Much has been said about Queensland’s VLAD laws, much of it from far better writers than I. Examples:
But still the Government and Police tell the good people of Queensland that they have nothing to worry about and the laws are necessary to get the baddies. David Crisafulli, in his capacity as Acting Attorney-General assured the people that only the criminals will be targeted. Yet he refused to confirm that three or more bikies and associates who have not committed any actual crime, could attend a birthday bash, or be employed together, despite the legislation clearly stating this is so.
And the rising hysteria of the Newman government as it seeks to defend its indefensible attack on Queenslanders’ rights is very telling.
There will be more of that from Newman as hopefully, more and more Queenslanders come to understand that the VLAD Act is not about outlaw motorcycle clubs. And it never was.
It is about them. All of them. And their inalienable human right to associate with who they want, work where they want, and go where they want – free from the constant supervision of a crazed police state and a power-mad populist Premier, bungling Attorney-General, and sycophantic Police Commissioner, who feed them a constant diet of lies and mis-truths about ‘bikies’, while tarring every rider with the same misinformed brush.
I have another, deeper, problem with the manner in which the legislation is being sold. That problem is thus:
I ride a motorcycle.
As a result of this legislation, I now am on the receiving end of more — ignorant — behaviour from other road users, who assume that, as a motorcyclist, I must be up to no good simply by virtue of being on a motorcycle. Some of these people clearly believe in vigilantism, undertaking abusive — and in some cases, downright dangerous — acts to “prove their point.”
Never you mind that I am not, and will very likely never be, a member of any of the existing declared organisations. Never you mind that don’t ride a bike more commonly associated with such clubs. Never you mind that I barely fit the stereotype for a member of a motorcycle club. In the minds of more than a few road users, the simple act of being on a motorcycle is sufficient reason to vilify me. On average, this is now occurring twice on any ride near to major centres; I hear similar stories from my fellow riders.
I no longer have to worry about SMIDSY alone. I now have to be equally aware that people may, in fact, have noticed me.