I have never been so disappointed with my favourite country than I was this morning.
The background to this sorry tale is that last year one Amber Heard, current Sheila of actor Johhny Depp, smuggled two small dogs into Queensland on a private jet while he was filming for the ‘Pirates of the Caribbean’ franchise. Now Ozzies in general are a pretty easy going bunch, but one thing you most certainly do not do is take the rise out of their Customs and Border Protection Service, the consequences for which can be both life changing and eye-wateringly expensive.
On top of the smuggling charges charges dear Amber was also charged with submitting a false immigration declaration and pleaded guilty on all counts. However, the Queensland judge gave her a one-month good behaviour bond of 1,000 dollarooos (just over £500) with no conviction recorded. This amount is payable only if she breaks the bond (my italics).
The pair were also ordered to record a sincere apology, the result of which can be seen here True sincerity. Is it just me, or are these two taking the pish to epic levels and is there one law for s’lebs and another for ‘civilians’, as Liz Hurley once referred to those not on the red carpet?
What I do know is that some starstruck functionary in the Australian public service or the judiciary needs to grow a pair.
24 thoughts on “Grow a pair, Australia”
One report referred to the offence as a ‘clerical error’.
Why do a mad pirate impersonator and porn star get preferential treatment?
G’day OZ –
Rarely, if ever, have I disagreed with you, mate, but I guess you’ve been away too long to suss out what a superb, subtle victory this has been for Australia (in general) and for Barnaby Joyce (in particular).
I won’t bore everyone by going through the details of the story, but please take it from me that there are millions of Aussies grinning broadly today. There aren’t many deputy Prime Ministers around the world who can openly tell a Hollywood star to “fuck off” and get away with it, let alone drag him and his tart back to plead guilty in a rural magistrate’s court. Big smile. 🙂
Not sure I altogether agree with you either Oz. The song and dance Depp and Co made about Australian laws and Barnaby in particular and how they were never, ever going to return here made most of the international papers – and I saw some rather denigrating excerpts from the US media at the time.
The fact that the two of them did return to face charges, and somewhat less cocky than they were on leaving, is probably far more important than the fine, or bond. The papers here suggest that the video was their idea – and I agree he, at least, looks like a sulky kid who has been forced to admit that he has been a bully. Not too great an image for a would-be-swashbuckling super-star! There are many ways of punishing offenders and having to eat a bit of humble-pie obviously did not sit well with Depp!
Incidentally, Customs and Immigration here can have a very human face. Albeit some years ago, Immigration in Darwin allowed my daughter and grandson in when they landed without a visa due to a mess up by Singapore Airlines.
. . . a little bit extra . . .
Shortly after posting our comments above, I had to take Boadicea to her weekly session at the local sports gym (it’s where her physio hangs out). While I sat and waited, I listened to the Brisbane local radio, which included a phone-in on Johnny and Amber, with a short interview with Barnaby tossed in for good measure.
What a hoot !!
“How do you tell if an apology is genuine?” – from the program presenter, with tongue firmly in cheek.
“Let the hostages go free” – from a listener quoting Ricky Gervais, apparently.
“He looked as though he was auditioning for a part in The Godfather” – this from Barnaby, accompanied by a deep chuckle.
Australia has made them figures of fun, who have lost resoundingly. Clearly no need for additional cojones. 🙂
Strewth, I was getting a bit worried there thinking the place had turned into a nation of pooftahs! Thanks to Bearsy and Boadicea for the local heads up and Google for subsequent research on my part. A massive, pulsating smiley too for Barnaby Joyce.
I am delighted to stand corrected and refer Cherished Colleagues to a couple of links explaining the matter from the Aussie perspective Here and Here .
I have to say, though, that the international tabloid press is putting a different spin on things with “Let off with a slap on the wrist” type of headlines and comments followed by paparazzi shots of the grinning bimbo “enjoying a celebratory cigarette on the terrace of their luxury Gold Coast hotel”, the sort of fawning s’leb orientated bolleaux that frizzed my fur in the first place. There has been little or no mention of the admirable Mr Joyce.
Anyway, at least Charioteers abroad know the real story and will correct any misapprehensions among friends and family. I have to go away now and deal with a disturbing mental picture of Boadicea’s sports physio hanging out at the gym.
I agree completely with Bearsy and Boadicea about the ‘war on terrier’. Well played, Australia!
The sentence seems to me to be completely in accord with the principles of the ‘Penalties and Sentences Act 1992’ of Queensland, particularly Section 9, subsections 2(a) and 2(h), and Section 12, subsection 12 (c) of Part 2, which I take to be the relevant sections of that Act. I also believe that the sentence is an effective implementation of the principles of justice of both deterrence and education.
Amber was, presumably, only given that sentence after the prosecution and defence had hammered out a deal. That deal included the pair of them flying back to Australia, which they had suggested they would never do again – http://www.usmagazine.com/celebrity-news/news/amber-heard-were-going-to-avoid-australia-after-dog-fiasco-2015226
Bear in mind that Depp did not need to go at all as he was never charged, but I bet that the deal was that both of them would appear in Court for her to plead Guilty in person. The video must have been offered and accepted as well. I understand that the Australian authorities intend to play it regularly on inbound flights,, allowing even more people to have a good laugh at the couple in the future.
