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Newman's punt

Posted October 15, 2013 into Blunty by John Birmingham

The whole War on Bikies thing is starting to shit me. I suspect there's a lot of theatre of the absurd going on here. Especially when considered in the context of what the Qld government is doing with casino licenses.

Hence, Blunty.

44 Responses to ‘Newman's punt’

Squig Jones puts forth...

Posted October 15, 2013

Dear “Baby Joh”

Yes you can drag us, all of us in QLD back in time to the eighties but eventually the 21st century will come knocking on your door. Please by all means follow the instructions of your dark lord and master and destroy the social fabric in another three communities. I have worked in a casino as an electrician and I have watched the destruction occur. Every two weeks the old age pensioners would flood in and “hit the pokies”. That *cough BULLSHIT! Entertainment precinct or whatever weasel word name you want to use was finally making enough money to pay my wages. Through the transparent ceiling of the gaming floor I watched the wait staff walking around with trays of free nibblies and big jugs of free iced cordial. The staff behind the food counter were secretly instructed to not charge anything for the cheapest items available. Everything possible was done to keep them at the machines. OK fair enough that's just business, But then while watching from above feeling exactly like a vulture I saw a pattern. Every so often the machine attendants would have difficulty removing someone from in front of a machine and they would call security and a completely broken person, head down, shoulders slumped, probably crying would be helped out of the gaming floor through a side door so that they never went passed the front desk. Security would put them in a completely free taxi and send them home. It was the only job in the whole hotel that every single security guard hated doing. Once I realised that the wages that I was having a lot of fun spending on anything else except gambling was almost 100 percent gained by being a parasite on society I had to leave that evil place. I wasn't a machine attendant or a manager I didnt even work on the gaming floor. All I did was keep the lights on and the air condition on. I made a contribution though and once I realised that 99 percent of my wages was misery money I had to leave. No choice.

John Birmingham reckons...

Posted October 15, 2013

Thanks for this comment. It was sobering.

Squig Jones is gonna tell you...

Posted October 15, 2013

The funniest part of all is that OMCG's would have been a total wet dream for security because most were exmilitary and when it is a case of honest clean battle where the enemy identifies himself by wearing a uniform weeeelllllll who knows what might happen. Jeeeeeezzzzzzz the poor buggers in Afghanistan don't get that privilage. I tell ya John its a sad state of affairs when fighting guys on bikes at home is a cleaner fight than going to war for freedom is. No fucking fun in the army anymore.

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Halwes would have you know...

Posted October 15, 2013

Gees John Can you please ensure your home security and life insurance are paid up.? I'd rather shit the bikies off than go up against the nasty, organised criminals in the casino industry and the guvmint. The WOB is another example of the police state that Australia is rapidly becoming. Try living in a remote community in the NT and tell me I'm wrong although, bless their substance abusing little hearts, the blackfellas have figured out how to circumvent the system admirably and it's only stupid whitefellas that ever get busted for anything. We've got cops at airports, roadblocks, laws that allow them to smash your door down if they smell a scoob or even imagine that they do. This is all in response to some rabid murdoch press that the great unwashed devour as truth.

The problem with poker machines is that they are a tax on dumb people that don't understand the odds. These are the people that can least afford to lose. A poker machine will take 12 cents in the dollar off you no matter what. It is a mathematical impossibility that you can play poker machines long term and win. It is a computer designed to take your money off you and the govmint runs on the revenue. Why support a manufacturing industry when you can pay for your pollie perks much more easily by ripping off poor people. What's the bet Clive gets a casino licence?

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted October 15, 2013

The thing I've never understood about the appeal of casino gambling, or any gambling, is that the odds have tobe stacked in favor of the house. Otherwise there would be no gambling. Why would you play a game when the odds are rigged to ensure you always, eventually, lose.

Lulu asserts...

Posted October 15, 2013

"when the odds are rigged to ensure you always, eventually, lose."

When I was doing statistics in first year, roulette was used an example and it was shown how/why in the long run, the house will always win. I think everyone believes they're the special little snowflake which will win.

Darth Greybeard has opinions thus...

Posted October 15, 2013

I used to teach that very thing and you're right. They can do the maths and get the right answer but the brain shuts down when the big win calls. I showed my son the only legal way to guarantee winning at roulette. He doesn't gamble but he tried it twice at a casino with friends. Both times they quietly 'suggested' he leave the table. Only losers are welcome.

John Birmingham puts forth...

Posted October 15, 2013

Hmm? We must have a chat.

Dino not to be confused with has opinions thus...

Posted October 15, 2013

Appeal Of Casinos?

My girlfriend won a trip to Cairns back in 2003 or 4.

