Wednesday, June 29, 2005

A gruesome tale

As if people whose lives are disrupted or ended in personal tragedy have not suffered enough, it seems these days that their individual tribulations are to be reinterpreted as excuses for calls to collective action, typically in the form of expanded regulation or increased government spending. Some sort of unofficial spirit-of-interventionism Equality of Affliction Opportunity Program, I suppose. And the recent shooting in London, in which three people were murdered by a family member who was also killed, is unfortunately no exception. So the London Free Press obliges my poor expectations by charging into this plea for other people's money by noted London activist Megan Walker. This appeal takes bad solutions to Ms. Walker's perceived political problems and attributes them to someone else's problem, related to hers only by a dishonourable expropriated sympathy. It also seems to curiously portray London women as being impetuous herd creatures overreacting to the easily imaginable fear of someone they don't even know in a vicarious orgy of mindless internalization — a representation I'm sure neither the writer nor Ms. Walker intended, although I guess it couldn't hurt the cause of helplessness that has been so financially rewarding in this country.

The city's centre for abused women has been overrun this week with women frightened in the aftermath of the slayings of two mothers and two children. Panic was endemic yesterday among women trying to escape violence from men in their lives, said Megan Walker, executive director of London's Abused Women's Centre.

[…] Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty has promised more funds to combat domestic violence but hasn't delivered, Walker said.

McGuinty pledged support a month after his 2003 election. Seven months ago, the province announced aid for the fiscal year that began in April. Three months later, most agencies that provide those services are still waiting.

"We've yet to receive one penny," Walker said.
Neither Dalton McGuinty's promises nor any suggestion that more funds to "combat" domestic violence could avert these tragedies should be taken seriously. If I'm not mistaken, "combat" in this context means hiring more people like Ms. Walker to make more definite demands of the rest of us for indefinite purposes.