Monday, April 18, 2011

“WHO IS THE LOCAL PIG?” - Part one

Inge, Lady Friday interviews the proprietor of PRS Defence.

Inge – We’re talking politics, Queensland style here; aren’t we?
P – “Let’s, at least, start with Queensland.”

Inge – Go for it.
P - “When I was young police used to be called ‘pigs’. Definitely a para-military organization in outlook. I’ll give ‘em one thing though – they didn’t go on the beat wearing guns until Bjelke Petersen completely politicised them.
Let’s stick mainly with traffic police so’s to stop it getting overcomplicated.”

Inge – I’d imagine their job load would have been different then - that they would have been under resourced.
P - “Their motto was ‘We Serve’ or something like that. We used to say that they served alright – served out traffic tickets to anyone stupid enough to stop for them.
Then Joh became premier and soon after introduced ‘on-the-spot-fines’ instead of a mandatory court session for  dealing with alleged traffic offenses.
Soon after that he gave police revolvers. All of a sudden revenue from traffic fines went through the roof.
Suddenly police were no longer merely authorized to oversee and uphold compliance with the traffic act – they’d become armed enforcers and began acting that way.”

Inge – Acting how and why?
P – “Think about it – in a few months the onus of proof – the concept that the cop had to prove in court beyond reasonable doubt that a person had committed a misdemeanor or offense was thrown out – was essentially replaced with a situation that a person had to prove themselves innocent. If you understand me, in jurisdictions that support the rule of law it is called a ‘reversal of the onus of proof’ and is therefore unlawful.”

Inge – The thin edge of the wedge you reckon. People found it easier to pay a fine instead of appearing in a court?
P – “No doubt about it. Queenslanders were conned but that was only the beginning.
Two streams, two pathways followed.
Firstly, the coppers were freed all that process work – summonses, filing documents, appearing in court: then along with that disappeared whatever judicial oversight ever existed surrounding those matters.
People soon became alienated from the concept that the courts were the source of justice while police, courts and legal service providers immediately set themselves up for different and more, shall we say, lucrative work.”

Inge - Surely you are not suggesting –
P – “My oath I am. Look at the history of it. Police became infinitely more corrupt and the courts have ceased being available for anyone except the wealthy.
Go research it yourself – its just a matter of record.”

Inge – We’re talking the early 1970s, correct? Leave the historical record aside and tell me what you know – a young man living in a small regional city.
P - “Okay then. Fashions change, don’t they Inge?
These days a cop looking for bother puts on his tactical blue overalls, tucks them into his boot tops, claps on his Batman™ utility belt and that stupid cap at a jaunty angle – then goes out Glock, taser and capsicum spray equipped to harass street kids.
Back then it was the Baron Von Richtofen look. Cops strutting about like prize turkeys – comic opera stuff. Not quite goose stepping idiots, but in their idiocy they were serious. Hence pigs, I guess”

Inge – You say dressed like the ‘Red Baron’?
P – Not the real police, not the older blokes. But yep. The patent leather floppy officer’s cap, the tailored jodhpurs and puttee boots.
What was that David Bowie song? “Boys”, was it?  (Inge added this grab)
They might have been too young to have transferred from the SS but, by jingo, they looked and did their damnedest to act the part.
‘Intercepting’ motorcyclists was their main trade. Easy work, Just too easy to pick a single person on a motorcycle at a distance and far too easy pickings within the situation I’ve been telling you about.
In those days we had a fair manufacturing industry in town and lots of shift workers riding motorcycles to work.
These heroes in butch drag used to harvest those poor bastards for everything they were worth.
And more than once fired upon them if they hesitated before they stopped.
I hear they’re doing the same again these days. Importing pre-trained thugs from overseas; South Africa and the like.”

Inge – Are you serious?
P – Yep. But all that was the obvious along with the drink-driving lists and the escalating number of what we now call victimless crimes. The agencies of social exploitation zealously working hand in hand (hand in pocket?) with each other.
As I said, fashions change. To keep the system fed the legal blood alcohol level was incrementally dropped (still had to keep a bread and butter turnover in the courts) while new and interesting excuses for official home invasions were invented.
I’m very serious about this since you ask: I do not condone excess and substance abuse nor do I like drunken and incapable drivers but I don’t believe in innocent people being set up while the guilty get away scot free.”

Inge – Hang on. This sounds like one of those old movies about corruption in the southern states in the USA.
P – “Good girl. Now you’re beginning to get a handle on it.
On one side was the poor bloke in the street. He paid his dues and didn’t complain.
Face it: who could he complain to?”

Inge – So who was on the other side?
P – “Are you up to this? If I tell you will you publish it? There’s no record you know.
Try Googling ”--- -----” Qld magistrate, just for instance.” (name deleted, Inge)

Inge – Do you want me to delete what you’ve already said. Want me to call it all  a waste of time?
P – “Not especially; but let’s pretend I’m talking about people whose names I can’t quite recall at this precise moment. Wouldn’t want to cross the Lodge, would we?
A few examples then.
Remember that a stipendiary magistrate had to, shall we say, make enough in fines to pay his way.
They (you know who) used to let this particular stipendiary magistrate drive home every evening from the B----tt Club pissed out of his brain. This magistrate was a dead-set demon on drink driving.
I’m told that towards the end of his career they’d follow him and pour him into a police car if he couldn’t make it all the way home.
That’s what I’m sure you’d agree is a fine example to the community.”

