The Fair Call

Australian Politics & Current Affairs

RIP Sydney: 1788 – 2014

Barry O’Farrell, the NSW premier, head of the self-proclaimed “Liberal” party – a political ideology dedicated to the rights and liberties of individuals and businesses – has just announced his intent to fail his party, fail his backers, fail his constituents, and fail the state of New South Wales. Disastrously.

Today’s announcements to end drinks at 3am in “the greater CBD” area are the most blatant knee-jerk reactions to media hysteria, whipped up in a pathetic appeal to a bunch of paranoid, possessive parents. A generation of old bores, whose age puts them well beyond their use-by-date in regards to anything remotely concerned with the reality of Sydney’s nightlife. A powerful, demanding, and stubborn pack of middle-aged Alan Jones listeners, bent on wrapping the nation in a safety blanket of rules and regulations, and anyone who doesn’t go along with their agenda is clearly an advocate of violence, chaos, destruction, and death.

To involve the families of deceased teenagers Tom Kelly and Daniel Christie in the debate was a fatal flaw to begin with. This is terrible policy making – dancing to the tune of hysterical families who, understandably, “want something done”. There can be no objective, well-constructed arguments by shutting the doors and bowing down to emotion. This is not justice – this is collective retribution inflicted on an entire city for the stupid acts of two thugs, who, incidentally, lashed out before midnight had even struck.

Reason and logic have been shattered today. This is a true triumph for the paranoid, the weak, the hysterical. This is New South Wales, 2014 – a state run by a handful of media shit-stirrers, an opportunistic ALP making demands in Opposition it would never have considered when in power, a spineless government laying down and letting the “epidemic of alcoholism” noise drown out the fact that alcohol-related assaults are actually decreasing, and a generation of youth with their heads stuck so far up their arses they allowed this to happen.

Yes, to the youth of Sydney – you allowed this to happen. In any other self-respecting place on Earth, the youth have enough political engagement and collective angst to oppose this inter-generational bullshit. Not you. Your lives have been engulfed by Facebook, selfies, fashion, and exhibitionism. You will now pay the price as your “elected officials” tear apart the very nightlife you rely upon to feel good about yourselves as you post 5am selfies and status updates about your “epic hangover”.

Take a good hard look in the mirror, and ask yourselves what kind of state you want this to be. Today marks only the beginning of the end. Make no mistake, this will not stop at “the greater CBD area”, nor will it stop at 3am, nor will it satisfy the hordes of arseholes in this world who feel it is their God-given right to tell everyone else how to act, how to have fun, and how to live their lives.

Governments will always, always, increase restrictions and claw back the rights and freedoms of its people, because that it simply what governments do. But they only get away with it when a blind, deaf, and dumb citizenry allows them to. Wake up. Take off the blindfold, take out the earplugs, and take a stand. This is your state to be won or lost.


41 comments on “RIP Sydney: 1788 – 2014

  1. Save Our Nightlife
    January 21, 2014

    The youth is mobilizing to fight back, lets hope it’s not to little to late.

    • GL
      January 21, 2014

      Grammar. Say no more!!!!

      • Tempy
        January 23, 2014

        Bullying because someone can’t write like you! I’d love to see you write in more than one language consistently. The internet is world wide and you appear to think everyone should of studied English grammar or even better no one owes you an explanation. Wow you can spell but your maturity is still sitting on nil.

      • mikutuzov
        January 23, 2014

        Should *have*

    • Tempy
      January 23, 2014

      Omg people need to stand up for our personal rights and they have no right to shut down a whole city based on no logic or testing or better yet a statistic that shows that leaving people outside in the city with little transport options at 3 am people will just buy before the bottle shops close and binge srinking before events will surely sky rocket and bored drunk tired cold possibly rain will just push the issue from the clubs to the streets and drunken walkers who find they have no bus available will stumble the streets in a haze and possibly pass out in the dark girls will take risks or go home with strangers due to little safer options! They need to assess the problem and go over possible ways to address it, and the fallout it will cause does the end justify the means! In this instance no

      And no point arguing this through the media these are the people creating the headlines and feeding opinions when fact is majority behaves and they prob don’t even go out side at night yet those who do go out know this whole thing is over exaggerated and fights in kings cross shouldn’t impact how suburbs continue to operate blah

  2. Kaz
    January 21, 2014

    Hahaha are you serious? Sydney isnt dead because people cant get grog at 3am! It worked well with violence in Newcastle. Hope it does the same there. Something needs to happen and alcohol should never take precidence over human lives.

