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Fields of Deceit

“For the farmer sows his fields

Of barley, oats or wheat.

While the lawyer reaps fortune

From fields of deceit.”

Brian Pascoe leaned forward in the soft leather chair with one arm on the lawyer’s desk and the other hand on his knee. His brow was knitted and he felt his anger raising as he listened to the lawyers’ dissertation.

“She’s got you on those points, Brian. First, you admit you’ve come home drunk and second you admit to striking the children … ”

“But not both at the same time … bloody hell. Yes, I’ve come home drunk at times … not blind drunk mind … and then only after some event, like winning the district grand final say, or something like that … but I didn’t come home drunk and drag the kids out of bed and thump them if that’s what you mean … oh I’ve given ’em a “clip around the ear’ole” a couple of times for mucking about … ”

Brian listened to his voice as he rambled on and he was amazed that here he was defending his behaviour as a father when he was certain that he hadn’t done anything wrong! The lawyer tossed several pages of statement onto his desk and sighed as if in frustration of ever having these clients understand the finer points of law.

“I know, I know Brian … but still the facts remain. Look, it’s an old trick of evidence, I’ve used it myself at times. You take separate pieces of fact, they may be totally estranged from each other, and you bring them together to make one picture … ” The lawyer spoke with the enthusiasm of someone who obviously enjoyed the game of law … “Like two negatives of photographs … one of a person and one of a background” … he held his arms up in front of them both at eye level with his hands flat and moved them in a scissor motion … “you bring them together and you have the person standing against the background … you see” his eyes were bright. “It’s an illusion of evidence … and you can’t deny either frame … clever eh?”

He sat back and threw his hands up in acknowledgement. Brian Pascoe looked over the desk at the lawyer through narrowing eyes, he was beginning to feel out of his depth in a system that disgusted him and although it was HIS lawyer in front of him he felt a revulsion creep over his feelings.

“You people have got it all sown up, haven’t you?” He said quietly.

“What do you mean?” the lawyer looked surprised.

“Never mind.” Brian waved it aside “What’s the third accusation she’s got on me?”

“You struck her,” the lawyer read from the form.

Brian looked down at his crossed legs with the foot “tapping” at the air.

“I … I gave her a back-hander once.” Brian recalled.

“Rather vicious of you?” the lawyer pried.

Brian recalled the fight in the kitchen when they were arguing, she was only a few inches from his face yelling abuse at him and when he was about to turn away, she swung to hit him on the head and he automatically flung his arm in response and struck her on the face. she gasped and wept then … he felt his stomach knot up … he felt it knot up now … but the pride in him, the male in him did not, could not allow him to take advantage, even in her absence, of the situation …

“Yes,” Brian replied, “it was.”

The lawyer raised his eyebrow.

“Well, you’ve got to realise she has those facts on her side.” He lifted his fingers up to count them off “A … you have come home drunk … B … you have hit the children … and C … you did strike her. Brian was about to interject but the lawyer held up his hand. “Hold on, Brian, hold on … those are the facts that will be presented to the magistrate, you won’t be allowed to interject to explain in a broken-voiced, hesitant way … as a matter of legal point, I’d advise against it if what you just said to me is the best you can do … all excuses will be irrelevant, those are the facts, like the negatives of the photographs I told you about, the final picture is the one the family court will see and if you can excuse me saying; a picture paints a thousand words.”

The lawyer finished breathless, for although he was young, he already had the look of frail professionalism. There was a silence in the room, it was a room of heavy furniture, dark furniture with heavy antiques and red-bound books leaning from the walls. The lawyer was exasperated at the naivety of his client.

Brian placed his hands in his lap. He was an honest man, a hard working farmer whose shoulders had carried the burdens of work till they were broad and strong. His hands were large and hard from the raw materials that were his workload. He could see deeply into the world of his work, but he was too short-sighted for the trickery of a school of thought that would slander a man and manipulate the fact, and present the mixture as truth … and as the lawyer asserted … be blessed for it! Brian looked down at his gnarled hands, there he saw the evidence of his honesty, there was the result of his concern for his children: well-being. Anger rose to his lips.

