It might be legal but it isn’t just

Palm Island man Lex Wotton has been handed a seven year jail sentence (less one year for time previously served) as a result of being found guilty by a jury of rioting with destruction.

Although I’ve spoken with people who were present on the day which led t the charges, I wasn’t there, so I won’t give a view on who did what. If you want to see a good range of reports on the evidence presented at Lex Wotton’s trial, go to this post.

Lex will be eligible for parole in July 2010, and there is no doubt the sentence could have been worse, as the government prosecutor sought. But I am surprised to see a local Aboriginal activist quoted describing it as a “fantastic result” which will mean “people can now move on.”

I think there are still a lot of unresolved issues from this whole sorry sage.  And in the circumstances, I find it hard to see how it benefits anyone for Lex Wotton to be kept in jail. It won’t benefit his wife or children who are left without him, and it certainly won’t benefit his community of Palm Island. I can’t see how it helps the rest of society either.

Credit should go Mike Reynolds, the Speaker of the Queensland Parliament and state member for the seat of Townsville which covers Palm Island, for providing a character reference for Lex to the Court and for speaking out in his support. In such cases, it is much easier for politicians to fade into the background.

I gather there will still be an appeal against his conviction. I have no idea what the chances of that might be, but even if it ends up being successful, more damage has been done to the already very large task of reconciliation in Queensland.

ELSEWHERE: Australia’s Social Justice Commissioner, Tom Calma, describes the jail sentence as “a sad day”.

The following is taken from the latest newsletter from ANTaR Queensland – it was written by Jeff Waters, a journalist and author of the book “Gone for a Song – a Death in Custody on Palm Island

 

How brave were the Queensland police in the aftermath of Palm Island’s riot – when special forces police swarmed the community?

They came in overwhelming numbers, and marched the streets in helmets and body armour. Automatic rifles were displayed to children and their dogs.  Then, in the dead of night, they smashed down the doors of peaceful family homes in a round-up.

But they covered their faces with balaclavas, and wore no identifying markings. None of their actions could be attributed.  Innocent, unarmed witnesses were handcuffed, and many similarly innocent suspects were arrested and banished. A painful Taser was employed before it had been cleared for use.

Yet no one has been held to account, and no compensation has been paid to the victims.

How courageous it was of the Crime and Misconduct Commission to decide not to force police to testify under oath in the subsequent investigation, and then to admit that it hadn’t gone so far as to finish looking into the complaints. 

And what fortitude was shown by the Queensland government, which decided to support the police decisions, in spite of the fact the CMC had slammed them for declaring an “emergency situation” at all, and had questioned the legality of all of the arrests. 

“The CMC is of the view that the provisions of the [Act] did not provide lawful authority for police to enter and search the homes of residents of Palm Island during the period of the emergency situation,” the report said.

There appears to be a level of untouchability. Perhaps the strength of community and political support for the police and their approaches on such issues actually renders those who disagree with them as the brave ones. 

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38 Comments

  1. You have stuck your neck out on this one,Andrew,and your sense of reasoning appeals to me.Wootton as a plumber and youth worker,according to the two distinct character assessments,is a sort of misunderstood Peace maker,or a revengeful trouble maker.I think,you could find a few unanswered observations that could put him into a third or fourth characterisation.The women who found some sort of fault with him,seem to have remarkable senses of observation,sharp eyes,and good descriptive abilities.My one doubt about taking either characterisation seriously is the man Bulsey,an unusual name,and can be respelt another way,as some of the other people who presented themselves in court.There are two coppers ,I really feel sorry for,that is Pini AND Randall,it is obvious in their photo presented by you,these men are really distressed.Brought in late to the scene,and reliant on their other officers,for what is happening.It is like their names,Pini or Dini, are used again again as a sort of lock,on how to see the evidence.Perhaps they have had this experience before,and just doubted something.Finally Richardson as senior officer,discounted almost in the court procedure seems to have a picture of Wootton as a calm peace assisting individual.I think the judge decided to call Wootton guilty,to pass a decision,so there would be a greater scrutiny next time,despite what that may do to his reputation,and how some Police and Wootton and Aboriginals may see him.And we can see some other characters coming out of the woodwork too.As Smallwood would be an obvious example.And thus The Australian has also been exposed.

