Well, you walk in like a copper, that you are
You put your conscience in your pocket and you’re a movie star,*
In 2012 Senior Constable Nathaniel Jones arrested Uncle Kevin Veritz, a Yuggera man, for lighting a sacred fire in Musgrave Park.
Jones claimed that Uncle Kevin had obstructed him in his duties. Kevin refused to allow Council Officer Scott McLoughlin to put out the sacred fire. The council officer said the fire may spread.
Yet Uncle Kevin never wasted a stick of wood on a fire in his life, he had set a bare perimeter around the fire for safety.
But you think blackfellas are stupid, don’t you Mr Jones?
An Auntie yelled out to Cnst. Jones: “He’s a traditional owner, he is, you’re makin’ a big mistake, you are.”
But you don’t pay her any mind do you, Mr Jones?
Mr Jones, you were always hanging around Musgrave Park on the fringe looking for somehow to put out that sacred fire for Quirky. Clean cut, ex-State High, combat engineer in East Timor, lookin’ for a chance. Now you got it and you say:
You’re gonna ‘improve lighting around Musgrave Park‘.
It’s for them whitefellas, isn’t it, Mr Jones?
Gonna put them lights down Orleigh Park too, you say, if those toffs down there vote you in, that is.
Well you’ve been with the Big Wigs at City Hall and they’ve all thought you’re a good style of bloke, haven’t they?
They decided to back you against Councillor Sri cos he has been challenging City Hall connections with those big developers, hasn’t he?.
Of course you will say nothing about that, will you, Mr Jones?
What about the time at AHIMSA house in Horton Street West End next to the Primary School when people were complaining about the Public Trustee allowing fraudsters getting away with blue murder, ripping off an old man. And the bank was throwing him out. They put him in a high secure facility 100kms away from all his friends and took him down and made him homeless.
You say you want to help the homeless, don’t you Mr Jones?
And your boss at West End Police sent down a squad of your mates to the auction to kick out all the old man’s mates. Just makin’ sure that the bank could conduct its business and sell the property for a fraction of what it was worth.
Which side were you on that day, Mr Jones?
Was it you Mr Jones who used the Bail Act against Uncle Kevin to prevent him from carrying on cultural business.
Yes, it was you, wasn’t it, Mr Jones?
But Magistrate Callaghan saw it differently, when he ruled in judgement:
But you know nothin’ about the truth, about where new ideas are borne, do you, Mr Jones?
A few weeks back I saw you on that street corner when your copper mates took the water off that young fella from Extinction Rebellion who had locked-on in the street cos he was worried about climate change. They took his hat off too in the boiling sun.
But you did nothin’ about that, did you Mr Jones?
You gonna stop the glue sniffers and the meth addicts being on the streets, aren’t you, Mr Jones?
Who knows, they might glue themselves to the road, mightn’t they Mr Jones?
Was it you who stopped those militia in Timor killing all those people on Dili streets, when Howard government was forced by public opinion to send the army in?
But you don’t wear them ribbons from East Timor, do you Mr Jones?
There ain’t no law against you running in this place
Tho you should be made to wear earphones
‘Cause something is happening here and you don’t know what it is
Do you, Mr. Jones?
2 Nov 2019
*with apologies to Bob Dylan, Ballad of a Thin Man