The liberation of Marawi from the Islamic State Caliphate
Sunday, 31 December 2017
Lest We Forget.
Lest We Forget.
The Federal Government has a few injustices to fix.
It's up to the new Attorney General to do it.
This is an extract from Christian Porter's maiden speech to the WA Parliament in 2008:
In the area of crime and punishment, I am a true conservative.
Having worked and lectured in criminal law at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the University of Western Australia, I can say truthfully that there is no more interesting, relevant and curious area of the legal discipline—and I might add here that there is no harder legal milieu— in which to work. My work at the DPP has taught me about people and about life. I hope that that job and other matters have caused me to come into this place, although younger than some, sufficiently experienced in life’s triumphs and tragedies to feel real empathy for people’s problems even though they may not be my own. Also, for the public record, I take this opportunity to say that the men and women who work at the DPP perform the greatest of community services for us all, in what are often very difficult circumstances.
For many years now in Australia a divergence of views has existed between, on the one hand, the courts, the defence bar, academics and criminologists, and, on the other hand, the general public and the media.
The latter regard criminal conduct as burgeoning and as a near-crippling societal problem that is insufficiently checked by lenient sentencing.
The former maintain that in statistical terms, criminal activity is not quite the high-growth problem that it is perceived to be, and that the penalties have been stiffened in recent times.
There is truth in both views. The problem with this analysis is that there is no one crime problem in Western Australia. It is true that recent trends have been for longer custodial sentences, certainly for offenders who have been found guilty of engaging in serious criminal conduct; that is, conduct that has traditionally been labelled by the courts as the grave offences of serious and sexual assaults, armed robbery and homicide. This fact was stated clearly by the Chief Justice of this state as recently as last weekend in our state’s major newspaper service. It should be noted here, however, that the description of this as “leadership” on the part of the courts is in my view a mischaracterisation. Increased custodial sentences for grave offences has been a proper and appropriate response by the judiciary to sustained pressure from the people, their Parliament and the press. In my view, there is still some little way to go in this area.
Where the immediate public policy challenge now really lies is with those offences that are somewhat less than grave in the traditional legal sense, but whose cumulative effect has become debilitating for many local communities. I am talking here about what might be loosely labelled disorder offences—although this very label tends to diminish their cumulative seriousness. By this term I mean the occurrence and re-occurrence of property damage and graffiti to private residences and community facilities; the myriad forms of serious public misbehaviour fuelled largely by alcohol, the most prominent example of which is random violence associated with suburban parties; and the general absence of respect for authority and fellow citizens, one notable manifestation of which is all manner of idiotic behaviour on our roads.
Sadly, this is not an exhaustive list.
There should be no mistake about it: as a society, the maintenance of public order is tied directly to the ongoing maintenance of a general will to punish this sort of behaviour through the courts. This is not always easy.
Magistrates are faced with a continual stream of persons, many of whom are utterly un-notable other than for the fact of their sometimes isolated instances of misbehaviour. However, this does not lessen the debilitating cumulative effect of such misbehaviour. Magistrates face, day in and day out, the terrible job of determining whether this or that offender’s life will be changed forever by the punishment they mete out. However, once a person has been convicted by plea or by the conduct of a fair and open trial, punishment of these disorder-type offences must be real and hard-felt by the offender.
A failure of will at this level of punishment will mean the erosion of liberties for all Western Australian citizens. Serious punishment for disorder offences will not always mean the imposition of custodial sentences, although often it must. As a Parliament, we must be continually aware of the need to devise and apply punishments that are precisely that—punishments. We can no longer linger with ineffective fines enforcement systems or non-custodial orders that are malfunctioning in their punitive purpose.
I'm sure he meant it.
Let's help him keep that passion.
Ralph's getting in the way of a good bulltish story again!
I'm publishing a very small part of a trove of information about the extent of Ralph Blewitt's conversations with Julia Gillard at home - or whoever was answering Ms Gillard's home phone at the time.
8 October 1994 - Saturday afternoon - Blewitt's home phone to Gillard's home phone
Tuesday, 6 April 1993 (just after settlement of Kerr Street) and finger-troubles Ralph is trying to call Gillard's home - first he puts the Perth STD code (09) in, then gets it right on the second try - but Julia was either not at home or, ahem, busy.