    • Jay
      January 21, 2014

      Are you serious? One real look at Newcastle and its surrounding areas will show you that the lockouts and curfew did nothing but distribute the issue into areas where that sort of violence had very little instance of prior to the lock downs coming into effect.

      All that happens now is venues close and there is little to no infrastructure to deal with moving such large numbers of people away efficiently. This in turn leads to frustration, boredom and then mischief in its various forms. Knee jerk policy does not solve any issue.

      If this comes to Sydney you will see venues boarded up and for lease signs everywhere as the venues aren’t able to sustain their rents. Drink prices go up, more off licence sales (which are largely unregulated) more drunk idiots wandering around at times when they would normally be in venues… It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see what the results of this are.

      Tourism will take a massive hit as what young traveller would not want to experience all that Sydney has to offer day and night.

      I wonder what the instances of alcohol mixed with performance enhancing substances are. Probably enough to make a connection I would say…

    • Matt
      January 22, 2014

      Anyone advocating for the “Newcastle Solution” obviously hasn’t been to Newcastle lately. East Germany or Russia during the cold war would have been more fun, because I’m sure it would have been easier to get a drink. Firstly, a lot of venues don’t bother opening because of all the crap they have to go through. To get in somewhere you have to line up in a 50 metre line to have to hand over your ID for scanning in a machine (“Your Papers Please!”), while getting frisked and photographed. God knows where that information ends up. The venues are awful once inside, presumably because no-one interesting bothers to go out anymore. You can’t even hail a taxi to go home, you have to get into another line at pre-approved locations, hand your ID over to a marshall who writes down your address and gives you a paper chit. Only then can you get a taxi home- otherwise they won’t pick you up. 1984 has arrived, 30 years behind schedule.

  3. Nick Kenny
    January 21, 2014

    Kaz – take a look at the times these victims died. 9pm, 10pm. 3am curfews and 1:30am lockouts would have done nothing to prevent this.

    Sydney isn’t dead yet – this is just the beginning of a long march towards a police state.

  4. raf
    January 21, 2014

    punish the agressors not the venues…. mandatory jail term for violence. Minimum 10 year sentence for causing death or of serious injury. PUNISH THE THUGS I SAY……………………….

  5. Nick Kenny
    January 21, 2014

    The vast, vast majority of alcohol-related assaults and deaths occur within the confines of people’s homes – domestic violence related. A handful of incidents occur, the media circus needs a villain to target, and BOOM! Garbage like this is the result.

  6. Ben Darko
    January 21, 2014

    This reminds me a lot of the Pro gun blatherers I deal with in the states, who refuse to accept that action is needed.

    “In any other self-respecting place on Earth, the youth have enough political engagement and collective angst to oppose this inter-generational bullshit.”

    Visit LA, San Francisco, Boston… last drinks at 2am. Kill the dramatics, you act like we are heading to prohibition.

  7. Richard Austin
    January 21, 2014

    “LA, San Francisco, Boston… last drinks at 2am. Kill the dramatics, you act like we are heading to prohibition.”

    Strange response. Having lived in the US and worked in all the cities you mentioned, Prohibition is EXACTLY what it looks and feels like.

  8. Lou
    January 21, 2014

    good spiel NIck…. about time we didn’t allow minorities to govern policy changes… be it religious, social or otherwise. Punish the offenders and let teh democratic choice survive.

  9. Luke Simmons
    January 22, 2014

    Reducing the appeal of Sydney as an International city does nothing to stop the root of a problem. Nor does pricing alcohol to a point of encouraging our youth to pre-load unmeasured drinks at home before they go out. It is likely the thugs that inflicted the violence on their unsuspecting victims were not even drinking within a venue but high on something before arriving. Their is definitely an attitudinal issue here that may take a lot more to solve.

  10. Bruno Beira
    January 22, 2014

    There are a lot of broken families out there. 20-25% of Australians are on some sort of government assistance. In order not to write an essay I’ve left it simple. It adds up to a lot of disenfranchised people. Angry parents who think the world owes them something raising angry kids who think the world owes them something. Until some parts of our culture change the solution to this problem is unfortunately to curb these freedoms. I’m sure when the culture changes the laws will be reversed. The alcohol cartel is a powerful enough lobby group to have them reversed. The other solution is greater income equality. Are you prepared to advocate that?