“No, bugger it, Mr Crompton.” He spat out “I won’t accept that, I’ll fight that if only to clear my name. I’ll not accept those lies, I’ll not have it insinuated that I was a bad father … they’re lies.” He stabbed a finger at the document … his face red “no matter how clever they’re put into words and I’ll fight it, I’ll fight it” … he pounded the desk with his big fist … the lawyer gazed at the clenched fist with the knuckles all white. He sighed.

“Well, Mr Pascoe, I’ll pass that information on to my opposite colleague and we’ll deliberate on the matter … but she’s a hard one I’ll tell you that for free!”

“The first and last thing I’ll get free from you,” Brian thought.

“Right” … he responded. “But you make sure they understand!” Brian waved his index finger in emphasis.

“Well, that’ll do for now” … the lawyer stood … “I’ll get in touch with the results.”

Brian left the office and stepped out into the busy street and the sunshine. “What a world,” he mumbled as he looked back to the name plate on the archway of the “Chambers”. “What a bloody world!”

The farm set in the open countryside seemed an age away from all the intrigue of the law. Brian couldn’t comprehend how it came to all this. What started out as a marriage separation ended up with him having to prove he wasn’t some kind of monster, child abuser, a drunkard, wife basher …

“Bloody hell, what next?!” He banged his flat hands against the steering wheel of the tractor. “What the hell can a man do?” he shouted up to the blue sky. There was of course no answer.

A fortnight passed before the lawyer got in touch with him for an appointment in the office. Brian paced over the carpet as the lawyer explained the terms of agreement coldly to him …

“ … and further to agree to drop all accusations of abuse against you, should you agree to sign over custody … ” the lawyer stopped short as Brian suddenly turned and strode up to his desk.

“Agree!” he shouted “They agree! … my oath they agree!” he nodded his head in satire and anger “My bloody oath they agree … as long as I sign away my children … sure they agree! … that’s blackmail!!” he rapped his fingertips on the desk top.

“Well,” the lawyer sighed “that’s how it stands at this moment … ” he shrugged.

Brian stood straight, his lips pressed tight together, he took a deep breath to steady himself, an age of oppression arose before his eyes.

“No it bloody well isn’t.” He spoke with controlled anger. He was trembling with temper. “Not in a pink fit it isn’t!”

“But I’ll tell you how it is me ol’china, an’ I’ll tell YOU for free … It’s doin’ the “Bobby Limb” every morning till it gets to be a habit and you forget what tired is, it’s when there’s too much work and not enough time and no-one to help and they keep piling on more till you’re bent double with responsibilities and prodded on to up-hold the lot. It’s when the crops failed or the sheep come down with some pox or other and it’s any excuse to die and the fridge can’t stay empty and kids need new shoes. It’s when the machinery needs to be overhauled and the wool cheques not in yet and the fence needs mendin’ because some bloody hoon’s crashed his car through it and pissed off an’ left you with another job to do. It’s when your hand’s gashed on the reaper’s teeth so it needs a dozen stitches and you have to work the bloody thing that same after-noon so the doctor gives you some painkillers and tells you to buy a ticket in “tatts”. It’s when you’re carrying some sort of physical injury big or small every fuckin’ day for years till you’re like some sort of sick animal. It’s the workin’ in the forty plus degree heat so you’re that beat when you get home but still get called “lazy” for not doing “your share” of the housework.

It’s when you’re old and your hands are like claws for the arthritis in them and the only thing you can carry is a bloody stick. It’s being accused of trying to keep them in their place so you throw your hand down on the table in exasperation of it all, your palm up so they can see the in-grained dirt and cuts and callouses and you say to “put your hand next to mine and tell me who knows their place!”. It’s society pointing the finger when the family goes bust and asks “what’s HE doing, why isn’t HE supporting his family?” It’s the presumption that he’s some commodity that’s there for the privilege of people to work till he drops and screw what ever’s left from the corpse … Well, the presumptions wrong. I’m no boozer, I’m no child abuser, I’m no wife beater and I’m not a bastard, Mr Crompton. I’m a working man, an honest man … ” he stood solidly before the desk, anger reflected in his stance.

The lawyer’s secretary gingerly opened the door of the office and poked her head in.

“Is everything alright, Mr Crompton?” she asked.

The lawyer ssh! sshed! her out with a grimace and a wave of his hand. He gazed hatefully over his rich desk at the farmer.

