Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Still the Shakedown State



It is early days yet, but there is already much to like about Victoria’s new premier, Denis Napthine, starting with the fact that he is not Ted Baillieu. The polls suggest this is not an appraisal restricted to the Billabong, as it is now possible to conceive of the Coalition actually winning a second term. The state’s latest budget, just revealed, also has some very encouraging items, not least a firm and large investment in the East-West tunnel, which will burrow under Fitzroy and the Old Melbourne Cemetery to unite the Eastern Freeway with the Bolte Bridge’s entre to the Westgate. At the moment, as vexed motorists are all too well aware, the drive from Springvale Road to Hoddle Street takes about 20 minutes. Then comes 30-minutes of stop-start-stop city traffic, followed by a crawl through Royal Park on single-lane Elliott Avenue. After that a short haul to the Bolte’s access ramp and, finally, the delayed delight of feeling the transmission slip once again into top gear. On a journey from, say, Donacaster to Geelong, crawling that short, inner-city gauntlet may well consume half the travel time.

Not only does a tunnel make sense, it will drive to apoplexy the sprout nibblers and hipsters who detest cars so much they want them clogging their streets in perpetuity. As those black-clad luvvies on their bloody bicycles represent what the deluded Baillieu imagined to be his party’s natural constituency, the fact that we now have a premier prepared to incur their ire is a wonderful thing. Napthine is not Henry Bolte, to be sure, but he is a definite improvement on his predeccessor. Mind you, that would not be hard.

Less encouraging is another budget item: a 13 percent increase in speeding fines, which it is likely will soon incur a penalty of around $200 for being 3kph over the limit. This is smaller than the margin of error allowed for a typical, and legal, vehicle’s speedo; moreover, a higher- or lower-profile tyre can easily make the dashboard reading expensively incorrect. Worth noting, too, is that this year’s progressive road toll is below last year’s, so it is not as if Victoria’s motorists need further reminding of the need to behave themselves.

Now here is the thing: why do we Victorians continue to put up with this racket? Speed cameras are mounted on low poles at hundreds of intersections throughout the state. And on top of that, flying squads of revenue leeches operate mobile cameras, especially in spots where downhill gradients make the business of money-grubbing entrapment so much more lucrative.

Arise, citizen! See a speed camera, come back after dark with a spray can and paint over the peeping window. Two seconds work and it is done! As for those parasites in their cars, usually parked illegally on nature strips or in No Standing zones, what is the point of having a rich and vibrant Criminal-Australian community if its members act responsibly in the face of provocation? A few panel-kicking exercises and spirited expressions of contempt by those temperamentally suited to such outbursts and the mobile cameras would be withdrawn for their operators’ peace of mind.

By way of example, the Professor has already taken a small step toward helping Premier Napthine understand that, while annoying Fitzroy pseuds is a good thing,  stealing from decent people is not. Several old fence palings studded with nails are now waiting in the hidden, flat, grassy area beside a nearby road where mobile speed cameras set up every two weeks or so. If the state government is going to rob innocent motorists blind, let it spend its filched lucre on new tyres and tow trucks.

The speed revenuers are low, filthy bastards. If Napthine persists with this latest stepped-up shakedown, he might as well join Tossed Out Ted at the next Brunswick Street poetry slam.



19 comments:

  1. Here in the Rum Corps state it might take an hour to drive the 12km from the F3 to the M7 along our most important national 'highway', or one and a half hours to do 50km from Newcastle to Singleton in our state's economic engine room. But at least you can do these deplorable, miserable drives without major threat of robbery. No doubt Bazza, with his not-so-closetted love for the Green and the Red, and his general hatred of those irresponsible things called 'businesses' and 'workers', will work on turning this around to the financial advantage of the Corps.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Strictly speaking if you cop a fine for exceeding the speed limit by 3 km/h, you were actually over by 6 km/hr.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So what Peter? Is 60km/h a magic quantity beyond which it suddenly becomes unsafe to drive? 'Speeding' is a crock. It doesn't even mean anything; it's an adverb for goodness sake. There were always suitable laws for discouraging dangerous driving. They were the 'dangerous driving' laws (really??), and 'driving without due care'. 'Speeding' is just a very inarticulate and senseless subset of those laws. How it ever passed through the legal system should be studied.

