hoons, an election issue?

There has been at least three mentions of ‘hoons’ by Liberal-National candidates. What is going on? Two are mentioned here, and Mark suggests that the Liberals must have done some polling on the issue. Now even John Howard (Prime Minister) has come out with some ‘hoon’ talk. He announced the government “will fund a closed circuit television system in Sydney’s west to deter car hoons.”

In the original post over at Larvatus Prodeo, Anna writes:

Keenan has been running largely on local issues that are the responsibility of state government such as roads, hoons and crime.

I grew up in Balcatta (in the electorate of Stirling) and I guess I am the only expert in Australia on ‘hoons’ so I’d better say something. If he is interested in producing constructive outcomes, why doesn’t he discuss the issue with the State members for Joondalup and Wanneroo (see Hansard discussion here) regarding the blue light drags at Wanneroo Raceway. Apparently numbers declined, I wonder why?

we saw with the blue light drags in WA what happened when renegade cops saw the easy target and decided to pick on the racers… the events started strongly, the racers started to get off the streets and drove safely to the events, raced and drove safely home…. then 1 bike cop decided to park himself around the corner from the track and defected racers, spectators, organisers and off duty cops… the racer numbers declined pretty swiftly after that…

I used to go to the blue light drags in my 351 Clevo XD, but then I moved to Sydney… Some foolish cop probably decided booking ‘hoons’ racing at the blue light drags was a legitimate way to make his quota for the week. Word of this sort of behaviour spreads extremely quickly now in the age of online sociality. Enthusiasts know that defect notices are a weapon of social control, and have little to do with technical safety of vehicles.

3 replies on “hoons, an election issue?”

  1. I agree that we need to help refugees – give them educational, health and financial assistance in their own country – however, we only have to look at the racism situation in the United Kingdom to see how a country can be ruined by allowing too many refugees/migrants into a country. When the cultures are too far apart, they don’t assimilate very well. The European migrants who moved to Australia after the main wars, mixed in well, because there was not vast differences in their cultures and appearance.

  2. Here was my other comment on that blog:

    The question of Sudanese refugees is very important for certain people in the electorate. My parents are staunch Liberal voters and have been for as long as I have been alive. One issue where we have massive arguments is the question of cultural difference and the effect this has on them. There is a real issue of kids coming from places where they have had traumatic experiences and adjusting to Australian culture. Not in the sense of assimilation, even though this is how it is framed by the reactionary conservatives, but in giving the refugees the necessary cultural and psychological skills to work through their trauma. By framing the issue as a rejection of Australian culture, or worse by simply seeing them as ‘black’ and ‘different’ and therefore unable to ‘fit in’, another kind of trauma is repeated, not with actual violence, but what Pierre Bourdieu called ’symbolic violence’.

    A proper infrastructure needs to be set up to help the refugee kids adjust to being a kid in Australia. Being a kid is traumatic enough, and being constantly reminded of one’s difference in a negative way is more traumatic. There have been various initiatives by refugeee advocacy groups in the eastern states to help kids adjust by giving them the necessary resources to construct a new way of looking at themselves. This is crucial for refugee kids to be able to develop a sense of pride in themselves and onfidence to exist in a place where they are very different (understood positively).

    The problem for established members of the area is that they have bought into the rhetoric of the reactionary conservatives and believe that the refugees are going to somehow pollute their comfortable existence (which they have created through extreme hard work and sacrifice, don’t forget Stirling was once a working class area, and changes to the composition of the class structure have been wrought in part by the upward mobility of its constituents). I remind my parents that no refugee will ever stop them from having a bbq; trying to tie it into the valorised iconic location of the arvo barbie in contemporary culture and nationalist identities. My point is that the real effect they have on their lives (beyond specific contexts such as schools) is very limited, if not non-existent. The visibility of ‘blackness’ is enough to freak them out.

  3. Glen – I don’t freak out – I see the problems at the local high school where I teach. I have great sympathy for them -because of the truama they have been through – but I question the success of the move to Australia. Being a female teacher is also a problem for these male students – they often think of women as second grade citizens, and inferior to the male species! You knowing your mother so well – that would not go down very well with this experienced female teacher.

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