Twitter is alive with mocking references to the video and the American media, who tended to be a bit more supportive of them at the time are openly mocking them now – I’m watching a fair bit of Fox etc. at the moment since it’s Primary time.
Bernard Joyce is now my favourite politician with the initials ‘BJ’. My second favourite, for the avoidance of doubt is Bernard Jenkin. His reference to the video going viral on the Internet as ‘going off like a frog in a sock’ taught me another great Aussieism. I hope that his National Party will benefit from the Depp effect in the forthcoming election.
I also enjoyed the Daily Telegraph (Oz version) giving Depp a special award for the worst performance of the year in a supporting role.
Oz, we can only hope said physio doesn’t leave it out. 😱
PS, threadwise, they are a weird couple, imho. Unconventional in spades. A suitable target for the barbs of Aussie wit.
I’m not so sure that the deal was hammered out before they arrived – news reports here suggested that the trial could take four days – and just a few hours later we were presented with the video. Depp was still in ‘mocking-mode’ when he landed – joking about all the other things he had bought into Oz without being found out.
A fine would have served no good purpose – anyone who can jump on their private jet to come to Oz isn’t going to be hurt by whatever the maximum fine is… this is a far better solution – and makes it clear to anyone coming here that we are deadly serious about our quarantine laws.
By the way – the name is Barnaby Joyce – and he is, indeed, one our more colourful pollies. He can be taken for a bit of a buffoon – but hear him talk on anything he knows about – and he is ace. he also tends to keep silent on subjects he admits he doesn’t understand – and, as the world now knows, he says it exactly how he sees it in language that no one can misunderstand!
OZ, Janus – sorry to spoil your fun guys, but said physio is a young lady. 😦
Y’can’t be too careful, Bearsy. Best to check…..
“Grow a pair Australia”. A bit late for that OZ. HMS Testosterone sailed many years ago. ASS Nanny has been patrolling the waters for some time now.
Did you read the whole thread before you lobbed your usual, sociopathic comment into the mix?
There appears to me to be plenty of evidence in said thread, and in re this particular matter, that Australia Fair’s testicles etc. stand proudly and exactly where they usually have throughout the history of their nation. .
Morning JM. To paraphrase Sydney Smith (not Australia), I never read a post before commenting, it does prejudice a man so.
You are too harsh in describing my behaviour as sociopathic. Calling me an Austiopath might have been nearer the mark. Though to be fair, this is largely a reaction to the relentless jingoism that emanates from a certain corner of the world where men claim to be men but where sheep are definitely nervous.
Incidentally, I came across this blog yesterday and I would be interested in hearing your thoughts on the judgement by the ACT Supreme Court.
“Though to be fair, this is largely a reaction to the relentless jingoism that emanates from a certain corner of the world where men claim to be men but where sheep are definitely nervous.”
Applying the rules of the blessed [BBC Radio 4 panel game] ‘Just a Minute’, I hereby find that the above referred comment is neither repetition nor hesitation, but is struck out for deviation in two respects, the second being, “Wot’s Wales got to do with it anyway?”
I’m still watching……
Diolch yn fawr, OZ. 🙂
I can’t make uup my mind. Is Sipu a fan of the mad pirate or the porn star?
Janus, he just hates Ozzies and Ozzieland!
Johnny Depp was good in…he was good in…,umm, the one about the, umm,…he played the part of, err, who was it? He was really good at…umm…it was about, uhh…he had a….it also had thingmy in it, what’s her face? It was on the other night, umm..what’s the name of it, uhh… Oh, forget it.
Amber Heard by contrast starred in that er expose no revelation no er no kit er penetratiive…..Did she marry in white?
Boadicea, “Janus, he just hates Ozzies and Ozzieland!”
I do not hate. However, I strongly dislike, hypocrisy, bullying, cowardice, dishonesty, disloyalty and several other characteristics that are occasionally exhibited on these pages. And, as I have made abundantly clear over the past few years, I believe in forgiveness and redemption, two qualities that seem horribly lacking by some who visit the Chariot.
A long time ago, I wrote a post in which I explained why I ‘bothered with this site’. I do not come here for idle chit-chat and general back slapping. I can get that in the real world where people go by their real names and have a physical presence. You won’t believe it, though it is true, in the real world, people’s eyes light up when I walk into a room. People like me. But that is the real world. I do not consider the Chariot to be the real world. I come here to indulge in verbal conflict without destroying personal relationships. As I said in that post, everybody here is an avatar, as far as I am concerned. I have no doubt that in reality, every Charioteer is thoroughly decent, even by my exemplary standards. But when somebody writes something that I disagree with, I want to be able to say things that I would not say to a ‘real’ friend. I want to be able to voice my opposition in strong terms, if that is what I feel is required.
