Idiot Wind – the West End Racketeer

The students believe that our society develops continually an ethos of war, where values of love, sincerity, honesty and respect are sacrificed to a rule of thumb called expedience …” – Brian Laver

The ‘West End Racketeer’ is a play on words. 

The person concerned has long history of sexist and dishonest dealings with people taking many gullible people down. 

Politically he is a sectarian who spent years stereotyping people especially those on the Marxist end of the Left spectrum. 

He tried to steal from his business partner at a West End bookshop. This was challenged but the racketeer was outwitted when he demanded that the much maligned business partner not open a competing bookshop within so many kilometres of Emma’s which sold second-hand books.
His ex-business partner was happy to sign the agreement and opened a highly successful independent bookshop which sells new books.

The racketeer stole over $600K from a retired meat worker leaving him destitute and at the mercy of the Public Trustee. His old ‘friend’ died alone in an aged care facility after being kicked out of his own home. The Racketeer used the money he stole from the old man to renovate his home in the heart of West End.

He is also a tennis coach at West End school.

Another person from the New Left era sent me this picture of the racketeer stopping a Bardon tram during a civil rights march in 1967. The photo captures many things about that time – the cars, tram, signs, people and clothes, body language.

In the back drop there is an advert for “Till Death us do part” a TV show where the earthy charm of the Alf Garnett covered up for his sexist and racist views. 

I wonder if the same could be said of the West End Racketeer?

Of course there is another aspect to the racketeer, his total incompetence. He set himself up as the CEO of AHIMSA house in West End with the promise that he arrange to have trustees manage the generous gift of nearly $1 million with his benefactor’s permission.

That never happened.

Despite this, he paid himself a large weekly retainer and was often seen pocketing cash. He made costly and lavish renovations and often failed to pay the contractors.

He brought in an architect as a tenant and leant him $80,000 of which only $40,000 was repaid. He brought in other tenants who did not pay commercial rent.

He obtained $50,000 from then federal minister, Peter Garrett, to build a sustainable water supply for the building. This was never built.

He brought in a tenant next door without a proper lease. He said that he would obtain a liquor licence but never did.

The list goes on on.

As a quite famous singer once said: “Brian does not have a practical bone in his body”.

I think Bob Dylan’s Idiot Wind sums up the privilege that the West End racketeer operated under pretty well:

Someone’s got it in for me
They’re planting stories in the press
Whoever it is I wish they’d cut it out quick
But when they will I can only guess
They say I shot a man named Gray
And took his wife to Italy
She inherited a million bucks
And when she died it came to me
I can’t help it if I’m lucky

Ian Curr
28 August 2020