“Very heroic, Brian” … he paused for effect, then pushed the paper document toward him.

“Still … that’s their proposition, and I think you know the score,” he looked slyly out of his eyes, he wanted this resolved as quick and as cleanly as possible … these “hard-working” types set his teeth on edge … they were too rough and crude-thinking for his class.

“You do realise of course, if she presses these accusations, they could well be taken out of the civil court and into the criminal court,” he added drily.

A lonely pang of hopelessness swept away Brian’s pride, he looked into the hard, cold face of his lawyer. A realisation came over him: This was no field of labour that he was in, this wasn’t a situation he could physically work his way through, this was a field of deceit and his armour of honesty and simplicity was no match for the law’s duplicity. His defence was silently swept away like a child’s castle on the evening tide. He sat wearily down in the plump cushioned chair, a fatalistic sigh escaped his lips …

“What do you advise, Mr Crompton?”

Brian sat before the form that would give his wife custody of their children. On his right sat his wife’s lawyer, then his wife. Beside them and a little back sat his wife’s father and mother, “good people the parents”, he thought, he always got on well with the old couple. On his left sat his lawyer and before him sat the court official. Brian stared down at the document in resentful awe. The official pointed with his finger to a dotted line.

“Just sign there, Mr Pascoe,” he said softly.

Brian hesitated. Both his lawyer and the wife’s lawyer placed their fingers simultaneously on the space to sign. Brian held the pen over the space, there was silence in the room as if in anticipation of some great event. Anger welled up in Brian’s heart. “Bastards! Bastards!” he was thinking as he lowered the pen. He didn’t want to sign, it was all wrong; “a document to control lives, it shouldn’t be so. A piece of paper over flesh and blood, no! it wasn’t right.” He started to write his name with his hand but his heart kept screaming: “No! No!” as the pen moved over the paper. Once before he signed a similar document in marriage, with similar people around him and now it had come to this. He fought to hold back tears of bitterness and sadness in his eyes as he finished the flourish of his family name. He dropped the pen and fell back into his chair.

“Yippee! Yippee!” his ex-wife jumped up in elation, like a child. “I’ve won!, I’ve won!” she cried and clapped her hands together in glee.

The lawyers looked at each other and rolled their eyes and her father winced. He leant over and touched his daughter on the arm as if to quieten her.

“Jilly,” he said softly, “Jilly, I don’t think”, he glanced at the ashen faced Brian sitting there … “I don’t think you realize what Brian has signed away.”

He spoke as if to quieten the woman’s ecstatic outburst, but she just shot him a glance as if to kill and he shrunk back red faced and then, hesitatingly turned his face away. Brian sat there for a moment longer while the official straightened the papers and was about to dismiss them all. Brian suddenly pushed himself back and stood up, the chair fell backwards onto the floor, he ignored it and strode impatiently to the door. He could feel the tears sting his lids even as he passed out of the room and let the big panelled doors swing to and all down the cold empty corridor he could hear Jilly’s voice crying shrilly: “I’ve won, I’ve won, I’ve won.”

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37 comments

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  1. Phil

    What do you call four lawyers on the bottom of the ocean with a concrete ring around their necks? A bloody good start.

    Lawyers are scum I wouldn’t piss on one if they were on fire. Unless of course it was to make some of them smell like a man.

    My mates daughter is in debt to one ( family lawyer) to the tune of 14 large. Her father has helped her out otherwise she would be destitute. For his 14 large he appeared in court once and wrote about four letters. Come in spinner.

    The money they pay these Shysters is nothing short of a scandal. They do absolutely nothing tangible for the human race. Nothing.

    The laws are convoluted because when these cretins first surfaced to ply their trade. Did I say trade? I must be losing my grip on reality, they paid them a penny a line to write the laws.

    That they can earn more than a plumber an electrician or oh fuck it, any other tradesman for that matter, is a con-job of monumental proportion. Being a lawyer is a license to lie and to print money. Most of them are little better than the life that lives in my garden pond.

  2. David Bruce

    We can blame the lawyers for the mess our country is in today. It is not just families who have been shattered.

    By means of stealth, glossa and dog latin, our legal fraternity have allowed identities to be stolen and used for gain.

