It’s safe to say that public opinion is now well and truly turning against Mike Baird and the NSW State Government over their highly controversial lockout laws that, a growing number of experts have been asserting, have effectively killed off nightlife in inner Sydney.
Despite Baird, for his part, keeping his head well and truly in the sand on the issue, stating repeatedly that not only is Sydney’s nightlife as vibrant as ever, but that the drastically reduced rates in violent assault on Sydney streets means the laws have been a rousing success.
This despite a clear and dramatic reduction in foot traffic in the areas affected, despite anecdotal evidence stating that the violence has simply shifted to other areas, despite wide-ranging criticism over the Government’s perceived favouritism towards lucrative casinos conveniently gaining the only exceptions to the rules, and despite violence at those casinos being perpetrated by stone cold sober security personnel in at least one very graphic instance.
In fact, so great is the tide of public opinion against Baird and the laws, that even the most ardent of conservative mouthpieces is now going in on him.
The always-controversial 2GB radio host Alan Jones tore a billion strips of fire off of Baird and the lockout legislation on his highly rated show earlier today.
Jones brought Matt Barrie onto the program to discuss Barrie’s widely shared essay “Will The Last Person In Sydney Please Turn The Light Off?” and to highlight what Jones believes is the extreme hypocrisy of the legislation.
In citing the original catalyst for the laws – the unfathomably tragic case of Thomas Kelly – Jones highlights facts from the case that showed Kelly’s assailant Kieran Loveridge did not even enter a licensed premises in Kings Cross on the night in question.
And, perhaps even more eye-opening, Jones stated that people returning home from a night at the theatre cannot buy a bottle of red wine after 10pm, however someone can shoot up heroin in a safe and legal space thanks to the taxpayer-funded medically supervised injecting rooms.
Bloody hell. When even Alan Freaking Jones is telling you you’ve absolutely cooked it, chances are you’re in deep, deep trouble.
Photo: Luke Reynolds/Getty.