sat in the café brooding over the papers. It was a time of fear
and confusion. A loose network of ethnic and religious gangs were terrorising
the neighbourhood -- an unstable alliance of tribes that worked a variety
of rackets, large and small.
the top of the food chain were two mega gangs, mostly Anglo-Celts, known
as The Feds. The Libs, led by the ailing John 'Never Ever' Howard were
currently, the top dogs. Their sometime rivals were Kim 'Fat Boy' Beazley's
mob. The Feds were mainly into wage-slave trading, deregulation, taxation
rackets, expenses scams, privatisations, something called "the
sharemarket" and other white collar crime.
had it that old Howard was on the skids. His GST racket had hurt a lot
of small business folk, the foot soldiers who had once supported his
mob, and now they were muttering darkly and thirsting for vengeance.
the time of the founding godfather, Ming the Merciless, The Libs had
been in an alliance with The Nats, who were previously known as The
Countries, sometimes shortened to [we won't print that -- editor].
The Nats worked the rural rackets, but they were under challenge from
Pauline 'Redhead' Hanson's ultra-Celtic crazies who called themselves
One Nation. Fat Boy's mob were aiming to wipe The Libs out by the end
of the year, and One Nation were looking to pick up what was left of
the rural rackets.
Sydney's streets the Carr Boys (aka The NSW Right) were the most feared
gang. They had almost completely wiped out their rivals, The Chikas,
and insiders said the only reason they didn't rub them out completely
was Godfather Carr's belief that if they did, somebody tougher might
arise in their place.
the Carr Boys combined with small-time ethnic gangsters (like Phuong
Ngo, who was now doing time for rubbing out John 'The Slav' Newman,
a Carr Boy from Cabramatta), but fundamentally the Carr Boys were an
Irish Catholic mob which, in the manner of the Sicilian Mafia, ran a
protection racket sponging off the trade unions. They controlled the
cops and worked nice fat deals with the big construction companies.
the surface the ethnic mobs look pretty invincible, but there was one
sign they were in trouble: they were all looking for alliances with
the underworld consultants collectively known as (whisper it with respect),
The Holy Men.
the old days these God mobs had made an elaborate charade of keeping
their distance from the crude pistoleros who ran the streets for the
ethnic gangs, but things changed after The Libs did a deal with them
and subcontracted out the lucrative employment rackets. Then a mob called
The Salvos, led by 'Major' Brian Watters was subcontracted to keep drugs
illegal. Not long afterwards Howard appointed a holy man who called
himself 'Doctor' Hollingworth, to the post of 'Governor-General' --
a sort of ceremonial head of all the mobs.
biggest of the God mobs were The Anglicans -- smooth Anglos who once
had a virtual monopoly on the weddings-and-funerals racket in their
homeland, but were now in decline -- and The Tykes, an Italian-Irish
mob which had recently been taken over by a flamboyant Melbourne holy
man called Crazy Mad Pells. Many rivals were gunning for Pells but he
was surrounded by a fanatical praetorian guard called The Spice Girls
-- gay priests who wore black dresses and ran a bizarre line in homophobia
was trying to sell a new taxation racket to the Federal mobs. The details
were sketchy, but the basic idea was a tax on the "guilty"
party in divorces. In one of the more bizarre plays in the Byzantine
world of mob politics, the Pells mob had got together with The Quadrants
(aka 'The Rants'), a grab-bag of ideological misfits led by a fat renegade
atheist called Padraic 'Paddy' McGuinness, to push the scheme.
I first moved to Werrong Lane it was a happy little community where
it was generally accepted that religion was, like sex, a matter between
consenting adults. Every now and then Adventists came doorknocking,
but they just wanted to sell tracts and they pissed off if you threatened
to turn the hose on them. You didn't expect to be shaken down by creepy
Anglican fanatics brandishing electric guitars.
I have lived a long time and seen many things and I felt there was an
air of desperation about all this inbred manoeuvring, the sort of crazy
atmosphere of denial that comes when a criminal subculture is in trouble.