Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pumpkin Scones, Joh Dear?

“A national political campaign is better than the best circus ever heard of, with a mass baptism and a couple of hangings thrown in."
H L Mencken

In a campaign spearheaded by politicians and lovingly supported by such journalistic luminaries as The West Australian and The Sunday Times, the West Australian police have announced a 'Dob in a Bikie' Day.

That's correct. We're not talking about Nazi Germany or The Axis of Evil, it's just bikies and everyone hates them anyway, according to the West. So it's okay. Let's all pick up the phone and dob the bastards in.

“We don’t want to know who you are, we just want to know what you know about bikies, their activities, their friends and associates,” Assistant Police Commissioner Wayne Gregson said.

“Even something as innocuous as car or motorcycle registration numbers, bikies’ colours (patches) and their places of employment could all make a difference.”

So we can now dob in anyone wearing a dishrag on their jacket for driving a car, riding a motorcycle or having a job.
Does anyone else find this frightening?
Does anyone else find even scarier the fact that police already have the names, addresses and bike rego numbers of most bikies in the state - but now they want us to join in?

A print and radio advertising campaign, encouraging the public to "phone in a bikie'', will be used, rather than the words "dob-in''. So if we pick up the phone as part of our West Australian civic duty, we won't actually be 'dobbing', because market research has discovered that this is seen as being 'Un-Australian' and we are not un-Australian, just West Australian.
I like the word 'dob'. Lets call it what it is.

WA's Police Minister Rob ("Does my face look thin in this?") Johnson says bikies have been fooling the public into believing they are members of a social club, when in fact they belong to highly organised and sophisticated criminal organisations. (ABC local)

Much attention has been paid to the outlaw clubs' appetite for organised crime but an Australian outlaw motorcycle club has never actually been successfully prosecuted under organised crime laws. Most bikies will state that individuals may commit crimes but not under the banner of the club they belong to.

If this is not the case and the police argue otherwise, then Detective Sergeant David Caphorn, Don Hancock, Roger Rogerson, those two West Australian policemen charged with a sex attack during the Victorian bushfires and Detective Sergeant Shervill are all participants in a criminal organisation, having used their position within an organised structure to (allegedly) commit rape, murder, withholding evidence or just plainclothes covering it up.

Stylistically, the police and outlaw motorcycle clubs have a few things in common. They are groups with a rigid structure of rank and a militant ethos, albeit an opposing ideology and a mutual dislike. "They have become natural enemies, to the point clubs regard the police as a gang, driven by the same motives as any other gang - power and domination," writes Arthur Veno in The Brotherhood.

This is a digression really, an interesting one but I'm not going there today.
Check out the Criminal Investigation (Exceptional Powers) and Fortification Removal Act, 2002. There was little outcry from West Australians when that doozie went through, thanks to a rabid scary-bikies campaign by the only newspaper in town.
Some of these laws revoke the right to silence, the right to privilige against self-incrimination and provides police with powers to enter a premises without a warrant and to photograph, search and detain for questioning anyone found there.
There's still a Sedition legislation festering in the law archives, thanks to scary-terrorists. As far as I know, that one hasn't been repealed with the changing of the guard.
It took a media and public groundswell to help politicians pass these acts, acts that affect every single one of us. They are not passed in secret.

It makes me terribly sad to think that we are so bovine as to let an insidious little monstrocity such as 'Dob in a Bikie Day' slide by, without throwing ourselves on the floor and screaming until we turn blue. Are we so well trained by the media's cattle prod to accept these undignified transgressions of our own society?


  1. Can't wait till "Dob In A Bikie" gets introduced in the east...coz we're so skilled now...over here we're always on the look out for a wayward neighbour, someone using a hose on the wrong day, terrorists, pedophiles...etc etc

    Just give me the number. And, McCarthy eat your heart out.

    Funny...I wrote a play last year on this theme that was performed at the Arts Centre...based on a Greek myth and using water conservation...now if I'd only used bikies ...it would really be 'cooking with gas'...

    Fear does funny things...

    Like your picture of the bike...and your post.

  2. Thanks Sontag. It is fear ... And how long ago was McCarthy running his witch hunt?
    "When it's all over, we will still be stupid.!"

  3. WA has always been a rampant police state and still remains conservative in the same way that Queensland was during the scone era. Disappointing really.

  4. In psychological terms you are on the money - the police and the bikies are both meeting their own reflections. Classic shadow projection. The thug elements in both disgust me. In an intriguing but equation of balance they keep each other in check so the rest of us can get on with things.

    Just as all bikies are not outlaws, so police are not all thugs. But both are driven by the type of paranoia that requires the poor little darlings to be in a gang to feel safe. It's all wall pissing and dick waving. Mirror mirror. If everyone got some therapy we wouldn't need any of it.

  5. I agree Michelle. Not into pack behaviour myself, but I get so annoyed when we let pollies pass a bunch of really dodgey laws that trample our civil rights, using a subversive group as an impetus.
    Yes. That's what I was tring to say.

  6. Great Post Sarah. This whole dob in a bikie thing reminds me of Operation Noah that the member for Cottesloe, Bill Hassel, started in the late 70's or early 80's, can't quite remember when. The idea was that you look over your neighbours fence and if you spotted any mull growing you'd ring the hot line and dob in your neighbours. A cunt of an idea by a fascist cunt. Noah was an acronym for Narcotics, Opiates, Amphetamines, Hashish. Shows how much the powers that be at the time knew about the laws they were trying to enforce, because I believe that narcotics and opiates are the same deal, ("Deal", good pun eh?)