That Boston was a rats nest of civic corruption and Dark Side law enforcement was recently noted by the BBC. In fact, it was a total bloody sewer if you hit up google on the Winter Hill gang, do some back reading in The Boston Times or read Black Mass: The True Story of an Unholy Alliance between the FBI and the Irish Mob by Lehr and O’Neill or a host of other books on the subject. Really great moments in crime management and okay airport reads if you don’t like Paul Theroux.
Now, I know that when I mention tubbyland most readers conjure up images of drivelling politicians, thongs (the ones you wear on your feet, okay), beach babes, beer and bushfires. This however is a totally misguided perception, and one which fails to do tubbylanders full justice. Since the git go, we have had our own statistically significant share of venal cops and corrupt and/or completely criminal police commissioners, doctors, lawyers, solicitors, model citizens, accountants, federal police, airport officials, ethnics, magistrates, islanders, painters and dockers, pugilists, promoters, chancers, shoplifting teams, racing identities, attorney generals (commonwealth), plus politicians of all stripes. Since I want to bring this post to some sort of conclusion before next year, I won’t illustrate the above by naming manes.
Royal commissions, integrity commissions, independent oversight quangos and extended court cases on matters of deep and pervasive corruption appear as regularly as new strains of Asian influenza. And, as expected, they focus on the usual earners which tempt the constabulary – who operate within organisational charts as the Consorters, the Breakers, Licencing, the Dogs, etc – old (pot, smack, coke) and new school (precursor) drug importation, franchising crime and protection, giving informants hotshots, selling information to the underworld, nobbling or retailing evidence, etc. Repetitious, predicable, and, as expected the only beneficiaries are the silks and lesser members of the legal profession.
Now there are two theories as to why tubbyland is a latrine of mongrel copper corruption. One is the convict DNA which forcibly settled this great brown land some 200 years ago. Now, this is plain hogswash, since we are an exemplary model of a politically correct, liberal democratic system of government in action. Checks and balances and all that good stuff enunciated by David Hume. Sort of like a Scandinavian welfare state in the southern hemisphere plus outdoor barb-q-ques. Beats all that snow and pine forests.
Rather, I want to focus on the climatic explanation a bit like Lawrence Kasdan did in his script for Body Heat: When the temperature rises, folk start to think that the rules no longer apply to them. Ted Danson’s character made this point, I recall, some fifteen minutes into this modern noir fable of the Tarantula Woman. Anyway, it’s about the fucking climate and climatic effects, and yes, tubbyland is bloody hot for at least six months every year. That’s why we invented surfing and sandy beaches with big waves. Okay, I also have my doubts about this explanation, but its something to dwell on.
Anyway, on a stinking hot day the 16 January 1949 a massive storm descended from Mt Coot-ha, and it really hit the inner Brisbane suburbs of Bardon, Rosalie and Paddington. Power lines down, gardens flattened and roofing iron strewn everywhere. This weather event taken from Matthew Condon’s Three Crooked Kings (uni of qld press, 2013) also coincided with one Terence (Terry) Murray Lewis passing his police exams and being sent off to patrol George Street.
To be continued.