    • Nick Kenny
      January 22, 2014

      Naturally. Britain and the U.S. have an entire generation of “underclass” ghetto citizens with nothing in their lives but to get wasted and commit unprovoked crimes on people for the fun of it. We dodged the bullet of Thatcherism and Reaganomics to some degree, but under Howard we still saw the explosion of a dual-class society. Go out west and all you see are broken families, chronic unemployment, drug abuse, etc. Most of these idiots are the product of an environment like that. It doesn’t excuse their behaviour one bit, but you’re right – glaring inequality, USA-style, produces massive social problems.

      • Lauren
        January 26, 2014

        You are such an idiot, sir. ‘All you see [out west] are broken families, chronic unemployment and drug abusee’ where clearly uttered by a man that has never transcended into the outer western suburbs of sydney. Your comments are short sighted and fueled by ignorance and arrogance (one quality I’m sure you would have associated with the uneducated likes of drug enfueled ‘westies’).

  11. juliussky
    January 22, 2014

    Your comments about the Youth are ridiculous and melodramatic. Before realising that the faults of the youth are half the faults of the parents of the youth, you should also consider blaming the Australian beer and football culture.

  12. Bruno Beira
    January 22, 2014

    Also the hypocrisy needs to change. That stockbroker who knocked out the bouncer, the media asked him why, he said because the bouncer humiliated him. I’m sure if those other two were asked why they did it, they would’ve answered similar although not as eloquent. But because one is a stockbroker from the nth shore and the other two are from the wrong side of the tracks they are treated differently. Either they all get a say or none of them. Also two victims being kids and one being a bouncer shouldn’t matter because the crimes were the same as the bouncer was not the aggressor. If the bouncer does not come out of his coma that’s murder. Past offences should determine the maximum sentence but the stockbroker deserves the same minimum sentencing. Buts thats not going to happen because the message so far is clear,if you’re from a well to do family it’s open season on bouncers.

  13. andrew
    January 22, 2014

    Australian beer and football culture has nothing to do with it… its the steroids Ice and speed culture mixed with media having way too much control over people.

    Sydney was not like this 15 years ago when I started working in pubs. Social media, selfies etc etc is what has been the biggest change in the last 10 years. no one knows how to socially interact away from a PC anymore.

    This is the government looking for more ways to tax and control.
    someone killed someone, give them 25- life no questions asked.
    Stop trying to nanny everyone and punish those who cause the problems!
    I finish work between midnight and 4am regularly, So I cant have a beer after work anymore because some kid said something stupid to a roided/Iced up freak. Yup Punish me it was all my fault!

  14. Andy Kay
    January 22, 2014

    What a rude,arrogant self centered brick.obviously doesn’t have kids,and wouldn’t know what it would feel like to loose a loved are the Asshole,mate ,not the politicians.

    • Bill
      January 22, 2014

      I hope you realise you proved his point…

    • Nick Kenny
      January 23, 2014

      Sorry mate, should we up-end society every time someone dies? More people will die on the roads this month than have died from alcohol-fuelled assaults in the past decade. Should we ban driving between certain hours?

      More children will die from allergic reactions to peanuts this year than have died from alcohol-related assaults on our streets. Should we ban everyone from eating peanuts?

      These deaths in King’s Cross are tragic, yes. All deaths are. But they were one in a million. You do not overhaul an entire legislative framework over a handful of extremely rare and unlikely occurrences.

      But by all means, break out the bubble-wrap and cotton wool and continue to strangle Australia with a new regulation and restriction every time something ugly occurs, based entirely on your emotions, and the fact that you, “as a parent” are clearly entitled to tell the rest of the world what it can and cannot do.

  15. Tim jones
    January 22, 2014

    It’s not very often I agree with anyone on Facebook or in any write up but today I’m impressed by this, free will is ultimately what you are trying to control, all the rules and regulations or anything you try and do will not change the fact that people do as they want when they want to so if u ban stuff at 10 pm someone will fuck up at 9 so on and so forth and statistically speaking for every 1 person killed by a punch there are many many who don’t die and it is the same for anything. As the world gets bigger with more people anything and everything will happen and people you know and love will die and so will you and me of who knows what who knows when. Police state is the endgame here you all will throw your rights away gladly and gradually you will have less and less freedom. People are best to worry and learn about the financial system and how your government is fucking every single one of you and how debt and interest in enslaving you in a barless prison.

