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Don’t stand on my dock Sir.

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(OK, so that previous project was a bit stupid and didn’t last long.  It was a little like closing down the sewerage works without making adequate provision to handle all the crap which never stops  flowing.)

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It doesn’t happen often in my life.  Fortunately.
Occasionally however I discover some upstart who is so totally devoid of affability and has such sullen disdain for conventions of sociability that they threaten my position of dominance in these fields.

I would like you to meet the Loading Dock Ogress at the Super B Mart furniture store where I went to collect the first new couch the GOF family has ever owned.

Having reversed my ute up to the dock, I then leaped up onto the dock to give The Ogress some lifting assistance, not noticing (or caring about) the yellow ‘no go’ line painted on the concrete around the perimeter of the dock.

“Don’t stand on my dock, Sir.  You must remain down there”
she snarled at me venomously whilst pointing to the lower level.

Normally I resolve confrontations like this by duelling.
Most commonly this involves adopting a stance of contempt at ten paces and hurling invectives until the challenger is either mortally wounded or terminally offended.

On this occasion the Ogress was saved from such ignominy by three technicalities;

1. She was half my age and it would have been unfair to challenge a child of such innocence.

2. She was female. Nominally. I retain vestiges of gallantry.

3. She was built like a brick shithouse, for strength and endurance rather than decoration, and would probably have thrown me headfirst into the nearest skip bin with all the other rubbish.

“Now, sign the delivery receipt on the bottom line before you go.”


My hands once again crossed the yellow line to sign the receipt which she had placed on the dock floor.  I returned her docket with my giant sized perforated ready-to-fall-out signature occupying most of the space on the page……except for the bottom line which I diligently ensured remained as virginal as the day it was printed.
I also handed back her now defective ball point pen which apparently was not properly designed for etching concrete.

Irascibility is contagious.

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My town used to be full of country friendliness and fraternity before the plague of  lawyers arrived with their avarice and litigation and divided it with yellow lines of exclusion.

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Mohr’s Law ** (+ The dysfunctional Bucket)

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Edit April 05;   The Bucket is going into wet season hibernation due to a lack of solar power and an abundance of associated Goffly Malaise.

The Bucket   will      r  e  s  u  m  e         w     h     e     n ………….   zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

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(The most entertaining and down-to-earth little book I have read in the last decade is Les Mohr’s “The Dead Horses”

Mohr philosophophizes with Aussie humour and irreverence upon various activities and concepts including God, political correctness, sport, love, festering, marriage, and “The case for selling women”  in a series of 32 short essays.
I am indebted to the part he played in reinforcing my own thoughts, conclusions and life experience, and for inspiring me to write the following rant article.)

** My wording. Mohr’s modesty prevented him naming the law after himself.

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Occasionally in the past I have chosen to point out deficiencies that, as a humble farmer and gardener, I observe in the way Australia’s judicial system functions.

Rather than being a simple and effective system for maintaining law and order, it is primarily a complicated entrenched framework which ensures that the principal players, i.e. judges, lawyers and legal draughtsmen have an institutionalised means to syphon off the maximum amount of money over the longest possible period of time from plaintiffs, defendants and the public purse.

The present adversarial system encourages courtrooms to become theatres for case-winning acting performances rather than practical places for handing out considered, timely, effective and equitable justice.

That I am able to bring you this truth is largely due to the way I was treated by the legal system on one occasion thirty two years ago, following which I made an irrevocable decision to never again attempt to obtain justice from this unwieldy, expensive, self-serving industry.

Our present system is a deeply entrenched and untouchable relic of the past.
It is unaffordable and inaccessible to those in greatest need.
It is also a disgrace that innocence or guilt can be determined by the degree of character assassination inflicted upon litigants (and witnesses) by opposing lawyers.

As Mohr states;

“The legal profession has hijacked the opportunity for common sense and with it justice for ordinary people.”

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Mohr has a solution.

Abolish every law in the statute books, then replace all of those laws with just one;

Mohr’s Law **

It is an offence to cause harm, attempt to cause harm, or behave in a manner likely to cause harm.

There will be no necessity for “fine print” and endless pedantic legal argument.
One simple law which effectively covers everything from slander to physical violence, fraud or environmental vandalism.

Having introduced this level of simplicity, all that is required of
the justice system is the determination by judges and juries of  “extent of harm” caused, then the handing out of sentences commensurate with the “degree of harm” caused.

I have a suspicion that my Dad, who was a Justice of the Peace and occasional assistant in the Magistrate’s Court, would have concluded that Mohr’s Law represents an unsophisticated, unwelcome and flawed attempt to erode the foundations of our established system of British Justice.
Perhaps it is, or just maybe the principle behind it deserves more than a passing glance, for the present justice system is beyond the reach and comprehension of most Australians.

It may be no coincidence that both Mohr and I (separately) spent many of our younger years working with village people in Papua New Guinea and accordingly now view the world from a different perspective knowing that civilisation and simplicity need not necessarily be mutually exclusive.

Mohr’s Law has approximately zero chance of ever being taken seriously by the Establishment. Judicial reform is not exactly music to the ears of all the rich and powerful lawyers and politicians who have vested interests in maintaining Australia’s legal status quo.