  2. What would have happened if one of the white paedophile-hunting vigilante mobs in Qld had vented their frustrations on the local cop shop? Seven years for ‘inciting to riot’?

    I seriously doubt it.

  3. Irony abounds.

    When it comes to discussions of racism and bigotry, many Australians are quick to point the finger of condemnation at their American counterparts.

    Yet the very same week the US electorate voted – for the first time ever – to elect an Afro-American to lead their country, a Queensland jury voted to convict a black Australian community leader on what appears to be highly-contestable evidence.

    Given the circumstances of Mulrunji Doomadgee’s death – the obvious trigger of the alleged offences – I am loathe to describe the ensuing sentence as just or balanced or fair-minded.

    For Americans – irrespective of political orientation – the events of this week have given cause for celebration. For Australians, the events of this week should give cause for reflection on race relations amongst ourselves, for re-examining the role played by the judiciary in mediating conflict between governmental authority and indigenous communities.

  4. There is no justice for Aboriginal people in our legal system even 20 years after Joh left office. The fact that Queensland police can get away with this sort of behaviour and the only result is a conviction of seven years for an Indigenous leader is absolutely disgraceful.

  5. And if you decide your political orientation doesn’t allow one to be overcome by a new leader,in a country that rarely brings joy to the world,if attending to generalities has any merit,because the foremost matter of acceptance is when the man is at the wheel.Not the speeches,not the hope reported,not any number of seeming coincidences of agreement in views,but, well constructed enabling laws,that allow for more definitive outcomes than speech.If I am being negative or cynical,it is because my life presses on being more important than any thing Obama could say.And if in my analysis,or understanding the motivations of others about,that man, as their opinion, about Obama leave me feeling flat,it is because I am not expecting, nor can I feel won over by the media engagement,plus the very big support monies.I have lived now whilst many U.S.A. elections have past,and so have others.Why must I listen and accept the created images of this mans and his ideas!?He didn’t even meet the Constitutional requirements for citizenship as they are,whatever you or anyone else should think them to be.Will his first commitment be prisoners,when unemployment is so high!? There is very little about Obama that is like an Australian Aboriginal,and certainly like me here, in posting…. strays from the Queensland reality of the imprisonment of Wootton!

  6. I think the government and aboriginal leaders need to get back down to tin tacks on problems in aboriginal communities. Once the precipitating factors have been fixed, these issues ought to arise a lot less often.

    The only television footage I’ve seen of the riots had ordinary police officers – not anyone wearing balaclavas. But it makes reasonable sense to me that police officers might have been at risk from the aboriginal community after Hurley got off.

    I wish I had been a fly on the wall in relation to the Doomadgee case, but as it is, I am very suspicious about what happened to him.

    Reports of the injuries inflicted put me in mind of someone being tossed out of an aeroplane and landing tummy-down on a fence. But if he had cirrhosis of the liver or some other inflammatory disease process, it might have taken a lot less to inflict the same damage.

  7. It still boggles my mind that more of the Cronulla Rioters weren’t charged. It’s not like there’s a shortage of film footage.

  8. LORIKEET – As to the ‘views’ that we received via TV images? Do you think, that in today’s climate, we’re going to be allowed to see the truth? A 30 second ‘grab’ to portray the message that the media wishes to convey, would not be on the side of affording real justice to Aboriginal people. It is with a great sense of shame & sadness, that it must be realized, that the 13th February was more about image making, than any real desire to right past wrongs. It’s a rich/white/powerful country still!

    I listened to Background Briefing on Radio National yesterday(Sunday morning – used to be repeated after 7pm news on Tuesdays) on abuse and violence, to all peoples, black & white. It conveyed the view, that it’s when people have lost control over their lives that leads to frustration, anger, abuse of alcohol & other drugs, high suicide rates etc. It’s no big surprise then, why there’s such frustration and other manifestations in the indigenous communities. Aboriginal people have lost control over all aspects of their lives. I’ve also read an article about the removal of aboriginal languages in the NT, coupled with the intent to close down “unviable communities” and the number of uranium mining applications currently before the Govt. Coupled with this is the desire to turn the NT into a nuclear waste dump, and it doesn’t take a Rhodes Scholar to join the dots! Remove aboriginal people, and turn over the NT to ???

