Friday, June 3, 2011

Justice to Them

John Thompson

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Down through the years, again and again.
The blue fist moves in; the names ring with shame
The Springboks, the marches, up in Cedar Bay
We saw our rights and our freedoms get taken away

12 women and men with his fate in their hands
They let him go free and I don't understand
How he walked out the door and he claimed victory
What's justice to them isn't justice to me.

Mr Fitzgerald came onto the scene
Gunn thought the old joke would keep the boys clean
But the pimps and the coppers, the stories they could tell
Another two years and the government fell

The truth came to light and Sir Joh came to trial
With a wave for the cameras and an arrogant smile
But the jury was deadlocked, they couldn't be satisfied
That when the old man told his story, the premier had lied

Now was justice done, was justice observed
Or was justice twisted and mangled and turned
When justice drops the charges, when the guilty go free
What's justice to them isn't justice to me.

A song I wrote after the former Queensland premier, Sir Johannes Bjelke-Peterson's trial for perjury resulted in a hung jury and the decision was taken to not order a re-trial. The history of the Bjelke-Petersen government, the Fitzgerald hearings and the ultimate renovation of the Queensland political system are dealt with extensively in Evan Whitton's book, The Hillbilly Dictator. Well worth a look.

The Crime and Misconduct Commission site has a good summary of the Commission of Inquiry into Possible Illegal Activities and Associated Police Misconduct, including a link to the full report. The early chapters are an amazing summary of Queensland political history of the time.

Joh held the office of Queensland premier from 1968 until 1987. The illustration to this post is a photograph of him in full-flight.

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