he’s just a serial killer

To be honest, what occurred in the prison was obviously unacceptable, but the person concerned was a serial killer. I think it would be quite unnecessary and a quite inappropriate use of taxpayers’ money to have a royal commission.

– Victoria’s Premier, talking about why we shouldn’t hold a royal commission into the murder of Carl Williams.

I think we’ve seen the worst of the media, our politicians and our community in Melbourne this week.

I’m writing some stuff at the moment about how one of the most dominant human instincts is to define people by one characteristic: a disability, a character trait, their appearance, an evil they’ve committed. By describing them that way [‘the paraplegic’, rather than ‘the man who is also a paraplegic], we decide what is the most important thing about them. We never let them be more than that. Sure, it’s more clumsy to not use the shorthand, but if we have to save words, perhaps there are others less important that we could cut.

No-one is just a serial killer. And that includes those who are serial killers.

Andy Hamilton has written the best article on this. Go read.


  1. David Bridie:
    “You can tell a lot about a place by the way it treats its own deserters”

  2. Another thing that kind of defining does is to clearly state that we are not alike. It holds the other at arms length. Convinces us that there is such a thing as ‘them’, when in reality there is only ‘us’.

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