Monday, 24 March 2008

Censorship at its worst

I had the bizarre pleasure this week of having my comments deleted over at the site run by Jeremy the Lawyer. It's nice to know that I was sufficiently aggravating for him to feel threatened by my comments, which I must point out were out of the ordinary for me - they were dull and lacking in abuse.

Here is Jeremy viciously whacking me to the ground:

And sorry, BB, but I already pointed out that this thread wasn't to be used to try to give me half-arsed armchair legal advice. OK? I have precisely no interest in discussing the incident in question any further. It's been thrashed into the ground. I will deal with the matter myself. If you want to partake in a discussion which is NOT about trying to accuse me of breaking the law, by all means, feel free. Otherwise, go away. In the meantime, those posts dedicated to attacking me personally, deleted.

The thing which appeared to annoy Jeremy was me pointing him to the section of the Road Rules that he had contravened. For the record, the rule in question is:

173 Stopping on or near a marked foot crossing (except at an intersection)

(1) A driver must not stop on a marked foot crossing that is not at an intersection, or on the road within 10 metres before the traffic lights pole nearest to the driver at the crossing and 3 metres after the crossing, unless the driver stops at a place on a length of road, or in an area, to which a parking control sign applies and the driver is permitted

Apparently quoting Australian law is half-arsed armchair legal advice. I would accept that my advice would be half-arsed, or even totally arsed, if I was giving an opinion on some legislation, but quoting it? Sorry mate, time for you to take your pills and calm down.

I also love this bit:

If you want to partake in a discussion which is NOT about trying to accuse me of breaking the law

Jeremy seems to have forgotten the bit about him writing this in his blog:

I inadvertently (since visibility was so low - IT WAS A FRICKING MONSOON) parked slightly on the (clearly completely deserted) pedestrian crossing for the ten to fifteen seconds

Note that I have not Fisked out part of his statement in order to make it look any better or worse than it was when he wrote it. Section 173 simply says that you are not to park 3 metres after the crossing. Jeremy didn't do that - he parked on the crossing. Now in mitigation, he wasn't there for long, and like he says, he reckons he did it inadvertently, but I read a few more sections and did not find any paragraphs that offered mitigation in relation to the length of time one parked illegally, or the weather conditions. Yes, getting a ticket in those circumstances might be seen as a rough trot, but my unlawlerly eye does not detect anything that suggests the law was not broken.

Jeremy can of course contest the ticket in court, and he's welcome to do so. If he gets off, half his luck. But if he loses, or fails to contest the ticket, then I don't think it is right of him to run around claiming that he did not break the law. I am not accusing him of breaking the law - the parking inspector did that when he wrote him a ticket. If some sharp-eyed legal type can point out to me how section 173 was not infringed by this:

I inadvertently (since visibility was so low - IT WAS A FRICKING MONSOON) parked slightly on the (clearly completely deserted) pedestrian crossing for the ten to fifteen seconds

then I will accept that no law was broken.

From a safety perspective, if it was raining so hard, then it was not entirely sensible to be driving around anyway. If you can't see where you are going, stop driving. Pull over and wait for conditions to clear.

Also, if conditions were that bad and visibility that low, then Jeremy might consider himself lucky that someone else who couldn't see where they were going didn't run up his arse when he was stopped in a no-stopping zone.


There is another reason for why my comments might have ended up in the waste basket - I vented (as requested) at the HREOC and Legal Aid - calling them welfare for lawyers. Or maybe even welfare for useless lawyers. I don't know - whatever it was, I was not being nice about them.

Does Jeremy work for either body? Beats me, and I don't care if he does. One of his commenters though didn't take too kindly to me:


It must be nice to be you.

Cut any public spending you don't believe you are ever likely to need.

Did you know that one of the major areas of Legal Aid cutbacks at the moment is Independent Representation for Children in Family Law matters.

You know, someone to protect them and ensure their best interests are advocated for in an adversarial system

F*** the kids, eh. Sponging little welfare bastards.

Gravatar By way of clarification, my post above is in relation to now deleted comments by BB regarding Legal Aid and HREOC being funding for sponging welfare types that should be cut.

