In this age of Facebook and other powerful instant mass …

Comment on Copping ‘mental and physical abuse’ on top of serving time: Dylan Voller’s evidence to the NT Royal Commission by John Bell.

In this age of Facebook and other powerful instant mass communication Royal Commissions are fast losing relevance to their original purpose.
The mass visual giving of evidence and the appearance of individual witnesses such as Dylan Voller become the centrepieces in a media circus which resembles episodes of Prisoners or Days of Our Lives and other emotive-based melodramas on our tellie screens.
In this viewing environment, individual characters are are given a certain popular image and the real issues are drowned in an impossible mix of sensationalistically reported alleged incidents and mini crises.
Commission recommendations and their future implementation end up running a long distant second place to the melodrama. Right now, the star character is Dylan Voller and the question on everyone’s lips is – will he be awarded $$ compensation and if so, how much?
He is already an anti-hero star with a generation of teenage would-be victims and rebels.
The tears will flow over vivid accounts of torture and the guards will be on the backfoot trying to defend themselves to a young viewing audience.
My gut feeling is that Royal Commissions are fast becoming little more than a lawyers’ paradise, jostling for viewer ratings in a goldfish bowl of instant entertainment.

Recent Comments by John Bell

Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
@ Alex Nelson. Jewish refugees pre-WW2. I have never forgotten the story of the SS St Louis, told to me in 1955 by my grade 5 teacher at St Pius X primary school, Sister Mary Gangolfa, a Missionary Sister of the Sacred Heart, recently arrived in Oz from the Black Forest to teach the sons and daughters of young WW2 veterans.
Nearly 1000 desperate Jewish women and children sailed from Hamburg in 1939 to escape the Nazis. They headed for Cuba, where the ship was refused landing. No one wanted them. Because they were Jews. Shunned, they returned to Belgium, where many eventually died in WW2. I can understand why Russell has become a peacenik, with no disrespect using that word. It’s an admirable cause.


Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
@Nadine Williams. “We are the future, we are the link”. Such wonderful inspiring marching music lyrics!. Reminds me of the Good old days of peace activism and the stirring calls to arms (so to speak)…”Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose” circa 1968. I can see Kim Jong un joining in….singing at the top of his voice…as today’s born again ICAN Nobel Prize peace activists march on the UN – that paragon of global justice – to demand that all countries get rid of their nuclear warheads. I always loved Puff the Magic Dragon. Ah,nostalgia. Here am I at three score years and eleven, trying to persuade that other paragon of justice -the AFL – to get rid of Collingwood Football Club. In the interests of world sanity.


Pine Gap and the Nobel prize the Oz government ignores
Russell writes a nice heartfelt article. Emotional and committed to the notion that he and his fellow self-named “peaceniks” are enlightened and inhabit a black-and-white “Us against Them” world where they have always been pitted against those hateful “conservatives” who are warmongers who refused to see the light in all the peace causes down the years.
But my experience has been that life is shades of grey. Vietnam halted the Communist drive down through SE Asia long enough to let Malaysia and Indonesia overcome the insurgency.
My South Vietnamese friends Tom and Than Dong will tell you of genocide cleansing throughout their old Montagnard village countryside when Hanoi took over and the oppressed people have since learned to keep their mouths shut on fear of death.
My left wing American friends who did contract work at Pine Gap will tell you that the facility does good work to ensure world peace stability.
And the Amerixan community in Alice has been a socially binding force for good in the Centre.
My German friends from the Black Forest will tell you that the Wall came down because the West fought the good fight but they warn the reality of world Communism in Russia remains an ever present and constant evil.
The best way to describe our world where the vast majority of us “progresives” and “conservatives” know the reality and we all work towards peace in our own ways – is that our daily lives and values are a good mix of “fifty shades of grey”. Not peaceniks v warmongers.


Gap Centre is the centre of The Gap
I would like to commend both Centres for their incomparable work with the young people of Alice down the years.
They have all been magnificent in their selfless work and countless Alicians must have great stories to tell about them.
I would like to pay special tribute to the late Mrs Joan Higgins and Alan, her trusty sidekick of many years at Wills Terrace, and Graham and Ronda Ross down at the Gap.
I have had the great privilege of seeing them in action, giving amazing help to kids in need, 24/7, 365/12. Such good hearts. Alician Treasures.


Same sex marriage campaign in the bush takes to YouTube
Peter. It looks like you have me sorted as a bigoted, born-to-rule white male heterosexual No voter – in no uncertain manner.
To make matters worse, I was also born an Essendon AFL third generation supporter and will go to the death as a True Believer, maintaining the faith in the Mighty Bombers. Your mind is made up. So be it.
However, your comment makes me wonder what your moral judgment is of a No voter who happens not to be white (eg Vaughan) or neither white nor male (eg Theresa)?
Do they have any redeeming qualities as No voters, or are we all No vote bigots with no empathy etc? How do you rationalise their No vote views?
I ask these questions in good faith. I am genuinely curious to learn your thoughts.


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