Real fancy hotel.Best I have ever been to. Beautiful.

We got dressed up to go to Cairns Casino. We were both first timers.

Casino Virgins.

Suit and tie for me a she looked hot as hell.

I was 'James Bond' way before Casino Royale came out again.

I figured I would show the Lady a good time and blow 50, no I'm gonna blow a whole 100 dollars and live the high life. Bond, James Bond.

We entered the Casino and my world quantum shifted.

What a Fucking Dive!

We looked at each other and gave my 'tonne' away to the sorry fucks who worked there.

I cleaned the soles of my shoes after leaving.

w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted October 15, 2013

To the question, Why would you do it?
Why would you overeat?
Why would you ever have more than 2 or 3 standard measures of alcohol in a day?
The pokies I know a fair bit about due to having friends you have a problem. But to see them sit in front and put the first 20 bucks in. The physical relaxation that immediately occurs.
The "Ahhhh' moment of peace and the world slipping away. You can see why they like it. The visual display, the interaction, the pleasurable pattern recognition even if it is not a winner: it is immersive, encouraging, collaborative.
All that psychologist designed computer voodoo.

And you do win, How many times have I heard.
"I won $750 on Tuesday. I couldn't lose."
"I took $600 out of that machine last night".
Of course, it only indicates the scale of their losses in a rigged bet. But they forget the losses.
'Could I borrow 50 bucks until next payday?"

damian reckons...

Posted October 15, 2013

Sounds like the basis of a sequel to Tassie Babes...

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w from brisbane mumbles...

Posted October 15, 2013

I've had contact with senior National law enforcement officials over the years and when the organised crime topic is discussed, I have never heard bikies mentioned.

Needless to say, unlike bike groups, the most effective major organised crime groups do not go around helpfully wearing an "I'm a crook" jacket.

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Therbs reckons...

Posted October 15, 2013

Associated with the casinos are the loan sharks, drug dealers and their enforcers. Nah, nothing wrong with either. Just hide them all behind some potted palms, dark suits and a buffet.

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Lulu asserts...

Posted October 15, 2013

I misread that as "War on Bikes", and I thought JB was going for some clickbait by mentioning cyclists. Because that seems to work for The Age online - cyclists or real estate.

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Darth Greybeard mumbles...

Posted October 15, 2013

I think mine was canned by the lawyers. And I tried to be so careful. Basically though, who owns the Casinos? Where is all this cash going? Locally or OS? And do the companies who run the casinos provide perfectly legal donations to the LNP?

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Therbs puts forth...

Posted October 15, 2013

GB - think Packer winning the licence for the second casino at Darling Harbour. Now he's gonna be consulted by Newman. Nothing wrong with that if you're the 'Son Of Goanna'. Not only do you get a licence to print money but you get asked by a cletus Premier how it should be done and most likely cop some consultancy fees on top of another licence or two. Corruption on a grand scale?

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Blarkon reckons...

Posted October 15, 2013

Can't have Bris-Vegas without lots of Casinos.

Trowzers ducks in to say...

Posted October 15, 2013

Newman doesn't seem to realise that 'Bris-vegas' is a parody name.

Apparently we're 'bleak' without more casinos!

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Dino not to be confused with has opinions thus...

Posted October 15, 2013

JB,

Does the QLD Government stil play the overnight money market with the Public Purse?

They used to years ago. I knew someone.

Highly Illegal.

How much money did they lose?

Rob mumbles...

Posted October 16, 2013

They did in Tassie. they were funding major infrastructure projects with the profits, the councils were doing a similar thing. Then the GFC (get fucked capitalism) hit and suddenly they couldn't build the new Hobart hospital. Then the Councils sued the advisors who helped them lose ratepayers money.

A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

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Dino not to be confused with swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 15, 2013

I am commenting here cause the SHM/BT site has gone apeshit and want me to part with a whole dollar for a one month subscription.

I spend more on toilet paper and frankly my opinion isn't worth a whole dollar.

You've got it all wrong JB.

The QLD'rs have done a deal with the Bikies cause the Bikies can't launder their money.

So each little chapter will have their turf and Casino.

"Gotta keep the separated"

Not only that, the cash money from drugs and whores and hits can now be taxed.

Win WIn.

John Birmingham mutters...

Posted October 16, 2013

Dino, if you go in thru BT you won't get that message.

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OutOfCheese ducks in to say...

Posted October 15, 2013

VLAD. The legislation spells VLAD. VLAD. For f-ks sake. Can someone let these infantile muppets know that they are supposed to at least act like they're pretending to be adults while governing, rather that playing idiotic acronym games?

