30 June, 2016. 16:45
ERROL PARKER | Editor-at-large | Contact
THE ADVENT OF SMARTPHONES has revolutionised the way ordinary people interact with the world, especially on public transport.
A racist tirade on public transport used to be a social white whale – being party to such an event was considered to be a rare treat. But that was before everybody has a video recorder in their pockets.
There was a golden era of racist rants caught on film in the years between 2013 and 2015, but the trend has recently waned.
On average, one to two vitriolic sermons would surface each month. That figure has now blown out to one or two per quarter. From the man who disapproved of some nice girls singing in French on a Melbourne bus, to the kind-hearted lady who pulled the ‘Asian eyes’ manoeuvre on a train south of Newcastle, these internet celebrities are becoming few and far between.
Speaking candidly to The Advocate this afternoon via Skype, former transit officer Glenn MacFrances says his days were getting longer and less eventful before he quit the force earlier this year.
“We used to get them off the train and deal with them,” he said.
“Before the coppers arrived, we’d flog those racists with phone books. Sometimes we’d wrap a boot up in a jumper and go to town on them. Once we got a bit carried away and waterboarded this 70-year-old lady who spat on an international student,”
“Now it’s just junkies. Junkies aren’t fun to flog because they’re usually so weak. Except for the ice ones, but the coppers get to deal with them, which sucks. They’re even allowed to shoot them.”