    What’s been happening on Palm Island, is a result of the continued oppression and racism by successive govts, state and federal. Sadly, the Rudd govt is not going to reverse Howard’s oppressive actions, and the lies are still being told! Only 4 cases out of over 7000 medical ‘inspections’ have resulted in any charges of sexual abuse; but the health, housing & education issues have not been addressed. All aboriginal men have been made to feel like criminals.It’s a disgrace! I join them in their struggles! I feel great sadness & shame!

  9. Naomi:

    What we see on TV might not be showing us the entire truth on either side of any issue.

    I once encountered a middle-aged man having an argument with his elderly mother over who was the “bad” guy – the alleged criminal or the police.

    Television footage showed a police officer sinking the boot into someone. It showed nothing of what had gone before, or what followed.

    The man was blaming the police, whom I know he hates, because he is often breaking speeding laws and copping heavy fines. He thinks he may drive at any speed of his choosing.

    The police are supposed to be respected as authority figures. If someone attacks or tries to kill them, I think they have a right to defend themselves or retaliate.

  10. “The police are supposed to be respected as authority figures. If someone attacks or tries to kill them, I think they have a right to defend themselves or retaliate.”

    Of course, if the *police* have ACTUALLY killed someone AND it is made clear the killing is being covered up (yet again), which is what had happened on Palm Island, everyone is meant to just sit quietly and say “that’s a shame”.

  11. Joe:

    I don’t agree with your second paragraph at all.

    The whole continuum of events is a pain in the butt, probably originating from alcohol abuse.

  12. Lorikeet: whether you or I approve of it, or not, it is not illegal to be drunk in Queensland. Mulrunji Doomadgee should not have sworn at the police for arresting someone else, but the loss of his life is a high price to pay. He was 36 – 2 years younger than my oldest son. He is dead now, having died in that extremely dangerous place for aboriginal men: police custody. Queensland police (and others) are notorious for arresting aboriginal (and other people) on flimsy charges, such as swearing, when we all know how wharfie-like most police are in their use of language. This stupid charge of offensive language leads to the hapless victim protesting about being done for the language police routinely use, which leads to the laying on of police hands, which leads to the next charge in what police call “the trifecta”: assaulting police.

    The Coroner’s report said that that Mulrunji was not a “trouble-maker”, had never been arrested on Palm Island and was not known to Hurley or other police. A witness who was later in the cell with him says that Mulrunji died in agony, despite the cell being monitored by CC TV .. the tape shows that he could be clearly heard to be in agony. It is hard to defend such conduct from people who expect respect to be given to them due to the uniform they wear. http://www.nit.com.au/News/story.aspx?id=14706

    Big price to pay for swearing at a police officer.

  13. DOLPHINS _ I heartily agree with your sentiments. I’ve been following this sad and shameful story, and with his liver split almost in two, no wonder the poor man died in agony. What made the role of the police so horrific, was the handing out bravery awards to police, and on the day that Lex Wotten appeared in court.

    I’ve also been to the site on the net re Black Deaths in Custody – and there’s a host of names, experiences and ‘evidence’ surrounding the deaths. (I couldn’t read too many in one go – it’s hard to see through tears). So many years later, aboriginal people (usually males) are dying in police custody, and the recommendations made by that Royal Commission have not been implemented. There has to be a willingness to first, accept the reality, and then to prevent it. It’s not happening!
    I find it almost incomprehensible, that Sgt Hurley has received compensation, but the family of this man has not even received an apology!

    LORIKEET – “The whole continuum of events is a pain in the butt, probably originating from alcohol abuse.” I find this casual and light hearted response almost offensive. It’s similar to the US claiming, that citizens in Iraq who are needlessly killed were “insurgents” or that “collateral damage” is a sad aspect of war Blah! Blah! Unless of course, it’s your child/brother/son who ends up dead!

  14. Naomi:

    My comment wasn’t meant to be casual or light-hearted. Alcohol abuse contributes to a vast number of interactive social problems.

    Dolphins:

    My father was a wharfie for most of his working life.

    I find the police on the whole to be very respectable people, with a tough job to do. There are plenty of people looking for an opportunity to cut down and disempower them (outside of aboriginal issues) – the same as we see happening with other authority figures, including parents and teachers.

    I suggest we all re-read the comments of Red Crab on other threads which have been posted recently, to broaden our perspectives of media coverage, government attitudes and interest groups with websites.

