Tuesday, January 20, 2004


"You just can't comprehend how it's come to this." Allan Border
I read about the assault on David Hookes on the blogs, without listening to the radio which is where you instinctively go when there's a sudden local tragedy unfolding. You need audio, the voices of the crowd, like the way neighbours can gather in the street, a simple presence, headshaking, that dumb numbness. Then I read on a comments thread that he had died. The starkness of the line compounded the shock of such a violent, ordinary death of a public figure whose dazzling test debut in a game fit for heroes ensured his cricketing immortality. It may have been that, as Greg Baum writes today, "he then spent a career not quite living up to that beginning" but the cold last line of his potted biog "dies after pub row" displays the sudden senselessness of it all.

Comments: numb

I don't think he died after a pub row. I think he was murdered by goons in the street. How are we going to deal with it?
Posted by David Tiley at January 20, 2004 04:09 PM

Go after the goons I guess, in time, when the shock subsides.
Posted by boynton at January 20, 2004 04:26 PM

what is scary is the "goon" had a proper security license.....How do we deal with that?
Posted by pseo at January 20, 2004 05:48 PM

Probably makes it easier to deal with legally than that of a fatal assault by an anon goon.
At least there can be some overdue enquiry into the scary 'industry'.
Posted by boynton at January 21, 2004 10:18 AM

On local radio here in Brisbane a man rang in saying he was recently asked to move on by a security guard. He said "no thanks" as the guard had no jurisdiction on the street. The guard was incensed and violence ensued. The man had his son and a bystander, so it was three on three. The manager came out and the man said he wanted to make a complaint. The manager told him he would welcome that because the manager would then know where the man lived and could send his goons around.

The man did go to the police and got the brush off because these cases typically go nowhere.

The ABC announcer told him to get signed witness statements, go back to the police and if they don't act go to the Crime and Misconduct Commission. If he got no response then he was to come back to the ABC.

It seeems to me you wouldn't go down this track unless you had the backing of some-one you could trust in the media to blow the whole thing wide open.
Posted by at January 23, 2004 12:22 AM

Ooops that last comment was from me.
Posted by Brian Bahnisch at January 23, 2004 11:33 AM

Your ABC as your one-stop legal aid/cop shop? More grunt for your eight cents a day.
It seems that the media is assuming this role,
a kind of judicial hit man, even inheriting it from the usual suspects, who may be constrained by technicality (allegedly), economics and the sheer density of cases.
So we all turn to the media now as our ambassador/ombudsman/hitman?
Personally I've had no exposure to this apparently violent security/thuggery industry - it's a boy thing? - but at least there may be some overdue overhaul occuring as a result of such a high profile incident.
Posted by boynton at January 23, 2004 12:08 PM

The ABC guy was Steve Austin who does the 9-11am shift on local radio in Brisbane. He's a very competent guy and was impressive in reeling off the legal requirements in making a complaint. You would still need to be very brave to go down that track, but commercial operators/venue managers often treat you differently when the media are involved.

Systemically it's not the answer of course, but I'm pessimistic about anything being done. It seems as intractable as say the practices of long distance trucking firms.

About the boy thing I can't comment due to no direct experience. About 7 years ago my big son was kicked and ended up with a cracked sternum for intervening on behalf of a young woman who had been insulted. He investigated suing but gave up. It's hard to make evidence stick.
Posted by at January 23, 2004 11:54 PM

Sorry that was me again.
Posted by Brian Bahnisch at January 23, 2004 11:55 PM

Jon Faine on 774 often provides the same service here. He was a lawyer, so it mkaes it seem even more like a kind of quasi-legal agency thing happening, with the standover threat of broadcasting backing up the otherwise anonymous claimant.
I hope this doesn't prove as intractable as those road-warriors.(speed tractors)
That's a terrible story re your son.
Since the incident I have heard a few stories, in the blogosphere and in RL, that have been quite shocking about this culture of violence, and brushes with fate. A common theme is - "it could have been me" and a man I know claimed it was an experience known to 50% of the population. I argued for 25% (thinking it was not all men, surely, but perhaps it is?)
Though I have heard first hand of the heartbreak of having a fatal assault charge not pursued from probable lack of evidence/conviction.
Posted by boynton at January 24, 2004 09:29 AM

I don't know of any statistics except that the demographic most likely to be murdered, according to some criminologists, is young men at the hands of young men.

My daughter once said that women are more cautious about where and how they go, so don't put themselves in as much danger as men. Also I fancy women are more likely to respond with flight rather than fight.

To me 50% sounds way too high. Perhaps they are including situations were people were threatened but not attacked.

There seems to be an increasing trend for groups of young blokes to threaten or attack people for no particular reason.

But my memory tells me that crimes against the person are officially down in Australia in recent years, whereas crimes against property are up.

Thanks for your compassion and concern.
Posted by Brian Bahnisch at January 25, 2004 11:32 AM

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