IT’S quite a drive back to the tent on the upper Jamieson, where the trout have been all but leaping into the Professor’s creel and demanding to be eviscerated, but there is time before losing connectivity for one last quick thought in regard to Victoria’s Police Commissioner Simon Overland. It is just a gossipy little tidbit, gleaned several months ago over a nice red with well-informed companions at a well-known Melbourne club, where the genuine shrunken heads on display in the lounge always bring to mind Wayne Swan and other members of the Gillard cabinet.
In any case – whisper, whisper – one of those present predicted that Overland’s days were numbered, and not for the obvious reason: that he is a better-looking version of former boss Christine Nixon, who wrote the book on tickling crime stats. The allegation that he has been doing more of the same may or may not serve as the catalyst for Overland’s ouster but, if you believe the small talk, a more pertinent reason will have to do with some very rash comments he is said to have made to a member of the then-Opposition some 18 months ago.
The member had been doing some research on morale and manpower allocations in the police when the phone rang in his Spring Street office. Overland was on the other end and, if you can believe the Professor’s informant, his tone was particularly stern.
“I know everyone you are talking to, how long you talk to them and what you are talking to them about,” was the way the informant quoted the chief commissioner.
That alleged comment was taken as a threat, so much so that the member of parliament is said to have gone out, immediately purchased a throw-away mobile phone and stopped using the parliamentary email system for his more sensitive correspondence. Of course, back then John Brumby’s travesty of a government was expected to be returned. It wasn’t, and while Victorians have cause to rejoice at being rid of governance by spin and statistical sleight of hand, Overland may not be feeling quite so sanguine.
There is hope for the man, though. The supermarket here in sleepy Jamieson lacks a security guard. If Overland were to concentrate, think really hard, he might just rise to the challenge of protecting the TimTams from sugar-crazed old ladies. And if he fails he can always doctor the inventory numbers.