A letter to Matthew Guy - 22 Oct 2018

(Your tough on crime approach)

Dear Mr Guy,

Several weeks ago I wandered through a suburban shopping precinct where I encountered one of your MPs. He told me that I should vote Liberal at the upcoming election because you guys are tough on crime. He pointed me to your website entitled "Make Victoria Safe" 1 which featured 38 "solutions" relating to crime.

I’ve summarised the 38 solutions into 10 bullet points below:

Points I agree with

Greater vigilance to catch more crooks (Solutions: 13,23,27,31,33)

I agree. People would think twice about committing some types of crimes if they think they’ll probably get caught.

Anti-consorting laws to combat gangs (29)

I agree. People have better things to do than hang out with a bunch of crooks.

More effective punishment of youngsters (18, 19, 28)

I agree. Ineffective punishment is of no value. Ineffective anything is of no value.

Points where I have questions

Lock up alleged/convicted offenders regardless of what judges etc. think. (1,2,3,4,12,16,23,38)

I wasn’t sure why you thought you knew better than judges, so I went to read your speeches in Parliament to try to understand you better. I found this:

Mr GUY (Leader of the Opposition) (11:29:31) — My question is to the Premier. Earlier this year Paulo Kele committed an horrific home invasion standing over Indian students, putting a knife to a victim’s throat and then stealing their car. Astoundingly he was freed on bail to walk the streets while the victims, terrified, live in fear of his return following this terrifying attack.

Premier, after four years of government, despite all your tough talk, why are violent offenders like Kele still being let out on bail? How can you ever expect any Victorian to trust a word you utter about safety, when for the last four years you have failed so comprehensively to keep the state safe?

I note the decision of Justice Champion of the Supreme Court2

  1. Were you referring to his Honour’s decision when you said "astounding"? If so, why? If not, what were you referring to?

  2. Do you have any concerns that your comments are not in keeping with the separation of powers?

  3. Do you have information about the Kele matter that allowed you to assuredly say "Paulo Kele committed [the] home invasion"?

  4. If not, have you any concerns that your comments might prejudice future hearings?

New types of crimes with greater penalities (5,6,8,17,20,21,35)

  1. What steps will you take to limit confusion and beauracracy when more laws are added to the statute books?

  2. Assuming a criminal doesn’t anticipate getting caught, why would a longer jail sentence stop him committing a crime?

  3. What is the extra cost to taxpayers for keeping more people in jail for longer?

  4. What effect do you think longer jail terms will have on people’s rehabilitation prospects?

Ask Feds to deport non-citizens (9)

  1. Where do you draw the line between deportable and non-deportable offences?

Name & shame offenders (14,15,26,32,34)

  1. Have you done anything to be ashamed of?

  2. In general, what matters are suitable for public shaming and which are not?

More support for victims (7,11,24)

  1. Do you think that encouraging people to see themselves as victims always helps them move on?

Give victims more say in how criminals are punished (10,25,30)

  1. What effects might this have on the perpetrator?

Miscellaneous (34,35)

No questions.


Because I don’t know whether you have the time to respond to my letter, I have published it on my website at http://philbachmann.com/letters/1 in case other people want to read it.

I will publish any response from you alongside my letter.


Yours Faithfully,


Phil Bachmann


1 Make Victoria Safe website http://makevictoriasafe.org.au

2 Application for bail by PAULO KELE http://aucc.sirsidynix.net.au/Judgments/VSC/2018/T0159.pdf