Home' Greymouth Star : May 11th 2017 Contents Greymouth Star
4 - Thursday, May 11, 2017
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uLetters to the editor
1778 - Death of William Pitt the Elder,
1812 - British Prime Minister Spencer
Perceval is assassinated by a bankrupt broker,
John Bellingham, as he enters the House of
1932 - The body of the kidnapped
infant son of US aviator Charles
Lindbergh is found.
1949 - Israel is admitted to the
1981 - Jamaican reggae singer Bob
Marley dies of cancer in a Miami
hospital, aged 36.
1985 - Fifty-six people die and more than 200
are injured when fire engulfs the main stand
at Bradford City soccer ground in northern
1988 - Death of Harold “Kim” Philby, British
intelligence officer and journalist.
1997 - The Deep Blue IBM computer
demolishes world chess champion Garry
Kasparov in a match between man and machine.
2006 - Death, aged 71, of former world
heavyweight boxing champion Floyd Patterson.
2007 - Samoa’s King Malietoa Tanumafili II
dies aged 94.
uWest Coast yesteryear
uToday in history
Baron Munchhausen, German storyteller
(1720-1797); Irving Berlin, US
songwriter (1888-1989); Paul Nash,
English artist (1889-1946); Salvador
Dali, Spanish artist (1904-1989);
Denver Pyle, US actor (1920-1997);
Eric Burdon, British rock musician
(1941-); Natasha Richardson,
British actress (1963-2009); Holly
Valance, Australian actress-singer (1983-).
“ We carry our nemesis within us: yesterday ’s
self-admiration is the legitimate father of
today’s feeling of guilt.” — Dag Hammarskjold,
UN secretary-general (1905-1961).
“But those who wait for the L ord shall renew
their strength, they shall mount up with wings
like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they
shall walk and not faint.” — (Isaiah 40:31).
At the end of this
month Bob Mitchell
will cut his ties with
industry, local and national union affairs —
and the West Coast. Doctors have made this
decision for one of the best-known men in
mine union affairs in this country. Almost on
the eve of last year’s general election, Mr R H
Mitchell was cut down in the capital by three
He was then engaged in ministerial talks
at the highest level and, as was his habit, also
conducting a vigorous campaign for the ‘lost
cause’ of his first love — the Communist
Party. Bob Mitchell was assured that complete
rest for several months would work a cure
and he could well return underground to the
Strongman mine and resume his other duties.
January 19 spelled the end of his
convalescence and wrote the final prescription
for this 51-year-old miner. Doctors have
said besides the cessation of all physical
work and his involvement in unionism, the
only guarantee for a long ‘retirement ’ is a
banishment from the West Coast. They know
that while he is here he will never rest. He will
relocate to Hawke’s Bay.
Mine union officials asserted a ‘swindle’ and
the Greymouth Harbour Board predicted a
50% drop in coal exported from Greymouth as
the Government signed its agreement to buy
Kapuni natural gas. In Wellington, Minister
of Mines Mr Shand said: “I don’t think it
will lead to the closure of any mines.” But he
emphasised that the Coast, particularly the
Greymouth district, must fight to secure a fair
share of markets.
uFood for thought
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nown as Mr Rent-a-Kill,
he is suspected of killing
14 people as a hit man in
Sydney and Melbourne
What happened to Christopher
Flannery has become one of Australia’s
most enduring crime mysteries.
Tomorrow marks 32 years since his
disappearance and police are still no closer
to the truth about what happened to Mr
The theories from Sydney and
Melbourne underworld figures about
what happened to Flannery after he
vanished on May 9, 1985 range from
being killed with a meat cleaver before
his body was mulched and scattered to
being hidden in a concrete foundation
somewhere in Sydney.
More than 30 years on, the story of
Flannery’s rise from bouncer to infamous
hit man across Australia’s two biggest
cities is one that continues to captivate.
In the 1970s, F lannery was jailed on an
outstanding warrant in Victoria over a
When he was released from prison he
became a bouncer at a St Kilda club in
Melbourne’s south-east, but soon became
a contract killer willing to murder for the
It has been reported he killed as many
as 14 people, including Victorian barrister
and businessman Roger Wilson in 1980.
