Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Call Worth Making

IN MELBOURNE today, Derryn Hinch returns to the airwaves after five months’ silence imposed by a judge who regretted not being able to put the then-ailing 3AW host behind bars. Hinch’s crime was to name a pair of convicted kiddie fiddlers, whose anonymity the courts rated a much higher concern than that of the newly released molesters' oblivious neighbours. Rob a petrol station and your name will be published. Send an allegedly risqué email to colleagues and that also will see your identity splashed across the newspapers. But dare to name animals who delight in goosing children and the full majesty of the law comes crashing down.

Hinch may be just a tad wary of returning to the subject, but if he is up for it listeners might appreciate being directed to this US site, where a few clicks bring up sex offenders' names, mugshots, addresses and places of employment, all sortable by postcode.

If Hinch feels the urge to be particularly cheeky, he could even place an on-air telephone call to, say, Justin Pack, of 161 West 16th Street, New York City, and ask his opinion of efforts by lawmakers and judges on the other side of the Pacific to conceal his buggering brethen's identities.
And perhaps Hinch might even suggest that Pack would be well advised grab the next leaky boat and seek asylum in Australia, where Hinch's sentence suggests the molester would be welcomed and protected as a victim of intolerable abuse.

11 comments:

  1. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.December 21, 2011 at 11:27 AM

    Cher Professor, please investigate the possibility of a Billabong Bravery Award for Australian journalists going above and beyond the call of duty - early contenders: Hitch and Bolt.

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  2. PhillipGeorge(c)2011December 21, 2011 at 12:01 PM

    Professor, this is one more compelling example of why Juries should be involved with both verdict and sentencing.
    The idea is both simple and profound; while being quietly peacefully revolutionary.
    Power to the people in the most civilised of all possible ways - both lawfully and reasonably.
    If you could dedicate some of your very considerable talents to the project I'd be happy to support it in practical turnout sorts of ways.

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  3. Professor, in Oz we have a similar site (Mako) for our homegrown fiddlers.

    http://www.mako.org.au/home.html

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  4. Prof, you sound like one of those chav mother in the UK who led an attack of her fellows a pediatric surgeon's house because she thought that pediatric and pedophile were the same.

    All this paranoia about 'kiddly fiddlers' is assinine and has created a society where we never see children playing in aour suburbs anymore without a phallanx of dopey, whiney adults hanging around them. So children can't grow up anymore because their parents are always there coddling them and preventing them from learning social skills through play with their contemporaries.

    Hinch has always been an hysterical, westy ratbag, and deserved everything he got.

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  5. Anonymous: If being a chav mum means objecting to one class of criminal being favoured over the others, then I'm a chav and proud of it. And what have you got against sons of the West (red, white and blue), you Demons-barracking son of a pox doctor?

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  6. Fear of paedophiles, fear of terrorists, fear of the sun, fear of climate change, fear of bushfires, fear over water supplies, fear of pig/bird/(insert animal) flu, fear of tobacco, fear of cancer, and on and on and on. All these are reinforced ad nauseum. A fearful society is an easily controlled/manipulated society, espescially in cities where the group think dynamic exacerbates. Throw your televisions away, and reclaim your lives. How they must laugh at you.

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  7. If Hinch lived in my home state in the US, North Carolina, he'd have simply been performing a public service by naming those sex offenders.

    Attorney General Roy Cooper (D.) welcomes visitors to http://sexoffender.ncdoj.gov/ thusly:

    "A Message from the Attorney General:

    "Knowing when offenders move into your neighborhood and where they live can be an important tool in keeping families and communities safe.

    "Sign up here to receive e-mail alerts when an offender registers to an address in your community, or to track a specific offender. You can also map all offenders' addresses up to five miles away from any site you choose, such as home, school, child care center or park.

    (signed)

    Roy Cooper"

    Other states have similar programs - that's just the one I know of because most of my nieces & nephews live there.  Anyway - wouldn't that make for an interesting interview too.

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  8. And anon@4:20, I agree to some extent about the overhyped "stranger-danger"/"all-men-are-rapists" hysteria you see some places, but since it occurs both in Australia where even recidivist child rapists are (aggressively, judicially) "protected species" AND in some parts of the US where information about convicted criminals is made public in the public interest, I think it's a stretch to use that sometimes overblown hysteria as an excuse to protect the identities of sex offenders.

    If you don't care whether you've got a three-time child rapist living next door, don't bother looking it up. But some parents might like to know, and they should have that right. Who are you to deny them that right?

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  9. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.December 22, 2011 at 9:28 AM

    Prof, a fraught issue and one that deserves more discussion. I'd chose Bolt over Hinch for a Bunyip Bravery Award, because he is brave on many fronts, and often wise, whereas Hinch, although bravely oppositional, may be just a tad obsessional and single-issue, as evinced on yesterday's TV interview.

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  10. 'Justin Pack' is surely a joke name for someone who exposes themselves, cf 'Cornel Linctus' 'Tudor Beaver' and 'Roger Hughes' (from NZ).

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