TRUE OPINION: With disgraced sleazy Liberal Party doyen Robert Doyle now well and truly in the sights of Victoria Police detectives, our Melbourne correspondent, Gary Johnston, wonders why the hell it took all so long. The answer? Well that’s simple, isn’t it.
I was at a seminar recently when the speaker put forth the ridiculous but oft spoken platitude that Australia is ‘a classless society.’
“No matter who you are, or where you come from”, prattled the deluded talking head, “everyone in the Lucky Country gets a fair go.”
Laugh? I nearly bought a drink.
As the impending meteor of justice trains its coordinates on Robert Doyle, the beleaguered Ex Melbourne Mayor, Liberal Party grandee and one-time schoolmaster given to wearing baggy shorts, the concept of dinkum egalitarianism has surely never sounded so risible.
This is no revelatory ‘exclusive’. Very little new information has recently come to light. The rumours and allegations now swarming around Doyle like angry bees have been common knowledge for years, decades even, all the way back to, as True Crime News Weekly reported last year, the Geelong College days, when Doyle was known as ‘Oily’, and not because he liked to tinker with old cars.
He liked to tinker, sure, numerous people who’d had contact with him said. But not with cars.
As the evidence starts to build, the secret ex gratia payment relating to his alleged conduct at a Health Department function – a payment which incidentally, will not be secret for much longer, following Doyle’s aborted Supreme Court appeal – strong stories of class actions from ex-students, and rumours of more people providing Victoria Police with sworn statements and affidavits, it’s now only a matter of time before the RD asteroid hits.
No one knows when. But it’s coming.
When, not if, it does, it is to be hoped that the numerous legal questions that will posed, include the following:
Why has it taken so long? And what does it say about the impartiality of the criminal justice system?
If ‘Oily’ was actually Bobby Doyle, a recent arrival from, let’s just say for the sake of arguing, South Sudan, does anyone truly believe the pace of the various investigations around him would have been quite so tortoise-like?
How accurate is it, in fact that the influential and connected Doyle was protected – or a least shielded – for years by a coterie of friends and allies often referred to as ‘the great and the good’ (but not by anyone who’s ever met them)?
That, shamefully, as many of us already knew, the justice system is heavily, hopelessly, biased against people on the margins, rather than the main pages of society?
Spend a morning in any Australian court, if you don’t believe me.
You won’t not see many politicians in the dock. Or bankers, or high end company directors. Or police officers, bureaucrats, advisors or consultants.
You might just, in the near future however, see an ex-Lord Mayor. In fact, I’d go as far to say, it’s inevitable.
To paraphrase Winston Churchill, another one-time respected statesman whose murky past is coming back to haunt him, albeit from beyond the grave – this is not the end. It’s not even the beginning of the end.
But, for the ever increasing legions of people – women and men – who have long been asking why no-one in authority has responded to their specific recall of the past, it may well be the end of the beginning.