    Our constitution has been bastardized and lawyers who become politicians are the most dangerous of all!

    I understand Gough was a constitutional lawyer?

  3. pierre wilkinson

    and like the 6 per day that just give up in frustration, every day, he will end up as another suicide statistic…
    meanwhile the family court continues to vilify males falsely accused of all sorts of heinous activities from a spiteful, vindictive spouse…
    and some men laughingly “give it to the missus – to keep her in her place”
    and we as a country continue to ignore it..
    and our politicians give it all lip service, promise an enquiry then proceed to do nothing except defund any agencies that might have offered assistance…
    and life goes on

  4. Joseph Carli

    Well, pierre…although it did not end well, it didn’t get as bad as you predicted…One of the children when old enough to make her own decision went to live with the father…who married again and I believe is still to this day with the same partner…

  5. wam

    lawyers trade on honesty and ignorance they have spent countless hours studying how to deliver an abject lie with the sincerity of truth.
    After such training it is easy to take from anyone unable to reciprocate wealth and to fawn over those that can.
    Teachers are in the same vein and both seek the safety of politics.

    I admire one geoffrey robertson and other parts of gillard and gough.

    The law is a whip and the closed union shop stewards know how to crack it.

    Who wouldn’t love to make a parallel court system where no lawyers lived and complaints a la 18c could be freely heard about them not by them.

  6. Joseph Carli

    Wam…the entire mummery of the legal system is worthy of a discussion equal to the most facile whinging we are so keen to discuss in our everyday commentary..Anyone who has been “sifted” through the Family Court system will know of the Machiavellian intrigues that can be confected against the other party..the depths of dark insinuation depending on the depths of the pocket of the lawyer’s clients…The scenario of so many strangers being herded together in the one court, their lawyers and clerks hanging around the door while the magisrate pontificates on the scant evidence of their cases is grist for a Shakespearean drama…..or comedy….Clarence Darrow explains it all so succinctly in ; On selecting a jury…Esquire Magazine, 1936.

  7. Joseph Carli

    I specifically posted this story to draw attention to the case in question of John Setka and the accusations thrown at him…I don’t know details of the court case he is facing on harrassment charges, nor YET what he was supposed to have said against Rosie Batty..it seems very few do!…But I do know that one of the easiest things to throw at any male and is so esliy accepted as true by so many of the public is a charge of harrassment. It is a know convienence that most males have a shorter fuse for the shouting of abusive expletives than have women…though I will note that Twitter seems to bring out the best in both genders these days!…and the classic image promulgated by that old tacky drama series : “The Perils of Pauline” of the usual cruel male doing dastadly things to the fair damsel in distress is as easy to conjure up as a child’s tears…it is almost hard-wired into our psyche.
    And no…don’t play the ; “Oh ..you see!!…there he goes again..” card…many of us have done too many laps of the “oval of tears” to be chastised with such old cliches…Men can be cruel..in a forthright, and vicious way…men are brutal, confrontationalist and agressive…it’s in the nature of the beast…and so women plan, arrange, and persuade…and from somewhere outside the blame circle the violence comes out of left-field….from a relative, a close friend an “arrangement” contracted under a river of tears onto a shoulder of support..I have seen males beaten to a pulp on a woman’s testimony…because it is ever the male’s duty ..and a known duty…to always back women in a contest of honour…well..at least it used to be…With chivalry being now deceased, I suspect the bookies would place a even money bet on those odds these days!

  8. Judge Minot

    Brian didn’t need a lawyer. Why bother? He could have represented himself and still lose. Why engage a lawyer if only to suffer monetary and emotional loss… This analogy aim to misrepresent legal services by lawyers in the family court. Horses for courses. Persons offering legal services are professionals with bills to pay like any other working individual. When I get my car repaired, I pay for those services. I do so willingly because it was my choice to engage that professional expert in their area of expertise. I do not go to the butcher to cut my hair. If my Merc needs servicing I take it to a trusted professional, not just any professional, but one who knows the finer points of his trade. What this story fail to advise is the quality of representation. Not all mechanics understand the finer points of an E220. AAMofFact I once knew of a commercial lawyer who was put through the cleaners by wife in the FCt. He, like Brian cried all the way home. He was at work the next day charging clients like a wounded bull. Like I said, horses for courses.

