Bikies’ spin is criminal
The National Press Club has debased itself and damaged journalism by letting bikie gangs use its forum to indulge in an hour-long orgy of hysteria and lies about the proposed laws of criminal association.
Central to this non-debate - led by a fellow called Ferret, from the Finks - was the laughable assertion that the media somehow over-reacted in its coverage of the sickening bashing murder of Hells Angel Anthony Zervas in broad daylight at Sydney Airport earlier this year.
With a couple of exceptions among the journos - and with the audience heavily stacked with tattooed ratbags - Ferret and his friends were allowed to misrepresent this deserved coverage without challenge.
Ably assisted by criminologist Professor Paul Wilson from Bond University, and unctuous Christian biker, the Most Reverend Dr John “Bullfrog” Smith from the God Squad, Ferret also mounted a chilling but essentially crap scenario where the anti-biker laws see Australia drift casually towards Nazism.
The argument goes that Mike Rann’s anti-biker laws - now copied by Nathan Rees in NSW - can and will be used against any association, be it the Hells Angels, the Methodist Ladies Temperance Union or the local Rotary Club.
This hysteria ignores the fact that the Methodist Ladies Temperance Union does not generally have a speed laboratory out the back of the hall behind the urn and the milk arrowroots, or that the local Rotary Club is not engaged in a violent turf war with the Lions or Kiwanis about the sale of amphetamines in the area.
No Australian police force would do such a thing. Nor would they ever use these laws to shut down meetings by a political party, as was suggested - and any government which let such an appalling abuse eventuate would be voted out, as we have these things called elections in Australia.
I’m not saying that any of the people on the panel are criminals, just that some of the people they’re defending are. And they are the only people who have anything to fear from these laws, which will only affect those who are crooks and thugs, or who choose to consort with crooks and thugs.
And while you can give them one point for being free speech purists, it’s shameful that the Press Club of all places allowed itself to be used to disparage and denigrate honest, hard-working journalists and photographers, some of whom have had death threats covering the violence of the past few months.
We will be asking Professor Wilson to write a piece for The Punch explaining why he’s against the laws and hope to run it over the next few days. If Ferret wants to write a piece too he’s welcome.
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