A Mystery in Melbourne

An event in Melbourne, completely without precedent elsewhere, leaves us dumbfounded:

Australian police have arrested two people after a car drove into a crowd in Melbourne.

The car “collided with a number of pedestrians” on Flinders Street, a busy junction in the centre of the city, said Victoria Police.

Fourteen people have been injured, with several in a critical condition.

I know that junction, I used to cross it on my daily walk to work along with about twenty thousand other people. It’s busy, and there’s nothing between the pavement and the road. If you want to mow down a bunch of folk in a car in Melbourne, that’s where you’d do it.

Police have said it was a deliberate act but said it was too early to say whether it was terrorist-related.

This is probably true, but I don’t think time is really the issue here. I remember when an Iranian took a bunch of people hostage in a Sydney cafe and shouted Islamist slogans while waving an ISIS flag before shooting someone; when the police eventually got around to saying whether it was terrorist-related they’d decided it wasn’t. Just another of those “lone wolves” we keep seeing everywhere. The public responded with a hashtag fronting a bizarre campaign to sit next to Muslims on public transport. If only their cricket team behaved like this on the pitch, I’d be a lot happier.

The driver and another man have been detained.

“The motivations are unknown,” police commander Russell Barrett said.

Helpfully, 7 News Sydney tweeted a photo of the two men:

Beards and a lumberjack shirt? Why, they’re fucking hipsters! Melbourne is full of them, and they really are a menace.

Witness Jim Stoupas, who runs a business nearby, told the BBC: “It just barrelled through a completely full intersection of pedestrians. There was no attempt to brake, no attempt to swerve.”

He added: “I saw probably five to eight people on the ground with people swarming around them [to help]. Within a minute, I think, there were police on site, so it was very, very speedy.”

Victoria Ambulance said in a statement that a child of pre-school age with serious head injuries was among those taken to hospital.

If the father of that child were Chechen, the perpetrators would not have long to live. I’m merely observing some cultural differences here, celebrating diversity as we’re encouraged to.

In January, six people died when a man drove a car into pedestrians on Bourke Street.

Afterwards, city authorities installed concrete blocks in various locations – including on Flinders Street – hoping to prevent vehicle-based attacks.

Tsk! Someone tell the BBC that the official term is “diversity bollards“.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Twitter that the investigations had begun, and sent “thoughts and prayers” to those affected.

Of course. This will be forgotten by Christmas Day.

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27 thoughts on “A Mystery in Melbourne

  1. I think I like #culturalbarriers more than #diversity bollards. Works on sooooo many levels 🙂

    As for the perps, nah, they don’t look at all the type… [/sarc]

  2. While things move fast, the Melbourne police deny it is terror-related.

    On current form, I’d suggest you think again about that career move into fortune telling 😉

  3. At least you get photo’s, in most of Europe it would be attributed to “persons of no appearance”.

    As for “diversity bollards“, where I work over in Germany they are known as Merkel Lego.

    Recent tests with a remotely controlled “Truck of Peace” has demonstrated that they are about as much use as a chocolate teapot (no suitably Germanic alternative springs to mind).

    Local authorities and event organisers have been increasingly using the barriers since last July’s attack in Nice when Tunisian delivery driver Mohamed Lahouaiej-Bouhlel killed more than 80 people as he ploughed a rented 19-tonne lorry into Bastille Day crowds in the southern French resort. But tests on the barriers carried out by German current affairs show Umschau appear to show they would fail to prevent similar attacks in the future.

    Researchers drove a 10-tonne truck into the barriers at 30mph and found the 2.5 tonne concrete blocks were simply pushed aside by the power of the vehicle, which only came to a halt when it hit a wall. Tester Marcus Gärtner said: “It does not matter whether the truck hits the barriers diagonally or frontally: the anti-terrorist barriers were pushed like billiard balls in both cases and the impact was relatively low.”

    Saxony’s Minister of the Interior, Markus Ulbig said concrete barriers are only part of a security concept. He said: ”No one claims that they guarantee absolute security. “However, concrete barriers reduce the risk of damage. “In principle, there is no 100 per cent protection against terrorist attacks.”

    Tobias Becker, managing director of barrier manufacturer Becker Bodenbaustoffe, said he was not surprised by the results of the test. He said: “My company is not providing security concepts but stones. How these are then deployed is a matter for the municipalities. “To simply order bollards to get security is bit of an eyewash.” Thomas Pampel from the concrete manufacturer Stoneland Hamburg said using bollards was aimed at reassuring the public. He said: “This is a pure placebo effect.”

    [Link to Video showing failure of blocks to prevent a truck attack]

  4. @John Gault

    If I follow the substance of the quote you provided: the diversity bollards are only any use of you wish to have some 2.5tonne concrete blocks hitting people *as well* as the truck being driven by the ‘not at all a terrorist’ chap who has just got off the plane from Syria with the big bra d and the ISIS flag?

  5. @John Square:

    For the festive season they’ve been camouflaging the “diversity bollards” / “Merkel Lego” in waterproof wrapping paper and fake red bows.