  9. Kaye Lee

    ” it is ever the male’s duty ..and a known duty…to always back women in a contest of honour”

    Mr Setka sent some 45 text messages to the woman including calling her a “c–t”, “drunken moron” and a “weak f—n piece of s–t”.

    Women don’t need men to protect them. We need them to grow up. We need them to realise women are not just there to cook their meals, clean their house, look after their children, wash their clothes, and satisfy their sexual desires. Grubs like Setka aren’t any woman’s hero.

    “men are brutal, confrontationalist and agressive…it’s in the nature of the beast”

    Maybe that is the case with the men you know. It most certainly is not with the men I know and love. I will happily trade chivalry for respect, honesty and genuine thoughtful partnership.

  10. Joseph Carli

    I gotta tell this one to you..speaking of David Stratton and his coming to grips of understanding Australian humour and irony all in the one scene…:

    Many years ago, back in the 70’s, I was working in Melbourne, and on a Monday morning smoko, this young labourer told the gathering there about an event he witnessed at the footy at the “G” (MCG) that Saturday…it seems at the height of the action between (I think) Collingwood and Essendon..(the lad was a Essendon supporter and the foreman a die-hard ‘Pies), at some place in the spectators area where it gets a bit rough (I’m not savvy with the G), this young woman who had been drinking a fair bit got all agitated about her team losing and getting sledged by the opposition supporters there, started hitting those next to her with her big leather handbag…This caused everybody to press back away from her so that soon, with her swinging that bag around by the long, leather sling, there was a circle of tight-pressed people just out of reach of that weapon as it swung around and around..

    It wasn’t long before some became agitated themselves and started calling and shouting..:

    “Hit the moll, hit the moll….someone just hit the moll!”

    And then, out of the perimeter of the crowd steps a kind of “Sir Galahad”..and with a chivalrous determination, steps straight up to the woman, who stops swinging her bag and stands wearily next to him as he moves in a circular motion slowly around that space saying all the while in a calming, gravitas tone, both hands slowly pumping up and down like he was bouncing a basket ball in each…:

    “No…no..no-one hits the moll…no-one hits the moll, no-one-hits-the-moll…”

    Chivalry is not dead, what?

    And, Kaye Lee…while I am sure YOU are right up to the moment with the incriminating evidence even before the case has been heard, I am content to await the findings to hear the exact context of the details…after all…rule of law and all that!…

  11. Joseph Carli

    ” . . . 45 text messages to the woman including calling her a “c–t”, “drunken moron” and a “weak f—n piece of s–t”.”…now, if THAT was ‘Planet Janet”…or the Ms McSween..surely he could be forgiven?

  12. Kaye Lee

    There is a context where Setka’s many texts (to which he is apparently pleading guilty in return for other charges being dropped) would be ok? (I have no idea what Planet Janet means)

    Saying “No-one hits the moll” is considered chivalrous?

  13. Joseph Carli

    And you have access to his phone or the phone of the woman he “apparently” sent the texts to?

    ” Saying “No-one hits the moll” is considered chivalrous?”….that’s the irony part…

  14. Kaye Lee

    No, I do not have access to anyone else’s phone, just to the media reports. They may, of course, be false though that would open them up to one hell of a lawsuit one would imagine.

  15. Joseph Carli

    ” . . . though that would open them up to one hell of a lawsuit one would imagine.”…..yes….a touch like the “King Leer” accusation, would you not agree…and , refresh my memory on that moment of general condemnation of the person accused…but wasn’t there some “taking out of context” involved there too?

    You know, Kaye Lee..it’s always refreshing to have your “clear-sighted” opinions on these matters…it puts the entire thing into perspective, I think…

    “. . . I do not have access to anyone else’s phone, just to the media reports.”..and would that by any chance be : The Australian newspaper?

    Out of curiosity, I have to ask if you read my story above?

  16. Kaye Lee

    The matter has already gone to court Joseph. This is not speculation.

    “Last month, Mr Setka’s lawyer indicated to a Victorian court that the construction union leader would plead guilty to using a carriage service to harass a woman.

    He would also plead guilty to a count of persistently breaching a court order.

    But the issue escalated only after The Age revealed on June 8 leaked text messages and a witness statement that detailed more about Mr Setka’s harassment.