Actually, I had no idea that our legal aid money was being used in this fashion, or that it was being cut back. News to me, and I'd appreciate it if anyone could point me at a source for this. Sounds like something interesting to read about. I can't grasp why kids would need independent representation at the Family Court. Also, if the parents are fighting over a pile of assets, why not pay for the legal advice for the kids out of those assets, and then split what is left? Why does legal aid have to get involved?

As for HREOC, I was involved long ago in the re-fit of an office floor that had recently been vacated by HREOC. It was in a very nice building right in the CBD - literally a stone's throw from the Pitt St Mall (which is the most expensive real estate in Australia, and some of the most expensive in the world), and the floor was a doozy.

It had the highest ratio of offices to workstations that I have ever seen anywhere in the public or private sector, and that includes me spending a bit of time on the executive floors of a number of corporations. The offices were all of a pretty good size, and the cabling contractor working on the job whistled when he first saw the furniture - he called it the "most expensive workstation furniture that money can buy".

In short, it was a really swanky place to work. I tried hard to wangle a spot for myself on that floor - it was that luxurious, the location was that good and the view was nothing to laugh at either.

One might ask then what the fuck the HREOC was doing lavishing an enormous amount of money on offices for itself. Either it had oodles of cash sloshing around, or it had diverted money from "valuable advocacy work", and then cried poor, in order to feather the nest of its lawyers.

Now I have worked with lawyers from some pretty highly priced law firms, and I have seen where they work. Sure, their reception area is always pretty nice, but they never spend any money on the back offices where all the work is done. HREOC on the other hand just threw money at everything. They lavished money on themselves. That is why I have such a low opinion of that august body.

If I had it my way, I'd relocate HREOC to Parkes or Lismore or Junee - somewhere that has cheap rent. Now I'm sure the first argument to be made against that would be that the HREOC needs to attract people that are "passionate about its causes". Yes - but if they are that passionate about it, they won't be bothered about living and working in Wee Waa. I'm not sure why "passionate" people need to be ensconsed in the lap of luxury. I've been passionate about a lot of the jobs I've held, and I haven't given a bugger about where I have sat, or the view, the plushness of the carpet or the quality of the artwork. You can sit me at a trestle table in the basement, and so long as the job grips me, I won't care.

Besides, those that are working hard don't need a view. They are too busy working.


PS - It just occured to me that the difference between the parking inspector and Jeremy is that the parking inspector works at the airport, and has probably seen motorists do 1000 stupid things out the front, whilst Jeremy has probably only been there a few times - or even once. What Jeremy has not considered is the enormous experience that his oppressor has in managing parking and traffic in the area out the front of the airport, and the fact that he has probably had to deal with untold parking violations and numerous safety hazards.

When we moved to our current address, we had only been here a few days when we almost got a ticket. Luckily, we were approaching our car at the same time as the inspector (who we later found out has a reputation as a Nazi) and he berated J for parking in that particular spot - citing safety reasons which we both thought we spurious. However, we moved the car and we got away with nothing more than an argument.

Having been here for a year, and now having a reasonable amount of experience and knowledge about the street, I have to acknowledge that he was completely and utterly right, and we were wrong. We had parked in a spot that was a safety hazard, but the hazard has only become clear to us with the gaining of knowledge. He was right to get up us, and good on him for standing his ground in the face of an argument with J.


By the way, I regard "I was only parked on part of the pedestrian crossing for a few seconds" as similar to trying to get away with, "I drove through the red light because I looked both ways and no one was coming and it was 2am".


Jeremy said...

It was off-topic because the subject was the dickhead behaviour of the parking inspector (not just in booking me in that context, but in his abusive demeanour), not whether the law permitted him to book me or not.

You and the Blairites just wanted to go on about how I'd apparently broken the law. Since that had nothing to do with the point of the post - whether you're right or not, the point stands - it was fairly obvious that the only reason you lot were harping on about it was as a means to attack me. Jeremy's broken the law! He's a lawyer! Woo!

You reckon I should let my comments be used for that sort of drivel?

Tell you what. When you start blogging under your real name, we'll see how open YOU are to personal attacks aimed at you and your job.

Anonymous said...

"and good on him for standing his ground in the face of an argument with J"... why, is she scary?

Anonymous said...

I reckon he's a parking officer.

Anonymous said...

Isn't J Bike Boy's wife? Funny if he married a parking officer.