How fortunate Tasmanians and South
Australians are to have their state elections out of the way. We suffering New South Wales
residents are staring down the barrel of 12 months of steadily escalating
Laura Norder electioneering that could have all of us behind bars before we get
to vote.

And maybe that is Premier Dilemma’s
fiendish plot – once the electorate is locked up, they won’t be allowed to
vote.

The Carr Crash gang’s latest instalment has
already backfired, with both the Daily Telegraph and SMH pointing out that NSW police must have
lost the plot to be spending $700,000 to buy a water cannon for the riot squad
– which itself is already going to be doubled in size just after being
reformed.

As the Terror reminds us:

A year ago Police Commissioner Ken Moroney said that
if his officers had to use water cannon in a riot, they would have “lost
the plot”. Yesterday the State Government confirmed
NSW police will be given a high-powered water cannon as part of a crackdown on
crowd violence.

The push, given added impetus by Friday’s
rugby league brawling, was sparked by the street riots in Cronulla, Macquarie Fields and Redfern.

Premier Morris Iemma said yesterday:
“Water cannons are used to great effect to disperse riots and civil
disturbances in Europe, the Middle East and Indonesia. We have never used one in NSW before
but recent events have demonstrated we must be prepared for large-scale public
disturbances.”

So
that’s another great thing about living in NSW – you can have the
illusion of being in any of the great riot cities on earth. And won’t
the cannon be a nice
photo op when it arrives. We can’t wait for the Canterbury thugby
league team to make the most of its reputation and government
recognition by
dropping the “Bulldogs” name in favour of “The Water Cannons”.

The water cannon plot loss comes hot on the
heels of Premier Dilemma’s weekend announcement that police numbers will be
boosted by 750 – which will pretty much just take them back to where they were
in the last election year, 2003. But don’t worry, Dilemma has already admitted
they’ll be lifted again before the next poll.

Ah NSW, once a penal colony, always…

Peter Fray

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