Worst of All

Don’t often do serious posts, but can there be a worst worst than the treatment of Mr Ward in that baking prison van? David Cohen was at the protest in the city, where the turnout was disappointing. Perhaps there is more interest in the protests in Iran? David, I didn’t see much media about this. Did anyone see coverage before or after? David says…

What happened to Mr Ward was the worst. Cooked inside a van for four hours
as it drove from Laverton to Kalgoorlie. How can this happen to a West
Australian in the twenty-first century? There was a protest in the city
yesterday about the case. About a thousand people showed up. Surely more
people care about what happened to Mr Ward, but the turnout was
disappointing. And there were the usual others: Green Left, Socialist
Alliance and some bloke with an Irish flag. Couldn’t it have just been about
Mr Ward? The speakers were good: Fred Chaney said Mr Ward was “roasted” in
the van. The two guards were sacked this week, but what will happen next?


About The Lazy Aussie

Commended Haiku writer. A lover of The West's Worst. Perth stand-up comedian, photographer and writer.
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23 Responses to Worst of All

  1. curious says:

    absolutely the worst.


  2. Rolly says:

    Damned right it’s the worst but, unfortunately, only the tip of a huge racially intolerant iceberg.

    Pollies, mainstream media and evengelists have a lot to answer for, but the whole schemozzle could not exist without the tacit acceptance of the general populous.

    Who cares about the abos and the way that they have been mistreated since white colonisation?
    After all, it’s all in the past now, isn’t it?
    Why can’t they be reasonable and do things our way?

    “There are none so blind as those that will not see.”

    The continuing failure of the white majority to acknowledge the evil that is continually perpetrated on the rightful owners of this land is a national and international disgrace.

    The Australian “Fair go” principle? Fair suck of the sav, mate; whenever were the boongs given a fair go???

    “If there is one thing that we learn from history; it is that we do not learn from history.”

    And no bugger gives a damn.

    I just wish that I had heard of the protest meeting beforehand.
    It would have been one of the rare occasions when I would have joined in.


  3. PsychoCat says:

    It really appalls me to say this but the lack of interest in this tragedy really isn’t surprising. Unfortunately Perth has a strong undercurrent of racism, particularly towards our Indigenous people. Couple that with the fact that most people in Perth are extremely apathetic towards anything other than sport and alcohol and you end up with somethings like this.

    I don’t know what is the greater tragedy – that a man had to die this way, or that no one really cares that he did.


  4. phreestyle says:

    The depth of racism revealed by this (and other incidents) is breathtaking.

    As TLA said, how could this happen in 21st century Australia

    We should hang our heads in shame


  5. Gerry says:

    I pretty much have zero contact with any australian media sources and more other than on the net (got sick of them many years ago) and so I hadn’t heard anything about it till now. Did you post anything about the protest before the event or just after? I don’t remember seeing it posted here till now, but maybe I just missed it.


  6. Frank Calabrese says:

    The protest was covered by all TV Networks and was fairly sympathetic- the Slimes had a story saying Quigley called on the Govt to compensate the families etc which got the usual racist dropkicks and apparently Ray Mickelberg confornted Quigley and said why doesn’t he consider his case as well etc.

    Re Prison transport, if it were a whitefella they would’ve transferred him by plane – and it’s obvious that Black – Crap, White alright.


  7. skink says:

    compare this with the blanket media coverage of the Butcher case and the police demo, and the long list of C-list celebs that wanted to associate themselves with that issue.

    They need a full Lawrence style enquiry about this, and the WA police and correctional services need to be branded for what it is – institutionally racist.

    and bravo for putting some serious stuff on the site.

    a definite worst


    • Frank Calabrese says:

      Actually to be fair Skink there has been very good coverage of the Coroner’s Inquest and the Four Crners Report and it has been Critical of Dept of Corrections and Margaret Quirk as then Minister who at least had the say it was her fault.