Mr Wilson’s body was never found,
but police alleged Flannery, along with
John Henry Williams and Mark Alfred
Clarkson, rammed Wilson off the road
while he was driving and abducted him. It
was alleged Flannery shot Wilson.
The trio were arrested and charged
with the murder but all three were later
When Flannery left the court a free
man, police arrested him straight away
over the murder of Sydney brothel owner
Raymond ‘Lizard’ Locksley.
Locksley was murdered on May 11,
1979 in Menai, in Sydney ’s south.
During Flannery’s trial in 1982, the jury
could not reach a verdict so the case was
adjourned for two years.
Peter Grabosky in the book Crime in
the Digital Age, wrote that when the
trial was due to start in January 1984,
GP Geoffrey Edelsten gave Flannery
a medical certificate deeming him too
unwell for stand trial so he could avoid a
In 1990, Edelsten was jailed for a year
for per verting the course of justice and
also hiring Flannery to assault a former
patient. Flannery was later acquitted of
the murder of Locksley.
Flannery, who was married with
children, moved to Sydney from
Melbourne and became a body guard in
He would become a major part of
the gang wars gripping Sydney at
thetime and was embroiled in the
attempted murder of undercover
cop Michael Drury.
Darren Goodsir, in his book, Line of
Fire: The inside story of the controversial
shooting of undercover policeman
Michael Drury, wrote Drury had charged
Flannery’s friend Alan Williams after an
undercover drug raid.
Flannery tried to bribe Drury —
through crooked cop Roger Rogerson
— to drop the charges but the officer
Williams then allegedly gave Flannery
and Rogerson $50,000 each to kill Drury.
Drury was shot twice through his kitchen
window but survived.
Drury was in a coma for almost two
weeks, and when he woke, he had a strong
suspicion as to who tried to kill him.
Four years after Mr Rent-a-Kill
disappeared, Rogerson — who in 2016
was found guilty of the murder of Sydney
student Jamie Gao — was charged in
relation to the attempted murder of
Drury for conspiring with Mr Rent-a-
Kill and Williams. Rogerson was later
Williams confessed to police about
organising the attempted murder.
About six months after Drury was
shot in Januray 1985, just months before
Flannery disappeared, there was an
attack on Flannery’s home in Turrella in
Sydney ’s south. Shots were fired at his
home as Flannery and his wife walked
towards the house.
According to the Line of Fire, Rogerson
was seen near Flannery’s house in the
days after the attack. He was inter viewed
by police, and released and has never
been charged in relation to Flannery’s
In the month before Flannery
disappeared he was sent on one last job
to kill underworld figure Tony ‘Spaghetti’
Sixteen days later Flannery disappeared
on his way to a meeting with his boss
George Freeman. After his car would not
start, Flannery’s boss told him to take a
That was the last known contact of
A coroner investigating the death found
in 1997 that he was likely the victim
of murder and believed Rogerson had
information about it.
The crooked cop told current affairs
programme, Sunday, that Flannery was
“a complete pest ” and did not do what he
It has now been three decades, and
his disappearance remains one of the
country’s greatest mysteries.
— New Zealand Herald
Aussie’s Mr Rent-a-Kill
Two years — 1848 and 1933 — are
linked by the consequences of political
disillusionment and des” — 1848 — ended
in failure. The fer vent hopes of German
youth for a unified, liberal and democratic
nation were dashed. In the years that
followed they would be told that “not
through speeches and majority decisions
will the great questions of the day be
decided — that was the great mistake of
1848 and 1849 — but by iron and blood.”
Eighty-five years after “the great mistake”
of believing in “speeches and majority
decisions” had curdled the German
intelligentsia’s faith in the rational values
of the Enlightenment, the grandson of
their disillusionment and despair, Adolf
Hitler, was appointed Chancellor of
Germany. On January 30, 1933, “ iron and
blood” ceased to be the effective means
of achieving specific national ends, and
became ends in themselves. Abandoning
the voices of reason for the fiery counsel of
political dragons has only one ending —
and it is neither happy nor civilised.