    Police analysis of Mr Setka’s phone activity reveals on a single evening last October, he called the woman 25 times and sent her 45 text messages. In the messages he called her a “weak f—en piece of shit” and a “treacherous Aussie f—en c—” and a “f—en dog”.”

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/john-setka-declares-war-on-union-movement-spineless-leakers-20190617-p51ynj.html

  17. Joseph Carli

    “Judge Minot” made a comment that for some reason hasn’t gone through when I approved it in moderation…here it is…:

    Judge Minot..:
    ” Brian didn’t need a lawyer. Why bother? He could have represented himself and still lose. Why engage a lawyer if only to suffer monetary and emotional loss… This analogy aim to misrepresent legal services by lawyers in the family court. Horses for courses. Persons offering legal services are professionals with bills to pay like any other working individual. When I get my car repaired, I pay for those services. I do so willingly because it was my choice to engage that professional expert in their area of expertise. I do not go to the butcher to cut my hair. If my Merc needs servicing I take it to a trusted professional, not just any professional, but one who knows the finer points of his trade. What this story fail to advise is the quality of representation. Not all mechanics understand the finer points of an E220. AAMofFact I once knew of a commercial lawyer who was put through the cleaners by wife in the FCt. He, like Brian cried all the way home. He was at work the next day charging clients like a wounded bull. Like I said, horses for courses.”

  18. Joseph Carli

    Judge Minot….Having visited those same Family Court premises once, I DID represent myself…or rather, let the court do its job and just “looked on as a willing participant”…My then wife had legal representation that cost her thousands of dollars…indeed; wasted moneys and for no return other that the fair judgement of the court…

    And I should reiterate..it is just a “story”…I claim a degree of “poetic licence”..

    I know of the case in the story, having close connection to how it unfolded..(no relation, just close connections)…My father used to give the sage maxim from his Italian heritage : “Doctors, Priests and Lawyers…; One will ruin your health, the other your soul and the last your pocket!”…

    I should relate to you my tale of when Mick tried his deluded hand at being a mechanic…but I most probably have already given a “spoiler” to THAT story…

  19. Stephengb

    Joseph Carli, just read this article (story) it does not need to be true but it brought up some awful emotions.

  20. Kaye Lee

    I did read your story Joseph. I have never had to endure the agony you describe but have seen what has happened to others as they tear each other apart, often with encouragement from lawyers to drag out whatever dirt they can. (Mind you, Brian needs to learn that hitting is not the best way to discipline children)

    I chose to comment when you linked your story to John Setka who I consider a real bully and not in any way comparable to the story you are portraying.

  21. Joseph Carli

    Kaye Lee…the “comparable part” could be in the Lawyer’s description of the situation using negatives in photography as an example of distorting the picture……you on to it?

  22. Kaye Lee

    Setka is a bully Joseph with a very long and ignominious history. He thinks the way to operate is to intimidate people. That is not an acceptable way to behave. You on to it?

  23. Joseph Carli

    Kaye Lee..With the now obvious shortcomings in the multi-storey constructions in our cities, and my personal knowledge of some criminal builders in the industry, the only regret I have with Setka’s “intimdatory tactics”, is that once having got those criminals on the ground, he doesn’t sink the boot in!

  24. Phil

    Any man that has lived a full life, worked in a shearing shed, on a building site, or on an ocean going ship, has run into the Setka’s of the world.

    Yes most of the standover merchants I have met anyways have been but not always usually, built like a brick shit house with muscles in their shit.

    Having said that, the experience of watching one of these blow hards pick on a man that is 5 foot F.A. and about seven stone ringing wet, beat the living fuck out of one of them with ease, is a joy to watch.

    Ah memories. I remember leaving the Royal Adelaide show with my missus pushing a pram with my eldest son in it who is now 48 (where did the time go? ). A man who looked like a good feed could do him no harm with hair flowing down his back, run into a couple of bikies coming in to the show who hit this young man in the bonce for no reason at all. Well to watch this young man (hippie) take these two bikies apart with just his fists was a thing of much beauty. I learnt after, the young man had fought in the boxing ring at a professional level.

    I can only imagine what the bikie that got punched first was thinking… I think I fucked up here.

    Setka has fucked up.

