The past two weeks, I have written about youth crime and how delightful Old Mate is, in that order. I could write the first column weekly, as crime around the state is a daily news story.
The second column was actually about adjectives and some interpretation of the English language – about how delightful my other half is. Well, at least to some people.
Strangely, this week’s column touches on both. Just last week, the Katter Party announced a strategy about youth boot camps for offenders in Western Queensland, with talk about actions and consequences.
A lot of it made sense. There was talk about breaking the cycle of youth crime and punishment, but also an opportunity to teach a trade and give a future. I must say, it sounded remarkably like local Member Jarrod Bleijie’s pitch a few years ago that got shot down by Labor and every civil libertarian in the state. Where are we now?
Of course, the blow torch is on the Premier about our exploding youth crime wave. So, at the time of writing, she hadn’t said no, but in fact pulled a few adjectives out in an Eddie Jones-style press conference where she tried to take the focus off the actual problem by answering a question with a conglomeration of words.
You do have to give her some credit with one sentence. When she was asked whether, instead of spending tens of millions on new youth detention centres, it would be better to throw some of the budget towards the Katter strategy in the west (a lot less money and better bang for the buck), she replied with: “We will have to look at what in country would look like and get back to you”.
What does that mean? It’s a brilliant play on words. It is not an answer to a very important question at a very critical time for public safety. It doesn’t say no, which would have inflamed the already growing movement to do something about what the state government is doing nothing about.
None of us have the perfect solution for this massive issue but it would be great if all sides of politics worked together to come up with the best-possible measures to put the brakes on youth crime and poor social behaviour.
Then that would be just like Old Mate – delightful.