Quite a few calls in November of 93 - this one's on Thursday 18 NOV 93 - Ralph does recall attending the AWU's national executive meeting in Sydney and being told by Wilson to divert to Melbourne with $7,000 cash for Julia's builders.
Missed these ones yesterday from Ralph's place - Saturday 14th and Thursday 26th of August 1993 from Ralph's home to Julia's home.
And there are many, many more.
Which makes you wonder about false denials like this one - false denials are usually a pretty good indication of mens rea, or the criminal's guilty mind.
This is a file note from Slater and Gordon - seized by police with a search warrant.
And they thought nothing could tear them apart!
Here's an extract from the diary of Gillard's builder, Athol James.
He notes her telephone number as at early 1993- 417 5466.
And here's a table showing phone calls made to that number...........
....from this home telephone in Perth WA....
In June/July 92 Wilson moved to Melbourne to take over as Victorian branch secretary.
He signed a lease on a new apartment on 15 July 1992.
The auction for 85 Kerr Street took place on 13 February 1993.
Settlement date was 22 March 1993.
We learned today we've lost the last living link to a significant part of our history: The death in Papua New Guinea of the last Fuzzy Wuzzy angel. @michaelusher #7News pic.twitter.com/X09sy2PFhN— 7 News Sydney (@7NewsSydney) December 28, 2017
Victoria Police has denied the state has a problem with African youth gangs, despite a string of recent violent incidents including one of its officers being kicked in the face outside a suburban shopping centre on Boxing Day.
The unnamed sergeant was attacked without warning near the entrance of Maribyrnong’s Highpoint Shopping Centre by a man wearing a gang-style bandana, while he was arresting a 16-year-old youth accused of shoplifting.
Victoria Police’s Superintendent Therese Fitzgerald said “youth crime in general”, rather than gangs associated with an ethnic group, was to blame.
“We have problems with youth crime across the state and it’s not a particular group of youths we are looking into. It’s all youths. It’s youth crime,” she said.
The superintendent’s comments come a week after an Airbnb property in Werribee was trashed at a party attended by more than 100 mainly South Sudanese youths who turned on police, pelting them with rocks.
The house was spray-painted with youth gang symbols, including a reference to the disbanded Apex crime game responsible for a spree of home invasions and car thefts in the southeast suburbs.
Earlier this month St Kilda Beach was the scene of violent clashes between different groups and attacks on passers-by.
Superintendent Fitzgerald confirmed the officer at Highpoint and his partner were surrounded by a group of young men of African appearance before they were attacked. Police do not know the identify of the assailant.
CCTV footage released yesterday showed one youth tried to stop the assailant from kicking the officer in the head. The 16-year-old arrested for shoplifting was released pending inquiries.
The arresting officer sustained bruising above his eye, but is back at work. His attacker was last seen wearing a white T-shirt and a black bandana.
Superintendent Fitzgerald was pressed repeatedly on whether Melbourne faced a particular threat from African crime gangs.
“I think we might look at issues across the state this week where there were public order incidents ... they were not African youths at all,” she said.
The state’s former chief commissioner Kel Glare labelled the comments “nonsensical”.
“It’s ridiculous for anyone to stand up to say there is not a problem with African youth violence ... they are a disproportionate problem,” he said.
Mr Glare, chief commissioner from 1987 to 1992, said calling out perpetrators for what they were would not offend African communities as “they must be as shocked as we are”.
“The first thing police need to do to solve this problem is to start telling the truth ... we need to teach the African kids more about law and order and get them into sports; away from crime,” he said.
Mr Glare last week told The Australian a water cannon might be necessary to deal with larger brawls like the ones seen at St Kilda beach on December 15 and last week in Werribee.
Victorian Youth Affairs Minister Jenny Mikakos said the disrespect being shown to police was “unacceptable”.
“The events we saw at Highpoint Shopping Centre and the St Kilda Foreshore (where young people trashed the beach on Christmas Day) were disgraceful acts,’’ she said.
“We have confidence Victoria Police will round up those responsible and make the appropriate arrests.’’
From MPS - Presumably the "appropriate" arrests are ones that comply with Labor's policy position - there's no ethnic link to crime so there better not be any "ethnic" arrests.