  15. Lorikeet: with many police officers in the family, who as far as I know are honest, I can appreciate some of the difficulties they face. One who is still in uniform had to listen to her partner’s death while on duty being reported over the radio while she herself was on duty. The hardest part of their role is for those upright ones who know of, but can’t do anything about, to avoid getting dragged down by the ones who flourish in dark corners. It seems as if there is a certain level of corruption and abuse of power in every police force in the world, and it was ever thus, we read. Australia now is no exception. To allow it to go unreported and unchecked only undermines, not helps, the ones who want to do their often thankless job as best they can. Nor does it help the rest of us to allow police misbehaviour to go on while it is being directed at people we may think deserve no better treatment.

    I do apologise to your father’s reputation, if you assure me that he never allowed a swear word to cross his lips – ‘swearing so as to make a wharfie blush’ is a figure of speech, not a personal attack. I know that my mother and his never heard my father swear, but he could blister paint when cross while working.

  16. Dolphins:

    Yes, I agree with you regarding the police.

    As for the issue of swearing, I have known men who didn’t drink, smoke, swear, gamble or go out with bad women – but I can vouch for the fact that some were pigs far worse than any swearing wharfie. Their perfect exteriors covered up the self-focussed control freaks inside.

    The wharfies I met as a child swore quite a lot, but most were kind to children. At age 11, I saw them cry after one man’s 3 primary school sons were interfered with by a paedophile.

    One wharfie was an Italian neighbour, whom my father helped to get a job. In the 1960s, that man hung nappies on the line – almost unheard of back then.

  17. There have to be circumstances when burning down the police station is an appropriate protest response to oppression. A police officer was actually charged for the murder of an aboriginal man, would that really have happened had the people of Palm Island not acted to end police impunity?

    It’s been a sorry saga, but the Palm Island protest showed QLD police that there will be consequences if they oppress and murder aboriginal people.

  18. What is it with Police thinking they are immune to being told what is what by the people? Once upon a time if the people decided something was wrong, they simply pulled paying the Sheriff / Law mans fees. How far we’ve come in the wrong direction.

    Nowadays, you just pay Tax which is basically a forced way of supporting everything and anything some ego’d out cash man decides is right. Its disgusting.

    That poor Aboriginal. You are so right Andrew, it does absolutely no good to put him in jail for anybody involved.

    If a society can’t fight back if they join together and feel strongly enough that something is wrong? We might as well go back in time and move ourselves into Nazi germany before the WW’s started.

    I say he doesn’t spend one year in Jail. I hope Australians rise up and teach the police and government that they are not our controllers, they are here on our behalf and should we choose to disengage their efforts that is our choice, not theirs.

    Good on that community for standing up for themselves. There is no wrong in that. Put yourselves in their shoes overnight and you might find you’d be feeling exactly the same way!

  19. Sorry, I meant to say “I hope he doesn’t spend 1 more year in jail” not “he doesn’t spend 1 year in jail”.

    Police are public servants. Guns should be outlawed for both civilians AND police. Guns are weapons of Gods… and police aren’t gods. They are people able to make mistakes as easily as any aboriginal. If you think any aboriginal is capable of doing something wrong, so is a police man. I mean, do you really think there is a lot of ‘humanitarian’ testing going on to become a police to make sure their minds are in the right places? Nope, they seek people who want power over criminals… funnily though you don’t really find harmony where you find people who want power and isn’t the policing supposed to be about creating harmony? Oh thats right, somewhere along the way it became a little business… And a task force of blue men with quotas, instead of perspective. Targets, instead of presence.

    Isn’t it becoming common knowledge these days that enforcing laws is actually responsible for creating most of them? The real criminals are not the people who react now and then blowing off some steam because they buckle from all the stupid regulations… no the real crimes aren’t happening on the streets at all. Its all back at Parliament and in Police meetings in the minds of those who know how to infringe on peoples rights so that they snap like this aboriginal leader and his people did.

    The police and government overstepped the line in my opinion. They’ve gone way too far this time and I think its really obvious to a lot of people just how messed up and insecure they must all be to have rallied like they did.

  20. Bobby Norris:

    “Isn’t it becoming common knowledge these days that enforcing laws is actually responsible for creating most of them?”

    Are you an anarchist?

    “Guns should be outlawed for both civilians AND police.”

    Do you want to disempower all authority figures so everyone can do exactly as they choose?