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Spanner mutters...

Posted October 15, 2013

My irony-meter went off the scale when I noticed the advert by el-goog at the top of the Blunty

"ADS BY GOOGLE

THE GAME IS ON

www.tabtouch.com.au

We're Upping the Game! Back your team with TABtouch"



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NBlob mutters...

Posted October 15, 2013

To sell anything one convince the buyer of a value proposition. "This X will do Y for you, which is totes worth the low low price." So as a salesman one frames the sell in the most favourable light.

The LNP couldn't reasonably make an argument that they'd provide more schools or services, so they pitched their sale mostly around intangibles, immeasurables & externalities.

In time for the coming elections the ALP will have to put a value proposition that will convince Joe Sixpack & Wendy Home-Maker to shift their votes back.

I'm not hopefull. I believe that under every coalition government the % of employees who are shifted across to contractor status, part time or casual basis increases. When people live without security, they tend to vote for less generous conditions for those who most need the support.

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Legless is gonna tell you...

Posted October 15, 2013

Everyone's talking about the casinos and gambling but is anyone giving a thought for the bikies? More specifically, the new laws that allow them to "get tough" on bikies?

No bail. For any offence. Drop a piece of litter in the street
and you're banged up, without bail until court. Contest the charge? Then it's back to nick with you until the case is heard.

Police have extra power to stop any group of bikers (including law-abiding recreational riders) at any time, for no reason.

Star-chambers for bikies. Don't answer a question then it's off to the nick with you. And no. You can't have bail.

A special prison just for bikies. Confined to your cell, 23 hours a day. No gym. No TV. No privileges.

I can see that the prison is an excellent idea. Lets put all the bikies from all the different gangs - most of who hate - each other in the same prison, at the same time. I mean - what could *possibly* go wrong.

I'm no defender of criminal bikies - you catch them doing something wrong - haul them before the courts, convict them and send them to prison. It's called the law. But this bunch of new and shiny laws that specifically target bikies makes me want to vomit.

Once the police have these powers they'll never give them up. And once they have these powers they'll be extended to other groups that prove to be a nuisance. It might be G8 protestors, it might be farmers protesting about fracking, it might be the homeless and eventually, it might be you.

I hate to be so cliched but if ever a verse was apt then it's now....

First they came …


Cheers

John Birmingham would have you know...

Posted October 15, 2013

I got ten bucks of Abe's says the law gets struck down at the first constitutional challenge.

SZF is gonna tell you...

Posted October 16, 2013

Exactly JB - the anti-bikie non-association laws are simply to show us what big swinging dicks our politicians have re: crime.

As one copper mate said to me recently, "Talk about bullshit. It's MUCH easier to get them for real stuff, like manslaughter, assault or possession with intent".

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Nine Fingered Freak swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 15, 2013

I read the “intent” of the laws in Bunties hosting paper and what made me pause is, if its good for the bikies, why not everyone else? You know, I have no sympathy for bikies now that the authorities are coming down hard for breaches in the current weapons (particularly in connection to the recent shootings) and drug laws (and anything else they can drag up). But the suite of laws they have cooked up leaves a bad taste in my mouth. Shall we extend and apply these laws to Unions because someone got roughed up at a building site? What about to a right wing party because a few ministers got busted attending a wedding on the public purse?

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Quokka reckons...

Posted October 16, 2013

A while ago I saw a study that showed that in homes where gambling is a problem, there's also likely to be a problem with domestic violence. The people running the study didn't expect this and they wanted DV support adds to be featured alongside the support services for problematic gambling.

I think the thing that pisses me off about the LNP gubbermint the most is the utter disregard that they have for research. They will implement draconian measures that are known to be expensive and useless and they'll cast out any constructive steps that research has indicated can improve a problem, just because being punitive and heavy handed feels good and they really don't give a shit if it actually makes matters worse. Scapegoating rather than problem solving is something that makes sense in their mean-spirited little hearts and the obvious aside to that is that when they're scapegoating one group, it takes the attention off all the sneaky shit they're doing out of the spotlight. The media get completely suckered by it, so I was really glad to see your article, JB, while the fools at ABC radio 612 were jibber-jabbering on talk-back radio about Bikies.

As you guys know, my spouse builds hospitals for a living. He said that the figures show we are only on track to supply 1/3 (if that) of the hospital beds that will be required in SEQ by 2020. Never mind the services that are needed to attend that, that's just stacking space.