  16. Pingback: RIP Sydney: 1788 – 2014 | alexbrownsmoke

  17. patrick
    January 22, 2014


  18. patrick
    January 22, 2014

    Many people will differ in opinion depending on their experiences in the past and that is respected. In my opinion not really the country so much but NSW has just gone to a whole new level to prevent people from even being able to enjoy themselves anymore not just with the whole lockout scenario yet to come in place. Another example is the revenue raising on the roads over the past 15 years.. what happen to the days when we could take the car out for a drive and not worrying about having a cop following us because of the car in which in driven. Another thing which confuses me in the joke restrictions on P plate vehicles which I just found out? no turbos allowed ? clearly the country is left behind as majority of the vehicles which are sold in Australia are European cars and of all which have turbos now.. this needs to be fixed as it is a complete joke and im fairly sure NSW and Victoria are the only states which enforce this. Although I could discuss different matters all day seems to be pointless as the government only wants what they want not what the people want.. we may as well all be incased in bubble rap…

  19. Bill
    January 22, 2014

    I enjoyed the read. Unfortunately your right, those who feel aggrieved by these decisions need only blame themselves. Its been interesting to watch the social media commentary from young people in the past few days and even more so the sudden rise in people willing to get out and actually protest a government decision.

    My concern is this. Why this issue though? It seems the hours of 12 AM to 6 AM on a Saturday and Sunday morning in the CBD are more important to the young people of Sydney then anything I have seen previously. Greater Sydney is a rather large place, New South Wales is even bigger, god forbid these people opened their eyes to a whole Nation of issues or even those affecting Asia or the World. I’m a bit disgusted with a generation, that I am part of, that gives Facebook pages such as “Save Our Nightlife” ( over 4000 likes in under a day. Surely there are greater concerns for the young adults of our nation than this.

    I have to say that like the Nick Kenny I’m concerned with the reactive regulations that will be put in place throughout the CBD that will inevitably effect local business, jobs, and could be a precedent for further irrational law changes. But like as the article says it seems the youth of today have their head up there arses and if you want to make yourselves not only heard, but listened too, then this is not the issue to protest in the streets about. You look like a bunch of trust fund babies, kicking and screaming after daddy took the yacht privileges away.

  20. Steve Quilty
    January 22, 2014

    We are a society which seems to rely on alcohol to underpin the chances of having a good time…the popular mythology goes as far requiring sporting event attendees to sit down and be on the grog to have that good time. If you are in like minded company the group will willingly look past or beyond drink related actions that result in dangerous behaviour. The wink wink nudge nudge approval of such things reminds me of the way some racists get away unchallenged in the ‘right’ company. Many people are afraid to challenge this mainstream acceptance of alcohol being the base of having fun. Sadly, this is at times made worse by the modern trend which sees body image for young men being so important….the most extreme elements ….loaded with roids….acting out MMA fantasy finishes. Alcohol…roids and other drugs of choice… often combine to see kamikaze driven men in busy locations….using the cowards punch. Sadly our society has too much invested in drink venues and the tax revenue streams for government… to want to address what is really a mental / psychological problem only solvable through re-education and change in base societal values

  21. Jo
    January 23, 2014

    The problem here, is the fate of the NSW night scene is being determined by those who haven’t stayed up past midnight in 25 years.

    The issue i see with Sydneys clubs and pubs is that you spend more time lining up to get into a club, being harassed by a bouncer whos body weight far exceeds his IQ and then once you’re in, you’re guaranteed to spend at least 15 minutes in line waiting for your 1st drink. If the combined waiting time outweighs the time spent having a good time with friends, of course people will get violent.

    There needs to be a culture change and forcing all the idiots onto the street at 3am is not the answer.

    Sydneys outlying suburbs need more nightlife, this will stop the CBD getting so packed and will help with alleviate the crowded street issue.

    The people in the CBD also need a way to get home, trains stopping before the lockout hits is pure lunacy. Will there be 100 nightriders lined up at town hall at 3 am? i think not.

