Sunday, May 10, 2009

Shock, horror! Old people outraged at young partygoers

The local NIMBYs have taken councillors on a night tour of Kings Cross to demonstrate the horror of lots of young people partying, reports The Herald. Despite the fact that real estate prices have held up well in the area, these ageing serial local whingers are apparently unable to sell up and move out. No, Kings Cross has to be suppressed back to some arbitrary level -- decided by Councillors no doubt -- where the fallout from partygoers is "acceptable".

It's almost funny that the very Council which has used regulation to concentrate Kings Cross into The Strip is now concerned about over-concentration. The solution? More regulation.

The old whingers trotted out their usual litany that the Cross was "much worse than it used to be". Yet Frank Black's book Kings Cross Double Cross is filled with incidents from the past that make even my hair stand on end... like a trucker who drove his prime mover down the stairs into a strip club because the receptionist had ripped him off in change, and a detective raping a rape victim with a bottle.

It's true that Sydney has far too many nasty, violent idiots who seem to have swallowed rap gangsta style and ethics whole , as I witnessed last week when I stopped two of them who were savagely beating a transvestite sex worker -- not drunk, just full of hate. But putting the screws on Kings Cross cannot make this go away, only shift the violence somewhere else. Your suburb perhaps? The NIMBYs need to think long and hard about their own ethics.

More high-visibility policing would do the most to mitigate problems, and my senior police sources say there is no lack of police because they just bring them in from other areas. Of course, sniffer dog squads at 4pm and troops of invisible undercover cops looking for drug action do nothing to help the main problem...

Half the problems the councillors were so horrified about were the result of existing regulation, like smokers on footpaths. All the unique but slightly dodgy small bars that used to dot the back streets have been forcibly closed by Council so now all the action is concentrated into the strip with a less-and-less diverse suburban crowd. But of course straight bourgeois people like our Councillors and NIMBYs can only see one way forward... more regulation. 

Psst... it won't work! 

Interestingly, all the 'problems' the councillors saw were on the uncontrolled streets but they are going to target the venues which are a controlled environment, even as the Herald story described revellers drinking from winecask bladders in the street (there's an empty one outside my front door right now!)

Picture: KX at 4am on Friday night. I dragged myself out of bed to get a shot of stranded revellers to illustrate the lack of public transport at that time -- only to find the place literally crawling with vacant cabs! Oh well.


Anonymous said...

Can the Nimbys never relax?
This is off topic but how do those plain clothed cops get to look so convincingly like KX junkies? Too convincingly. Do they have a very canny stylist or are these "cops" actually junkies?

The Editor said...

You don't notice the undercover cops until something happens and they weigh in. They just look like regular guys and gals in vaguely contemporary casual gear. They don't like being photographed!

A friend of mine was assaulted near Oxford St last year (in broad daylight, not alcohol-related). An undercover cop happened to be walking by, saw it and arrested the bad guys, one of whom was eventually convicted.

There are plenty of them about - bad guys and undercover cops, who occasionally make themselves useful.