Whenever there is a particularly nasty crime we expect politicians to immediately react with a promise to introduce heavier penalties. Acting tough after the event seems to be at the very core of every political party's law-and-order policy. And now the approach of increasing the deterrent whenever something goes wrong is spreading.
The New South Wales Premier Nathan Rees now has ditch diggers in his sights after one of them yesterday cut through a cable causing a blackout in Sydney's central business district. The solution to stopping this kind of inconvenience occurring again, Mr Rees would have us believe, is to increase the penalties for such accidents As it was the third occasion in a month that cut off electricity in much of the CBD it might be more appropriate to upgrade the infrastructure to stop Australia's commercial heartland being vulnerable to such incidents.