I have not commented on the recent riots in Sydney, which have been reported in the global media, for the reason that the scale and size of them are not particularly great. They certainly have been overblown in the media, both in Australia and overseas.
Of course, that is not to detract from the nastiness of them for the victims. People have been beaten, stabbed, and had their property vandalised in a deeply unpleasant way. But compared to what happened in Paris, these disturbances are very small beer.
However they are also very different to the Paris riots because the causes of them are totally different. In Paris, people were rioting because of the perceived heavy handedness of the French state and discrimination issues. There may or may not have been an Islamic element as well.
The Sydney disturbances were nothing of the sort. They were started by outraged ‘surfers’ and beach bums who were incited by populist media types, and also by some deeply unpleasant racist thugs. They were continued by the people that they were protesting about- the gangs of thugs who have been causing a constant law and order issue for Sydney residents for several years now.
These gangs have been allowed to ‘run amok’ because, not to put too fine a point on it, they are Lebanese Muslims. The nominally ‘centre left’ ALP state government has been too terrified of being accused of racism to uphold the rule of law. This leads to massive double standards in the enforcement of justice, which has been a feature of policing in Sydney.
There have been two developments in consequence to these riots, both of which are deeply depressing. The first is that the NSW State government is using the riots to claim for itself massive increases in police powers in order to ‘deal’ with the situation. Those who have seen the NSW police force in action over a long period are unlikely to have confidence that these powers will not be abused.
Secondly, the Australian media has indulged itself in a veritable orgy of self-flagellation about race relations in Australia and ‘multiculturalism’. The few blogs willing to point out the law enforcement issues involved have been ignored.
Equality before the law is supposed to be a core principle of any government that fancies itself to be democratic. Yet in Australia, no one wants to talk about it. Draw your own conclusions.