Democracy in safe hands

Queenslanders have for some time watched as Premier Beattie metamorphosed into Peter Bjelke, but it was the police killing of Mulrunji Doomagee on Palm Island which revealed the true extent of the transmogrification. Clearly, in the Premier’s mind, the police were not only in the right but were to be given unfettered powers to deal with the troublesome natives on Palm Island.

In a return to pre-Fitzgerald days, the Queensland Government acted as if it was an entirely natural event for a happy, singing, intoxicated Aborigine to enter police custody and within a couple of hours to have four broken ribs, a ruptured spleen and liver and to be dead. The ungrateful Palm Island residents had the hide not only to question the police version of the events, but to burn the police station and court house. The police and Government responded with paramilitary force, electronic stun guns and exquisite racist indifference to the cultural sensitivities of the Indigenous residents. Pregnant women, young children and old people were forced to lie face down in the dirt whilst being stood over by police armed with military style weapons.

Eighteen people have been arrested and charged with various offences to do with the fire at the police station. The Police Union is so supercharged with righteous white superiority that it launched a public appeal for the police who lost property in the fire, called on the judicial system to charge the 18 arrested with attempted murder, and pronounced on “the innocence” of the police stationed on Palm Island at the time of the killing of Mulrunji Doomagee.

The Peter Bjelke Government, although having a massive majority on the floor of the parliament, is cowed by memories of the Police Union campaign in the seat of Thuringowa, which brought down the Goss Labor Government and so have capitulated to the demands of the Police Union officials.

It really is time for Police Union to be brought into the Cabinet in order to take over the Premiership, the Police and Justice Portfolios and Treasury. Such a move could foreshadow even more innovative ways of advancing democracy in the land of banana benders. Given that it would be far cheaper to have the Police Union appoint parliamentarians than to run an election amongst the voters, such an innovation could result in massive savings to the people of the Sunshine State.

written in 2005 not published