Disgraceful slur on war veterans!
The Newman government in Queensland has passed draconian new anti association laws to attempt to destroy ‘outlaw’ motorcycle clubs such as Hells Angels, Banditos, and a number of others including one that doesn’t exist. The odd thing about the new law is that ‘bikies’ are not mentioned in it at all but the minister has proscribed a number of clubs.
The oddly named, Vicious Lawless Association Disestablishment (VLAD) Act has upset civil liberties groups and caused a revolt among the judiciary, who are concerned about undue political interference in their role. Some of the worst aspects of the legislation are:
- Any member of any organization the Attorney General cares to name is automatically guilty of an offence;
- Any member of a declared organization who commits even a minor offense is to receive a mandatory 15 years extra on the penalty, 25 years if an office holder;
- A ‘bikie’ only prison where inmates will be locked in cells for 23 hours per day and are denied entertainment such as television, and gym equipment is banned;
- For some unexplained reason, the inmates are to be dressed in pink. This possibly reflects on the AGs sense of inadequacy causing him to want to humiliate tougher men;
- Five years for refusing to answer questions;
- Reversal of onus of proof;
There are plenty more such as a requirement for law-abiding bikers to register their rides to avoid harassment.
This has not dissuaded a US ‘crime-fighter’ from lauding these laws and claiming the need for them in the States. Worse, he suggests that the risk of war veterans joining outlaw groups as a reason for doing it:
An American crime fighter has applauded the Queensland Government's hard line on bikies, saying the United States should have brought in similar laws years ago.
Vice-president of the International Association of Undercover Officers, Steve Cook, says Australian authorities can expect bikie gangs to keep growing and are likely to recruit war veterans from Afghanistan. "We've had people in the Middle East for the last decade; you're going to have a lot more recruitment of these individuals into these organisations," he said.
Mr Cook has spent decades fighting gangs like the Hells Angels, Mongols and Bandidos in the US and says American lawmakers should have done more. …
… Queensland president of the Returned Services League (RSL) Terry Meehan, whose daughter is a member of the Military Brotherhood MMC, says thousands of veterans join motorcycle clubs but it does not make them criminals.
"They wear their badge on their back and they're quite proud of it, so I'd urge the public don't group classify people," he said. "Ex-servicemen and ex-servicewomen are not criminals. …
A quick Google check reveals numerous motorcycle clubs for war veterans. It is an absolute disgrace to make a claim that men and women who have served their countries honorably at the sharp end of conflicts for years, would be drawn to criminality on their return.
The problem Queenslanders have is that the AG graduated law in 2005, then in 2009 with the training wheels still in place on his practice of the profession in a provincial law firm, he was elected to parliament. He then became Shadow AG and the rest is history.