A possie in Aussie

March 3, 2010

Angry Anderson and friends: please share your statistics!

I’m not Angry, but I am frustrated.

Gary ‘Angry’ Anderson yesterday added some petrol to the fire of racism in Australia by telling a Parliamentary Inquiry that there were racial and cultural reasons behind increases in weapon assaults.

(And gave “Aussie Kids’ a strange commendation: “Aussies use their fists”.

How does he know? How does he get the confidence to make such claims? Does he have access to sources the rest of us don’t?

Of course, Andrew Bolt is always there when there is a sniff of fuel being added to a fire.

Bolt ‘just’ raises the issue, and then lets the moral panic do the talking:

“Peter of Adelaide’:

“Angry is 100% correct.

“The Vietnamese were the first in Adelaide to use weapons and the machette seemed to be the weapon of choice.

“Today it’s knives, machettes (sic) and anything else available.

“Vietnamese, Sudanese, Lebonese (sic). You name the immigrants and you will find weapons within their gangs.

Another reader supports Peter of Adelaide:

“Peter of Adelaide makes points about the propensity of ethnic groups to use weapons. Supported by statistics.”

PLEASE PLEASE tell me, where are these statistics? I really want to know. Every time I have asked police for an idea of which groups are committing crimes I am met by silence. (As it should be.)

The only statistics that I know of that are publically available are from the ABS, and they are currently from 2005, and only of ethnicity of prisoners. (If you know of any others, please tell me).

And, unfortunately for those of us who would l.ike a quick answer to these things, the frequency of incarceration does not equal the frequency of crimes committed.

To take just one example, the wealthy can hire QCs to represent their children, as in a case of friends of mine whose sons didn’t like someone’s attitude in a street one night, and ended the night by killing the guy with a tyre lever.  The sons were ‘Australian’, of Anglo-Saxon descent, by the way.

‘Atatistics tell the story’ also turned up in recent discussions of the crimes against Indians. Commenters told me that the ‘statistics’ showed that the crimes were racist. But the ‘statistics’ turned out to be media reports.

Angry Anderson is clearly an idiot to say such things, and we could just write his comments off as so much hot air. But there is nothing like a ‘devil’ to increase sales of tabloid press and listeners to talkback radio. Especially if that ‘devil’ has a machete.



  1. Didn’t realise Angry was really a scared little man.

    Comment by joe blow — March 4, 2010 @ 9:30 pm | Reply

    • Yes, it’s a pity he has muddied his image.

      Comment by nayano — March 5, 2010 @ 6:23 am | Reply

  2. Andrew Bolt and the Herald Sun present a problem to me. Between them they seem to have a very clever way of vetting comments that may or may not suit their opinion.
    Some articles online from the Herald Sun do not to have a facility for comment via Twitter. Instead, readers are encouraged to place comments on Bolt’s Blogg. From there it just seems to disappear.
    I was recently so incensed by his distortions under the banner of “Tell Truth on Ethnic Crime”,(Friday,March 19, 2010, – Print Edition, page 93), that I was moved to comment.
    As far as I know, it was never published.
    I wrote:

    Dear Editor,
    When Christine Nixon dared to comment – “Those Sudanese refugees are actually under-represented in the crime statistics.” she meant exactly what she said but is often misinterpreted. By saying “under-represented” she was actually very clever with her choice of words. The English language is very precise in it’s construction and Christine knows this. It is another way of saying – “the figures show a lesser amount than what they actually are.” I believe Ms. Nixon knew that the data was skewed but carefully phrased her statement to protect all interested parties. Shame om Andrew Bolt and his ilk for attempting Big Brother Speak and purposely mangling the English language to promote sensationalist journalism.

    * From the very day of that statement, Andrew was beating his drum about Ethnic Crime.I think he was ignorant of what had really been said.

    Thank you.

    Comment by Mark K — March 30, 2010 @ 8:37 pm | Reply

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