I do not see the characters here as being people. I honestly do not care about any of you as far as your human condition is concerned. Why should anybody here be more important that any one of the other 7 billion people on this earth that I am unlikely to meet. I only care about what you write. And to be perfectly frank, I am pretty certain that everybody who comes here feels the same way as I do; unless of course they have actually met the individual concerned. That of course leads to the somewhat contrived salutations, that occurred recently, between a man and a dog.I mean, really! (Not sure how to punctuate that.)
Think how many people have come and gone from this site and from MyT. Many have imagined that they had meaningful relationships with those who posted and commented. But when those avatars ceased to visit the site, only those who were known to have died were ‘mourned’. Bulletin for example. Those who flounced or slipped away were ignored. Ferret, Soutie, ColdwaterJohn, Pseu, Zenrules, Tocino, Brendano et al. They were not your friends. They were just text on a screen. I actually met Soutie and Tocino, probably against my better judgement. Both were thoroughly decent people, but by meeting them I had to temper my discussions with them. They had become real people and I did not want to offend them. I met each of them once and never saw them again. I know Tocino died but I have no idea what happened to Soutie. For the record, I am reasonably confident that at the time of meeting, at least, both of them liked the real me.
In short, those who come here to make friends must be pretty damn desperate. I believe that people should visit sites like this to debate and argue, learn and educate, laugh and amuse, inform and be informed, entertain and be entertained etc. If you want friends, go out and meet people. Internet friendship is no more than social masturbation.
So, say whatever you like to me or about me, I will not be offended.Your worst insults mean nothing and they do not detract from the fact that I value you for your knowledge of history, your ability to debate, entertain and educate, your sense of humour and other traits that you have exhibited over the years. I am delighted to be educated by you and to be proved wrong by you. I hold no grudge when you show yourself to be right and that I am wrong. I thirst for knowledge, not for ego. But I refuse to bow to your own ( or that of anybody else) perceived position of where you, he, she or it stands in society as a historian, engineer, lawyer, teacher, accountant, Australian, woman, LBGT, atheist, black, working class, Anglo-Saxon etc, and I reserve the right to tell you that I believe that your logic is flawed and that your opinions are wrong. If that offends you, the only person offended is you. If I express myself in less than flattering speech, get over yourself. Only those who suffer from low self esteem allow words to hurt them.
I guess Sipu’s long comment can be summarised as “It’s all about me“.
For myself, I grow weary of his back-street arrogance and verbal diarrhoea, so he will probably soon find his membership rescinded – if ‘er indoors agrees.
Definitely N-O-C-D !!
What a psychological tour de force! Looking for popularity since his unloved upbringing, settling among people he regards as his racial inferiors, claiming to be liked by everyone in real life, protesting too much methinks that he gives not a jot for us mere avatars nor caring how we respond to his cold logic. This is the disingenuous behaviour shared with the internet troll, the wannabe celeb, the false seducer. This is bravado born of a deep insecurity. How revealing that he dislikes bullying and hypocrisy, but seems to revel in causing offence to others here, even claiming to mean well! A sad case.
Good evening, everybody.
I would like to reply to Sipu’s request that I comment on the case that he asked about in his contribution of 6.21 am of 21st inst. to this thread.
He asked for my opinion on http://www.spectator.co.uk/2015/02/sex-lies-and-er-rape/
Now, the problem is that I am a ‘Spectator’ subscriber and can read the article in full. I do not know if non-subscribers can read it. If not, the gist is that Akis Livas was banged up for 8 months for agreeing to pay a prostitute/sex worker A$800 for sexual services. The envelope which he gave her for said services was empty.
I have to say, Sipu, that I have enjoyed the research but am also frustrated. I have not yet been able to track down the actual judgment by Madam Justice Hilary Penfold of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory. So, I’ve had to rely on various press reports.
It would seem that the man Livas is a serial conman. Incarcerated for 9 weeks in 2010 for blagging 80 days of accommodation from 10 various Canberran hotels. Disqualifed as a director, having been the principal of dodgy companies. Etc., etc.
Even if he not been the total scumbag that he clearly is, I would agree with the fact that he was done for the empty envelope. Not sure that the verdict is totally safe in terms of English Common Law, as transported to Oz, but I can see the logic.
It’s probably a bit of a stretch in Scots Law as well, to be fair, but the verdict is, in my opinion, equitable and justifiable in the interests of the greater good.
Simplistically, and skating over a lot of fairly thin ice, we used to have various forms of informal marriage in Scotland. One of those was that a marriage could be constituted by the act of sexual intercourse, if it could be proved that the man had promised the woman that he would marry her if she let him have his way with her. This case Is just an example of a similar contractual agreement for me.
Which is why the ‘rape’ aspect muddies the water as far as I am concerned By definition, non-consensual sex is rape and that’s why that word has been dragged into the argument. For me, it should just be a case of a contract that is void because of fraud on the part of one of the parties thereto and he deserves everything he got.
I just wish she could sue him for reparation in a civil action but she obviously can’t, given the element of moral repugnance.