NSW Government has to do more….

I generally don’t make opinionated comments on political subjects that are not in my field of work or have no direct relevance to my personal life but I feel that this subject needs to have plenty of comment from the public to make Barry O’Farrell and his team listen (BTW, I am a staunch liberal supporter).

There needs to be harsher penalties for those idiots out there that think they can get a belly full of alcohol and go out there and knock someone down just for the sheer hell of it or to prove what a “man” they are. As we have seen in the past 18 months there can be devastating effects with the death of an innocent person just out to have a good time. Or the serious injuries caused (sometimes long lasting) to those persons out with friends.

This senseless violence, more often than perpetrated by drunk fools needs to be stamped out and the only way to do this is to come down hard on those responsible..yes, I am talking about mandatory sentencing for random and senseless acts of violence. Courts and judges have their place in our legal system, but sometimes the sentencing just has to be written into our laws.

(And as I write this I watch on the news another 19 year old has been bashed in Penrith at the McDonalds by a stranger. This just highlights my personal opinion on this matter)

My wife Jade and I made a conscious decision some 8 years ago to stay away from going out in the city unless we had to because it was just getting too dangerous. Having seen friends come close to being bashed due to simply running into someone as they left a toilet in a club or finding out that our next door neighbour got bashed because he “had a go” at a girl for kicking his coke bottle over as he sat and ate a pie in a city park early one morning and the girl’s boyfriend calls his mates to come back to set upon my neighbour and his friends is more than enough reason to want to stay away from the city. Sad really, because we love Sydney and we met in a nightclub (good old Berry St Tavern) and loved the nightlife, but not at the expense of our safety.

There also needs to be stricter rules and regulations in trouble spots to help reduce the number of drunk idiots on our streets. I am one who believes very strongly in supporting small and medium businesses as they are an important part of our economy and I know restrictions on opening hours etc can result in lost profts and job cuts (as will be argued) but when society has to deal with the effects of alcohol fuelled violence, something needs to be done

Maybe RSA laws can be enforced better. As an example of the system breaking down my own firm was “cut off” after one drink in a local drinking establishment in Crows Nest on our christmas party because one of the girls threw a napkin and we were “too loud” (mind you, the place was packed and you had to yell to be heard) yet they allowed us to finish our drinks (which was a double round)….? If we were that drunk that we couldn’t buy anymore drinks should we have been allowed to firstly buy them and secondly finish what we bought ? No, i don’t think so.

I obtained my RSA in 1999 and I am pretty sure they should have asked us to leave straightaway if we were that bad. As I said, just an example of where the RSA rules meant nothing really because we could still have a drink when we were deemed to be “drunk”, all 15 of us (even though there were 3 non-drinkers). If this practice is repeated in trouble hot spots across Sydney it is easy to see why there are drunk idiots on our streets causing violence.

Finally, I totally agree that the term “king hit” needs to be changed for “coward punch”. Like everyone else I concur that these idiots are not “Kings”, they are total cowards, too scared to go toe to toe with their target because sometimes you just don’t know what sort of self defense skills they have OR they could even be a black belt. They prefer to come from behind or from the side like cowards. This is not war, there is no prize for using the element of surprise when you punch someone walking along the street with their girlfriend whether you have a reason to or not. It is a dog act and you are not a man. And like we have seen, this sort of coward punch can change the lives of not only the victim but so many others.

I saw this personally some years ago when my cousin Andy was attacked via a “king hit” as he waited to go to school at a train station. It was a pre-meditated attack, with the offender having warned him either the day before or a few days before that if he turned up at the train station that day he would get him. He did, from the side, with a “coward punch” that put Andy in hospital with swelling and bleeding on the brain and permanent damage and a huge scar on the side of his head in the shape of a question mark (fitting actually…as he has always been a bit clueless..sorry cuz 🙂 ). He is lucky to be alive today as the coward used a knuckle duster as well. He was too scared too take Andy on man to man because he probably knew Andy could defend himself (I know, we went toe to toe a few times at the motorbike park) and would probably kick his arse so he opted for the coward option and hit him before Andy knew he was there.

The personal toll on his immediate family (as well as the extended clan) at the time was huge and I could not imagine what the effect would have been then and still to this day if he had not been lucky to survive and recover to lead a fairly normal life. He would not have married and produced three beautiful children thus robbing my uncle and ex-aunt of these special events…it is easy to see how the effects can be far reaching.

As I said at the start, I don’t normally make comment on topics like this but enough is enough. I love our city and have lived here all my life but with two young children now of my own, I want it to be a safe place for them to go out when they are older so that they can experience the magic that Sydney provides.

Ok, rant over 🙂


Published by James Solomons

FCA, GAICD. Innovative Business Leader. Global CFO @Xref (ASX:XF1). Director at @business_Depot (formerly Aptus Accounting & Advisory @AptusAA). Former Head of Accounting @Xero Australia. Advocate, Entrepreneur & Educator #Family #Football #Fastcars!

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