Thursday, November 25, 2010

Armchair heroes

Armchair OSH apologists in the media and in Sci-blogs have been trying to justify the lack of a rescue in Greymouth because of the dangers from gases.

I'm no mining engineer, so I stand to be corrected, but like many others I am increasingly cynical about NZ's ability to handle a disaster.

Like Mr Wishart, I too am no mining engineer, so I too stand to be corrected, but I believe no mining engineer has criticised the handling of this dreadful accident. Nor have criticisms come from experts in disaster management, policing or counselling. However, many commentators who know nothing about any of these areas of expertise have rushed in where angels fear to tread. Indeed, many - including Messrs Wishart and Laws - have stated their willingness to go into the mine, where rescue parties fear to tread.

Had they done so, they would have died. But then, they would not have done so. I stand to be corrected, but I believe none of these commentators ever has made good on his heroic promises. I did not see newspaper columnists and talk radio hosts clamouring to get past the police cordon so that they could plunge into the mine and rescue the miners. Nor were their readers and listeners, those energetic makers of comments and calls, to be found on the road to Pike River. Not one Grumpy Old Man turned up at the pithead, equipped with a torch and a breathing apparatus. Perhaps they were all too busy commenting.

I am no mining engineer; nor am I a sinologist: but I know a paper tiger when I see one.

5 comments:

Scott said...

In the case of Mr Laws he is perhaps of the view that the noxious vapours emanating from his mouth on an ongoing basis have given him some form of immunity.

But if I was standing at the police cordon and Laws turned up demanding to go into an environment where he could be killed at any moment, I certainly wouldn't stand in his way.

Rusty said...

Indeed. There was so much hot air coming out of that borehole, perhaps Mr Laws had already made his way down into the mine.

Anonymous said...

I have sudden seductive naughty mental images involving the extinction of the entire yellow media contingent in a subterranean non-mishap.

Can we send Paul Henry down as well with them? And Garth George too?

Craig Y

Rusty said...

That would be a terrible waste of coal.

Anonymous said...

Yes, but think of the increased quality of journalism in this country as a result...

Craig Y