By Oliver Clarke
Australia’s a flawed land; a place of construction and destruction, sometimes in the same day. Sometimes in the same place. Sydney is the place that comes to mind with the mention of the apparently barren land of Oz, but Canberra funnily enough is the capital. It’s where the government resides, where they sit in their easy chairs and smoke fat cigars, take expensive drugs, have cheap affairs. The fact that such a horrible place would be the capital is typical of Australia. You see, the government rules everything here, and the billionaires rule the government, so this slave trade union can thus prosper in a neo-liberal whirlwind of social deception and trickery.
The lockout laws in Sydney are a prime example of this destructive partnership between billionaires and the government. These laws, which snuck craftily into place sometime towards the end of 2015, mean that bars, clubs, and pubs in Sydney refuse entry or re-entry after 1:30 A.M, and are totally devoid of any human soul beside the withered one of the barkeep by around 3. Shots of alcohol or doubles are cut off at midnight, and any unfortunate being walking the Australian streets around this time will most likely find it to live up to it’s barren desert image.
I was outside a bar last week, which had closed particularly early due to it being a Sunday. Fair enough I suppose, Sunday is after all a day of rest, and if there’s one thing the government can’t get at it’s the holy. I was standing around with a few friends figuring out how to get home, when two middle aged men who looked like they came from somewhere in South Asia approached us.
“Excuse me.” one of them said. “My English is not very good but …”
My God, I thought, what is this, what am I going to be asked? I am, after all, standing in one of the suburbs most notorious for drug culture, and where there have recently been quite a few attacks on innocent people by conservative, beer-fuelled hicks. But my fears were dismissed.
“Where is everyone?” the man said.
My previously concerned face turned into a sad smile, as one of my friends explained to them the lockout laws, trying to use simple English to explain one of the most stupidly intricate laws to be placed in this country. As he talked I reflected on what these foreigners must think of Sydney right now. Here were these two young lads, in a new country, out to experience the culture and the laughter of what had appeared such a happy, fun, prosperous land in the travel brochure, and now they were kicked out on their faces to the gum caked dirty sidewalk, nowhere to drink, nowhere to hear music.
At last, all we could tell them was that if they wanted to drink or see people, they’d have no option but the casino. They shook their heads and laughed nervously.
“No.” one said. “We don’t gamble. We come out to drink, and everything is closed.”
My God what is Premier Baird doing?
The innate problem with the lockout laws is not so much that I can’t get a shot of whiskey after midnight, or get into some scummy nightclub in the early hours of the morning and lose all sense of direction, but this casino. This goddam casino. It’s the only place besides the newly built, empty wasteland of Barangaroo exempt from the lockout laws, as well as a few select restaurants and drug fronts. These laws help no one but casino owner, billionaire James Packer. Oh, but it’s about violence they say! Look how far it’s dropped! Or it’s about alcohol abuse, look how many people are drinking beer at 2 in the morning instead of vodka. Baird has put up a claim of violence prevention to be the main reason for these lockout laws but the real winner at this stage is a billionaire.
Of course Prime Minister Turnbull backs it as well, he’s all for making money. And Mike, we’re all for equality here in Sydney, we don’t mind whatever’s going on between you and Packer, but what we do mind is you locking out decent people from decent fun, and locking them into the scummy Star Casino where they can gamble, drink, and smoke their money away.
So enough of the ‘phony’ statistics, enough of the rates and the security and the safety, it’s time the premier admits the financial benefit of the government, and the billionaires, from these laws, or it’s “goodbye, Sydney” and “hello, addiction”.
Like what we do at The AIMN?
You’ll like it even more knowing that your donation will help us to keep up the good fight.
Chuck in a few bucks and see just how far it goes!
Your contribution to help with the running costs of this site will be gratefully accepted.
You can donate through PayPal via the button below, or donate via bank transfer: BSB: 062500; A/c no: 10495969
120 total views, 2 views today