Following my post Operating a private fire brigade in SA (May 18, 2019) the online discussion, both on WordPress and on Facebook, took on a tone that I do not accept. All those posts have been removed and to the extent that I allowed the ad hominem argument (‘a fallacious argumentative strategy whereby genuine discussion of the topic at hand is avoided by instead attacking the character, motive, or other attribute of the person’ asking the question) to continue, I apologise.
I remind people this is my blog and people write to me asking for my opinion. The answer is public and necessarily incomplete. I’m not giving legal advice and can’t get back to the correspondent to get a fine understanding of every issue or develop a detailed scenario. Questions and answers are general, so inevitably there will be variations in given facts, or assumptions, that may lead to a different legal outcome. Further, I may be wrong or have overlooked something.
In any of those cases others are welcome to write and say
- ‘but what if…?’ or
- ‘actually we do ‘x’ and we deal with the legal issues this way …’ or
- ‘we do ‘x’ but not in the circumstances you describe and that makes a difference’ or
- ‘I think you have missed section 123 of whatever Act…’ or the like.
That is, I invite anyone to contribute to answering the question.
What I don’t invite is an attack on the person asking the question or an attack on their motive for asking. If you do ‘x’ and someone asks ‘is x legal?’ that does not necessarily mean that they are attacking you or looking for information against you, or that you or everyone should stop doing ‘x’. They are asking ‘is ‘x’ legal?’. And if my answer is ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘maybe’ you are welcome to explain how and why you do ‘x’ and how you deal with the legal issues. Or you are welcome to say nothing at all.
No-one is welcome:
- to tell the person who asked the question that he or she is an idiot because they didn’t already know the answer;
- to ask ‘so what, you want no-one (or everyone) to do ‘x’, well that will be bad …’ or
- to say ‘the fact that you had to ask shows that you are part of the problem for ‘x’-doers….’
Even if you are the reason they are asking, even if you do actually know something of why they are asking, the appropriate response to is still to respond to the question, or say nothing.
Let us recall two rules that no doubt have been repeated to us all over the years, and use them to guide comments on this blog, on whatever platform:
- The only dumb question is the one you don’t ask; and
- If you can’t say something nice (and that addresses the question) don’t say anything at all.
Great post Michael. It is a pity there are some out there who just do not understand the values and principles you put into these posts.
Certainly support your action of removal whole heartedly.
Keep up your great contributions to the sector, they are widely read and appreciated by the many who are sincere to the sector.
I appreciate all your posts, and unfortunately it appears that some people don’t. Please don’t change our current method of answering the interesting and thought provoking questions that are presented.
I’m sad to hear that’s what it degenerated to. Keep up the great work, Michael
Well said. I, among others, appreciate the time and effort that you spend in giving us your insight and expertise in the area of emergency law. Thank you.
I hope my post was not in that category
It was a good article and covered issues that have a great deal of interest and concern for me
Amen. Again you get to the core…. eloquently and clearly, I am sure you will uphold the standards of the (YOUR) blog and not let the trolls ruin it as they do many many other discussion boards. Cheers to you.
I subscribe to many blogs, and rarely have time to even skim through them.
However yours is one that I always make time to read thoroughly.
Keep up the great work!
Well said sir. It seems the modern way is attack if the question or the answer doesn’t correspond with the attacker’s point of view.
Agree totally Michael. Too often offence is used a the excuse for ripping into someone else without care, concern, respect or understanding of where they are coming from. Didn’t follow the posts you are referring to, but have seen many elsewhere.
Very well said Michael, and very well handled might I add.
I agree with all the previous postings.
It’s a great shame that you aren’t able to /don’t wish to step outside your area of emergency law.
There is so much that I’d like to hear comment on.
Thanks John but I am indeed a specialist. Whilst I have generalist knowledge of many areas of law (as all lawyers must) I would not be willing to become a commentator. No-one can know all the law on all subjects (High Court judges excepted).
Well said. In my opinion there is just too much of a sense of entitlement pervading society in general, where the only thing that matters is their view, irrespective of whom it might hurt or ride roughshod over.