Who is my accuser, my denouncer, the informer who peeks through the curtains?

Well, I do not know, nor can I ever find out. My informer, the scourge of my existence, was anonymous.

Yes, one without a name. It seems in this brave new world people are encouraged to denounce their neighbours under the coward's protection of anonymity.

I received a call from a most reasonable public servant, informing me that an anonymous complaint had been made against me.

It seems that the system now denies the accused natural justice. I am denied the right to address my accuser and answer the accusations.

I have a message for my denouncer. If you can see my backyard, you should know where my front door is.

If you have a problem with me or your other neighbours, have the courage to face them.

I am a retired public servant, an ex-bureaucrat, I will not bite you.

Let us not slide further down this slippery slope to toward the inevitable Orwellian nightmare of 1984, let us not be a nation of cowardly sneaks, waiting the chance to denounce each other to whatever authority is willing to listen.

We are not yet Nazi Germany or Stalin's Soviet Union. Let us commit this snivelling, curtain peeking, cowardly behaviour to the dustbin of history.

No one wants to live a nation of dobbers!

RIC DUTTON, Crows Nest


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