    I find most police officers are friendly and helpful, despite the amount of flack they cop from every direction. When terrible things happen that we don’t like, we need to address those specific actions, and not blame all of the boys and girls in blue.

    I agree that the government needs to take greater responsibility for policing its police service, and also cease extorting money from the general public at every opportunity.

  21. Hi there Lorikeet,

    Actually what I wrote was only one side of what I had to say, but due to posting restrictions I actually couldn’t finish what I had to say!

    I wanted to chime in with you and also say I have a cousin I have great respect and love for who is a member of the police.

    Anarchy is not what I am on about. I really appreciate harmony and peace. However, I am also of the mind that disrespect of the world is due to rebellion, and rebellion is a result of massive restriction.

    Law makers basically imagine that you are the lowest common denominator. 1 or 2% of people out there, probably less, have intentions to create unease in the world. 98%+ of people however have to live with restrictions due to this. The 1 person in 10000 who can’t negotiate a crossing / intersection, so we spend billions and billions on road light systems for the occasional person who shouldn’t have a license in the first place that is likely to just drive through an intersection without awareness.

    Instead of finding people breaking laws that often don’t even infringe on another, Police in my opinion should be identifing people who do things without concern for others. Those people are surely causing damage to society and they need to be taught about respect. You don’t generate respect by forcing somebody in a prison and incriminating them. You talk to them. You try to see where the distortion of values is. Why doesn’t this person respect society?

    If I were captain of this aussie ship, I would do it all the same, without penalty… less football shows and more shows on personal intelligence. By empowering more individuals, you don’t have 10000 people afraid of one bandicoot. No, the individuals flock together and make it clear that the chaos creators actions are not welcome.

  22. I just wanted to add an experience I had just last week.

    I was walking to the shops around 11pm on the Gold Coast. I notice in the distance a girl being followed by 2 guys. The were yelling out “we’re going to get you slu# / cu*#” etc. She was running. So I yelled out “are you ok?”.

    What happened next showed me just how far society has fallen.

    The leader of the 2 started to yell at the top of his lungs “I’m going to take you into the alley and rape and kill you and leave your head smashed in the gutter”.

    I walked backwards up a 200 meter long street and this episode went on for about 20 minutes while this guy would swing punches and was throwing full cans of those large jim beam cans at me. Smashed a shop window with one and Guess what? nobody came to MY aid. No police rocked up. I noticed people just closing their blinds… probably turning the volume up on the TV.

    The guy threatenly pushed me back even past a couple of guys who could clearly have seen that I was trying to help this woman from potentially being raped and they just thought it was street entertainment.

    Something has gone severely wrong to get here in life. And the most common advice I’ve had since relaying this story? Oh, you should have just called the police… you shouldn’t have gotten involved… you should have stayed out of it. Has the individual really become that disempowered? There is no way that 1 police can govern 2000 people and that seems like the unrealistc ratio we have.

    This guy that threatened me had absolutely no fear that an authority would come along. He’s probably so familiar with the streets he knows he can harass woman walking home from work night after night, break windows while he’s at it and just keep walking and by the time the Police have made their quota up the road catching unregistered vehicles the rapist will be back home tucked in bed.

    Money should just be taken out of the police system. People who create peace and harmony do it because that is what they want

  23. Bobby Norris:

    I think the first of your recent posts is somewhat naive.

    The second is interesting, and what happened doesn’t surprise me. Most people turn a blind eye to things they don’t like, because in today’s society, very often the victim or good samaritan ends up being treated as the perpetrator, while some idiot gets off.

    I think a large percentage of people have a lack of guts and common sense, and also a lack of respect for law and order.

    Unless persons such as the one you describe get a jail term or community service, there will be no deterrent to others, and no lesson for him either. Next time you might be wise to phone the police immediately.

    If we have no traffic lights, the number of car accidents and road deaths will increase exponentially, along with road rage. It will take much longer to get where you want to go.

    I think we live in a laissez faire society, where almost anything goes, and people mostly only look out for themselves.

    I think one police officer could possibly “govern” 2000 people if there weren’t so many people working against him/her. That’s only a few streets’ worth of residents.

    I know from personal experience that teenagers vandalise trains in full view of adults, because so few are willing to attract the attention of the guard. A lot of parents don’t even know or care where their children are or what they’re doing.

    In your first post, you seem to think that the general population is close to perfect, but in the second post, you are pretty much telling us the opposite.