Why that isn't headline news and a bunch of thugs in leather jackets are, I honestly have No Freaking Idea. The gold coast is already a tricky demographic with the number of people struggling to make ends meet. Add casinos to that, you'll get an increase in domestic violence, and the results of that usually end up with more kids who are considered 'at risk' and who will engage in the kinds of behaviours that results with them landing in jail for drug use/petty crimes. Jails are expensive to run, so unless Candoo is going to fund the jails with money from the casinos...argh. I need to stop there or my head will explode.

damian ducks in to say...

Posted October 16, 2013

See this post is why I want to be able to direct-link to comments here. Nicely said Q, all of it.

The scary thing is I sort of know the answer to the last bit: QLD has had some semi-experimental US-style privatised prisons. Sure it's an accounting fiction that they could make the state money rather than cost it, but you can bet it will be a very popular fiction in coming years. Then we'll get the invetiable nexus of corruption between sentencing judges and prison operators.

Incidentally, I tried to make this comment (the first paragraph anyway) a number of times during the day today, but for whatever reason this site here, burger not blunty, hasn't played nice with Chrome on Android or IOS7, for me at least.

NBlob puts forth...

Posted October 17, 2013

+1 Aunty Q.

This is where "Bread & Circuses" & the Theatre of Government gets really nasty.

More black-suited SpecOps Cops less social interventions. More truncheon, less compassion.

Marginalise, ostracise, criminalise.

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Futrend.tv%2Fv%2F9-out-of-10-americans-are-completely-wrong-about-this-mind-blowing-fact%2F&h=IAQF4PFWk&enc=AZN4crzaHusFnpeen3ZzeIBzdHyDNwLkN564Hjsbm9O4Kim38o1cetrpP5NwDYknAA0QZnmtwLDKuRTtfFRjRmF_wQsLDMwiZ01NbQ8BMEOg6CnDatiLNEc-6wmCImEkOleWrAB0-fgJhdH9Gaa3X5pY&s=1

Then you just need a nice gerrymander to bed it all down.

Also the gulf in Lived Experience between LNP silver-spooners like Blieje and the Depression Bay or Inala welfare dependants yawns wiedr than the grand canyon. Those born to even modest priveledge can't imagine the grinding horror of entrenched multigenerational poverty.

Dino not to be confused with reckons...

Posted October 17, 2013

Private Prisons in US?

What happens if you don't find enough criminals?

Penalty clauses.

Check out the population jump 2003/4!

http://www.globalresearch.ca/the-prison-industrial-complex-locked-up-in-america/5353924

What happened in 2003/4?

I have tried to research the US Government Sites but the "shutdown" includes the Justice system websites.

damian asserts...

Posted October 17, 2013

"Those born to even modest priveledge can't imagine the grinding horror of entrenched multigenerational poverty."

Well said, too.

damian swirls their brandy and claims...

Posted October 17, 2013

Wow, Dino, those figures are extraordinary. And yeah, what happened in 2003/4?

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Rob asserts...

Posted October 16, 2013

I think what they (governments) should be targeting is organised crime in general. Governments do this any way. What with proceeds of crimes law, unexplained wealth laws which take into account cash industries like drug dealing, tattoo shops, tax evasion, insider trading. The problem with proposed 'bikie laws' is that they look retrospective and biased ( so its not one law for all) . If the governments were clever and not knee jerk reacting, media whores then we might get some really good laws that allows the majority of people in Australia (both rich and poor) to just get on with their lives without feeling that some people can get away with anything because of their status (criminal or otherwise). However backroom deals with billionaire casino operators to make more shit house casinos doesn't exactly engender confidence that governments can actually pull this off.

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Surtac puts forth...

Posted October 17, 2013

The twitterverse was going a bit feral about this legislation yesterday arvo.

Apparently the draft law refers to not just bikies, but to any congregation of 3 or more people that the police don't like the look of. Can anyone else remember what Geheimstatspolizei means?

I'll see if I can find a link to the legislation screen grab I saw yesterday.

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Brother PorkChop has opinions thus...

Posted October 17, 2013

So is it tables, pokies or gambling in general that everyone considers destructive for our society? What about wagering on say the nags or the dishlickers, say through a Paddy Power Australian subsidiary. Does anyone consider Lotto or Scratchies gambling?

w from brisbane mutters...

Posted October 17, 2013

Yep, they are all gambling.
Pokies are probably the worst because they are engineered so precisely to destroy the vulnerable.

I heard a bloke who had a TAB franchise (off-course betting shop) talking on the radio recently. He had to get out of the business after 18 months. He couldn't morally stand it. Watching people come in and lose their whole pay over a couple of hours. Then watching them walk out ashen-faced. He couldn't imagine what they and their families were going to live on for the next 2 weeks.
As the franchisee, he knew he was morally complicit in destroying families. Probably doing more damage to children than child porn.
Of course, the government is up to its eyeballs in these rackets, so it is OK.

