I've been browsing through stories in The Australian about police behavior during the APEC events in Sydney. And I've been asking myself questions of a rhetorical kind. That's to say, it's important to pose such questions, without necessarily hoping to obtain answers.
• Does it really matter if a pair of air-force fighter jets scarred shit out of an innocent private pilot in a tiny Cessna who strayed into the air-exclusion zone?
• Does it really matter if dozens of police removed their identity tags before manhandling innocent demonstrators in an excessive manner?
• Does it really matter if a freelance photographer was arrested and charged after refusing to stop filming police during the protest?
• Does it really matter if an innocent 52-year-old onlooker, crossing the road ahead of an APEC motorcade, was arrested violently in front of his son, and spent 22 hours in jail before being released on bail?
Personally, I don't think it matters a lot, because every society generally ends up with the police it deserves. And many Australians are so hoodwinked into believing naively that they live in a laid-back environment that they apparently accepted the recent police closure of Sydney as a necessary evil, without seeing Howard's dictatorial constraint as a state-imposed incursion upon their civil liberties.
Hearing complaints, Andrew Scipione, the new chief commissioner of police, explained: "That's the way we do business in NSW now." What a frightening conclusion.