      Christian Porter on the other hand has sort of quietly said they will get rid of the Prison Vans by the end of 2010 and “Review” the Contract with the Private Company involved, even though it should be noted that it was the Court Govt who privatised Prison Transport in the first place.

      But you’re right where’s Sattler been ? If it were a White person who was arrested for Drink Driving, he would’ve been either taken home to sleep it off, or released on bail the morning after.

      And will La Chong write a Column on this, rather than one where she had a clear personal involvement in ?

      What double Standards.


      • skink says:

        fair call, but coverage on the ABC is not the same as the degree of commercial channel and talkback hysteria about Butcher. I didn’t see Four Corners being picked up by the tabloids like it was with the Johns story.

        if you want to know how backward this town is, there is a story on page 3 of teh West about a Sikh who was refused a motorcycle test because he refused to remove his turban to wear a helmet. London dealt with this issue twenty years ago. Sikh police officers have special turbans with little cop badges on them rather than helmets.

        I know there are not many Sikhs here, but that’s no excuse.


      • Bill O'Slatter says:

        Be careful defending Quirk , Frank. She has form. In her inaugural speech she attacked the ACC Quote
        “Finally, I appreciate that the concept of the separation of powers means that bodies such as the ACC cannot be exposed to indirect political interference through the budgetary process. Nevertheless, I have for some time had concerns about whether we are getting value for money and whether more targeted expenditure might not produce better overall incomes. For example, if part of the moneys allocated to the ACC were set aside so that better ethics training within the Police Service could be
        conducted, might this not be of greater utility? After all, prevention is better than cure.” Not too far from what Burke thinks I’m sure.


        • Bill O'Slatter says:

          The bunch of clowns listed below all played their part in the sad saga of Mr Ward. The following is taken from Wikipedia . Quote
          ” The Gallop ministry succeeded the Court ministry on 16 February 2001 following the 2001 election, and it in turn was succeeded by the Carpenter Ministry on 3 February 2006 due to the retirement of Dr Geoff Gallop from politics on 25 January.
          Jim McGinty, BA, BJuris (Hons), LL.B., JP, MLA
          Minister for Justice and Legal Affairs (until 27 June 2003:)
          Minister for Justice (from 27 June 2003)[3] (was )Michelle Roberts, BA, Dip.Ed., MLA
          Minister for Justice (3 February–8 May 2006) (was)
          John D’Orazio, BSc, MPS, MLA
          Minister for Justice (8–26 May 2006)
          Minister for Corrective Services (from 26 May 2006)
          Margaret Quirk, MA, LL.B. (Hons), MLA”
          Note: The Justice porfolio was renamed Corrective Sevices on the 26 May 2006.


    • Col. Nathan R. Jessep says:


      Imagine if an Aborigine had nutted the copper. Crikey!

      Do you think Rob Johnson and Christian Porter would be elbowing each other out of the way to get some TV time? Could you imagine the racists that organised the demonstration having the balls to do the same had the offender been an indigenous lad?

      What was this “respected elder’s” crime again? No one seems to be mentioning it and I’ve forgotten. Obviously a minor crime that should not be discussed.


    • Frank Calabrese says:

      And the WA Police Meida Spin continues in their in house organ Newsbeat, which anyone can subscribe to.



  8. It’s also very easy to avoid knowing about this stuff and only be outraged when something happens, or it becomes impossible to avoid. There would be plenty happening every day that just doesn’t end so unavoidably public. Makes any solidarity with iranians feel a little sad.

    On the other hand, the 4 Corners ep showed that many people were aware of the problem and did nothing. There were even worse cases shown on the program that fortunately didn’t end in death.


  9. MugPunter says:

    I think there would have been a lot more at the protest if there was more media about it beforehand. I for one didn’t know about it until it was on the news afterwards. As Frank Calabrese said, where has Howard Sattler been on this issue?


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  11. Bill O'Slatter says:

    an what about the prize for the most racist media ?


  12. Frank Calabrese says:

    And here is video coverage of the protest.

    Part 1:

    Part 2:

    Part 3:

    Part 4:


We can handle the worst

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