  25. Joseph Carli

    Jesus, Phil….not YOU as well !……

  26. Joseph Carli

    Yes, I read his piece the other day, helvi…and I responded to it on Twitter thus..:

    Mungo..: ” But that is no longer the point: as McManus has said, Setka’s reputation – and particularly the admission of harassment – is damaging the entire Labor movement at a time when things have not been going too well anyway, and it would behove him to step down to avoid further harm.”

    I respond..; “Damaging the Labor movement!!!??” what effing “movement”!!??….this current Labor Party is so cautious in acting radical in the face of outright electoral fraud and rorting, it is now almost an INANIMATE OBJECT!!!

  27. Phil

    Jesus, Phil….not YOU as well !……

    Look Bud I can safely presume you like me are ‘ Old School ‘ Insult my honor to my face and I will whack you in the chops. In fact some wanker asked my wife for a root in a pub many years ago, the cleaners were still finding his teeth a couple of weeks later.

    I worship the ground my wife walks on, she says jump I say how high. We, I say we, because she tells me, we have been happily married for nearly 49 years. Luck? Nope it’s called respect and compromise on any issue. I have a daughter who is thirty I threatened her X boy friend who slagged on her, (she told me in a very hesitant manner.) I rang him and told him, I would break his legs when I found him. He took off for Victoria the same day, I haven’t seen him since.

    I did not bother calling the police for a job most of them are clearly not suited for. Most of them as you know, couldn’t track an elephant in the snow. I cringe at the very thought of being lectured by some young ass wipe,with bum fluff and pimples, who wouldn’t begin to have a clue or understand about the code of honor of which you and I grew up learning from our parents. Hit me but just don’t shit me.

    Now having said all that. Cemeteries are full of men who are victims of the decisions of the family law courts and right along side them, are the graves of women and children also victims of the family law courts. But mainly, the victims of men women should never have been married to ( Yea I know hindsight yad yada yada) in the first place. Moreover victims of men who only have the balls, to kill women and children.

    Btw I am cognizant of the fact, people like me and you for better or worse are dying out.

    I didn’t agree with Albanese putting Setka on trial in the media. My opinion of the man is based on what I know of him thus far. His stewardship of the union is probably impeccable, that has five fifths of F.A to do with his character as a man. Which if, I believe what I have read thus far is, rather shallow.

  28. Joseph Carli

    Fair respect, Phil…..but this..: ” Which if, I believe what I have read thus far is, rather shallow.”….[what I have read] being the operative phrase….Setka has his demons…as we all have..but he has a backbone to stand fast as a union man…and he stands by his members..and when some of those members are killed or injured on site, it is HE who fronts the family and takes their grief and gives those other members there his support…and I think I need not tell YOU how far that goes in the telling of a person’s integrity.
    As you say…”what I have read”…and I too have read the same…and much of what is written is from the Right-wing filth..so I will hold judgement on the moral question until I see the evidence…

  29. Kaye Lee

    So the police records in court and the witness statement and his guilty plea don’t count as evidence?

  30. Joseph Carli

    Ruth Holmstrom.

    I have to tell you the story (as I know it) of Ruth Holmstrom. I have to give her a bit of longevity in this world lest she be forgotten altogether, for the little I know of her as a child of around six or seven years is through my one clear memory of meeting her on the footpath at her letterbox as I was making my way to the beach one summer day.. She looked down to me and smiled weakly.

    The Holmstroms lived on Jervois Tce. About halfway between our house and Rowland’s Deli’ at the top of the hill-slope to the beach. The house was of red-brick, plain frontage, with dull, dark-green painted doors and windows. The blinds were always drawn. There was a low red-brick front fence with a small white gate. Mrs. Holmstrom grew watermelons out the back yard that didn’t have a side fence to the road , and so the ripe melons were subject to some young boys stealing one or two..to which Ruth would give chase when she could, yelling and cursing at them…young Potter was a main culprit and he was swift of foot..to his credit, he did share the booty.

    There were three children with Vernon and Ruth Holmstrom…the oldest was a girl whose name slips my memory a tad..I’ve got it written down somewhere..just a tic an’ I’ll find it….ah, yes..Julie..and then there was Kevin and Trevor. I knew the two boys better because they joined the other local boys down the beach.. They were known by their nick-names of ; “Sharky” (Kevin) and “Porpoise” ( the younger Trevor)..there is a large diving-off rock there at the Marino Rocks beach called “Sharky” and I thought and still do think it was named after the older Holmstrom boy.

