Friday, March 04, 2005

Street Violence

Reading news from the big smoke, of such happenings as strangers knifing a doorman, or belting a pedestrian into a state of quadrepelgia, the perpetrator then disappearing into the anonymity of an urban crowd, Mine Host reflects in puzzlement on the supposed causes of this violence.

"Irresponsible service of alchol!" cry some, "We'll close pubs early!" bleats Premier Beattie, "More liquor inspectors!", "More Taxis", "More Free Water" chorus others, & so on & so forth...

By Gosh! Exclaims Mine Host, there are hooligans out of control in the deep south (Brisbane) & the blame is being laid at the feet of publicans & nightclubs. Can this be true? Could Mine Host's southern counterparts collectively be responsible for the mayhem of the front pages? Murder for a pair of sandshoes, mindless violence in taxi queues, punch ups in the mall, etc.

Is the answer so simple as to stop pouring grog down the gullet of people who are already incapable of standing unaided?

Can the answer really be so simple? His competitive nature coming to the fore, Mine Host prowls the room, brow furrowed, wondering if he is doing something wrong: "Surely none could be pumping more liquor into their patrons than I, & none could have customers who be greater morons than the flatheads frequenting the Wayside Tavern?"

"If street violence be the inevitable consequence of excess alcohol sales, why are my patrons not creating their own brand of fear among the local population?"

Recalling that after dark the streets surrounding the Wayside Tavern are noted for their tranquility, Mine Host wonders if there may not be other factors influencing the spread of violence in faraway places such as Brisbane.

"If abuse of alcohol is the main contributing factor in savage violence," thunders Mine Host "with the per capita consumption here, my town should be a 'Baghdad-in-the-mulga'"

"For sure, if there is violence to be had, these drop-kicks around here will be up for it. However, despite me rendering them legless with record quantities of Rum, a fluid noted for it's aggression enhancing properties, in this town there is nary even an instance of fisticuffs between consenting adults"

Mine Host believes that the alcohol supplied to him by various breweries, distilleries, wineries etc, is every bit as potent as that which is supplied to nightclubs in central Brisbane. Furthermore, he is of the belief that hooligans break the law in Brisbane not because they are more drunk than the patrons of the Wayside Tavern, but because they CAN.

The thugs who lurk menacingly near the Wayside Tavern commit what little pieces of mischief as they do, in the full knowledge that they face certain arrest, either on the spot, or if they leg it, before they reach home. As belligerent as they may be when facing the citizenry, these "toughs" are sooks when confronted by police. Fear of consequences (ie: being taken to the cells via the "long scenic route") means none give significant grief to the police.

Mine Host is of the belief that the thuggocracy of Brisbane would voluntarily cease operations if they also faced a 100% chance of being arrested & held accountable for their crimes.

Furthermore if cowardly attacks upon the weak & vulnerable were to have physical consequences for the thuggocracy (ie, being descended upon by several police, wielding batons & ready to use them), street violence would be on it's way to being no more than a memory.

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