Saturday, April 30, 2011

“WHO IS THE LOCAL PIG?” – Part four

Inge, Lady Friday interviews the proprietor of PRS Defence again, again and again.

Sorry people, another editorial.
He’s a vexatious prick but I’m beginning to understand where he’s coming from.

“When will they ever learn?”
A prayer which seems to encompass the first three interviews admirably.

My victim/interviewee has chosen to relate incidents from his youth then expanded on that theme from the local, regional tiers of governance through to matters within the state and federal jurisdictions.

Meanwhile he’s supported his assertions whenever possible with documentation readily available to the reader, merely a click away on the internet.

As for the point he made about Queensland, injustice and ‘courts of no record’ – he’s absolutely right about the ‘no record’ bit – but that lack of transparency extends significantly farther than the courts.

The reader might not be surprised to learn that a great deal of anecdotal material has reluctantly been discluded from these articles chiefly in the interests of maintaining some continuity and relevance but also by way of lending some vestige of anonymity to a relatively small regional city nowadays reduced to badly managed tourism and a few smallcrops as its main sources of income.

Indeed, “The Night of the Ballistic Watermelons”, or “New Year’s Eve, a Night of Terror”, or “A Near Miss For Mr. Plod”, or “25 Pounder Artillery  - Attack On Police”, or “Right, That’s it; No Fun For The Next Thirty Years”, or “Naked Motorcyclists Rampage Main Street” might make for eyegrabbing headlines but we couldn’t find a trace of information about that long ago hilarious incident. (As mentioned below, actually we did – plus a stack more interesting press accounts - Inge)

What is the crossover point – where and when is ‘the line drawn in the sand’ in this society?

A highly respected member of the community and his dog are threatened with arrest (Can police in Qld actually arrest a leashed, registered dog?) for going for their regular, early morning constitutional.
The only difference between their ‘street march’ that morning and any other was that police had been informed of their intention to make that walk ‘in symbolic protest’ against an incredibly ridiculous and unenforceable regulation.

Another person is aggressively and dangerously intercepted by a police officer in an unmarked car.
The court record would prove (except that in Qld they don’t exist) that the cop was under intensive psychiatric treatment at the time.

But when an entire community is arbitrarily denied its traditional venue for new year’s eve celebrations for thirty years in result of little more than light hearted fun – when in the words of my victim/interviewee – “Oh, the bloody idiots (police) got pissed off when everyone blocked them off from catching the naked bikers. As usual they started acting like children then completely lost the plot.”

We found it, a reference to this alleged riot recreated in a confection called “100 Years of News”.

Enjoy the precis-
“New Year’s Eve riots mar city celebrations”
Police drew batons in a bid to control crowds of youths – went berserk outside city post office – orgy of destruction and larrikinism.
January 2 eyewitness report – “really frightening – would have to see it to believe it – if this is a sample of our young generation then god help us.”
News report said – “five uniformed officers and two detectives were powerless to control surging struggling mass of people. Riot started at 12.15 am, Jan1 as police arrested two motorcyclists for speeding/undue noise – several young men who tried to intervene/help stop riot were attacked beaten – one knocked down between motorcycles, kicked, punched and suffered exhaust burns on arm – taken hospital, x-rayed.”

Other incidents included –
“Council rubbish bins around square set on fire – one thrown through front window post office – another on top, traffic lights signal box
Cast iron weight scale (sic) located on post office verandah, many years, smashed to pieces.
Youths climbed to top ‘soldier’s monument’
Young motorcyclist and his female passenger stripped and rode naked along main street.
Car with six youths on bonnet raced down main street.
Speeding motorcyclist, estimated 60MPH (100KMH) squeezed between two cars – touching both but not coming to grief.”

“Was suggested afterward – more police should have been on duty and fire brigade called to hose down rioters.”

Meanwhile this little century of headline grabs has proven to be an outstanding resource.
All sorts of interesting stuff in hindsight, now that it has been published in a reasonable neat chronology.

Hey look – here’s a bloke barricading himself in his shop protesting about being ripped off and made destitute by the same people ‘P’ has been telling me about off the record.
In his case what sounds like a perfectly reasonable protest employing signage in his own shop has been turned into a ‘seige’.
Boy, I wonder who HE annoyed?

And here’s that alcoholic magistrate – leastways a record, the bare bones, of one of his wacky court decisions.
Oh, I get it. The gentlemen convicted for being in possession of a female mud-crab were supposed to wait on the rock wall until the passing ship washed them off into the river.
Then, no excuses allowed; only THEN were they permitted to search for their missing fishing gear and crabpots – weigh and sex their crabs and reject those that were illegal – if they hadn’t drowned in the meantime, that is.
Wisdom of Solomon, that twerp – jurisprudence personified.