    Interestingly, yesterday’s TV news said that the Doomadgee case is about to be reopened. Then a spokesman said he thought justice had already been served – but his body language certainly didn’t agree with his mouth.

    Last night an employee of the Police Dept told me their budget has been cut, so you may be getting your wish after all – but it certainly doesn’t sit well with me.

  24. Thanks for the feedback Lorikeet. Of course I am naive, but isn’t it ultimately naive to believe we are not? The grand crime is people thinking they’ve got it all sorted while they don’t and they just go ahead and infringe it all onto humanity.

    I am passionate and my zeal has at times a proclivity for disturbing reason. I am however reasonable and admit my wrongs, never the less, the wrongs I have mentioned are equally valid and deserve as much right to be presented and respected.

    You are right – removing traffic lights will potentially cause crashes… but do you know what will innevitable cause more crashes? Imposing a belief system onto society that people are unable to manage themselves in simple things. While the current legal system does cap crime, it also caps growth in the other directions as well.

    Building foundations on the weak. Expecting the worst. Why even bother defending it?

    Time will tell. Traffic lights consume power. They stop you when its safe to go. They remind you you’re not in control or unable to make primal choices on your own. Personally I don’t believe in them and avoid them as much as possible.

    I’m not a speeder. I love going at the pace of the pack and appreciate the unity on the road. But when you see 50 cars idling at a set of lights when its safe to go, it just proves our mass apathy.

  25. Bobby Norris:

    Let me put it another way. When a pedestrian is trying to cross a road at a T-section or 4-way intersection, idiots roar around the corner without even looking to see if anyone is crossing, and sometimes in a race to beat pedestrians.

    Now authorities have had to change the pattern of lights (possibly with a longer wait for motorists) due to pedestrian deaths.

    I wouldn’t agree that the current legal system caps crime. It lets people off if they have enough money, or if the jails are already full.

    Younger people and particularly the underaged are a law unto themselves, having all of the rights and NONE of the responsibility.

    In day to day life, many people lie their heads off instead of telling the truth or saying something neutral such as, “Leave it with me and I’ll see what I can do.”

    Please try not to confuse “mass apathy” with what is safe.

    When laws are too soft, or are only applied randomly to a certain few, people are not too happy.

    Did the aboriginal peoples want to be nice when justice was found wanting?

  26. Lorikeet:

    I don’t think we are going to see eye to eye because it appears I have a much deeper belief in the human spirit in all people. Hence why I don’t just call the cops when I see bad things going down, because police are about incriminating people, not actually fixing the problem. Just bandaid it up and get it out of view is the standard baby boomer law society you guys setup.

    In the world I am working towards, when somebody races around a corners its because for some reason, they lack respect and consideration of others. And the simple truth is, unless you are shown respect and consideration, you never learn it. Imprisonment? Harsh penalties? It just affirms an ‘us’ and a ‘them’. If you create laws with penalties that wound peoples growth, you create criminals.

    Personally I try to bring people around. Which is challenging when you’re dealing with somebody on 10 different drugs and lived a life on smith chips and coke. Sometimes I’d rather they all just went and dissapeared off the face of the earth or I wish I was a police man to just lock them away… being honest with myself however I know that is actually a childish place to come from and a very simple and unevolved reaction to crisis. Basically shut it out, lock it up and go back to business. Its not a solution… and the whole riot is a perfect example of that pretend solution basically reaching boiling point… the point where a lack of tolerance for the incrimination meeting individual and community action.

    Of course, in the passion the community folk got out of hand… but you can’t blame them. How many years of lies and repression have they felt? What is the incentive to be a good citizen when you get thrown in jail and penalised even in times when you’re trying to do the right thing?

    Legally Australia shouldn’t have laws. Our immigration policies are a total contradiction when we negated the very rights of the forefathers and system that was here before our arrival. our presence here is crime.

  27. All I’m saying is, that you can’t have a society based around respect when the very starting of it is based on lies, disrespect, racism and crime.

    There’s not a single noble thing about the invasion of australia. The natives were referred to as ‘savages’ as though they had no humanity or system of politics or doing things. The queen got word they were just grunters and groaners and their world of beauty became a prison.