I applaud Mohr’s Law for it’s promise of judicial common sense, a commodity which is increasingly absent from the deliberations of, and sentencing applied by Australia’s legal system.

It is more concerned with playing the games that lawyers play.


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Milking the golden cow

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The majority of individual lawyers are no doubt good ethical, honest and moral people.

They have, however, as much chance of convincing me to believe the same about their profession, as the remainder would have in successfully pushing a single pellet of sheep shit up Mount Kosciusko with the tips of their money-sniffing snouts.

Just to be on the safe side, let me say that the following background scenario is entirely hypothetical.

Imagine that the Australian court system has to deal with the accusation that the boss of a chain of up-market retail stores made some “unwelcome sexual advances and comments” to his female secretary.

Lawyers have lodged a claim on behalf of the woman seeking
$37 million in punitive damages.


That’s enough money to cure all the impoverished people in Ethiopia who are presently suffering from cataract blindness, fund the young girl’s fistula hospital in Addis Ababa for a few years, and still leave some cash left over to supply clean water to all the rural dwellers who still have to drink out of muddy waterholes full of goat crap.

This is no longer a discussion about sexual harassment, which we all agree needs to be stamped out.

This is totally about lawyer’s obscene greed and lack of moral conscience in only targetting respondents with the capacity to pay.
How long will they be permitted to get away with this absurdity.
Other transgressions of the law and the criminal code do not attract penalties based upon “ability to pay”.

Medical doctors do not charge patients for treatment on some sliding scale according to client’s wealth, although they probably would if they thought they could get away with it.

This ludicrous litigious adventurism flies directly in the face of justice being done and being seen to be done.

Does the legal profession give a rat’s arse about the 17 year old check-out chick working in the corner store who gets touched-up by her 21 year old supervisor?

Of course not.
There’s no money in it for them.
The spotty faced dude with roaming hands has no capacity to pay.

So, all you good lawyers with a conscience, if you would like to restore a modicum of public faith in your profession you need to firstly weed out all the money-grubbing unethical and unprincipled high fliers within your ranks.

No doubt most of you entered this profession with the finest of intentions. You have the capacity to make this entire world a much better and equitable place if you choose to do so.

Just occasionally, look beyond the outrageous fees for service that you will receive, vacate your lofty thrones of superiority and privilege, and mingle once again with the common man.

Re-learn the simple stuff your parents taught you, before Law School and the wearing of wigs and gowns apparently clouded your common sense and morality.

When you were young and you mowed your neighbours lawn for pocket money, were you paid according to the area of lawn, or did you receive a percentage of his bank account?

When did your youthful symbiotic relationship with all of society turn into the stupifyingly voracious parasitism I see today?

It is not right.
It is not just, and
It is not Australian.

It is time for your profession to rediscover some social conscience.

Mebbee there’s gold in them thar ashes

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The worst bushfires in Australias history, which have possibly claimed 300 lives, brought out the very best and worst of human nature.

During the first week it was announced that not only were the fires ignited by lightning and spontaneous combustion during ambient temperatures exceeding 45 degrees C, but that some were deliberately lit.

The public response to the unfolding tragedy was instantaneous, supremely generous and without parallel.
Thousands of tons of relief supplies were donated and delivered to the survivors who had lost every possession they ever owned, and whose place of residence was now a donated tent on a sports field.

The Red Cross donation fund grew to an unprecedented $A100 million.  An extraordinary achievement in a country of only 20 million souls.

Any caring and compassionate Australian could only have watched the last 2 weeks events with tears in the eyes.  Not only with sadness, but  pride in the generosity of donors (flood victims in northern Australia donated their benefits to the fire victims), and the devotion of a host of volunteers;  firemen, doctors, nurses, priests, animal carers…..the list is almost endless.  
The Bucket does not always strive to present balanced argument and opinion, but occasionally it makes a token attempt.  This is one such occasion.  Some lawyers volunteered their services.  Full marks guys.

Unfortunately we also witnessed the ugliness of human character.
The occasional looter, and arsonist lighting new fires.

It also attracted a new wave of opportunists out of their plush city offices.

1. Real Estate agents hell bent on buying up cheap charred land while the owners were still shell-shocked.

2. Lawyers with a profit motive.

They have suddenly found a new "cause" for the fires and are launching litigation proceedings.
Electricity supply companies are the most easy and lucrative target, given that arsonists, if caught, will probably not possess much money to extract, and God, having sent the 46 degrees and the lightning, is, for the moment "whereabouts unknown".

It unfortunately has a "precedent", which is legalese for "we got away with it once before".
Following the 1983 Ash Wednesday bushfires, the State Electricity Commission had to pay out more than $300 million in compensation for fires started by arcing power lines.  
As this money would eventually have been repaid to the SEC by electricity or insurance consumers in the form of higher charges and tariffs, it was effectively legal action against ordinary people.

If I was at all cynically inclined I might suggest that the ones most likely to benefit from court proceedings will be the  ……..

Sorry, can't find the right word.

Maybe all you wonderful cynics out there can think of an appropriate occupation?

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