Lindt siege inquest: Scipione, Burns preoccupied with PC ideas

Lindt siege inquest: Scipione, Burns preoccupied with PC ideas, by Chris Kenny.

We now know political correctness doesn’t just place worrying limits on how freely we discuss Islamist extremist terrorism — it also dangerously inhibits our ability to fight it.

The inquest into the Martin Place siege this week revealed with horrifying clarity just how muddle-headed this nation’s response to the terror threat has become. When most Australians would have thought the only priority of police at the time would have been to save the lives of the hostages, we learn they were concerning themselves also with “community harmony” and “tolerance”.

Lindt Cafe siege two days later

Lindt Cafe, two days after the siege

When the NSW police should have been totally preoccupied with freeing hostages from an armed, known extremist claiming jihadist intent, senior police were fussing over issues of social engineering. From the evidence of Police Commissioner Andrew Scipione and his deputy, Catherine Burn, we learned they “placed huge weight on community stability” during the siege, as The Australian’s Ean Higgins summarised it. …

[H]ere at the fulcrum of the crisis, at the very top of the chain of command and in real time, police were distracted by the “I’ll ride with you” mentality. …

Political correctness runs rampant in the bureaucracy, including police executives. It endangers us.

While real, innocent people were held at gunpoint in a deadly serious act of Islamist extremism, many fellow citizens and media poseurs were boasting publicly about their disdain for an imagined ugly social response. This was distasteful sanctimony — as I wrote at the time — and became even more sickening when two innocents lost their lives. …

This might be one of the most disturbing manifestations of political correctness we have seen — instead of worrying only about direct victims whose lives were in danger, police were trying to be mindful of some imagined sociological impact. If it weren’t so tragic it would be the stuff of satire — it is like handing over your counter-terrorism operations to a Q&A panel. …

Most of us would contend that the police role was to eliminate the threat and free the hostages. We have police to defeat terrorism, not to fret about its impact on our social dynamics. We pay police to uphold the law and keep us safe, not to salve our social conscience, educate us about society or patronise us on multiculturalism.

PC stupidity is undeniable:

Almost a year after the Lindt attack a teenager dressed in black yelled “Allahu Akbar” after he shot dead a stranger, police worker Curtis Cheng, in Parramatta. Yet in a press conference five hours later, Scipione said there was “nothing to link this event to any terrorist related activity”.

hat-tip Barry Corke