    Now you can’t start up an establishment based around such ignorance and expect that people are going to just keep it going in honesty and integrity. The old world is falling to pieces… its bound to… you can’t grow apples and get oranges… just like you can’t impose disrespect, a lack of humanity and consideration for others and think that magically people are going to think its all happy days and want to put their heart and soul into it.

    The only thing I personally want to put my heart and soul into is helping as many people as I can realise just how contradictory the matrix is you are apparently bound to support. No dotted lines to sign on birth, just pay mandatory taxes for things you don’t support or else goto Jail. The convict setup of this country never left… we are still in prison.

    If you think thats cool, you’ve got your head in the clouds. If you can’t see why people would go crazy or want to hoon around a corner as even just a means for the individual to get some sense of personal freedom than you just need to see the bigger picture. There’s a valid reason why these crazy people do what they do.. generally they just feel ultimately pinned down by the motherf’ing government.

  28. Bobby Norris:

    Yes, I did think you were a young, idealistic person. Older people have been around a long time and hopefully most have learnt that your ideas couldn’t work.

    When people go to prison, they receive counselling and job training, which is useful when they get out.

    If people paid tax only when they chose (if at all), where would the government get the money for hospitals, roads, schools and all of the infrastructure you currently enjoy?

    If there was no law and order, houses, shops, banks and businesses would get looted on a much more regular basis. A sizeable percentage of the population would kill other citizens just to get their own way. The bottom line of law and order is about the deterrent factor.

    People don’t need to hoon around corners killing their fellow citizens because they feel they lack freedom. They generally do that because they have NO RESPECT for the laws which are made to protect their fellow countrymen and women from their impatience and stupidity.

    Laws are made to protect truth, respect, safety, fairness and equality. Because they aren’t used appropriately on some occasions, is no reason our society ought to be left to dissolve into anarchy.

    I have had 53 years to look at the biggest picture I can. I’ve done that raising children, working with other people’s children and adults with problems – also as a government, university and private sector employee.

    I’m sure our nation has many elements that need improvement, but I think your ideas would quickly send our democracy to hell on a roller coaster.

    Please try to remember that the government is dealing with REAL PEOPLE with personalities and attitudes stretching from A to Z, not only those who respond to reasonable requests and suggestions.

  29. LORIKEET – “Yes, I did think you were a young, idealistic person. Older people have been around a long time and hopefully most have learnt that your ideas couldn’t work.” I disagree, and I’m 63.I believe it will be this generation of young people who might turn things around. I hope so! Our generation had a golden opportunity, and made it worse!
    BOBBY NORRIS – “All I’m saying is, that you can’t have a society based around respect when the very starting of it is based on lies, disrespect, racism and crime.” I agree, and until this country publicly, via decent leadership acknowledges these horrendous crimes, and THEN gives an undertaking to right these wrongs, we’ll still have the same problems in yrs to come.e.g. At this time, NSW is engaging in fighting indigenous land rights claims in the courts, even the High Court, as they want to sell off unused lands(after a certain time of not being used, aboriginal people can claim them) due to their position, in opposition to the Land Rights Act/s. Millions are being spent, and politicians both State & Federal are speaking out of both corners of their mouth. One for the media, another behind the scenes. The Howard Govt used monies set aside for much needed infrastructure in aboriginal communities to fight Land Rights claims in the courts. $$$’s used to enact injustices.

    LORIKEET – “Laws are made to protect truth, respect, safety, fairness and equality. Because they aren’t used appropriately on some occasions, is no reason our society ought to be left to dissolve into anarchy.” Somebody should tell the cops in Qld this gem. They have a long and sorry reputation re violence against aboriginal people and demonstrators. I suggest that there’s a strong undercurrent of racism across the country, entrenched by lawmakers, and carried out accordingly! Words are cheap; actions show the real truth.
    I believe that bad laws should be broken; that’s not anarchy that’s striving for justice. And if the lawmakers allow horrific, viole