'

Brother PorkChop asserts...

Posted October 17, 2013

OK, I tend to agree. What is the solution to this and where does taking some responsibility for your own actions come into it? I am not saying that it is solely the individuals responsibilty but surely in this as in just general crime, the individual has to take some responsibilty. Why do the punters not take advantage of the self limit or self exclusion option? Clearly I do not understand this particular addiction, if it is an addiction, say similar to heroin. I gamble occasionally and I have a mildly addictive personality as evidenced by computer gaming and the definite thrill I get sitting at a casino table or trackside betting. BUT I have never handed over more than I can "afford".

It is an interesting topic, especially for me in my line of work.

w from brisbane puts forth...

Posted October 17, 2013

I don't mind the occasional bet myself and have had some great days at the races. Happily, the pokies have no allure to me and I find casinos to be sad places.

The whole personal responsibility thing versus regulation is a hard one. A lot of us do have a problem with gambling and the impact is catastrophic. The big destroyers are pokies and off-track betting shops. While people should be able to gamble, we should err on the side of not making it too easy. It wasn't that long ago you had to go to a race track to back a horse.
I think pokies are just evil and should be banned. Or in a slightly more realistic option, should be restricted to casinos and not be in everybody's local watering hole.
Unfortunately, the government (which is you and me) has been maximising betting turnover by increasing ease of access. Like going to your dieting fat friend's house and sniggering while you leave a big bag of sugar donuts on the table. A friend wouldn't do that and neither should the government (which is us).

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Anthony mutters...

Posted October 18, 2013

Many years ago in his pre political career days a prominent Queenland politician (now deceased) used to run an SP bookmaking bsiness. (This was well before Joh)He'd rotate between a group of mates places so as to have a different phone every week to make him hard to track. He could have paid protection to the Commissioner but resented it.

One of the mates was my uncle and we'd see him quite often there. I remember him pointing out that gambling was a mugs game and that the house always won. I also remember him refusing to take bets from peole who he knew couldn't afford it. I remember him telling someone that "You've lost enough this week, your kids need to eat mate". That's what I would define as resonsible gambling.

On the subject of "bikies" - here's some interesting quotes against the bikie laws...

From Hansard:

http://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/documents/hansard/2009/2009_11_25_WEEKLY.pdf

"The fact that there have been so many arrests indicates that existing laws are sufficient without the need to enact laws aimed directly at bikie gangs. We do not need to enact laws aimed directly at bikie gangs or other groups, but we do need to give more resources, more funding and more support to our police officers." (Page 3621)

"While I agree that people need to be protected from organised crime, there must also be the protection of personal liberties such as the freedom of association. The Premier and the Minister for Police, Corrective Services and Emergency Services have stated that people who do the right thing have nothing to fear. I will repeat that: people who do the right thing have nothing to fear. I say to the people of Queensland that, with this government, they do have something to fear. This bill encroaches on their personal freedoms and liberties. A government that tries to remove these freedoms and liberties is a government that is to be feared." (Page 3621)

"This bill is an attack on the right of freedom of association. While it is currently intended for motorcycle gangs, once again this bill does not mention the term ‘bikie’ or ‘motorcycle gangs’, and this piece of legislation could be used against any group that may fall into disfavour regardless of the purpose of their gathering." (Page 3621)

<!--[if !supportLineBreakNewLine]-->
<!--[endif]-->All spoken by the current Queensland Attorney General 4 years ago when Labor tried to introduce it's own (Much less nasty) laws...

Hypocrisy is rampant.

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Dave the Brave mutters...

Posted October 18, 2013

On a lighter note I'd like to see Hi Vis vests comulsory for all motorcyclists. Can you imagine the impact on the OMG and their colours? Oh how we'd laugh.

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NBlob puts forth...

Posted October 18, 2013

I think a detail often missed is:

It's not like Crystal Meth or Pokies just dropped from a tree fully formed. The have been crafted over years of experimentation, by people who most-assuredly know thier sh!t, to be as Addictive as possible.

This is not conspiracy theory, it is economics 101. The Client of the pokie machine manufacturer is is the venue manager whose #1 proirity is revenue, not the punter. The longer the mug punter sits at the machine, mesmerised by flashy flashy lights (and specific frequencies) lulled by jangly jingles (crafted again to be as enticing as possible) fooled by $1 Minimum Bets and tricked by side-boob flashes on the graphix the better.

If they go home to a dark house & hungry family with a maxi-pack of shame, what the hell, at least the money is now in the Venue's metaphorical trouser pocket As Per Plan.

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