Melbourne transport

Repugnant ratbags

As someone who has lived in the Bagel Belt for most of my life, I’m somewhat shocked to hear of the alleged racist attack on a Jewish man in Balaclava Road last Saturday by some mindless idiots on a football club trip.

The operations manager of the football league involved said: “It was a trip to the races. It’s difficult to control all those situations.”

Maybe, maybe not. But it’s the root cause that concerns me. These guys apparently have the attitude that different cultures are to be abused, harrassed, shouted at, and assaulted. How does that happen? It may not be the team management’s fault, but in no way should they be trying to make excuses, and it wouldn’t hurt them to send the team to some counselling so they can learn what is acceptable behaviour in our multicultural society.


Speaking of ratbags, I missed my train on Monday night, and was trying to beat it round the loop by boarding a Werribee train to Parliament. A bunch of yoofs also got on board. I try not to be judgemental, but it was pretty obvious to everyone that these were ferals of the worst degree. Some youngsters are just raucous, but this lot were being deliberately obnoxious. In the 2-3 minutes I shared a train carriage with them, they were shouting, screaming, and then launched into a classic little ditty that begins “What’s the colour of a two cent piece? Copper… Copper…”

Whether or not they’re old enough to remember two cent pieces, I don’t know. Suddenly I was hoping they ran into some coppers themselves, or at least a train security patrol, who would bring them into line.

I got off the train at Parliament, pitying those who were travelling further with them.

What happened next? Well I heard later that out near Laverton they ended up verbally insulting an old lady, and a number of other passengers felt threatened enough to complain to the police.

You know, it’s only one in a hundred train rides that is genuinely unpleasant like this one was. But you can see why that one bad experience puts people off.

By Daniel Bowen

Transport blogger / campaigner and spokesperson for the Public Transport Users Association / professional geek.
Bunurong land, Melbourne, Australia.
Opinions on this blog are all mine.

5 replies on “Repugnant ratbags”

I think the odds may be a little higher on some lines or perhaps I have been unlucky. It is difficult to decide at what point should you call police. Obviously yes when they are threatening people, but at what point when you can see they are bad and may threaten people or they have extremely intimidating body language and behaviour.

1. The football team had the bloody cheek to try and blame the jewish man. Unbelievable. Good on him for sticking up for his rights. It’s a shame that his young children were put through this terrible ordeal.

2. I’m not keen to travel by rail due to all the misfits out there. There should be permanent rail marshals I reckon. I tend to travel in the first carriage as the driver is close at hand.

What cowardly behaviour. As an Anglo-Saxon myself (living in America) we have a duty to act better and lead by example. I think Oliver Cromwell called it “The White Man’s Burden”.

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