Why Stop At Politicians? Let's Drug Test All These Professions Too
It’s always refreshing to see the authorities embracing fresh new ideas to make all our lives better.
At the same time, it’s always frustrating to see them fail to take those ideas far enough to make them truly revolutionary. So it’s with mixed feelings that I regard the government’s bold new plan to crack down on the drugged-out dole bludgers that all experts agree are the greatest challenge facing Australia today.
It seemed a shame, I thought, as I heard Scott Morrison extol the benefits of forcing the unemployed to fill the many, many surplus job vacancies that exist in Australia via the medium of getting them off meth, that his imagination couldn’t stretch to extending the scheme beyond welfare recipients. It was left to Jacqui Lambie, that earthy visionary, to come up with the obvious plan: drug test politicians as well!
Now, this is clearly a wonderful idea. Who doesn’t love the thought of members of parliament being ushered behind a curtain to perform the necessary evacuations before a bevy of eagle-eyed testers? The entertainment value of seeing some of the more elderly of our representatives attempting to urinate on cue would make it worthwhile on its own. The fact that it would also act to quell the fear -- rife in society at present -- that the majority of our MPs are permanently hopped up on goofballs is a bonus.
But even if we are all agreed that pollies should join the shiftless in the project -- and apparently Morrison himself, along with Mathias Cormann, is not averse to whizzing in a cup if it helps the economy -- there is still so much scope to expand this concept.
What I’m saying, in a nutshell, is that it’s time for Australia to consider the possibility that the way to achieve the ideal society is to implement random drug testing basically across the board.
There are several reasons for this. The first is fairness. We accept that testing athletes for stimulants is necessary to ensure a just competition: why don’t we apply the same principle to competition in other fields?
I know from experience that freelance opinion writing is a cutthroat business, and it chafes to think that many of those who are gaining column inches at my expense do so with the help of illicit substances.
It’s an absolute minimum requirement for a healthy nation to regularly drug test all op-ed contributors to ensure no unfair advantage is being gained, whether by the use of cocaine to allow greater output, hallucinogens to provide inspiration for vivid imagery and metaphors, or heroin to give a writer a compelling personal narrative to pitch to editors. Obviously testing in this field would bring about a fairer industry, and the same goes for pretty much all the creative arts, from painting to opera to the cake contest at the Royal Show.
The second reason is safety. Nobody wants to fly in a plane piloted by someone on ether, or see their neurosurgeon whip out a bong mid-operation. But every day we put our lives in the hands of people who could, for all we know, be doped to the gills.
Are you comfortable, for example, with your children crossing the road at the behest of a crack-addled lollipop lady? Do you think it advisable for your local fast-food chicken chef to down a few eccies before preparing a meal which, if improperly cooked, may well kill you with salmonella?
Death lurks behind every corner if we’re not prepared to put measures in place to stamp out drug-taking in vital sectors. How can we sleep safely in our beds at night knowing that early in the morning a driver with a mouthful of mushrooms might crash his garbage truck through our bedroom wall? Think it couldn’t happen to you? Think again. Every person working in any profession that could conceivably cause harm to any member of the public in any way MUST submit to drug testing on a frequent basis, or we might as well be living in Mad Max.
The third reason is efficiency. As our prime minister so rightly notes, you can’t get a job while on drugs -- to my knowledge nobody ever has -- and this is because you can’t do a job while on drugs. We all know how galling it is to stand in line at the supermarket while a checkout operator struggles to find the barcode on the mince and mis-identifies fresh fruit. If we found out that operator’s incompetence was caused by a drug haze, it would be even more galling. Not to mention what would happen if the policing of the 12 items or less lane was left to a hash enthusiast.
The same principle applies to all kinds of professionals, from accountants to lawyers to coal miners to spin class instructors to hedge fund managers to plumbers to machinists to professional Lego master builders.
Both our economy and our way of life depend on the people around us doing their jobs effectively and efficiently, something that is simply impossible when drugs are involved. It’s the same reason testing politicians is so imperative: we wouldn’t want Josh Frydenberg delivering the Budget on ice; why should we tolerate Doug mowing our lawn in the same state?
But all the reasons come down to one core concept: peace of mind. Because once we implement the universal drug-testing scheme, the infrastructure required will be enormous, and impossible to miss.
On every corner we will see a testing station. On every street we will see workers hurrying between workplace and drug test. In every city and town we will smell the reassuring aroma of urine permeating the air, a sign that tests are proceeding normally and all is well.
So, again, I ask: why not exercise a little imagination? Why not take the idea of drug-testing dole bludgers -- a superb idea but also an obvious one, given that the only known reason for unemployment is drug addiction -- and apply it to everyone? In one fell swoop we will achieve full employment, double or triple productivity, and eliminate drugs from society entirely. If there’s a downside to that equation, I can’t see it!