There’s an old saying in government: You can’t legislate against stupidity.
A government can introduce the toughest laws in the world to stop drink driving or people from using their phones in cars, but there will always be a few idiots who just don’t get the message.
And why is that?
Because some people are just stupid.
That’s exactly why Australian farmers are shaking in their blundies about foot-and-mouth disease right now – because preventing it from getting to Australia really depends on the behavior of the people coming from Bali.
So you’re immediately talking about a cohort in which rocket scientists are unlikely to be overrepresented, but an incident in Darwin last week revealed the true magnitude of the problem.
How much media coverage do you think foot and mouth disease has gotten in the last month?
Hell of a lot is the correct answer, so by now you’d think the message to returning travelers was pretty clear – if you’re arriving from Bali you could be bringing in a disease that could destroy a multi-billion dollar livestock industry.
Hell, it’s already spoiled Alannah MacTiernan’s political career, and she didn’t even go to Bali.
But despite all the rhetoric from authorities, concerns from farmers and warnings from biosecurity officials, some fools in Darwin allegedly arrived from Bali and failed to declare two McMuffins with sausage and eggs and a ham croissant they had hidden in their backpack.
Even doubling the fine won’t stop idiots from thinking that new foot-and-mouth restrictions somehow don’t apply to them.
Authorities claim this backpacker presented a false and misleading customs document, presumably thinking smuggling a couple of McMuffs into the NT was an Ocean’s Eleven level heist, but was caught by Darwin Airport’s new biosecurity sniffer dog.
Anyone who’s eaten McDonald’s in their car knows the smell lingers for days, so it would have been the easiest bust in the sleuth’s budding career.
FYI, there are five Macca’s restaurants within a 20 minute drive of Darwin Airport, making McMuffins even easier to find than KFC in Casuarina Prison (IYKYK).
So it has to be said that this criminal enterprise probably wasn’t worth the $2664 fine that caught the person.
Now, you might think that’s a pretty strong deterrent, but it clearly hasn’t stopped this person from breaking Australia’s biosecurity laws and forever renaming Breakfast of Champions Brunch of Buffoons.
So it’s safe to say that even a doubling of the fine won’t stop dorks from thinking new foot-and-mouth restrictions somehow don’t apply to them.
These donkeys will still try to bring in undeclared food, and they will also try to slip through with mud on their shoes because doing the right thing seems like an unnecessary inconvenience.
If you can’t trust some people to meet the basics of being a good citizen — or, in this case, a half-decent backpacker, which is a very low hurdle — you can’t blame the authorities for taking matters into their own hands.
Nobody wants to live in a nanny state but the fact is some of us need a nanny because we are too stupid to follow the rules.
https://www.perthnow.com.au/opinion/ben-oshea/ben-oshea-bali-travellers-need-to-wake-up-to-foot-and-mouth-disease-threat-from-undeclared-food-c-7714801 Ben O’Shea: Bali travelers need to be aware of the foot-and-mouth disease threat from undeclared food