This week, Susan blasts the vandals…
Fortunately, it prevented me from making this date last week. I say that because I was angry and it would have shown and I wouldn’t have been sorry.
I can’t stand vandalism. It’s inexcusable. It’s not to be written off lightly as just mischievous behaviour; it’s downright lousy and criminal. The perpetrators are often, but not exclusively, aimless older kids who seem to do little but delight in wanton destruction.
Sadly, there’s a lot of it. Last year we saw the tragic outcome of what happened when a fed-up householder took matters into his own hands, resulting in the death of a vandal. Bruce Emery is now serving a custodial sentence for manslaughter. The dust had barely settled on Emery’s sentencing when I learned that my grandmother’s letterbox had been destroyed for the fifth time in about a year. Her elderly neighbours’ letterbox was also smashed to the ground and kicked along the footpath for good measure.
“So what?” you might say. “It’s only minor. It’s only bored kids, etc.” No, it’s not. It’s a real nuisance and a waste of time and money. But more than that, much more than that, is the menacing attitude behind the action.
Speaking plainly, it screams “fuck you.” It exemplifies total disrespect for other people and their property. It conveys a frightening mindlessness. And it most certainly qualifies as entry-level crime.
When Ann Hercus was Police Minister in the 1980s, she publicly said that she wasn’t concerned with property crime. That was the start of the finish and Ann’s chooks have come home to roost. In fact they’ve pecked their way to her old colleague Helen Clark’s electorate, with last weekend’s vicious little escapade of three armed teenagers demanding ice-cream and sweets from a Sandringham dairy owner, before upping the ante to cigarettes and money.
3News showed Helen Clark turning up to express her outrage at such a horrific situation. Quite rightly calling it a vile act, she wondered why this sort of thing was occurring. “What’s going wrong with our families?” she asked.
Now call me old-fashioned, Possums, but I found that just a bit rich coming from the very person who, until recently, has been running the country since Adam was a cowboy. I note that 3News didn’t feel the urge to remind her of that either. I’m sure Ann Hercus could shed some light.
Back to my grandmother. She’s a remarkable woman who, at 95, still lives independently in her own home, doing for herself and leading an active life. Aside from her superannuation, she makes no demands upon the state whatsoever, deploring and eschewing the state hand-out mentality.
So when I hear the news that some useless little bastard has just randomly decided to attack her property, unnerving her in the process, it makes my blood boil. The truth is that I want to grab the kid and kick his or her arse into the middle of next week and the week after that. I want them to know what retribution feels like – and what the fear of that retribution feels like. I want them to know in no uncertain terms that unpleasant behaviour has unpleasant consequences.
But I can’t do that. And the police don’t seem to have a clue, either. (Ann’s ideas took root). So you tell me what needs to be done. I’d especially like to hear from those who were critical of Bruce Emery. I’m all ears.
Because know what? I’m still angry and it shows and I’m not at all sorry.
* * Read Susan Ryder every week here at NOT PC * *