    The one time I remember Mrs.Holmstrom was the summer day I was walking down the path to the beach…I had my towel over my shoulder and I was jumping over the lines of tiny ants that I had noticed had made a right-angled track every so often regularly across the path…I was jumping one of these tracks when I bumped into Ruth Holmstrom at her letterbox there by the gate , collecting her mail…She was a big blowsy sort of woman with a wavey, ruffled mass of shortish dark hair and she had on a loose, floaty, white cotton dress with large red flower prints on it..neither she nor I said a word..she just looked down at me and smiled weakly and it was then I noticed one side of her face was swollen and marked by a large bruise along with a black-eye. She just smiled at me, glanced nervously around and then quickly made her way back inside the house.

    Potter lived just a couple of houses up from the Holmstroms and I asked him recently about Ruth and Vernon and told of my memory..and he remarked that he wasn’t surprised, because he witnessed Vernon hit Ruth in the face with a full, closed fist once when he was there with the boys..he said the sound was like a crunching whack!, and he fled out the back door.

    When My sister was here over Christmas I spoke to her too about this recurring memory and she told me that yes, Mrs. Holmstrom had come to our mother several times to complain about Vernon’s drunken violence…but my mother had told her to try and keep the peace and hold the family together for the sake of the children.. Ruth, along with her husband was also an alcoholic…so there was that too.

    But it was not long after the meeting at the letter-box , when our mother was getting the bath ready for us kids one night that she matter-of-fact quietly informed us that Mrs. Holmstrom had died that week and she had died because she had slipped in the bath and chipped the bone in her elbow and that small chip had worked it’s way up to her heart and she had died from a heart attack because of the bone chip…so you see..you have to be careful not to muck around while having a bath otherwise you could fall over and chip your elbow and die like Ruth Holmstrom.

    But I no longer believe a word of that story.

  31. Joseph Carli

    Kaye Lee…So you have seen this evidence?…because I have not and until I do, I will not be relying on the RWing MSM reporting of the issue…as for the guilty plea…sure..as written in my story above..a “guilty” plea may be a lawyers advice for a plea bargain…that is the “Law” these days.

  32. Stephengb

    I hear that Setka has been a bully got, and a thug, but at the time that Albo made his politically motivated tough guy bid, the reason was because of the “allegations regarding Rosie Batty, an allegation that has not been tested or proved!

    As for the admission of DV, well that admission is a separate issue for which Albo acted.

    Albo would have been better off awaiting the end of the Rosie Batty issue and the Court case, before he made a case in caucus to a spell Setka. All that Albo has done is proved that he will be purchased by narrative rather than fact, classic neoliberal agenda union bashing will now begin.

    I do not know this man but I have seen the MSM reports and the LNP union bashing, I assume the presumption of innocence to trial by media, and lynch mob justice.

    Albo’s timing was soooo helpfully to the LNP.

  33. Joseph Carli

    “Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry CEO James Pearson has praised the union movement for standing up to Mr Setka.”
    Well…that about says it all.

  34. Kaye Lee

    Ok Joseph, well after you’ve popped down to the court and convinced them to hand over the evidence for your personal perusal, get back to me (rolls eyes)

  35. Joseph Carli

    Kaye Lee…your level of sarcasm matches your level of humour in that it is equivalent to snuggling one’s face into a chloroform soaked pillow!

  36. Judge Minot

    Joseph, you sound a conservative with tinge of liberalism. Setka is portrayed by MSM as a bully boy gatekeeper of traditional patriarchy model. But Man is no longer king of castle and women no longer subservient mute. We’ve hopefully progressed from such repressive mindsets.

    Kaye Lee, you sound a liberal with tinge of conservatism who believes in equality all around. Setka thought bubble…feminist overreach stifles objective intercourse. I like your essays a lot, am a fan. Its just that I sometimes wonder whether discussion of these issues afford far too much emphasis on patriarchy rather than inequalities generally.

    Love you both. Keep up the good work. And keep that respect for each other and us silent types.

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