Here’s that dentist and his protest march with his dog. These days they’d probably taser him – and his dog, no doubt, judging by what I heard the Qld CMC have approved today.
Yep. The veil is definitely being lifted from my eyes about how this dump works.

But my victim/interviewee has just this minute arrived.
Let’s ask him.

Inge – Okay mister, raring to go?
Thanks for leaving me that “100 Years of News”. Interesting reading.
First, let’s put that ‘riot’ out of the way. I understand you were there?
P – “Oh yes. I was there, my Lady Wife was there and our six month old son was with us there too. Not only were we there, we were right there where, according to that stupid rag of a newspaper, this alleged riot happened.
I can tell you before we go much further that we didn’t stay there for too long after the police began acting in their usual brilliant way.
Let’s make that clear right now. There was one helluva lot of people about that evening and they most certainly were not all ‘youth’.
While I’m on that subject, the appellation ‘youth’ was used back then in the same way the new generation of control freaks these days use the term ‘terrorist’.
Childish and nauseating of them to do so, but fact that they did.
Maybe they thought it increased circulation to incubate unreasonable hate against the sons and daughters of their own community.
But I digress and I suppose that at least a few readers would like to know the truth – an expose’, shall we say, of small town mentality by way of living history.”

Inge – Well, relate your story to the condensed version I’ve compiled in my preamble.
P – “Wilco, Inge, here goes.
Police drew batons – highly unlikely, they only had one to share between ‘em. Orgy of destruction – orgy of incapacitating laughter was what we saw until the police began getting ugly.
Noisy – hell yes. Most of the town was there for the night including quite a few hundred whatchacallem  ‘squares’, ‘ho-dads’ ‘straight arrows’, ‘dorks’, their bovine women and their gawking kids –much of the bored-stiff population, like us, in town for the big night.”

Inge – Watchit fella !
P – “Wanted the truth, didn’t you?
As I was saying - speeding/undue noise – motorcycles then, usually broke-down before they could go very fast but were inevitably noisy. Even police bikes were noisy.
Go figure.
Riot – law abiding citizens helping police were bashed, etc.
Like hell they did.
A couple of drunken bums ran across the road in front of the traffic then tripped over the footpegs of parked motorcycles. A couple of the bikers had just arrived so it would not surprise me if one of the idiots managed to burn himself on a hot exhaust pipe. Nor would it surprise me if the ratbag who ended up underneath a scooter knocked off its stand copped a clout over his ear for the damage he’d caused someone’s sole pride and joy.
Burning bins in city square – for one thing we don’t have a city square nor do we, did we, have mobile or removeable rubbish bins. Back then we had these things bolted to steel pipes concreted in the footpath. They all had a flap in the bottom that swung down to empty them. They all stank to high heaven so there’s no way even a beer crazed biker was ever going to go near one let alone ignite any of those items of mystery.
They would have gassed everyone to death.”

Inge – Which reminds me. Nothing in that newspaper account of guns or explosives. Anything like that happen?
P – “Yeah. Now you mention it, but down the road in the toff’s part of town in front of the pubs. That has to be put into perspective. Fireworks were banned about then and were difficult to find let alone purchase. And remember that the bikers used to meet in front of the post office because most of them were younger than 21 – which was the legal drinking age back then.
So now you mention it some sort of booming and crashing was going on somewhere further down in that half mile long street party.”

Inge – So why weren’t the police after them, then. Why wasn’t that mentioned in the article?
P – Indeed. Good question. Why?
Put it this way. If you were a local cop in a small town would you interfere with the local ‘hard-men’? What, arrest one of the local sugar cane barons or trawlermen?
No way. They’d much rather pick on a bunch of zit faced kids on motorcycles.
And I can’t speak about what I couldn’t see so let’s get back to that newspaper report about the ‘riot’ and set the record straight.
Another way to put that would be to refer to another article very near by this one in that 100 years book. It mentions two fishing inspectors that went missing; the dismissive coroner’s report of ‘death by misadventure,’ then glibly comments on the remaining grave concerns about foul play. It might as well have concluded with – ‘but who cares anyway’.”

