Police Commissioner’s Poverty chic

Victoria Police Chief Commissioner Simon Overland’s counsel to Indian students to ”look as poor as you can” to evade being battered by thugs, should be taken as serious advice to all Victorians, not just Indian students.

The Chief Commissioner may have just found the core issue underpinning much of the state’s street crime, if we all strived for poverty chic there would be less ‘opportunistic crime’.

Overland’s advice may instigate a new wave of spending sprees on op-shop clothes not witnessed since the early 80’s.

There would also be more public phone usage, as one would have to hide the iPhone.

And, the Internet café industry would augment, as no personal laptops would be publicly visible anymore. Whole new industries of personal IT and brand downscaling may just do the trick.

We can all learn something form the Chief Commissioner and in doing so save some money on technology and brand name clothes.


Who said that? Who’s there? Oh yes, it was the Premier of Victoria, Mr Brumby. It has become a mantra for him.

Up until last week any question that even hinted at the idea that some of the recent attacks on Indian students may have had a racist motivation were met with, (to paraphrase the Mr Brumby), “I do not believe that Victorians are racists.”

However in response to the Greg Sheridan piece earlier in the week, the Victorian Premier finally conceded that there are some Victorian who are racist.

On the Spit agrees with Mr Brumby that not all Victorians are racists, but some are. And some of those that are racist are dangerous.

Ask the Indians who were victims of their brutality.

However we are mystified why it took the Victorian Premier so long to come out and just say that?

Why not just say, “Yes some of these attacks are racist, and we in a successful multicultural state, will do all we can to stop them.”

For months it feels like Premier Brumby and the Brumby government was in a state of denial.

On The Spit understands what is at stake here socially, politically and economically but sometimes being cautious does more damage than being direct.

It would have been be better for all, to have said what we all know empirically and intuitively; from the first day to have said the truth.

Yes, Australians, like others in the world, have some stupid racists living among them.

Not too many thankfully, we’re generally ok.

The overwhelming majority of Australians love cultural diversity and iPhones.

Most of us have no problem with a little BLING being shown off in public.

It would have been so easy.

It’s the Indian Media…

The Premier blames the Indian media for beating it all up but the real beating, the type that hurts, maims and injures – physically, mentally, culturally and economically – is the one meted out against the Indian students, not by the Indian media.

Here is where the Premier was a little confused, he may have forgotten that India is the world’s largest democracy and their media, do and say what they want.

Then again, there is a state election looming – and who knows there maybe some doggy whistling going on…

Noses out of joint

As the new broom sweeps through the corridors of the Greek Community of Melbourne and Victoria, it seems that a few noses are out of joint when it comes to the appointment new Antipodes Festival board members.

On The Spit was flooded with a flurry of emails revealing that the term of a number of existing ‘independent’ and former GOCMV Board members from the losing side had lapsed as a result of the recent elections.

We found the response ironic because for a long time people who were not serving GOCMV board members have been appointed to the Antipodes Board on the basis of ‘nudge nudge wink wink.’

You know, along the lines of if one faction has seven people from within its sphere of influence on the Antipodes Board, the other faction has appointed seven people from within its sphere of influence.

However the clean sweep of the Papastergiadis camp has meant that the ‘balance of power’ approach to the appointment of Antipodes Board members is no longer necessary.

The Antipodes Board has called for expressions of interest from people interested in serving on the board for 2010 – 2011.

On the one hand On The Spit gives the thumbs up to the Antipodes Board for this more systematic approach to appointing Board members.

On the other hand it also gives the thumbs down to the Antipodes Board for not putting out a public call for nominations and for not announcing what priority areas they are looking to address with the appointment of new board members.

Nor have they made clear on what basis they will decide who does and doesn’t make the cut.

On The Spit looks forward to seeing who is and isn’t appointed to the Antipodes Board as an independent.