      Delete
    2. I thought it was a gerund. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
      BTW Prof in Greece they blew them up and in the UK they set fire to them.

      Delete
    3. Strictly speaking, the leeway is there for the measuring device. If you cop a fine for 3k over it is because the state alleges you exceeded the limit by 3k. Cash cameras are a blight on our state.

      Delete
  3. I like this "civil disobedience" version of Professor Bunyip. I like him a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We are forever being told more and more speeding tickets are being issued. If such is the case, speed cameras/speeding fines are not deterring drivers from breaking the speed limits. If they are not deterring these actions, they are not doing the job they were introduced to do, the system should be shut down and a more effective method introduced, e.g. get visble police cars out on the roads.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They are doing precisely what they were introduced to do.

      Delete
    2. Indeed. Raising revenue. "Safety cameras" - spare me, the govt couldn't care less about safety - the plebs will kill themselves regardless. Camera's are nothing but a means of picking the plebs pockets again, all under the warm and fuzzy bs of caring for your safety

      Delete
  5. http://english.controleradar.org/burning-gatso.php

    ReplyDelete
  6. The Old and Unimproved DaveMay 8, 2013 at 6:44 PM

    The vexing question facing Premier Naphthalene is: When he goes under the cemetary, does he go for the most recent end, on account of that mob's the freshest, or does he tunnel towards the older ex-punters, based on the probable plethora of Ballarat-era gold teeth, which will make a handsome contribution to the State's bottom-line?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Dave, we can expect them to be a little more careful than the state government which ordered the construction of the Victoria Market on the site of Melbourne's first cemetery -- the syphilitic remains of John Batman are still there, under a doughnut wagon or somesuch. Of less note, according to my long departed granny, is a great great great great aunt Bunyip.

      I recall Gran telling me as a child that all protests were ignored, the headstones were razed and that the contents of shallow graves were shovelled into drays, taken away and dumped.

      This link gives a potted history of the site -- http://www.qvm.com.au/qvm/market_history.aspx -- and insists bodies were treated with respect. Gran would argued the toss, having told me me that bits of dead people kept washing into gutters while construction was ongoing. She grew up right across the road on Victoria Street, so I'm inclined to believe her

      They didn't pay much heed to Nimby's back then.

      Delete
  7. Under the Cemetary? If the roof gives way it'll be zombie-apocalypse.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I think Denis is off to a good start, your are right Prof, anything was an improvement of Ted the Toff but Denis certainly is putting a bit a stick about and getting things done.
    I think he will get better as the year rolls on and that tall streak of misery Daniel Andrews will be the next ALP leader discarded in the dustbin of history.
    He's tenure as health minister in the Brumby Government must have left plenty of skeletons in the closet to be wheeled out by Napthine at the appropriate time.

    ReplyDelete
  9. All should keep in mind that it was a bankrupt and laughably incompetent Labor Government that brought in the speed cameras, after waiting for a wet weekend for political cover.

    ReplyDelete
  10. What's a gerund? You must realise that I was educated in an Australian school where the teaching of gramma' is considered too much of a mental stretch for us dim-wits.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The Old and Unimproved DaveMay 10, 2013 at 9:09 PM

      A gerund looks like the present participle of a verb, but it functions as a noun in a sentence.

      "Fishing is my favourite recreation."

      Delete
  11. Speed camera prevalence is nothing more than State sponsored harassment.

    ReplyDelete
  12. "Daniel Andrews will be the next ALP leader discarded in the dustbin of history"

    Soon to be replaced by Jacinta Allan, one of the twin agony aunts from central Victoria.

    Alas poor Yorrick now wears horns as did Jacinta's former beau.

    A well ploughed furrow was once thought to lead to the light on the hill, but now twists and turns its way to a shack in Carlton.

    There will be a bloody fight amongst the Trades Hall misandrists for Andrews' spread and flattened green leather.

    What sport it will be...

    ReplyDelete