Not content with the "snail's pace" time frame of the federal government's Royal Commission into child abuse, the inner-city municipality of Burchett Hill ("proudly twinned with Pyongyang") is to set up its own commission of inquiry. "The three years the federal commission is going to take is far too long - half of the worst offenders will be dead by then," says Councillor Les Rhiannon, Mayor of Burchett Hill and leader of the Greens majority on the city council. "We want these evil deviates named and shamed as quickly as possible and shoved into the stinking dungeons where they belong." The Council has already let a contract to extend the "Burchett Hill People's Prison and Re-education Centre", at present a one-cell lock-up behind the police station, to accommodate hundreds of new inmates.

Unlike the federal Royal Commission, the Burchett Hill inquiry will have the power to impose sentences. "Our operating model will be the Moscow state trials of the 1930s, much maligned by reactionary historians but in truth a demonstrable exercise in juridical fairness," says Councillor Rhiannon. "Everyone charged will have five minutes to defend themselves, no on second thoughts maybe two at the most. We don't want to waste public time and money listening to a lot of self-serving blather when it's pretty well obvious that abusers brought before the commission are guilty, otherwise they wouldn't be there."

The Mayor "bitterly regrets" that the commission will not be able to avail itself of the power of the Moscow trials to have convicted offenders shot. "As a party, of course, we're in favour of gun control. We're also opposed to capital punishment, though I wouldn't mind making an exception in the case of child abuse."

Nor will the commission be "royal". It will be "a People's Commission in every sense of the word," says Councillor Rhiannon. "Judges and jury will be ordinary citizens with no axe to grind and absolutely disinterested except that as a qualification for membership of the sentencing panel they will already have been active in denouncing child abusers. In this regard I have invited some top people in the field to serve on the commission - names such as Hetty Ogre, founder of 'Protect Our Kidz' and Tom Peeping, chair of 'Prurient Rites', all absolutely impartial."

The "chair" of the commission will be the Mayor's "partner", Ms Drusilla Alitosis. "She knows at first hand the pain and hurt abuse can cause," says Councillor Rhiannon, "ever since her brother Georgiou was 'propositioned' at the tender age of twenty-three in a bar on Mykonos" (the Alitosis family is of Greek origin). "The offender was an Australian tourist and although he was dressed in holiday attire Georgiou suspects he was a Catholic priest, in fact he's pretty sure he was. The fact that the proposition was accepted only shows the malign power these abusers exercise over vulnerable people."

Georgiou, who is now fifty-one, has blamed the recent failure of his Blue Aegean fish shop in Burchett Hill on the "nervous damage" he suffered as a consequence of the incident, which had left him "utterly incapable of running a business."

The terms of reference of the People's Commission are wide-ranging. "We will be investigating abuse anywhere and everywhere by anybody," says the Mayor. "I want to make it very clear that this is not a witch hunt against any one section of the community."

For instance, all children educated in Roman Catholic schools will automatically be regarded as abuse victims, on the principle enunciated by Professor Richard Dawkins, who has said that a Catholic education is actually worse than abuse. "Indeed," added the Mayor, "it is indoctrination of the most insidious and vicious kind."

Councillor Rhiannon has dismissed claims by "right-wing nutters" that the compulsory three-hour municipally-mandated "civics" courses taught each day in Burchett Hill state schools and kindergartens, with units such as "Wicked multinationals: their role in causing Global Warming" and "Post-birth abortion: a better future for us all", also amount to indoctrination. "My answer to that is short and to the point. Balls!"

Among the many submissions already made to the commission, a number are in relation to accusations of abuse in Burchett Hill municipal children's institutions. "No, we won't be going there," says Councillor Rhiannon. "Take it from me that those accusations are not even worth investigating. Local government agencies are definitely not part of the inquiry's remit. The institutions in question are all run by respected members of our Greens Party, and if one of those guys has been having a bit of a fling with the kids, well, as you probably read in a recent Guardian Weekly, that's now OK as long as it's consensual.

"Besides," he added, the commission will be far too busy bashing, that is to say, enquiring into what the Catholics have been up to to bother about frivolous and vexatious claims from elsewhere." Referring to a book he has been reading on the Spanish Civil War, the Mayor said that "like those heroes of the Barcelona massacres, La Pasionaria and Santiago Carrillo, here in Burchett Hill our commission will not rest until every parasitical priest and so-called brother or nun is expunged from the face of the earth - from Burchett Hill anyway. Once we've done that we're going to get Geoffrey Robertson from London on the job - Dru and me used to watch him on The Hypotheticals, he's an Aussie though you wouldn't know it from the way he speaks. Anyhow he's worked out a way to arrest the Pope - and if we can get that leering old enemy of humanity here I think we can safely leave the rest to our People's Commission."

28 January 2013

There are other news stories from Burchett Hill in Argus here ("Municipal News"), here ("A Feast of Reason"), here ("On the Street Where You Eat"), here ("The One Day of the Year"), here ("The Glorious First of May"), here ("Support for the Arts"), here ("How May I Not Help You?"), here ("Our Very Own Olympics"), here ("Marriage Reform in Action"), here ("A School Story"), here ("A Voice in the World") and here ("A Blow Against Misogyny"). 

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