    Last but not least, how about we use these ID scanning machines a lot of pubs and clubs have against the idiots. Yes you need to scan in, however if these were linked, the idiots could be barred from entering elsewhere should they be scanned out ie kicked out of a club for disorderly behaviour.

  22. Dani
    January 23, 2014

    Wow how wrong are you???? Seriously I love to go out share sometimes one too many bevy’s but how on earth do you suggest 3am last drinks is the end of Sydney? Most places shut down at 3am anywhere else in NSW, so why not shut down where it is the most worst? Why do you need to keep drinking to that time of the morning anyway? Because you can’t pick up?! 3am is very generous.

    Obviously something has to be done, and this is just one step for a whole long list of things to curb this behaviour.

    Pull your head out of your arse and come up with better solutions then

    • Nick Kenny
      January 23, 2014

      Dani, we are a 24/7 city. Thousands and thousands of people knock off work late at night, but as a 9-5 employee, you want your drinks, at your time, and deny them to the night-owls who keep this city running while you’re having fun or asleep? DJs, security, road workers, bartenders, cleaners, are these people denied the right to what you take for granted?

      I guarantee you if any of the proposals affected the social lives of Barry O’Farrell’s country club mates, he wouldn’t even consider them. But when it comes to the younger generation, or the night-owls, or the graveyard shifters, he couldn’t give two shits.

      Shutting pubs and clubs at a certain hour was tried in the past. Much, much earlier, in fact. It led to the “six o’clock swill”, where everyone would scull before closing time. Accidents, assaults, domestic violence, etc, actually increased.

      Where there is a will, there is a way – as Nucky Thompson put it in reply to prohibition, alcohol is “a product fellas gotta have”.

    • Sinc
      January 23, 2014

      A solution to what exactly, Dani?

      Funny that the media has brewed up such a shit storm here that we’re all arguing about “solutions” to a problem that doesn’t actually exist.

    • knockoutlockout
      October 23, 2014

      The lockouts are a knee-jerk response from a corrupt government. Better transport would’ve solved the majority of the issue . and this ‘behaviour’ has completely been blown out of proportion by the media to induce moral panic. #KNOCKOUTLOCKOUT

  23. Carsten
    January 27, 2014

    A better solution, Dani? Well, let me shock you (& everybody else on this page … interesting page, btw).

    I think Nick’s article is a riot; the gist of it – though – makes sense. Yes, Nucky, a drink is “a product fellas gotta have”. So far so good.

    As stated in abundance now, 03:00 lock-outs, 01:30 last drinks, 22:00 closing of bottle shops etc. are (for some) like a slow death. A fella, a misses, anybody really (OK, anybody over 18), should be able to go out and have a drink any time, anywhere. Basta. A world city like Sydney having its bars close at a certain time indeed is ludicrous … some people want facilities 24/7; if they’re happy to pay for it, let them have it, I say.

    But here’s the rub. You see, Dani, the problem is not alcohol itself. The problem is that some people like to have “sometimes one too many”, as you put it; in fact, sometimes ten too many. The problem is public drunkenness.

    Alcohol has always been there, will always be there, should always be there … in moderation. And 24/365 (Nucky was right, prohibition is a dud). What needs to change is people’s attitude to drinking ’til they’re blind drunk and don’t remember what they’ve done … “what, I killed someone? Nooo, not me.” (I love it when friends say afterwards, “he’s such a nice, gentle guy.”)

    And since people won’t get there – drink in moderation – by themselves, we need RBT (Random Breath Testing) for BAC (Blood Alcohol Content) in trouble spots. If you’re over the limit (for drivers it’s 0.05%) of – say – 0.1% BAC … fine. $500. Once drunk blokes (& sheilas) have copped such a fine a couple of times, guess what … they won’t pre-load and get to the city drunk again anytime soon.

    There’s your better solution, Dani.

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    July 19, 2014

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  25. dickmcmc
    August 14, 2014


  26. knockoutlockout
    October 23, 2014

    The lockouts have wrecked harvoc on Sydneys nightlife .. all at the hands of corrupt politicians. The casino is clearly free from the lockouts as it is ‘too attractive’ for the government too apply. There is currently also no basis that the lockout laws are even working. together we can #KNOCKOUTLOCKOUT

  27. Pingback: You’d think a lot could happen in two years | surely not.

  28. Pingback: A lot can happen in two years… | surely not.

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This entry was posted on January 21, 2014 by in Politics.
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