The year separating June 2016 from June
2017 may yet be similarly identified as the
starting-point of a catastrophe every bit
as terrible as the one which kicked-off in
It has been a year of incoherency and
incomprehension: of primal political
screams and contemptuous dismissals.
A year in which everything has been
demanded and nothing has been
conceded. A year of brute force and
sophisticated manipulation, in which the
champions of both political approaches
remained committed only to exploiting
the divisions they had created.
There will be those who advance
the election of Emmanuel Macron as
evidence that reason has finally triumphed
over passion. That the madness which
began with Brexit and descended into
the delirium of Trump has, at last, been
tranquilised: appropriately, in the home of
the Enlightenment — France.
But this would be to confuse the
shrewdness of Charles de Gaulle, the
father of the Fifth French Republic, with
a genuinely democratic solution to the still
very real problem of organised political
irrationality. The run-off presidential
election was devised by De Gaulle as
the last line of defence against both the
residual evil of Vichy fascism and the
growing menace of France’s Moscow-
oriented Communist Party. A prophylactic
against extremism — not a cure.
Against the daughter of Vichy, Marine
Le Pen, de Gaulle’s constitution has
held the line. But that in no way makes
Monsieur Macron the positive choice of
the French people. He has become their
president not on account of the man he
is, but on account of the woman he is not.
Nor should we be dazzled by the 66%-
34% result. Madame Le Pen’s father, in
his 2002 run-off against Jacques Chirac,
secured barely a fifth of the votes cast. His
daughter has lifted that fraction to more
than a third. The National Front now calls
itself the largest single political force in
A similar number of Frenchmen either
abstained or left their ballot papers blank.
Macron owes his “victory ” to the votes
of two-thirds of two thirds of France. If
the supporters of this former investment
banker attempt to claim the run-off result
as a positive mandate for the neoliberal
programme his “En Marche” movement
is advancing, then the partisans of
irrationality and brute force will advance
their own claims — on the nation’s
Macron’s task, now, is not to strip
French workers of their rights by
presidential decree, but to make sure
that 2017 does not become the year of
unheeded hurts, in the same way that
1848 became the year of crushed hopes.
He assured his cheering supporters
outside the Louvre that his greatest wish
is to bring the French people together.
Now that would be a real victory!
Because hurts unheeded and hopes
crushed do not disappear, they fester and
weep, poisoning the blood of a nation’s
politics, raising its temperature to fever
heat, spawning the hallucinations and
delirious ravings of demagogues for
whom hurt and hope are meat and drink.
We do not know what sort of Europe
might have emerged had the “Year
of Revolutions” not ended in despair
and disillusionment. Had her best and
brightest children not, over the next 85
years, convinced themselves that it was
possible to go “beyond good and evil” and
But the Europe which actually emerged
from 1848’s crushed hopes — that we do
Chris Trotter is a left-wing
The price of crushed hopes and unheeded hurts
A genetic study has found that
melanomas on the hands and feet and the
inside of the lip are not caused by the sun.
The Australian led research sheds new
light on acral and mucosal melanomas —
some of the deadliest forms of the disease
— that will have implications on their
prevention and treatment in the future,
says lead author Professor Richard Scolyer
of the Melanoma Institute Australia.
“This is by far the largest study to have
looked at the whole genome in melanoma
and it has proven these less common
melanomas are strikingly different in
terms of their causes,” said prof Scolyer.
Every year in Australia, up to 420 people
are diagnosed with acral or mucosal
They affect people of all ethnic
backgrounds and are the most common
forms of melanoma in people with very
These forms of melanoma are also
often more aggressive and are harder to
diagnose which leads to poorer sur vival
Professor Nicholas Hayward from
QIMR Berghofer says knowing these are
really different diseases to skin melanoma
is important for the development of
“Acral and mucosal melanomas occur
all over the world, but they have been
even more challenging to treat than skin
melanoma,” Prof Hayward said.
The study published in medical journal
Nature also discovered new genetic
drivers of acral and mucosal melanomas.
Some mucosal melanomas unexpectedly
had mutations in the SF3B1 and
GNAQ genes, which had previously
only been connected to melanoma of the
Scientists are now working to turn
these discoveries into better results for
Melanomas not always caused by the sun, say scientists
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