    Not sure if this is as a surprise for the drivers of any inbound “Islamic truck of tolerance” or a last minute surprise for those about to be “culturally enriched” when a large piece of concrete shrapnel wrapped in a bow comes flying at your head.

    ‘Ello, ‘Ello, ‘Ello? Wot’s all this then?

    Interfering with an Islamic Truck of Peace while it is in motion? Sounds like racially aggravated pedestrianism to me.

    If you weren’t smeared along the pavement like a dropped jam spongecake I’d ‘ave to take you darn the station.

    Move along now. Nothing to see here. The events wot ‘ave transpired is the will of Allah. It is written.

    Evening all.

  6. I walked past there last week with my youngest son, its not a good scene at all. It may in fact not be a mossy attack though, the last one there wasn’t either. I see the crashed vehicle has P plates (just recently got their licence) and that the rockabilly dude was separately arrested, he doesn’t look like a radicalized mossy type to me. Either way its a terrible situation right now for those affected and lets just hope that the recovery rate for the injured is 100%. By the way, rest assured that folk that do things like this here, will be got at inside if its any consolation.

  7. I thought the only description allowed of (allegedly, according to some scurrilous reports) scum like the driver was, as it took place in Australia, is “An Australian man.” Given the fuss over genders nowadays perhaps more accurately ” An Australian” would suffice.

    In other news, the war against the west is in full swing and with festivities approaching, may get worse.

  8. Sounds like racially aggravated pedestrianism to me.

    I have become by turns furious and bitter over this issue, but this made me laugh out loud at work. Congratulations, sir.

  9. Is the intersection a hub for Christmas shoppers? I always thought the Manchester/ Grande attack was anti-music-for-girls. This might be anti-Christmas.

  10. Nevermind, I just saw reports that it was indeed Christmas shoppers.

    I like this comment on twitter: “Lefties are preparing their “frontlash”. A fabricated incident where a white person assaults a timid Muslim.”

  11. Aha, ‘mental health issues’.

    I’ve already got the line on BBC News “Islamic Truck of Peace” Bingo, just need “This is an isolated case” and “Let’s not conflate Islam with acts of terrorism” and I’ve got the full house.

  12. Julia,
    Of course he’s got mental health issues if he’s a Muslim. Only a mental defective would live their life by the words of a raping, murdering, paedophile who, by the way, was admittedly illiterate, so he had no idea what the scribe was writing to his dictation.

  13. “who, by the way, was admittedly illiterate …”: it has been suggested that he was only pretending to be illiterate so that nobody would guess that he was having fly looks into the Bible. I can’t imagine there could be much in the way of evidence for that, mind, so it doesn’t persuade me.

    There is an enormous chasm between what is said about M and what is known about him. If M was a title rather than a name, the uncertainty is even greater. There’s a non-negligible probability that the Koranic Mecca and Medina are not the present day cities, and so on, and so on.

  14. Actually, just to cut through the doubletalk and doublethink; it was clearly a murderous and terroristic attack by a noxious Islamist waste of space inspired and energised by loathsome deathly Muslim doctrine. The BBC probably just needs someone like me to help out with the headlines so that they more approximately accord with the all-too evident reality. I’m ready to help if they call.

    Not the best planned and executed and not the worst (unless you or yours are caught up in it, and that’s when you really find out nobody actually gives much of a shit about you anyway) and definitely not the last.

    Sad-ish day for Australia generally. But they, along with Canada, are apparently at least as politically bonkers, expedient and cavalier as we are in the UK and Europe. Which is not encouraging.

  15. along with Canada, are apparently at least as politically bonkers, expedient and cavalier as we are in the UK

    To be honest, I’m not sure if we’re worse or just bonkers in equally bad but different ways.

  16. Police said that it’s a mental health issue. That’s correct. – Islam is a mental health issue.

  17. If they keep up this whole “mental health issues” thing, some SJW will eventually launch themselves upon them for islamophobia, for suggesting indeed that Islam is a mental health issue.

    Best way not to lose is to not play the damn game.

  18. Look it was an accident. The poor guy was trying to enter Aloha Snackbar into his satnav and lost control of the vehicle in the process. Nothing to see here, move along please

  19. Recent tests with a remotely controlled “Truck of Peace” has demonstrated that they are about as much use as a chocolate teapot (no suitably Germanic alternative springs to mind).

    That’s interesting, thanks for that. So the diversity bollards don’t work against trucks unless they’re cemented in place? Security theatre, in other words. I bet the ones around Downing Street are firmly fixed to the floor, though.

  20. Is the intersection a hub for Christmas shoppers?

    No, the main shopping street is a bit further away, this junction is a sort of bottleneck for commuters arriving by train and people crossing the river on foot or by car. They did have a giant inflatable Santa climbing the station roof in Christmas 2013 though, so perhaps that set him off?

  21. Fifteen or so years ago I would have defended the rights of individuals to live their own lives free from harassment in a lightly regulated, peaceful society. Today, I’d gleefully welcome the intimidation, bashing and killing of muslims on public streets and I wouldn’t lift a finger to help them or to help the police, should they show up. I doubt I am the only one.

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