Inge – Surely the poor man needed help?
P – “Of course he did, Inge. Exactly the same amount of help he’d offer his mates; wouldn’t you reckon?”

Inge – You’d hope so.
P – “Try this then,
They (police and our coroner/magistrate) covered up when a certain ‘big man’ in local  industry rammed, killed and maimed the best part of a car full of people on his way home from the pub.
It mightn’t be significant but for the fact that our aforesaid magistrate usually met up with this one for a few snifters on his way home from work.

Inge – Get out?
P – “They (you know who) also looked the other way when a drunken truck driver, on the wrong side of the road, smeared a friend of mine and his pillion passenger all over the grille of his truck.
I went there a few days later and saw with my own eyes where they’d thrown what small bits remained of his motorcycle on his side of the road.
They didn’t even wash their blood off the road.
You know a Triumph Bonneville had been well and truly centrepunched when you could find the kickstart lever and part of its housing lying there in the grass.”

Inge – Surely a few unrelated instances of oversight do not prove –
P – “Ah, exactly. If they were unrelated and spread over time a reasonable person could accept random misfortune – that, in the famous words of Mr. Abbott – “shit happens”.
But you did ask me to dredge my memory – to remember a few instances that happened ‘back then’ – instances that were linked and might indicate cover –ups by the old boy’s network. Isn’t that what we agreed?”

Inge – Yes we did. Since we’ve gone this far, best you explain.
P – “Thank you. Connectivity in this case surrounds watering holes, social status and shall we call it, extra-curricular activity – oh, and a certain sporting club.”

Inge – You’re pulling my leg?
P – “Look at it this way. Small town, comfortable existence, but the need to maintain a lifestyle unsustainable on a salary. You only need to ask a few recent parliamentary rejects. Try interviewing Gordon Nuttall, for instance.
Anyway here’s a Stipendiary Magistrate – remember his income is derived from fines he collects in court. You’d have to agree that he’d be motivationally inclined to hit anyone before him in court, in their pocket.
He had, would you say, a symbiotic relationship with those who brought him his ‘clients’?
Now this magistrate naturally sucked up to those who’d lend him some status and he’d tend to meet with them socially to reinforce the bond and shoot the breeze?
Wouldn’t it therefore be ‘natural’ for him to him to meet regularly with a bloke who had a managerial position with a local industry combine and a place on the management committee of one of our more prestigious (how may I put it?) gentlemen’s sporting facilities?
Now, if this gentlemen’s sporting facility happened to have certain cash flow problems caused by the refusal of ‘Toff’ members to pay their fees – but nonetheless had to meet certain facility maintenance/ development costs largely revolving around broad acre groundkeeping expenses –
Well, we used to call ‘em ‘foreign orders’. These days its called ‘theft as a servant’.
And when the theft involved multiple truckloads – scores of tons of highly fertile, fibrous biomass being spread over all those acres of that gentlemen’s sporting facility –“

Inge – You need a truckdriver accomplice with a muck-spreading truck who spreads this goop all day for the aforesaid combine. Correct?
P – “Well done. So let’s recap.
Two ‘toffs’, (archaic term, toffee nosed bastards) and one truckie meeting reasonably regularly at a pub in a little village about six miles out of town.
The pub, by the way, is only about half a mile away from a convenient break in the fence that surrounded that gentlemen’s sporting facility.
Our magistrate drives (?) past the door of the pub on his way home every day after being poured out of his club in town - but doesn’t usually resist the pressing need to drop in or, once there, spend some time with his managerial mate.
The managerial mate is usually at the pub after a round of –er- sport and supervising the fertilization of his facility.
The truckie often joins them for a free beer or ten himself before he drives back to town along the same route his boss takes. He doesn’t overly enjoy the company but he’s not so stupid that he doesn’t recognize patronage.”

Inge – Let’s do a summary and wrap up part one, shall we?
P – “It mightn’t have been unusual for the times. It was a less stratified society and the drink-driving limits were much more lenient back then. Even these days the truckie would have the defence of ‘mistake of fact’ about alleged misappropriation of all those tons of fertilizer.
But nothing excuses the confident hypocrisy of this little triangle of sots believing they were not only above the law but also protected BY the law.
Two young people, a young man and his pillion passenger. They’d only met that evening and after a short ride on a moonlit night – they were pulped.
The pigs couldn’t cover that one up so, as I said, they didn’t try.
The carload hit by our ‘manager’?
I believe that was in sight of the pub.
Witnesses never lie, do they?
Our magistrate?
What – was he going to lock himself up?
‘NO man is above the law’ - a prime tenet at law – except in Queensland.
It has been formalized since the Di Fingleton matter.
According to Queensland legislation they are indeed now above the law.”

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