Bikie laws: dangerous precedent or needed protection?

Peter Upton writes: Re. “Why Queensland bikies are ‘very, very scared‘” (yesterday). Never have been, not now, nor ever want to be, a member of a bikie gang — but I am on their side aginst the Newman government’s laws. Where’s the Doc Evatt for our times when you need him — he who fought magnificently against the Menzies government’s attempt to outlaw the Communist Party in the ’50s (never have been, etc, a CP member but certainly would have supported Doc on that one)? It staggers me that some Australians should be prepared to so lightly trash the prized inheritance of equality for all before the law. It’s a dangerous business to allow politics to determine particular groups not allowed to associate.

Peter Matters writes: The US authorities had the brains 80 years ago to realise that to get on top of organised crime is to seize the ill-gotten fortunes they had made by their crimes — Al Capone died a bankrupt in prison. Our esteemed lawmakers not only cannot learn from history, but they’ve got Laura Norder on their brains.

John Richardson writes: It would seem that it’s time for motorcycle gangs to get with the program. With Queensland once again leading the charge to extinguish democratic rights and freedoms, it is clearly no longer safe to run a tattoo parlour or drug-making laboratory, or even stand on a street corner, without running the risk of spending the rest of your life behind bars.

Given the pathetic failure of ASIC and the Australian Federal Police to do much more than shut down the occasional out-of-hours housie game, I would have thought that there would be heaps of opportunity for the boys in leather to transition to suits and grow rich emulating many of their corporate cousins and their political enablers by making, rather than breaking, the rules?

No tears for Carr

Rajend Naidu writes: Re. “Speak softly and don’t stuff up: Bob Carr’s legacy” (yesterday). It is good to know retiring Senator and former foreign minister Bob Carr will “re-invent” himself. I always thought there was something mechanical about the man. Let’s hope the reinvented model is better.

Gary Woodman writes: Good riddance! Even the feckless Julie Bishop promises to be more even-handed than Carr, whose well-known adoration for anything US verged on adulation. Not a good look for a diplomat, especially an Australian one. And who could forget his patronising and dismissive response to the Snowden revelations of mass surveillance?

He might have been a good premier, but at best a diplomatic placeholder. And now, out of government, left with few perks and nearly as much work, he’s dropping the whole idea. No loss at all.

Real-life Ja’mies

Glen Frost writes: Re. “Ja’mie: the private school bitch is back” (yesterday). Those of us with teenage daughters know the parody to be what it is: an accurate portrayal of a minority. This is what makes it funny. I walk past a private school every day, and based on the number of times I’ve nearly been run over by arrogant parents who don’t think the road rules apply to them, I can only surmise that this minority don’t mature after adolescence. Strangely, most drive overpriced German cars.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
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