A Letter From Morry.Way, way back in january, I mentioned correspondence with a certain Mr Morris Iemma from Lakemba, who happens to be the (Labor) Premier of New South Wales.
Dear Ms Nilk,
I refer to your email of 16 December, 2005 concerning last year's unrest in Sydney.
The acts of violence that took place at Cronulla and other locations have no place in our society.
Hardworking, responsible Australians from every background are rightly appalled at this behaviour, and that is why my Government acted swiftly to introduce tough new laws, including powers for the police to lock down areas, search people and vehicles, and confiscate cars and mobile phones used in riots and public disorder.
We've also increased the maximum gaol term for rioting from 10 to 15 years and for affray from 5 to 10 years, as well as toughening the bail laws to make it much harder for people involved in rioting to obtain bail.
The bottom line is simple - thugs and hooligans will pay a high price for any anti-social behaviour because the police will not hesitate to use these new powers to ensure our public spaces remain safe.
But stronger laws will only go so far. The problems highlighted at Cronulla will only be fully overcome when everyone in our community starts taking seriously their duties as citizens. And that means showing respect and responsibility.
A peaceful and prosperous future can only be achieved if we are united by the responsibilities of citizenship and by the respect we all show for the law, for the people around us and for our common values as Australians.
Morris Iemma MP
This is an amazing piece of blather, but considering I hadn't expected a reply, it is even more amazing. I've not responded yet and have also not decided to.
I have no qualms about posting this because it says very little at all.
My mail was quite strongly worded, and a lot longer than the following opening:
I am not a member of your constituency - I live in Victoria.
Like many Ausralians, I have been watching the events unfolding in the suburbs of Sydney with horror and not a little anger.
From the events last Sunday, where what started as a peaceful protest on the beaches of Cronulla deteriorated to a riot, to today, where Christians cannot practise their religion without fear of attack - particularly in your own electorate of Lakemba - there seems to be a pattern of not addressing the 'root causes'.
For years, there have been complaints about young people who feel no need to become active, worthy members of our society. Instead, these elements prefer to intimidate and harrass people to the extent where said people are frightened to walk the streets at night.
For years, the police have been seen as emasculated and less than useless. This is not the fault of the police - they work within the constraints of the laws, and the laws bind them tightly.
We have a judiciary that bends over backwards to protect the rights of the accused, without addressing their responsibilities. The silent majority are not going to remain silent for much longer, I suspect.
I did say a fair bit more, and all without profanity, too! I refrain from posting the whole letter as it was quite succint, and as I live in Braxtopia I am well aware of what tolerance means. I don't consider my letter over the top, but in this state, in this day and age, I figure there is no sense in being too careless.
I post my snippet, as I believe that this insipid response tells me little other than spin.
I especially like: "....when everyone in our community starts taking seriously their duties as citizens. And that means showing respect and responsibility."
So where is the respect, Mr Iemma? Where are the arrests for the reprisals by the (self-labelled) Lebs? Why is it that the skips have enough respect for our laws and some even take upon themselves the responsibility to turn in their own family members, but those who are bashing and stabbing people, causing high levels of property damage - cars, shops, restaurants - don't?