  30. (cont)violent acts to be committed against others in the community, without proper actions taken, the retalliation will only grow. If as the autopsy revealed, and the evidence initially agreed to by the 1st Coronial Inquiry, that this man could not have broken his liver in half by falling, a terrible injustice has just been made worse by jailing Wotten. When one considers the history of Palm Island, the reason it was set up, the neglect and draconian and racist laws, it’s little wonder there’s ‘bad blood’ between the police and indigenous people. It would be strange if there wasn’t?
    My mate had several ribs broken yrs ago during Bjelke Petersen’s reign of terror. In fact, my family would have been arrested if we met in Kings Park. Aboriginal people were treated worse than wharfies protesting against the right to march.
    “Evil happens, when good people do nothing!” Women wouldn’t have the right to vote without pretty aggressive prostests, and aboriginal women would still need their white mates to try on clothes for them; men could fight and die in wars but not be allowed in a pub, except on Anzac Day; I could protest against a black child at my kids’ school, and that child would be removed. These things happened not that long ago, and I suspect still happen in many places, or as bad as?I thought I was pretty knowledgeable re these things, but First Australians taught me a lot – I recommend it! You can watch it online I believe!

  31. Naomi:

    Yes, “Evil happens, when good people do nothing!”

    But I hope you don’t also support drivers flying around corners killing pedestrians, and people not paying any taxes.

    I suspect you have a biased view of police in general. If you choose to go berserk in a public place, I guess you can expect some form of crowd control.

  32. On this I agree with you Lorikeet. Naomi, often right as she may be, is just jumping on an anti – whatever badnwagon here. Not much thought

  33. LORIKEET -You have an amazing knack of putting words in peoples’ mouths that they didn’t utter, and then go on and castigate them as though they did. I didn’t urge anything like you suggest. I’ve never gone berserk in a public or private place for that matter. I have participated in many peaceful demonstrations though, on a variety of issues.
    The facts speak for themselves – some police have overstepped the mark to the detriment, lives even of others. And, some govts have removed human rights like Bjelke Petersen did! People have an obligation to stand up against oppressive laws, and cruel and inhuman treatment of others.

    I’m anti-racist, and anti governments who use draconian laws to stifle the democratic and peaceful opposition of citizens. Unlike some, I’m not going to agree just for the sake of it!

    Incidently, I’m a great fan of both Martin Luther King jnr and Nelson Mandela; I remember what happened to Steve Biko in Sth Africa while he was in police custody, and young TJ a 13 yr old aboriginal boy (who was impaled on a fence while fleeing police on his bike)in Redfern, NSW a few yrs ago.

    As I understand it, at least 2 of the police people giving evidence in Qld allegedly admitted to not telling the truth. I think a Royal Commission may be the only way the truth can be aired; with powers to force evidence under oath. The lack of interest in this action condemns the Qld govt. They don’t want the truth to be told!

  34. Naomi:

    You said you agreed with what Bobby Norris said. He had quite a lot of things to say. No one has put words into your mouth.

    I just said I hope you don’t support specific ideas which are anti-social and impractical. If you want to read more into it, and be on the attack all the time, you will need to take responsibility for that yourself.

    I think Ken’s comment is very apt.

  35. Tom Calma is part of the problem that needs to be solved. He is far from the solution. He is a race-baiter who needs to be sacked toot sweet

  36. LORIKEET – What exactly do you mean by being “anti social”? I think this could mean different things to different people. I’m surprised that someone like you who boasts of a high intellect would resort to using popular and convenient comments, instead of thinking about your response/s. What I think is OK behaviour, could be considered “anti-social” by someone else. What exactly do you mean? Actions that are against the current laws, or actions you find personally “anti-social? There’s a funny thing about IQ. It’s not what a test proves you to be, it’s what you do with it (IQ)that counts.
    John Greenfield – I find Tom Calma to be an intelligent, caring, thought provoking human being. I don’t consider him part of the “problem” as you state. What is the problem Tom Calma is part of, and why is he a “race baiter”? And what have you read, discovered, listened to that shows him to be a “race baiter” and why he needs to be sacked? Why is he part of the “problem” and whose “problem” are you referring to?
    LORIKEET- “I just said I hope you don’t support specific ideas which are anti-social and impractical.”No, that’s not just what you said. Go back and read what you said! What is “anti-social”? Who decides what being “social” is, and who decides who’s being “anti-social”? You? The Law? Politicians? The ‘community’? Who are they?

  37. Naomi:

    “Anti-social” means being against the best interests of the society in this context. If you still don’t know what I thought was anti-social behaviour, you will need to read all of my posts again.

    I thought it would have been fairly clear to most people that I wasn’t talking about someone sitting in the corner on his/her own at a party.

    After 53 years, I’ve become quite immune to the “Tall Poppy Syndrome” and those who unsuccessfully use it to trash other posters.

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