@ Mr Henry: Somehow I would worry about Scrubby in …

Comment on 13 year old denied bail after rampage by John Bell.

@ Mr Henry: Somehow I would worry about Scrubby in today’s PC 18C environment.
Eminently sensible decisions with an innate understanding of local rascals, cops and lawyers in the Alice. Bluntly delivered on the nose, no fancy gobbledigook Sir Humphrey-speak, Scrubby’s down-to-earth comments would not survive five minutes in this hypersensitive Section 18C society of human rights.
The HRC crowd would have him hanging by the thumbs in their Pitt Street Dungeon … in the overcrowded Misogynist Male Division.
But heck, Scrubby was on the mark … and hugely entertaining! An NT character!

John Bell Also Commented

13 year old denied bail after rampage
@ Ms de Vere: I very much agree with you that the issue of education for young people and youth crime in remote Aboriginal communities is a most important social concern.
At the moment, no one seems to have an effective or definitive solution that fits all. Individual cases such as this young 13-year-old lad before the court is distressingly far too frequent.
Reading the Ccourt transcript of this case as reported by Alice Springs News Online, while admittedly not knowing the lad personally, nevertheless I felt that Magistrate Borchers has made the best decision, in everyone’s best interests, including the welfare of the lad.
Seminars and 1990s plans all have their proper place in addressing this social problem holistically in the community.
But in the urgent reality of this particular individual incident here and now, Magistrate Borchers’ decision provides the best opportunity (in my limited opinion) for a good balance of justice, fairness and compassion in this particular case while the wider solution is being argued, discussed and generally kicked around at great length in the community.


13 year old denied bail after rampage
@ Ms de Vere: I raised my eyebrows a little bit when I read your quote:”Who was protecting them from predatory guards and psycholigical damage and brutalisation by a bullying dysfunctional system, who held the duty of care?”
I suspect you are a devotee of the ABC position of victimhood generally which is your right.
However, I suspect that there is an overwhelming majority of caring ordinary punter Don Dale staff who would be deeply offended by your categorisation of predator in a very difficult system in which they worked diligently with a duty of care and as conscientiously as you and I would in such circumstances.
This lad in front of magistrate Borchers is a danger to himself as much as he is to others.
The human resources needed to get the lad on the straight and narrow before he reaches adulthood have been stretched to the limit.
There comes a point where duty of care towards the community, his past victims and his very likely future victims becomes paramount.
I would ask you two questions: (1) are you siding with the lad’s CALAAS lawyer or with judge Borchers? (2) What is your solution?


Recent Comments by John Bell

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@ Curious: It is long established that local councils have become a stepping stone, the testing ground for budding state Parliament pollies.
The bigger issue is that councils around Australia are beginning to encroach more and more on the role of state government, becoming a wannabe mini parliament.
That is a real worry in a country that is already the most over-governed country in the western democratic world. More chiefs and wannabe chiefs than Indians.


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@ Jack: In 2010 I was fortunate to catch up with Gus Williams after many years.
Gus was an old friend, a fellow Feddy and a regular organiser of the Hermannsburg team to the Yuendumu Sports Weekend.
Gus talked about the school education troubles in the community. At length.
Gus held a particular view that would surprise white urban activists.
Gus reinforced for me that there were great benefits brought into the Ntaria community by the Strehlow family and the Lutheran missionaries.
To coin a saying, it is not all black and white when two different cultures inevitably come together and interact.


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@ Local 1: Thanks mate. Good thoughts. While we would appear to disagree on whether this should be trial by jury or by judge-alone, I think we both would agree that the integrity of the court process is paramount no matter where the case is held.
I see your point about previous contentious trials of remote community deaths and the need to be judged by your peers.
However, that is precisely why I fear trial by jury in such powder keg cases.
Trial by jury fails the pub test in such cases. Juries are highly vulnerable. I must admit that some would get a negative message if the Supreme Court held the trial by jury in Yuendumu.
I would be very worried too. But in a judge only trial, where a good judge will not be swayed by the volatile crowd, I think it would be a terrific vote of confidence in our criminal justice system.
The pressure would be on the judge to weigh up all the evidence immediately after the trial, far from the madding crowd in isolation to deliver a verdict in due course.
Reading the verdict in a packed courtroom in Yuendumu would be a supreme test (pardon the pun) of integrity and community goodwill for everyone concerned.
Such a situation would force everyone to accept that this is for an impartial judge to decide. Fearlessly. In the heartland. Focused on the evidence of all the parties. Transparently covered by mainstream media. Somehow though, I don’t think any government would be brave enough to create this scenario. A pity. In my opinion.
Hope you have a happy Christmas. My thoughts are with the accused cop and the lad who lost his life.


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