I thought you may be interested in a letter I sent to one of the Redcliffe by-elections' candidates, Mr Len Thomas - Independent For Redcliffe. Here goes -
Hello Len. I must say that after reading the views of the various candidates, I was in agreement with yours the most. Which, I must say, surprised me. (I won't explain that).
I have one major issue at the moment, which most people seem to be glossing over. VLAD. If it were as simple as just repealing them it would be easy. But it's not. The expensive smear campaign against bikers, instigated by the Newman Government, has Redcliffe citizens jumping at ghosts. They can say in the media that VLAD is used to get rid of dangerous gangs, but the truth of the matter is that most people can't tell the difference between one biker and the next. So far, since the campaign started, I have been spat at by passing motorists, almost run off the road on five different occasions, have had abuse yelled at me by pedestrians and car drivers as well as being given the finger a lot. Now, you might say that those are ok stats for an area the size of Brisbane, unfortunately they all happened between North Lakes and Redcliffe.
I am a 49yo Ulysses member who obeys the road laws, and I am tired of being treated like pond scum by members of my own community who have taken it upon themselves to ostracize me because I ride a motorcycle.
The damage to bikers reputations is irreparable. It doesn't even seem to matter that hundreds of us go on charity drives every month. Donating our time and money to disadvantaged individuals and community projects. Positive public awareness of who we are and what we do needs to be stepped up. Please help stop this vicious discrimination.
We are bikers. Help us, as we have helped many of you.
And his reply -
Hello Guy, I feel your pain. When elected, I will fight beside Peter Wellington to have the laws written and enforced fairly. Further, I will work to have the reputations of all bikers restored. Criminals should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Innocent people should be protected by the law. That is the Australian way. That is justice. That is what I believe in and will fight for.
Not really the sort of reply I was after, but it's a start. At least I may have made an impression on this one.
Time will tell. (B.T.W. Len is an ex copper. That's why I was surprised)
Hasta Mañana. Dr Smiley.