Inge – Okay, according to the newspaper – smashed scales, climbing monument , motorcycle streakers, petrol-head youths on bonnet, speeding motorcycle breaking laws of physics and some fire hose envy. Any comments or something else to add?
P – “In that sequence then - a new currency was introduced in 1966. Those old scales had been outside the PO since about then. I guess the old pennies were a bit rare and those old scales had rusted up sitting unused out in the weather all that time. Seeing as those crocked old scales had been used as a convenient seat for years it wouldn’t surprise me that they were discovered as ‘broken’ after the event.
Climbing monument? A couple of people did climb onto the base of that monument to gain a better view. Climb further up that polished granite greasy pole? Forget it.
Motorcycle streakers? Oh yes. You can take my word that there was more than one motorcycle streaker sending ripples of outrage through the honest citizens.
Ronnie revouts catching a ride or two sitting in the back of utes or on bonnets? Of course they were – as well as running between all the slow moving traffic and climbing on board vehicles uninvited. That’s the mentality of small town petrol heads for you, but gives an indication of the speed and congestion of the traffic that night.
Which leads to that speeding motorcyclist caroming, literally ricocheting, (or so is implied) between automobiles driven by shocked law-abiding citizens.
Personally, I find it impossible to speed in the middle of gridlock, especially with pedestrians milling about everyhere.
Mind you, motorcyclists aren’t averse to threading carefully between lanes of cars when conditions and common sense permit – but 60mph; would that newspaper tell lies?
Of course not – except when they’re told to.
But they did miss out on the ballistic watermelons.
I can’t understand why because that was the one incident that I really found remarkable. In those days watermelons were real watermelons – thin skinned, soft pulped, extremely juicy and would burst at the drop of a hat. Evidently someone brought a few beauties along to the party.
So, as it said in the newspaper, when the police started getting stroppy about a quarter of an hour after midnight these fairly large chunks of watermelon came hurling out of the crowd whenever police made an appearance.
Police ‘attendance’ on foot reverted to police driving slowly past in cars under a rain of watermelon chunks.
Then this motorcycle demon made a break for it through the traffic and came within a whisker of wearing about half a watermelon.
I have to say that I’m glad that one missed ‘cos that cop most definitely riding ‘without due care and attention to the traffic conditions’ at the time.
If you take my point it would have served him right to have worn that watermelon but if it had hit him on the side of his head he could have easily lost control of his scooter and gone under the wheels of those cars he was roaring past.
Ha – maybe that newspaper ‘eyewitness’ mistook that cop hurriedly decamping the scene for the rampaging slaloming bikie he reckons he saw.”

Inge – Anything else?
P – “I’ll take time to mention here the lack of outrage in the paper about the petrol heads in the back of those utes flashing browneyes and waving their plonkers at the solid citizens. Funny set of double standards, that, and typical of the small town mentality that still operates here.
Let’s summarise; starting by looking at the flavour of the times –
  • Small town social event a spontaneous street party - not anything different to new year’s eve celebrations of decades before, except for the following tiny details -
  • chronologically, we were at the tail end of the Vietnam War but according to some were at the Dawning of the Age of Aquarius and right into the start of a new age of free love, heightened expectations and alternative lifestyles -
  • unfortunately were also dealing with a time when the baby boomer generation are just reaching the beginning of what passed for their adulthood -
  • while a certain Queensland premier and his pals are right in the midst of setting up what came to be recognized as a police state and a wowser society

It may well have been too much for the police and city fathers to experience a spontaneous public event of unprecedented proportions.
Sheer numbers would have been enough to startle them, but to see what was previously, usually an undemonstrative ‘spectator society’ becoming animated, proactive, and admittedly, in a few cases, slightly over-exuberant, must have strained their limited reason beyond limits.
As Arthur would put it – “They just couldn’t handle seeing people having fun. It wound up their rubber bands to snapping point, the dills.”
The mind boggles to think what would have happened if they’d had a few more police or had been actually stupid enough to call out the fire brigade.
And as we discussed, these days they’d try tasering everyone and when that didn’t work it’d be out with the Glocks.”

Inge – Okay deadline time. Lets wrap it and bring your points together next episode.
P - ” Fair enough. I’ll close this one by reminding everyone that for the next thirty plus years the main street of this town was barricaded and patrolled by police.
A no-entry zone where any trespasser would be immediately escorted out or have their heads kicked in by those people supposedly employed to protect the community.
Naturally this drove celebrations out of town to dispersed locations throughout the district making legitimate policing and emergency services an operational nightmare.
On the face of the record, the history of this sorry little town exhibits far too many decisions and verdicts having been made to the detriment of the majority and for the protection of a small self ordained oligarchy.”

History seems to be giving fair indication as to who the local ‘pigs’ are and their mentality.

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